If you’re not using Instagram to augment your local search marketing efforts, you’re doing it wrong. We’re sharing simple tips to level-up your efforts here.
Social media has revolutionized the way people connect and stay in touch, which means that it has also opened up a whole new environment for businesses to connect with their clientele as well. Being able to manage your local search marketing is key for businesses on social media.
Of course not much has changed either. Just as you used to flip the channel on the TV when the ads would come on, more and more people are taking advantage of getting a break from advertisements by taking a vacation from Facebook.
That being said, there is one social media outlet that seems to always be on: Instagram
Instagram: The Star of Local Search Marketing
You’re probably familiar with the visual-based social network as everyone’s favorite way to share pictures of their latest trip, five-star meal, or even just a selfie.
But it’s also becoming the easiest way for local businesses to compete with big ones in local search marketing, and it’s done with little effort and cost.
The thing about Instagram is its simplicity. Accounts can only post pictures or videos, and apart from a caption, and the ability to comment on posts, there isn’t much else going on. It’s the one escape someone can get from direct social media marketing.
Don’t let this simplicity fool you, Instagram has already surpassed Twitter in the number of active users, and that growth will only continue. If you have a Twitter, then you need an Instagram
So you’re probably wondering just how you can take advantage of this easy platform to boost your local search marketing game. A great part about Instagram is that it’s free (one of many affordable options out there). All you need is a phone and you’ll have to create an account.
Once you’ve done that, you need to start posting, and the strategy for that is simple:
Post Local, Post Often
The best way to get onto people’s feeds is to post consistently. The more you post, the less likely your posts will get lost in a feed. If you’re posting enough, even the casual user will be likely to see your content.
Try to shoot for at least four times a week. Experiment with your posting times, seeing which times get the most interaction can help you build an effective schedule.
Now that you’ve got your content schedule down, it’s time to look at curation. You want to cultivate a winning aesthetic, and the key to that is staying local.
Post pictures of the city and its scenery. Keep up with your city’s sports teams. Use your city’s hashtag (more on this later.) Your main audience and customer base lives in the same place you do, so share in this pride for your city.
This is also the first step in building the face of your business as authentic and invested in the local community.
Follow And Be Followed: Learn About Your Followers
As you accrue followers you’ll want to check on their interests as well – this will pay off much more than any demographic data you can collect.
Your list of followers gives you access to seeing all of your audience’s likes. Notice any trends? This is where you can learn about any popular, location-centric hashtags, and what other local businesses are active on Instagram.
By doing this, you’ll be maintaining fewer degrees of separation between your business and your audience. This leads to more exposure and makes it easier for potential followers to find you.
It’s also a general rule that the more accounts you follow, the more followers you will have.
Actively following accounts also reinforces the fact that there are actually humans running your web presence and that type of empathy and personality goes a long way in social media.
Become A Hashtag Expert
By now you may have noticed that sometimes an Instagram post may contain a multitude of hashtags in the caption. Instagram’s hashtag system works much like Twitter’s, clumping posts that share tags together to create a navigatable collage or feed of images pertaining to any topic.
This is why it’s so important to know which tags pertain to your specific area. The trend of buying local extends into the digital world, and Instagram is one of the best ways for people to feed into that ideal.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for any trending hashtags as well. Ride the hype of the latest blockbuster that’s about to hit theaters. Show support for a cause. Take part in the latest viral photo challenge. There’s always something new.
These are huge opportunities for exposure, and they also bring that quirky, invaluable human aspect to your business. It’s a great way to bring a fun, creative element to your marketing work.
The local scenery, following other businesses, learning the hashtags, it’s all coming together now. The technique that really brings all these aspects together is through your vis-à-vis (or is it ‘gram-à-‘gram?) interaction.
Interact With Your Fanbase
Now comes the really fun part. Instagram is the easiest way to get feedback from your key demographics. Ask questions, run contests, and always reply to any tags or mentions you get.
The key to setting up great opportunities for feedback is to not always ask product-related questions.
Post a drool-worthy picture of a taco and ask your followers what their favorite taco spot is. Invoke a regional sports rivalry with a post, or weigh in on a trending topic.
You don’t always have to plug your product to be recognizable. Either sneak it in there (depending on what you sell) or keep a fairly consistent format with your pictures so that a brief look will let someone familiar realize it’s your business – Arby’s does this really well.
Instagram is the best platform for a contest as well, especially if you make it a photo contest. Maybe offering a good prize to the best photo incorporating your product or something a little more indirect will boost your exposure, especially if you incorporate your own hashtag.
Even just hosting a giveaway for anyone that “likes” or “follows” your content is an easy way to build traffic.
Remember to have a working link to your website in your bio, it’s the best way to translate Instagram traffic to website traffic.
Just have fun and don’t be afraid to like or comment on follower’s posts, especially those showing spirit for the brand or the city, it’s all about building community.
Follow these tips and you’ll be a local search marketing genius with Instagram.
Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.
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About the author...
Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.
With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.