Five essential social media tools for local marketing
News emerged this month that Facebook is testing a separate feed for localised news and events, as part of an ongoing effort to forge deeper connections between local communities and interest Groups online.
So as the world’s primary social media network dials up the emphasis on localised communication, we thought we’d highlight the key tools-of-the-trade for local social media marketing. After all, though Brazen is an international agency with offices and clients based worldwide, we’ve also got experience of creating success for local Northern brands in our hometown of Manchester, such as Great Northern Warehouse and Corn Exchange.
Facebook events are a great way to get your business discovered, since users don’t have to follow your page in order for your event to show up within local listings. You have the option to categorise your event, so it’s more likely to be shown to a relevant audience, and can place a link to ticket sales prominently alongside the event title, time and location.
What’s more, if users click ‘interested’ or ‘going’ to your event, it will be bookmarked in their events calendar and they will be sent a push notification whenever you update the event details or share a post to the event page. Your event may also be recommended to potential attendees if lots of their Facebook connections have already shown an interest.
Geo-targeted social media advertising
Targeting options for paid social media advertising allow you to restrict who sees posts from your page to a highly concentrated local area, so you aren’t wasting spend on customers outside of your catchment zone. Facebook in particular offers a variety of advertising formats designed to suit different local objectives, from event attendance and in-store footfall to online sales and special-offer redemptions.
Instagram location tags
Adding a location tag when you share an Instagram story or post for your brand can have a significant impact on the number of people your content reaches, because your post will be listed under the ‘Places’ section of the explore tab for nearby Instagram users, even if they don’t follow you.
It’s also a good idea to research the most popular hashtags for your location and include a number of them to ensure anyone searching for local content by hashtag will see your post.
Snapchat geo-filters allow you to design a branded frame that any user within the geographical area you’ve selected can overlay onto their photos before sharing with friends, giving you extended brand exposure alongside a genuine piece of fan content. The cost of the filter depends on the timespan it’s available for and the size of the area it’s available within, starting from under £5. This makes filters a really accessible and affordable tool for even the smallest businesses, particularly if you want to promote certain events over a short time-span.
For best results, remember to think about what users are likely to be photographing in the area and focus on including imagery that taps into their interests, rather than solely focusing on your brand. So, for example, a well-designed frame made up of cute cartoon ice creams that subtly incorporates branding would usually gain more fan shares than just the logo of a local ice cream shop.
User generated content
Word of mouth is arguably even more important for local businesses than their larger counterparts, and social media is now one of the most popular ways to share peer-to-peer recommendations. From Facebook reviews and check-ins to Instagram photo tags and brand namechecks on Twitter, user-generated content is a powerfully persuasive tool to convert new fans.
Make sure you encourage this kind of behaviour by re-sharing the best user posts, rewarding fans who praise your brand with positive one-to-one interaction and running photo contests on your own social channels. Beyond social media, it’s also worth prominently displaying social media account handles on your signage in-store to remind customers to post photos at the exact moment when they’re interacting with your products.
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