If you run a local business with a bricks and mortar location you’ll know that your local customers are your most valuable customers. But how do you go about making sure that you’re reaching the people that don’t know they need you yet?

It can be tempting to think that you don’t need to promote your local business online if you rely on foot traffic or word of mouth to get new customers. We get it, you don’t want to spend time messing about online, you just want to focus on doing what you do and let your work speak for itself. However, keeping hold of those valuable customers you have (and getting new ones) means making sure you are the first business they think of when they need something – and keeping up a gentle presence in their Facebook news feeds is a great way to make that happen!
We’ve compiled a nice short ’n’ sweet list of things you can do RIGHT NOW to appeal to local customers.

1 Encourage check-ins

We’ve all seen those little notifications from friends when they check in to somewhere nice on Facebook. It might say something like “Lucy Jones was eating Chinese at New King”, with a little map of the area underneath. Often those check-ins are accompanied by selfies or snaps of drool-worthy food. Imagine the free marketing that business is getting when all Lucy’s friends see her post!

So, how do you encourage people to check in at your business? Offer an incentive of course!

If you’re a cafe, add a promo to your menu. You could offer a free upgrade to a large coffee for those who check in and show their check in screen to waiting staff.

If you’re a gift shop, have flyers at the till with special offers or free gift wrapping for those who check in.

Whatever you choose to do, make your customers feel special and generate a little good will. People visiting your business are a valuable resource – it’s likely their friends will make good customers too!

2  Create events

Facebook events are great for local businesses. Local people love them, and when someone replies to say they are “interested” or “going” to an event, it pops up on their friend’s timelines.

Your event doesn’t have to be big or fancy; it can be as simple as offering a demo on new products, or creating a late night shopping event.

Encourage people to invite friends to the event and make sure it is set to “public” to get the best results. Don’t forget to post it on your timeline too!

3 Use local images

You know when you are scrolling through your feed, and you see a picture of your home town? It makes you pause for a moment, right? Using local images is a great way for a business to say “if you recognise this, we are for you!”

Shots of your storefront are great, but taking pictures out and about in your neighbourhood work well too and remind your customers that you’re part of their community.

Add location tags to your shots when you upload them to let everyone know where you are.

That’s our 3 easy ideas to get your local business noticed on Facebook – let us know how you get on with them.

And if you live in East Devon and you aren’t sure how to get started with social media, come along to one of our free 1st Friday events, and let the Imp team skill you up in taking great shots that work well for social media.

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