3 Strategies for Local Businesses to Maximise Instagram Marketing

As a local business, you may feel like it’s enough to just be on Facebook. Not anymore. Today we’re going to go through some strategies for local businesses to maximise Instagram marketing.

Instagram has always been a favourite of mine. I’ve loved how easy it is to build an organic following in such short periods, or how many different niches there are spread out across the platform.

If you’ve never downloaded the Instagram app, don’t worry either. It’s incredibly easy to get the hang off, so just take your time and learn bit by bit. Let’s dive in!


Strategy 1: Hashtags & Geotags

One of the great features of Instagram, especially for organic reach, is the power to tag your post with up to 30 different keyword hashtags.

Hashtags are used by people on Instagram to search for related content to that hashtag, and it works wonders for local businesses too.

Say you’re a car dealer in Cairns and post a photo of a car you have in your lot. Not only could you tag the car model, #HoldenUte or #Holden, you could also put hashtags related to the Cairns area, #Cairns or #FarNorthQueensland.

Now, when people are searching for #HoldenUte on Instagram, they could be looking from anywhere in the world. Holden Utes aren’t only just found in Cairns, Australia.

However, when hashtagging ones related to the area of Cairns, #CairnsCity or #CairnsLocal, you’re more likely to have people in that area looking through posts on that hashtag.

Your post is getting seen by people who are in your area and are more likely to buy your localised product or service, rather than by someone overseas.

So, what are geotags then?

Well, they’re much like hashtags, except you can tag your posts with the specific location that it was taken. This means tagging it as “Cairns, Australia“.

Again, more people from the Cairns area are likely to be looking through that geotag for things happening in their city. However, you may also have people who are visiting the area soon and they just so happen to see your post and stop in while they’re here.


Strategy 2: User-Generated Content

Imagine not only creating your own content but having your customers create content for you too. Local businesses can tap into the power of User-Generated Content.

What you’re aiming to do is create an experience, product or environment where people want to post about it.

If people come into your clothing store, why not ask them to post a new photo of their fresh new look on social media, and to tag your page?

You can even incentivise them to do it by giving them a discount for posting.

One local brand I see doing this incredibly well is Paradiso Cafe in Cairns, Australia.

These guys have created a fantastic experience (the cafe) and product (the food), so good that their customers share photos of them visiting Paradiso. Look at these!


Cairns Paradiso Cafe - Manexo Media Digital Marketing Cairns

(Click to Open Image)


You’re trying to make your customer the star of the show. So what are some other ways you can spur them on to share?

Put up signs in your business that tell users to tag you in posts or drop your specific hashtag.

Have something out of the ordinary or creative that people want to take photos with. In the case of Paradiso Cairns, they have these out of the ordinary Jelly Baby statues just outside their cafe.

Create incentives to take photos and tag you. Maybe they get half price next time they come in or go in the running to win a lifetime supply of your product? Get creative.


Strategy 3: Show the Face Behind the Business

The first thought many business owners have when you tell them to start using Instagram is, “What! Now I have to come up with all this visual content?”

It seems overwhelming at first, I get it. However, as a local business, you want to be tapping into the power of who you are.

If you think about the classic business models for most local businesses, it was mostly word-of-mouth that generated buzz. People got to know the business owner, and they became the local champion for that specific thing.

Social media is pretty much generating word-of-mouth buzz in the same fashion. All it’s doing is helping you to amplify your businesses word-of-mouth, and you as the champion for you specific industry in your specific area.

If you have a smartphone this should be incredibly easy enough for you to take photos each day.

Start posting about what’s happening with your business. What’s something that happened today! Post about it.

If your team is celebrating someone’s birthday, showcase that!

Have you just had an extremely happy client? Ask them to jump in a photo with you and showcase that!

If you’re releasing a new product on your menu, showcase that!

Is there an event happening in your area that you just attended? Showcase that!

As a local business, you want to be empowering your business through social media by showcasing and empowering your community.

The more that you can really help people put a face to the brand, the more they’re going to feel on the same page as you.

Share whats happening with you or your community throughout the week and let people really spread the word about this fantastic new place in the city!