(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Sun, 22 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –
How small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to become local hotspots.
‘We reach people who don't know we exist’
Paula Milner, founder, The Crafty Lass
For every workshop that we hold, we set up a Facebook event and post that link to local Northamptonshire Facebook groups.
It means that we can keep track of people interested in our events
(they can click the “interested” button) and reach locals who may not even know that we exist, but are only a few clicks away from purchasing a ticket.
Facebook reviews are also key, because people check these when they visit your profile page, the star rating of which is visible when your page appears in Google search, so a poor score can put someone
off before they have even clicked through.
Encourage customers who have a good experience with you to give
a high-star rating and leave some positive words, which are vital if you want to improve word-of-mouth recommendations.
‘I use hashtags to stand out’
Pragya Agarwal, founder, The Art Tiffin
Across all my craft company's social media, I use location-specific hashtags, such as #lancashirehour and #liverpoolhour, which are used by locals during specific time periods to find out what’s going on in their area.
I do this on a regular basis and during specific times; for example, #liverpoolhour takes place every Thursday from 8-9pm.
The local hashtags create a real sense of community. This especially works with social enterprises like ours, because people are particularly keen to chat with and retweet businesses that are engaging with the community and have a sense of social responsibility.
I also use location tags in Instagram’s live “Stories” feature,
which is good for attracting followers and messages. I recently posted an Easter-themed short video of my kids painting eggs, which was viewed more than 500 times – and thanks to the local hashtag, half the views were from Formby, Merseyside.
I have also made quite a few sales to locals who have seen my Instagram or Twitter posts.
I once posted images of a red squirrel linocut that I made on Twitter, so tagged the local Formby National Trust Red Squirrel reserve and the location hashtag. It resulted in quite a few sales of the linocut print.
As a small firm operating primarily online, it’s difficult to be found in Google keyword searches, but with customers more conscious about supporting their local businesses, social media offers an opportunity to be seen in a crowded marketplace.
It’s also good for offering attractive discounts such as free delivery, because local people will likely be able to pick the goods up in person.
‘It’s powerful marketing on a budget’
Russell Jenkins, managing director, Thomson’s Coffee Roasters
We make sure that our social media posts are tailored to our local Glasgow customers. We will also use hashtags such as #glasgowcentral and #glasgowcafe to reach local people who want to find out what’s going on in their area.
Don’t forget to use your local knowledge and include directions for those who don’t know how to find you.
Social media also means that we can engage directly with the locals.
For example, a post about our policy of welcoming dogs, which featured pictures of canines sitting in the café, was our most successful to date; we got 50 shares and 568 likes within 24 hours. People commented about how excited they were to come to visit with their pups.
Across the three main social media websites, we have built up a community of more than 5,500 followers, which is increasing daily.
If you think of social media as a digital version of word of mouth – and local social media followers as a community group who make recommendations to each other about where to go – then it’s a really powerful tool, especially on a
We make sure to target messages to the most relevant consumers by location, demographic and interest – and we respond to reviews
and feedback, whether they're positive or negative. It shows customers that we're actually listening.
‘We tap into people’s interest in buying local’
Charlotte Mitchell, co-founder, Charlotte’s Butchery
People are more interested in buying local meat and social media enables us to tap into that.
We use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to encourage people to
place orders for big events and we share little bits of information about the meat to garner interest. We recently started “did you know” Mondays, where we write about different cuts and share recipe ideas.
It shows that we provide a service, rather than just sell meat.
Customers have also become accustomed to using the messenger service on Facebook and Instagram. When they watch cooking shows that feature unusual cuts of meat that the supermarkets don’t
provide, such as lamb neck fillet or marrow, they send us messages straight away to order the ingredients.
It means that we can do business 24/7, even when the physical shop is shut.
By The Telegraph Small Business Connect community