Instagram is huge right now, and its growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
It's the premiere photo-centric social media site these days, and just about everyone has an account there.
For brands, it's a huge opportunity to reach a targeted audience. But Instagram isn't just for big national companies.
Local businesses can also find a lot of success on Instagram.
You can build brand awareness, generate buzz, and ultimately, bring in more traffic (whether it's website visits or foot traffic).
You may very well find that you're making a lot more sales when you have an active presence on Instagram.
So what exactly should you do on Instagram?
After all, having great content is the key to getting real engagement.
Use location-centric hashtags
Hashtags are one of the easiest ways to ensure that your images get found by the right people on Instagram.
Whenever appropriate, go ahead and include a hashtag that indicates your locale.
This could be your actual city or specific locations within your city. In the case of Seattle, you might use #pikeplacefishmarket or #woodlandpark.
And because posts with 11 or more hashtags receive nearly 80% interaction, compared to posts that contain only 2 hashtags (41% interaction), the more the merrier.
In fact, here’s a chart that shows how engagement increases as the number of hashtags increases:
Create local brand ambassadors
Social proof can be incredibly powerful.
When you’re able to create brand ambassadors who praise your brand on Instagram and other social media sites, it’s inevitably going to boost your brand equity.
One way you can turn regular people into brand ambassadors is to encourage your local customers to post photos of themselves using your products or visiting your place of business.
In return, you can mention them on Instagram or re-share their images.
Hold offline events
One way to build up your local community is to take things offline and hold an event either at your business or another local spot.
This could be around backing a worthy cause or simply having a place where like-minded people can get together.
Simply post the date, time, and location on your Instagram profile.
Show you’re a homer
Want to truly earn the respect and adoration of your local audience?
Just show your love for your city.
For example, you could post a picture of your employees wearing jerseys of your city’s premier sports team.
Share photos of your top customers
Do you have a loyal customer who’s been a consistent patron of your business for years?
Why not show them your gratitude by posting a picture of them on Instagram?
This is a great way to strengthen your bond with your customers even more, and it can help you become a staple in your community.