18 Jan How to get your local business noticed on Facebook!
If you’re running a local business with a physical ‘location’ and you’re doing OK, you’ll also know that, of course, your local customers are your most valuable customers.
So how do you go about making sure that you’re reaching and connecting with the people that don’t know they need you yet? Or even ‘local’ people who might be slightly outside of your usual catchment?
You might think that you don’t need to promote your local business online if you rely on passing trade, loyalty or word of mouth to bring in new customers. You don’t want to spend time messing about online when all your valuable customer can be right in front of you. You want to focus on doing what you do and let your work speak for itself. We get that.
But all that said, in a competitive high street keeping hold of the customers you have (and getting new ones) means making sure you are the first local business they think of when they need something – and keeping up a gentle presence in their social media feeds is a great way to make that happen!
So to help you out, we’ve compiled a teeny tiny list of things you can do on Facebook – in spite of all their recently announced changes, RIGHT NOW to appeal to local customers.
What brings new customers in better than an event? Running events is great for a local business. It keeps it interesting, local people love them, and on Facebook, when someone replies to say they are “interested” or “going” to an event, it pops up on all their friend’s timelines.
Your investment in an event doesn’t have to be huge. Your event doesn’t have to be enormous or elaborate; it can be as simple as offering a free demonstration, or bringing in a supplier of a new product, or running a late night shopping event and throw in a glass of bubbly!
Find a way to encourage people to invite friends and make sure you share it on your Facebook timeline, and across Twitter too!
Get people to ‘check-in’
We’ve all seen those little notifications from friends when they check in to somewhere nice on Facebook. It might say something like “Wendy Bennett was enjoying a gin at Augill Castle”, with a little map of the area underneath. Often those check-ins are accompanied by selfies with gloriously large glasses of said gin! There is a lot of marketing value in those check-ins when Wendy’s friends all see her post, ask questions and ultimately have your local business in their sights next time they’re thinking of the same!
So, how can you encourage people to check in at your business? Offer an incentive of course!
If you’re a cafe, add a promotion to your menu or get it out there with a social media incentive. You could offer a free upgrade to a large coffee for those who ‘check in’ and then show their check in screen to a member of your team! Or if you’re a University city, check out the term dates and do a returning student offer each term!
If you’re a gift shop what about offering a free gift wrap service to people who check in? Or if you’re running a hotel, offer a glass of wine with dinner! You get the idea.
Whatever you choose to do, if it makes your customers feel special it will generate a little good will. Every person visiting your business are a valuable resource – and if they like you it’s likely their friends will too!
Use local images
People scroll a LOT, especially on Facebook (and Instagram but that’s a whole other post!). And you know when you are scrolling through your feed, and you see a picture of somewhere you recognize or where you live. Human nature and the need to connect means you’ll stop at that image, go back to it even. Using local images is a great way for a business to say “if you recognise this, we are here, we’re local”.
Photos of your business are great, but taking pictures out and about in the immediate and surrounding areas work well too and remind your customers that you’re part of their community.
Make sure to add location tags (known as geotags) to your shots when you upload them to let everyone know where you are too!
So 3 easy ways to increase the profile of your local business on Facebook – do let us know how you get on with them!
And if you’re not so handy with a camera, aren’t sure how to get started with social media or need someone to help you with some ideas then give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to help. We work with clients all across the UK (including Scotland), and have bases in East Anglia and the South West (UK). For more information see www.serenityva.co.uk or give us a call!