How to LOCAL-IZE your Social Media...

Localizing your social media efforts could be the key to your small business success. In fact, in 2014, it was reported that 46% of internet browsers use social media when making a purchase. And, 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive growth (Karr, 2014). Here are three simple ways to localize your social media to increase followers, gain local visibility and increase sales.

1. Follow and re-share posts from community groups & local news stations

First, research and choose 5 local community groups that have a similar target audience. Select different groups including news outlets, professional organizations, and community health organizations. Then, connect with each group on social media.

You should know what social media sites have the largest number of followers. Knowing these numbers will help determine which social media site to communicate and share content.  Second, send a direct message to encourage the connection. And, in your direct message let the group know you want to develop a partnership and share their posts or tweets. As a result, your direct message  will help establish a human connection with the person behind the posts.

Once you’ve connected and are ready to engage, like, comment and re-share from your chosen groups at least 2-3 times per week to start out. Following and re-sharing content will help increase visibility and begin connections with the followers of those groups. Furthermore, Twitter groups and tools such as Hootsuite will help filter content from your local groups.

2. Develop content that connects to local community initiatives  

First, stay connected to what’s going on in the community so that you can establish your company as a community resource. In addiiton, begin to develop unique content that aligns with local community initiatives.

For example, if the local community has experienced a severe weather event that affects those that live within the community create content to help support those that are in need. Or, if the community has an annual initiative or event, create content that aligns with that event. For example, if the community has an annual county fair, change your avatar or share branded images that look like cotton candy or a popular game at the event

3. Partner with local community events with similar target audience

By keeping your ear to the ground, you will know in advance what events are upcoming. Sponsor local events and activities. Furthermore, be sure to assess the visibility that is associated with the sponsorship to decide which level is best for your budget and your overall goal.

First, becoming a sponsor will increase visibility with online advertisements and through local media outlets. Once you’ve confirmed your sponsorship, promote the event through social media by re-sharing content shared by the event committee. Create and share new content that promotes the event. Second, as the date gets closer, increase the amount of shares and help generate buzz for the event.

On the day of the event, attend and participate. In addition, take photos from the event including signage that highlights your sponsorship. If your sponsorship includes a table or booth, provide flyersthat will increase followers through visibility and promotion. Also, bring a branded sign that includes tags, your company’s handle, or the event hashtag. Include a QR code that links to your social media page. Finally, offer a discount on services or products for people that attended the event and promote the discount through social media.

Localizing your social media can be a great way to connect to your community and increase customer awareness and sales. What efforts have you taken to localize your business? What was the outcome?

Reference

Karr, D. (2014, October 1). 2014 Statistics and Trends for Businesses on Social Media. Retrieved Steptember 11, 2016, from http://marketingtechblog.com/2014-statistics -trends-businesses-social-media/