As the number one social network in Canada, Facebook is an important platform for businesses that want to connect with consumers. Not only is Facebook the only social network used by a majority of Canadian adults, but almost half of Canada’s population logs on more than once per day. And consumers aren’t just hanging out and sharing inspirational quotes either; according to Facebook, 92 per cent of people searching for local business information on social media do so on Facebook. Still more research has found that Facebook is the most influential of all the social networks when it comes to purchase decisions.
If you don’t yet have a Facebook page, Yellow Pages makes it easy to get started. But even if your local business is already on Facebook, if you don’t have a strategy for honing in on local consumers, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful benefits the platform has to offer.
Here are five local marketing ideas to help your business better reach nearby consumers.
1. Show off your local status
Much like search engines do, Facebook looks for cues about your location to help determine whether your page is relevant to local consumers. Make sure your business details, including address, phone number and maps, are complete, accurate and up-to-date. Businesses are also eligible to earn badges showcasing their local status by getting verified. Verified local businesses show up higher in search results, Facebook says, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to submit your details.
2. Make sure your posts reach the right people
One of the keys to engaging customers in an endless flow of Facebook updates is creating posts that are specifically relevant to the people who see them. Even if you have a broad fan base or several business locations in different parts of your city, it is possible to target each of your posts to the right audience. Facebook’s newsfeed audience selection tools let you show or exclude posts to specific groups based on demographics or location data. As one example, you could use this tool to post hyperlocal content aimed at engaging fans closest to one of your business locations (without spamming people to whom the update is not relevant).
3. Reach new fans with targeted ads
In addition to letting businesses determine who sees their unpaid newsfeed posts, Facebook offers numerous ways to let advertisers target sponsored content such as boosted posts and ads. In addition to offering targeting by criteria such as location, demographics and device, you may want to try Local Awareness ads, which show your ads to people within a set distance around your address. You can even customize your ad messaging to include targeted information such as directions to your business from the viewer’s location.
4. Incent customers to check in
Encouraging people to let their Facebook friends know when they visit your local business is one way you can grow word of mouth. When a customer visits your location and checks in, an update with your business name and link to your Facebook page will appear in their friends’ newsfeeds. A greater number of check-ins can also improve your ranking within Facebook search and the “nearby places” tab on the Facebook mobile app.
You can encourage fans to check in by posting signage in your store, offering incentives such as coupons or discounts to people who check in, or even enabling free Wifi to customers in exchange for checking in.
5. Develop a local influencer network
Local influencers, including nearby bloggers, media and even other local businesses, can be an effective way to build credibility and visibility within your region. You can develop a local network that’s beneficial for all by collaborating on events and promotions, keeping bloggers up to date on news about your business that may be of interest to their readers, and sharing their news and content on your Facebook page. Tagging other pages and using local hashtags in your updates can help improve visibility of your posts among local audiences, and can encourage influencers to return the favour and tag your business in their posts.
While merely being present on Facebook is an important first step in growing awareness of your local business, the right marketing tactics can help you better connect with nearby consumers. From scheduling posts to helping you optimize your targeting, Yellow Pages’ Facebook Solution makes it easier than ever to drive digital word of mouth for your local business.