Getting the word out in your community to get new business and gain a following is a challenge for most small businesses.
Social media is an excellent tool for this because it’s practically free and widely used.
While social media is global, many companies operate locally and don’t need to reach beyond their community. Today we will look at ways to utilize social media for local business.
Let’s go over a brief rundown of the basics of successfully using social media for your business before we zero in on how you can best utilize social media for your small business.
- Choose your platform: There are many platforms to choose from, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, and more. It can be overwhelming. Finding out where your customers are regarding platforms is essential—surveying your current customer database to find out what media they use can give a lot of insight into which platforms would be a good time investment to promote your business.
- Post regularly: Regular posting on your chosen social media platforms shows regularity and consistency; believe it or not, potential customers may equate this with how consistent or reliable you are in your business dealings.
- Keep it to the point: Keep your posts simple and to the point. Don’t cross-pollinate by putting personal content on the work page.
- Communicate: Respond to comments and messages promptly and professionally.
- Hashtags: Remember to use hashtags for your business. To create a hashtag, use the pound symbol, then type in the descriptive word with no spaces. For example, if you run a lawn care business, use hashtags like #lawncare, #lawn, or #lawnservice.
Now that you’re up to speed on some of the basics of social media, how can you best utilize social media for local small businesses?
Join Local Groups
On Facebook, in particular, there are endless groups one can join to get the word out about their local business. Just search, and I bet you’ll find a local neighborhood group. For example, if you lived in New York City in Manhattan and searched on Facebook for Manhattan, New York, several groups would come up, including a neighborhood group or an “IKAGG”; I know a guy/gal group.
A lot of neighborhood groups will have opportunities to promote your business. Some groups have a designated day for local businesses to promote themselves. Still, every group is different, and some groups frown upon newcomers jumping in with shameless self-promotion without any other interaction, so make sure you ask or read the group rules before posting any promotion.
These groups can also be an excellent way to connect in real life with people and potential clients you may not have otherwise met. Take a chance and go to live events, talk to people online and show a genuine interest in them, and you might just find yourself with a slew of new clientele.
Use Hyperlocal Hashtags
Sure, you can use general hashtags for your business, but what about being more specific? For instance, hashtagging the area code, city, and neighborhood to which you provide service.
Talk to people and seek out local influencers on social media that you can collaborate with. You may be running a maid service, and there is a local influencer who is a parent that has a substantial following but not a lot of time. What about reaching out to that person and offering a deep discount on services in exchange for some social media promotion?
Or talk to other local businesses online and see about cross-promoting. For example, if you have a locksmith business and get to know a popular neighborhood bakery, you could offer a discount if the customer presents a receipt from the said bakery.
Paid Advertising and Post Boosting
You can even pay to advertise your business and events or boost posts with extra money. Paid advertising is for a specific ad you create and then advertise through social media. Boosting a post means that more people are likely to see that post in their feed, even if they are not following you currently, and you never know who may be looking for the service you have to offer.
With either, you can set how much you will spend and the promotional time frame. This is an effective way to get new business because you can put parameters to narrow your target audience, including age range, location, and more.
Creating Events on Social Media
Creating a public event is a great way to meet people, gain potential customers, and promote your business. What if you hosted a community trash pickup at a local park, where you provided the supplies and some refreshments? That could be a terrific way for you to drum up new business, make some connections, and, most importantly, do something for the good of the community.
Using social media for local businesses is easy; it’s a little work and some thinking outside the box. With all your new customers, you’ll need some help organizing everything. Luckily, software programs like ServiceWorks can help manage client info, routes, and equipment info, invoice accounts payable and receivable, automatically send out customer satisfaction surveys, and more. Even better, it offers a risk-free 14-day trial, so why not give it a go today with all the new business you will be raking in?