Social Media for Local Businesses

For local business owners, marketing your brand in a clear, professional way will help you stand out from the competition. Even so, jumping on the social media train can feel intimidating, especially when a new platform pops-up every week. But it does not need to be that complicated! Having a presence on social media platforms is enough to get your brand in front of the right audience to set your organization a part. Here are some tips to get you started.

Think about What You Hope to Accomplish with Social Media

This is the single-most important question to ask yourself with any new marketing tactic, but especially with social media. What is the goal? While this may take some consideration, the answer to this question will ultimately drive everything you do on a platform, so it is vital to determine your goal early on.

Some common goals for social media include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Growing your fan base
  • Connecting with your audience
  • Driving sales

Consider Your Audience & Platform

“Know thy audience” is a marketing mantra to repeat as you enter the social media sphere. Pinpointing exactly who your audience is will help you determine which platform to be on and what kind of content to publish.

For instance, if your audience is young gen z, then Facebook may not be the best fit. Social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are much better at reaching a younger audience. However, if your audience is going to be older millennials, then Facebook would be the platform you want to focus on. Each platform serves a different purpose, and knowing who your audience is will help you figure out which platform to utilize to reach them. 

Content is King

The type of content your business publishes matters.

Some owners fall into the trap of posting more personal opinions on their company’s social pages, but this can harm your presence on social platforms. Even though social media has become the go-to place to discuss personal opinions (including politics), using your business’ social accounts to push out personal beliefs will make your current and potential followers feel isolated.

So, what SHOULD you post on social media? Great question! The best part about social media is that it allows your audience to directly interact with your brand, and the best way to do that is to showcase your company’s story and your employees. While it is completely fine to focus on a product or service you offer, remember that people go on social media to be social. They WANT to connect with your company on a deeper level, so focusing on employee milestones (think birthday, work anniversaries, course completion), community service, or highlighting a core value of the business will engage your audience and help you build a community on social media.

Setting time aside to find the right social media platform for your business is a great way to connect with a broader audience and build your brand. Whichever platform you choose, remember that it takes time to develop your brand online, so be patient with the process.


Stephanie Meier

SVP Marketing & Communications

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