Instagram has held the distinction as the fastest growing social media network for over a year now. For brands like yours, it puts the ability to get close to your targeted local audience in the palm of your hand.
This requires a healthy dose of inspiration be it artsy, humorous, insightful etc… it also requires you to have a solid understanding of the ins and outs of Instagram. That is what this post is about.
1) Follow the most influential local Instagrammers, interact with them.
Start by finding those that have tagged your business in a post, either by mentioning its name, or by geotagging photos at your place of business. These are happy customers who you must follow and interact with. Like their photos and let them know you are fans of them too, that good feeling is the beginning of an amazing instagram relationship.
Look for others in your community who are active on Instagram and follow them, like their content, get to know what they find interesting, finding customers that will sing your praises is a great thing. Remember you are great at what you do, once they give your business a try you will make them wish you had found them on Instagram earlier.
2) Hashtags are key to getting found, here is how to use them.
While I have a post devoted to this topic on its own, I will give you the cliff notes version here. Focus on finding the relevant hashtags for your post, making up a funny word may be entertaining for your followers but it isnt going to get searched for often if at all. Consider a fitness related post that included the hashtag #beeeasstmodelegdaaaaze versus #squats #legday #workout… clearly the latter post would transcend and be found more often. Studies have shown that including three or more hashtags in your post drastically increases how many people find it. In fact up to 7 are acceptable to Instagram users.
As far as local marketing goes, use hashtags that relate to the town/state/university that makes up your target audience. For instance I use the #andover hashtag frequently for my restaurants in downtown andover. It both relates to those who live in town, and to the prominent boarding school Phillips Academy Andover that is in town.
3) Pull back the Curtain, and do it frequently.
Intersperse images of what you are selling with behind the scenes pics of your team, your office, previews of future offerings… let your audience feel privy to your process and in turn they will feel a part of it. For instance showing pictures of our recently launched sunday brunch dishes is a good way to let people know how amazing they are, but showing them pictures of a bar full of people having a blast eating them is another angle. Those ‘product in motion’ or ‘experience’ images are often even more impactful. Try something different and let your audience look forward to finding your next image… be you, be human, share you business story. It may be your everyday, but to a lot of people it is very interesting and your providing a window into the happenings can make them feel much more comfortable taking the plunge and becoming a customer.