February 19th, 2020
Using Social Media and Email for local marketing
19 Nov 2014 Dominic
Whilst brand marketing initiatives and above the line campaigns are important for any business, small businesses must not forget the importance of local initiatives and using social media and email effectively to drive traffic and increase your customer base at a local level.
If you are a small business with multiple sites / branches, then perhaps you should consider introducing some of the following into your marketing mix in order to ensure you have the most effective mix of local “on the ground” level marketing
Local marketing strategy with Social Media
Follow though leaders
Follow the “movers and shakers” in your area at local level. You do not need one central facebook / twitter account but set these up at local level and empower staff to use them with promos etc. Perhaps you could start following local influencers in the area and gain leverage from them?
Local discussion groups
Get involved in local discussion groups across all social media. Who is your audience? Where do they “hang out”? You need to know the local market and attract your audience from relevant local groups. Celebrate your neighbours – eg if another great offer in the area then let your audience know about it as this could bring you some additional business.
On Twitter you could use the hashtag function as many people do – to connect re shared interests. One of the ways people do this is tweet at certain times of the week (regional hours) to identify themselves from an area and discuss local news (eg #manchesterbarscene)
Social media is a great way of listening to your local audience and finding out what problems they are experiencing with your business / service. Unhappy customers can be brand damaging so do all you can to respond to them and resolve issues
Local listings and maintennance of them are essential to ensure your business at local level is fully visible in local listings which can be shared via social media – Google Maps, Google Places, Google Plus, Reviews, Directions etc.
Dont forget the paid options also on social media. You can use the above to generate an organic audience over time however if you have local promotions – eg 2 for 1 drinks evening etc, then social media can be used fairly effectively as you can target your base based on age, interest, gender and most importantly – location! Ideal for those local campaigns.
Local marketing strategy with Email
Email is a very effective tool if you are promoting locally no matter if you are in retail or services. For these examples I will use the services sector specifically because it can be, unlike the retail sector where purchases can be tracked, traditionally difficult to show ROI.
If you are a savvy small business then you should have demographic basics such as postcode, date of birth etc. With just these two fields you can create targeted and effective local email marketing campaigns to your existing customer base.
Allows to to promote offers only available in your X branch which may be on offer for only 1 weekend. In additon you may have multiple offers on at different locations over different time periods in which case local email is ideal (eg 2 for 1 drinks offer)
Date of Birth
If you have this data then the first thing you should be setting up is Happy Birthday emails to get your local customers into your premises. Give them a birthday discount – make them happy!!!
As mentioned above, you should be using coupons with offers and discounts to get more customers in – perhapsd at lean trading times or when in holiday mode perhaps. The benefit of coupons is that they can be tracked – eg mail 1000 customers with an offer and you can track how many redeem the offer. If 50 people redeem the offer, you have a response rate of 5%. Offset the total sales here against the cost of the promotion and you have a basic ROI.
Recommend a Friend
Email is a great way of expanding your customer base by asking existing customers for some of their friends email addresses. You could offer them a 10% discount if they give you 5 email addresses next time they visit? Again this can be tracked and is great way of expanding your local base.
The great thing about email, which can be difficult with social media, is that it can be tracked more easily. Any local business should be using the above simple tactics to build their email lists, promote their local business more effectively and ultimately grow their profits.
Other things you could consider to improve your local marketing activity include testing paid search local campaigns and keeping your company blog up to date with your local branch activity.
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