Social Media Marketing for Local Businesses
If your local service business is not currently active on social media, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Social networks are one of the biggest sources of inspiration for consumer purchases, with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through social channels. Nowadays, neglecting to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy can cost you. There are 65 million local business pages on Facebook alone, so if you’re not reaching those potential new customers, your competitors will gladly pick them up. Social media not only allows your local service business to connect with new customers but also retain your existing customers. Social platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) are used for just that – Socializing. By connecting with your customers online, building connections, and maintaining relationships, your chances of retaining them increase, as well as their potential lifetime value. Which Platforms Should Local Businesses Use? Selecting the right social media platforms can be a challenge for some businesses. Many times, owners think “Let’s sign up for everything, so we can reach the most people”, but this can end up backfiring on your business if you don’t have the time or resources to maintain the accounts. You’ll want to consider where your audience most active, what sort of content resonates best with your audience, what influences their buying decisions, and your budget. Take some time to research your competitors as well to determine which platforms they are on, the types of content they post, and how well they perform. Facebook (2.3 billion users) – 77% of B2C businesses have acquired a customer through Facebook. It’s the most popular social media site that every single business should be a part of is Facebook. Utilize the platform for connecting with customers and sharing valuable content. When used correctly, a Facebook page can be an invaluable asset to local businesses. Youtube (1.9 billion users) – On this platform, users can view, upload, rate, share, and comment on videos. Many videos on YouTube have a visual, creative, or educational component. In fact, over half of the users utilize the platform for tutorials. So, if you’re an HVAC company that just signed up for an account, you could post videos about troubleshooting, maintenance, or common problems. Instagram (1 billion users) – A rapid and steady growth of Instagram users has been taking place for the platform. Use the platform to share images and videos of your services business. Twitter (330 million users) – Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform that sends out 500 million tweets per day. It can be a difficult channel to keep up with, but it offers many users immediate customer service. LinkedIn (303 million users) – Often used for as a professional channel for recruitment or B2B companies, it still may be a valuable platform if your business works with other vendors or partners to connect with them and grow your network.
Reviews and Recommendations Word-of-Mouth has gone digital, and happy customers will gladly take care of that for you. Users on social are constantly looking to their friends and community for recommendations for almost everything, ranging from local restaurants to home improvement services. Social media platforms know how to hone in on these conversations. One of the first things you’ll notice on a business's Facebook account aside from hours and services is their reviews. The fact is, people turn to social for information, and online reviews by consumers are trusted as much as personal recommendations. It’s crucial that you grow your Facebook reviews to support a positive reputation. Let’s say a user is looking for recommendations for a dentist in your area. When users comment with recommendations, Facebook will recognize the business, tag them in the post, and even add their location to the map. As a local service business, you’ll not only be visible for the user who asked the question, but also to anyone else who sees the post. Facebook also offers users a Recommendations feature that allows them to ask for recommendations in local areas. Not only are users asking their friends, but they are also utilizing Facebook groups, like Buy-Sell-Trade, to ask a larger audience. Location-Based Targeting Ads Social media algorithms have made organic engagement challenging for many businesses. Paid social media advertising has become almost a necessity for brands that want visibility, and location-based targeting is one of the many specific demographic aspects you can use to get better results. A simple way to reach local customers is by displaying your ads in select areas near your business. Social platforms offer additional targeting features to help you hone in on local customers based on other demographics or interests similar to the services you offer. Narrowing down the audience your ads will be served to will allow you to achieve the highest customer potential at the lowest costs. Customer Service More and more people prefer to use social messaging to resolve questions or issues. 54% of customers prefer social messaging channels for customer service care over a phone call or email. Utilize Facebook messenger to your advantage by facilitating the two-way conversation between you and your customers. The social platform can even keep an eye on your responsiveness and promote to other users that you are quick to respond to messages. Keep in mind that 42% of consumers expect a customer service response on social media within 60 minutes. So if your business is unable to monitor social media messages, you can use the programmable messenger bots feature for other quick and effective options for providing customer service on Facebook. Everyone on social media is being located by the things they like, the things they do, and yes – their location. Social media marketing can be an effective and low-cost way for your local service business to create greater visibility, connect with customers, and humanize your brand with personality. But, succeeding in social media takes time, experience, creativity, and responsiveness. Looking for a social media coach? Reach out, or send us a message on Facebook! Our Social Media Marketing Services help your business grow brand awareness, build relationships, and increase traffic to your website.