Target Your Local Audience on Instagram (6 Simple Steps!)

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Do you use Instagram for business promotion? Real talk: if your business isn’t active on Instagram, you’re missing out!

In the last few years, Instagram has evolved from a simple photo-sharing app to a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and niches!

According to Business Instagram, the community has grown to ONE billion active users, 90% of whom follow at least one business on Instagram.

Want to know the best part?

Gone are the days when only big e-commerce brands could achieve business results on the platform.

Today, Instagram is a great place to attract and interact with your local community.  Find out how to just that below!

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Why Target Your Local Audience on Instagram?

The latest BrightLocal survey found that 90% of customers use the internet to find a local business. Plus, 91% of people say that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business.

With the growing popularity of Instagram, using this platform for local marketing is a must. 

Need more proof? The numbers speak for themselves:

  • The projected number of US Instagram users by 2023 is 125.5 million.
  • 63% of users visit Instagram daily and 73% of U.S. teens say Instagram is the best way for businesses to reach them about new products or promotions.
  • 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily.
  • Posts with a location receive 79% more engagement.

Instagram has put the pedal to the metal with features geared towards putting your business on the map – literally!

With the introduction of business-specific features like geotags and hashtags, it’s easy for local businesses to get in front of customers and target your local audience on Instagram  

So, wouldn’t it be great if you could specifically target your local audience on Instagram? (Um, yes!)

Then let’s do it!

To learn how to target your audience on Instagram, as well as see the best practices of these strategies in action for your inspiration, keep reading!

1. Optimize Your Handle for Local Search 

First things first: You need to make sure your followers live or work close to your area.

That’s why it’s important to optimize your handle for local search, and it requires the following steps:

  1. Using a keyword in your handle name
  2. Switching to a business profile
  3. Creating an eye-catching Instagram bio

Let’s take a look in detail!

target your local audience on Instagram with an optimized handle featuring your business name and location!

Add a Keyword to Your Instagram Handle

To attract your local audience, it’s important to use your keyword in your handle name (business name and location).

Have multiple locations? Steal this hack from big brands!

Big brands have separate accounts for different markets. For example, Shake Shack has over 208 locations around the world!

It’s no wonder that the company uses nicknames like @shakeshackjpn (Japan), @shakeshackuk (UK), and @shakeshacktr (Turkey) just to name a few. 

If you only work in a specific city, you can include it in your name. A great example is @miamispetgrooming! (More on this company later!)

Switch to an Instagram Business Profile

If you haven’t considered switching to an Instagram business account when promoting your local business on Instagram yet, it’s time to think again!

Not only can you add your business category and contact information, but you can also add your physical address to make it easier for followers (and visitors) to decide whether they can visit your local business or not. 

And if you want to go the extra mile, learn more about new local business profiles being tested on Instagram!

When users search for a relevant keyword in your area, your account appears in the search results with all relevant information about your business that includes the following:

  • Business category
  • Opening hours
  • Price range
  • Website
  • Contact information

Create an Eye-Catching Instagram Bio

Have you set up your business profile? Cool! Now let’s create an eye-catching Instagram bio that tells everything your visitors should know about your local business. 

It’s time to come back to Miami’s Pet Grooming.

This company created a perfect handle name that stands out to Miami locals.

They also gave a ton of information in a short and sweet bio:

targeting your local audience on instagram through your Instagram bio details

At a glance, their Instagram local audience knows:

  • What services they provide
  • What animals they groom
  • How to book
  • Where to look for real user photos and experiences!

If you want to create an Instagram bio to target your local audience, do the following:

  • Choose your business category
  • Write a few lines about your business and use emojis to illustrate! (you’re limited to 150 characters)
  • Include a brand hashtag
  • Insert your website link
  • Add your physical address
  • Add several contact options (especially phone number and email address!)

Whether you run a local business or are expanding into global markets, it’s important to optimize your Instagram profile for local search.

It’s a proven way to turn your local community from Instagram browsers into real traffic to your business!

Speaking of traffic to your local business, let’s dive into our next tip!

2. Use Geotags and Local Hashtags

As a local business on Instagram, it’s important to add location information and tell your followers (and Instagram) where to find your business!

Plus, it helps to get on the Instagram Explore page and allows people who are interested in your specific area to find your posts and Instagram Stories.

That’s a great way to spread the word about your business within your local community. Sounds pretty neat, huh?

To increase the local reach of your Instagram page, you need to focus on area-specific hashtags and geotags. Here’s a good example from the Now Massage, a concept massage boutique:

The NOW targets local audiences on Instagram with geo-tagging each storefront

The company has locations in Studio City, Silver Lake, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood, California.

The Now uses location-specific hashtags and geotags to attract the right audience.

Not only can this business point followers to where the featured boutique is located, but they can also attract local patrons who are searching for something in a particular city.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to create your geotag and add a location-specific hashtag. And if you want to increase organic reach, use Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder!

Our tool can suggest niche, competitive and ultra-competitive hashtags as you’re writing your caption!

3. Collaborate with Local Influencers

The popularity of Instagram influencer marketing is on the rise.

Many users follow influencers on the platform and are interested in the post topics!

What’s more, people consider influencers they follow to be an extension of their circle of friends. They pay close attention to their recommendations and trust them!

What does that mean for you?

There’s a great opportunity to enter an already-established community and promote your products and services. When it comes to targeting your local audience, consider collaborating with local influencers they like and trust in your specific area. 

It’s more likely these people are popular within your local community, so it’s your perfect chance to spread the word about your local business.

You can also snag user-generated content as many influencers are ready to sell their Instagram photos

Let’s take The Original Dave’s Cosmic Subs, for example.

In honor of a new restaurant launch in Columbus, the company reached out to food blogger Alina, better known as @tastingcolumbus.

Alina eats in & explores Columbus, Ohio!

She was a natural influencer fit, and Dave’s Cosmic Subs invited her to write about their new location.

Not only did the local food blogger write about the restaurant, but she also added geolocation and tagged the restaurant in the image.

What’s more, Alina sparked interest among her followers.

Ultimately Dave’s Cosmic Subs reached its goal – the restaurant attracted new local customers! 

Instagram influencers come in 4 distinct categories – nano, micro, macro, and mega – so it’s easy for a local business of any size to find someone who suits your needs and wants. 

You can team up with several local nano-influencers who have less than 1000 followers and promote your business.

That’s more cost-effective than working with one macro-influencer who charges more for the collaboration and has less of a concentrated local audience!

4. Create an ‘Instagram Wall’ On Your Premises

Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing platform, so it’s no wonder that people upload over 95 million photos and videos daily.

For local businesses, this makes for a valuable opportunity to attract a local audience without putting much time or effort.


Creating an ‘Instagram Wall’ on your premises to entice your visitors to take a photo in front of it!

Instagram-worthy pictures + a location tag = tons of user-generated content and buzz around your pin on the map!

Want an example? Check out how Shake Shack Singapore did it!

With the growing popularity of Instagram, it’s no wonder that people seek out ‘Instagrammable’ places near them to take amazing photos and stand out from the crowd.

Simply put, local customers are often happy to promote your business in exchange for an engagement-worthy Instagram photo op!

To go the extra mile, you can even set up a referral program!

A referral program encourages your loyal customers to tell friends and family about you for a chance to get something valuable.

The more people you can reach, the more potential locals you can attract.

5. Give Away a Gift Card 

Instagram giveaways are extremely popular among users! After all, who doesn’t love free stuff!

Tailwind’s study found that Instagram giveaways help to grow your following 70% faster. Not only that, contests get 3.5x more likes and 64x more comments on average than regular posts.

Running a giveaway is a perfect way to target your local audience!

Since you choose the prize, you can give away anything.

The best prize is usually a gift card. It’s a great way to get winners through your door and looking around for what they can spend their prize on!

Fox In The Snow Cafe often uses this tactic.

Not only do you target your local audience, but you also increase in-store sales!

After all, customers who pay with gift cards are more likely to spend more money above the monetary value of the gift card. 

As you can see, it’s an easy way to interact with your local customers, boost reach, and spark their interest in your local business.

And hey, don’t worry if you don’t have gift cards on hand!

You can use a graphic design tool like Crello to create branded certificates in just a few clicks!

6. Run Instagram Ad Campaigns 

Today, over 25 million businesses use Instagram to reach their target audience and promote products or services.

The competition on the feed is getting fierce, so brands run ad campaigns to cut through the noise and achieve their business goals faster!

As of September 2017, the Instagram business community reached 2 million advertisers.

If you haven’t considered joining that business community, you should give it a second look!

Paid ads offer many opportunities for advertisers, and businesses can increase local awareness with locally-targeted ad campaigns, just like Coca-Cola Greece did:

Within one month of promotion, the campaign resulted in a 4-point lift in message association and 92% on-target reach among people aged 15–44

Instagram ads help to target your local audience as they show up on users’ feeds while they’re out and about.

Although it requires time and money to set up your ad campaign, it brings wonderful results by delivering your brand message to the right audience!

Schedule Your Newly Optimized Posts!

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with the most engaged users, so it’s a perfect place to target your customers, no matter where they live.

With a variety of tactics, it’s easy to attract your local audience on Instagram and turn your followers into customers.

But when you’re running a business, you probably don’t have tons of free time to devote to all things Instagram. Thats how Tailwind can help!

With our all-in-one publishing tool for Instagram, you can:

  • Geotag your location with one click
  • Add relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience with our Hashtag Finder tool, and save your favorites with Hashtag Lists!
  • Expertly format your captions with emojis, line breaks and spaces
  • Auto- Schedule your posts to Instagram at the best times for increased audience engagement

Plus a ton of other business-friendly features!

Want to try it for yourself? Get a [sc name=”free-trial-of-tailwind-for-instagram”] now – no credit card required!

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