Local businesses have it great! Thanks to the advent of the digital world, a local business owner can grow his or her customer base with very little effort and a lot of smart thinking. One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of the local business is social media marketing or SMM. Here are a few of the most important tips as far as SMM is concerned.
Channels support local businesses
Almost all social media channels have dedicated products aimed at local business owners. Get familiar with these products. So if it is a Foursquare Business Listing or becoming a Local Influencer on LinkedIn, you can use multiple channels to:
- Create local meetup groups.
- Produce public events for your locality.
- Display local awareness ads – on Facebook.
- Get your local presence up and running on Pinterest.
- Make business pages on channels such as Google+ and so on.
- Optimize all your profiles for local searches too.
You should get into details as far as your customer base is concerned. This will help you to create groups based on interest. For instance, if you sell bakeware, why not create local groups of people who love to bake. This group will talk about their interests and in most cases, will buy their bakeware from your shop. The point of such groups is not obvious selling of your brand but being a part of a conversation where you have every opportunity to become a thought leader.
Every channel has its own set of written and unspoken rules. Get to know the channels before you put your local business on them. You do not have to be on all the channels at once because; remember; it is not just a question of creating a profile on these channels – you also have to converse with everybody and monitor conversations about yourself as well.
Here are a few tips for a few channels to get you started:
- Facebook is best for building brand loyalty but may not always work out for customer acquisition.
- Pinterest gives you a very interesting way in which you can create, sustain and use content.
- Instagram is the place to be if you are all about photographs and images.
- Look for industry-specific forums such as Intuit for accounting to foster your business as well.
You have to see what your competition is doing. Incidentally, your competition may not always be apparent. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner, your competition is not limited to other restaurants in the area. You could also have:
- Food delivery services.
- Drive ins.
- Food trucks and so on.
So you have to check out what everybody is doing and how you can improve your communication in such a manner that you retain the interest of people.
Finally, it is good to have a blog too. This is a great platform to share all kinds of content even if it is not directly related to your business. It gives you multiple forms of engagement with your local markets.