Social media for local business: ten things you can't miss
Starting a social media campaign could be an intimidating task for small businesses. Sure! It’s not a walk in a park, and there are a good number of things to consider and iron out before you kickstart your campaign. But the benefits of getting your brand across millions of users make up for all the work you’ll put into it.
Especially for local businesses. Letting your community know that your business is just a few blocks away will definitely help boost your presence, familiarity, and sales. Couple your efforts with the right content and social media marketing strategy and you should see your return on investment very soon.
To help you kickstart your social media campaign, here’s a quick checklist of the things you shouldn’t miss:
1. Know your audience
Posting photos, videos, and updates on your platforms without knowing your target audience is a mortal sin. It’s like writing letters without any recipient in mind.
If you want to get the most out of your social media efforts, you should identify your target customers’ demographics from the get-go. What age range, gender, occupation, industry background, and income level consumers are your brand targeting. As soon as you figure out these things, you can start your campaign on the right path.
2. Set your goals
What are you looking to achieve with your social media campaign? Setting up realistic goals will keep your efforts in line, while also pushing you to inch closer to your objectives with every post. You don’t want to spend time and effort on anything that will not help you get a high ROI. At the same time, goals will motivate you to always give your best and do better all the time.
To help you set your social media goals, follow the S.M.A.R.T. framework — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
3. Choose a theme
Having a unified theme for your social media platforms is important, so as not to confuse your followers with what your brand is really about. Having a theme will not only keep your content in line with your brand image, it will also help build credibility and brand recall among your consumers.
Aside from content, having a distinct voice — a brand personality online — will help you connect with your consumers on a more personal level. Especially for small, local businesses, consumers have to know that you’re a friendly neighbor just waiting to offer them the best service.
4. Promote your service or product
Always asking for a purchase in every social media post is a terrible marketing move. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be promoting your brand with the goal of boosting your sales. The number one reason why you’re jumping into social media is to let possible consumers know that your product or service is available within the local community. And ultimately, to turn them into loyal customers.
You aren’t posting related content merely to entertain your followers or just to get Likes. Although these are all good things, by the end of the day, your social media goals are to inform, promote, and get better sales out of your campaign.
5. Curate content
Before you even kickstart your networking campaign, you should first curate content that are in line with your theme. Of course, you can post new photos, videos, or updates on your accounts as you see fit, but having an arsenal of brand-related content will make sure you have enough to keep your platforms alive in the days to come. You wouldn’t want to leave your consumers hanging and asking for more.
If you’re too busy (or lazy) doing the dirty work, you can get one of the social media tools available online to help you. We at Roosterly can keep your social media platforms updated with the right content based on your brand’s interest for a fee.
6. Post regularly
Updating your platforms is a crucial part of your campaign. Keeping your followers in the loop with your brand’s events and happenings is a good way of connecting with them. You would also want them to keep you in mind and if they don’t see you, they won’t remember you. Especially for the new businesses in town.
Remember: “Out of sight, out of mind.”
7. Engage with followers
It’s all about the consumers! Your social media marketing efforts revolve around getting more consumers, so it would be foolish to ignore them online. As Adweek noted, “Ignoring customers on social media is similar to ignoring the phone ringing when they call your help centers.”
Moreover, according to a Hootsuite study, 28% of Americans and 34% of UK adults on social media say they’d rather engage with a brand online than visiting a physical store. With the growing importance of social media in commerce, it wouldn’t be wise for small businesses not to take advantage of this statistic and engage with consumers.
This not only keeps your brand relevant through continuous conversations, it also encourages consumers to engage with your platforms more, and helps build a good reputation for your brand.
8. Review analytics
Work doesn’t end after you find content, post them on social media platforms, and engage with followers. That’s just the start. You have to monitor your statistics and review your analytics. Find out which worked the most — got the most likes, comments, and engagement — and which ones were flops. This way you can replicate the effective ones and skip the useless posts.
There are several ways to check your social media stats with paid tools and apps available online. However, one of the easiest ways is to view the analytics available on each platform. Facebook and Twitter have their own analytics service that allows brand and company owners to review the success of their campaign efforts. Did I mention there are mostly free?
9. Monitor competition
Whoever said you should ignore competition probably never had a chance against their brand rivals.
While your opponents shouldn’t keep you up at night, it’s good to keep tabs on what they’re doing. Learning from their success and failures will help you plot your next steps, whether it’d be in marketing or sales.
Remember: it’ll be very hard to get ahead of your competition if you won’t keep in step with what they’re doing.
10. Try new gimmicks
Keeping your consumers entertained is one way of keeping them engaged. While everything should be in line with your social media goals and theme, it would never hurt to try something new ones in a while. Whether it’d be holding online contests, chat groups, live streams, or simply trying a new kind of content — working on new tricks will keep your followers interested, while staying informed about your brand.