Local businesses that don’t use social media platforms are missing out on opportunities that could attract more customers and help them reach new markets. When you want a local business to thrive, you have to include social media in your marketing plan. Start with these items below:
Keep up With Current Trends
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When you look at the number of people using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, it quickly becomes obvious that businesses need to make this an essential part of their marketing strategy.
A local search study conducted by Localeze, comScore, and 15 Miles shows that 63 percent of the 4,000 people surveyed prefer using local businesses that offer information on social networks.
Websites like Facebook have become so prevalent, that people simply expect to find everything they need there. If they don’t find a business, they simply move on to a similar option that maintains a better online presence.
Establish a Brand Identity
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Local businesses face a lot of competition from larger corporations that often sell products at lower prices. As a smaller business, you have to convince potential customers that it makes sense for them to come to your store instead of that big box store with the big discounts.
Establishing a brand identity can help bring in customers who crave a personal shopping experience. Social media lets you create a personality for your business. Instead of a faceless corporation, you can make your local business seem more organic.
Using Twitter, for instance, gives your business a voice. Choose a voice that targets and motivates your intended audience.
Reach Out to New Customers
Social media lets people share content with each other just by clicking a button. Local businesses can use this trait to reach new customers. To do this, though, you need compelling content.
Shareable content isn’t necessarily as difficult or expensive as you might think. Try using YouTube to let your customers get a behind-the-scenes look at your store. If you have a creative spark, you could even spice things up with music, a plot, or a humorous script.
If you make something that appeals to your customers, their more likely to share it with other people. That exposes your name to more people, who could potentially become your newest customers.
Get Your Customers Involved
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If you’re going to get the most out of Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and other social media outlets, then you have to be social. When you create content about your business, you’re not sending it out to an audience that never has a chance to respond. You’re communicating with people who can offer their own comments and suggestions.
Local businesses have several options that can get their customers more involved. You could set up a contest for people who share a photo or video advertising your business. Those who share the content get a chance to win a gift card. You can also use services like Twitter and Foursquare to advertise limited-time deals. That can boost business on slow days.
Social media will continue to become more important to businesses of all sizes.
Which aspects of social media serve your business best?
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Fantastic post, Tim. Love the images as well. It’s important that small businesses keep up to date with the latest trends in their particular area. It’s increases their visibility and opens up more opportunity for growth. Thanks for sharing this great info with us.
Great post Tim with some easy to follow tips.
The sooner businesses realise the importance of social media the better. It’s not something that you can just dabble in though; if you are going to do it, then do it properly. I suggest having a strategy in place that even goes as far as planning what you are going to post and when you are going to post it.
Fantastic tips on using social media for local business. I like the idea of a contest.
Great tips for the local business owner new to social media! To expand on the idea of getting your customers involved, here are a few more ideas:
Create a poll – Get advice, preference and/or feedback from clients while engaging with them online.
Value add – Integrate a coupon, bonus, or purchase with purchase with your social media. Be sure to include a code so you can track where people are coming from.
Ask for help – Want to know what your customers want more of? Ask! Start a dialog by asking a question.
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Reach Out to New Customers!! this what i like most it teaches us not to focus only to those people that is in our vicinity but also to those people who don’t have the idea of this kind of business.
What a great article to address the basics of why a small local business needs to integrate social media in their marketing strategy. I have a friend who insists that everyone else must be doing something illegal because his business is not booming and he still uses the PennySaver (direct mail advertiser). I am including your article in my newsletter that targets small business owners and to be honest some are still on the fence about using social media. Thank you Timothy.
A brand is really important. it is not enough to reach out to the people near you. It is also important to set a fixed image for your business so that people can understand what you do and what you stand for.