You hear a lot about the power of SEO to draw in local customers, but can social media have a similar influence? Adding a local focus to your current social strategy has the potential to raise brand awareness and increase engagement with customers in the immediate area. Make local social media marketing work for you by harnessing some of its most beneficial aspects.
Social media is all about a community mindset, so it makes sense to use social platforms to market to people living in physical communities. Having a strong online community means local customers already have their eyes on your social media feeds and are waiting for the updates you post. Limited-time offers, daily specials and one-day-only sales are of interest to people living within driving distance of your business, and this is the sort of information they look for from the brands they engage with on a regular basis.
Posts announcing events or details pertinent only to certain locations attract a more relevant audience when you target them to those areas. Take advantage of location-based tools on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to show location-specific updates to groups of customers who are in the position to take immediate advantage of them. By narrowing down your target to specific cities or towns, you increase the power of your posts to influence local purchasing decisions.
Turning Events into Experiences
Today’s brands are doing everything possible to transform ordinary events into memorable experiences for their customers, and customers are responding with increased brand loyalty. The local aspect of social media is an especially powerful way to harness this trend. With the emerging popularity of live streaming video on Facebook, Periscope and Instagram, it’s possible to broadcast milestones simply by tapping a few buttons on your phone or tablet. This lets locals “attend” events even when they can’t be there in person and provides an incentive to stop in as soon as they can.
Encourage customers who do come to in-store events to create their own content and share it with a location-based branded hashtag. By linking the online social environment in which your audience spends a great deal of time to real events, you generate excitement about your brand among a wider group of local followers.
Local Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Every time customers share photos from events at your store, leave a review on your Facebook page or recommend your products to their social media followers, your company benefits from free advertising. Encourage the practice by offering special deals your audience can share with friends and family via social platforms.
Pinning Down New Leads
Lead generation and networking take on special importance in local marketing. Meeting people in person is a good way to solidify business relationships, and LinkedIn makes it possible to find potential leads with their search function. Social Media Examiner suggests setting up ongoing searches for people whose professions make them likely candidates for your products and services. Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook are also good ways to connect with and market to potential customers.
As with all marketing, targeting a local audience via social media requires knowing the behaviors and desires of your ideal customers and catering to what they want. Taking a targeted approach allows you to tap into a market segment with local influence and bring greater awareness of your brand to people living and shopping nearby. With 78 percent of the U.S. population reporting they have at least one social profile, adopting a local strong strategy has the potential to make your business the talk of the town.