The right social media platforms can help you get customers through your front door, but the question I constantly get is, which platforms are right for you and your needs?
Social Media Marketing is like any other form of marketing your business – you MUST have a plan.
Gone are the days of haphazardly posting on your social media pages when you “feel” like it and judging your business success by how many new “likes” you’ve gotten.
Like the saying goes, ‘Fail to plan or plan to fail.’
Most social media plans fail because they lose or never had a clear direction in the first place.
The number 1 goal when it comes to social media, needs to be to take your fans from the social media platforms to your database.
Not only does email marketing convert more prospects into customers, you also have control over your communications with them – no more algorithm!
It was just the other day whilst talking to an audience about social media marketing, that an audience member shared her experience of being shut down by Facebook, literally overnight, losing all her engagement and data with recourse. She wished she’d worked harder on list building as a part of her social media strategy.
So how can Social Media help your location-based business? Let’s dive in…
With 15 million Australian active users, some critics believe it’s simply too busy to stand out on Facebook.
But the part they are missing is the statistic that 75% of those 15 million are using Facebook daily! So it maybe busy, but people are busy scrolling, researching and stalking too!
Facebook pages are a must-have for any local small business because you can reach a large and diverse audience. Let’s take a look at how Facebook can help attract more customers.
- Get more reviews with customer check-in.
Facebook pages allow your customers to check-in to your business and tell their Facebook friends they’re shopping with you.
BUT did you know that 24 hours after checking-in with a business, Facebook sends a push notification asking if you’d like to review the business? That “first impression review” can boost your business by increasing social proof.
At the same time, the act of checking-in can encourage customer’s friends and family to also stop by.
Encourage your customers to use the check-in button. It’s one of the MOST under-utilised functions on Facebook for local based marketing!
- Run Facebook ads to increase foot-traffic
Ads are a powerful tool for getting new customers through the door. Local awareness ads in particular are perfect for increasing foot traffic.
Promote events (or just your business) with Facebook Live
Utilising Facebook Live to promote an event or give a behind-the-scenes look at your business, can spike foot traffic – especially if it’s relevant to the local population and ends with a powerful call-to-action.
Marketing scarcity and urgency of your goods or services works particularly well when using Facebook Live – like “only 2 left” or “tickets on sale now” or “offer finishes in 2 hours”.
- Use Facebook Local
You can find local businesses and the events they run, through the local search function on Facebook. This is great for businesses that rely on tourists and local walk-in traffic such as restaurants, hairdressers and retail stores.
Like Facebook, Instagram is an awesome tool for local location-based businesses – if used right!
- Use the location search feature
Like Facebook, Instagram has a built-in location feature allowing people to add a location to any image they upload.
Encourage customers to use this feature by adding signs in your place of business, shop or restaurant or ask customers snapping a pic to tag you.
- Use Instagram Stories to attract millennials
Instagram is popular with millennials – 60.4% of Gram users (did you like my hip slang there!) are between 18 and 34. If your location-based business wants to attract them, Instagram can help. Use stories to raise awareness about your business, promote events and show off products.
- Use location hashtags
Add location hashtags – people searching for local businesses will see your images and Instagram account.
As a small business owner, having an active LinkedIn profile can absolutely drive traffic to your place of business.
- Establish yourself as the local expert to attract your target audience.
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and that you are listed as the business owner or CEO or Founder.
- Start to share industry-related content to stay top-of-mind. Consistently share valuable, original content, including your blog content, images, publish an article on LinkedIn, or create native videos.
- Have a reach out strategy where you begin to reach out to people you think might one day do business with you.
Connect with them, ALWAYS personalising the message by writing them a little “connection” message. Something like “Hey [name], I came across your profile here on LinkedIn and thought we could benefit by being connected. Hope business is going well. Cheers, [your name and your expert position].
- Take advantage of local and industry groups to connect with people and grow your following.
PRO-TIP: If there’s not one – START ONE yourself!
SO, JUST TO FINISH UP
Clearly there are many more platforms and many more ways on the platforms to help your small business drive traffic to you based on your location. These are just a few simple, strategic ways to be attracting more of your ideal clients and customers.
Social media is a long game. It’s not a quick race; rather, more like a marathon.
You need to be strategic and importantly CONSISTENT.
Of course, once you’ve used social media platforms to drive more customers to your business, you need a strategic marketing strategy on how you will continue to capture that data, including their contact details, so that you can continue to market to them offline via your email marketing platform.
But that’s for another day!