7 Social Media Marketing Ideas For Local Businesses

January 16, 2018 Online Marketing

Nearly half of Americans say they don’t have enough time.

That’s actually a bit lower than I would have thought. The way people talk in person and on social media it would seem that nearly 100% of people don’t have time for things they want to do.

In the business world, and especially the local business world, leaders want to make time for social media. They know that people are spending nearly three hours everyday on social media.

If you want to reach people you have to pay attention to social media.

But who has the time?

If you’re a local business owner or manager or whatever, here are some ideas for boosting your social media effort. And I tried to find ways that shouldn’t use up too much of your time.

1. Encourage Selfies

Millennials are taking more than one selfie per day.

And it’s not just young people. Smartphones have made it incredibly easy to communicate. Many adults, even grandparents, are using their iPhones to send photos to family and friends.

They can say so much with a quick pic.

And you know one thing they can say when they’re taking pics?

Look where I am…

That’s big for local businesses. Restaurants, venues, events, etc. Make sure your staff is instructed to help customers take pics and selfies. Have them ask if they can take pictures for groups. Host selfie contests. Get people taking pics inside your business so they spread the word for you on social media.

2. Interact With Every Engagement

Every engagement means anytime someone tags you in an Instagram post or comments on your Facebook page or anything like that. You want to make sure that they know that they can interact with you.

And you’d be surprised at how far this goes.

The whole reason social media works is that people get a little shot of dopamine every time they get an engagement on social media. They post photos and wait for the likes and comments to come through. We live for it.

Give your customers that dopamine shot by engaging with them. You’ll need to have someone monitoring your business’s accounts and even just your name on social media so that you know every time someone engages with you. Then give that person the freedom to respond and engage back.

3. Engage With Other Local Businesses

You’re in competition with a lot of local businesses, but you can also work together with them to raise your profile and to help them as well. And that’s how you have to go into it.

Start by engaging with pieces of content that other businesses in your area share on social media. Every photo on Instagram. Every update on Facebook.

Leave a comment. Like the post. Mention them when you share certain things on your accounts.

Give. Give. Give.

You would love it if another business talked about you on social media. Start the engagement by paying it forward and showing the love.

What you’ll see is that businesses will start mentioning you. But then you can look to take things a bit further.

For example, if you’re a local wine retailer you can work with a local bank so that every customer on a certain day that goes to the bank can get a coupon for wine in your store.

4. Connect With Local Influencers

Big time overlooked right here.

Your city, no matter how small, has influencers. Moms that have influence over other moms. Even teenagers that have influence over other teenagers.

Find the people in your city that have the most followers on social media. Instagram is a great place to start.

Reach out via direct message and start a relationship with these folks.

Hey, I see that you love our city as much as we do. Would love to have you come in for a free [your product here]. Really curious to get your thoughts.

And that might be enough for them to come in. Others might want something else. Maybe free times for them and their friends. Maybe even some money.

In just about any case it’s worth it to connect with these influencers because they will tell their followers about you and their followers will listen.

5. Encourage Employee Phone Use

Some businesses like to tell their employees to put their phones away while working. Totally understandable.

But what if you took the opposite approach?

Make it clear that work still needs to get done, but allow your employees to have their phones on them at all times. Yes, they will be texting with friends and that kind of thing. It will take away from some of the work they’re doing.

But they’ll also be using those phones for social media activity. Taking selfies. Sharing them with friends. Sharing them on Instagram…while in your business.

6. Host More Events

Events make for great social media fodder.

Could your business host more events?

Even a dentist office can host kids days or family days. A bank could host a fair during the summertime. A restaurant can host more business lunches. A bar can host more happy hours and game days.

All kinds of things.

7. Giveaways

I read something really smart somewhere recently. The best advertising you can do for a business is to giveaway free product or free service.

Even the NFL teams used to giveaway free tickets in the early days. And many still do today.

It doesn’t really take away from your business. You’re spending the money anyway on advertising. The good thing with giving away your product or service is that you’re only giving it up for your cost.

And you’re likely going to get lots of social media coverage for doing it. Especially if you do the giveaways exclusively on social media.

Conclusion

Hopefully these are some helpful and actionable aways you can get your business more active on social media. You can do these along with taking more pictures and things like that with your phone to put on the company’s feed. These are things that a few local businesses are doing with great success. Look at the most social companies in your city. Chances are they’re doing some of the things above.