How do I find my local target audience on Instagram?

Updated: Jan 16


As small business owners, we have to find ways to connect with our local tribe. But, where are they? How can I find them on social media? The answer is simple - it is time to embrace the magical, mystical hashtag. Research shows that having at least one hashtag can increase engagement by up to 12.6%. Also, 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded (i.e. business) hashtags.



Plus, the "#" sign will help you...

  • Find your small business target audience

  • Categorize your posts

  • Make it easier for people to find you

  • Attract new people to your business

  • Boost engagement

  • Organize your brand’s activities and events


So, yeah hashtags are a pretty big deal.


I can hear you out there. "But, Stephanie... I don't know what hashtags to use or how to find them!!" No worries. By the time you are done reading this post, you will know that answer. Today, we will focus on Instagram specifically. But, before we get to that... get ready for the fun part!




At the end of the blog, I will give you an easy assignment that will boost your engagement and help you find your local target audience.




Ready? Let's get into it!








#1 #LikesforLikes is not your friend - Avoid using trending US hashtags



Yes... in theory the popular and trending hashtags would potentially allow your posts get seen by more people.


But, many times this strategy ends up hurting you in the long run.



Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to get more followers for your restaurant in Delray Beach.

A friend told you the secret to getting more followers is to add trending hashtags to your Instagram posts.

You send the post with #Like4Like, #Love, #Follow4Follow at the end of the post.

OMG! It worked! You saw an increase in likes by 20% in a week!


Well.... not so fast.


It turns out your new followers are in California, India, Texas, and Alaska.

But.... your restaurant is in Delray Beach and paying customers are in South Florida.



So, did the popular hashtags help your business make meaningful local connections? Not really. Specific will always win when it comes to small business hashtag selection.


That leads us to our next point... #2 Be Specific - Select Niche Hashtags


As a local business, hashtags will help you connect with your target audience - within your area. Keep in mind, what works for big brands will not work for small brands. Again, small and local businesses need to take a more specific approach.

Here are a few ways we can do this:

Local SEO & Instagram = Match Made in Hashtag Heaven


I won’t go into too much depth about SEO in this post. But, to keep it simple, using the best keywords are important for search engines (i.e. Google) to find and share your content. When it comes to hashtags, consider using ones that feature your brand and your area. Again, small and local businesses need to take a more specific approach.


For example -


Your new restaurant, "Toms Restaurant" just opened on Atlantic Avenue. Instead of being broad, get specific.

You could go with: “Come visit our new #TomsRestaurant on #AtlanticAvenue in #DelrayBeach


This method increases the likelihood that your post will be viewed by people in your targeted area.


Focus on local trending hashtags


Be patient, It takes a little time to find local trending topics. But, once you get the hang of it - you are golden. Here are a few ideas....


1. Keep your Hashtag Generic, Yet Specific to Your Area

Let's go back to our example with your new restaurant named, "Tom’s Restaurant" In the Instagram “search” bar, you could type #delrayrestaurants


Repost accounts are super valuable tools to find your local audience.


These Instagram accounts find and repost interesting posts from local social media posts.


A good example where I live would be @downtowndelray



Voila! The search will let you know if people are actually using that particular hashtag. If they are not, keep trying new hashtag combinations.

(Tip: as you are testing the hashtags above, take a peek at the “suggested” tags that pop-up. You will be able to see what hashtags are being used and by how many people.)


2. Check out Local "Repost" Instagram Accounts

Repost accounts are super valuable tools to find your local audience.


These Instagram accounts find and repost interesting posts from local social media posts.


A good example where I live would be @downtowndelray





Easy right? It's time to put these tips into action....

Follow each of the steps and make a commitment to post every day for 7 (easy) days.



“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”

– Peter F. Drucker



Note: Before getting started on your challenge, find your target local hashtags using what you just learned above. Be sure to plan your posts for the next 7 days.

#1 Capture your starting point. Take a screenshot of the “Insights” page inside of your Instagram business analytic page #2 Follow us on Instagram @MethodologyMarketing #3 On every post add this hashtag: #LearnItDoIt #4 At the end of 7 days, take another screenshot and DM me your results!


Alright, It's time to get started.


Share the love! If you are interested in learning more about how you can connect with your target audience, book a free 30 minute consultation session with me!


All the Best,





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