3 quick tips to use Instagram as a local Business.

If you own a small, local business, you might be under the impression that Instagram is not the place for you. You might think, Instagram is only for big companies with millions of followers and businesses that are selling products or services online.

But I’m going to challenge you on that view…

Instagram is for small, local businesses, too!! Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and many of those users could live just around the corner from you, you just need to know how to find them. Promoting your local business on Instagram can introduce your company to a whole new audience and get more foot traffic through your doors than ever before — if… you do it right.

Here’s how to use Instagram to promote your local business.

Leverage word-of-mouth marketing Through Instagram.

Traditionally local businesses rely a lot on word of mouth. For instance, say you sell home decor in a local shop. When a customer buys your product and displays it at home, their friends, family and neighbours could come to visit and say, ‘love that, where is it from?’

Your customer then mentions your business, which leads those new customers right to your door.

Word of mouth on Instagram works basically the same way. A customer buys your product or service. Then, they post a picture of it on Instagram, tagging your business in the photo. All of their friends and followers see the post and go to check out your business. This opens you up to a whole new audience.

These images are also known as user-generated content (UGC). UGC also acts as social proof for your local business. In fact, 87% of consumers still trust reviews and recommendations from family and friends who have received a ‘brand experience’, and 71% still trust bloggers, vloggers or social media influencers.

And quite shockingly in a great way 85 percent of consumers find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos.

To generate more UGC for your local business, just ask for it. When your customers are purchasing just say, if you get a chance to share a photo on social media it would really support us. Your happy customers will be glad to create UGC for you. Just don’t forget to give those customers a little love by sharing their posts on your own account.


As a small business, it’s important to be a part of your community by attending and contributing to local events like networking and functions. So, if you want to promote your local business on Instagram, participate with the online Instagram community as well.

Building an online community for your local business will help your audience feel like they’re a part of something. But you can’t just follow the saying of ‘if you build it, they will come.’ You need to build it and participate in it in order to form strong relationships with customers.

When you post on Instagram, start a conversation with your audience. For instance, if you own an food truck, ask your followers to leave a comment with their favourite food. Remember, though, don’t just ask them and then ghost them — interact with them by liking and replying to comments. The more you engage, the more your audience will engage AND the more the algorithm will love you.

Aside from your customers and audience, interact with other local businesses as well, even your direct competition! Joining in on the conversations other local businesses are having on Instagram will introduce your business to their customers.

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Put a face to the business.

I must say this on a daily basis a fact I will continue to say until I am blue in the face. People don’t tend to trust businesses. Why, well… many of them are just trying to sell us something 98% of the time. But people are more likely to trust other people, especially people with whom they have a connection.

Psychology Today did a study stating we may even base our decisions about whom to trust on attractiveness, i.e. how much a person resembles our friends or family members.

So, if your Instagram feed is nothing but images of products, how do you expect people to connect with you? You don’t have to have the ‘perfect face’ to gain the trust of your audience. All you have to do is put a face to the brand, ideally your face but it can be a ‘spokesperson’ after all that is what huge ‘faceless’ corporations do.

Include photos of yourself on your Instagram account as well as photos of your employees or family. Showcasing the people behind the company will promote trust and attract more consumers to your local business. They might even recognise you from around town.

Promote the local lifestyle.

Since Instagram is mainly a photo-sharing network, your content needs to grab the attention of users. Users are constantly being bombarded with images of products and advertisements in their feeds, so much so that they’re becoming desensitised to them. Instead of pushing your product or service on Instagram, push the local lifestyle.

The local lifestyle isn’t necessarily the tourist attractions your town offers; rather, it’s the lifestyle that your customers lead after buying your product or service.

Share images on Instagram that give consumers a glimpse into a life they want. You can incorporate local landmarks in these images to further promote your local pride and make photos instantly recognisable to local shoppers. For instance, a bicycle shop shouldn’t just post a photo of a bike. Rather, they should post a photo of a happy family on a bike ride through the local park.

Instagram isn’t just for internet-based companies – it’s for local businesses, too.

With these tips for how to use Instagram to promote your local business, you’ll soon start to see a steady stream of new customers coming from far and wide to shop with you.

Related Posts:

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