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Five ways social media can help local businesses

601px-Business_plate_svgSocial media is a great tool for any business who wants to drive local trade. You can let your customers know about important information, share special promotions and let them know more about your business. All of this can help to build customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Local listings

If you have Google Plus then you may have seen Google Places. These are the listings that come up  when someone searches for your business type in your area. These will let potential customers know where you are, your opening hours and what other people have to say about you.

Encourage people to leave reviews of your business on your Google Places listing as these will help people to choose your business over others. Even if you only have a few reviews, people are more likely to choose your business over those who don’t have any customer feedback on their profile.

Business updates

Building your social media following and getting people interested in what you have to say can really help you to communicate important information to your customers. This might be Bank Holiday opening hours, an upcoming event or new products that are in stock.

Mentioning these things on social media is a really unobtrusive way to get information across without having to resort to a bulk email.

Feedback

Social media is a great way to ask people for feedback on your business. Not only can your encourage people to leave reviews on Google, Facebook and on your own website but you can ask specific questions too.

Perhaps you’re thinking about stocking a new item or offering a new service. If you’re unsure, you can ask your customers what they think via social media. One or two responses should be all you need to sway your decision.

You’ll be one step ahead of your competitors

The sooner a business gets on the social media bandwagon, the more of an advantage they’re going to have over competitors who take their time to get to grips with this effective form of marketing.

The sooner you start, the sooner you can build an online presence for yourself.

Brand awareness

Even if you don’t get a customer directly from every tweet, post or blog, you’re creating brand awareness that could lead to a customer in the future. It’s for this reason that the return on investment for social media can be difficult to track.

In seeing your brand on social media, someone might mention you to a friend or they might be more inclined to pop to your shop or try your services next time they are in the area.



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