In just a few years, Instagram has transformed from a basic photo sharing app to a social media marketing giant. Businesses are now able to use the platform to find leads, engage an active audience and connect to prospective customers. By early 2015, Instagram boasted more than 300 million users, making it a golden-nugget of social media platforms.
While Instagram marketing may not suit every business, this can be a valuable tool to add to your local SEO toolbox. To help you get your campaign started, here are 9 Instagram Local SEO tips:
1. Create keyword-rich hashtags. Although Instagram may not seem like a search engine at first, it does still have this function. One of the most popular ways to search on Instagram is by hashtag. Hashtags are essentially keywords that have a “#” in front of them. You can add 10-15 hashtags for a single post, so make them count. Try to incorporate a mix of popular and timely hashtags with hashtags that relate to your local business or neighborhood.
2. Find creative ways to showcase your goods or services. Posting photos of your products is great, but posting photos of your products on real people in real situations is even better. Try to make the presentation of your products as creative as possible. This will catch the attention of passive browsers and help market your products even better.
3. Add a link to your profile. Your profile is one of the only places on Instagram that you can add a clickable link. Use this space to link to your landing page or company website. To get the most out of this strategy, make sure that the URL reflects the product or service you are offering as well as the neighborhood where the business is located.
4. Host contests for swag. Everyone likes free stuff. Hosting contests and giveaways on Instagram can easily garner the attention of thousands of viewers. Focus your contest around hashtags or images to get the most participation. Consider creating a unique hashtag or caption that represents your business type or local area. Have participants submit an image that best represents that hashtag or caption and select the best image as the contest winner.
5. Partner with a charity or nonprofit. People like to support companies that are active in their community. Even if your business is not directly involved, you can indirectly support a cause by donating some of your profits to an organization that is closely related to your industry. To promote your efforts, consider creating a hashtag that reflects your new partnership. As an added bonus, your local business may also enjoy additional publicity from the benefactor of your generosity.
6. Utilize Instagram’s business tools. Instagram has some built in features designed specifically for businesses. These metrics are available to everyone and can help you monitor the performance of specific posts. This data includes shares, engagement, insights, reach and more for each paid advertisement. Use this data to help you identify which types of images or hashtags are drawing the most participation for your local business.
7. Caption your photos wisely. Your captions should be both creative and straightforward. Incorporate a clear call-to-action that engages prospective customers and drives traffic to your website.
8. Purchase an Instagram account with an established following. Depending on the type of local business you have, this strategy can work very well or not at all. The idea is to purchase an Instagram account related to your industry that already has a large audience. Theoretically, having a large number of followers can make your local business seem more credible than one that is just starting out. To find an account, try reaching out to bloggers in your industry.
9. Use text overlays to add additional information. Adding text overlays to your photos is not only stylish, but it can also help creating a marketing message for your business. With the help of simple editing tools, you can add text like prices, dates and other information.