In March 2019, Instagram began a limited rollout of Local Business Profile Pages. While no specific date has been announced for the wider launch, it’s never too early to start preparing to make your Local Business Profile page the best it can be.
Google My Business (GMB) has been around for years, and its introduction was a game changer for small and medium businesses. Not only was it free, but it also opened up the opportunity for businesses to manage their online presence across Google. With GMB, potential customers were able to easily find small businesses that may not have ever come across their radar.
As one billion people use Instagram every month, Local Business Profile Pages from Instagram have the potential to become the social media equivalent of Google My Business. The small businesses that have a Local Business Profile Page on Instagram will have an advantage over those not yet using this platform.
To ensure you’re ready to launch with Local Business Profile Pages on Instagram, we’re walking you through the key features and components you need to know to make your page as comprehensive and user-friendly as possible.
Instagram’s Local Business Profile Pages look similar to Google’s Local Knowledge Panels. Businesses can create an in-app page which includes the business address, hours of operation, contact information and a link to their business’ website.
A link to the business’ Instagram profile is prominently featured at the top of the page. Users can also see their profile picture or icon and the three most recent posts on the account.
To have a Local Business Profile Page, you’ll have to have a Business Profile on Instagram.
If you have an Instagram account already set up, you can convert it to a Business Profile in a few easy steps:
Step 1: Go to your Instagram profile page and tap on the three lines in the top right-hand corner.
Step 2: Tap Settings > Account
Step 3: Scroll down to tap “Switch to Business Profile.”
Step 4. Follow the in-app instructions to create an Instagram Business Account.
With your new Business Profile, you’ll be ready to claim your Local Business Profile Page.
Once you have an Instagram Business Account, you’ll be able to claim your page. To claim your local business profile on Instagram, start by searching for your Local Business Profile Page on the Places tab. When you find the correct business, click on it to bring up the listing.
Then click on “View Information.”
From there, you should have an option to click on “Claim” in the top right corner of the page.
This claim process ensures that each business is in control of its Instagram Local Business Profile Page and that no one else can claim it.
Although it’s still in the testing phase, it’s likely that basic information will be imported from your existing Facebook Business Page to create the Local Business Profile Page. To prepare for this, take the time now to ensure your existing Facebook Business Page is updated and accurate.
There is no shortage of strategies for making the most of your Instagram profile. Applying these strategies to your Local Business Profile Page can help you gain more traction.
Keep in mind that your Local Business Profile Page displays the last three photos you’ve posted, so it’s imperative you put thought into what you’re doing. You’ll need to have an ongoing plan to make the most of your presence on Instagram. To help you do that, here are some best practices for setting up and managing your page.
Maximizing Your Business Bio
The cap is 150 characters, so you need to include a succinct but catchy explanation of what your business is all about. Who you are, what you do, how you can be of service and what makes your business unique are all great points to capture in your bio.
As an entrepreneur, coach and lawyer, Toya Gavin’s Instagram profile makes it crystal clear what she does and how she can help you. Plus, she has a call to action, so profile visitors know what next steps to take.
Geotagging Your Posts
Geotagging your posts makes it easier for people to find your business. In fact, posts with a location are estimated to get 79% more engagement. If someone is using Instagram to search for businesses near them, having your images geotagged will ensure your business comes up within the search results.
Pawjot Pet Sitting uses geotagging to share images of the pets they care for, which is sure to get attention in local search.
Create Instagram Stories
With 500 million people a day using Instagram Stories, this is the perfect spot to let your creativity shine by creating catchy and interesting stories. Plus, as a local business, it’s likely your competitors aren’t currently making use of stories.
Share Local Content
People love to see what’s going on in their communities, so doing things like highlighting other businesses or talking about local trends will help you build rapport with your audience.
Be sure to make use of local hashtags, as users will search and browse these to see what’s new and happening in the community.
With your Local Business Profile Page, you’ll be coming up on search results and people will be visiting your profile with some frequency.
To stand out, you want to share content that engages your audience on a regular basis, as nothing will kill trust with a potential customer faster than a post that’s several months old.
Create a calendar for each week or month, planning out your posts in advance so you don’t lose out on this opportunity.
Make a habit of taking pictures throughout the day so you have images to work with when you sit down to plan out your content.
Now that you know what to expect when Instagram Local Business Profile Pages rollout to all users, you can begin your planning. Start brainstorming on what kind of images you’d like to include or what sorts of stories you can share.
By getting started now, and using Instagram to its full potential for your business, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition when the option to create your page becomes available.