Brooklyn is one of the five New York City’s boroughs that share a mainland with Long Island. Being in population in the second place, right after Manhattan, gives it the title as one of the fastest “business developing soils” of the state.
There are a lot of small businesses in Brooklyn of which majority are local.
Nevertheless, according to market research, 48% of Brooklyn local businesses spend less than $500 per month for advertisement. Such a small budget doesn’t allow them to grow concerning retaining and recruiting the customers.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing
Nowadays, it is vital for every local business to have an online presence as well. You’ve probably heard the phrase “the future is on the internet” quite often.
Well, the future is happening right now. If you own a local business and you have a “0 presence” on social platforms you are doing it wrong.
Facebook is the most extensive social platform with 2,6 billion active users. Right after, on second place in popularity is YouTube with 1,6 billion active users, followed by Instagram (800 million), Twitter (330 million) and Pinterest.
Here we are talking about the biggest platforms while there are so many other, smaller ones. So, why does your business need to be on social platforms?
It is just because all your present and potential customers are hanging there on daily bases.
Social Platforms as Customer Service
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great customer service tool for your company.
Once you create a business account, you should post valuable posts regularly. We recommend posting on Facebook once a day; on Twitter ten times and Instagram at least four times a day.
Posting regularly and engaging with your community leaves the impression of reliability and professionalism to your audience.
People will ask you different kinds of things related to your business. Try to answer as soon as possible and the most accurate as possible.
Sometimes you might get a negative comment or review of an unsatisfied customer. Don’t be intimidated by harsh words. In contrary see it as a chance to turn the situation into your benefit.
Having on mind that “the customer is always right” the first thing you should do is express the empathy towards your client showing how sorry you are for the lousy experience he/she had and try to offer the satisfactory solution to a problem.
That is extremely important for the image of your business since there are many eyeballs following your reaction and how you manage the situation as a company.
In the following paragraphs, we will talk about best social media marketing strategy for local businesses.
Verify Your Business on Google
If you own a local store, the first thing you should do is to verify your business on Google My Business. Some of your customers might have uploaded some photos from your firm and probably wrote a comment. In that case, Google has already registered it without verifying. All you have to do in that case is to claim your business and wait for the Google to send a six-digit verification code.
Once Google verifies your business, it is advisable to encourage your customers to write a review.
As you know, Google is the leading search engine in the US with a market share around 64%. That's why is essential being "on good terms" with Google.
Regular Posting on Social Platforms
As mentioned in one of the previous paragraphs, it is imperative to do the regular posting across the social accounts.
You should always experiment with a type of content you share (links, photos, videos or plain text)
The best practice is to create a mix posting strategy - a little bit of everything.
Furthermore, follow the Insights of each social platform to get an idea of what kind of posts your audience engages the most.
Have in your mind that people use social platforms to socialize and not to buy. So, don't be too "salesy." Use the formula 80-20 (80% of value and 20% of promotion)
Make sure that your visual content (photos and videos) are branded and sound quality. Always try to send a message through the picture first and after that with an excellent copywriting. There are many tools that social media marketers use that can help you in creating great visuals.
Hashtags on Instagram
As a local business, you can take significant advantage of Instagram. If your audience is on that platform, you should be there too.
Instagram is a platform that rapidly grows. Despite the recent algorithm updates, it still has the option of fast organic growth.
Instagram's users engage the most with a content people and businesses post comparing to all other platforms.
Using the hashtags is a "must” for Instagram because it helps you gain more exposure.
As a local business, you should use three types of hashtags
- location tags
- industry tags
From the very first photo uploaded, you should create your brand's unique hashtag. A branded hashtag should be included it in each next photo you upload along with other 11-15 hashtags as recommended by the social media experts.
That is one of the ways to build brand awareness. Try to post regularly, and people will memorize your logo and brand colors very soon.
Location hashtags are related to local area of your business. The benefit of location hashtags is self-explanatory. It will give you high exposure to your local community.
Industry hashtags vary depending on your products/ services. Before starting with Instagram for business, we advise to make a research on your industry hashtags.
For more advice on how to be successful on Instagram, you can click here.
Benefits of Twitter
Twitter as a platform is great for customer service if you find that your audience is over there.
You can start a conversation with your audience on the post comments or through direct messages if you want to take it to a more private level.
Another benefit of Twitter is a possibility of the fast-growing following. Once you decide that a Twitter is a right fit for you, take advantage of the fact that they didn't change their algorithms yet, and start building your presence over there.
Having a Twitter account for business can help your SEO efforts (Search Engine Optimization)
Facebook Local Groups
Join the conversation in your local community. Let your voice be heard and remembered among your co-citizens.
Facebook local groups are a great way to gain more exposure. Many of the groups have the policy that allows you occasional promotion of your business.
If your company organizes events like such as promoting new product/service, new store opening, Christmas party, etc., you can create an event on Facebook.
The good thing about Facebook events is that you can keep the track on how many people have signed up to come and how many are interested in coming.
You have the option to boost the event, and that way allows more people to see and participate.
Once you upload the event on Facebook, you may cross promote it on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google + or any other platform.
Advertising on Social Platforms
Advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn is the whole separate chapter.
In all these platforms, you can target the audience and determine the duration of the ad.
Depending on your marketing goals Facebook, for instance, gives the option of several types of Ads.
The Ads that might be a good fit for local businesses are:
- Brand Awareness Ads
- Brick & Mortar (store visits)
- Lead Gen (collecting emails)
Each of the types mentioned above of Ads is optimized depending on your marketing goals.
Click here to read about benefits of Facebook Advertising.
Combining Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
And finally, use the offline advertising (vinyl banners, flyers, business cards, etc.) to mention your social accounts.
People will acknowledge your presence on social platforms and follow you to find out more about your business.