Let’s face it: a huge portion of the population spends their waking lives on social media. If you’re not active on your business channels, your brand is not living up to its full potential. You should be weeding out traditional marketing methods like telemarketing and more focused on timely, interactive marketing tactics like Instagram stories.

Posting on Instagram daily is an easy way to increase your reach and pick up new leads along the way. You may have a stellar product or service, but without a wide-reaching audience your messaging can easily get lost in the “white noise” on social media.

Strengthen Your Online Visibility

If you want to play in the big leagues, you need to step up your game and jump on the Instagram bandwagon. Leverage hashtags to get your content in front of people who may never see your post otherwise. Spend some time researching which hashtags some of the top-performing brands in your industry are using and apply these trends to your messaging.

If you have a local business, two of your biggest challenges will be creating your brand identity and finding creative ways to reach a wider audience. Hashtags give you the unique ability to appear in searches that go beyond you followers.

Engage with the Community

People who use social media don’t just want a good story, they want to feel like they are participating in something. Instagram is a powerful tool for building new relationships in the community, many of which can be profitable if they are nurtured correctly.

Your main focus should not be on advertising, but rather on sparking conversations whenever you get a chance. Think about different ways you can establish genuine human connection with people in your community.

The next time you post a compelling photo or video, ask your audience for feedback and practice being conversational. Show your followers that their voice has meaning in a crowded space.

Give Back When You Can

A huge benefit of being a local businesses is the underlying element of authenticity. The majority of your followers will be people living in the area that have a genuine interest in the work you’re doing – and Instagram is the perfect place to paint a meaningful picture. Seize the opportunity to make a difference in your community by supporting a local fundraiser or partnering with a nearby business for a worthwhile cause. Share compelling photos and videos that “humanize” your business and demonstrate your active involvement in the community. Then, use location-based hashtags and local online marketing to amplify your reach.

Using Instagram is a great way to bring your local business to the next level and put yourself on the radar. You can tell powerful stories, showcase your products or services, and spark conversations in the community.  Think of it as an extension of your brand’s visual identity – what do people see when your name or logo comes across their screen? Is their first impression cold and closed off, or friendly and inspiring? Local brands almost always have a great story to tell, and with the right motivation and a little creativity, you can make your followers your biggest advocates. It’s all about who you know, and nurturing the right relationships can bring your local business to new heights.