• How to Use Social Media for Local Internet Marketing

From lead generation to customer loyalty, social media supports a wide variety of marketing activities. One marketing activity in particular—location-based marketing— has become easier and more effective than ever, thanks to social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat offer small businesses a number of opportunities to promote their business in their local area. This post will cover how to use these social media platforms to experience the benefits of location-based marketing for small business.

how to use social media for local internet marketing

Local Internet Marketing with Google

You may be thinking to yourself, “but Google isn’t a social media platform!”

Well, it kind of is. The Google My Business platform is a combination of a business directory listing and social media profile. As with directories, you can include all of the essential contact information about your business as well as offerings and special amenities. As with social media, you can publish posts to your profile that appear on your listing. By optimizing your Google My Business listing for your local area, you can increase your visibility for nearby searchers. Then, by posting special offers and events to your listing, you can get more of the right eyes on your promotions.

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Local Internet Marketing With Facebook

Facebook is a great way to market your business to potential local customers. While organic reach has been on the decline, making it harder for businesses to reach customers, there are several things you can do to use Facebook to get more clients.

Create a Facebook Business Page

There are many functions of a Facebook business page, but in terms of local online marketing, using a Facebook business page increases your business’s local presence. If you want to get any customers from Facebook, you need a Facebook business page.

Use Location Tags

In order to use this feature for local internet marketing, you need a Facebook business page in the “local business” category. The more users who see your location tagged, the more popular and active your business will appear. In addition, they’ll also be able to look up your business in the search box. Facebook allows you to add a location to posts  so tag your business in all of your posts, and encourage followers to do the same when posting about your business.

Use Facebook Events

When running or hosting events for your business, create a Facebook Event for it. Facebook events offers many benefits and can help with local internet marketing. Facebook suggests events for users based on places they’ve tagged themselves, pages they’ve liked, apps they use on Facebook, and even events that their friends are connected to. By creating an event with a location tag, you can get your event in front of more relevant and potential attendees.

Also, take advantage of real-time marketing and post pictures and video from the event while it’s happening. By adding a location tag to those posts, users searching for something to do in your area can find your event.

Facebook Nearby Places

Facebook Nearby Places offers another channel for local internet marketing. Similar to Facebook Events, this feature finds and suggests locations for users based on their friends’ recommendations, check-ins, and likes. Users can view all nearby places or filter them based on categories. To benefit from Facebook Nearby Places, you don’t just need a Facebook business page, you need customers to be tagging and checking into your business, and engaging with your content.

Use Facebook Advertising

Have you noticed that when you scroll through your Facebook feed, you see ads that are applicable to your area, age, profession, and interests? Furthermore, if you look at the feed of someone who is very different from you, do you find the ads in their feed to be relevant to you? These advanced targeting capabilities have earned Facebook and online advertising a spot in our 2017 Marketing Must Dos. Use Facebook advertising for your local internet marketing by targeting people in your surrounding area or people who are likely to be visiting or vacationing in that area.

Local Internet Marketing with Instagram

Tag Your Location

Just like with Facebook, you can use Instagram for local business marketing by tagging your posts with your location. For example, a restaurant could post a picture of a delicious meal and tag their location. Now, if a user sees that dish and wants it, they know where to find it. You can use this method for various types of products and services that will attract customers.

You used to be able to create a custom location in Instagram, but now the only way to add a location on Instagram is through Facebook. You don’t need an Instagram business account to do this, but you do need a Facebook business page, as Instagram will pull your location from there.

Use your location tag every time you post. This will build up a store of content such that if people search or tap on your location, all of the posts containing your geotag will show up. This is a great way for people to quickly learn more about your business. Encourage your followers and customers to use your geotag too, as all posts containing the geotag will show up—not just those you post.

Use Location-Based Hashtags

While location tags connect your business to the posts that users like, hashtags help them to find those posts in the first place. People use hashtags on Instagram to search for products, services, and businesses such as by searching #bostonbrunch or #massageboston. Use hashtags for local business marketing by putting location based hashtags in your posts or creating a custom hashtag that incorporates your location.

Related: Your Free Hashtag Handbook

Add Your Location to Stories

Small businesses use Instagram Stories to show their transparency and to boost their real-time marketing efforts. Small businesses can use Instagram Stories for local internet marketing too, as Stories supports location tagging. To add a location to your Instagram Story, tap the square smiley face on the top right of the screen, then tap location. Choose from the list of suggested locations or type and select your location.

Local Internet Marketing with Snapchat

Local internet marketing can be done on Snapchat through geofilters. Snapchat geofilters are like stamps that go on top of users’ snaps, but only when users are in a particular area. “Geo” refers to the geographical area to which you want your filter to apply. “Filter” refers to the word, doodle, or phrase that gets placed on top of the photo or video when users are in that area.

Creating a Snapchat geofilter for your business is an effective form of local internet marketing. However, it does require a bit more effort than Instagram or Facebook geotagging, as there are different types of geofilters to create and they require approval from Snapchat.

In order to use these features to market your business locally, make sure you have the most updated versions of each social media application on your phone or device. Also, be sure to implement these strategies with consistency, both in terms of your branding and frequency.

Kristen McCormick
Kristen McCormick
Kristen is the Content Marketing Manager for ThriveHive, where she geeks out daily over SEO, organic traffic, and A/B testing. When she's not equipping business owners and marketers to get their name out there through effective content, she's out pedaling the streets of Boston on her beloved bike.

1 Comment

  1. Many businesses still don’t utilize social media to fullest. As of the 4th quarter 2016 its reported that there are over 1.8 billion active users on Facebook. With the diverse demographics and reporting, if your not marketing your business there, you’re loosing out.

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