Are you struggling to effectively promote your local business online? Whether you own a brick and mortar store, a direct sales business, or specialize in a service, you can maximize your online presence. Instead of product pushing, change your approach and keep reading for a different perspective about how to grow your local business through social media.
First of all- engage with your customers and potential customers. Create a survey on Twitter or Facebook, ask a question on Instagram stories, or send out a message to your email list. What do your users enjoy most about your current social media site? What would they like to see more? If you use a tool like Iconosquare, check and see what post got the most engagement. That will give you an immediate answer to this question. Once you have your answer focus on that subject and expand more. For example, a locally owned jewelry store could help potential couples or men searching for the perfect ring by sharing personal engagement stories, what words like diamond clarity or diamond cut mean, and why they like a certain diamond brand.
Second, make sure your profile and cover photos are not a storefront or business logo. Your local business is about you, your family and supporting PEOPLE. Show your customers what they are investing in when they make a purchase from you. Examples? A photo of your four legged lab seated next to his favorite treats or toy. Your daughter at the dance studio as she prepares for her next ballet recital. Your son kicking that ball into a goal at his soccer game. A photo of you and your spouse working on a project together. Or YOU!- volunteering at your local food shelter, church, or as you hand out Tootsie Rolls at Harris Teeter for a local civic group. People need to see the personal aspect of your local business. Once they see and hear your story, they are more likely to do business with you instead of a large chain or online store. People like to do business with people they know.
Finally, don't push your products- tell a story! Why do you own a local furniture or interior design business? What got you where you are now? What motivates you? How did your dream start? Stories about a five year old's dream are way more interesting to me than a photo of a cute dress, short description, and Shopify link. Sure, you can and should sell your products through social media- just make sure you are telling your story at the same time. Example? "I love this dress because I was wearing a similar style the night I got engaged!" Or, "I work for a direct sales company specializing in skincare because I was a self conscious teenager or college student and I enjoy instilling confidence in others from what I have learned." Or, "I enjoy writing a Mom blog and share stories about postpartum depression because it's something I experienced but didn't have a blog or support system when I experienced feelings of depression."
It's very simple- Social media for a local business works best when you tell a story. I would love to see how you use the ideas above! Email me your stories: firstname.lastname@example.org