Social media is getting a lot of attention and hype from individuals and local business owners alike, and for good reason. Facebook, for one, has changed the way we communicate on a global level, and this change in personal communication has impacted how businesses now communicate and market to their consumer audience. In addition, with the millions of users on social media networks, it does provide an opportunity to exponentially grow a local business if utilized effectively.
At the same time, when our clients come to us and are all geared up about jumping on board the social media wagon (which typically is Facebook and Twitter focused), we try to pull in the reigns a bit and help them understand ‘social media’ is more than Facebook and Twitter. Now that’s not to say Facebook and Twitter aren’t smart choices to incorporate into a social media marketing strategy for many local businesses, but the key here is that they are only components of a social media marketing strategy, not the end-all-be-all.
The truth is, with the atomized web that evolved during and post 2007, the Internet is largely a social media platform across the board, including blogs, forums, article directories, social media networks, local directories, global directories, and more. Thus, when we help our clients create a surefire social media strategy, we look at all tools and platforms available across the web and design a strategy that incorporates the most impactful tools for a particular industry or business. And this could mean Facebook or Twitter are key players at the top of the list, or it might mean they rank lower on the list as being the most useful social tool to boost local business.
To determine the best social media strategy for your local business, you want to start by answering the following questions:
- Where is my target audience at on the Internet? Are they on social media networks; in forums; on blogs of a particular topic; looking in local directories; etc.?
- What do they respond best to, or what are they looking for? What kind of links, information, or promotions do they want?
- What social media tools are available to drive that audience back to my local business home base, and what ones make the most sense for my local business? Is it a blog, Facebook page, Twitter links and tweets, etc.? Am I targeting B2B or B2C local business leads, and what social media sites prove to be best for each?
Ultimately, you want an all-encompassing, thought-out social media strategy that makes sense for your local business so you’re not wasting time or money. There’s a good chance Facebook and Twitter will be viable components, but in most cases, they won’t be the sole driver or components of an optimized surefire social media strategy.