Local social media marketing is the science of building a community of social media followers that are a demographic fit with your best customers and live or work within the geographic reach of your business. So, if your best customer is a 40 – 50 year old woman interested in cooking who owns a dog, you can reach her directly. Inexpensively you can build a relationship and more efficiently promote offers, specials, recruit new staff, or develop her interest in your business.
Your goal? Turn these “new friends” into community followers and then into customers.
If you sell locally, local social media marketing should be on your radar. These are your people.
People develop a preference for things, simply because we are familiar with them. This is called the mere-exposure effect. Wikipedia explains:
The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. The effect has been demonstrated with many kinds of things, including words, Chinese characters, paintings, pictures of faces, geometric figures, and sounds. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likable that person appears to be.
So, let’s see how to use this to grow your business.
Local Social Media Marketing Step 1: Grow a community
Start with identifying your target persona. Focusing on your ideal purchaser will make you exponentially more effective. Our blog entry How to Crush Your Competition Using a Buyer Persona Template covers this in detail.
For our fitness center, let’s use the profile we created in the article above. We’re selling to Danielle, and her husband is named Chris. You can read more about her here.
There is a three-pronged approach to getting more “Danielles” to follow you and grow your social community.
- Post the type of content that is interesting and informative to Danielle. (Get your free HOT!Content here.)
- Promote (pay/advertise) that interesting content to people who are not yet fans.
- Pay to promote your site, and getting more likes.
(Get help posting your social media ads.)
Local Social Media Marketing Step 2: Breed familiarity
How do you now take this group of followers who are not yet customers, and turn them into customers by “breeding familiarity?” The answer lies in what type of content you post. Fans must find it interesting enough that they look forward to your posts.
I’ve read tons of articles explaining “how many re-tweets of other people’s content you should do before you can promote anything, etc.” But let’s simplify, based on our experience.
Minimally, out of four posts, three should be interesting, informative or helpful, and one can be promotional. A sample rotation may look like:
- Meet our new instructor, Jamie (including a photo and some fun facts about Jamie).
- Promote HOT!Content. (Get your daily free HOT!Content here if you don’t already have it.)
- Survey: Who likes the new tollway that just opened?
- A behind-the-scenes look at how you prepare the studio each day for classes with the CT snow(video).
- Winter sale: Purchase three months of exercise for the price of two.
Think about what unique information you have and share it with your audiences. This will help keep your audience interested– if they quit “tuning in,” you lose the opportunity to interact with these fans.
Local Social Media Marketing Step 3: Sell something to that community
As briefly outlined below, building strong local social media marketing is worthless, unless you can capitalize from that strong local following. Now you get to sell.
Simply because you are now “permitted” to sell, doesn’t give you permission to let it be boring. Strengthen your offers by always having:
- A clearly stated offer
- A “call to action” encouraging people to take advantage of it
- An engaging photo/video or graphic
- A link to take the next step
Also, to encourage fans to come to your local business site, connect these posts to the offer. For example:
Think about how to have fun with this, move people from digital relationships to face-to-face relationships, and you may find yourself with a very healthy business!