The Best Social Media Platforms for Location-Based Small Businesses

No two small businesses have the same social mediamarketing objectives. That’s why it’s so important to create a targetted social media marketing plan that takes your location, target market, products and services, and sales objectives into account.

Location-based businesses have different needs than their online-only counterparts. You’re probably looking to increase metrics like foot traffic and walk-in numbers as well as drive traffic to your site and grow your email list.

The right social media platforms can help you get customers through your front door. But, which platforms are right for you and your needs? That’s what we’ll take look at in this article.

Your Facebook Page

Facebook is huge– with 2.19 billion monthly active users, Facebook pages are a must-have for any local small business. Why? Because you can reach a large and diverse audience. Let’s take a look at how Facebook can help in a bit more detail.

1. Get more reviews with customer check-in

Facebook pages allow your customers to check-in to your business and tell their Facebook friends they’re shopping with you.

Did you know that 24 hours after checking-in with a business for the first time, Facebook sends a push notification asking if you’d like to review the business? The “first impression review” can boost your business by increasing social proof. At the same time, the act of checking-in can encourage customer’s friends and family to stop by.

2. Run Facebook ads to increase foot-traffic

Facebook page admins can run ads to promote their page, an event, a product or service, or a special offer. Ads are a powerful tool for getting new customers through the door– local awareness ads in particular are perfect for increasing foot traffic.

3. Make things easy with Facebook Messanger

Want to get more customers? Setting up a Messenger bot to answer questions like ‘Where are you located?’ and ‘What are today’s promotions and specials?’ can really drive foot traffic by making it easy to access vital information.

4. Promote events with Facebook Live

Utilizing Facebook Live to promote an event, or give a behind-the-scenes look at your business, can spike foot traffic– especially if it’s relevant to the local population and ends with a powerful call-to-action.

5. Use Facebook Local

You can find local businesses, and the events they run, through the local search function on Facebook. This is great for businesses that rely on tourists and local walk-in traffic such as restaurants, hairdressers, and retail stores.

Social Media Platforms-- Local Facebook Businesses

TLDR Facebook

You can use your Facebook page to get more traffic for your location-based business by using:

Check-Ins and Reviews to get first-time visitors to review your businesses.
Facebook Ads to increase brand awareness and get people through the door.
Messenger to make it easy to discover basic info about you.
Facebook Live to promote events.
Local Search to tell tourists and locals about your events.

Instagram

Like Facebook, Instagram is an awesome tool for the right local location-based business.

1. Use the location search feature

Like Facebook, Instagram has a built-in location feature, allowing people to add a location to any image they upload.

Encourage customers to use this feature by adding signs in your shop or restaurant or ask customers snapping a pic to tag you.

Social media platforms-- Instagram tagging

2. Run Instagram Ads

Instagram is owned by Facebook so you can run ads through your Facebook Ad account. If you’ve got a Facebook page and your target audience is on Instagram, then adding the platform to your social media marketing plan is a smart move.

3. Use Instagram Stories to attract millennials

Instagram is popular with millennials– 60.4% of Instagram users are between 18 and 34. If your location-based business wants to attract them, Instagram can help. Use Stories to raise awareness about your business, promote events and show off products.

4. Use location hashtags

Instagram’s location hashtags can help you attract new customers! Add location hashtags— people searching for local businesses will see your images and Instagram account.

5. Tap into Instagram DMs

Lastly, Instagram DMs (direct message) can help you find and connect with other local businesses and influencers. Reach out to complementary businesses and suggest collaborating on posts and promotions.

TLDR Instagram

Use Instagram to get in front of your ideal customer and entice them to visit your business.

Ask visitors to tag you through Instagram’s location feature
Run Instagram ads to increase local visibility
Use Instagram stories to attract millennials
Use location hashtags to get in front of people looking for the next hot local spot
Use DMs to start collaborations with complementary businesses and tap into each other’s audience

Twitter

Twitter can help you reach brand new local customers. Local restaurants, barbershops, and chocolate shops have all reported increased foot traffic from posting to Twitter. How is it done?

1. Search for hashtags

If you want to show up in your local Twitter search, use the hashtags popular in your area and market. Showing up in ‘what’s trending’ by using popular local hashtags is key to growing your account followers and increasing awareness.

2. Use Twitter ads

If you’ve got a budget and a solid strategy, Twitter ads can be effective. Use Twitter ads to drive traffic to a tailor-made landing page that offers an incentive to anyone that visits your store.

Twitter monitoring

Use AgoraPulse to set up keyword/listening searches for your local brand; then monitor these searches from within your AgoraPulse dashboard. Any team member you invite can join and monitor along with you.

3. Connect with complementary businesses

Lastly, like on Instagram, the DM (direct message) of Twitter is a great feature to use to find and connect with other (local) businesses, local journalists, and influencers to collaborate on posts and promotions.

TLDR Twitter

Here’s how Twitter can help you get more customers.

Use trending hashtags to show up in local search
Use Twitter ads to drive traffic to a conversion-optimized landing page
Use DMs to connect with potential businesses partners to run joint promotions

Google+

I know what you are thinking. Google+ is dead. Well, sort of, but not quite! Here’s the thing– posting to a (local) Google+ business page using location and industry keywords and hashtags, can increase online visibility. After all, Google+ is owned by the largest search engine, right?

If Google Ads isn’t in the budget, posting (owned) content daily to your Google+ Business page is a great alternative for increasing local visibility. With persistent posting and the right hashtags, you might even get on the first page!

Use Google+ to get new customers by sharing relevant content with the right hashtags.

LinkedIn

As a small business owner, having an active LinkedIn profile can absolutely drive traffic to your place of business. Establishing yourself as the local expert is what will make potential customers come and check you out. How is that done?

First, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and that you are listed as the business owner or CEO.

Next, share industry-related content to stay top-of-mind. Share your blog content, images, publish an article on LinkedIn using LI publisher, or create native videos. Start conversations and invite people to come to your place of business to check it out.

Social Media Platforms

You can upload videos directly to LinkedIn. Use this feature to repurpose videos you’ve created for other platforms, or teach and/or educate your audience about your industry.

Take advantage of local and industry groups to connect with people and grow your following.

team social media management

YouTube

Can YouTube help drive foot traffic to a location-based business? Absolutely! Much like what happens when posting to Google+, it’s all in the SEO juice!

Location-tag each video you upload YouTube and include relevant industry keywords. You can also create playlists for your geographical area, including video of industry or location related videos of other, complimentary business. Make sure you tag each playlist with the right location tags!

Social Media Platforms

You can use AgoraPulse to check out what videos are being created and published within your industry or locally; listen for keywords, phrases or channel names all within your AgoraPulse dashboard.

Last but not least, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, if you’ve got a budget, using YouTube ads to increase visibility and conversions is a great way to drive foot traffic to a location-based business.

Putting It All Together

This might seem like a lot to tackle, right?

There is no law that states you need to ‘do it all’. In fact, I advise you to draft a social media strategic plan first, outlining what you want to accomplish and listing all available resources. Start small, concentrating on 2-4 social media platforms first, and adding others after these are established and driving traffic.

Still not sure if your team can handle all this?

Small business owners can hire an in-house social media marketing team, outsource their social media management to a marketing agency or freelance social media manager.

Or, you can use a tool like Agorapulse to publish, monitor, listen to and analyze your social media channels, including Facebook Pages, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube!

The most important thing to remember about social media is that it takes time! It’s definitely a marathon– be strategic, measure results, and you’ll increase your traffic (and sales!) in no time.

To discover more visit: agorapulse.com

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