We’d been waiting for it to launch for several months, but Instagram is finally launching its Location pages with accurate local information about the points of sale in question (address, geolocation, opening hours, phone number, website, etc.). In this article we explain how they work, what they are used for, how to create them and how to update them.
Location pages and Instagram accounts: what's the difference?
We’ve long been familiar with Instagram accounts such as the Burger King account, which has 1.6 million followers, or the Fnac, Promod or even LCL accounts, with each brand operating its own Instagram account with its own set of posts, followers and followings. It is rare, though, for every point of sale in a national network to have its own Instagram account that is well managed, with regular posts of high quality. If we take the case of French hairdresser Franck Provost, for example, the main account has 53,000 followers and very high-quality posts, most of them by professional photographers. If you are a Franck Provost client, however, you are actually visiting one of the local hairdressers belonging to the network,
which will often not have an Instagram account of its own. In this case, you may want to share photos of your new haircut when you leave the salon, or look for inspiration before you get there!
With this in mind, Instagram has created a new type of local page that is generated automatically for ‘Locations’ that people can relate to. This means that if you visit the Franck Provost salon in Orléans, you can view photos posted by users—often other clients—who have tagged themselves at this particular branch on Instagram, even though this establishment does not have an Instagram account and isn’t even aware that it appears on there.
The image above shows the difference between an Instagram account, on the left, and a Location page with user photos, on the right. Having Location pages in addition to the brand’s national account, therefore, allows users to do the following:
Know exactly where a photo was taken (and possibly visit the establishment in question) and share recommended establishments with their followers
Access local information relating to a particular point of sale in order to potentially contact or visit the establishment in question
Last but not least, it is now possible, when searching on Instagram, to search by either Account, Hashtag or Location. In the above example of Fnac, we can see that while the national account still appears first, the Location pages are starting to feature prominently in the Instagram structure.
How are photos added to your local pages?
As shown above, photos that Instagram users have tagged themselves in at your establishment automatically appear on your Location page without any monitoring on your part. In this case, a photo of the point of sale was posted from the Instagram account of the client company, Cemex, and got over 1,500 likes and numerous comments, meaning that the restaurant Ducasse Sur Seine Instagram account got a popularity boost thanks to the Cemex Instagram account, as this is where the photo was tagged!
Instagram users are geolocated when posting photos. Just before they upload a photo, Instagram will ask the user to add a location to tag themselves at, and even offers a list of suggestions based on their geolocation. In the example above, this is the second mobile screenshot where the location ‘Paris La Tour Eiffel’ has been suggested. The user can also search for a specific location to tag themselves at, as shown in the last screenshot.
How do I create and update an Instagram page?
Whether it's to showcase your products, store concept, event, employees or promotions, Instagram Location pages are now a wonderful opportunity to attract customers to your points of sale and raise your brand's local profile (not to mention the SEO aspect).
That said, many networks have Instagram Location pages that are only partially complete or poorly managed, or display incorrect local information, be it the phone number, opening hours or website (see the example below of data that can be found on Instagram - up to date)
Instagram has been owned by Facebook since 2012, which has resulted in further and on-going integration between the two companies. While the Waze POS database is not linked to Google's despite the fact that it was acquired by the latter in 2008, the relationship between Facebook and Instagram is somewhat different.
It is currently NOT POSSIBLE, for example, to create, claim, delete, monitor or edit the information displayed on an Instagram Location page. Instagram's local data system is in fact directly linked to that of Facebook and to Facebook Places pages, meaning that an Instagram page will display the same information as its Facebook counterpart, as shown in the example below.
If you want to keep your Instagram pages up to date, then, it is important that you manage your visibility on Facebook properly via local Places pages.
For networks of several dozen or even hundreds of points of sale, this can become a very complex task, especially when you want to update your information on other platforms like Waze, Foursquare, Google My Business or Apple Maps as well. Here at Partoo, we manage the local pages of over 50,000 points of sale across some 20 or so platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, automatically.