If you run a small business using Facebook you will have reached the conclusion by now, you need to increase your reach.
There is little value in publishing great stories about your firm and helpful content if your audience isn’t growing and seeing it. The most effective way to achieve follower growth is through focusing on your local follower base.
Building Local Facebook Followers
I recently saw some research that showed consumers show more loyalty to local small businesses. So it makes sense for you to be most interested in customers in your area, not those scattered around the country that can cost you more to service.
While Facebook provides opportunity to increase brand awareness and visibility, it can reach beyond your targeted audience, costing you time and money.
When you focus your Facebook marketing efforts on your local community, you are more visible to the people you want to reach. Your engagement with your community as a whole and how you bring that relationship to Facebook establish your business as reliable, trustworthy and influential.
Using Local Keywords In Your Page Settings
If you want local people to find you, you have to make it easy for them. You can do that by focusing your page setup to include keywords related to your business and location. Just as you do for good SEO on your website.
Go into your Facebook page settings and take a look at the Page Info tab. How does it look? Is everything filled in?
Two important places to include keywords (other than your business name and location) are your personal Facebook web address and page description (both short and long).
Make sure your basic page information is complete.
Your personal Facebook address helps people find you easily. We recommend including both your business name and your location—especially if you a franchise and there are other businesses with your name.
Your page descriptions, both short and long, are for keywords related to your business and location. Your short and long descriptions don’t need to be the same, but should include your business name, your location and keywords related to your products and services. Make sure your phone number and address are front and centre.
The short description shows in the About section of your Facebook page and people can click on it to see both the short and long descriptions for more information.
Even if you have an established Facebook page with a strong fan base, you should refresh your descriptions regularly.
Engage Influential People In Your Community
We talk about his principle a lot, especially for referral based businesses. Local influencers can open access to greater audience reach. On the local level, resident influencers can add clout, respect and even confidence to your brand.
They can help you inspire local action and potentially increase your local brand visibility.
Who are the influencers in your area for your services? Your local influencers are people who have power and a large, dedicated audience. In many cases, these people are local politicians, members of your chamber of commerce, your church or children’s school, a journalist at the local paper or professionals like accountants and solicitors.
You can use free tools like Klout or Traakr, Google+ Local to determine who the influencers are in your area.
Remember, your goal is to start conversations and participate in discussions. When the time is right, ask them for a Facebook mention or to share one of your blogs.
Start With Your Clients
If you have existing clients, it makes sense for those customers to be your Facebook fans as well. Each customer who becomes a Facebook fan is a direct pathway to increased local visibility, finding new local fans and referrals.
It’s fairly simple to encourage your customers to become Facebook fans. Asking for likes and reviews is the easiest way. Consider offering an incentive such as offers for fans or hosting a giveaway on your page.
You can reinforce all of your efforts by posting Facebook promotional materials at your business site and in all of your marketing materials to remind people to like your page.
There’s no reason why your regulars shouldn’t also be your Facebook advocates. In most cases they’re happy to give you a like, sometimes all you have to do is ask!
When people see their friends visiting, buying from or recommending a local business, they take that into consideration because they trust their friends’ judgment. When they’re ready to buy later on, you’ll be top of mind.
Encourage Your Visitors Check-In With Facebook
Facebook marketing success is based on reaching the right people. How often do you encourage your customers and fans to check in on Facebook when they visit your business?
Use Settings to allow customers to check-in
According to Pew Research Centre, the average Facebook user has 338 friends. When someone checks in, their friends can see that action, that means a lot of local friends are exposed to your business.