by Debbie A. Everson
Is there a place for a small neighborhood business like yours in global sites Twitter or Facebook? Business wise, is there an advantage? Of course, there is. The beauty of online marketing through social media is that it gets your sales pitch to everybody. This means that you can launch a local social media campaign to attract local customers, with the help of these global-catering sites.
Successful Local Social Media Stories
Here are a few of the entrepreneurial spirits that grew their business with the help of ingenious local social media campaigns:
1. Mars Cafe. They employed Twitter and MySpace to establish an easy-going relationship with Iowa University customers. A “Twitter Tuesday” promo for students and teachers is claimable with a school ID. $1-coffee offers can be claimed when customers know the keyword posted earlier at Twitter.
2. Expedia. Online travel booking company Expedia is operating globally but maintains numerous local accounts. Expedia Chicago tweets the best round trip deals to and from Chicago every day. Twitter customers also get last minute travel and hotel deals that are cheaper than standard rates.
3. Studio Movie Grill. This Dallas-based cinema house operates an online ticket reservation system. They use Facebook and Twitter for local social media campaigns filled with announcements on special movie screenings and promos.
4. Dunkin Donuts. Their local campaigns are a mix of corporate- and branch-level Facebook offerings. Customers get a close look inside their kitchens, learn about their chefs, and receive a steady dose of news on local stores everywhere.
Best Places to Conduct Your Local Social Media Campaign
Social media sites may be the microcosm of the world, but they actually cater to local online marketing. Here are some of them and how they can help localize your campaign:
Every user that signs up in Facebook fills in profile information. The city or hometown part of the profile is useful in local marketing. Your business’s Facebook account automatically places you in the same network with users of the same location, city or hometown.
Business people use LinkedIn to get connections with businesses in the same location or industry. Your product, skill or service gains wider local coverage. LinkedIn users are potential business partners, employees or customers.
Twitter’s near-real-time and conversational tweet feature allows businesses to directly reach out to local customers. It has a search facility that returns users in particular locations, depending on the search keywords used.
Tracking Local Social Media Gains
To ensure that your local social media campaign is really helping your business and is not a complete waste of time, here are some things to do:
1. Set a goal. This may vary from reaching out to costumers, or increase online sales, or simply monitor brand popularity online. Goals serve as the baseline to track the progress of your local social media campaign.
2. Track your milestones. A quarter later, did you achieve your goal to get a thousand Facebook fans, for example? Take stock of your current progress relative to the past, to maintain direction or make corrections when necessary.
3. Use tools to measure performance. It can be Google Analytics to measure traffic, or a PR checker, or a customer satisfaction survey form.
4. Keep at it. Local social media benefits are not gained overnight. Followers, fans and your entire customer base are carefully nurtured with patience and through time.
Remember that there is no such thing as instant success in local social media campaigns. Good business sense plus a well-crafted campaign will be instrumental in increasing your business reputation and engaging customers online.
About the Author
Debbie A. Everson, CEO SearchMar.com, experienced SEO Consultants and Search Engine Optimization Agency to over 2,000 small businesses. Learn about search engine marketing, pay-per-click, social bookmarking, and email marketing at our SEO Blog. Follow us on Twitter @searchmar or call 866.885.6263 to speak to an SEO Consultant.