Prior to the massive explosion of interconnectedness which came with the digital age, local businesses and services had straight forward avenues for marketing themselves. But with the internet came the popularization of review sites and directories came a surge of competition which benefited consumers while making things more difficult for businesses.
Certainly, there is the opportunity for reaching a mass of new customers via the internet. However, in the same vein, your competition gets the same boost in exposure. So how do you differentiate yourself from competing businesses in your market?
It’s simple: you need to be making better use of social media! Even a plumbing business can benefit greatly from an engaging online presence. That said, the question remains: how do you make a social media account for a localized service interesting enough to net consumer interest?
Simple: by crafting an interesting narrative to underscore your business. This might be easier said than done, but never fear! Here are 6 ways to turn your local business or service into a social media powerhouse.
Double Duty Content
Content creation is time consuming and exhausting. It is no easy task to create a compelling and consistent social media presence while also running the day-to-day minutiae of a small business. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of shortcuts you can take in this department. The first few months developing your online presence will be tiresome and thankless before it yields returns.
But it is worth it. One way to appear as though you are much more active on your social media than you might have time for is to create content which works on multiple platforms. For instance, if you opt to post a tutorial as a blog post, consider posting it to Instagram or Youtube in video format.
Choose the Most Popular Platforms with Your Audience
You can run yourself ragged trying to outperform your competitors on each and every platform, so you should choose two to focus on initially as you begin your social media journey. By far the most important aspect involved in choosing a platform is investing in those that are most popular with your audience.
For instance, if you target young women and men, you should begin your journey with Instagram. If your business is B2B, LinkedIn is your best bet. Start small, and concentrate on mastering one platform before taking on another. As soon as you are posting with regularity and seeing a tight following emerge on your chosen platform, begin integrating another social media network into your posts as to capitalize on your existing audience.
If you own a business, you have surely heard of search engine optimization and the importance of keywords in digital marketing. There is no shortage to the guides and tips you can find on the internet that go into exhaustive detail about the process of choosing relevant keywords.
For your initial foray into social media marketing, concentrate on high conversion keywords as opposed to high volume keywords. For example, “plumber” might be an incredibly popular keyword with high search volume, but you will have a great deal of trouble ranking for it because every plumber in the world is thinking the same thing.
On the other hand, high conversion keywords are those keywords which tend to be searched by less people, but they are searched by people who are looking to spend money. Keywords such as these might be “plumber in the Adirondacks” or something very geographically specific. People searching this keyword are looking to find a plumber to hire, rather than just general information on plumbers. These are the keywords you should be competing for.
Engagement Through Promotions
An easy way to encourage greater engagement with your social media content is to run promotions. These promotions run the gamut, such as giveaways or contests. Concentrating on fun, interactive promotions is key, as not to appear too desperate for consumer interaction just for the sake of it. Consumers will be more apt to interact with businesses online if they are having fun doing it.
It is important to make these promotions as seamless and effortless as possible. For example, a local union might run a caption contest with the prize being union hats. Alternatively, that union likely would not see very much engagement if their prize was something completely divorced from their mission statement, like a bag of makeup.
It does not matter how substantial the prize is. People will always compete in free contests! Prizes should be linked to the business at large, so consumers are constantly reminded of your business every time they look at their prize.
Supporting Other Local Business
Making your business a social media powerhouse will not be achieved in a vacuum. With every passing year, consumers are increasingly seeking out more ethical businesses. Part of being an ethical local business is not just touting stickers that say “shop local,” but to actually walk the walk: at every opportunity, you should be linking up with other businesses amenable to your marketing goals and promoting them. They will surely do the same, as it is in everyone’s best interests to encourage cross engagement.