Instagram is by far one of the most preferred and popular social media platforms and rightly so!
With its visual dominance using imagery and video as its standpoint, it has paved the way for many many social media trends and business success stories.
What if I told you that there was a piece of this pie with your businesses name on it? That you could tap into this database of users and reach your target customers by their exact geographical location and demographics.
I bet you want to know how to do that for your business, and that is where this blog post comes in.
Upon finishing this read, you are to head out with 3 methods you can use to increase your local businesses Instagram popularity.
*I want to be completely transparent and open with my audience and readers. This post may include affiliate links. This means if you click on one of my affiliate links, I shall receive a commission from your purchase. I thank you in advance if you decide to use my links. It helps with the running of the blog and covering costs, allowing me to bring your more valuable content*
When it comes to using Instagram for local businesses, you really need to focus on some key targeted methods in order to see any sort of tangible and useful results.
For example if you own a small coffee shop in Shoreditch, London, then people who are in the USA are not going to be of any interest to you. You need ways to filter out the people that are not necessary and really hone in on your target customers.
So, how do you find these target customers? Bringing on method Number #1.
#1 Use The Geofilter On Your Posts
What is a geofilter? you may ask. A geofilter is a way to tag your photos to specific feeds within Instagram that only show photos take in that specific area.
Let me paint a picture. If you click on the search bar on Instagram and you search “London”, you are going to see links to location feeds. If you click on it, it will start showing a ton of content, but what makes this content special is that it is only showing content from other users that have used the London geotag.
How does help you increase the popularity of your local business? Great question! Let me answer that for you. If said coffee shop is in London, and said Coffee Shop uploads a post to Instagram with the “London” geotag, and then said Instagram user goes on said geotag, they have the potential to see said post (did I say enough “saids”?)
This means that if you can get as many of yours posts to appear on the front page of the geotag, then you are going to get a lot of attention, resulting in more Instagram popularity for your local business.
#2 Using Custom-Made Hashtags
Custom made hashtags are a brilliant way for local businesses to start gaining popularity. If you are a local business, chances are, you have a physical location for you business, and likely a shop or store.
For the purpose of this method, I am going to give the example of a coffee shop. Let’s say you own a coffee shop and said coffee shop is called “The Perfect Roast”.
You could make a custom hashtag as simple as #theperfectroast or #theperfectroastcommunity and encourage customers to post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag. Those customers are going to have friends that are also local and may see the hashtag that is used.
They can then see all the other photos from other customers that are associated with the account. Think of it as a way to get some “local virality”. The more people that post about the coffee shop and use the custom hashtag, the more popular the shop is going to become on Instagram.
Now, you may be thinking “Chris, that is all well and good, but how do I get people to use the hashtag?” Glad you asked that question!
So, below I have listed a few different ways you can encourage your customers to start using your custom hashtag:
Run a competition where everyone who comes into the shop and uploads an instagram post using the hashtag will be entered into the competition to win a free product or experience.
Take it back to traditional marketing and signpost the store. Put some graphics in the windows or on the counter.
Offer people discounts and incentives for posting. Every person who posts with the hashtag can receive 10% Off their next purchase, or earn reward points for each time they post after each visit.
#3 Engaging & Connecting With People That Live In The Local Area
This is something so simple yet so not done, and the number one reason why it is not done is because people do not want to put in the effort.
This method takes time, but many business owners still do not see the value in it. You literally have the power to engage in conversations and interact with the people that are you ideal customers.
You can like their photos, leave comments and start conversations with them. The best part is that all of this is FREE! yet many local business owners still want to pour all their marketing budgets into radio, newspaper and leaflet advertisements, and completely neglect the power of social media.
So, those of you that want to future proof your business and cut some costs down, open up the Instagram app, and for this method, you are going to be using the previous two methods in conjunction to find those potential customers in your area.
Hashtags and geolocations are how you are going to find these customers. Start by going onto hashtags that are specific to your are such as #manchester or #leeds (I am from the UK so these are towns and cities in the UK) and you want to start liking and commenting on peoples photos. Leave comments asking questions or send them a DM introducing what your business does and give them a discount to use in-store.
You want to do the same for the geolocations. Geolocations are more accurate as people will mostly only use them when they are in that physical location whereas hashtags are quite globally used.
You still want to use both methods and each day, go and engage with the new posts that are uploaded, start conversations with people and start growing your popularity on Instagram!
Before I go, I just want to let you know about a little something that I have put together for you.
It is my FREE Instagram growth cheatsheet. If you liked this blog post and want to find out some more tried and true, tips and tricks, then you can download my FREE cheatsheet below.
I hope you got some value from this. If you are not already following me on Instagram, you can check me out by clicking here.
One last thing. Thanks for being here, I genuinely appreciate it :)