5 Steps to Get Customers to your Local Business with Instagram
Instagram like every other social platform is a community. As a result, the only way to be known is by contributing to it like a good, upstanding citizen. This is why you must showcase that your local business is a reputable and valuable member of the Instagram community, by interacting and engaging with others.
- Participate, Participate, Participate
Posting great images and video just isn’t enough. In addition to great content you need to establish your reputation. To do this, you need to join conversations, follow people, and interact with the content they are posting.
Pro Tip: Repost local content! You can strengthen your relationships with your followers by periodically reposting images others have shared, which humanizes your brand. It shows that you are active, and care about their thoughts/experiences.
Additionally, people love to be shouted-out so don’t forget to tag the person you are reposting the picture from. This will encourage others to do the same, so they can get a shout-out from your business as well.
- Maintain a Consistent Brand Identity
Your Instagram feed is your digital storefront! Make sure it is attractive, welcoming, and professional just as you would want your physical storefront to be. Make sure your content on this platform is consistent with your other social platforms so you do not confuse your customers. Most of your customers will follow you on multiple platforms.
If your business is bright and cheery, but you have bland Instagram feed it will be underwhelming/confusing for your customers. This may impact your sales because people will not follow you to see everything you are posting.
Pro Tip: Avoid blanket posting! Although your brand voice and identity need to be the same – the content you post does not. Make it worthwhile for your customers to follow you on every platform. Think about the unique advantages of each platform and how you can leverage these platforms to drive traffic to your business.
- Demonstrate Your Local Lifestyle
Show your community what life would be like after they have purchased your product. You want to encourage your customers to imagine how this product would fit in with their lifestyle. This will then strengthen your brand and encourage a purchase.
Also, make sure you go with the trends! It demonstrates that you are relevant. Pay attention to the news, local hashtags, holidays, etc. Be not only an active member, but an interesting member in this Instagram community.
Pro-Tip: Incorporate local landmarks in your posts. These will be familiar to people which will increase familiarity and help people relate with your brand. It also shows that your out-and-about in your community.
- Focus on localized hashtags and Geotags
Though I quickly mentioned this above, local hashtags can be super effective. Hashtags are like keywords, which can be used to optimize the local reach of your Instagram page.
The people swiping through these hashtags are most likely in that area at that moment checking out what is going on around them. By using geo-specific hashtags and locations, people will find your brand by a click of a button.
Pro-Tip: Post localized hashtags specific to your type of business. For example, rather than just using #Atlanta, try using #AtlantaHairstylist. This will make you a bigger fish in a smaller pond because the number of posts under #AtlantaHairstylist will be fewer than just #Atlanta.
These hashtags and geo tags are like Instagram’s form of SEO. And, be wary of just how local you get with these two things. You should find a happy medium between how often something is searched and how many posts are there. Try a few different hashtags to see which works for you. Luckily, there are some great tools out there that will help analyze the effectiveness of your hashtags.
- Include a link in your bio
This is the bus that takes the customer from Instagram’s platform, to wherever you like! It seems obvious but make sure you are taking advantage of this powerful feature. Wherever you want your customers to go after going through your Instagram feed, put that in your bio.
Pro-Tip: Try including your other social media handles in you bio. This will make it easier for them to follow you on every platform to get them more invested in your brand. Another great thing to include is your address.
If you are a local business and want to get people through the door, don’t make them look for the address! These little things could be the difference between a loyal customer and a person swiping past your business.
- (Bonus Tip) Track and Measure your efforts
Instagram business profiles provide analytics for your account. Do not neglect these! They are a powerful tool to see what’s working and what’s not. You should always be paying attention to these analytics and adjusting accordingly.
Pro-Tip: If a customer mentions that they found you through the results of your Instagram efforts, ask them what drew them in! This is an invaluable way of seeing exactly what is connecting with customers. Make sure you are doing all that you can to increase your organic reach.
Succeeding on Instagram does not have to be guesswork. Things like shoppable posts, geo tagging, etc. are tried and true ways of getting customers from your Instagram profile to your local business. The reality is that there are millions of people online, and part of them are looking for a local business like you! Make it as easy as possible for them to find you, contribute to the community, and make the most of the features you have at your fingertips.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the other two blogs in our series below:
How to Get local foot traffic without Online tactics
What are some tactics that have worked for you in the past? Share with the community in the comments below!