Did you know there are over 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide? This is excellent news if you’re a global company with wide appeal. But what about businesses that operate locally? Identifying your potential customers amongst the masses is bound to feel like an overwhelming task.
Fear not. By taking advantage of the latest developments in location-based technology and implementing a few simple strategies, finding a local audience on social media is surprisingly painless — and incredibly rewarding.
Define your key demographic
The first step is getting to know your target audience. In particular, their location. This will be a relatively easy task for businesses who only trade locally, but it’s still worth doing a bit a research. Learning your audience’s average age, income and interests will give you an added advantage. There are plenty of free tools that give you a detailed breakdown of your social media and website audiences — including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.
Take advantage of Facebook Ads
Facebook ads deliver serious results — and they are cheaper and more effective than normal web ads. The in-depth data Facebook has on their users allows you to specifically target users in your local area. You can even specify age, gender and interests if you have a really niche audience. Only those who are likely to take action after seeing your paid advert will see it, which guarantees a higher return on your investment!
Use hashtags and location tags
Make it easier for local users to discover your social media content on Twitter and Instagram by including a couple of hashtags that are relevant to your location. For example, if you are based in Wakefield (as we are), use #Wakefield and #Yorkshire. Take a look at other local businesses — and even your local authorities — on social media to see which hashtags they are using.
Instagram also allows you to tag posts with your location, which will further increase the chances of your post being discovered by local users. Instagram Stories tagged with a location may also be included in Location Stories (a compilation of popular stories from your location that can be viewed by local users). So, why not make a habit of posting regular behind-the-scenes videos tagged with your location?
Engage with your local audience
Being an active member of the social media community is a fantastic way to expand your local following organically. Browse those popular local hashtags and location tags you’ve been adding to your own posts, and see what local users are posting. Connect with potential customers by liking and commenting on any posts that are relevant to your niche.
Support local businesses and events
Getting involved with your local business network is also incredibly beneficial. Use Twitter to post about upcoming events in your area and congratulate other local businesses (unless, of course, they are your competitors) on any recent achievements, making sure you include popular local hashtags and mention companies directly using their Twitter handle. If you maintain a giving mentality, other businesses will return the favour.
Want to know more about building an audience with social media? Check out our video marketing package.