Running a local business?
We know it’s hard and it may seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Among the million other things on your plate is promoting your business.
Nobody reads the newspaper anymore and TV ads are overpriced.
How about social media?
There are nearly 2.5 billion people on Facebook alone, so yes, social media can be an effective way to promote your local business.
But here’s the thing, pretty much every business is on social media already.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Social media is one of those things that everyone thinks they’re an expert in, so they always want to add their two cents. As a result, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.
So I’m here to clarify everything for you.
Let’s start with the basics.
Know Your Audience + Invest In The Right Channels
Think about who you’re looking to reach on social media.
Outline a basic buyer persona by identifying your ideal customers’ demographics and interests that pertain to your business. From here, you can research the social networks that best appeal to your intended customers.
If you’re unsure how to proceed with the whole “buyer persona” thing, reach out to us and we’ll help you for free.
Once you know where your audience is, the next step is reaching them.
We’ve explained how businesses can choose their ideal social media channels in the past, so we recommend brushing up on how these social networks differ first.
When you’re feeling confident, click the social network(s) you’ll be investing in for the best tips!
Here’s the thing. Facebook marketing has evolved over the years and in the case of local business, it’s become more of a resource than an exposure magnet.
In other words, more people will be checking your business’ Facebook page to find specific information than anything else.
Think of your company page like a social business listing.
Optimize Your Page For Search
Facebook’s search feature is growing with no sign of slowing down, creating yet another avenue for people to find your page.
Start by thoughtfully writing your “About Us” page with keywords that pertain to your business.
Make sure these are added correctly:
- Business Address
- Business Phone Number
- Business Hours
Accrue Positive Reviews
What’s one thing you do when you hear about a new product? You check the reviews, which can easily impact anyone’s decision to buy or not.
Getting positive reviews on your Facebook page can help in two big ways.
1. Reviews of friends popup on people’s news feeds. So each good review is free positive exposure!
2. More positive reviews will improve your business’ credibility and encourage more foot traffic and sales.
Utilize Your CTA
There’s a blue call to action button on the top/right corner of every business page.
This button can be used to send visitors to your website, subscribe to your newsletter, send you a message and more. Choose the right function that best supports your business objectives.
We get lots of digital marketing questions, so we encourage people to message us directly.
Instagram is a great way to promote your business’ brand and personality.
Utilize Local Influencers
One of the best ways to gain local awareness is to work with local influencers. Getting “shout outs” serve as major opportunities to leverage attention for traffic and followers.
Do a quick Google search to find local influencers in your area and reach out to them. Keep in mind, micro influencers (>100K followers) are easier to reach and will be more likely to work with smaller companies.
The thing about Instagram is that users want to know what’s happening now.
Share daily stories to keep followers updated and engaged on what’s going on at your store or office. People tap through their stories more than ever, so this is a huge opportunity to turn followers into customers.
Mixing things up is key. Sure, people want to be notified when you’re running a sale, but it’s not all about aggressive sales pitches. Try sharing humorous stories, be relatable.
Test different types of stories to see what your audience likes best!
Research Top Local Hashtags
Add local hashtags to your posts for a farther reach. Make sure each hashtag is relevant and not overly vague, this way you’ll have a higher chance of rank well on the feeds for each hashtag.
An Extra Tip For Facebook & Instagram
Consider allocating an advertising budget for Facebook and Instagram. While there are opportunities for organic success, your chances skyrocket when you invest in advertising.
Allocate a small budget for testing ads on each platform and see if they turn into traffic, followers, or sales.
For beginner advertisers, we suggest optimizing ads for these placements News Feeds and Stories.
Like all social networks, Pinterest is unique.
It mainly appeals to people looking for a creative outlet. People looking for ideas.
Let’s get inspirational!
Given Pinterest’s crafty nature, it’s very interest-oriented.
Start with categories relevant to your business, then explore topics that relate to these. The idea is to find ways to insert your business in such niches.
Having an idea of what kind of categories your audience follows can help shape your content strategy.
Optimize Your Boards
There are tons of boards for all kinds of interests, so getting yours to stand out should be a priority.
Create keyword-friendly boards that (1) align with the interests you’re after and (2) are often searchable. Think of inspiration, tips, and DIY – the kind of things your audience might search for.
Pinterest’s Guided Search can be your best friend here.
Getting eyes on your boards will mean nothing if your content isn’t resonating with your audience.
Don’t copy what other people are posting. Instead, research the kind of things they’re posting, then put your own unique spin on your content to better align with your brand.
At the end of the day, consider the content you’re providing. Ask yourself – why would someone follow my boards? What value does my content provide? Be your biggest critic.
Utilize Rich Pins
So you’ve gotten exposure and your content is starting to build traction. Now it’s time to turn some of this earned influence into foot traffic or eCommerce sales.
You can dynamically embed valuable information from your website into rich pins. These populate relevant information from your website to rich pins that increase clicks.
Populate headlines and article descriptions for blog posts or pricing information for product pins. You can also create place pins that add a map, address and phone number to promote foot traffic!
So there you have it, the best ways to promote your local business with social media on a budget. Remember to consider your long-term goals and think about how social media can directly improve your bottom line. Every move should be calculated to improve the chances of success.
Have any questions?
Our team of experts has been helping small businesses thrive on social media for years. Feel free to contact us today if you need any help, even if it’s just a quick question. Can’t wait? Give us a call at (800)-978-3417!