Social media marketing can seem like a daunting task between the number of platforms to choose from and the time and energy it takes to have a successful social presence. Leaving many business owners wondering if it’s necessary.
With 74% of online adults using social media and 81% of consumers researching online before making a purchase, having an active and engaging social presence is necessary to attract more customers.
Statistics show that consumers are 57.7% more likely to buy from a brand they follow and 71% more likely to buy after having a positive experience with a brand on social media. Social media marketing is a great way to share your brand and promote your products, but it can get you so much more for your efforts.
By engaging with your social audience and posting high-quality insightful content, you can build a community of loyal followers happy to share your brand and buy your products or services.
Below are 7 social media marketing tips for local businesses
1. Identify Your Target Audience
To be successful with social media marketing, you have to know your target audience and where to find them. A target audience is your ideal customer or the specific group of people you want to reach through your social media channels.
Create a detailed description of your ideal customer’s demographics. Use this as a guide to find your target audience. Locating your target audience is essential because it’s more effective to reach a specific group of people than to try and reach everyone. Knowing your target audience can also tell you when and where to post content to achieve successful engagement.
Steps to find your target audience:
- Start by identifying and understanding your niche and what you offer. Then, consider how your product or service affects your customer’s life?
- Use social media analytics and your current customer base to gather data about your audience. Social analytics can track impressions, engagement rates, profile visits, mentions, and follows. Use this information to record your audience’s demographics such as age, location, language, budget, spending habits, interests, challenges, stage of life, etc.
- Discover who is talking about your brand or industry using social listening. Then, engage with these conversations to attract followers.
- Find out which social media platforms your target audience prefers.
- Research and follow your competition.
- Discover what your target audience expects from your social media page.
- Deliver valuable content for your audience.
Local businesses can use Facebook local advertising to reach their target audience. This feature allows businesses to target Facebook ads at the user’s location while targeting other demographic details such as interests and age. This type of advertisement is more affordable and more effective than traditional advertising.
Another great way to find and network with Facebook users in your area is to join local social media groups and monitor relevant hashtags and keywords.
2. Choose a Social Media Platform or Two
Use social media insights, such as Ubersuggest, Mention, and Buzzsumo, to research your competition and their social media activity. They can give you some insight into which platforms may work for you.
Each social media platform showcases a different type of content.
Twitter lets you easily communicate with customers. However, the nature of Twitter is fast-paced, meaning quick responses. Users expect immediate attention; failure to do so can damage your brand’s image.
Instagram is steadily growing in popularity; it is ideal for sharing photos and videos.
LinkedIn is a professional social website that connects B2B companies and recruiters with job candidates.
Pinterest is similar to Instagram in that it revolves around sharing visual content. However, Pinterest isn’t as competitive because it has fewer users than every other social platform on this list.
YouTube is a vast video-sharing platform. It showcases both creative and educational videos. The most-watched videos on YouTube are tutorials; it is excellent for home repair or maintenance service companies.
3. Set and Track Your Goals
Set your social media goals to achieve your top three business objectives and guide your audience toward following your funnel, the chain of actions you want your audience to follow.
Track your goals and the success of your social media efforts with social analytics. Goal tracking will help you decide which marketing efforts are most effective in achieving your goals. To create effective goals, they need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
4. SEO and Social Media
Your social media accounts don’t directly influence your website’s search rankings. However, social media helps your SEO efforts because your social pages rank on search engines, sharing content drives traffic to your website, and you gain backlinks. In addition, a strong social presence builds trust; the more you give your audience, the more they trust you.
Use local SEO strategies on both your website and social media pages. These strategies aren’t much different from usual SEO practices, and they can have a significant impact on your search rankings. Local businesses need to practice local SEO because almost half of Google searches are local, such as “best pizza in Chicago” or “bookstore near me.”
Whether on your website or your social media pages, any online efforts used to build your business should work together and support one another.
Read also: What is Local SEO?
5. Engage with Your Audience
Successful social media marketing is achieved by engaging with your audience and building a relationship with them. Creating a strong social presence takes time and effort. You have to post regularly, network often, converse with your audience, and monitor your progress.
Engaging with users online is how you grow your brand and create a trusting and loyal following. A great way to engage with your audience is to utilize user-generated content, such as contests, reviews, case studies, and Q&A sessions.
6. Content and Content Strategy
Sharing content is the whole point of social media. 1.5 quintillion bytes of human-generated content flood the internet every day, equivalent to 500 billion average-sized web pages. With so much content available, yours has to be exceptional to stand out.
To avoid getting lost in the crowd, share high-quality, educational, and entertaining content with your audience. Show your personality, be relatable, and publish four value-adding posts for every promotional post you create.
According to Sprout Social, 48% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that is responsive on social media. And the five most common actions that cause social media users to unfollow a brand are: too many promotional messages, posting irrelevant information, posting too much, using a voice that doesn’t fit the brand, being too quiet, or not replying to people.
Formulate a content strategy and a social calendar—research what your customers want and how they want to receive it. Then, stay current with your niche and your local community for your content to have the best impact.
7. Connect Your Online and Offline Communities
Encourage customers at your physical store to follow you online by using window decals and signs to advertise your social media sights. Include QR codes on your counter, door, and business cards to make finding your social page easier. Giving discounts to followers is another great way to connect your online and offline communities.
Encourage more foot traffic in your store by posting specials online your audience can only redeem in person. Be sure your store’s contact information is the same in every place you find it online. It is important to include your store’s contact information in Google My Business to help your store appear on more web searches.
When used right, social media marketing is a powerful tool; couple that with an optimized website, and you can have a successful business. The key concepts are discovering and researching your target audience, setting and tracking your goals, using a content strategy, and engaging with users.
Read also: Benefits to Social Media Marketing
If you can find the techniques that work for your audience and the proper posting schedule, you can dominate whichever social media channels you choose. However, taking on social media can be a daunting task; that is why many business owners seek help from digital marketing agencies.