Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing: Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business trying to make a name for yourself in your local area, you might often feel like a small fish in a big, competitive sea. With businesses everywhere vying for market share and consumer favor, it can be difficult to figure out the best marketing strategy for your business.
Luckily, trends in marketing are slowly shifting away from the “more money = more business” philosophy as ads get more and more personalized to each consumer. While it is still true that the more you invest in marketing, the more payoff you’ll see, there are new, more targeted ways to advertise that may be more effective and can increase the efficiency of your advertising budget.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what hyperlocal social media marketing is, who it can work for, the benefits of this strategy, and how you can implement hyperlocal social media marketing for your own business (or with the help of Frank).
What is Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing?
Hyperlocal social media marketing is a highly targeted marketing strategy that focuses on connecting with potential customers in a certain area, specifically through social media platforms. If you’ve ever used location targeting via Google Ads or other advertising platforms, you may be familiar with this concept. It involves creating unique content, engaging with local communities, and building a reputable social media presence to connect with consumers in the area of your business.
The goal of hyperlocal social media marketing is to reach your highly targeted audience with quality, relevant content that will encourage them to engage with your business and ultimately drive conversions. By narrowing down your location targeting to just people in your area, you’ll be reaching people more relevant to your business.
What are the Benefits of Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing?
Put simply: there are quite a few. Here are some of its key benefits:
1. Increased Brand Awareness
One of the most helpful benefits of this strategy is increased brand awareness among your local community. When you’re only targeting your specific area, you’re more likely to reach people who will care about your business. Hyperlocal social media marketing is an opportunity to build a presence in your community, increase brand recognition, and drive more traffic to your business.
2. Lower Ad Spend, More Focused Campaigns
If you’re not familiar with advertising on social media platforms, it can be easy to misuse location targeting. You may not even know that location targeting exists at all. And, if you do, it can be tempting to set your location targeting too far out from your business in order to reach a larger audience.
But, when you focus your location targeting too wide, you risk spending money on clicks and impressions that will never generate any leads or revenue for you. Think about it - who’s going to travel 30 miles to visit your location just because they saw an ad? By creating small location targets, your ads will spend less money while generating leads that have potentially more value. You can focus on potential consumers that may be more inclined to care about your business because of your location.
3. Local Rapport and Involvement
Consumers love local businesses, especially ones that care about the communities they serve. This may be the most important advantage small businesses have over large corporations.
When your messaging - not just your targeting - is hyperlocal as well, you can build a sense of trust with potential customers over that shared interest. There are quite a few reasons why consumers like to support local businesses. A local business that openly cares about their community and shows that investment online can become a community staple that consumers prefer over other options.
Businesses that Can Benefit From Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing
If you haven’t caught on already, this strategy is perfect for small, local businesses looking to establish themselves on a local scale. This can encompass anything, from a drive-in to a boutique hotel. There are a few key traits, however, that a business needs in order to benefit from hyperlocal marketing.
- Service-Based Businesses: These can be restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, handymen, you name it. In order to make this strategy work for you, you must have some sort of service that people in your local area need. Most local businesses fall into this category.
- Customer-Facing Services: This can be B2B or B2C businesses, you just need to make sure you’re serving someone in your local area. This also encompasses most businesses.
- Community Involvement: This is where a lot of businesses don’t make the cut. If your business is a huge, international chain, an online-only e-commerce website, or otherwise incapable of actually showing up for the local community you’re present in, hyperlocal marketing may not work as well for you. This is because a hyperlocal strategy relies on talking the talk. A Chili’s can boost an Instagram post that says “We love our customers in Denton, Texas,” but that doesn’t have nearly the same effect as a local sushi restaurant hosting a benefit night for a nonprofit in the area. There are some cases where large or online-only businesses can use this strategy, but it is much more beneficial for truly local businesses.
How to Make a Hyperlocal Social Media Strategy and Execute it
If this strategy sounds like it may work for you and you’re willing to put in the effort to invest in your community, here is how to do it.
- Define Your Target Audience: Who are the customers you’re trying to reach? How far will people be willing to travel to get to your store? What are they interested in besides your business? Determine who it is you’re trying to target and use the characteristics of your audience to cultivate your strategy. In this case, you’ll likely be targeting general people in your area. You can narrow this down as much or as little as you’d like.
- Choose the Right Platforms: Do you live in a young, trendy area? Is the majority of your audience over 45 years old? Different consumer traits determine what social media platforms they’re using. Don’t waste your money and effort on platforms that aren’t relevant to your audience.
- Decide What Kind of Content You Want to Make: How can you uniquely speak to your community? What makes them unique from the next town over? What makes the people in your area care about the area? How will you be involved in those conversations? What do you contribute? These are just a few questions you can ask to develop your content strategy.
As far as actually executing your strategy, here are a few tips for doing so:
- Stay Up to Date on What’s Happening: Things like festivals, school sports, and local news are key to this. Get involved in the current events of your area through sponsorships, benefit events, or just social media posts that are related to local happenings.
- Geo-Tag Your Posts: And get specific! Let people know where you are and how you are involved in the area. This not only shows involvement but also makes your posts show up on the feeds of people near you and puts your posts in local search results.
- Engage with Other Businesses and Local Influencers: Support other businesses in the area by collaborating on posts, engaging with their content, and lifting each other up. By local influencers, we mean people in your area that are influential in your community. This can be business owners, people with large followings that post community-oriented content, and more. If you know your area, you should be able to think of a few people like this.
- Invest in Organic Growth First: Before you start to think about paying for promotion, consider organic content first. You don’t want people to visit your social page from an ad only to find a page full of promoted content that lacks regular posting.
- Promote Locally: When you do decide to pay for ads and boosted content on social media platforms, focus on the relevant area you determined when developing your strategy. Don’t branch out too far from the area you actually want to gain customers from.
- Use Local Hashtags: While hashtags may seem less important in an algorithm-based social media world, they still work well for driving engagement. This can be especially true for local strategies. Keep up with what hashtags other businesses and people in your community are using and pay attention to the tags your target audience is looking at. Hashtags are easy to add to your posts and can help you gain even more visibility.
- Measure, Measure, Measure: Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. If you aren’t learning along the way, you’re doing it wrong! Regularly run reports and compare the performance of your content over time. You can use these insights to make even better content in the future.
As advertising gets more expensive and consumers tend to prefer local businesses more and more, hyperlocal social media strategies can take small businesses to the next level. By focusing on your local area, you can drive more valuable traffic and build an excellent reputation within your community. This strategy allows you to reduce your ad spend, cultivate a presence in your community, and turn your small business into a household name in your local area.
And if this all seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Frank can actually do all of this for you. After all, we’re a local business, too. We’re experts when it comes to incorporating local marketing tactics into our clients’ strategies (See Dreamz and WSA), and we can help you, too. Reach out and let Frank take your local business to the next level.