Using Social Media to Find Local Customers for Your Small Business

Buy LocalHow would you like to target potential customers for your small business-but only in your local area? Targeting local traffic is an important website marketing strategy for small businesses. According to a variety of studies that have been done regarding website traffic, approximately 80% of people doing an online business search are searching for local businesses. But what if you want prospective customers to know that you are here locally? Here is where Social Media can help!
Promoting through social media sites is a new way that offers a lot to your business, mostly for free. Utilizing social networking sites is an effective way to draw local customers to your website. Here are a few social media tools to use:

FREE TOOLS

Twitter

In Twitter you can literally find tweets that mention your topic of expertise, from people who are geographically close to you. The way to do this is by using Twitter search. But instead of using the basic Twitter search box, you would want to use the Twitter Advanced Search page, which will allow you search locally.
To access the Twitter Advanced Search page type the keywords you want to search for in the usual Twitter search box and press Enter. You’ll see a results page that gives you a list of tweets that include those keywords. Click the down arrow next to the ‘cog’ in the corner of the page, then click Advanced Search. This reveals the Twitter Advanced Search page where you can really narrow your search. Type in your keywords then go to the Places box. Enter the geographical area you work in and then click Search. You’ll get a list of tweets that include your keywords, from people who are in the location you searched on. To save this search for future use click the drop down arrow on the search results page next to the ‘cog’ and click Save Search. The next time you want to look at this search click in the basic search box and a list of your saved searches will appear.
Using Twitter search in this way helps you find opportunities and people to add to your network.

Twellow

Twellow is a Twitter related tools that permit you to specifically target users who are among a certain area of interest and those who yield the most influence on the site. Once you’ve identified these people, you should follow them and hope that they return the favor.
You simply open up a Twellow account. At the top of the page you will see “Find Twellow users anywhere.” Just enter your city or location and start clicking on users you would like to target. Once they follow you back then start engaging with them.

Facebook

If you want to build brand awareness and connect with your customers, there is no beating Facebook. To claim and set up the Facebook Places page for your business. The first step is to create your Facebook Page by going to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. When you click on Local Business or Place, you will be taken to a page that will require you to fill in the required details of your business. After this you can use your admin panel to edit your page, build your audience, and fill your page with the requisite content. Once you have created your official local business page on Facebook, it’s time to claim your Facebook Places page.
Go to your Facebook Business Page and click on the arrow on the box next to “edit” and select ‘Is this your Business?’ When you click on it you will be taken through a series of steps that will ask for information about your business. You will now need to verify your connection to the business by either choosing an email verification process or by uploading the necessary documentation. Choose the email option only if you have an email address linked to your Facebook account and which also serves as your business email address. In terms of documentation, you will need to scan or click a picture of an official business document, like business license, tax file, phone bill, etc., and upload it.
Now you are done claiming and setting up a Facebook profile for your local business. All you need to do now is start managing it.

Foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social networking site for mobile devices that gives your business a mobile footprint. With more people using mobile devices to search for businesses, a presence on Foursquare is one of the most popular social media tool for local businesses. Create a Foursquare Page and connect it with your Twitter account. When you create your page make sure you complete your Page Profile. Now you want to add your listing to Foursquare’s searchable database. If you don’t have a business listing, you can create it on https://foursquare.com/login?continue=%2Fadd_venue. The business listing will ask for your phone number, your website’s URL, links to your Twitter and Facebook profiles, hours of operation, and description of your business. Make sure you leave no information out.
Once your business listing has been added to Foursquare, claim it. When you claim your location, you are telling Foursquare you are the manager of that venue. You can claim multiple locations of Foursquare; all you need to do is to provide verifiable contact information. Once you are done listing and claiming your location on Foursquare, you can begin adding specials, checking your analytics, and a whole lot more. But the most important way to use Foursquare is to take the time to build up a network of just local followers and interact with them.

Google + Local

The local pages on Google+ Local closely resemble company Facebook Pages —they interact with Google Maps, Zagat reviews, and Google+. But the big thing is that your local pages will be indexed by search engines. Just click here to read my article on how to put your small business on the map!

PAID TOOLS

Yelp

This is another directory that is scaling the popularity charts, though for a small monthly fee. The 3-step process to be followed for claiming a Yelp listing for your business is similar to the processes on other sites. First go to https://biz.yelp.com/claiming. Type in the name of your business. If it shows up and is unlocked, somebody has already claimed it. If it turns up locked, click on the ‘Unlock’ button.
Another scenario is that your business listing doesn’t turn up in search. Don’t worry, just click on the ‘Add your business to Yelp’ link, which will take you to a page that will allow you to do just that. Once you click on ‘Add’, you are done. Now wait for the confirmation email from Yelp. You are done claiming your listing. Now you need to optimize the page by adding as much business information as you can. This could mean including more business information, photos, responding to reviews, and a whole lot more.

“The Bottom Line”

In using these social media tools, it’s very important that all your profiles contain complete and up to date information. Also, your contact addresses and phone numbers must be the same across all your profiles. Maintaining profile consistency across different online directories will boost your local SEO efforts and allow you to target market local customers for your business.

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Tips on Marketing Local Businesses With Social Media

Social Media for Business

 

social media for businessBusiness oftentimes is a local competition. Especially if it’s a brick and mortar storefront and you want to promote it locally online. To get into the game, you have to ride the craze in reaching out your prospect consumers. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of options to choose from— paid advertisement and social media.
In every marketing strategy, budget has always been the primary consideration. Paid advertising can be effective, but it can cost you an arm and a leg. Moreover, there is a loophole in this scheme. The impression that you will make on your prospect consumers will depend on how you formulate the plan and execute it. This goes the same with social media marketing, but on the contrary, it is not expensive as paid advertisement. Despite the difference in digits, it can also render you promising results.
Social Media in Action
No matter what your purpose is— brand awareness, online reputation management, website traffic, or communication with your audiences, social media always has a room to cater these needs. With your goal right before your eyes, your approach to social media will depend accordingly. Here are 6 tips to market local businesses with social media!
• Devise a social marketing plan. Given that you have analyzed your target audience and your competitors, it is about time to carefully think of a plan that will blow away your rivals. In this part, consider coming up with content ideas that will interest your audience such as tips on using your products and great deals.
• Go for quality instead of quantity. There is no use in posting many articles online if it is just fluffy. Always remember that people want to read something valuable and worth of their time. For example, if you are promoting food supplements, write articles that relate to your subject like its benefits to the user.
• Maintain an open communication. Technology paved way to what kind of communication the people have today. With this advancement, it is easier for businesses to get in touch with their audience. For instance, people can exchange or share thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. As this continuous, it creates a dynamic and lively environment for people to interact. Hence, it improves customer relationship.
• Social Media Platforms. Facebook and Twitter are just some of the popular social media platforms where people interact. Despite its orientation towards online interaction, you can also take advantage of advertising your products or company as its reach is multitude. Just make it a point that you will not solely use the platform for the sake of promotion, but also for interaction. Apart from these social media platforms, you can also use Foursquare for your business. According to Social Media Examiner, it is a location-based social network that has over 20 million users. In this platform, people use to check it for locations or shops that they have visited. As people checked where they have been, it can be shared with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Eventually, your business is noticed.
• Offer promos and great deals. Customers love promos and great deals from a company. You can offer discounted products or services, buy one take one deal, and even a game of prizes. Doing these are a sure fire to delight your consumers.
• Dress your business professionally online. Reputation greatly matters for every business. It is one of the main ingredient for success. With this, keep your social business accounts in motion by sharing good content, promotions, and fabulous deals.
Mapping your business success with social media is indeed possible. You just have to cut out the appropriate moves to market your products and services locally. Hence, delve deeper on what every social media network can offer and gear it towards your goal.

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