Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat…all the major social media sites have been touted as the ultimate world-wide connector—and for good reason. On Facebook alone, statistics show that more than one billion people around the world are active users. As great as that huge statistic is, if you’re a local business owner or manager, it does little toward meeting your goal of using social media to connect with your local customers and, ultimately, increase your sales. That’s when it’s time to use a more targeted approach to connect with your local customers on social media so they come back—and to attract new customers in the process.
Share posts and tweets about local events.
If your company is an active part of your community, show it. Share posts and tweets about local events in your area. This tactic has a two-fold benefit: 1) it shows you are involved in your local community 2) it gives your customers information they want to see. This strategy comes with a note of caution, however: be smart about how much you share local events. You don’t want to push your followers away because they are sick of the same old posts about the same events over and over again. Share a post or tweet every once in awhile to showcase the event, or to make your customers aware of a need in the community (and a chance to help).
Use social ads.
There is value in using social ads to reach your local customers. Make sure your ads are targeted locally and relevant (if you don’t know how, outsource your efforts). Don’t pound your audience over the head with endless advertisements; use ads strategically to boost relevant events or information you know your customers want to see (but can’t because of the decrease in organic business page reach).
Embrace local reviews.
A positive review of your product is worth its weight in gold—especially in the eyes of potential customers looking for a local service or product that can fix their problem. Enjoy every positive local review, and ask for more. Make an in-person ask or a sign requesting your customers leave reviews after you’ve helped them, and respond to their reviews and requests as soon as possible (good customer service and interactions spur more!).
Make your live video feeds and videos local news-worthy.
Video is the wave of the future, so use it to your advantage. Produce videos that catch your audience’s attention about local going-ons and information they care about. If you have an event, involve your participants in your video for a fun interaction. If you don’t have the time or the know-how to make that happen, contract your efforts out to the marketing experts that do.
Integrate social media with other local marketing efforts.
One of the most effective ways to use social media to reach your local customers is to integrate it with your other local marketing efforts (we’ve given you a full list of ways to reach your local customers). One idea: use your social media channels to drive people to the gallery on your website or use your social media to showcase your content marketing efforts (which optimizes your website for search engines). Here’s how to craft a strategic integrated marketing plan that accomplishes your local goal. Social media helps you connect the dots—between your marketing efforts and you and your local customers.