One of the many myths about social media marketing is that you have to get a huge number of followers for it to be successful. As with most myths, there’s a measure of truth here, and it’s also a little out of focus.
There are many reasons why an enormous list of followers might be important to larger companies, but for local, brick and mortar companies, the quality of that list is far more important than the size of the list. If you run a donut shop in Santa Rosa, CA, having followers in Charlotte, NC might be nice as it makes your numbers look bigger, but it also may be giving you a false sense of security.
What you really want is a big number of local social media followers. These are the people that can actually drive by your business and pick up a dozen donuts on the way to work. The same is true for local service businesses. If you’re a local plumber that provides service within just an hour radius, then the same rule applies. You’re not going to drive to Charlotte to unplug a bathtub, right?
This is the one powerful tip on how to increase the number of local people that are following your business; Make a Lot of Local Noise. Let’s be clear; make a lot of good, relevant, current local noise. Remember this one caveat; don’t make it all about you. Make it about others.
Think about your own Facebook feed, for example. While we might be aware of what is going on in the world and those news stories that pop up, how much more likely are you to click on a story that is connected to your local high school, church, or chamber of commerce? Things in our own back yard attract more of our attention than those outside.
So here is a more specific list of things you can do to make a local scene on social media.
1 – Share more often.
You’re a member of the community and so is your business. Most businesses are guilty of not sharing enough, not oversharing. Share multiple times per week, just make sure you’re not always trying to sell stuff.
2 – Share about others.
It doesn’t matter how cool you are, it always sounds better when somebody else is saying it. Share a story about another business that you would like to help succeed. You’ll be surprised how thankful they are. They may even be willing to share about your business.
3 – Share local news stories.
Did you just read an article in your hometown on the local news website? Share it! There are others that have not heard yet and you’ve just become a resource to them.
4 – Do you Rotary?
Rotary is a not-for-profit service organization that does a tremendous amount of good for the community. They’re not alone either, there are thousands of organizations that are doing amazing things in the community. Share their projects or events online when you can. People like to know that you’re connected in the community.
5 – Get them while they’re hot!
Fresh donuts are the best, so get them customers while they’re in your shop, or you’re in their home. Getting reviews on Google or Yelp are huge boosters to your social media credibility. While you’re asking, encourage them to “Check In” to your business on Facebook or Yelp. People like to go where they see their friends going.
6 – Grow your face-to-face network.
Don’t underestimate traditional, in-person networking. Many of your friends, family, and business community still get out there and network in person which leads to connections on social media. Make friends with local businesses that might have similar customers to yours and then share their info as suggested in number 4.
7 – ASK!
You’ve got to get your clients to engage while you can. It’s best to do it right at the time you’re interacting with them. Give them a little incentive if you can, but whatever you do, you have to ASK! They will not use their psychic abilities to discover that you need help with growing your social media following. Step outside your comfort zone a little bit, find a really happy customer, and ask them for a little help.
So go ahead, make some noise. Make a local scene. Get your business seen. And grow your local business!
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