7 Ways to Promote Your Small Business Locally On Instagram

by | Jan 21, 2024

As of January 2024, there were 2.4 billion active users on Instagram every month. That’s behind Facebook, but still ahead of other popular social media platforms like Twitter. Instagram’s popularity continues to grow as fast as new features are added. Connecting with friends and brands is becoming easier and easier with each update.

Instagram also has the power to help your small business reach its target audience, get discovered by new fans, and promote products and services organically. If your business is not already on the platform you’re missing some prime organic advertisement time.


In the vastness of Instagram, it’s easy to get lost and even intimidated by the idea of building a successful page with a loyal following, but if you strategically leverage the right features you will be fine and your follower count will steadily rise. Ready to start promoting your small business locally on Instagram? Here are a few pro strategies to get you going:

 1. Optimize Your Profile For Local Search

If you have ever navigated to a business page on Instagram you have likely noticed the business has added their address and contact details in the bio section. This helps potential followers and customers determine the relative distance to said business. These days when a local consumer wants to know more about a business they check one of two places — Google or their social media pages. Ensuring both these areas are current will build your following and help make your profile visible to the right people.

Another way to use the photo-sharing platform to boost your local following is to use keywords in your profile name and bio. For example, a jewelry store in Toronto can say exactly that in the bio section. This adds a layer of discoverability to the page, as the keywords help people find it easier via the ‘Explore’ page. Don’t worry about overlap between the physical address and the bio, in this case it’s okay!

Similarly, hashtags and geotagging stories will allow your page to appear in search when people who don’t already follow your business are looking for content with a specific location tag. This also provides people who may already be interested in your business more information on your location. Perhaps, that’s the type of info they need to take that leap and follow your page.

2. Show Off Your Products and Services

It’s no secret that Instagram is a visual platform above all else. This is great because over time, and in part due to the emergence of social media, people have become visual learners taking in the majority of information via visual content. When it comes to your products and services, Instagram is the best place to show off exactly what you offer. You can opt for professional photography or invest in one of the newer mobile phones and do it yourself. Another option is to hire a social media manager that will take care of these types of assets.

You can also use high quality user generated content (UGC) to build trust and take the some of that ‘content crunch’ feeling off your shoulders. When you have attractive products that the public has deemed ‘instagrammable’ you’re more likely to get more UGC flowing your way.



3. Invite Local Influencers

Influencers were almost as big as the word pivot in 2020. All over the ‘gram, we see beautiful people promoting products by just using them and telling us about the experience. They are influencers because they use their influence to sell products and services for brands across the globe. Influencer marketing is powerful and is showing no sign of going anywhere anytime soon.  Influencers are another way to build trust with your audience. People follow these influencers because they trust their opinion, so when they say they like your product engagement on your own pages will come shortly after.                                  

4. Feature Reviews

People are constantly posting their thoughts about products and services on Instagram (see No. 2 Re: UGC). It’s always comes back to trust — people trust what other people say about you more than what you say about yourself. Just think back to high school…  It’s a good strategy to collect and post reviews on your feed. You can have fun with it and design a specific review template. The easiest way to discover this feedback is by monitoring mentions on all platforms, not just Instagram.                                  









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                                  A post shared by MediDerma | Botox & Fillers (@medidermaspa)                            


5. Take Advantage of Instagram Stories

Social media is all about storytelling, so it’s no surprise that two top social platforms integrated stories within the last few years (sorry, Snapchat). With a lifespan of only 24 hours, stories create a sense of urgency. They also allow you to be a bit freer with what you post, as you can get away with less polished content.

More benefits to stories: 

    • you don’t clog the main feed up with content

    • you can save stories as highlights right under the bio section so that interested visitors can find important information it with ease

6. Host a Giveaway

Everyone loves a giveaway. Giving your followers the chance to win something for free is a great way to boost engagement. If you’re considering hosting a contest on your page, make sure you have your plan in place before you launch. This includes having a theme, ensuring prizes align with the theme, social media graphics, a method to determine the winner, and FULL rules posted somewhere (other than the post) like your website. Also, consider adding in paid social to reach new potential followers. 


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7. Collaborate with Neighboring Businesses

So you’re on Instagram. Great! But what if you could expand your reach just a wee bit more. In comes cross-promotion. This is a fantastic method to reach new customers in a similar market to your own that doesn’t compete. The idea is for your products and services to complement each other. The best part is this strategy can be used in conjunction with No. 6. You probably see small businesses partnering on giveaways all the time. Now it’s your turn!

This is just the short list. There are so many more ways for your small business to reach the local crowd via Instagram. Be creative. At risk of sounding cliche, it’s time to think outside the box.

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