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Facebook Marketing for Local Businesses

Facebook is the social network that needs no introduction. With over 81% of the U.S. adult population, Facebook's user base dwarfs that of Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and every other "competitor."
Because of its ubiquity among the general public, many business owners believe an active Facebook presence is critical to their success online. While this is true in many cases, it's not true for all businesses. It depends on your goals for the time you want to invest in social media.
Facebook is not primarily a customer acquisition channel—so if your main reason for being on social media is customer acquisition, consider other social networks better suited to this purpose (including LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or even Instagram, depending on your type of business). The vast majority of business owners either see a negligible financial return on their time spent, or no return at all. This may be due in part to the fact that only about 2.5% of brand page posts are actually seen by their followers.
Instead, use Facebook for its most natural purpose: Build brand loyalty for your business and turn your community of followers into evangelists, online and offline.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started doing exactly that.

Scout the Competition

Google's Wildfire product offers a fantastic free competition monitor. Punch in your business and a few of your competitors to benchmark your performance over time.
Pay special attention to spikes in the trend-lines—if you or one of your competitors dramatically increased its following around a certain date, visit Facebook and check activity around that date to see what was so successful. It may inspire you to do something similar.

Post Engaging Content

As the saying goes, there are no second chances for first impressions, so draw people in with a killer cover photo.Cape Kaleidoscopes in Mashpee, MA is just one example of a company succeeding with its cover photo: a brightly-lit interior photo of its store. Four Firkins in the Twin Cities is another, showing a line of enthusiastic customers stretching out the door. 
Another creative visual use of Facebook is by Amsterdam Printing, which uses the Facebook Timeline to showcase its company history, complete with photos and descriptions of key events in its 115 years in business.
Posts with photos are more likely to get viewed, liked, and shared by your fans, and photo contests are even more likely to have higher levels of engagement. "Caption the photo" contests like this one from Bits and Pieces would be great for a local plumber or general contractor.
Don't forget about embedding videos in your posts, either! Here's a great example from Point Reyes Cheese of the production of a sandwich that includes their cheese. Note the great teaser that piques fans' curiosity and encourages them to click through.
If your company's just not that visual, try asking questions of your audience—trivia about your city or industry, for example—or posting surveys or polls to find out what your fans are most interested in reading.

Partner for Maximum Reach

Partnering with charities and nonprofits can be a great way to market your business and be philanthropic at the same time. Dr. Jeff Donaldson's "Likes for Lives" campaign, where he donates $1 for each Like on his Facebook page in a given month to the OhioHealth Bing Cancer Institute is one example of a successful implementation of this kind of partnership.

Consider Paid Advertising

While not well-suited to direct conversion of prospective customers, Facebook does offer the simplest, most economical advertising platform for small businesses of any major Internet company.
Due to its treasure trove of demographic information (including interests, employment history, age, and relationship status) and geographic targeting ability (down to the ZIP code level), Facebook allows small businesses to be extremely targeted with both the type of customer they're trying to attract and their budgets.
Your business can advertise to its neighbors who are fans of partner organizations, or even competitive businesses to yours, for example.
These types of campaigns are usually most successful in concert with some sort of discount offer—which, coincidentally, also enables you to track how successful the campaign was in the first place.
One of Facebook's newest ad features, Promoted Posts, can help you gain some extra visibility for status updates you especially want your fans and their followers to see—with no effort beyond setting a budget for how much you want to spend.
In Summary
No local business "has" to be active on Facebook in order to succeed online. But being smart about how you spend your time and energy can help you harness the potential of a site that nearly 130,000,000 American adultsuse every single day.

Building a Social Following Locally

Few marketing terms light up local business owners' eyes like the words "social media". Most business owners are already using social media in their personal lives, and it's only natural to want to use this channel to grow your business. However, many business owners dive headfirst into social media without an understanding of what kinds of content to post, how to attract followers and fans, or the nuances of each social platform—let alone a concrete strategy to make the most of their time spent.
The essence of social media is really a public conversation with your customers and prospective customers—sort of like one big dinner party. Just as party goers aren't really attending with the intent of being sold to, neither are social media followers looking for a constant sales pitch. And no party goer likes to be cornered by someone who only talks about themselves, so don't be "that guy" on social media either! Engage your followers, ask their opinions, and give them a sense of investment in your business.
In terms of making the most of your time, spend it on the sites where your customers are. Just because you think you should be on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean that it will pan out for you. Survey your customers to find out which sites they're on, whether in-store, via email, or when they call for an appointment. You're likely to get a running start on your social media campaign if you "fish where the fish are."
Subscribe to our news letter section below.
There, you'll receive specific guides to help you build and engage a following on the major social networking sites for local businesses.

Benefits and importance of digital marketing: Beyond SEO and AdWords!

Nowadays, customers have access to information any time and any place they want or need it. Thanks to the Internet and globalization, most people on the globe are able to access the information via computers, tablets or mobiles. What business owners should remember is that everyone can influence the image of their companies via ex. Social Media and you can be sure that your customer feedback will be more trustworthy for others to read than your own one. 

Why Digital Marketing is so important and gives you so many benefits?

Because via electronic channels and by posting positive comments, feedbacks about your company/product you (and your happy customers) can attract new customers and build long-lasting relationship. But, be careful! It works both ways! Happy customers can help you, but unhappy customer can harm your business very seriously. That's why as a business owner make sure you always remember about the following points: 

Encourage engagement through digital media

You can simply acquire new clients via ex. Social Media channels. When doing so, ensure you segment them into different customer groups according to their interests. Later, you will be able to interact with them and encourage to various actions. 

The more likes the better!

As part of Digital Marketing – Social Media is underestimated. It's a big mistake because your “Facebook” likes or “Twitter” shares can help your company grow as they build credibility and trust. They also bring traffic to the website and are costless. What you have to do is to insert a Social Media plugin onto your site and keep updating your customers about the company news, discounts, etc. Bear in mind to schedule the frequency of updates and not to overwhelm them with too much information at once. You may be surprised with the outcome.  

Get ahead of your competitors

Every year more and more businesses give up traditional advertising methods and focus on SEO, Google Adwords or Social Media spending huge money on these resources. This is the reason why the market gets increasingly competitive and big players get ahead of little companies. As a small business on the market, you cannot compete with them but there is something you can do. You can use Google Alerts tool to monitor your competitors. This tool will allow you to track your competitors products and marketing strategies so that you can learn something from them and improve your own business strategy.   

Go beyond the boundaries

It's important to understand that digital marketing doesn't only apply to your website! However most of the marketers create a website or an eCommerce and  invest in SEO and/or AdWords. But to make your business stand out from the crowd, you need a real strategy that puts potential customers first and use all the available tools to acquire them. 

Business reputation first!

Good reputation of any business is essential. Without the trust and confidence of the customer, a company will not survive. Especially in the past years the importance of reputation has become increasingly noticeable. If a business has a good reputation, customers may choose that particular company from many on the market. The positive reputation enables marketers to differentiate their products/services in a highly competitive market and successfully compete with big players. How to build a good reputation? Make sure that you communicate with your customers and everyone who interacts with your company through website, e-mail, Social Media. Answer any doubts, offer help and make sure you build a long-lasting relationship with your customers.  

Digital Marketing, What it is and why it matters

Digital marketing, the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media, differs from traditional marketing in that it uses channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.

Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc. While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc.

Why digital marketing is important

Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know. Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.

Manage customer relationships across all channels

Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.

Three keys to digital marketing success

What does it take to do digital marketing right? Here are three keys to digital marketing success:
  1. Manage complex customer relationships across a variety of channels – both digital and traditional.
  2. Respond to and initiate dynamic customer interactions.
  3. Extract value from big data to make better decisions faster.