Local businesses and small businesses probably stand to benefit the most from social media marketing.
Any time there is a relatively new innovation in the marketing world it usually benefits those that are small and/or those that are new. The technology usually helps to level the playing field and make it more difficult for large brands to swallow up most of the opportunities.
But social media marketing is not something you can walk into and expect to win with. In fact, one of the most frustrating aspects is that there are multiple “right” ways to use social media for your local company.
If you’re struggling with it here are some insights that may be helpful…
The biggest thing with content marketing is frequency. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating video, audio or text. It doesn’t matter if you’re publishing on your own website or on social media. When you’re creating content you need to focus on quantity.
Quantity allows you to learn the skills it takes to create content people want. It’s actually crazy how much you need to create in order to create some hit content.
One of my favorite stories or quotes is from Dolly Parton. She often jokes that she wrote 5,000 songs in order to get 5 hits. Now, she’s had more hits than 5, but you get the point. Even if you give her credit for 50 hits. That’s still a 1% “success” rate.
But that’s what it takes. Especially if you’ve never created content before. You have to look at social media with the focus that you need to post thousands of times. It’s frustrating because most of the early stuff won’t really get much attention. That’s the point. You don’t know what people want so you have to try a bunch of stuff and learn.
The quantity thing frustrates a lot of people and businesses. But that’s also an opportunity. If you post the most in your community you’re probably going to stand out. Both for the quality of your content (eventually) and the amount of content you’re creating that people find valuable.
If you’re struggling to figure out what to post, start with questions and answers. Ask your followers for questions and provide the best answers you can. If you don’t have any followers, ask your customers for questions in person or via email or on the phone. Write those down and then provide the answers on social media. Have your team that works with customers take notes on the questions they are asked. Or if they don’t want to take notes, talk to them once a week and see what questions customers are asking.
If you are a new company, look on the social media of other companies in the community. See what questions people are asking them. Then provide the answers on your social accounts. Use local hashtags so people can discover your content.
Content marketing doesn’t need to be complex. It can be simple. As simple as answering the common questions people have.
3. Local Happenings
Local newspapers, radio stations and television stations are struggling. They do great work. They cover all the local happenings. But their business models are struggling. Nobody has really figured out a way to maintain the quality level of reporting at the local level while also being able to make a profit.
Social media probably accounts for part of the shift. You can follow people in your area that are active in the community and that share information and that really aren’t looking for profit.
But there is potential for businesses to report on local happenings just as a reporter would. And the business can use the attention of the community to increase sales.
Instead of paying for advertising in a newspaper, you hire a reporter to do the same job, but publish their content on your social channels. The same level of quality, but the attention goes directly to your brand.
Local social media is a great opportunity. Lots of businesses have been catching on in the last five years. Some are doing great work and seeing the return for their efforts. But many have also tried and become frustrated with the efforts. Hopefully these tips can help you find your way with social media. Because it’s one of the biggest opportunities of our lifetimes as far as marketing is concerned.