Social media for local businesses can be very difficult because to make social media successful you need to create consistent content. Most local businesses are too busy to create content frequently enough to build an audience and keep them engaged with their brand. That said, if you create a strategy and a timeline for the content it becomes significantly easier. Businesses which invest in this marketing channel see results by staying connected with their current customers and by nurturing the business consumer relationship can drive conversions in the future.
Where should you start with social media? I personally recommend starting with one or two platforms and that is it. For example, start with Facebook and LinkedIn or perhaps swap out LinkedIn with Instagram if your business has lots of visually appealing aspects that images would be best suited for. In most cases, if you are going to manage your own social media I would recommend starting with a Facebook business page since this also counts as a local directory and can help with local SEO. This can also apply for a LinkedIn Business page which is part local and part social.
When a business does take on the challenge of coming up with its own content there is a daunting question of “what should I post about?” This can be a very difficult question which leads to many businesses stop posting and now when a potential customer looks at the businesses Facebook page the last post was from three years ago, yikes! This screams doubt to the potential customer and they think maybe they are not even open anymore. I recommend the following one-thirds strategy.
One-third of your social media posts are based on content about your industry.
Another third are general updates about your business such as
- Work for a new client
- Birthdays of employees
- Promotions of employees
- Business successes
The last third of posts are items related to the community such as
- Local sports games
- Other happenings in the community
This demonstrates you are connected with the community and that can help build trust with potential clients. You need to demonstrate the digital lights are on at your business and that is through posting at least once a week.
When developing content for social media or for your website it is critical to understand the best practices as it relates to content marketing which I highlight in my next course.