In the run-up to Small Business Saturday on 6th December, people around the UK are preparing to show support for their community by spending money with local businesses.
But what about the rest of the year? Whilst the awareness campaign is an invaluable initiative for Britain’s small and micro businesses, we must not forget that entrepreneurs need the support of their local community all year round!
This week on the Sage One blog, we’ll be providing you with daily tips and advice to help you make the most of your local community on Small Business Saturday, as well as every other day of the year. But because small businesses are not all about the high street, we’ll be focusing on tips for online activity, helping you keep in touch with your customers in the digital age.
So stay tuned for our daily blogs and in order to take your local relationships a step further, download our free toolkit for small businesses – 10 pages of easy-to-read advice on social media, e-marketing, SEO tips and more.
Social media – everyone uses it, but do you use it well? ROI can be extremely hard to measure when it comes to online engagement however as an entrepreneur you know only too well that your time is money. Don’t waste it! Social media can be extremely powerful for reaching out to a brand new audience – in other terms introducing your company to people who don’t yet know it. How can you use this to find new local customers?
When we asked Dan Spicer from Hootsuite his top tip for small businesses using social media, here’s the top tip he provided for you:
“The beauty of social media is that anybody can harness its potential if you have the know-how and the right tools. Treat your social media marketing strategy as the front page of your business. Your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business. Use this to your advantage and put your best foot forward. Post content that is thoughtful, authentic and fits within your content strategy. Keep your marketing plan in mind and engage with your customers on a personal level to build relationships. Your customers want to know they are speaking to a real person, so keep your communication authentic.”
“It is also important to understand the nuisances of each social platform. For example, people are more likely (72%) to make a future purchase from an SMB after they follow or interact with them on Twitter. Twitter can help your business build relationships with customers, and connect you with the businesses and communities you are interested in. You can also use Twitter to create brand awareness, market new products and gain feedback from your customers.”
Wise advice from a leading expert! And to apply this to your local community – because social media is not all about global reach! – we’d suggest you tailor your content to your area, using relevant hashtags, groups, pages and perhaps even running a local influencer engagement programme…This is something we’ll go into more detail on tomorrow, so stay tuned!
You could even make the most of your local customers to engage online. Have you ever checked in to your local pub using Foursquare, Yelp or even Facebook? Imagine the potential reach if all your clients shared with their friends that they have just walked through your door! By encouraging this type of activity you are guaranteeing yourself extra visibility for your business.
For tips on how to build your very own social media strategy, read our post from Monday. To take your local e-marketing a step further, download our free 10-page ‘Sage One Toolkit to Connecting with Local Customers Online‘ to find out more about how to use social media to engage your local audience. The guide will take you through tips and tricks to make sure you make the most of your time spent online.