Local Business Social Media Strategy
Three social media platforms form the basis of this simple, yet effective social media strategy that will see increased foot-fall to your shop floor and improve your business’s bottom line. This strategy will also help build lasting relationships with customers and enhance awareness of your brand in the local area.
How it works
- First things first. You need to direct your current customers to your online presence. Advertise in store with posters and QR codes and if you have a website make sure you have links to your social channels.
- Encourage customers to “Check-in” to you business’s shop with Four Sqaure app or via Facebook Places. Once again, use posters to prompt users to “Check-In”.
- Incentivise customers to do so by offering a discount with purchase, for example “spend £100 and get £10 off when you check-in”. Something for free; “enjoy a free chocolate fudge cake if you buy a starter and main course”. Special treatment; “check-in on Foursquare for private access to our VIP area”.
- Reward your best customers with special offers such as; “on your fifth check-in receive a free gift’. This is much like a digital version of a stamp-card you see in places like Cafe Nero, Waterstones and Nandos.
This starter social media strategy will generate buzz within the local area and draw attention to you brand. Buzz will be created fundamentally by customers “Checking-in” to your business. Customers doing so in essence will be leaving a free advert for your business on their Facebook timeline (See images below).
Every time someone “checks-in” to your business, the message posted on Facebook has the potential to reach each of that customer’s friends (on average 150 people). Giving a customer a special deal in exchange for an advert? Why not?
It is a fact of human nature, proved in psychological studies, that if your friend does something you will be more likely to do it too. It’s called peer pressure, or social proofing if you like. So get the ball rolling at start getting your customers to “check in” and “like” your social networking pages.
The most trusted source of marketing is word of mouth. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising study (April 2012) found that 92% of us trust messages from our friends and family about brands against 47% of us trusting direct messages from companies.
Facebook’s (2012) own research concludes that if a friend “likes” a brand on Facebook there is a 65% chance of that individuals close friend’s liking it too! That is quite an astonishing fact, and something that should not be overlooked.
By getting your customers to “like” your business’ Facebook or Foursquare page you are opening up the possibility of more and more people finding out about your company and what it does, thus building brand awareness.
This coupled with offering incentives for people to actually come in to your shop and buy things will see a direct increase in sales. This is a very cheap and effective means of advertising that is targeted at your current customers and their similar friends.
Many people have never heard of Search.Twitter.com and that to me is a great shame. This advanced search tool allows you to search for people talking about your brand quickly and easily. It gives you the opportunity to see what your customers are saying about you. It gives you the opportunity to interact with these people and start a relationship with them. By being so direct with customers you will enhance your customer service, understand in real-time how to improve your business and build emotional equity with people through relationship building.
Search.Twitter is also useful to see what’s going on locally in your area. The functionality of the search tool allows you to search for Tweets via city, town or postcode. If you are a local merchant think how useful this could be… Little Johny Smith tweets “I’m soooo hungry, I’ve been walking through ABC Park all day and I’m ravished!”. You, as a local bakery see this tweet by searching for “hungry” people in the local vicinity and hey presto you have a potential lead. You can now directly engage with this person and perhaps offer him a little incentive to come and buy from you. Cheap marketing if I’ve ever seen it…
This is just one example of how using social media can be used to drive sales and increase brand awareness. There are numerous other strategies that can help a business build from this solid social media platform and we will outline these in furhter blog posts! Keep checking back for more info!