Taking social media marketing for a local spin

November 14th, 2011 by | No Comments

Leveraging on localized social media marketing

Image by Calsidyrose

As far as social media strategies go, major brands often invest on campaigns that aim to target a nation of consumers. The intention here is to launch tactics meant to appeal to a broader audience for a product that will be available to all markets, and hope those not initially within their immediate demographic would get a whiff, get interested, and also jump aboard. But for some brands, small- and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations seeking better mileage, focusing on a specific locale will prove to be more ideal.

Unlike nationally marketed brands, smaller entities have specific needs and would have to craft their own path on a smaller scale and target communities within their locale. For instance, if you own a small coffee shop that sells local brews and homemade pastries, it would only be more reasonable to start engaging with people within your vicinity—you know, the people who’d most likely be able to drop by your shop.

Granted, you can go and clamor to people who may visit your city, but really, there’s little immediate benefit in investing to target those from other states, or places three or more hours away. It would be more logical, however, to start small with your community, and expand as your business expands. To get you started, here are a few starter tips for smaller brands doing localized Internet marketing.

Identify Your Audience

While going local means you’ve narrowed down your demographic to those based within your vicinity, and those who regularly visit, you still need to identify who they are. You don’t exactly need to pinpoint every individual in your demographic, although that would be a good direction for specific strategies.

What you’ll need to do is make an analysis of the people who make up your existing and potential customers. This includes details like specific locales they reside in or frequent, gender breakdowns, industries they belong to, things that interest them, etc. The resulting analysis will be crucial when you begin mapping out strategies, and for creating content that will truly be valuable to the people you are directly targeting.

Establish Your Social Media Presence

Like all brands, you will need a presence on the social Web to easily reach out to your targeted demographic. These will prove to be valuable tools for content/link distribution and interactions, though you will soon discover that each one will satisfy different kinds of needs. Start with Twitter and Facebook, two of the most common social media platforms today.

You may also find other social networks and niche platforms like message boards where you can build your presence, and your brand. It should be noted that while building your presence on many social sites, it’ll be best to devote your time and efforts on the ones that will be most useful for you. Always consider where your demographic usually hangs out online, the features that are made available to business and brand owners, and how you can leverage on those to address your needs.

Utilize Engagement Tools

Aside from the social networks, there are a lot of social media tools you can leverage on—both included in the social networks, and those from third party developers. Some are free to use, others offer different kinds of subscription payment plans. In any case, here are the kinds of social media tools that should be on your armory.

Demographic Analyses
As mentioned, understanding who makes up your demographic is crucial. Here, you can use services that demographic analysis, like Local Twitter Trends and Trendsmap (for identifying the trending topics by location), and Know Your Twitter Followers (for a relatively thorough demographic analysis) among many others.

Among the many trendy, and effective technologies to come out of the proverbial social media womb is geolocation. With proper planning and proactive implementation, you can use it and its accompanying tools to get your brand achieve its goals. Here, you’ll find familiar names like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places, among many other services.

Blogging Platforms
To make the most out of your blog, it’s best to arm yourself with a good content management system (CMS). While WordPress is commonly being used today by companies and individuals, there are a lot out there that you can opt for. Depending on your blogging needs and goals, you have Blogger, Livejournal, or even Tumblr among many others. Or if you prefer to design your own CMS, you’ll have the likes of Joomla or Drupal at your side.

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