5 Social Media Strategies for Local Business Growth

by | Oct 16, 2013 | Entrepreneurship

Is your business a needle in a haystack? or a needle on the branch of a pine tree in the middle of a 100 acre old-growth forest 465 kms from the nearest wi-fi connection? Wait, what?

The point is you need to get noticed.

Use social media to stick out in your local community!

I was walking down the street the other day looking at all the signs near my house. All different sizes, shapes, colours, fonts, logos and as I thought about it more I realized how unique these small businesses really are. But after a while they all start to blur together a little bit.

And with 98% of Canada’s employers falling into the small business category, it means that it’s even more important to be involved with social media to try to stick your head out of the pile to your potential customers.

So what are some ways a local business can look for growth by using social media?

1. Research

Finding out which social platform the majority of your target market uses will make your life a heck of a lot easier because you can focus on that one instead of 100 different platforms at the same time. Generally, it seems like Facebook is a little bit more close-knit in terms of locality and organic friendships than say Twitter for example.

After you’ve decided on your network you should look at how to engage your local audience and how they want to interact with you. Often they are looking for specials, deals, and promotions when they connect with you on social media. So give it to them!

2. Host a contest

This is a great way to get your customers talking and competing against each other. The benefit here is that when they participate in the contest online, the people connected to them see their engagement and your business gets the publicity it’s wanting.

3. Customer Service

Use social monitoring tools to assess any sort of situation with your product or service or questions that need to be answered. This doesn’t pertain to just local business, it’s a benefit to everyone.

4. Add Social Proof

Not only will your social presence increase awareness and give your customers incentives and promotions, but new customers will use your online presence as part of a gauge to assess your worth and value. If you customers are engaging you, participating and involved, your new customers will see that as proof that you are doing something right and will be more likely to buy.

5. Location based networks

Facebook’s check-in feature is a huge added benefit for local businesses. Encourage your customers to check-in on there Facebook page when they visit your store, and give them an incentive to do so. Other services like Foursquare are great for this as well if your target customers use it on a regular basis. The flip side to this is you can understand where else your customers like to hang out so you can get ideas for advertising or collaboration with other businesses.

Many businesses look at social as a worldwide benefit, but if your customers need to physically walk into your store that doesn’t help you very much, right? It doesn’t have to be directed world-wide. Think of ways to engage your community and locals with it. Put the effort in and it’s going to work if you figure out how to satisfy your customers the best way possible.

Joel Harrison

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