Social media is becoming vital to businesses which involve a local search. In fact, your very survival might as well depend on it, as silly as that may sound. According to new research, 77% of consumers prefer to research a purchase on the spot, with their smartphone. Whatever the product might be, the customer will probably do minor local research seconds before or even minutes AFTER entering a store.
But the high numbers don’t stop there. Roughly 80% of mobile searches involving local businesses end in a person buying a product. Out of those people, 72% buy their product within as little as a 5-mile radius of the location where they did the search. If you run a business and want to expand locally, you should pay attention to this and take notes.
It’s not just small businesses that should take notes, however. Google has known this for a while, having based their algorithms on giving their customers whatever they want as soon as possible. An astounding 92% of every search goes to websites that pop up on the very first results page. If you want your business to be what people are looking for, aim for that list of top-rated pages. In fact, most of your new customers will be people who clicked on that link on the very first page, because of convenience as well as quality.
Local Search Marketing and How Social Media Links to It
You would surprise nobody if you said that the absolute majority of people maintain at least one account on social media. It doesn’t matter if they have a Facebook account, a Twitter handle, or an Instagram page – everyone has at least something.
Social media is powerful in and of itself. We’re on it more often than we should, we argue there, laugh at dank memes, share stories, seek advice, etc. Naturally, we also use social media to think about what to buy next. Therefore, if you want your brand to succeed, use social media and get the local community to know it. This interaction between you and the locals will generate far more relevant data, as well as unique posts. Thus you’ll have more online presence, and your page will organically grow and rank higher in any online directory. Reading the paragraphs below will show you how to do it, and how to do it effectively.
Facebook and Local Search
Say what you want about Facebook’s questionable ideas of late or the “Zucc,” but the platform still remains as popular as ever when it comes to social media. Businesses, in particular, tend to use it frequently, and with good results. Not to mention that it’s the website nearly every consumer automatically goes to for product information. We will list four changes that will make your Facebook page stand out and increase your brand’s awareness. They are quick, easy, and effective changes which cost nothing, but can help generate a good cash flow.
How to Spice Up Your Facebook Business Page
The first step is to update your URL. Every user gets a random URL when they make a new Facebook account, businesspeople included. This random URL is usually a string of unrelated symbols like numbers and letters. The moment your page gets 25 likes and more, you can change it. Within Facebook, this type of URL is called “vanity” URL. However, you can use it to the advantage of your brand. Having a link that says “www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyBrandHereBro” would catch a lot of eyeballs, and it would make searching for your product even easier.
Next, you should add keywords to the category of your brand. Usually, Facebook users would get targeted ads through the platform’s algorithm, and all of these are based on searches the user has done before. If you have a business that offers multiple services, you can use several categories. For example, a car salesman could use “tire sales,” “used cars,” “engine oil,” etc.
Putting Your Address Up
You have your URL and your keywords. Now you need to add your address. The button you’ll need for that is “Edit page.” Once you find it, click on “update info.” It should give you the “About” box, where you can find the option “Basic information.” This is where you’ll be adding the description of what brand you’re offering. It’s important to put your name, location, and phone number here. Naturally, the location should include the city you’re in, as well as the street your business is located at.
Completing the About Page
Finally, remember to complete the “About” page, now that you’re there. Do not waste any empty space. There’s plenty of extra room there to add your webpage link, your e-mail, what your stated goal is and any affiliate links. Think Twitter handle, a YouTube channel, a Pinterest board, etc. A detailed list of products will also come in handy here. Remember, most people looking for a service like yours will look at this data first. Tickle their fancy and offer them the full package right there.
One final piece of advice – don’t be scared of making these changes. You can easily update them whenever you feel like it later. Businesses change, and the info you provide will likely change as well in time.
Your “Local Business” Page
Facebook has one more feature which you should definitely consider using. When making a business page on this platform, you’ll see the “Company, Organization, or Institution” section, as well as a “Local Business” one. These two are very similar. One difference is that there’s no option of adding a mission statement when making a local business page. But a bigger difference is that viewers can visit your store if they see you have a local business page.
This company page works best if you have a brand that has more than one location. You can also use it if your business deals via distributors, or if you’re doing business online only, with no physical location. Don’t worry if your business doesn’t fit any of these, as you can easily change your page whenever you want to.
Twitter and Local Search
Twitter is far more than a platform designed to make one-liners and catchphrases. Keep in mind, there are 500 million tweets worldwide sent every single day. It’s safe to say that a large portion of that belongs to different brands, or people looking for brands. There are even brands that managed to create a massive following on this site. All of this done via good information and safe, good-natured humor.
Much like Facebook, Twitter can help you promote your local brand and connect with your customers. Most people use trending Twitter tags to self-promote, and that can help you a lot with your local business.
Optimizing Twitter for Business
Google doesn’t use your metadata when people look for your Twitter handle. Normally it just pulls up a new tweet and with it the handle you use, your profile, and the number of followers you have. There are times Google will even pull out your bio. Now that you know all of this, optimizing is easy.
Both your handle and your name should reflect what your business does. Make sure the username is unique. As far as the name’s concerned, you can go wild. If you go for MyBrand@MyBrand and someone else is using “@MyBrand”, just change it to something close to your brand. For example, “MyBrand@Brand” or something similar.
Fill that Bio
This will be difficult, as you have 160 characters to work with. Use it for the most important info about your product. Make it stand out.
Complete the location
Bear in mind, this step is crucial to your Twitter profile. The reason is self-explanatory.
You ought to make sure not to stick with any one way of wording things. Twitter is one of those platforms where you should tweak your info whenever your business takes a different turn. Do this whenever you need to.
Instagram and Local Search
Instagram works twice as fast as Twitter, and it offers stunning visual solutions. All of this makes it perfect for fast internet users, such as Millennials. Not to mention that shoppers flood this site regularly. Almost three-quarters of Instagram users are waiting on updates from the brands they regularly buy, be it fashion or food.
Optimizing Instagram for Business
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, this will take a bit more work, mainly because you won’t have a lot of links. However, Instagram does have a special business-only section with every tool an aspiring local businessman needs. Here are the steps you should take.
Choose a Business-Related Username
Like with Twitter, make sure the name is as close to the name of your brand as you can. Naturally, adding a location would help out more. “MyBrand” is enough in and of itself, but if you, for example, work in New York, make it “MyBrand_NY.” This tactic is especially good for local searches.
Fill out your bio.
Only 150 characters give you a challenge, but here you can do as you did with Twitter – make it impactful and memorable. If you can, add your location here.
Instagram has a geo-tagging option. Use it and let Instagram publish it. Local searches for your brand will soar after this.
Personalize Your Brand’s Voice
If you use Instagram’s Stories, you can give users a short, compelling tale of what you offer and why you offer it. Making it personal will relate to shoppers, and you’ll start building your brand.
The bonus step is the same as with all other social media. Revamp and redo everything once a year, at the very least. It will refresh your brand and show how you’re growing.
When optimizing social media for local research, you ought to pay attention to one more rule. You should post as often as possible and make sure it’s visible. If you post often and regularly, you will pop up in local searches more. If you don’t, your business will stagnate, and nobody will pay attention to your brand.