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As a local business, you may feel that it’s enough to just be on Facebook. However that’s not the case anymore, with the number of social media platforms available. In today’s blog, I will go through some strategies, which local businesses can utilise to maximise upon their Instagram marketing.
Instagram has always been a favourite social media platform of mine. I’ve always loved how easy it is to build an organic following, in such short periods, or the endless number of different niches spread out across the platform.
If you’ve never downloaded the Instagram app or think it’s going to be a challenge to use, don’t worry! It’s incredibly easy to get the hang of, so just take your time and learn bit by bit.
One of the great features of Instagram, especially for organic reach, is the power to tag up to 30 different hashtags on each of your posts.
Hashtags are used by people on Instagram to search for related content to that specific keyword, and it works wonders for local businesses.
Say you’re a car dealer in Cairns and post a photo of a car on your lot. Not only could you tag the car model, #HoldenUte or #Holden, but you could also use hashtags related to the Cairns area, such as #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 by also using hashtags related to the area of Cairns, #CairnsCity or #CairnsLocal, you’re more likely to have people in that location looking through posts with that hashtag.
Your post is getting seen by people in your area, who 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 where 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, that just so happen to see your post and stop by your business while they’re here.
Imagine not only creating your own content, but also having your customers create content for you. Local businesses can really 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 photo of their fresh, new look on social media and 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), and so good that their customers share photos of them visiting Paradiso. Take a look at these!
You want 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 customers to tag you in posts or use 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, which act as a great photo-op.
Create incentives for customers to take photos and tag your business. 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!
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 may seem overwhelming at first, I get it. However as a local business, you want to tap 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 product or service.
Social media is practically generating word-of-mouth buzz in the same fashion. All it’s doing is helping you to amplify your businesses through word-of-mouth, and yourself as the champion within your specific industry or area.
If you have a smartphone, this should be incredibly easy enough for you to take photos each day.
Start by 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! Let your customers and audience celebrate with you too.
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! What better way to spread the word, before they even get to your restaurant?
Is there an event happening in your area that you just attended? Showcase that!
As a local business, you want to empower your business through social media, by showcasing and empowering your community.
The more that you can help people put a face to the brand, the more they’re going to relate to you and your business.
Share what’s happening with you or your community throughout the week, and let people spread the word about this fantastic new place in the city!