And those recommendations and reviews have a huge impact on which businesses they decide to patronize.
In other words, your social media accounts should be helping you to get more foot traffic in your store or office – and if they’re not, here are some things that can help.
Advertise an Inexpensive Item or Freebie
A lot of times, people just need an incentive to come visit your business in person. One way to entice them to do it is to advertise a special sale item or a giveaway item to get them to come in.
For example, you might:
Incentivize Your Existing Customers to Make Referrals (and Incentivize New Customers, Too!)
It can be difficult for your existing customers to refer their friends and family members to your business unless there’s something in it for them. And, the people they talk to will be more likely to check out your business if they’ll get something too.
The solution? Offer a two-way deal where both your existing customer and the person they refer get something in return. An example might be a 15% off coupon or a free item. That way, your existing customers will feel that they’re offering their friends something valuable – and vice versa!
Partner with Other Local Businesses on Social Media
One of the best ways to connect with new customers in your area is to partner with other local businesses – particularly those whose audiences overlap with your own.
For example, if you own a clothing store, you might partner with a local shoe store or jewelry store. Or, if you own a nursery or floral shop, you could partner with a wedding boutique or bakery. From there, you have options, including:
Print-at-home coupons are a great way to incentivize people to come into your store. Everybody likes to save money and get a bargain.
If you decide to create a coupon, make it a significant one. A lot of local business offer one of these options:
Create a Social Media Code Word or Hashtag for Your Business insert hashtag
Social media is a great place to work on your word-of-mouth advertising. Think about what you can do to get people talking about your business – and how you can use that online chatter to encourage people to come see you in person.
One option is to create a “secret” code word or a special hashtag for your business. You can spread the word by asking people to share it – and by letting them know if they come into your business and mention the code word or hashtag, they’ll get a discount or a freebie.
This option is essentially a word-of-mouth coupon. There’s nothing to print. Instead, people simply need to know the code word and mention it when they check out.
Share Images of Your Customers
Social media marketing is an ideal way to forge personal connections with your customers and get to know them. One way to do that is to get in the habit of taking photographs (with permission, of course) of your customers while they’re shopping. If you get their okay, you can then share them (and tag your customers) on social media.
What this tactic does is show people how much fun they can have shopping at your store or patronizing your business. And, when you tag customers, you’ll also be putting your content in front of their friends! That’s a win-win.
Run Targeted Local Ads
While there are lots of ways to leverage organic social media marketing to get more foot traffic in your business, the fact is that paid advertising is still the best option if you want to make sure your content is seen by local people – the ones who are most likely to buy from you.
The good news is that social media advertising makes targeting easy. You should choose an audience that is specific to your geographical area. By narrowing it down further – with demographic information and interests – you can minimize your costs and maximize your reach.
Foot traffic doesn’t materialize out of nowhere. But careful leverage of your social media following can help you encourage your existing customers to make additional purchases from you – and incentivize their friends and other new customers to buy from you, too.
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So, instead of wasting your time with a bunch of ideas that may not work, let’s focus on the ones that do. Here are some of the most reliable ways to get the social media engagement your business deserves.
The thing about static social media posts is that they’re, well… static. People may engage with them or they may not – but there’s no real incentive to jump in and get involved.
The same cannot be said of live video. Live video is of the moment – and it requires audience participation.
Instead of filming a video, editing it, and then sharing it, try using live video instead. Live video is ideal for:
If you’re posting content that doesn’t specifically ask for your followers’ opinions and responses, then you’re missing an opportunity to engage with them in a meaningful way. The best questions to ask are often open-ended questions because longer, more detailed responses are more likely to positively impact your visibility on social media.
Here are a few suggestions of the kinds of questions you can ask:
Go for Laughs
Whatever kind of business you own, there’s some humor to be found in promoting it. And social media is the perfect place to share frustrations and odd events. Let’s face it, people love to laugh!
The things you post can be lists, images, or even questions. The key is to find the humor and make it irresistible for your audience to chime in. Here are some ideas:
Stop Them in Their Tracks
One of the trickiest things in social media marketing is finding ways to make your content stand out. After all, you’re competing with your followers’ friends and family (whose posts are prioritized on Facebook and other sites) and with our ever-dwindling attention spans.
An option that works is to find eye-catching, surprising, and irresistible images to include in your social media posts. The kind of thing that will grab your audience’s attention and hold it – making it impossible for them to resist clicking, reading, and watching.
Some ideas include:
Take a Poll
A well-designed social media poll can get the people in your target audience to engage with you in a whole new way. Polls on Facebook and Twitter – and other sites – are easy to design and post. They take very little effort and no money.
You can use a social media poll to:
Add a Messenger Chatbot to Make Connections
Chatbots are here to stay and you can use a Messenger chatbot to make new connections and increase your engagement.
One option is to run a promotion (with a lead magnet, for example) on Facebook and let people know that if they comment, they’ll get a freebie via Messenger. It’s a good way to open a dialogue without spending a ton of money.
If you’re looking to attract new leads or build a list, this is a good option to try.
Put Your Emoji Game to Work
There’s plenty of evidence that adding emojis to your social media posts can increase your engagement on social media. That being the case, why not experiment with including them and see what it does for your engagement?
Here are some pointers for adding emojis to boost engagement:
Increasing your social engagement may be a bit of a crap shoot, but it’s possible to do it without spending a ton of money promoting posts and running ads. The ideas here are proven to help companies get the attention they deserve on social media.
The trick is to pursue the ones that have the greatest chance of earning money and attracting new customers – and disregarding the rest.
So, let’s cut through the non-essentials and get to the important stuff. Here are the trends you simply can’t afford to ignore.
You can’t go anywhere without reading about why online reviews are important – but a surprising number of businesses still aren’t prioritizing them. In other words, this isn’t a new trend, but it’s an essential one.
The numbers don’t lie. A recent survey showed that 86% of all consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and fully half of consumers in the coveted 18-34 group say they always read reviews.
The solution? Claim your listings on Google My Business (more on that later) and crowd review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Set up a system for responding to reviews, both positive and negative, and encourage your existing customers to review your business.
Mobile payments are convenient and – when used properly – they can protect consumers’ financial information. Research shows that the mobile payment trend has been steadily rising over the past 5 years and is expected to top one trillion dollars in 2019.
Some of the best and most reliable mobile payment apps include:
When you hear the word “chatbots” are you thinking science fiction or reality? If you chose the first option, it’s time to pull your head out of the sand and step into the 21st century – because chatbots are here to stay.
The truth is that 1.4 billion people interact with chatbots every day. Not only that, adding live chat to your website can increase conversions by 20% and send your ROI skyrocketing by as much as 305%.
Programming chatbots can be complicated but it’s a worthwhile investment. You can start small by programming a chatbot to handle customer payment inquiries and other routine tasks. The trend is toward full virtual assistants, so keep that in mind as you move forward.
Interactive Video Content
Interactive videos are another trend that might sound like sci fi. The trend toward interactive videos in marketing is a huge one, though. Let’s look at the numbers:
Google My Business
Google My Business is one of the best ways to increase the visibility of your local business online. If you haven’t already claimed and optimized your listing, then the chances are good that you’re losing business to your competitors as a result.
You can click here to claim your listing. Once you’ve done that, it’s a must to complete your listing and optimize it for local searches. Here are some pointers:
Facebook Recommendations Insert:
Facebook is still the most widely-used social media site with more than 2 billion active monthly users. It’s also a place where your followers can recommend businesses (including yours!) to their friends and social media connections.
Facebook is continuously tweaking their options for local businesses. As of 2019, Facebook Recommendations show up at the top of your business page. You’ll see an average rating plus the number of people who recommend your business.
Anybody who clicks on your rating will have the opportunity to answer a simple question:
Do you recommend Business Name?
They’ll answer yes or no and then they can offer to share their specific thoughts with you.
You can use Facebook Recommendations to encourage your customers to leave reviews. The responses you receive can help you attract new customers or offer you opportunities to improve your products and services.
Location-Targeted Mobile Ads
It’s no secret that GPS technology has become commonplace. What you may not know is that you can use its sister, beacon technology, to engage with your customers and provide them with location-specific ads and offers.
To do it, you’ll need to:
Another option is to ping your customers when they’re near your business and entice them to come in instead of passing by.
Local marketing changes on a near-daily basis. The trends we’ve listed here are ones that are unlikely to go anywhere – and using them properly can help you to attract new customers without overspending on marketing.
But it is.
The truth is that you might be making critical SEO mistakes right now that are driving customers away from your business instead of attracting them.
The good news is? There are just 5 common mistakes and they’re all easily fixable. They’ll take a bit of time, of course, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Here’s what you need to know.
SEO Mistake #1: Not Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
The most important thing to know about Google My Business is that it’s owned by – you guessed it – Google. That automatically makes it important for SEO.
If you haven’t already claimed and optimized your Google My Business page, here’s what you need to do:
SEO Mistake #2: Not Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users
Mobile search is everything when it comes to local SEO. In fact, as of 2018, 95% of ALL mobile searches happened on Google. That’s not a number you can ignore.
Here are some of the key things to improve to optimize your site for mobile:
SEO Mistake #3: Not Optimizing for Voice Search
Voice search is arguably the biggest trend in SEO. The increasing popularity of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana is driving the trend. As of 2019, 20% of all online searches were voice searches and that number’s expected to skyrocket to 50% by 2020.
Fortunately, optimizing for voice search isn’t difficult. Since people use voice search in specific ways – asking Siri a question, for example – you’ll need to think about the questions and problems that drive most customers to your website.
Here are some pointers:
SEO Mistake #4: Not Removing Broken Links (insert 404)
You already know that link-building is crucial for SEO. Both internal and external links are a must, and if you’ve got broken links, it can hurt your SEO over time.
Broken internal links are frustrating for users – and they can occur when you change the URL of a page or remove content from your site. Broken external links are also frustrating and can even hurt your Google rank.
If it’s been a while since you looked for broken links on your site, you might be losing customers without realizing it. You can try going through your site and checking each link individually – but if you’ve got a complex site with a lot of pages, that can take a long time.
Instead, consider using a broken link tool like this one to help you out. It will test your site, identify broken links, and make it easy for you to fix them.
SEO Mistake #5: Not Focusing on Reviews
86% of all consumers read online reviews before making a purchase – and most read 10 reviews or more. Do you need anything else to convince you that online reviews are important for SEO?
If you’ve been neglecting your online reviews, it’s time to take them seriously. Having current reviews can make or break a local business.
Here are some pointers for getting your online reviews taken care of:
SEO is constantly changing, but the 5 mistakes here are ones you simply can’t afford to make. Fixing them now can help you avoid missing out new customers.