20 Ways to Use Instagram to Promote Your Business Locally

Instagram has over one billion active users worldwide, and the challenge to gain an audience on a saturated social media platform may seem overwhelming. However, these 20 tips can simplify the process of effectively promoting your business on Instagram.

Make the Most of Your Instagram Business Account

There’s no denying the internet’s profound impact on people’s spending habits, which motivates many savvy business owners to have a handle on social media. But how? Posting regularly on Instagram is important, but it isn’t the only thing business owners can do to create and leverage their following.

1. The Basics

Create an Instagram business account and determine a realistic posting schedule. Be active! Take advantage of the 150 characters allowed for your bio and let customers know who you are and your contact information. Reference other Instagram accounts with a similar niche for ideas and insights on standards for your particular industry. Make sure to include relevant links, hashtags, and line breaks that make your bio easier to read.

2. Contact Instagram Influencers in Your Area

The number of Instagram influencers in your area might surprise you. A great way to promote your local business is to send them a professional email that invites them to your shop or try your product, where they would take photos and share with their own audience. Start reaching out to influencers with 1,000 followers and above, as they would be the most willing to collaborate with you.

3. Testimonials

For potential clients that are unsure whether they should try your service or product, hearing other people’s genuine thoughts about your business would solidify their decision. Advertisements are great, but reviews from neutral parties can be an inexpensive way to gain new lifelong customers and build a reputation.

4. Appeal to Your Customer

Customers don’t respond well to constant advertising about a particular product or service. Posting pictures that people enjoy will prompt more engagement and increase interest because it has a mutual benefit.

5. Learn How to Use Hashtags

Discover what the popular trending hashtags specific to your industry are. Also, see what hashtags are commonly used by Instagram accounts similar to yours. Use online tools to discover other relevant hashtags. One post can have a maximum of 30 hashtags, but most influencers choose to include 11 hashtags per post.

6. Posting Hashtags in the Comments

Putting hashtags in the comments section is a great way to get around the 30 hashtag rule per post, because now your post can show up when 60 hashtags are searched, instead of the 30 hashtag limit. Using this method will give you a leg up over competitors that might not be using this technique. Thus, your post would have more opportunities to be seen by other Instagram users.

7. Tagging

Tagging other Instagram accounts and including the location relevant to your photo will give you a chance of a shout-out from other Instagrammers and let followers know where to look to emulate your wonderful experience.

8. Run a Contest

Running a contest is one great way to increase your followership if planned well. Only try out this strategy when your business has reached a milestone, and you’ve decided to run a promotional giveaway to celebrate. Structuring your contest this way will increase engagement with your followers while not appearing desperate.

9. Run a Hashtag Contest

A hashtag contest is where people would post a photo using your specific hashtag in accordance with the theme or contest rules. In exchange for giving out a prize, you now have tons of photos generated by your users at your disposal.

10. Incorporate Trends

Use trends as an opportunity to bring attention to your platform while piggybacking off of an already established concept that a large group of people find exciting and engaging. By demonstrating that you understand their needs, they will in turn be more intrigued with the product or service you have to offer.

11. Find Your Competition’s Followers

An excellent technique for businesses is to drive your competitor’s followers onto your platform. This strategy is especially great because you already know they like content similar to yours. Following the user, liking their image, and commenting on another photo will likely achieve a follow-back.

12. Beat the Algorithm

An algorithm for any social media platform is basically how that website chooses to promote your message. A lot of people have different opinions on how Instagram’s algorithm works. Despite how confusing it might seem, some general tips will optimize your influence. Always post high-quality photos and videos. Posting consistently on your Story, which deletes every 24 hours, engages your audience, and would make your account the first thing your followers see.

13. Before Going Live

Going live can be scary. Fears can race through your mind, especially if you still have a low following count. What if no one shows up? Relax. Going live can take your Instagram account to the next level. A great tip to make sure your followers attend the livestream is to create a countdown sticker on your Instagram Story. Make sure to have a good location and proper lighting in mind, just as you would when taking a picture or video.

14. Going Live

Consider to plan what you will share with your viewers to retain their attention that simultaneously promotes your brand. For example, planning to demonstrate the best way to apply makeup using your own product is better than rambling about your favorite food to the camera. Afterward, you can save your livestream to your IGTV. Only a small percentage of businesses go live, and you’ll have the advantage of a different way to reach customers over businesses that don’t.

15. Post at the Right Time

Pay close attention to how your audience responds to certain posts, the time you post, and the hashtags you use. Learn to post when you know your followers are using the app. One method to know when your audience uses the app is to check your Instagram Insights and analytics. Additionally, now you know the best time to go live for a decent attendance rate.

16. Know Your Numbers

Similar to the previous recommendation, check your Instagram Insights for information about how your followers found you, who recently checked out your content, and who clicked on the links in your bio. It doesn’t hurt to direct message a new follower to ask them why they decided to follow you. Knowing who exactly appreciates your posts gives a deeper insight into who should be your target audience.

17. Cross-Promote Your Content

Gain more Instagram followers by leveraging audiences from other social media platforms. It’s important to be mindful that the way you communicate might vary regarding different platforms. Still, sharing a photo you posted on Instagram to Facebook or Twitter encourages a different audience with similar interests to add you on Instagram.

18. Does Your Business Have a Mailing List?

If your business has a mailing list already, this is a fantastic opportunity to let them know that you’re active on Instagram. Whether you send them daily or weekly emails already, your subscribers that use Instagram would likely be interested in following your content. Now, you’ve found another place to stay relevant and remind them about what your business has to offer.

19. What Not to Do

In the early stages, it’s okay to have a share for share strategy. However, don’t buy followers or use bots to increase your following count. What matters is that your Instagram account works for you, not the other way around. Relationships that you create through Instagram will eventually translate into widespread recognition of your brand, and dormant accounts can’t do that for you.

20. Stuck on Ideas?

If you’re still unsure what photos to post after all these tips, know that Instagram users love seeing cute pets, awesome food, and beautiful scenery! Business account or not, getting personal on social media is a great way to captivate your audience’s attention.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be discouraged if nothing significant happens with your first post. Growing a following takes time and won’t happen overnight. Progress occurs with consistency over the long run, not the short term. Nevertheless, using the strategies you’ve just learned will equip you with the potential to achieve success for your business via Instagram.

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