I love where I live. We have an amazing community with thriving business and an inspiring social media group. There are special days of the year that encourage us to shop locally, eat locally, and even think locally. Did you know that you can Click Locally every single day and make a difference in your community? Social Media helps many people and businesses do amazing things on a national and international scale, but it is slow to catch on at the local level. Here’s how you can get started if you want to support local social.
Start A Conversation
Do you have a favorite shop, hairstylist, restaurant or park? Your friends want to know about it and so do the businesses! The internet isn’t just for complaints (although it can also work wonders for fixing problems.) I try to connect with all the businesses I frequent on the days that I drop in. Sometimes I am guilty of checking-in on my iPhone during dinner, but I’ve been trying to take care of all my check-ins and tweets while I’m at home so that I can live in the moment. My favorite ways to connect are via Twitter and Facebook.
My blogging friends do a great job of checking in all over the place. We’re putting avatars with our faces and it is paying off. Many brands hire social advocates to engage and connect online in exchange for a service. The brands who do this best know that these interactions spark worthwhile conversations. On a national scale, Disney hosts a Social Media gathering for bloggers each year to showcase the best of their brand. Last Halloween, a candy called Unreal used social channels to deliver a huge message during Halloween. This works locally, too! A month ago I hosted a party at Monkey Fish Toys and we used Twitter and Facebook to chat about the event. This month I’m excited to attend the #MomMixer from Classy Mommy and Mommies with Style. There are lots of ways to connect with brands and show off that you are a great customer.
Local Business Owners: What Can You Do Better?
Let’s face it, even the biggest hyper-local blogs only drive a minimal amount of traffic to a business website. If you expect a social partnership to drive huge click-through traffic, it rarely happens unless you hit the perfect niche at the perfect time. Social media is all about starting conversations with anyone who is chatting. Reply to every tweet. Respond to Facebook comments or repost fantastic content from the wall. Did you see a blog post about your shop? Share it in a link and then tweet back to the blogger. If a ‘famous’ blogger comes into your shop, find out how to connect and make a mention right there. Grab a photo while Social Stars enjoy brunch or at the end of a fantastic haircut and share it with your customers. Your best customer already follows you. Make sure you are delivering unique content to the crowd by incorporating the work of those around you.
You can also use social media to acquire new business. If you are in Chester County and you own a business, connect with all these sites in as many ways as you can (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram). Click all the handy follow buttons and make a quick, relevant introduction by replying to a post or tweet.
http://www.phillysocialmediamoms.com/ (Find all your local social media stars by searching the Member Directory)
BE CAREFUL because there are good ways to do this and poor ways to do this. If everything you write sounds like an advertisement, it will probably be deleted. Some sites only allow business interaction on certain threads. Watch the sites for a few days before jumping into the conversation and be sure to thank the host to show your appreciation for the ability to connect with a new group of readers. Most of the threads that specifically ask for recommendations are asking for just that-recommendations from peers. However, there are lots of other ways to connect and get noticed simply by participating in the conversation.
Connecting in person during events is a fantastic way to bridge the local and social media-spheres. My favorite aspect of Twitter is that it allows new connections to happen. When I get to an event, I often take a fun snapshot of myself and tag it with the event hashtag to help others find me. I might tweet this next week at the Mixer:
Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be at the #mommixer. Here’s a selfie to help with introductions.
If you haven’t already joined Twitter, get on board! I’m planning more twitter parties in the evenings after the kids are in bed and tweetups live and in person during the day at fun, local events this summer. To get started, follow @EcoIncognito on Twitter and join in the chatter.
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