Prospects of Instagram Local Search

Recently, Instagram developed a new feature for map search to make it more convenient for us to find local companies. With this feature, users can scroll the map, search for popular places or filter locations by categories. Now, the Instagram map gives us more interaction — we can create, view and tag stories in each location we visit or plan to do so. In this post, we get down to how the new feature works and what it means for local businesses.
Source: Instagram

How to use the new Instagram map

With the new Instagram map update, users can search around the map differently by finding places they need with a scroll search. Now, you can filter all the business locations by various options: hotels, restaurants, parks, cafes, bars, sights, etc. The new map also shows you stories, posts and guides that users tagged.
Source: Instagram

There are several ways to get to the map:

  • When someone tags a place in a story or post — users can tap on it and "see location". If they scroll over the map, they can see the area and search for what's nearby.
  • Through the Explore tab — another way to search for locations and even cities. Just check the search result, tap on a place and it will take you to its listing on the map. Places can be also saved to visit or learn more about them later.
  • Use filters for narrowing down the search results — after browsing through an area, users can optimize their search by applying special filters, so they only see cafes, bars, sights, restaurants, parks, and other types of locations.
Source: Instagram
When you tap on a place's tag and get redirected to its Instagram business page you can see the following information there:

  • business category
  • number of company's posts
  • opening hours
  • an indicator about the prices in the location
Each place shows the three most popular tagged images. A photo that has the most number of likes goes as the company's profile image, so you can see exactly this photo on the map. Thus, user-generated content (UGC) plays a great role in forming a company's image.

For influencers and people with public Instagram profiles, there are also more chances to be more visible with this new map feature. When they post or upload stories with location tags, they appear and are shown to others on the interactive map. Here we can see how Instagram connects influencer opportunities with the new Instagram maps feature making influencers interested in tagging interesting and worth-to-visit places.

Another interesting point to notice is that now when you click on the business location you see a "see related guides" option. It leads to guides that were made according to user content and include that special location you search for. Moreover, business profiles have CTA buttons that offer you to call or contact a company in the other way.
So, now it becomes more crucial to manage the information in your Instagram listings and keep each point relevant.

How Instagram's new map feature influences local business

Instagram doesn't create "just another map". It introduces a new immersive experience through its map feature. With map updates, Instagram forestalls recent Google's VP statement on younger users' behavior that says that 40% of younger users perform local searches on TikTok and Instagram instead of Google Search and Google Maps.

Thus, younger generations may rely more on authenticity, on tags from real people they follow and trust. All this makes new map features quite competitive for certain demographics who are used to scrolling Instagram. And this is a good point for local businesses to take, analyze and strengthen their online presence on Instagram.
Now is the time when businesses in all industries related to interaction with customers (restaurants, retail, service points, etc.) need to keep their profiles on Instagram relevant and informative.

In our fast-pacing world, everything changes very fast. So being attentive to novelties and proactive in adapting your online presence strategy is a good way to be always "nearby" to your customers.

If you can be visually represented on Instagram don't miss the opportunity to appeal to your audience. The best way to succeed in Instagram map search will be to mix the strategies focused on online presence and reputation management, UGC generation and influencer marketing to spread the word about your locations.

Stay tuned to trends and changes in the map search world and be visible to your clients everywhere while RocketData is always ready to help you with that.
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