Foursquare or GroupOn? I think the playground game four square is far more impressive than the social media platform with the same name…and only then if you absolutely, positively can’t find a football. I think GroupOn has far more value for local social media marketers.
On the other hand, Senior Manager of Research Partnerships Andy Mott thinks that Foursquare is the natural evolution of the loyalty card.
Andy and I had fun with this debate in the above blog posts, taking an extreme side and insulting each other in creative ways. But our main point was to get you thinking about how you use local social media marketing with your brand.
We wanted to take this debate one step further and give you a look at how your other marketers are using local social media marketing. If you haven’t waded into this new form of local marketing yet, take a look at what your peers are doing…
Be social, not just SEO-focused
I’ve been developing a local social media marketing platform which is currently being picked up in various territories around the world. It is extremely local, as local as the initiator wishes it to be.
From the production perspective, what we’ve noticed is that those involved in the commercial side of social media are the least social of all, mostly focused on search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Quite simply put, they are missing out on the core value of social media marketing (SMM).
From our own points, we use Twitter to talk with other industry representatives and people that our team members are interested in. We use it to give a human and relatable face to our project rather than as a free link farm. We find this works really well as it gives us a chance to find out what is and isn’t working with our users and respond to it quickly. For example, because we listen, our followers know that they can inform us of a technical problem and get it resolved fairly quickly.
We’ve also stopped using tools which distribute the same updates across multiple networks. We found this to be ineffective. Take Twitter vs. Facebook for example. These are two very different social environments, used for different things. A tweet was frustratingly inefficient at delivering messages to Facebook users and trying to collate responses through Twitter is far more effort than it is worth. We’ve found it better to tailor our output to each network, it also makes us stop and think each time “is this update of value?” thus holding us back from just spamming users and hoping that someone somewhere takes an interest.
Take an active role in the community
Local social media marketing at our company has been tackled in two ways.
Facebook marketing – We target geographic locations near our restaurant and we offer specific deals through these ads that link directly to a specific landing page with a call to action.
Specific local social media websites – These websites are springing up all over the place with local people starting them up and running them as a forum for local news, discussions, businesses. We promote ourselves by offering discounts and vouchers directly though this medium. However, unlike the other businesses on our specific local site, we also take an active part in discussions, offer news items not about ourselves, and take an active role in the community.
These sites are vital for obtaining local business as they increase your exposure to the local populace in a constructive, useful way that also promotes the usefulness of your business. Come across as the friendly company and your customers won’t stray to the stone-faced business across the street!
Use Facebook and Twitter to promote blog content
We have a blog specific to the local area, which is something our local competition does not do. It has brought us great exposure. I do use Twitter and Facebook to essentially announce new blog posts to those communities. I have used geographic-specific Facebook advertising with little success. But I do not write unique content for Facebook or Twitter.
We don’t use coupons. We generate customer loyalty by building business relationships. But I’m an IT company, not a coffee shop.
– Eric Warthan, Senior Network Engineer at Hill Top Information Technology