Target Local Customers Online
As an entrepreneur, you understand the importance of social media marketing and may have even begun to explore the benefits for your business. By now, everyone is aware that social media is considered a form of “modern marketing” and has proven to be a valuable way to target local customers online and grow your business. Social media tools can provide huge advantages for online efforts when it comes to brand awareness, website traffic growth and most importantly, lead generation. The problem most business owners face today is not if they should use social media but how they should use it to target locally.
Let’s start by exploring Facebook. In an article by Erin Richards-Kunkel on Aabacosmallbusiness.com we learn that “51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online.” The opportunity to grow your local following on Facebook could increase actual sales for your business! But in order to do this, you have to have the right audience, actual potential customers, following and interacting with your page. In this article, we’ll explore how businesses like yours are using Facebook’s many tools for marketing to local prospects with both free and paid tools.
Using Facebook To Target Local Customers Online
Attract Local Prospects Using Your Facebook Local Business Page
As with any social profile, your Facebook business page will benefit your online brand awareness as well as give you a boost in SEO juice from Google. If you don’t already have a business page for your company on Facebook, here’s how you can easily create one within minutes. Once your page is created start by adding your own friends who are local to your business by asking them to like your page. This new “like” will show up on their profile and help build your page using their network! Next, begin researching other local Facebook pages where your customers might be “hanging out” and following those pages.
If you are a B2B business, you can “like” pages that would make ideal clients and spend time engaging on their status updates and photos. As a B2C business, you can “like” local pages where potential clients would be active. For example, local news sites, chambers of commerce and city government pages would potentially be great places to look for local customers. By engaging where your customers are active on social you’re brand will be well recognized and spark up interest from the people who you want to sell to.
Bonus: In order to create the best targeting strategy, your company should have buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Talk to an expert about the market research you need to target the right customers!
Target Local Customers With Facebook Advertising
Did you know that the history of Facebook advertising goes back to it’s original launch date in 2004? Facebook first started advertising with “flyers” and even had a marketplace where you could buy and sell. Since then they made huge improvements to their advertising platform, especially when it comes to targeting local customers online. Despite the fact that Facebook finally figured out how to really narrow down local targeting, out of the 40 million active small business pages only about 2 million of those businesses are paying for advertising.
Facebook’s advertising tool has a few options for businesses looking to target to a local audience: Reach People Near Your Business and Raise Attendance at Your Event. The first option, “Reach People Near Your Business” is what you should use for a general ad campaign that will lead clicks from Facebook to your website. This option lets you use a map function in order to identify where exactly you’d like to target. Facebook will automatically highlight your business location and a radius around it based on the address on your page. You can use this option in order to target your ad to specific locations, ages and gender. One important note here: this option will target users not by the location listed in their Facebook profile but by their current location using GPS. This can be really beneficial for reaching an audience who may be visiting that location from another place.
Another benefit of this feature is that you can also exclude locations. Say your business doesn’t ship or provide services to certain areas, you can easily add them to your exclusion list so that people in this area will not see your ad. It’s recommended to also choose specifics when it comes to demographics such as age, gender, interests, education, hobbies and behaviors in order to get the best return on your investment with Facebook advertising.
Key Takeaways About the ROI of Facebook Marketing for Local Customers
Remember these key takeways to improve your Facebook marketing strategy and reach local customers online.
- To grow your local following organically using Facebook, you will need to spend time engaging and interacting with your ideal audience. Although time- consuming, you can generate local leads without paying advertising dollars!
- Facebook advertising is an easy way to promote your page and generate clicks back to your website. You can utilize their “reach people near your business” feature in order to target locally. Typically, a Facebook ad click will cost less than $1 but in order to maximize ROI, you will need to test out ad variations over time.
- For best results, analyze and review all your Facebook efforts by identifying what has worked best to bring local leads back to your business.