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Have you made New Year’s resolutions for your business?
If not, why not?
Think about it. It’s a new year and it’s one that’s full of opportunities. Even if you killed it with your marketing in 2017, there’s always room for improvement. So, here’s one suggestion for a resolution:
Master local marketing on Facebook.
Facebook is huge, with 2.2 billion users and counting. The chances are good that many of your customers use it daily – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing a great job of connecting with them.
And let’s face it – social marketing has some challenges. Facebook keeps refining their algorithms, and that’s made it harder than it used to be to be sure your target audience sees the content you post.
With that in mind, here are eight things you can do starting right now to ring the new year in with a bang – and become a master of local Facebook marketing.
#1: Create a Facebook Event
Creating events on Facebook helps raise your visibility, engage existing customers, and attract new ones. Here’s how to do it:
1. Come up with an event. It could be a sale, a social event, or even a performance.
2. Go to the Events tab to create your event.
3. Fill in the date and time of your event, choose a category for it, and put in keywords that will help people find it.
4. Add a Google map or directions.
5. Link to a ticketing site if people need to buy tickets.
Once the event is set up, you can invite people and share it on your page. You can even pay to boost it, or run it as an ad to attract more attendees.
#2: Create and Share Local Content
You’re a local business – so show some local pride to connect with potential customers! If there’s a local tradition or event coming up, or if you see an article that highlights something unique about your city, share it with your followers.
Of course, you need to do more than share. You can increase your page’s visibility by tagging other local businesses, events, or landmarks in your post.
This is an opportunity to connect with other local business owners, too. You might be able to help one another out!
#3: Let People Know What You’re Doing
Are you attending a trade show? Hosting a booth at a community event? Maybe you’ve sponsored a soccer team and you’re attending a game.
Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity to check in at your location, tag other businesses and events, and keep your audience up-to-date on what you’re doing.
It’s important here not to overdo tagging. Nobody cares if you stopped at Starbucks for a latte. Stick to events and locations that highlight your business and your audience will thank you.
#4: Get People to Write Facebook Reviews of Your Business
Reviews are hugely important. They provide social proof – and a recent Bright Local survey found that 92% of all consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase.
Facebook reviews can help increase your profile and attract new customers. You can encourage people to leave reviews by reaching out to your list or creating a post where you ask for reviews.
Keep in mind that star reviews without a written review accompanying them won’t get you as much visibility as written reviews. You may want to create a template for people who aren’t sure what to write where you ask things like:
- What problem did you have before buying our product or using our service?
- How did working with us help you?
- What were the biggest changes you experienced because of your purchase?
- Once you’ve collected some reviews, you can share them on your page. You can do the same, of course, with reviews from Yelp and Google.
#5: Create Groups for Your Followers
Did you know that Facebook allows you to create groups for people who follow your page? Creating a group can be an effective way of building a community and focusing conversations and content on a topic.
For example, if you offer an array of services, you might create a group for each one. That way, people can connect with others who use the service, ask questions, and even recommend your services to others.
#6: Give People a Reason to Come to Your Store
Many local businesses rely on foot traffic to drive sales. If you do, you can use your Facebook account to encourage people to come see you in person.
For example, you might create and share an in-person coupon that people can use when they come to your store. Or, you might offer a giveaway for those who visit your location.
Other things you can do to entice in-person visits include:
- Aligning yourself with a local cause or charity
- Hosting in-store events
- Teaming up with other local businesses to create joint promotions
- Having a contest or sweepstakes for people who make a purchase within a specified timeframe
- These things can all help attract customers to your store – and get them to make purchases.
#7: Run a Contest
Running a contest on Facebook can help you attract new followers and build engagement. If you decide to do it, keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules about what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t require followers to Like or Share a post to enter.
Make sure that your contest has:
- A clear start and end date
- Prizes that are appealing and relevant to your target audience
- Well-defined rules
And, of course, you’ll need to deliver prizes on schedule and as promised.
#8: Market Your Facebook Page in Your Store
In local marketing, one hand washes the other. While you might put your focus on bringing customers from your Facebook page to your store, it can work in reverse, too!
For example, you might put a link to your Facebook page on flyers, business cards, and coupons. You can also ask customers to take a picture in your store and post it on Facebook while tagging you. Offering an incentive, like a 10% off coupon or a gift card, can help.
Local Facebook marketing poses some challenges, but now you know how to address them. Local content, events, and contests can all help you attract new customers to your Facebook page – and your store.
This article was originally published on by Scott McClure.
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