Many local business owners I speak to don’t see the need for social media.
A lot of them think it’s too time-consuming and don’t see the point in paying someone to do it for them. Social media is supposed to be free after all isn’t it?
But the main reason they give me however, is that they’re doing just fine doing what they’ve always done.
In short they just can’t really see what the fuss is all about.
Of the ones that are active on social media most of them can’t really put their hand on their heart and say that it’s helping them grow their business for sure.
It’s like they’re there so that they can put a tick in the ‘social media’ box.
Does that sound familiar?
As a business owner who cares more about growing my business than I do about Facebook Likes and the number of tweets we get, it’s worth remembering that 1.71 billion active Facebook users and 313 million for Twitter can’t all be wrong.
With 450 million users and having been recently acquired by Microsoft, LinkedIn is the place to be for Professionals and Business Owners like you.
Now I’m the first to agree that there’s no disputing the power of offline marketing, but based on the sheer numbers alone, surely social media marketing is worth a go, right?
So let’s have a look at a few ways you can use some of the top social media platforms to generate ROI in the form of walk-in customers from social media.
Despite the large number of monthly users, Facebook’s organic reach remains low. As a result, most of your fans don’t see your messages. Not to mention that only a fraction live near your premises and are likely to actually walk in and buy something.
Lucky for you, there’re ways you can overcome this low reach and engage with your local fans on Facebook:
When someone “checks in” your business, your news feed visibility increases. This is therefore a great way to boost your business page presence on Facebook.
Encourage people to Check In your business by using incentives such as discounts or free products. You can also use visual displays on your page to remind your customers to Check In.
Boosting Your Posts
Boosting posts on Facebook is probably most basic form of Facebook advertising. Below every post on your business page is a “Boost Post” button you can use to increase the reach of that post.
Once you click on the button, you get an option to share with “People who like your Page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting”. You’ll then be allowed to set your budget.
The best option is usually the second as you’re able to control who sees the post. Thus, you can target it to people you’re certain are interested in your products.
This is a great method of gaining comments, shares and likes.
Sharing Business Page Updates on Personal Account
By sharing posts from your business page on your personal account, you’re able to decide on whom to share it with. This way, you can focus on the local audience – allowing you to reach a targeted, more relevant audience.
Promoting Facebook Events
Consider hosting Facebook events to increase both your online and offline visibility.
After you create an event, involve your fans and friends to help you promote it. Again, the focus should be on the people living in your locality. Once invited, they’ll see it and any upcoming events in “Notifications” unless they decline the invitation.
By using the various tools in Ads Manager and the Power Editor, you can target your Facebook ads to people in your locality ensuring that those who see them are the ones most likely to buy.
It’s also possible to upload a segment of your email list that you can use to target a specific group of people on your email list through Facebook ads.
To get a better understanding of Facebook advertising, check out AdEspresso’s guide.
Though not as big in terms of numbers as Facebook, Twitter also presents some viable methods you can use to reach your local customers through business and personal profiles.
For instance, you can identify yourself with the locality by including a prominent landmark on your avatar or header photo. You can also list your location on your profile so you come up in geo-targeted advanced searches.
Setting up Twitter lists allows you to segment interesting people and businesses into different topics. This not only allows you to engage better but also reduces the clutter in your timeline.
You can use the lists to know what people are discussing in your locality and also track local industry trends.
Before creating a list, look around to see if someone has already created one you can subscribe to and join the existing network.
Use Advanced Search
You can use Advanced Search to find local leads for your business. Just search for specific keywords and specify the radius with your store as the central location.
If you’re selling to other businesses, looking for leads or looking to develop partnerships then look no further than LinkedIn.
All you have to do is search for specific keywords then specify the city or town to filter the results. LinkedIn allows you to save your searches and get weekly updates on new people matching your search criteria.
How’s that for weekly local leads?
Another way you can leverage LinkedIn’s vast network is by creating a group and inviting the right people. Since you’re targeting local people, include the location in the group name. This strategy will require long-term commitment but once you get started you’ll only need a few minutes every week once you set everything up.
To help you understand better how to get clients through LinkedIn, Lewis Howes has put together “10 Ways To Increase Highly-Targeted Leads On LinkedIn”.
There you have it. There are tactics you can use to get more local clients from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And that’s just the start. Once you get a handle on it, you can exploit social media in more ways than three.
What tactics are you using? Have you seen any success? What’s stopping you from doing social media marketing? Hit the comment box and let’s talk.