Your local business can use Instagram to its advantage. These are 11 ways to engage your community and promote your brand.
Instagram is the perfect tool for local businesses.
You’re probably thinking: “How can a social networking platform with funny cat videos, posts by influencers, and photos of food help me land more customers and make more Sales?”
There’s more to Instagram than just photos and videos.
It is also becoming more of a marketplace, with over 70% looking for inspiration on Instagram to make their next purchase. 50% say they are more interested in brands when they see advertisements there.
Consider that 1.13billion users use the platform, and more are joining each day. This is a lot of potential customers. It’s why Instagram has more than 200,000,000 businesses.
Insta-famousness is not just about creating an account and sharing product photos. It takes enormous effort to build a following for your business. You’re in the right place to find out how.
This guide will teach you 11 Instagram tips to increase engagement, reach a larger audience, promote your local business and make sales.
1. Participate, Participate, Participate
Instagram is, more than any other social media platform, a community.
You want to make sure your business is valued in your local community.
This will allow you to attract followers eager to share your content.
It isn’t enough to post great videos or images!
It would support if you built relationships with influencers, other brands, and even direct competitors to establish your brand within the Instagram community. Also, be part of the conversations they are starting. Engage with other Instagram users and interact with them about the content they are creating.
Engagement is only possible if you are willing to spend time on it.
When your followers start a conversation in your comments section, be active and respond to questions, concerns, praises, or other sentiments.
You have the opportunity to address any negative experiences and to show your followers that you value their opinions.
2. Increase your Instagram community by sharing local content
By regularly reposting content from your local followers, other local businesses, and celebrities, you can improve your business’s image on Instagram and within your local community.
The content creator will feel proud that your company has featured their content. Other followers will also notice.
You may be mentioned on their Instagram account as a shout-out, which can help you reach more people in your community and their followers. Win, win!
Sharing content from real people makes your brand more human and approachable.
Your company becomes a friend and neighbor instead of a business that sells.
This strategy helps you build a better reputation within the community and saves time, and allows you to create original content.
Be sure to ask the user first and tag their Instagram account.
3. Keep a consistent brand identity
Your Instagram account for business is an extension of your brand.
Although Instagram can be used for different purposes than other platforms (and should), you must maintain consistency across all platforms, particularly your brand’s tone and personality.
Many customers will follow your brand on many, if not all, channels.
Your customers will be confused if your Instagram persona is different from your website, Facebook page or in-store employees.
Your interactions with customers on Instagram and the tone in your captions must reflect how it feels to visit your business in real life.
Customers may expect the cheerful, upbeat business that they saw on Instagram to come to their door, but instead, they are likely to be disappointed.
This can cause disruptions in their customer journeys and could disenchant them.
4. Avoid blanket posting
Although your tone and persona should be consistent across channels, too many similarities can lead to problems.
It is vital to balance consistency and unique content. You must not use the same message or content on multiple social media platforms.
One danger to blanket posting is that customers following you on multiple social media channels will see the same message multiple times.
It ends being interesting after the first time and becomes disruptive. Every channel is unique and should be treated accordingly.
There are times when blanket posting is acceptable, like when your business is hosting a local event or releasing new products, and you want as many people to hear about this news/event/product(s) as possible.
You still need to ensure that cross-promoting is done responsibly.
Cross-promoting responsibly is more than copying and pasting from one platform to another. It’s about using each channel to promote the exact cause.
5. Promote Your Local Lifestyle
The local lifestyle of your business can be best described as the way a customer lives after purchasing your products.
Instagram is a great social-media platform for visuals. It’s the ideal channel to show your brand’s local lifestyle.
To help customers visualize a particular lifestyle, include photos of your products.
This increases your brand’s value and encourages customers to buy.
You should include famous landmarks when creating videos or images that show the local lifestyle of your products.
These landmarks are easily recognizable and help customers see your products more clearly in their lives, especially if they frequent these locations.
6. Follow the Trends
Holidays are always a hot topic. Businesses have used these days to engage customers with holiday messages.
There are many other topics that you can use to make compelling Instagram content.
This is an excellent way to get local attention and post content relevant to your regional followers.
You can find the most trending hashtags in your local area by paying attention to the news, local events, and holidays specific to your community.
It’s wise to follow local celebrities and businesses. You can also look at their Instagram to get ideas on trends and keywords you should use.
There is, however, a downside to using trending topics. Some brands try to take over issues that should be left alone.
You want to avoid a tragedy. It could look like you are trying to profit from the misery of others.
Many people find controversy to be a sore spot. It’s better to ignore them than to get involved. It would help if you did not discuss politics, religion, or other controversial topics.
7. Focus On Localized Hashtags
There are many parallels between hashtags (and SEO keywords)
Localized hashtags are vital to optimizing your Instagram page’s reach.
This allows local people to search for your posts and company using area-specific hashtags.
Instead of using a generic #nature hashtag for your outdoor photo’s captions, you can use a hashtag that includes the location, such as #NewportNature.
It is also good to use hashtags that reflect your location and the type of business you own. Keywords can be compared to hashtags.
You want your Instagram content to show up in searches for Chicago hairstylists.
You would use hashtags such as #ChicagoHairStylist or #ChicagoBeauty to tag your content.
Localized hashtags are difficult to use.
Is it best to focus on a specific area or the entire state? Do you prefer to use the hashtag with only your town’s name, or do you need more volume for both the state and town? Perhaps you should target your local area?
This question is not universally correct. It all depends on the way people search in your area. To find the best hashtags for your local area, you will need to research.
Third-party tools like Focalmark or Hashtagify may be helpful as they allow users to enter keywords/hashtags and view related words/phrases.
These tools can be used to track different hashtags’ performance and provide inspiration for new hashtags.
These tools can discover great hashtags in your local area and help you understand how people search for them.
8. Add a link to your bio
Although it may seem obvious, linking to your Instagram account is essential for Instagram.
Your business page’s bio can only contain a link. You must make the most of it.
This link is essential for followers to be able to convert. They can visit your website, buy your products, or engage with you elsewhere.
Your bio should contain the link to wherever you want your followers to go after they have consumed your Instagram content.
It is also possible to include information about other social media accounts, such as your company’s Twitter handle.
It’s essential to include your address as a local business so that followers can find you.
9. Make professional, creative content
It may seem obvious, but Instagram has many business pages that regularly post images and videos of poor quality, blurred, or poorly composed.
You can benefit at an edge over your competition on Instagram by investing in a better quality camera than you use with your smartphone.
To create striking images, you might even consider hiring a professional photographer.
Instagram is a visual platform. If you want to be able to promote your business on this platform, you will need to create the best visual content.
This is particularly important when you share product photos. It is important that your followers can see the item and visualize themselves using it.
10. Geotag Your Posts
Another strategy, which may seem obvious, that local businesses often forget to implement is this:
You need to tell your Instagram followers (and Instagram) how to find your local business if you want them to visit it.
Geotag individual posts by using a location.
Clicking the location link brings users to a map page in the app which shows precisely where your business is. It also displays other content that was posted from this location.
But, geotagging your exact business location is not a good idea.
Geotagging a location or landmark in your area can give you more variety. This will allow your content to be found by those who search for it on Instagram.
This helps to show that your company is active in the community.
11. You can track and measure your efforts constantly
Changes in consumer attitudes and behavior can lead to changes in the preferences of your Instagram followers.
It is essential to concentrate to the most engaging content and investigate why there have been sudden spikes of likes, comments, and shares.
Ask people who have visited your local business because of your Instagram efforts to find out what attracted them. You will benefit from their insights.