Question submitted in A Good Pour with Kate Ritchie
Instagram is a great communication tool for a business to use, but there are quite a few people on Instagram (1 billion+ actually). How can a local organization stand out and grow its audience on Instagram?
Here are KG’s seven suggestions for local Instagram optimization:
- Optimize your profile. These fields are searchable to make sure the name of your city (or county) is present. Also make sure your business category is present. If you are a gift store, this is where you say so, and make sure to use words that everyday customers would use.
- Tag your location. If you add your city or business location, your content is more likely to show up for people in your area. To add a location to a post, click “Add Location” on the new post screen. To add a location to a Story, use the location sticker.
- Use local hashtags. On Instagram, search tags for #YOURCITYNAME and see what comes up. In addition, discover a few local businesses, politicians, or community leaders with lots of followers and see what hashtags they are using. Start including a few relevant hashtags in your posts and perhaps include additional hashtags in the comments.
- Follow other local Instagram accounts. Use the Instagram search tool to search accounts for your city name and surrounding city names. Follow relevant accounts, especially businesses, media outlets, and community leaders.
- Like and comment. After you follow others in your area, don’t forget to engage. Offer congratulations, thank-yous, and words of encouragement. Instagram is a virtual community for sure, but it is also a great way to support your actual community. Don’t be stingy with the shoutouts!
- Reshare local content. Sharing events and helpful information is another way to build community and build a network with local organizations. Add their posts to your story and spread the love.
- Host a contest. People love free stuff, so give free stuff away. Don’t forget to follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines, though. Be sure to ask your community partners to share the news about your contest.
And one more suggestion I should mention …
Spend money. I try to give all the free tips first, but spending money on a very local, targeted ad is a definite way to make sure your Instagram account gets some attention.