Social media platforms today are a powerhouse marketing platform even for local businesses. But many local business owners think that running ads on Social Media is the only way to get customers. In reality, local businesses can attract local customers from Social Media without running ads.
In this article, you’ll find out specific ways to achieve this. Now let’s get to it.
With or without Social Media, a local business owner must understand who their ideal customer is.
This is super important because every other (Social Media) marketing strategy revolves around this foundational business principle.
In summary, understanding your ideal customer is knowing their pain points and ‘dream points’. Your local business must proffer solutions and be able to take your target audience to their ‘dream point’.
Understanding their pain points would help you how to communicate with them on Social Media.
In addition to this, you may need to go deeper to understand how they think, and what they do, and possibly create a buyer persona.
As a local business owner, you may be tempted to believe that being active on all social media platforms is the best way to go.
That is not the case.
Creating, publishing, and managing content on 5 or 6 Social Media platforms at once may be rigorous and ineffective, especially at the early stage.
As mentioned in point 1 above, you need to understand your target audience or customers to the last detail.
If you’ve done careful research, you must have discovered your target audience’s most preferred social media platform.
Channel all energy to this social media platform and find out the best way to communicate with them there.
Let’s assume your target audience’s ideal platform is Facebook. Have you taken time to know if your target audience prefers watching reels on Facebook to viewing regular timeline posts?
Again, it comes down to actually understanding your target audience.
All these efforts put together are a very good way to attract local customers from Social Media without spending money on ads.
A Social Media platform should be a place to socialize and have fun but things have evolved today.
Despite the downside of Social Media today, people still see these platforms as a place to get real-life solutions to real-life problems.
Therefore, it is important to publish problem-solving content related to your local business on the Social Media platform(s) you have chosen (per point 2).
To illustrate, let's assume your local business is a local Facebook Ad agency. The best way to help your local audience is to regularly publish solutions to small problems like; how to set up a Facebook ad campaign, how to narrow down your audience on Facebook, etc.
Your audience is more likely to visit your local business when they need the service of a Facebook Ad agency and don’t have the time to implement all you teach.
Similarly, the same principle may apply to all other kinds of local businesses.
Understand the little pain points of your audience and create fitting solutions on Social Media in a social way that befits the respective platforms.
Running a Sweepstake campaign is one of the best ways to attract local customers without running ads.
Sweepstakes are like contests or competitions, in this case, designed for your Social Media audience. At the end of the Sweepstakes campaign, winners emerge.
The ultimate goal of your Sweepstakes has to be driving foot traffic to your local business. Understanding this is key.
Fortunately, there are many online tools that make running Social Media contests easy. A tool like UpViral does a good job.
Read this guide if you need more info on how to create sweepstakes from scratch.
Referrals are one of the best ways to grow any business.
For the purpose of this topic, I’ll highlight how referrals work best on Social Media.
To start with, you must understand people are more willing to share your local business with others when they have an incentive.
One good way to go about this is creating a robust affiliate program where referrers get a certain amount of commission.
Interestingly, one of the best places people promote affiliate links is on Social media platforms. You could even create a Social Media sweepstakes with this goal in mind.
Another way to go about this is to urge your happy customers to publish a testimonial video on Social Media and tag your business. Make sure to offer them an incentive for this.
All in all, find a way to make people refer your business to others on Social Media or in real life.
Why not organize a local event that would be of high value to your target audience?
Again, it comes down to understanding your ideal customer.
Depending on what they’d love, you could organize a workshop, seminar, or free training and then publish a live feed of the event on Social Media.
This is one of the best ways to attract local customers from Social Media without ads. Watching a live feed of an event they love would definitely keep your business at the top of their minds. Hence, it’ll be easier for them to pay you a visit when they need your service.
In addition, you could encourage those present at the event in person to post about it on their Social Media platforms.
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