Local business owners are always looking for effective ways to increase their visibility. In this guide, we’ll share 11 different ways to promote a local business on Instagram. Let’s dive in.
How to Promote a Local Business on Instagram
As a small business owner or manager of a local business searching for new ways to promote products or services is always at the top of the “to do” list. Instagram’s geo-targeting, local hashtag search, visual content focus, and direct to consumer accessibility make it an ideal platform to promote your local business. Below we’ll share 15 different methods you can use to easily get more eyes or your products or services.
Help People Find Your Local Business on Instagram
Most local business owners think that by simply creating an Instagram account people will find them in search. While creating an account is a great first step, optimizing the account is essential. To help your customers find you on Instagram use these 3 simple optimization tips.
- Create a location tag for your business on Instagram
- After creating the location tag be sure to tag your posts with the location tag. Ask your customers or friends to do the same as well.
- Leverage niche-specific hashtags so that you can occupy the top hashtag positions for your niche. For example, if you are a locksmith in New Jersey coin the hashtag #newjerseylocksmith. Promote 6 posts that use the hashtag so that your content will appear at the top of hashtag search results.
Participate with Purpose
Instagram requires a lot of organic activity from account holders who want to break through the noise. However, we are total fans of working smarter, not harder. It’s time to ditch the bot and start engaging meaningfully. This means, run collabs with crossover niches in your local area or communicate with influencers who have an interest in your industry.
Here are a few simple things you can start doing right now to get in with the local crowd.
- Follow other local businesses influencers
- Post meaningful comments on high trafficked local accounts
- Feature other businesses in your stories or posts
Repost Trending Local Content
Share the love. This tip is straightforward. By sharing local community posts you’ll likely get reciprocal engagement. More importantly, the social karma you earn can be a great segway for collaboration. You can repost content by simply using tools like Ingrammer or reposting apps.
It’s a good idea to ask for permission before reposting. A simple message like,
Hey, we loved this post – > include a link to the post. We’re wondering if we can have permission to repost it in our feed. We’ll be sure to tag you in the post as well. Please let us know at your earliest convenience.
Asking for permission is important because it will prevent the post from getting flagged or taken down by Instagram. More importantly, some brands or influencers may provide more accounts for you to tag in the post e.g. photographer or other brands they may be collaborating with.
Be Consistent and Reliable
Posting content consistently is necessary to grow your visibility. Thanks to software like Later or Agorapulse it’s simple to schedule social media content in advance. More importantly, you being a reliable content creator means your audience will depend on you to keep them informed. Similar to tuning into the news, reliable content also reinforces reliable behavior.
If you can manage to hone in on a specific local topics and lead the conversation for that topic you’ll be able to carve out a niche that will help you build a strong local community.
Create a Hyperlocal Bio
Most people don’t realize that your Instagram bio helps people find your business. Using hyperlocal keywords will help users associate your account with the local community. Include your location, local phrases, and even local hashtags.
For example, if you’re located in Okanagan you might include the hashtag #Yeg or #YegLocal in your bio.
Share Your Local Pride
The best way to boost your Instagram for business in your local area is to share your local pride. Some ideas to help you do this include:
- Share events you host in the area
- Share local sales and discounts
- Share information about local causes you support
- Highlight user-generated content from your local fans
Think of this approach as if it were a PR opportunity. You don’t want to be super “advertisy” on Instagram. However, you don’t want to highlight important information that helps you stand out as a local authority.
Don’t Fight the Tide, Ride the Trend
Instagram, much like the internet is always amidst a trend. To identify hyperlocal trends it’s important you stay in the know by tuning into your local feed. Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter that provide a run down of trending content in an area, Instagram’s algorithm is more user specific. Consequently, if you want to know what’s trending in your area you need to listen well. You can do simple things like follow local hashtags or engage, turn on notifications for live influencers in your area, and, be sure to follow trend setters in your community to keep an eye on what’s happening now.
For example, if I was an event planner in New York I’d follow the #NewYorkEvents hashtag.
Leverage Your Surrounding Area
In many ways, local businesses have the upperhand in terms of ease of content creation. Increasing your brand’s visibility in your local area can start by simply cataloging your surrounding area. In other words, posting pictures of places around your business. Then geotagging each image so that your brand discoverable using local geotags.
For example, @BestFoodsOC tags restaurants and shops in Orange County. Making each of their 1,000+ posts tagged to a specific location in or near Orange County.
Instagram is a great social media platform because it is visually engaging and highly interactive. However, as a local business you want to ensure you have direct access to your network. Consequently, capturing your audience’s information (e.g. name and email is essential). There are many things you can do to capture your local community’s information. There things include:
- Run a campaign and use campaign management software like gleam.io
- Invite followers to join your newsletter to access private promotions
- Create a private “email optin” group chat for your community on Instagram
These simple responses will help you capture information and communicate more frequently with your Instagram audience.
Lead with Creativity
Focus on sharing interesting content and be creative in the process. The great thing about social media is that you can be incredibly creative. For example, if you’re an art supply store you can create content that features artists painting murals around your community. In contrast, if you’re a local power company, you can shoot video skits that educate the public on your efforts to support eco-friendly energy sources.
Dominate Your Local Hashags
At Ampfluence we focus a lot of our energy on increasing visibility. We know that hashtags are essential to visibility. Therefore, using local hashtags religiously will help your brand or business garner more attention in the community. More importantly, including the proper local hashtags and geotagging your content will help your brand land more frequently on the explore page for other hyper local accounts. For example, Party and Confetti located in Edmonton uses local hashtags in their area to rank easily on the explore page for other hyperlocal accounts.
Measure, Rinse, and Repeat
Lastly, there’s no sense in doing anything if you’re not measuring your results and making adjustments to optimize your performance. When you begin marketing your local business on Instagram you can use Instagram built-in insights. Instagram provides aggregate level account data to quantify your reach and engagement. Additionally, the platform also provides individual insights for posts, stories, and videos. Be sure to use these free tools to analyze your overall performance and set realistic growth goals.
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