Want more visibility on your Instagram?

Instagram’s latest feature allows you to add clickable hashtags and location stickers to your stories.

You might be surprised to learn that a lot of people use Instagram to search for local businesses, much like they might use Yelp. While there aren’t any definitive statistics available to show the number of searches on Instagram, there are countless success stories about businesses being found by Instagram users, leading to sales.

This is most common for restaurants, retail, and other brick-and-mortar businesses. People may be out and about, looking for a place for dinner. They open Instagram search and type in “pizza [city name]” to find a list of places that serve pizza. Or they may look for a hashtag like “#[citynamerestaurant].”

Instagram’s search algorithm will populate content that corresponds to a location-based business if that business has its address set up through Facebook or Instagram.

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Selecting one of the locations listed takes you to all of the Instagram content available for that location.

Now with locations in Instagram Stories, some location searches will also populate with a story icon, allowing users to view recent stories using that location sticker. The story icon is the circle with the Instagram-colored ring around it at the top of the search. If you tap the story icon, you see stories from public accounts associated with that location sticker.

photo_2017-06-14_12-16-22.jpgIf recent stories are available for a location sticker, the story ring will appear at the top of the location’s search page.

Beyond even these targeted searches, opening Instagram’s Explore page will display the content the algorithm determines you’re likely to be interested in. Along the top is a list of people who have posted recent stories that Instagram thinks you may enjoy. And you may even see targeted story results based on your frequent searches or local area.

For example, because I live in San Diego, I frequently have a San Diego location story option on my Explore page. These location stories are pulled from public content located all around the area, even if the stories aren’t specifically tagged with the San Diego location.

photo_2017-06-14_12-16-30.jpgSearch results on the Explore page may include a series of stories based on your location or common search criteria.

This tactic is best for those businesses that have a physical location. But you don’t just have to use your own business location as a sticker in your stories. Consider including local landmarks or popular public locations near you so you show up in those more popular search results.

Adding location stickers to your Instagram stories will help you show up in more searches and make it easier for potential customers to find you. Depending on how popular that location is or how many other people have current stories for it, you may be one of only a few stories featured, allowing you to stand out from the crowd and get the audience’s undivided attention.

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