Creating Small Business Social Media Accounts That Attract Local Customers

By on November 30, 2018

 Image Source: Nellis Airforce Base

With more than three billion people accessing social media, there is no denying that this valuable tool is a must for businesses. But depending on who you’re targeting, your approach to social media will vary widely. Each social media account should be personalized to your specific demographics, including whether or not your customer base is local, national or international.

There are plenty of reasons why, as a small business, you should prioritize building a solid social network. And, since you’re reading this, you probably already know that. In this post, we’ll skip the why and jump straight into how you do it.

Boss the Basics

Let’s get back to basics. Before you go overboard with a complicated post schedule and targeted ads, make sure that your basic profile information is accurate and optimized. Simple elements like your business address, website, opening times and telephone number are crucial. Every ad campaign that attracts a customer will be rendered useless if they try to engage with your brand, only to find out the information you have provided is a dud.

If you’re lacking the basics like an area code number, it is definitely beneficial to adopt one. Possessing a local business number resonates with customers who live within the radius you’re targeting. This is a prefix that they will recognize, remember and consider trustworthy, which will go a long way to building long-term relationships with your customer base.

Dish out Deals

All business dish out deals, right? But, locals love to feel like they are being prioritized above others. This can be done through loyalty schemes, social ad targeting or door-to-door promotion. A local promotion is also a great way to shout about your brand to nearby customers and persuade them to actively engage with your business. They might have considered you in the past, but that extra 10 percent off may be the clincher that persuades them to bite.

Dishing out deals via a social media campaign is also a great way to increase your website traffic and follower rate.

The idea of offering exclusive local deals can be taken even further using websites like Groupon. When you run a Groupon campaign, your deal will appear in users’ searches. If you really need to push a new product or service to your demographic, this might be a smart way to do so, and you may even end up appearing on their social feed, too.

Live for Local Content

Now’s the time to get into the nitty-gritty of your content calendar. Localized content, often referred to as native advertising, is a sure-fire way of effectively capturing local users’ attention. However, this action requires a little more expertise and study of your surroundings.

Localized content can contain slang, common behaviours or reference to local events to perk a reader’s interest. This will be much easier for small business owners who have lived and breathed the local culture. If you’re a startup in an unfamiliar town or city, you can use Google News to monitor viral content in your area.

Chat with Your Customers

Unlike big corporate businesses, small brands have the upper hand when it comes to customer communication. If a customer takes the time to engage with your page by leaving a comment, make sure you reply to them.

Don’t craft a generic reply that you can use repeatedly. Other customers will see this, and it’ll make your brand look lazy and indicate that you don’t truly value your customers. Instead, make sure that each response is personalized to their query, using their first name to address them. It’s a small bit of effort, but it’ll go a long way. According to some marketing guides, you have just 24 hours to respond to messages before they become overlooked, which means most of your time spent working on your page should be focused on keeping up with recent activity and reacting to it.

If you want to go the extra mile, live stream features — available on many networks, including Facebook and Instagram — allow brands to interact with customers on the spot. This works well, as it retains engagement much more effectively than a fragmented text conversation ever could. Some companies even host live competitions, which can provide a huge spike to your follower count. If you do this, however, make sure you continue to produce engaging, relevant content, otherwise, those increased follower numbers will be superficial, and won’t create a positive ROI.

Location, Location, Location

If you’re a local business, it’s simple — focus on your location. When running any sort of ad campaign, make sure that you target a specific segment of users based primarily on their geographic location. You can then filter further to target individual interests and demographic traits, but, most importantly, the individual needs to be able to reach you in order to purchase what you’re selling.

Perhaps one of the most exciting recent developments for local business marketing is the introduction of Snapchat’s Geofilters. This allows businesses to purchase a customized filter, which is only available to Snapchat users in a chosen radius. This is especially useful if your small business hosts local events, as it highly engages attendees. People will also naturally share your business name and logo across their own social media profiles, giving you the benefit of additional exposure.

 

About Rory Whelan

Rory Whelan is a communications expert with over twenty years of experience in consultancy, television, media and telecoms. Since 2012 he has held the role of marketing manager for eReceptionist, leading the product to become the favorite call management company for UK SMEs.
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