It is no secret that I do a lot of local networking as a social media consultant. A large percentage of that networking is in-person networking; I have found several excellent local networking opportunities available to my business in Myrtle Beach, and most likely to you too if you know where to look.
Today I am going to share other ways to network locally.
I have 3 tips for local networking on your Facebook social media platform.
These tips apply to global businesses who want to market to local customers as well as brick and mortar businesses who market to a local audience.
Here are my 3 tips:
1) Facebook Places
When you first made your Facebook page, you had six category options to choose from. To many Facebook users who initially set up their first page, choosing a category is confusing. Don’t worry, you can re-categorize your business right now if you feel you've not picked the right category initially. If you have a brick and mortar business (a physical location where clients and customers can meet and visit with you) you want to be a ‘Local Business or Place’.
Pick 'place' if you market to local customers and have a brick and mortar business.
Benefit: Potential customers have your stats at their finger tips – the ‘about’ section on your page shows who you are, your address, your phone number and hours of operation. For mobile users this means they can call you with a question right from their Facebook App!
Benefit: Having a ‘place’ page enable customers to ‘check-in’ to your business when they visit. When someone checks in, their ‘check-ins’ get displayed on their personal profile and their friends will see that notification.
How great is that? You are now marketing to your current customer’s friends.
2) Preferred Audience TARGETING/Targeted Posts
A fairly underutilized function on your Facebook page lets you target posts to a specific audience. You can target a post based on:
You can target and segment your posts by these seven categories.
To enable this setting and to learn how to use it, go to this Facebook help page to understand exactly how to target your preferred audience.
Once you write your status update, click on the preferred audience button. (as you can see, mine was 'hidden')
Then this window pops up and you can target your post to your preferred audience!
Benefit: Being able to engage a very specific segment of your Facebook fans make that targeted group feel special and can get you some great engagement if done right.
Benefit: Being able to exclude a very specific segment of you Facebook fans prevents them from feeling left out when you talk about gender specific issues, local events or write in a different language.
3) Facebook Ads
OK, you know I was going to throw this out, didn't you?
Facebook Ads lets you target a very specific audience and this is perfect for building a local audience! If you are trying to target local ‘mothers who have teenagers’, you can do that. If you want to market to ‘Russian speaking' locals you can do that, too! How about marketing to ‘people who play golf’ (for your charity golf event) or ‘soccer dads’?
The sky is the limit, so consider using Facebook Ads to build your local Facebook audience.
Are you a local company marketing on Facebook? Have you used Check-Ins, Targeted Posts or Facebook Ads to get more traffic and engagement to your Facebook Page? Please chime in. I'd love to know about your successes!