how social media is enhancing these local businesses
Are you a local business owner?
Do you actively use Social Media to engage and build relations with potential customers in your town or city?
You are robbing yourself of some great opportunities if you are not taking full advantage of Social Media to promote your local business.
Social Media is a gold mine for small businesses that rely on word of mouth marketing and long term relationships to grow.
Growth of local Business depends on who you know in your community and what’s better than Social Media to get to know more people?
If you are still in doubt and waiting for one final push to start using Social Media, let’s have a look at some examples of local businesses killing it on Social Media.
They are consistent:
Don’t wait to get a lot of fans or followers before you start posting regularly to your Social Media pages.
Just set up a business page and start updating on a regular basis because local customers will prefer to deal with a business that is approachable, both online and offline.
Here’s the analysis of a local business page that offers domestic services like cleaning, gardening, home removals, and the likes.
As you can see, they are posting more than once on a daily basis and they are mixing it up nicely between photos, videos, and links.
It doesn’t have to be your own content.
You can also share great content from web (It’s known as content Curation).
These businesses are also cross-promoting the content between different social media channels.
Cross promotions or Content Repurposing allows you to use one piece of content on many different channels for maximum exposure.
You don’t necessarily need to create unique content for each and every platform.
Just modify it a little bit and use on different channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or SlideShare.
They are focusing on building relationships:
On social media, put your entire focus on building strong relationships with your customers.
That’s the only way to convert a follower into customer and a one-time customer into regular client.
As earlier mentioned, it’s all about who you know in your community.
The more people you know the better your chances of getting new business from referrals and word of mouth.
Even if they don’t need your services, they will recommend or refer a friend who’s looking for a similar product or service.
Relationship building starts with great customer service.
Smart businesses respond in a jiffy when someone leaves a message or mention them in a tweet.
They don’t mind giving the limelight to their customers by sharing their photos or comments.
Here’s another example.
A happy customer posts a positive review and the business makes the most of it by giving a public shout-out (and highlighting the review in their post).
Another way to build relationship is to encourage your customers to share personal stories, opinions, or ideas.
They are Promoting the business without being too salesy:
You must not think of Social Media as an advertising channel.
However, you can promote your business without going overboard.
Here’s how a local kitchenware business is doing it by sharing special discounts and promo code with their fans.
You can also share the photos from your office or premises.
It will add a lot of credibility and they will be tempted to visit your store or office in person.
Here’s another way of promoting your business.
A professional photographer has created this board on Pinterest to highlight her professional achievements.
You can also use Social Media for recruitment purpose.
In fact, you can save money on job advertisements by posting directly to your social media page.
Similarly, you can announce an upcoming event or sales.
They are showing the human side of their business:
Smart local businesses are not shy of showing the human faces behind their business.
You can do it by highlighting your staff and team members every once in a while.
You can also share personal stories and opinions.
Just avoid political triggers or controversial topics but there’s nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts on a topic which is not relevant to your business.
There’s no need to talk about your business or profession all the time.
You should not come across as a robot.
You can also draw attention to the human side of your business by participating or talking about a local event.
And when there’s a special occasion like Christmas or Halloween, you should be the first to share greetings and best wishes with your customers.
They are trying to engage people:
Social Media is not supposed to be a one-way communication.
It’s a two-way conversation.
You need to engage your customers and encourage them to interact with your posts.
Engagement rate is one of the biggest factors that affect your organic reach.
The easiest way to make them respond is to ask questions.
Even better, you can create polls or surveys to make it easier for them to respond.
Takeaways for Local Businesses:
Hopefully, you have got a good dose of motivation by now.
Let’s recap the lessons that we have learned so far.
- Post great content on a consistent basis.
- Try different types of content that includes but is not limited to graphics, videos, infographic, and links to articles or blog posts.
- Make sure that you are sending out greetings and best wishes on special occasions like Christmas, Halloween, Mothers Day, Valentines, etc.
- Collect social proof while you are at it. When you get a good review or a thank-you tweet from a client, share it on all of your profiles.
- Share photos of your staff, office, and premises to build trust and credibility.
- Encourage them to share your posts with their friends by offering discounts or launching a contest.
- Ask questions, start polls, or initiate discussions to improve engagement rate.
- Respond to all of their messages, mentions, and queries as soon as possible
Do that and you will live happily ever after.