Brands big and small should have a local social media plan. Doing so means that you can create a digital space online that caters to the community surrounding each location, which can bring benefits to your online reputation management and local SEO efforts.
Furthermore, it provides another opportunity to get in front of users already spending plenty of time online. In fact, people already spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social media alone.
Obviously, crafting a local social media strategy doesn’t happen overnight, but here are some ways to make the most out of your social media assets:
- Grow your presence at local events
- Don’t just promote; inform
- Create engaging content
- Respond to users
- Show off your best local reviews
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Local Social Media Tip 1: Show Up at Local Events
Is there a weekly farmers’ market in town? How about an annual parade? These are all community events where brands can show up and make an impact. You don’t necessarily have to promote the products or services you offer; just make an effort to raise brand awareness and reputation on a local level.
To make sure that people know about your presence on social media, hand out something physical that aligns with the event that also easily shows off your social media channels. This can come in the form of a hat, fans, or even pens. The point is to raise local awareness and to give local consumers something tangible to remember your brand and its social channels.
Local Social Media Tip 2: Don’t Just Promote; Inform
Most brands see their social media channels as another arm of their strategy to market to consumers. While this is true, you shouldn’t just drop links to product pages and talk about how your offerings are better than the competition. With people using social media more than ever, your channels can be an effective means of communication about updated store information, new initiatives, and brand culture.
Creating social copy in this way involves a tightrope-like method of communication. The copy needs to come off as “human” while also sticking to brand-established guidelines. This ensures a professional tone that also places importance on the consumer.
Approaching social media in this manner paves the way for better advocacy from people down the line. Specifically, the proactivity on your end to inform people in the community, even if they are not a customer, helps establish trust. Over time, that trust can turn into a conversion, which is vital to your customer acquisition efforts.
Local Social Media Tip 3: Create Engaging Content
Your social channels are also a great stage for engaging word-of-mouth marketing content that starts conversations and even convinces people to learn more about the brand. The content can come in the form of a question related to your product, a poll about new ideas that can gauge public interest, or even the response to an ongoing conversation that involves the industry at large.
Another viable option is to display reviews on social media. These treasured pieces of social proof, especially when they’re from people local to the area, help establish your online reputation. Online reviews show that people had a great experience with the brand and want to tell others about it.
However, don’t just display the review without some context. Use it as a way to talk about the brand. Point out details that they liked or how a new offering is enticing people to come in. These pieces of content venture a bit into the marketing realm in terms of messaging, but putting a human face on the promotion can help establish trust and authority.
Local Social Media Tip 4: Respond to Users
On some occasions, users will tag your brand on social media. These can range from a product recommendation to harsh criticism from a recent experience. In both cases – and everything in between – it’s important to respond in a professional manner.
If people are discussing the brand in a positive light, say “Thanks!” and nudge them closer to a conversion on your site. If you’re just mentioned in passing as one of many brands up for consideration for purchase, thank the user for considering you but don’t be too aggressive in your attempts to steer them to you. If the mention involves some criticism or harsh words, take a page from your lessons on learning how to respond to negative reviews and try to bring the conversation offline to adequately resolve the problem.
On a local level, this type of community management is crucial to standing out from competitors, which you can compare to on a regular basis with local search rank checker software. When product offerings, pricing, and even proximity are on the same level across similar brands then social media reputation management can be the main differentiating factor for getting in front of consumers.
Local Social Media Tip 5: Show Off Your Best Local Reviews
Online reviews are the most valuable pieces of social proof for any consumer. They’re signals that show the genuine experience of your past customers. Aside from showcasing them on your website and Google My Business listing, you can also show them on your social media feed.
Feel free to add some creative flair when showcasing your best reviews. Add an image of the product or service the customer purchased along with their review, or use their feedback to promote your offerings simultaneously. Learning to amplify your best reviews in this way not only saves money; it can also be more impactful because your customers do most of the “talking” through their reviews.
Create A Powerful Local Social Media Strategy Today
In many ways, a local social media strategy mirrors the social media plans for larger brands, and that’s a good thing. Taking tried-and-true strategies on a national or even global scale and bringing them to the local level can yield great benefits. Not only does this help you stand out from the competition, but it can also be a valuable part of any customer retention strategy that brings in success and revenue for months or even years to come.