Local search traffic is critical for many types of businesses because they lack the ability to deliver their goods and services to people in distant geographic regions.
Take a law firm, for example, who is typically bound practicing law within their respective state. Almost all of their business comes from people within close range of their law practice, with few exceptions. But law firms aren’t the only businesses with the need to be able to reach out to people in their local community. Other examples include dentists, restaurants, boutique shops, coffee shops, and countless other types of businesses.
Local search is imperative for any small business, but most don’t take the right steps to reach members of their community – especially on social media. While some even understand how to target local search keywords, too many fail to adapt a social media strategy that will build up a local audience.
Here are 4 tips to get more local exposure with social media:
1. Create Geographically Relevant Content
If you want to make an impression with social media upon members of your local community, you need to streamline your content by adapting it to trends that apply locally. The problem a lot of websites face is creating content that is not only relevant from a big-picture industry perspective, but also how that topic or concept is relevant on a small scale.
For example, if you wanted to promote content for a website that offers float trips and camping in Missouri, users might be interested in the most venomous snakes in Missouri or other dangers specific to the local area. Likewise, a law firm might want to post updates regarding changes in local laws and how they affect citizens.
You just need to be sure two criteria are met. First of all, the content needs to be interesting. No matter what topic your content is about, it won’t make an impact if it doesn’t add value for the visitors. Secondly, it needs to apply on a local level.
2. Engage Community Leaders
The second strategy businesses should incorporate into their local social media strategy is to engage local community leaders. Even smaller towns seem to have some important figurehead or organization that carries a lot of weight within the community. In addition, you’ll find that most social media platforms contain groups for individual communities. It should come as no surprise that not only should your business join these types of groups, but also be a frequent and active participator in discussion threads within these groups.
3. Don’t Oversell
Members of the same community typically tend to trust each other more than they do outsiders, regardless of how large or small the community is. Part of the reason this trust factor is in place is because members of the same community typically share the similar values and beliefs.
However, it is easy to break that trust and come off as a spammer if you constantly sell to others on social media. Instead of seeing local social media groups as another chance to plaster your marketing messages across the digital world, see them as a place to genuinely interact with members of your community.
4. Engage in Local Events through Social Media
One of the best ways to reach out to the local community is through local events, and they are a great way to network with members of your community. Furthermore, they provide a way to give back to local community members.
These days, a lot of events are organized through Facebook groups and Twitter followings. These types of pages are hotbeds of local activity, and you need to be digitally present in these types of activity. Examples of local events include community charity events, fundraisers, runs for worthy causes, seasonal event like harvest festivals, and so on. Just make sure that you find a way to help solve other people’s problems and add value to the event.
5. Give Back to the Community
A great way to increase social proof and build trust is to give back to the local community. No, you don’t need to donate large sums of money to a worthy cause, but going the extra mile to help others in your immediate area will help enhance how the community as a whole perceives the goals of your business. It might be as simple as offering local coupons and products to aid a fundraising event, or offering a discount for your services for local events.
In addition, offers and promotions that are exclusive to your neighboring citizens will help them feel like you genuinely care about the well-being of others in the area instead of looking like a profit-driven machine. Even small acts of kindness can go a long way towards building trust so that the local community views your organization as an integral asset in the community.