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Is Social Media Still Working for Local Businesses?

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7 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

Nearly three-quarters of British adults (over 18) use social media—making it a critical part of any business strategy. But while the use of it may not make or break your business, there are ways to use social media that will boost overall engagement, maintain loyal customers and position your small business for success with potential customers.

If someone already loves your brand, then of course, social media is one of the best ways to stay connected. But it is equally important to use it to find people that haven’t heard of your business yet. Particularly when that business is a local one.

Using these simple social media marketing tips, businesses of absolutely any size can reach new markets, build brand awareness, and most importantly drive sales. After all – isn’t that what it’s all about?

Goals and objectives

If you’re familiar with the SMART framework then you’ll know what we mean when we say that these need to be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Your goals should have a real and measurable impact on your business; to reach new customers (for us its advertisers) and to build community spirit (for us this is the support of local business in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire). It really is NOT about getting as many likes as you can!

Audit your social media

If you’ve been using social media until now, then take a look at the analytics – who is your audience, what posts are they enjoying the most, when are they on your page (what time is it best to post for maximum engagement?) What are your competitors doing? Ask existing followers what they want to see more of and then give them what they ask for.

Decide what platforms are best suited to your business

If you’re business is not pictorial then instagram may not be the platform for you. If you’re not appealing to millennials, you should avoid Snapchat etc. You can also conduct your own research by setting a timeframe to ask your customers what they look at online and where they might like to follow you.

Build relationships

In real life you wouldn’t start off on the right foot with someone if all you did was talk about yourself. The same goes for social media. It may be tempting to push as many promotional messages as possible out there but in the end you’ll start to lose your followers. To punish this type of Facebook user, Facebook has focused on making sure followers don’t see posts if too many of them are overly promotional. More than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. Part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for.


When people do engage with you, then ensure that you talk back! Imagine that scenario of real life again – you wouldn’t stand blankly staring at them without a reply. So if someone responds to a post, the very least you can do is ‘like’ their reply. If they complain – do not delete, block or hide their message, but instead answer them in the best way possible. This is your chance to give your business personality, build trust and form a loyal following. As fans share and like your content, you rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free, exposure. You also nurture relationships that can develop into sales, staff or even influencers over time.

Picture this!

People have come to expect social posts to include something visual. For example, in a recent report, more than half of millennials and Gen Z internet users said their most recent fashion buys were based on images they saw on social media. If your content isn’t attractive then what’s going to make someone stop to look at it? Twitter itself says, “The single simplest thing you can do to get more attention to your Tweets is to add an image or GIF.” Every business can tell its story through photos and videos – even through to showcasing your company culture with images and interviews from inside your office, including the latest intern, a birthday, a charity event or the launch of a new service or product.

Quality over quantity

There used to be rules about when to post and how often. Nowadays it’s really more about the quality of the post and what its sharing. If it’s signposting to content on your website or a new blog or newsletter then that’s even better. According to a survey from Stackla, 86% of consumers say authenticity influences which brands they like and support. Don’t post for the sake of it – or they will know.

Any other tips? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

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