Are you a business owner located in Cairns, Australia? Perfect! This guide is created specifically to help you improve your social media marketing.

In this guide I’m going to cover what you need to know about using social media marketing as a local business.

That means you don’t necessarily need to be a Cairns based business, but I will be referencing Far North Queensland for context. So, even if you’re a local business somewhere else in the world, this guide can still help you.

 

Why is social media so important?

Chances are you already have a rough idea of why you need to be on there. You know social media is going to help you reach more customers. You know it’s going to help strengthen your brand. All those things.

Every day social media becomes more ingrained in our society. We use it to connect, talk to friends, find activities, make plans, and even help our purchasing decisions.

Just like any part of your business, you want that customer touch point to really represent what you stand for.

The same thing goes for social media. What you put forward online still shows what type of brand your customers have to deal with. Will they like what they see?

As you read this guide, think about how each point relates to your brand. You don’t need to implement everything, and it doesn’t need to happen overnight. Remember, this is an ongoing way to growth – so put the work in.

 

Don’t try and be everywhere!

A lot of business owners get told that they best way to be seen is to be everywhere online. Wrong!

As a local business, I’m 99.9% sure you don’t have the time to invest in being on every single platform. In fact, it’s actually ineffective for you to try and do that.

You should focus on a few platforms instead that offer the best opportunity for you to reach your target audience and to build your brand.

Think about what social media platforms best compliment your business, and can help you build awareness with the right group of people.

If you offer services or products to other businesses or professionals, one of your core platforms should be LinkedIn. This is because it’s where a large majority of your target audience are likely to be.

Are you a restaurant or cafe? You should be using Instagram as a core platform, as it’s a highly visual based platform and you can showcase your tasty food.

As of October, 2019 – I’ve found a lot of local business owners I’ve been working with see a great deal of success from using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

So, here is a quick breakdown of those four platforms to help you understand if you should be there.

Facebook. Pretty much everyone is on Facebook, and if you don’t have a business page on here – customers think you don’t exist. Don’t expect to see insane growth through Facebook, but do use it as a hub to keep your followers up to date. Plus, they have a range of great features for your to tap into as a local business owner, from ads to groups, and more.

Instagram. Instagram is a great way to build awareness among your local community through the use of hashtags, location tags, and stories. It’s easy to get seen, get in front of the eyes of people in your city, and to start showing what you represent as a brand.

YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine, need I say more? The majority of your competition probably isn’t using YouTube, which is great for you if it fits your brand. It’s easier for you to compete and rank, especially if you have engaging videos and incorporate local keywords. Think about how you can turn some of the following content ideas I talk about later on into video. It might be informational videos related to your industry, or highlights from events you run, or even interviews with people in your industry.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for local business owners like yourself. It’s like attending a networking event, but you can talk to anyone and everyone. If you’re on LinkedIn you should be building your profile, connecting with key people in your industry or potential clients, and posting content related to your industry. Why? Because all of this helps others associate you with what you sell. If people start seeing you post great information and having insightful opinions about your industry, you gain a reputation as the “go-to” person in that space.

 

 

The best content for your business.

Now that you know what platforms you should be using, you need to create content. Content is what’s going to help you reach people. It’s the things you post online to start conversations and help your audience. Photos, videos, podcasts, blog posts. These are all pieces of content.

The best rule of thumb I try to tell clients is to focus on informative, entertaining, or personal content. Let’s break that down.

Informative Content. This is the sort of content that helps your ideal customers solve their biggest problems and live better lives. If you’re a local yoga teacher then it’s content around stretching properly or yoga techniques. It can even be in similar areas to your main thing. A yoga teacher could still post informative content about dieting or mindset techniques and it would still be helpful to their audience.

Entertaining Content. What does your target audience find entertaining. If you’re a local clothing store, maybe you show highlights from a fashion show you attend or share an interesting video on organising your closet. Not everyone might find that entertaining, but if you post about what your target customers find entertaining you’ll have them hooked.

Personal Content. As a local business, there’s a good chance that people in your city still want to do business with people they know. We buy from people we like, so let your customers get to know you. Personal content might be posting about a team members birthday, or giving a behind the scenes tour of the office, or any big events or milestones you achieve. Get personal and your customers will start to connect more with you.

So, those are the three styles of content you want to create because they all provide value in some way.

Now you can create these three types in a number of formats. You might try film a video, write a blog post or host a podcast. Just remember that different formats will all have different results, but if you hit the three styles of content above in those formats – you’re good!

 

Focus on building and nurturing your relationships with customers.

Once you start building up a reputation in your city, people are likely going to start following your business on social media.

It’s a good way for people to stay up to date on what’s happening in their area and show support for businesses they like or know.

As more people start following you and you keep posting more content, they’ll likely start to engage with you online.

That might be through liking your posts, leaving a comment, posting a review about you, messaging your page, or any number of actions.

This is what you should be valuing. Engagements with your audience, not trying to have the largest following.

Every interaction strengthens the relationship you have with your community, and makes them like and trust you more. This then leads to them being more likely to do business with you.

You can also get super proactive with getting engagements as well. You can encourage your customers to leave reviews, ratings and recommendations for your business.

Why not follow up with every customer or each client you have and ask them to leave a review on your Google My Business or Facebook page.

This builds up social proof around your business, improves your SEO ranking, and just helps your reputation in your city.

Think about it. If a customer doesn’t know you or your competitor, but sees that one of you has 3 five star ratings while the other has 30, who are they going to go with?

So, make it your priority to engage with your followers and nurture that relationship.

Be friendly. Be polite. Help them get the answers they’re looking for. If they have a problem with your product or service, try to resolve it.

Reply to comments. Answer messages. Respond to reviews. Value strong audience relationships online, over the number of followers you have.