So you host creative workshops in Liverpool, or you sell your handmade bunting predominantly at your local craft stall every other Saturday. That’s great! But you feel like you’re putting in all the effort of posting consistently on Instagram but getting nothing back. Am I right? Today I wanted to discuss how to target a local audience on Instagram because if you’re continuously posting without trying to target a local audience, what will all of that effort get you?

Let’s start with some pretty big reasons why your business should be on Instagram…

As of March 2020, there were 24.46 million Instagram users in the United Kingdom. – Statista

In March 2018, Instagram reported that 200 million accounts visited one or more business profile every day. – Business Of Apps

74% of users research products & services and decide to whether to buy. – Facebook report 2019.

Why you should target a local audience on instagram

That’s a lot of people. However depending on your business model, trying to reach people around the world when you only sell and service clients from your salon in Cambridge, may not be ideal. So, instead let’s talk about ways that you can target local customers that are super important to you! Because let’s face it, if you try and target and appeal to everyone, your results are going to be less than fabulous! 

1 – Use Geotags in your posts

Want people to discover your premises? With every post you put on your grid, make sure you use the geotag feature. Alternatively, you could tag the local area such as “Cambridge” or “York” instead. Think about what you want to attract people too and do some research as to how people, locally use the features.

A good example of this is a fabulous local business to me @kiss_and_makeup_uk. As you can see below, they geo tag their studio location, that way, if you click on this you can see exactly where they’re based. Plus, you’ll see almost another feed of all the images also tagged there. This could be images from their business account or if their customers have tagged their location.

Target a Local Audience on Instagram - Kiss and Make Up Peterborough - Lorna Scully Digital Marketing Coach

2 – Collaborate with other local businesses or local influencers 

Influencers can play a huge part in driving brand awareness of local businesses by featuring you on their channels. Whether you opt for influencers or another, complimenting business, these partnerships could do wonders for promoting your business and driving more footfall. Simply be clear on what the goal of working together is, and what is expected from both parties. 

3 – Use localised hashtags

Especially when you’re visiting a new town or city, sometimes a quick hashtag search for #LondonPubs or #ManchesterFoodie is the best way to find cute, instagrammable places that interest you. Regardless of what kind of premises you have, whether it’s a beauty salon or a lawyers office, do some research for local, relevant hashtags that would attract the customers you’re trying to target. 

4 – Give away a gift card to be used in store

Giveaways and competitions are an integral part of many businesses social media strategy. So what better way to target a local audience on Instagram than by giving away a valuable prize that they have to visit your store to claim. You’ll find that if you ensure the entry requirements are good, you’ll be reaching lots of local people and their friends in no time. Let’s face it, there’s no point in entering if you don’t live in the area as you’d probably never claim it.

A study from back in 2017 by Tailwind revealed that “accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster” – I can only imagine that number hasn’t changed too much since. 

5 – Optimise your profile 

There are many areas of your Instagram profile that allow you to shout about where you’re based. You could include it in;

  • Your username
  • Name field
  • In your bio
  • Add your address 

Make sure you’re using these spots, if they make sense, to promote your location. Otherwise, you could be missing out on tons of local customers. 

Related blog post: 3 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Bio


6 – Engage with the locals

It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. You have to put in just as much effort as you want to receive. So if you’re looking to grow your followers and increase your engagement rate, why not go and do a bit of research and engage with other locals. Whilst you’re researching for the best localised hashtags as per point 3, make sure you drop some likes & authentic comments on some other locals’ content. That includes others who are not businesses.

7 – Make you’re premises Instagram worthy

Why not let your customers do the marketing for you? Provide an experience and somewhere that WOWs people so much they want to take photos and share it with their friends on the ‘gram! A good example of this, and a business that’s local to me is @doublebubble_teahouse 

How to target a local audience on instagram - example - double bubble teahouse Peterborough - Lorna Scully Digital Marketing

An Instagram worthy picture + a location tag of your business = heaps of user-generated content for you to be able to repost on your social channels and provides you with extra reach.

You could even go the extra mile and introduce some kind of giveaway in return for the images. Say you pick one image per month and they’ll win a free beauty treatment if you’re a salon owner. Or a free glass of Prosecco if you have a restaurant. It doesn’t need to be much, but we all love a good incentive! 


So there you have it, 7 simple ways that will help you to target a local audience on Instagram. Why not give these a try and let me know how you get on by dropping a comment below!