Local marketing is the easiest modern way to gain customers within your service area. It’s best for your business if you design a specialized online local marketing strategy to complement your offline marketing strategy. Now more than ever, people are mainly using the internet to learn more about and evaluate local businesses. So the question stands – have you put enough attention towards your online presence?
Did you know 6 in 10 local businesses say that having an online presence is important for their long-term success? Part of this online presence includes optimizing your social media presence. Social media marketing lends itself perfectly for building a passionate community around your brand. You can use social media to make your business a prominent local establishment as well as connect with people in your local area. It’s an avenue to focus on creating genuine engagements as a means of increasing your brand awareness.
Two of the best social media channels to market your local business are Facebook and Instagram. I’m going to walk you through the basics of local marketing on both Facebook and Instagram and share what you need to know.
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Local Marketing on Facebook
If you haven’t created a business page yet, you can get started here. When you set up your page, make sure your store address, business hours and the best ways to reach you are up to date so people can visit your location and get in touch. You can now start building your community. To increase the size of your Facebook audience, you can advertise your Facebook Page at your brick-and-mortar location, send a dedicated email to your subscribers, and link your Facebook page on your website and other social networks.
Facebook’s natural purpose is for building brand loyalty and turning your community of followers into online and offline “evangelists”. Building a local marketing strategy can be challenging but very rewarding, especially on Facebook. Here are some proven tactics you can use to build brand awareness and increase revenue potential on Facebook.
1. Share Engaging Content
Make a great impression by sharing content that aligns with your audience. Draw people in with photos. Posts with photos are more likely to be viewed, liked, and shared. You can also embed videos into your posts, which will likely turn into high engagements. Ask questions in your posts to promote conversation and be sure to respond! By commenting and responding to questions, you can help humanize your business and become a more personable organization.
Take pride in your neighborhood! Share local content that aligns with your business, like famous events, history, people, sayings, or anything that encompasses your city’s identity. Incorporate your location’s culture and traditions into your business page.
2. Share Your Reviews
Social proof is one of the best ways to stand out. If you’re able to prove that you are a trusted business, you will be able to attract more prospects to look into your services. Two ways to do this is by sharing screenshots of positive reviews from other social sites or asking customers to share their experiences with your business. When posting on Facebook, you can even tag the customer and thank them publicly.
3. Use Facebook Groups to Your Advantage
Groups offer a wide range of opportunities, like the ability to list services, build a community, establish expertise, network with locals, and provide exceptional customer service. It’s a great place to create a controlled community with a hyper-focused subject within your target audience. Think of what your local prospects would be interested in talking about and build a community around that.
4. Use your page for customer service
These days, people expect answers within minutes. People can message your Facebook page and ask you questions. It’s the ideal place to communicate when someone has an issue or even to say thank you to a customer for leaving a positive review. Be sure to respond to all those who message you.
5. Connect more than sell
While it may be tempting to constantly post about your product or service, use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the content should interest your audience and engage them in conversation while 20% can be promotional. Use engaging content to lead your audience to become dedicated to your brand and business.
6. Set up Facebook Ads
After building a social media strategy, you can consider using Facebook Ads to market to your local audience. An option is to use local awareness ads. With these ads, your business can find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near your neighborhood. Local awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels while offering more precise targeting and a greater reach. They are the best way for local businesses to reach customers near them and the best way for Facebook users to discover more useful things in their area.
7. Pay attention to your calls-to-action
Call-to-action buttons on your Facebook page can help prospects book a service, open a Messenger conversation, or open their GPS for directions to your brick-and-mortar location with one click. These buttons are designed to bring a business’ most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook page. You can link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with your business goals. Optimizing this call-to-action button can help boost customer acquisition in the long run.
Local Marketing on Instagram
Instagram has become a social media marketing powerhouse in the last couple of years and businesses are very prominent on the platform as well. Instagram now has over 2 million monthly advertisers and 25 million business profiles. The first step to marketing on Instagram is to set up your local business profile properly. Include your business information like store hours, business address, and phone number. You can get started on Instagram here.
Let’s discuss what you need to know when it comes to marketing your local business on Instagram for maximum results.
1. Include your location all over your profile
Your bio needs to be clear about where your business is, especially if you serve a certain radius. You can even mention the major cities that you serve as well as your brick-and-mortar location.
Engagements increase with the more hashtags that you use. Consider using location-specific hashtags so when locals are looking for services in your area, you show up based on your location. Statistically, posts with 11 or more hashtags receive nearly 80% interaction compared to posts that contain only 2 hashtags (40% interaction).
2. Engage Users Through Geotags
Not only should you put your location in your bio, you should geotag your images and stories. By doing so, you can locate your customers and see who’s using it too. It’s smart to stay on top of your geotags because you can see all the activity surrounding your physical location. You can:
- Use the location sticker in your stories. Instagram stories allow users to use digital stickers on their photos or videos that tag the location they’re at.
- Use hashtag features within your story. This will suggest your content when people are near your area.
If you don’t have a physical location, you can still encourage users to share your photos and stories. Promote your branded hashtag to build content around that keyword. This will help you keep tabs on people engaging with your hashtag.
3. Follow and engage with local businesses
To build a community, you must follow accounts and figures within your area. Ideally, they will be accounts that connect with your brand and industry. It’s also important to start conversations with those local businesses around you. Like and comment on their photos and respond to their comments on your own photos. Engaging with other locals will generate exposure and make your brand a part of the community.
4. Tell Your Business’s Story
Your local community will enjoy hearing the evolution of your business. Tell your story through photos. For example, if your business is family-owned, share photos of the different generations that have run the business. Share how your family got into the business and any relatable stories that your community should know about.
5. Share Photos of Customers
With the approval of your customers, share their photo! Do you have any loyal customers who have been with your business for years? Thank them publicly and by doing so, you’ll strengthen the bond with your local community. It could help you become a staple and bring in more customers.
6. Use Instagram Ads
Instagram’s business profile format is a great fit for brick-and-mortar locations. Besides showing all your contact information, it shows users where you are on a map and can even open your app to get directions on how to find you. Instagram ads help drive more local traffic because the platform provides targeting options that give you everything you need to reach your specific audience. Since Instagram ads are mobile-only, people are more likely to visit a brick-and-mortar location when they’re on their phones.
Use Local Marketing to Get More Customers
By targeting customers in your local area, you will attract more qualified customers to your business. Sometimes small businesses overlook this but it’s crucial for those that serve a certain area. I suggest you check out the 50 local marketing ideas that we mapped out for small businesses. With the right mix of online and offline marketing tactics, you’ll be able to maximize your lead generation and sales.
Even though there are many strategies that you can test, it’s important to pick and choose what works best for you. Some may work better than others based on your location or what kind of customers you are looking for. Facebook and Instagram are two great social media platforms to take advantage of if you’re looking for ways to maximize your local marketing.