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Using social media to connect with local customers

Using social media to connect with local customers

Social media, the digital phenomenon of the 21st century. An instantaneous means of reaching audiences at the far reaches of the globe. Naturally, it wasn’t long before businesses realised the enormous potential for targeting customers’ long distances. But how do you maximise its potential for creating business in your local area?

The advent of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allows firms to market their brand at little cost. The ever-growing popularity of these streams make social media an essential part of any business marketing strategy. However, it is imperative to think carefully about which of these platforms are suitable for your business, having too many social media platforms could be time consuming and challenging to keep up to date.

Writing for Forbes, Marketing director at Burnett’s staffing Inc., Makenzie Bonham, notes how it is advantageous to streamline the social media services you use.

“While restructuring our social media accounts, the decision to create a Pinterest account was something I couldn’t get behind. I tried to understand why Pinterest should be implemented into our strategy in the first place. Where did this fit into our overall objective? And how would this platform distribute our industry insight, showcase our job openings, and communicate effectively with customers/clients while attracting new business through increased brand awareness? Trying to promote employment services to users looking to pin recipes or gift ideas was far from ideal,” Bonham advises.

How to use social media to connect to your local customers

Live streaming: Local audiences will be engaged by any company that shows an interest in the events that take place in their community. Live streaming is an excellent way of doing this and most social media platforms now offer a live streaming service. Almost any event can be live streamed and it will help build a connection between the local population and your business.

You can live stream concerts, local shows, conventions and local places of interest. It is also an opportunity to engage with your viewers with questions and answer sessions, debates or take the chance to introduce a new product or service that you may be offering.

Facebook: There is estimated to be over 1.4 billion active users of this social media giant. It also has the most avenues for you to be able to connect with local customers. Tagging is a very popular method used by companies to engage with their local audience. By tagging, it will allow you to advertise your location, for instance, if you are opening new premises, or hosting an event you can tag simply by using the @ sign in front of the location. For instance – “it is with great pleasure that we are sponsoring the open-air concert tonight @London.”

Facebook check-ins are also a great way of giving your business exposure to a local audience. Each time a customer or staff member checks in, your business gains visibility on the newsfeed and therefore free advertising.  You can incentivise check-ins with a free give away or display reminders for people to check in to help promote this.

There are also tools to help you advertise locally on Facebook. Many businesses use the “reach people near your business” option. By using this service, you can display your advertisement to people who are within a specific radius from your business location.

Twitter: You can connect to a local audience by using Twitter’s advanced search option. This handy tool will allow you to search for customers who are Tweeting close to your location.

As previously mentioned, hosting or sponsoring a local event is an excellent way to attract a local following. You can use Twitter chat to engage people with this. All you have to do is create a custom hashtag and then apply it to each post that you make in regard to the event in question.

Your header photo is also an opportunity to connect with local people by including a picture of a local landmark. You can also mention your support for any local teams or groups in your bio.

Instagram: You can promote your brand to local people by using Instagram. Each time you upload a picture, make sure you add a location. This will be the first thing your viewers see, this will also make your business easy to find during searches. Use affective geotags, such as local events and landmarks.

For expert advice on how social media can help your business connect with local customers, contact the friendly and experienced team at Effective Group and let them show you how to maximise the potential for growth within your local area.