What is the first thing that someone looking for you would see if they looked for you online? Would they see a sadly abandoned account, and hear crickets? Would they get an ad telling them to sign up for a free newsletter? Would they hear an anthem from the 80s? Or would they see a finely tuned profile that appeals to their local audience? If your business depends on locals, here are a few ideas to use on the big social media platforms to magnetize your presence.
Have Apps on Your Phone
Because everyone is online these days, going from online to offline should be seamless. That means having apps on your phone so that when you meet someone, you can immediately connect and continue the conversation online–on their favorite platform. And when you “e-meet” someone, you can hopefully continue to talk offline.
Reach out to Your Audience: Post Local Events
Maybe you have a meetup, like my friend Ruby Rusine does, and you’d like to get more people to attend. You could post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and then tag people who might like to attend. Or **gasp** pick up the phone and call a few people in the area.
Create an Event Board on Pinterest
On Pinterest, have your own event board and take photos which you upload. You can then add a url to the pin to send people to your website for more info. Don’t forget to change the dates when you have a new event!
Twitter Local Search
You can use Twitter’s search on your city. For instance, let’s say your business is in San Francisco, California. By searching on either San Francisco, #SanFrancisco, or #SF, you can get local news, traffic reports, etc. There might be a big event that you’d like to attend, or maybe there’s a news story you want to share. Advanced search has even more options. For instance, you can search on zip code.
Tweets Near You
A great Chrome plugin is “Tweets Near You,” which shows you other people tweeting near you, and integrates with HootSuite and Google Maps. In the screenshot above, you can see tweets within 5 km of AT&T Park (a fabulous place that you must visit, by the way!) to see the incredible San Francisco Giants and their wonderful social media cafe. But I digress.
Communicate Directly Through Instagram or Twitter
Another way to reach out to your local audience is by communicating directly through Twitter. Restaurants can search on terms like “I’m hungry,” “hamburger,” “I need sushi,” etc. Use hashtags (i.e. #specialdeals, #dailydeal, etc.) to maintain follow through with your client base; they can directly message you regarding your business in real time. A clever business could also use Instagram to search on a hashtag (one sushi restaurant did this with me recently) to find people who already love whatever they sell.
Although Facebook has recently throttled its traffic, almost everyone and their mom, sister, cousin, and grandma is there. Social Media Examiner has a terrific article with tips about filling in your profile and appealing to locals.
Just as you can find others, you want to ensure that you are found, too. So make sure to optimize your profiles everywhere, and keep the content fresh. And if you need someone to help you, you could read my Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One.
Have You Been Found? Or Has Someone Found You?
I’d love to hear your story about being found online if you have one. Really!