Instagram has been the darling of social media for the last few years.
It’s a simple concept. The app allows anyone to create great looking digital photographs.
There are preset filters that can make even the most regular photo look unique and professional. People have really been drawn to the web app with more than 100 million users.
Anytime you get that many people in one place there will be businesses paying attention.
With Instagram, the real opportunity could be with how local businesses use the app.
The Benefits of Using Instagram
Instagram, like other social networks and communities, is an audience ready to be engaged with great content. In the case of Instagram, the shared interest is photography.
For businesses, marketing is about tapping into existing audiences to earn new followers. It’s about getting people to notice your brand and working them through the sales cycle.
It starts with discovery and continues with engagement until people start to purchase your products and services.
With that in mind, there is likely an opportunity for your company to grow your audience on Instagram.
Here are five Instagram tips for local businesses.
1. Like The Photos Of Your Target Customer
The old phrase – You get what you give… – is true for many things in life. It’s an especially good mantra for businesses using social media.
One of the best things you can do is to like other photos on Instagram. Leaving comments is another good way to start building your following.
Don’t take shortcuts with this method. If you’re not doing it authentically you’ll come across as a spammer and that will backfire for you quickly.
People like when others notice their photos. Leaving comments and liking photos makes people feel good. Do it for the people that fit your customer profile and a good portion of them will likely follow you back, which will build your profile.
2. Take Photos From Unique Angles
There are a lot of photos on Instagram…as in billions of photos.
It’s difficult for your photos to stand out from all the noise.
Two big aspects of photography are light and angle.
You’ll know when you’re getting too much light in the frame and when you’re not getting enough. There is a lot more you could do with light, but for quick ways to make your photos different try shooting at unique angles.
Get real low and shoot up on things like buildings, walls and people.
These photos will stand out and will get you lots of attention.
3. Use Your Regular Camera Phone
Instagram lets you take photos right in the application. It’s great for taking quick shots and quickly uploading them, but if you want more control use the camera application on your phone.
You can adjust the light, the focus, the zoom and a few other aspects. There are also features like burst for capturing images of things that are moving.
You can get more interest in photos – at least for now – with your camera app instead of the one on Instagram.
4. Pay Attention To The Background
Sometimes the background in your photograph is more interesting than the person or image in the foreground.
As you take photos always be aware of what’s going on in the background. You don’t want someone to sneak in the background for a photobomb that can ruin your shot.
Or maybe you do want things like that happen.
As long as it’s interesting it can get you and your brand attention.
5. Use Appropriate Hashtags
Hashtags are an important part of the social web.
By using hashtags on Instagram you can tap into existing audiences where people are actively looking for photos on specific subjects.
Use 1 or 2 hashtags that relate to your local business with each photo. Choose hashtags that are popular. It’s about finding a balance between relevance and popularity.
For more on hashtags read 7 #Hashtags Secrets Every Marketer Should Know.
Local businesses can build a local following on Instagram. You can also capture the attention of visitors from out of town by showcasing the interesting surroundings near your location.
Take photos from behind the scenes in your store. Go out and take unique angle photographs of your city’s landmarks.
It’s all a great way to build your Instagram following, which can lead to more customers through your door.