Instagram now has over 150 million active users. According to research, Instagram has a 25 % greater brand interaction rate than the rest of the social media platforms. Posts can also be readily shared on other social media sites, such as Facebook.
Instagram is increasingly becoming a marketplace, with a about 70% of shoppers looking on Instagram for their next purchase.
Thanks to Instagram’s visual focus, your business has the amazing opportunity to show off everything your business has to offer. From products and services to your business’ unique value adds.
Instagram gives you a platform where you can showcase what makes your brand worth interacting with.
In this guide, you will learn 8 tips that you can use on Instagram to reach a wider audience, generate engagement, promote your local business, and generate sales.
1. Be Engaging
Before anything else, Instagram, like any social media platform, is a community.
And just like your business is a valuable part of your local community, you also want to show that you are an honest and valuable member of the Instagram community.
This will help you earn followers eager to engage with your content.
Posting great images or videos is not enough.
To establish your reputation in the Instagram community, you want to create relationships with influencers and other brands (even direct competitors) and join the conversations they are starting.
And when your followers create a conversation in the comment section of your posts, actively join those talks and respond to questions, concerns, praise, and other sentiments. You must spend engagement to make engagement.
2. Repost Local Content
You can enhance your business’s reputation on Instagram and in your local community by regularly reposting content published by your local followers, other businesses in your area, and local celebrities.
Not only will the content creator feel great that their content is being featured by your business, but other followers will take notice.
When you share content created by real people, it makes your brand seem more approachable and human.
This strategy is not only effective at creating a stronger reputation in the community, but it also saves you a lot of time creating original, unique content.
3. Maintain a Consistent Brand Identity
Your business Instagram account is just another extension of your brand.
While Instagram is a unique platform that can (and should be) used to achieve different objectives you need to keep a sense of consistency across all platforms.
If your Instagram persona is dissimilar from the tone set by your website, Facebook page, or your in-store employees, you run a strong risk of confusing your customers.
That means your customer interactions on Instagram and the tone you set in the captions of your posts need to align with how it really feels to visit your business in person.
4. Avoid Blanket Posting
While the tone and persona behind your posts need to remain consistent across different channels, too much similarity can be damaging.
You have to carefully navigate the space between remaining consistent and posting unique content.
That is, without using the same message and content across different social media platforms.
The danger of blanket posting is that customers who follow you across multiple social media channels are going to see the exact same message multiple times.
After the first time, it stops being engaging and starts being disruptive. Remember, every channel is different and should be treated as such.
That said, there are times when blanket posting is acceptable, like when your business is hosting a local event or releasing new products.
You want as many people to hear about this news, event, or product(s) as possible.
However, you still want to be sure that you are cross-promoting responsibly.
5. Demonstrate Your Local Lifestyle
Your business’s local lifestyle can best be described as the life a customer leads after they have purchased your products.
Because Instagram is such a visual social media platform, it is the perfect channel to demonstrate what your brand’s local lifestyle looks like.
Incorporate pictures of your products in action to let customers envision living that lifestyle.
This strengthens your overall brand value and encourages those customers to make a purchase.
6. Go with the Trends
Holidays can always be counted on to become a trending topic. Businesses have long taken advantage of these days to engage customers with holiday-themed messages.
7. Focus on Localized Hashtags
Speaking of hashtags, there are a lot of parallels between hashtags and SEO keywords.
To optimize the local reach of your Instagram page, you need to focus on localized hashtags.
This allows people in your area to find your posts and your business through area-specific hashtags.
It is also good practice to include hashtags that include your area and the type of business you run.
8. Include a Link in Your Bio
This may seem obvious, but it is an absolute necessity to link to your website on Instagram.
And your business page’s bio is the only space on Instagram that can include a link, so you must capitalize on it.
Without this link, followers won’t be able to convert by visiting your website, buying your products, or engaging with your brand elsewhere.
As the platform ramps up its branded content features and shopping features, this trend seems sure to continue.
Keep your target audience in mind, pay attention to trends, and don’t be afraid to try something new.