Local Social Marketing for Small Businesses
Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been revisiting some of the basics of local SEO and inbound marketing. We’d like to continue in that vein with a discussion of everybody’s favorite destination on the web: social media.
Social networks connect people together, but serve different purposes. Some are focused on friends, others on businesses, and still others on topics. Let’s take a look at the most important social networks for local businesses:
- Google+ Local
We strongly advise getting business profiles set up on all of these networks immediately. Be sure to fill out every field when you set up these profiles, and use an image that looks good when it’s shrunk down to icon size during your online conversations.
You’ll also need to recognize that each of these networks serves a different purpose, and shouldn’t be approached in the same way.
Most people use Facebook to entertain themselves, and it is the smaller number of people who use Facebook for self-expression and communication who provide the entertainment. You need to cultivate both kinds of audience members in order to get an online community started. That means entertaining your visitors with links, images, videos, and comments, and getting conversations started by asking questions and holding polls.
Be sure to take advantage of Facebook’s local features, like the ability to share posts only with local users, schedule posts for the optimal time of day, and schedule events that people can sign up for.
Foursquare is a very popular site that many people use specifically to discover local businesses. Users can check in to your business on their mobile phone when they visit. By doing so, they improve your visibility. Customers can also leave reviews. Foursquare lets you send updates, post photos and deals, set up events, and leave tips about how to make the most of their visit.
Google+ is most important because of its connection with Google Maps and the Google search results. Reviews on Google+ from your customers have a great deal of influence on where you’ll show up in these search results, and positive activity on this social network has a similar affect.
For local businesses, Twitter is most useful as a way to find influential people in your local community. Perform a Twitter search like “near:Austin within:30mi” to see tweets from people in or near the city. Get in touch with these influencers to build up your online credibility and get the word out. Some of these tweeters may also own blogs, which you may be able to take advantage of for exposure and search engine visibility. Twitter is primarily a topic and news oriented site, so keep this in mind during your interactions.
When you use social networks for business purposes, it’s important to remember that most people aren’t using them to find local businesses (except Foursquare). Instead, they are using them to interact with their friends and entertain themselves. Use social networks to build brand awareness and visibility, not so much to make direct sales. Encourage reviews on Google+ and Foursquare, and promote events through Facebook and Twitter. Always go for the soft sale, and put the focus on customer retention.
Original Source: https://www.localsurgemedia.com/local-search/local-social-marketing-small-businesses