Local Marketing with Instagram
A lot of what we’ve looked at here will work particularly well for online businesses. Ecommerce stores have a lot to gain from Instagram because they can highlight products that are just a few clicks away for their followers.
Likewise, bloggers can use Instagram to grow their personal brand and to help their followers and fans feel connected.
But it can also have a particular use for local businesses. If you have a chip shop, a hairdresser or anything else, then you might want to alter your strategy slightly but it can still be very effective.
The first thing to consider using here is the location tag.
You can tag your images by location and this then allows people nearby to find them. This is a great way to improve your chances of being found for the specific target demographic that you’re aiming.
After all, if you run a hair salon then there’s not really much point in you having followers all around the world unless you’re planning on franchising soon!
Another tip is to use local hashtags.
People will often look for hashtags in their local area and this is a great way to discover things that are going on. It works on Twitter too, so if you also share your posts to Twitter you can bring people in this way.
Likewise, you should search for local hashtags regularly and then comment on and like the pictures that you find. This works particularly well for tourist attractions. Why? Because when we travel, we will actually be more likely to use local hashtags.
You don’t tend to put your location as a tag in every single one of your photos at home – but if you’re visiting another part of the country you’re more likely to use those hashtags. If you then see that your photo has been liked or commented on by ‘Nights Out in Buckinghamshire’ then you might be inclined to have a look and see if it’s something that might interest you!
real-world networking also works very well when it comes to Instagram. If you run a local business, then chances are that you will interact with lots of customers who have Instagram accounts on a face-to-face basis – and they will likewise probably have a large number of local followers.
If you have a customer come into your store then, ask them to follow you on Twitter. Better yet – get a photo with them in it and then tag them in it! This can also be a fantastic way to promote your product.
So for instance, if you run a hair salon, then why not take a picture of each of your customers with their new hair and tag them in it? Ask their permission first of course but you’ll likely find that most people are more than willing to agree to be featured.
This way, all their friends in the local area will see what a good job you’ve done and will be more likely to get in touch if they want a haircut. This also works for restaurants – why not take photos of your guests and ask if you can tag them? Or tell them to see their pictures on your Instagram account?
This gives them a great reason to seek you out and to start following you.
You can do the same in clubs and bars too, for organized events and much more!
Note here that people are far more likely to agree to be tagged, to add you on Instagram and to generally take part if you take the effort to get to know them and to be friendly when they come into your store.
If you go into a shop, buy a product and then leave, you’ll likely ignore any offer to follow them on Instagram. But if that store owner takes an interest in you, if they go the extra mile to help you find the perfect product, if they introduce themselves by name… then those people will often feel far more inclined to follow you or to take part in your promotions. If nothing else they will often do so simply out of politeness!
This is a key fact to realize in all of your marketing online – it should be a real extension of who you are and of what you want to portray.