How Can Social Media Help a Local Business?
Social media is a topic that many local businesses tend to ignore or use improperly. This means they may give up too soon if they don’t see the ROI they hoped for, missing out on an untapped audience. So how should business owners engage in social media and have a better experience with it?
Here are some helpful suggestions:
Know Your Audience
Who are you targeting? Knowing your target audience can make all the difference. Do your homework. Most importantly, make sure you target those in your local area. Don’t be afraid to connect with local communities, clubs, organizations, and businesses on your social platform of choice so that you can contribute to the local culture.
Consistent posting times, consistent tone and content, and consistent engagement help your audience identify your brand.
Strong, Engaging Content
You know your local community better than anyone. You can create online connections by sharing local stories, events, and posting about things that affect your local area. It’s also a great idea to create content that’s designed to get people talking in a positive way. Ask a question, conduct a survey, host a contest. There are many other ways to get your audience engaged with your social media account. Don’t hesitate to get creative!
Have fun with your audience and deepen your bond. A local business is a community business – get your community involved! You could offer a discount to anyone who takes a picture of themselves using your product. Use the 140 character Twitter experience to invoke your customers’ inner storytellers! Ask your customers to come up with a 140 character story centered around your promotion, brand, product, or service.
It’s important that you provide value to your audience. You can share fun blog posts, memes, snack or party ideas for an upcoming holiday and more. If you have a local event going on and know volunteers are needed, or tickets are limited, share it along with the contact information for the coordinator.
You can design your ads to cater to locals, only. This ensures that only people in your local area (and their friends of friends) will see your content. It’s good to start with a small ad budget and see how it does. You can always adjust as needed. Remember to keep your original goal in mind during your ad campaigns. If you lose sight of your goal, your budget may spiral out of control and you may not get the quality followers or fans you’d originally intended.
Encourage Local Walk-in Customers and Clients to Follow Your Social Media
Your regular customers can be a powerful force in gathering followers, likes, friends, reviews, and testimonials. Use signage and window decals to create awareness about your social media accounts. You can use a QR code, as well. A QR code allows a person to take a picture of the code with their phone and connect to your social media pages quickly and easily.
Reward Social Interaction
Reward your customers or clients for interacting with your social media accounts. An example would be offering a special discount, free drink, or a small form of appreciation to a person who checks into your store via Facebook. If you host a live event, get people talking and reward their participation with a discount code or special offer.
Build a Campaign
You can build a campaign in your local area. Raising money for charity, for disaster assistance, your own social media campaigns (like holidays), and more can be done easily through social media channels. No matter what campaign you build, make sure you create a primary hashtag that encompasses it. Some social media platforms allow you to search within content for specific hashtags.
Social media can open so many doors for your local business. Take the time to build a solid social media platform full of loyal, local customers.