How To Optimize Your Instagram Business Account For Local Search

How To Optimize Your Instagram Business Account For Local Search

What’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for someone to fix a tire on your car? What about when you’re out running errands and decide you want Chinese for lunch?

You probably do what other people did roughly 1 trillion times (really!) last year. You pull out your phone and pop a search in Google. Maybe you’ll type in “near me” or the zip code as well, but the odds are good that your phone already knows where you are.

When you’re looking for something you want or need, you’re in the moment. You’re on the hunt. You’re ready to visit and probably buy. Your time is precious to you, so you don’t want to waste it. Thanks to today’s tech, you don’t have to research anything at home these days. You can do it on your phone — while you’re there or on your way!

That’s why local search marketing and optimization is now absolutely essential to your brand’s survival. If you aren’t high on the list of Google results when your potential customers type a few keywords into that glowing little box they hold in their hands, you’re essentially invisible.

It’s practically impossible to cheat Google’s algorithms these days — and it’s a terrible idea to even try. You need organic interest to drive your brand name higher in the results.

How do you make that happen? You turn to social. So, roll on over to Instagram and follow this guide.


Why Optimization On Instagram Is What The Cool Kids Are Doing

Instagram has been around for about eight years, and it’s steadily growing. Its visual-only feed appeals to the human need for quick, immediate information. (By comparison, Twitter is a much slower medium without the same level of engagement.)

Reaching out through Instagram is also a great way to appeal to Millennials, who have less interest in Facebook than their parents. Almost 60% of Instagram’s users fall between ages 18-29. And, around 70% of those users are shoppers following brands and watching trends. This is not a demographic you want to neglect.

Keeping the Millennial-heavy population combined with the visual-rich medium of Instagram in mind, you can probably guess that optimization here works a little differently than it does on other social sites. These tips will make it easy.


Capitalize On Your Brand Name

There aren’t a lot of links to your business on Instagram, so you need to capitalize on your brand name as much as possible.

  1. Make sure that your username is either the same as your business or as close as possible.
  2. Fill out your business bio. Include your brand’s values, mission statement, or ideals as a way to engage people. It’s important to think about what sort of customer culture you have in order to connect on a personal level.
  3. Make sure you link back to your business website so your followers can convert to customers by simply clicking a link.
  4. Use the geo-tagging feature Instagram provides. (This is a necessity for appearing in local SERPs!)

Aim for a consistent brand image all through your bio and postings. If your bio is a relic of days-gone-by, try to update to something more reflective of your brand as it is today — not when you first started out!


Get Out There And Socialize

Instagram is a very social place. If you want to develop a community around your brand you need to be willing to participate in the communities that are already existing there. That’ll increase your authenticity and help you build your reputation as a local leader.

  1. Make use of trending and hashtags that are relevant to your business and brand. (Don’t know how to find the trending hashtags today? Don’t worry. Sites like Hashtagify make it easy to find what’s hot and even identify the top influencers out there!)
  2. Speaking of influencers, find the conversations relevant to your brand and get in them. Follow a few influencers and interact with the content they’re producing. That will gain their attention and encourage them to do the same with your content. Check out this article on finding social media influencers.
  3. Create original hashtags that reflect what your brand is doing, especially ones that will draw customers into action, like contests.
  4. Put your posts out weekly. Research indicates that middle of the week is best for Instagram posts, especially from 2 PM to 5 PM. Avoid 9 AM and 6 PM when your followers are likely in a rush.


Make Use Of Instagram’s Business Features

Instagram did put some serious thought into how to help businesses optimize their feeds — it has a section that’s stuffed with information and tools you can use. Neglecting these options is like turning away customers – so don’t do it!

  1. Use the Stories feature to give your brand a distinct personality and voice. Stories can help you stay active and relevant without spamming your customers. It can also help build engagement and trust.
  2. Make use of the Campaigns section of your account to measure your ROIs. This was created specifically for business marketing, so it’s a user-friendly tool.


Wrapping It Up

Finally, remember that when you optimize your Instagram business account it helps to tie all your business links together. Make sure you promote your Instagram and Twitter accounts on your website, Facebook page, and Pinterest (and vice versa.) The more you connect your accounts, the easier it is for you to capitalize on the followers you already have — which is bound to help pull your local SEO rankings up.

Krystin Pipkin
[email protected]

Krystin is the social media coordinator at Boostability.