Instagram Maps: New Feature for Local Business
The social media giant, Instagram, has launched a new map feature that allows its users to discover local businesses easier than ever before. (Think Google Maps, but on Instagram)
Their latest feature allows for scrolling around on a map to find local attractions, restaurants, popular locations, events, and local businesses. In addition to increasing businesses’ find-ability on Instagram, the feature also lets users tag a business location in their stories and posts. This feature will be huge for social recommendation.
How Instagram’s New Map Feature Works
The map Instagram uses is powered By Apple Maps and allows Instagram users to look at photos posted by others at each location. It also gives its users the ability to filter the types of locations they see by restaurants, cafes, tourist attractions, hotels, parks, bars, stores, and more. There are plenty of categories to filter through while scrolling across the user’s local Instagram map.
This new Instagram map feature acts as a discovery engine, or as some SEO’s would call a citation. Local businesses can think of appearing on Instagram’s new map feature as a listing in a directory where users can tag businesses in their posts, stories, and videos. Using their device’s location data, the map will quickly show Instagram users a map of their area along with several nearby businesses and attractions. Once a user selects a business location on Instagram Maps, they can see how many others have made posts at that location, when the business is open, and get a rough understanding of how expensive that location is compared to similar businesses.
The first few images appearing when Instagram users select a business on their newest map feature are chosen by the tagged posts with the most likes. The most liked photo can sometimes display as the business profile photo or the pin on the map. However, only posts made by users with public profiles will appear on Instagram’s interactive map. This can lead to display photos at some locations featuring influencers.
When selecting a location on Instagram maps, if the location has a public profile, users will be able to follow the profile or directly contact the business. Businesses listed on Instagram maps can also change the call to action shown at their location giving them the option to have a CTA other than contact, follow, or call.
How do you get the map on Instagram?
If someone tags places in posts they can use that tag and press “see location” for the location. When the user moves around the map, it is possible to view nearby businesses, buildings, and attractions.
What does this mean for Instagram and local businesses?
The new Instagram map feature is the latest in user-generated content and can help many local businesses grow online by allowing their customers to not only find, but also showcase their experiences with local business. It also adds credibility and authenticity to the local businesses listed on Instagram maps which, can attract more people to visit the business to learn more or even make a purchase. Recent studies from Google have revealed that many GenZ and millennials are turning to social media platforms like Instagram to conduct local searches. This can be for places to go, or things to do.
Learn more about Local SEO in Hamilton here.
With Instagram’s user base relying on authenticity to validate their searches, the new ability to see other posts at each business can sway perspectives and attract more people to check out a local business. User-generated content in younger demographic groups is seen as more trustworthy, especially on Instagram where photos or videos accompany every post.
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Keeping Your Instagram Profile Up To Date
With this recent addition to Instagram, it has become more important for businesses to update their information and keep it up to date. By including as much information as possible on your business’s Instagram profile, the maps feature will have more information to show users and filter your business with. In addition to providing users with more information, businesses should also keep their information up to date and update them whenever there is a change. Otherwise, this can lead to confusion and customers either visiting while the business is closed or being disappointed that an item or service is no longer being offered.
Related: How To Use Instagram To Grow Your Business
What If Your Business Doesn’t Have An Instagram Account?
While it is unlikely for your business to appear on Instagram maps without an account, it is still possible due to the map sourcing its information from Apple. If your business is listed in many other online directories such as Google My Business, then it may still appear on Instagram’s new map feature. Learn more about getting listed in local directories by checking out our Guide to Local SEO.
To increase your chances of appearing on Instagram maps, you should create a business Instagram account and provide the platform with as much information as possible so you can convert the interest in your business from Instagram to customers coming to your location.
This update has major implications for local businesses and using it can definitely help a business grow and gain awareness through social media.
Related: How to increase organic reach on Instagram
How To Update Your Local Marketing Strategy to Include The New Instagram Map Feature
If your business has been posting on Instagram regularly and you already have an established presence on Instagram, the next thing to do is take advantage of user-generated content. The new feature showcases public posts and stories that tag locations and businesses on the pin and search results of the map. By enticing your customers and visitors to take photos or videos at your business location, you can increase the credibility and authenticity of your business while gaining awareness online.
Local businesses can hold events or have announcements that invite local influencers and the general public to take photos of their storefront (or products) and tag their Instagram location. This can raise the business’s position in local Instagram searches and be the pin to stand out when users scroll across the map.
Businesses with younger target demographics should take advantage of the authenticity Instagram allows them to build around their brand due to younger audiences spending more time on social media and opting to use social media platforms like Instagram over Google searches when looking for local events and businesses. This can likely be attributed to visual elements being more believable than plain text.
For businesses in high tourist areas, Instagram’s new map feature can allow them to break sales records due to increased discoverability options. Users new to an area are unlikely to know where the most fun events are or where their type of stores may be located. Instagram maps’ filters allow them to easily find your business and see photos others have taken there. Photos and videos at your location are often encouraging enough to attract new first-time visitors as they provide a more authentic touchpoint than other sources of information.
Recapping How You Can Take Advantage Of Instagram Map
The new Instagram map features are a great new opportunity for local businesses to grow their presence online by increasing their discoverability. Businesses that already implement SEO practices like citation building are sure to love Instagram’s newest map feature and many will treat it similarly to Google My Business profiles. If you own or manage a local business and want to increase your discoverability, Instagram’s newest feature is exactly what you need to start using. To learn more about Instagram maps and how it can help you grow your business by attracting more attention to your brand check out the rest of our blog.