One of the most important lessons we have learnt over the years is how important it is to engage with your local community on social media.
When businesses first set up on social media, be it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, global domination seems entirely possible! It’s understandable in a way. These platforms are designs to allow you to engage with and consume content from anywhere on earth. Would Beyonce be interested in your cake business? Maybe! Tag her in a tweet and see!
However it doesn’t take long for business owners and social media managers to realise that the majority of followers they get from outside their local community are either spam accounts of desperate profiles looking for followers no matter how irrelevant.
So that’s why one of the first things we talk to clients about is winning the local game first before looking further afield for potential customers and engaged followers. The value of a follower on your social media profiles from your local area is far higher than the average follower from far away.
Typically your company will have greater name recognition within your local community. Followers might know you and your staff personally and if you are a ‘bricks and mortar’ business your followers will likely have already done business with you.
When you have limited time what are some ways to engage with your local community on social media that will generate positive outcomes for your business?
1. Events on Facebook
If you have events at your place of business make sure you create a Facebook event as soon as possible. People tend to post on social media at events they enjoy and these posts are going to get your company in front of people who may not have liked your page yet. When someone is interested in your event they have the opportunity to click ‘Interested’ or ‘Going’. Either choice will mean they receive reminders of your event as the date approaches and their friends will also see their interest in your event.
2. Show the best of your community on Twitter
If there are events taking place in your town, attend and take photos (and selfies!) at the event to show you are an engaged community member. Tag other businesses in a photo and tweet using a locally relevant hashtag. Oh and don’t forget Twitter recently increased their character limit for Tweets from 140 to 280. So feel free to mention a few local Twitter users with high follower numbers.
3. Use Locations in your Instagram Feed and Stories
I’m always surprised when I see businesses posting on Instagram without adding their location. It’s a way of letting your followers know your location without needing to add it to the caption. The place to add your location is at the top of each Instagram post and when they are published, it’s shown under your username. Once the location is added anyone who views the post can click the link and it will open the maps app and display your specific location. This is also true for Instagram stories. It takes just a second to select ‘location’ on your story and add either your business name, or your town name. Pro tip … if you add your town name you will get additional views from people who aren’t following you but are following Instagram stories in your town.
There are many other ways to engage with your local community on social media. If you’re doing it reasonably (no spamming and feed bombing!), your profile and followers will increase. Community pride always wins. Always ‘bring the positive’ and show your fellow business owners and potential customers that you are worth following on social media.
Are you a business that is struggling to manage your social media marketing? Get in touch and see how we can help.