Building Your Social Media Following Locally
Most business owners are already using social media in their personal lives, so it makes sense to want to use this channel to grow your business. Everyone knows what social media is, but not every business is taking advantage of it.
It is important not to dive headfirst into social media without a clear understanding of what kinds of content to post, how to attract followers and fans, or the nuances of each social platform. You want to have a concrete strategy to make the most of time spent.
Social media is a public conversation with your customers and prospective customers — sort of like your business throwing a big party. Your party guests aren’t attending in hopes of being sold to, and your social media followers aren’t looking for a constant sales pitch. No party guest likes to be cornered by someone who only talks about themselves, so don’t be “that guy” on social media! Engage your followers, get their opinions, and give them a sense of input into your business. The conversations you have on social media should make your customers and prospective customers want to continue the conversation, either in person at your physical location or on your website. Even better if they want to get others involved in the conversation via word of mouth!
Make the most of your time by spending it on the social media sites where your customers are. Just because you think you should be on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work out for you. Survey your customers to find out which sites they’re on, whether in-store, via email, or when they call for an appointment. You’re likely to get a running start on your social media campaign if you “fish where the fish are.” Here are some tips to get you started on “finding the fish” in Lake Superior.
- Offer Exclusive Deals- Duluthians love a great deal! These deals or discounts can’t be the same ones you offer to everyone, they can’t be made available in-store or on your website. They must be exclusive for your social media followers. By offering exclusive deals to social media followers you can develop a larger audience. Customers will stay engaged, feel like insiders, and will be more likely to hit like or share. Gain loyal local customers and free word of mouth advertising.
- Analyze, Analyze, And Then Analyze Some More- Are your messages reaching the right audience? Is your audience in Duluth, MN or in China? Targeting your social media for the people most likely to become your customers is the best use of your time and efforts. There are easy ways to track your messages’ reach, with hundreds of tools to analyze your social media campaign success and failures. Even failures offer you an opportunity to learn how to be successful. Dig into this data to create an action plan for reaching your target audience. When it comes to getting your message to the right people, more data is always a good thing.
- Make Connections Not Sales Pitches- It may be tempting to make every post about your product or service, the constant advertising could turn off some customers. Experts recommend an 80/20 ratio, with just 20% of your content being promotional in nature and the remaining 80% consisting of content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations. If they are engaged they are less likely to become exhausted and over time develop brand loyalty for the long haul. For example, have you ever watched “cooking aka recipe” videos on Facebook? Did you know they sell their own cookware and other products? They do a such a great job of providing creative recipes and content that customers don’t even realize they are being sold something.
- Commenting- The social part of social media is crucial, and many small- to medium-sized businesses would do well to jump into the conversation. Here is your chance to talk to your customers and potential customers! Interact with your customers online as much as possible. By commenting on their comments or quickly responding to questions, you can help make your business become more human and personable.
- Share Please- Create content that is shareable. Not every tweet will be worthy of a Pulitzer, but if you put time and effort into your posts I promise you it will be worth it. Amazing content that you publish online through your social media profiles will make your audiences want to share it with their audiences. Funny, insightful, or otherwise interesting reads, have a better chance of getting shared which is basically free exposure for your company. Use attention-grabbing headlines and thoughtful content to help your posts stand out from the crowd. Think of a recent social media post that you may have seen or even shared that was interesting enough that it made you want to visit the business that created and distributed the content. Local businesses in Duluth, Minnesota that create shareable content on social media will easily be able to see a return on investment.
- Know Your Platform- Sounds like a no-brainer but understanding the basics of the social media platform you are using can make or break your content. Knowing how to use social content on each unique channel will maximize results, it is the key factor in the social media marketing game. Length of posts, videos, images, hashtags, and links are all elements of successful social media campaigns. Knowing where those elements fit in best keep your posts looking great and your audience happy.
- Read More Than You Write- A great tip for social media marketers is to read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. What are people in Duluth, Minnesota talking about? You want to keep up with the news in your field, it is a great way to stay on top of the topics that will catch your reader’s interest. You also will know what topics have been done to death, and this will make it easier for you to produce fresh content. Get into the habit and it will be easy to produce the most targeted content for your audience.
Hopefully, these tips have prepared you for starting your own local social media campaign. If you feel like you need additional support, our team of marketing experts at Faster Solutions are constantly staying on top of social media trends to deliver fresh content to our marketing clients.