How to Promote Your Business Locally on Instagram: 4 Tactics

Most local businesses market their products or services on the internet as 91% of consumers search for local businesses online first. That’s why you need to know how to promote your business locally.

When searching for marketing tools to speak to people in your area, Instagram isn’t the most obvious option to promote a local business.

But here’s the deal:

As one of the world’s most popular social media platforms that has over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram has great potential for local businesses of all kinds to reach out to their local customers. Plus, it also has in-app features like geotags and location hashtags to market products or services within a specific area.

In this post, I will explain the potential of Instagram for local business promotion as well as walk you through four actionable strategies to promote your local business on Instagram.

Why Should You Promote a Local Business on Instagram?

For local businesses, it’s important to show up where your potential local customers are searching for your local business and Instagram is a perfect place to market your local business for the following three reasons.

First, the Instagram audience is large and engaged. Instagram has quickly become a powerful marketing tool to grow an audience as it has a huge user base and 90% of users show interest in brand communication with different businesses.

This means your local business can market products or services within a large and engaged audience of potential local customers.

Next, people seek out local reviews online. Around 34% of consumers use Instagram to find local business reviews. And users are happy to share their customer experiences with their followers and businesses to help other customers make the right purchase decisions.

Thus, it’s a perfect place to provide customers with authentic reviews of your local business.

Lastly, Instagram has in-built features to promote a local business. From geotags and hashtags to the searchable map, Instagram can help local businesses reach their potential customers in a particular geographic area.

And here comes an example from Soloway Coffee, a coffee shop in Chicago, on how this business uses Instagram for local business promotion.

local business on Instagram

Now that you realize the importance of Instagram to promote your local business, let’s go through four actionable strategies on how to do it right, backed up with detailed tips and real-life examples.

Write a Descriptive Instagram bio

When you’re just starting out with your local business promotion on Instagram, it’s important to set up a business profile and take care of your Instagram bio to make sure your business can show up in local searches.

Why? Your Instagram bio is a visit card for your business that helps visitors understand more about your local business and it can also include relevant keywords that relate to your business and/or location so that it increases searchability among your local community.

Here’s how to create an Instagram bio to promote a local business:

  • Write about your local business. Make it clear for readers to understand what your local business is doing to attract the right audience who can become your local customers. However, keep in mind that you have 150 characters only.
  • Add relevant keywords. People do research on Instagram and they search for particular places, so it’s a smart idea to add keywords that tell more about your business and your location.
  • Include your location and opening hours. This information will help visitors and followers learn more about your local business and hint them at where and when they can give your business a try.
  • Optimize your link in bio. Instagram gives you an opportunity to include one clickable link in the bio, but you can rely on relevant tools that create dedicated landing pages with all information about your local business you would love to share (website, other social media handles, reviews, menu, etc.)
  • Make good use of Story Highlights. If you use Instagram Stories, you can save and organize relevant content into separate Story Highlight albums and therefore help visitors find information or navigate your profile with ease.

Let’s take a look at an example of a well-organized Instagram bio from Jackie

Instagram bio

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Include Geotags and Location Hashtags

With the introduction of Instagram’s map feature, when users can tap on the map and see what’s nearby their location, businesses that operate within a certain area has gotten more opportunities to reach their local communities on Instagram.

What is more, location-based content is easier to find for people who search for content in a specific location, so it has great potential to market your business among the right audience. Thus, it’s important to include geotags and location hashtags that inform users where your business is located.

Local businesses have two options: create a custom location or add a possible location geotag near you (your city or popular location in your district/city). This will provide viewers with more information about your area and help to get more exposure among users who have interest in this area. 

Check out how one nail bar uses Instagram geotags:

local business on Instagram

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Team Up with Local Influencers

Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective marketing tactics. Working with smaller niche Instagram influencers is one of the influencer marketing trends as it’s more cost-effective yet powerful–these people have loyal followings.

When it comes to promoting a local business, it’s important to team up with local influencers whose audience lives within your area. Not only can it help to improve brand reputation, but it can result in more local customers.

For instance, if you have a local restaurant, you can find influencers who specialize in doing restaurant reviews and invite them to visit your place and share their thoughts. Check out an example of this strategy in action:

instagram reviews

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As a result of a similar collaboration, you can get a business review, user-generated content to use on your profile, and more exposure among the already-established community of potential customers. Not bad, huh?

At first blush, it seems difficult to secure collaborations with relevant influencers. But the majority of them are open to brand collabs. For example, here’s what the above-mentioned  restaurant blogger says about herself in the bio. She invites relevant brands to slide into Direct Messages and discuss collaboration.

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Turn Your Instagram Into a Business Card

Tell About Your Local Services

To attract the local community and turn residents into customers, you need to interest them in your local services. To promote a local business on Instagram, the first step is to tell Instagrammers more about your local business–your stuff, values, and products or services.

First, if you have a website, don’t forget to link back to it in your bio. Not only can it provide visitors with more information, but it also results in more traffic.

Next, you need to create product content. With the help of carousel posts, when you can add up to 10 visuals in one post, your local business gets more opportunities to implement storytelling to tell followers more about a particular product or even showcase various products/services without posting much on the feed.

And if you want to keep up with the trends and increase user engagement, think about creating Instagram Reels that provide users with more information about your local business in a fun and engaging way.

local business fun post

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How To Promote Your Business Locally – Share Customer Reviews

With the variety of options on the market, potential customers pay close attention to peer recommendations and customer reviews as they want to check out the quality of your business first.

When existing customers share positive reviews about your business, other people find it as social proof that encourages them to give your business a try.

Thus, it’s important to post customer reviews on Instagram, just like in the example below:

instagram reviews

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Do you lack reviews from Instagram followers? If your local business uses Google My Business and you collect Google reviews, there’s no need to ask Instagram followers to share their thoughts about your company to post reviews on the platform.

Instead, you can see what other clients say about your local business and repurpose their reviews for the Instagram feed.

Invest in Instagram Ad Campaigns

No matter how many followers you have on Instagram, it’s nearly impossible to have all of your target audience as subscribers. Thus, it’s important to put effort into reaching a wider audience of potential customers and running Instagram paid ad campaigns is a great way to market your local business among your local community and get more exposure fast.

Tracking metrics for Instagram ads will help you optimize campaigns and targeting. While with the advanced targeting, you can deliver your ad to the right audience who lives within your particular area.

Here’s how TreatWell uses Instagram ads increase wellness appointments for its local business:

Instagram ads

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The company used the collection ad campaign to tell about all their services with one ad and therefore target a wider audience.

This campaign resulted in a 19% increase in purchases and a 7% lower cost per order price compared to other campaigns.

Turn Your Local Visitors into Instagram Followers

Make it Easy for Visitors to Find Your Business on Instagram

When you think about promoting your local business on Instagram, think outside the box and focus on merging offline and online marketing for maximum impact. This means you can find your followers offline, too.

And one of the best ways is to offer your existing customers an opportunity to join you on Instagram.

Why? People who visit your local business are more loyal to your brand so they can also become brand advocates and share your profile with their friends and family which may result in more followers and customers.

For any local business, it’s a good idea to generate dynamic QR codes and add them to your visit card or entrance to help your local visitors find out more about your social media handles and therefore become loyal followers on Instagram, too. 

dynamic QR codes

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Offer Exclusive Bonuses for Instagram Followers

When people visit your local business this doesn’t mean they are ready to be among your Instagram followers. At the same time, it’s crucial to grow your Instagram following and your customers can help you promote your account and therefore raise interest in your business.

Thus, it’s important to encourage visitors to follow you on Instagram and one of the most actionable ways is to offer something valuable for your followers.

For instance, you can give special discounts, free tickets, or branded freebies.

give discounts

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Some local businesses have a practice of telling their local customers about the benefits of being among their social media followers during the checkout process to motivate them to follow the business.

It gives wonderful results, so you can also think about a bonus system for followers and promote it at your local store.

Give Your Local Customers a Reason to Promote Your Instagram

Organize an Instagram Giveaway

When your followers have interest in your Instagram content and they share your profile with their friends and family, not only do you get more engagement, but you also get more exposure which results in more potential customers.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your Instagram followers into brand advocates who promote your local business? 

Instagram giveaways are one of the most effective ways to drive business growth as people love the idea of contests on social media for a chance to get something valuable. Moreover, running a giveaway is another lead gen strategy that helps businesses collect leads and turn these interested prospects into customers.

For example, you can ask your participants to tag friends or repost your giveaway to their Stories to reach a wider audience. And when it comes to the prizes, it’s a smart idea to give away gift cards or coupons and therefore ensure your giveaway attracts the right local  audience who can become customers.

Check out an example below.

giveaways

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Or you can also take a look at the example from Ardmore Coffee.

The local business organizes an Instagram giveaway and offers branded merch as prizes which gives them a chance to promote their local business to a wider audience as people who wear this merch become walking advertisements for the business. Win-win!

local coffee business

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With a variety of merch ideas, your local business can find something that suits your business best.

For example, it’s no wonder that most coffee shops have custom mugs, stickers, tote bags, or T-shirts with eye-catching designs as merch to give away.

Tag Your Loyal Fans on Your Profile

Instagrammers crave communication with companies they love, so when you make your followers feel valued, most of them are honored to spread the word about your profile among their followers and therefore promote your page.

How to do it? Tag your loyal fans to get them in front of your audience. It shows respect to loyal followers and it encourages other people to promote your company for a chance to be featured on their favorite profile.

And if you don’t get many tags to repost, don’t worry. Today, there are many Instagram tools that allow businesses to analyze their social media presence and keep track of mentions even if your local customers don’t tag your profile.

Not only can it help to understand your customers better, but it also allows you to reach out to customers and ask them for permission to post their content on your feed.

reach out to customers

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Another idea to promote your local business is to team up with other businesses with a similar audience. You can co-promote each other on the platform or even make good use of the affiliate marketing and turn these businesses into partners who recommend your company to their customers.

In a Word: How To Promote Your Business Locally on Instagram

Instagram can be a perfect place to promote a local business and get in front of your local community if you know how to do it right. Having an Instagram presence for your local business is a great way to reach a wider audience of potential customers and increase brand loyalty or trust.

Thus, don’t be afraid of experimenting with Instagram marketing and give some of the above-mentioned tactics a try to see new local customers.

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Val Razov
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