Multi-location networks on Instagram: 4 best practices to boost your in-store traffic

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best practices Instagram

Instagram offers multiple ways to visually construct the image of your brand to (potential) customers. Furthermore, due to  the different localization options, it is not a tool to miss out on for multi-location/franchise networks! Consider the advantages you can already leverage from the national page of your brand. Imagine translating this in to a successful local strategy for each of your point of sales (POS) in your network. Find out more about the advantages and the best practices for local instagram pages in this article.

In this article discover:

About Instagram

With over 500 million daily users and driven by rich, high-quality visual content, Instagram gives brands a tool to reach their local community and deliver captivating content to boost sales and inspire loyalty. Furthermore, Instagram offers multiple localization options which create great opportunities to efficiently reach more qualified clients near your points of sales.  Therefore, aside from a strategy for your national pages, you should also consider an adapted communication plan for your local POS in a franchise network to make the most out of your presence on this platform. 

However, which strategy to apply for these specific pages? What type of content to upload? What is the best time to post? What about hashtags? Even though your strategy should stem from the specificities of your brand and industry, there are some general “rules” to keep in mind to ensure an optimal performance of your local accounts. Discover the best practices on Instagram for your locations in a franchise network in this article!  

Want to know more about why to consider Instagram for your points of sales? Check out our previous article!

Franchise Marketing 

As aforementioned, the specificities of your brand and industry should be kept in mind when building a performing Instagram strategy for the locations in your franchise network. 

But what is franchise marketing? It is quite similar to small business marketing due to its shared goals of raising brand awareness in a specific market and driving sales. Additionally, when starting any social media marketing plan, the first step is to define and map out goals.

The difference in franchise marketing lies within the  brand-specific rules that need to be uniformly applied throughout all the local accounts. Furthermore, creating a social media strategy as a franchise comes with a stack of extra considerations. Unlike other small businesses, you’re not planning for one business: you need to craft a compelling social media presence for every franchise location

By keeping in mind the best practices discussed below consistently to all your locations you are off to a great start. 

Best practices on instagram

1. Timing is key

In order to touch as many people in your target audience as  possible, you need to find the right time to post. The best way to find the ideal posting time is by testing the timing of content in order to see which post time generates the most audience engagement

Nonetheless, research takes time and asks for specific resources that might not always be available. Luckily Sprout Social conducted a global study on the right time to post. 

Across most social platforms (Including Instagram), Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 or 10:00 were observed to be the highest engagement times. However, according to Hubspot, the best time to post on Instagram is Tuesday between 11:00 and 14:00.

For weekdays it is preferable to post within the timeframe from 11:00 to 14:00 for increased engagement. Furthermore, by posting earlier in the day, accounts benefit from less competition. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that this also fluctuates per industry and depends on the specific audience of your pages.

Additionally, it is recommended to post consistently. According to a study from Digital Information World covering 14 industries, brands share on average four Instagram posts per week. However, to get better results, posting on a daily basis is preferable. Nonetheless, the best amount of posts for your account is the number that you can keep up with consistently.

2. Engaging content

If your local franchise has to comply with the standard of your brand, your content should be engaging, visually attractive yet adapted to the local tendencies.There’s nothing worse than generic, dull content. A combination between national and local content is therefore recommended. Furthermore, having a well curated Instagram grid where your posts are organized and look in sync can be very visually appealing.

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Pizza Hut Oudenaarde, Instagram, 2022

Additionally, use your local pages to share an authentic story. By using Instagram Stories, this is a slideshow or video that remains visible on your profile for 24 hours, you can provide customers a with a peek behind-the-scenes of your brand. Since stories are not on the normal Instagram feed, it enables businesses to post more frequently. Examples of content for stories are:

  • Photos or videos of in-store events, such as a product launch or a special sale.
  • Product tutorials, showing customers why they need your product and how they can use it.
  • Anticipation building for a new product by showing bits and pieces of it before it launches.

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CKS, Instagram, 2022

Furthermore you should organize these stories in highlights on top of your page. These are the cover images that give your profile visitors a sneak peak into what they’ll find in each Highlight. It is the image you see within the Instagram Highlight bubble before you click in.

Make sure to add an adapted cover photo for each highlight  and take advantage of this opportunity by custom-making your own brand approved graphics.

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Färm, Instagram, 2022

3. To  #Hashtag or not to #Hashtag?

One of the most simple ways to organically boost the visibility of your businesses’ content on Instagram is by using branded hashtags. When creating one branded hashtag for your business, you can centralize every post shared by your franchisee’s on Instagram. These hashtags can be promoted in the bio of your account, displayed in your point of sales and on packaging. Furthermore, you can encourage customers to use this hashtag by sharing customer-generated content on Instagram. 

Branded hashtags can be combined with the following popular hashtags to increase visibility: 

  • Product or service hashtags: basic keywords to describe your product or service, like #handbag or #icecream
  • Niche hashtags: a little more specific, showing where you fit in the context of your industry, like #travelblogger or #foodblogger
  • Industry Instagram community hashtags: Communities come together on Instagram, and these hashtags help you find and join them. Think #gardenersofinstagram or #craftersofinstgram
  • Special event or seasonal hashtags: can refer to real holidays or seasons, like #summerdays, or they can be used for all those National [Thing] Day holidays, like #nationalicecreamday 
  • Location hashtags: Even if you geo-tag your Instagram post, it is still a best practice to include a hashtag that refers to your location, like #brusselseats
  • Daily hashtags: Every day has plenty of its own hashtags, from #MondayBlues to #SundayFunday. 
  • Acronym hashtags:  the best-known acronym hashtag is #TBT for Throwback Thursday. Other popular acronym hashtags include #OOTD for outfit of the day, #FBF for flashback Friday

Concerning the number of hashtags to add per post, there is no right amount for every business. However, according to Hootsuite, 11 hashtags is a good number to start with. Additionally, the most common number of hashtags to use on Instagram is between 1 and 3.

4. Location, location, location

Aside from adding location related hashtags, it is essential to integrate the location of your store in each post. You can do this by adding it in the section indicated in the example below:

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Carrefour Express Lovendegem, Instagram, 2022

Additionally, posts that contain a tagged location can lead to an increased engagement by 79% compared to posts without a tagged location. Furthermore, people who click on a location can view all the other posts that have been uploaded on that location. In sum, more exposure means more customers and more customers leads to more sales.


Instagram offers multiple ways to get in touch with your customers and boost your sales. Aside from positioning your brand on a national level, you should also consider a strategy for each point of sales in your franchise network. Why you might ask?

  • Due to its localization options, Instagram is a great tool to get in touch easily with your local audience. 
  • Due to its visual orientation, you can easily narrate an authentic image of each point of sales while respecting the national brand guidelines. 

Nonetheless, creating a tailor made strategy for your points of sale in a franchise network does come with a few challenges. Crafting and updating a compelling social media presence for every franchise location might seem time-consuming. However, there are tools which allow you to easily organize your content for multiple locations at the same time. 

Furthermore, once a strategy is put in place, there are some best practices to apply in order to make the most out of your presence on Instagram:

  • Monitor your audience engagement to find the best time to post.  
  • Use your local pages to share an authentic story. Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand. 
  • Use specific hashtags to organically boost the visibility of your businesses’ content. 
  • Add your location to each post to increase your engagement  

Intrigued and driven by this article, but don’t know where to start? Let’s unfold the custom Instagram strategy for your multi location network!