Why Location is (Almost) Everything on Instagram

What kinds of things do you post about the most on Instagram?
In many cases, people post when they’re out having a great time, or when they come across something especially intriguing that they just have to share with their whole world. They post things that have a story or experience behind them.
What’s one crucial piece of the story, though? LOCATION!! Where did this awesome thing happen?! I recently did a Facebook Live broadcast specifically with the intention of showing my audience where I was and what I was doing. I was in La Jolla Village by the ocean having brunch. What was the question that kept getting asked by my audience, even though the answer was in the title of the broadcast? "Jen! Where is that?" It’s an important piece of every story, and every social media post. (But this post is specifically for Instagram)
Let me dive a little deeper now.
When I’m in a new place, I do a lot of research before I decide on places I want to visit, places I want to eat, and even coffee shops I want to try. Overall atmosphere, vibe and aesthetics contribute a lot to my decisions in addition to reading reviews and talking to locals. My time is very precious to me, and I want to make sure that I’m utilizing it well.
I typically do quite a bit of research on Foursquare in the beginning. I see what’ nearest to me, what part of town it’s located in and what some of the reviews are.
After selecting a few potential places on Foursquare, I then get on Instagram to find out what people are posting about the place, using their "places" search function. See the screenshot below:

From here, I click on the location I want to potentially visit, and then I come to a screen that shows where it is and what some of the top images are that have been posted from the location under review:

To recap this process, I’m researching three things:
1. Do they even have an account on Instagram? This is important to me because I like to be able to tag them in my potential Instagram post. If they do have one, I look over what kinds of things they post and am able to get a pretty good idea if it’s somewhere I’d like to visit. If they don’t have an Instagram account, my second item plays an even larger role in my decision-making process.
2. What are visitors posting when they visit this location? I pay close attention to what kinds of things people post because this portrays a more genuine overview of what a place really has to offer. (The photos are unbiased; it’s the #nofilter concept, if you will) Is this a place that people go to work? Do they make pretty lattes? Do they serve local beans? Items 1 and 2 work powerfully together to lead me to item number 3.
3. Does this place fit my overall standards? If the combined posts of items 1 and 2 work together to paint a nice picture that meet my expectations and desires, I’ll make a visit to the place. I don’t want to miss out on this awesomeness!
Ok, so how can marketers and businesses use this knowledge to their benefit?
First off, make sure you have an Instagram account! This is an easy way to make your brand/business digitally shine! Tell your story and help your audience feel the vibe that you hope they feel when they come in to visit. Keep a consistent look and feel, and make sure that your images are of very high-quality, This is your (free) chance to showcase what you really have to offer people! #nobrainer
In all of your Instagram posts, make sure that you’re tagging your own location. This will ensure that when people search your specific location on Instagram, that your pics will show up in their search results.
Lastly, the most powerful thing that you can do for your fans is to repost some of the things that they post about your brand! In doing this, you’re making your guests feel appreciated and welcomed to keep coming back. This will aid in building that strong, devoted community. This also allows you to add more content with your location in the tag. (and more control over the results of this search function)
So in conclusion…
There are a lot of benefits to being aware of the location search function on Instagram! Ultimately, it can work to tell your brand’s story and build your community even stronger than it already is. It’s certainly something you can easily leverage…and again… this is free!
Do you have further questions or comments about how to use this function to benefit your business? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to contact me.
Thanks for reading,
Jen

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