Think your Local Business Doesn’t Need Instagram? Think Again.

Summary

  • Instagram Local Business is coming, is your company ready for it?
  • With this service, businesses can engage with users directly like never before
  • Make sure your company is ready to use Instagram Local
  • Know what you can post and what is most effective

Social media phenomenon Instagram is launching a new service: Instagram Local Business. The Instagram local business profile contains information similar to Google My Business, including address, phone number, website link, hours, and business category (e.g., “Indian restaurant”). Each data point can be used to look up your business by the 500 million daily users of Instagram.

The social media platform is well-known for having captured an enviable demographic. Instagram is firmly placed in the top three social media platforms used by teenagers and young adults in the U.S. As of 2019, Instagram had 72 percent reach among teens 13 to 17 and 64 percent reach in young adults 18 to 34; only Snapchat and Facebook had better reach for those demographics.

How do you get ready for Instagram Local Business?

One important task is to update your business’s Facebook page. Facebook owns Instagram and the two platforms are tightly linked. Your Instagram Local Business page will automatically capture images and information from your business’s Facebook page, so keep it updated.

To get started with Instagram Local Business, set up an Instagram business account, re-post local content from other sources such as social media and your website. Be sure to use geotags and hashtags you think your customers will use to find services and products like yours. Studies show that 78 percent of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.

The full value of Instagram Local Business is in the ability to interact with customers in a media-rich environment. Instagram is highly visual, and business accounts use the platform to post photos and videos. (The joke about Instagram was that it was “Facebook for people who can’t read,” though the truth is almost 80 percent of users have some college or are graduates).

Users go on Instagram to share pictures and videos, and user engagement for sophisticated visual content like videos and “Instagram stories,” or interactive photo and video albums users can easily browse through that last 24 hours, is high. Over 500 million Instagram users peruse Instagram stories every day.

What makes all of this work for local businesses is the ability to engage your customers with a visual narrative that is updated frequently, which gives you the opportunity to interact with customers constantly.

But the key is you have to constantly be thinking of new, imaginative, and engaging content you can produce and post regularly. Stagnant, stale content simply does not work on this platform with this audience. You should also consider increasing your follower count to send a signal to Instagram’s algorithm that your Business profile is worth promoting. Services like FluidBuzz’s instant Instagram followers packages are well worth the investment.

What kind of stuff can you post on Instagram stories?

  • Announcements about new products and services, maybe offering samples or discounts.
  • Content with employee interactions that are funny and/or informative. Your employees can drive sales by entertaining customers.
  • Content about other local businesses or hotspots that further encourages your customers to “check out the scene” in your neighborhood.
  • Collaborations with other local businesses that leverage complementary products/services.

The possibilities are endless. Just be sure to make it local and make it fun. Instagram is a great way to reach potential clients or patrons near you, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring this vital and active platform.