10 Essential Tips For Local Marketing With Social Media
Social media lets you spread your influence far and wide, but many businesses cater to local customers. How can you use social media to reach your local market?
1. Create a location-based blog.
A location-based blog will land you hits by consumers who are looking for products and services in your area. Include social media links at the end of each post to encourage others to link your blog to their social media accounts. When writing your posts, use SEO keywords to attract local traffic. A coffee shop in Madison should include the keywords "coffee shop" and "Madison" in each post. You can get more specific by including neighborhood and street names in your posts.
2. Offer specials on Foursquare.
Millions of users check in to Foursquare
every day, and if your business has a special offer, you'll capture a larger share of the market. Vary your Foursquare offers to reach different kinds of consumers. Try "buy one get one" deals, discount offers, special treatments ("Check in on foursquare and get an exclusive invitation to Friday's cooking class), and punchcard rewards ("free haircut on your sixth visit").
3. Follow local discussions on Twitter.
Follow local discussion on Twitter to get dialed in to the happenings in your local area. See who is following local companies in your industry, and follow their discussions. You can also try Bing's Twitter maps app
to see Tweets sent from your area.
4. Offer social media incentives.
It's not easy to put a dollar value on your web presence, but some businesses are offering discounts to customers who help with social media marketing. For example, Austin's Face to Face Spa offers discounts to customers who "like" them on Facebook and post recommendations.
5. Launch your mobile website.
Social media is often used on the go, and if you have a mobile website with links from social media, potential customers are more likely to visit your business while they're out and about. Spend the time and money necessary to create a mobile website that is truly helpful to those who are not at home.
6. Monitor reviews.
One of the greatest business benefits of social media is being able to read what people say about you. If you monitor reviews of your business on social media, you can engage in meaningful conversation with those who have given you poor reviews. By addressing their concerns, you can turn nay-sayers into loyalists who will improve your image and give you repeat business.
7. Be consistent.
One of the biggest social media mistakes (and unfortunately, the easiest mistake to make) is being inconsistent. When you're all fired up about marketing, it's easy to spend an hour or so every day monitoring Facebook and Google+, coming up with Foursquare special offers, and posting locale-specific blog posts. But when business is hectic and overwhelming, social media seems to be the first thing people abandon.
8. Create an editorial calendar.
An editorial will do several things to keep you on track. First, it will help you to assign specific social media tasks to certain days, freeing you up from trying to remember when the last time was that you posted to Facebook. It will also allow you to easily delegate social media marketing tasks to other people ("You take care of all scheduled Twitter tasks, and I'll handle LinkedIn."). Just follow your calendar, and stay on top.
8. Post local pics on Pinterest.
If women buy your products and services, you can't afford to ignore Pinterest
, and if you're trying to reach women in your local community, you can reach them by posting local pictures on Pinterest. Brush up on your photography skills, and take photos of the customers in your deli, the scenes in your local park, or the interior design you just created for a prominent client. Always link back to your blog from Pinterest.
You can spend all your time posting and enlarging your social media presence, but social media is also valuable for listening. Listen to what locals are saying. What do they want? How can your business fill that need?
10. Hold a local contest.
Advertise your local contest on every social media outlet your subscribe to. Holding a contest can help you bridge from virtual to physical contact with potential consumers. If you have a veterinary hospital, hold a dog show for locals. Tutoring? Hold an essay contest. Meet your customers face-to-face, and let them get to know you, your products, and services.