With 2.2 billion active users, it might seem like turning followers into paying customers on Facebook would be easy. At least a few of those users will want what you’re selling … right? Unfortunately, targeting a local market on Facebook is a little more challenging than that.
Building a local Facebook marketing strategy is challenging, but extremely rewarding when executed correctly. Here are nine proven Facebook marketing tactics you can use to drive foot traffic, build brand awareness, and increase revenue potential.
9 Tactics for Your Local Facebook Marketing Strategy
1. Share Reviews
Standing out can be difficult when you’re surrounded by hundreds of other businesses all vying for attention. The key often lies in using social proof. People trust businesses that can prove what they say is true — especially if that proof comes from a customer.
Here are two review tactics we use:
- Share screenshots of positive reviews from other social sites.
- Ask customers to share the experience they’ve had with your business.
Screenshot positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+, and then share them on your Facebook page. Tag the reviewer’s business in your post with a sincere “Thank you,”, or just happily boast that you have the best customers. Sharing screenshots of emails from happy customers works too, just be sure you ask permission first.
If you’re just starting out and your business doesn’t have any reviews yet, give your audience an incentive to leave positive feedback. Ask your followers how their last experience was at your business. Offer a product giveaway to the first five people that leave a comment describing why they love your company. Even if you don’t get an official Facebook review, someone will probably comment on their experience. That’s social proof.
2. Create an Event
Having a live band perform at your restaurant this weekend or throwing a big sale at your retail store? Facebook events are a great way to notify your followers and generate some buzz for your business. Even if people can’t attend in person, it shows that your business is actively engaged with the community.
Creating an event on your Facebook page is easy. First, navigate to the “Events” tab.
Select the blue “Create Event” button.
Fill in the details:
- Date and time
- Event category
- Event keywords
- A link to the ticketing website
Finally, add a compelling photo, and you’re good to go.
A few tips to improve the reach of your Facebook event:
- Add directions or a map to make it easy for people to find your event.
- Invite up to 500 people.
- Share your event and/or promote it as an ad.
3. Use Groups
Groups offer a wide variety of local Facebook marketing advantages. Some of the best include:
- Listing and selling products
- Building a community
- Establishing expertise
- Offering great customer service
The possibilities for creating and managing a group on Facebook are only limited by your imagination. Groups are the perfect place to create a controlled community within your target audience. As the admin of the group, you can approve or reject all posts, accept or block members, and direct the commentary.
Groups allow you to build a micro-community that is hyper-focused on the subject of your choosing. For example, a business that sells laptop cases could create an entire Facebook group centered around laptop cases and their various uses, the best kinds, how to determine product quality, and humorous customer stories.
4. Share Local Content
One thing that’s consistent across Facebook is that people love to celebrate local pride. Align your business with famous events, history, people, landmarks, sayings, and other nuances that are part of your city’s identity. Share content from local organizations that captures the essence of your locale and will interest to your audience.
These are examples of good local content topics:
- 13 Things Keeping Austin Weird
- How Boston’s “R”-less Accent Became So Famous
- The Best Festivals to Attend this Summer in San Diego
Make your Facebook page an extension of the culture and traditions surrounding your location.
5. Mention Local Businesses, Events, and Groups
If you’re looking for ways to build engagement and gain traction, tag accounts that share content which aligns with your audience’s interests. As with all things on social media, tagging can be overdone, so don’t start tagging pages in every post. Rather, choose the ones that will have the greatest impact and provide value to your audience.
Tagging is another great way to support local marketing efforts. Build hype for an event your company is hosting using a Facebook live video, or showcase company culture with a group photo at the next conference you attend. One word of caution: if you decide to try Facebook live, write a script. The last thing you want to do is live-stream without a plan.
In addition to page tags, groups can also be tagged. This is especially effective when you’re attending industry events or working on collaborations. Athletic wear brands, such as Puma, do an exceptional job promoting their collaborations on Facebook.
6. Tag Locations & Events
I’m not talking about tagging your latest check-in at Olive Garden, I’m talking about event marketing, company outings, and business development trips. Manning a booth at Comic-Con? Post a group picture that tags the event and location. Taking the team out for someone’s Birthday lunch? Tag the location and upload a boomerang. Checking out your latest digital billboard downtown? Tag the location and upload a picture.
Add some variety to your Facebook page by tagging locations and show off your company’s personality at the same time.
7. Run a Contest
Everybody likes to win things. There are many different ways to run a Facebook contest. The two most popular include hosting a promotion on a Facebook app or on your Page’s Timeline.
Pay close attention to Facebook’s content rules because disregarding them could get your contest shutdown. Here are just a few things you can’t do:
- You can’t require participants to share a page or post on your Timeline to enter
- You can’t require participants to like a page to enter
- You can’t require participants to tag themselves in pictures to enter
The list goes on. Review a thorough breakdown of what you can and can’t do when running a Facebook contest here. Helpful hint: even though you can’t require page likes, photo tagging, and timeline posting, you can still encourage the audience to complete those actions.
8. Encourage Foot Traffic
Retail companies often struggle to make Facebook work in their favor. The biggest problem is getting people online to come into the store. Here are a few tips to start turning Facebook followers into foot traffic that have revenue potential:
- Create polls and contests centered on popular products and their uses
- Run regular in-store events your customers are interested in
- Promote in-store coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes
- Build a shop directly on Facebook where your customers can purchase your products
- Align your page with causes your audience cares about
Think of Facebook as your marketing email and your store as the landing page. In order to get people from the digital universe to visit your physical business, you need to have a compelling message and offer they can’t refuse. For example, if there’s a large sales conference in town you could create a set of Facebook ads that are focused on the area surrounding the conference center and targets sales professionals over the age of 21. Offer a lunch discount and provide all the details they need to make a quick meal grab before heading to their next session.
9. On-Site Promotion of Your Facebook Page
Try to convert the foot traffic your business attracts into online brand advocates. Use signage, receipts, business cards, flyers, coupons and more to ask for page likes, check-ins, reviews, and posts on your Facebook Timeline.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Give away a $200 gift card that requires participants to post a picture taken in front of a branded mural, sign, or display that tags your Facebook page.
- Offer a 20% off discount for everyone who checks-in at your store on a Wednesday.
Executing successful Facebook local marketing tactics requires consistent testing and experimentation. What works for a retail business might not work for a restaurant, and vice versa.
Take the time to figure out what your audience responds to the best and what generates the most business for your company through Facebook. Successful Facebook local marketing can take time. Be patient, detail oriented and persistent.