A large and active social media audience is important to almost every business. As a brick and mortar company, focusing your social media efforts on a local level is vital. No matter where a social media follower is located, an account is typically happy to have gained a new audience member. In terms of revenue generation, a distant follower of a local business is unlikely to contribute to the bottom line, but it is expected that a local business account will have a mixture of local and distant followers. The strategy of the business should focus on catering to the company’s ideal client. One element of a successful local strategy is creating partnerships with surrounding businesses. Developing partnerships between businesses can create added value for customers. In addition, connecting with non-competing businesses that target the same clientele in the area can help both co-sponsors reach potential clients that they have been missing.
Hosting events with nearby companies is a great way to spread awareness of your products or services while creating relationships with your community. Events allow for more mingling between consumers and companies. Attendees will get a preview of what value and benefits you offer, as well as a closer look at your brand personality. These events create a space where the audience can interact with employees and view a representation of your products or services in a no pressure setting. Inviting your loyal clients to these events encourages them to spread the word about their experiences with you to potential new clients. Do your due diligence when selecting a business to partner with. You’ll want to work with a company that has a great relationship with their clients and the community. Your brand will be aligning with theirs and should have some symmetry. Consider the company’s mission to ensure you don’t have opposite messaging.
Co-sponsoring digital contests is another effective way to leverage relationships with local businesses to grow your social media audience. Selecting your partner or co-sponsor is just as important, if not more, than choosing your giveaway. A good choice for a partner is someone who has a following that consists of your target audience. Ask yourself what your top clients have in common, then look for those traits in the audience of your potential partner. It’s also recommended to limit the number of businesses participating in the promotion. Typically, the more partners involved, the more work required for followers to enter. Giveaways are attractive to participants because they provide a large potential value with little investment to enter. Set the intentions of your contest first and make certain that your entry requirements reflect that goal. For example, if growing your e-mail list is a priority, skip the follow request for this promotion and just require applicants to direct message their e-mail address. A thoughtfully crafted giveaway or contest can create results quickly for both partners.
WORD OF MOUTH
Word of mouth is still a very powerful tool for businesses. People trust friends, family, and even stranger’s reviews and recommendations. Fostering a relationship with a local company that has high traffic can be worthwhile. Displaying an advertisement at the counter of a popular coffee shop with an exclusive discount is an affordable way to be seen by your community. It can also get people talking about your business with other people. Your partner also benefits by being able to provide a free perk, like an exclusive discount to their customers. This helps build their relationship with their clients while not having to make an investment or be inconvenienced. Brainstorm win-win situations where all parties involved have a positive outcome.
In this digital age, social media platforms have business owners and marketers convinced that a massive social media following is crucial. For some companies, this may be true. For most, it is more important that a potential or active client is following you than someone who will most likely never be in a place to purchase your goods or services. Developing partnerships within your operating region is a successful way to reach potential clients. There are several ways to connect with nearby business owners, including attending networking groups, joining the Chamber of Commerce, reaching out online, or visiting their business. Once connected, let people know your businesses support each other. Dedicate a small section to your new partner in your newsletter or in a social media post. Then, get creative and explore different promotional opportunities to find what works for both sponsors. Remember, a successful marketing plan includes a mixture of methods for reaching the target audience.
Kelly Conlan is the marketing and communications director for DermaMed Solutions, an administrator for the Esthetician Connection, and a freelance marketing and social media consultant. Conlan discovered her enthusiasm for skin care over 12 years ago and found a home in the aesthetic industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business, with a focus on marketing and management, from Penn State and has expertise in generating content and strategic marketing plans to increase brand awareness for aesthetic manufactures, as well as spas, medical spas, and plastic surgery practices. In recent years, Conlan has found a new passion in the healing powers of CBD and hemp-based cannabinoids. Research and education are top priorities for Conlan as she continues her in-depth exploration of the developing uses and benefits for CBD.