Posted by Erin Meyer & filed under Local Search Focus.

ideasThere’s no denying the challenge local businesses face in competing against large national retailers. Fortunately, many shoppers still prefer to shop at locally owned businesses to support and strengthen their communities.

Social media provides an excellent way for local businesses to connect with these shoppers. While the retail chains use social media to blast generic sales messaging, local businesses have an opportunity to stand apart with messaging that builds a connection with consumers and earns trust. As a member of the community you serve, you have the advantage of knowing what people are talking about locally, and what things they care about. Tapping into these conversations will help your customers get to know your business and increase the likelihood of them doing business with you.

Here are six easy, reusable ideas that will help you build a solid reputation in your local community:

Post about community events.

Remember, social media is not about heavy-handed sales messaging, its about conversations. That means not every post needs to be about products and services. Use your social media space to promote local festivals or cheer on community sports teams. This lets readers know you are in touch with the local area.

Share testimonials.

Shoppers put a huge amount of confidence in customer reviews. Don’t be shy about sharing great customer reviews in your social media posts. You can also use a social media post to ask readers to share what they like about your business. Be sure to acknowledge and thank every commenter!

Make an endorsement.

As a local business owner you sell goods and services in your community, but as a resident, you also do a lot of buying there. Use an occasional social media post to promote a local business you enjoy patronizing. It is a great way to support fellow businesses in your community and creates goodwill for your business.

Brag about your employees.

When one of your team members does something above and beyond expectations, or you get a compliment from a customer about excellent service they received, take a moment to share it online. Not only is it a great way to promote your business in a positive light, it is simply a great way to acknowledge a hard-working employee.

Answer questions.

Think about the questions your customers most commonly ask. These can be turned into “Did You Know?” or “How To” social medial posts. When you provide helpful information without an obvious expectation of getting something in return you naturally build trust that invites buyers to do business with you when they have a need.

Ready for more ideas to promote your local business online? Contact us today!

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