The role of social media in ensuring any local business campaign is unarguably necessary. However, some marketers go overboard with their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and they start to neglect the other tools which have been proven to bring about positive outcome with regards to local business marketing. Although having social media as a part of any business’ local marketing plan is undisputedly crucial, there is also a need to look and utilize other platforms as well.
It is very easy to get carried away with all the hype that revolves around social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. With 500 million users worldwide, it is natural for why a lot of entrepreneurs put their trust in Facebook. But for all the buzz surrounding Facebook, blogging and message bulletin boards has been the most effective for businesses in 2010. However, Facebook is hailed as the most used social media venue according the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Study which was released in January 2011 with 71% of respondents using this social networking site. Twitter followed with 59% and then blogging at 50%. Although 85% of the survey’s 500 respondents did find Facebook successful, this figure was still not enough to overtake blogging and message boards.
The results of this survey should not prompt entrepreneurs to stop utilizing Facebook or Twitter. However, the survey results do remind them that they should invest their resources in other social media venues and not just put their eggs in one basket, so to speak. Social media sites do work and are genuinely helpful to businesses but there is a need to spread the love among all social networking sites.
For businesses that have not yet made use of social media for the local marketing campaign, the first step to doing so is to have a company Facebook and Twitter account. A company blog must also be launched on top of the company website. Once you have these three, it’s time to start diversifying things. Host message boards on your company website or blog as this will generate conversation and interaction among your visitors—existing and prospective customers alike.
At the same time, make sure that your business is mentioned in external message boards by having someone post relevant and useful posts and responses in message boards. Embark in email campaigns and make sure to explore other up and coming social media sites as well like Foursquare. With this approach, your business will be able to reach more from your target market.
Chris Marentis writes from experience about lead generation, closing the sale and leveraging social media. He is the founder and CEO for a local internet marketing company Surefire Social, a resource for local search marketing