Local business facebook marketing strategies aren’t easy to devise. Despite having over a quarter of the world’s population as active users, Facebook doesn’t always turn out to be the marketer’s dream platform.
Some approach the social network expecting quick and easy results, thanks to the simplicity of the platform and the sheer audience size that is available. Unfortunately, for those that don’t have a strategy or the correct information, the effort is usually wasted.
Facebook can be highly effective for smaller local businesses, but only if it is used in the right way. If you want to be one of the successful marketers on the platform, then it’s time to start employing these five local marketing strategies that actually work.
Use Events to Promote Engagement and Generate Foot Traffic
One of the biggest challenges of Facebook is converting page views, likes, and shares, into physical traffic. One popular technique used to drive local traffic is the Facebook Events feature. Events allow businesses to engage with followers by promoting real-world events, and all details can be shared conveniently through Facebook and the event posting itself.
When creating events for a local business, it’s important to ensure that some important information is included:
- Use appropriate SEO keywords for public events.
- Fill out all of the standard detail fields provided by Facebook.
- Add a photo that represents the event in a meaningful way. Do not use generic photos of the local business that don’t specifically relate to the event. The image should be exciting and impactful.
- Invite all of your page followers to join the event.
- Consider paid promotion of the event through Facebook, or make sure that you share the event to increase organic reach.
Events can be used to promote retail sales, live acts at bars, special menu nights at restaurants etc.
When Sharing Content, Make Sure It’s Local
Some online marketing tutorials will constantly reinforce the fact that sharing other content (curation) can generate more traffic and increase authority. This is true to a degree, but you need to get more specific when you are promoting a local business on Facebook.
In addition to limiting sharing to content that is relevant to the business and its niche, make sure that you only share local content, or at least ensure that the majority of shared content comes from local sources. You’ll be more likely to engage with a responsive and locally based audience, increasing the chances of driving business within your target market.
In addition to sharing content, you could also tag local groups, personalities, and businesses in your posts. This can get your content in front of more of your local audience, further increasing chances for engagement and real-world traffic to the local business.
Run Contests That Generate Foot Traffic
Contests are an effective form of engagement on Facebook, and you can design contests in a way that will bring foot traffic to a local business. The most obvious way to do this would be to run a contest that offers the winner (or winners) an exclusive in-store discount or offer.
Because you’re aiming for physical traffic into the business, make sure that the contest conditions are explicitly stated, i.e. all prizes must be redeemed in-store.
Facebook offers one of the easiest ways for businesses to run contests because individual entries can simply be tracked through post comments, or even through tagged photos. The actual mechanics of the competition are up to your creativity, but photo contests have proven to be extremely responsive in recent years.
Local Business Facebook Marketing Requires Small Changes to What You May Already Be Doing
There are some simple rules to remember when you want to market a local business on Facebook.
- Keep your content relevant to the local geographical area.
- Tag relevant businesses, locations, and personalities to engage with a local audience.
- When running competitions or other campaigns, place the focus on engagement with local audiences.
- If the goal is to generate physical traffic to a store, restaurant, bar etc., make sure that your competitions and promotions provide value to those Facebook users who choose to visit the business place (e.g. discounts, special promotions, loyalty rewards etc.)
By slightly modifying your current social media strategies you’ll have a versatile toolbox of local Facebook marketing techniques, developing results for yourself and your local business clients.
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