Socialize Your Brand
Though social media may have once seemed like just a fad, the sheer number of people participating in these online social platforms indicates otherwise. Out of just over 3 billion active internet users, nearly 2.1 billion have social media accounts … that’s a whopping 70%! 
The increasing popularity of social media has become a game-changer for businesses who want to build a stronger connection with leads and customers. In fact, according to an AdWeek study, 88% of companies are now using social media for marketing purposes. 
Oftentimes, local businesses delay putting together a social media marketing strategy because they do not fully understand how it works or realize its impact (because simply creating a Facebook page is not enough). This digital marketing channel has quickly become a must-have for local businesses who want to remain competitive: it can help increase leads, boost website visits and foot traffic, and enhance customer retention efforts.
Social Media is Important for Local Business
Local businesses often find it difficult to compete with bigger, national brands because large companies typically have larger marketing budgets, which allow them to reach more customers. However, social media marketing is changing the way that local businesses compete by allowing them to attract and maintain new local customers effectively and affordably. Local businesses can work to target new local customers with social media advertising while also listening to, learning from and connecting with their current customers.
Top Social Media Strategies for Local Businesses
The same social media strategies that work for bigger businesses may not have the same effect for small businesses who are trying to reach smaller, more defined local audiences.
Here are some effective strategies that local businesses can use to attract and nurture new customers:
- Deliver targeted ad content such as coupons, discounts, sales or other promotions to local consumers. With sophisticated targeting features, Facebook can help you narrow down your audience by location as well as other features like interests, industry, or even job title. This helps you maximize your ad dollars by ensuring that those who see your ad are those who are most likely to find your product helpful.
- Share your blog posts, news, and any other company information with your followers across channels. Whenever you publish new content or have something to share with your followers, post it to your social media channels. This helps you stay top-of-mind for customers who engage with you online.
- Start a conversation with your customers to learn more about their greatest likes, dislikes, and challenges. Rather than just posting ads to your social media pages, make sure that you are engaging with your customers to learn more about what drives them. Social media is a great channel for gaining new insights and providing quality customer service.
With all the ways that social media can help local businesses build better connections with customers within their community, it’s clear this digital tactic has become more than just a nice-to-have element of your marketing plan, where you can check off a box for having it done. Those who do not work to build a social media presence could very well be losing out on important opportunities to start a conversation with new customers and nurture relationships with existing customers.
1. "33 Social Media Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2015," by Jeff Bullas; jeffbullas.com
2. "88% of Companies are Using Social Media for Marketing [STUDY];" by Shea Bennett; AdWeek; 10/20/14