2019 Trend: Try Localized Social Marketing to Reach Local Customers

If your business targets local customers with your products and services, then you likely know about the importance of local search engine optimization (SEO). Focusing on local SEO ensures that your business profile is cleaned up, managed, and accessible for nearby customers searching in their web browser.

But, what about local social media marketing? This idea of localized social marketing is not talked about enough, but with social media becoming just as ubiquitous as your web browser to access information, you should also be focusing on your company’s social media profile.

Why is Localized Social Marketing So Important in 2019?

Consumers are moving away from just performing a basic web search to help make purchase decisions in their local market. Consumers are also turning to social media to make a decision, especially when consulting with others in their social network about their experience with your local establishment.

According to a new research report published by SOCi, two key statistics capture this shift in 2019 for local businesses:

  • 78% of purchase decisions are influenced by social content
  • Reviews are the #1 factor that customers use to determine where to take their business

One of the reasons for the significant shift to social content influencing purchasing decisions is a correlating trend. There is a much younger, more social-savvy group of consumers in the Gen Z demographic entering the market with significant buying power. (Read Our Article About This.)

This audience talks to each other, makes recommendations, and offers reviews. However, reviews are not in the form of static Google Reviews that sit on the right-hand side of a web search result.

In the social media realm, a “review” could be a conversation between two friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. The “review” is nowhere near as formal as what appears in a search result; it’s an informal exchange that influences the buying decision between the two friends — and possibly a larger audience group in your target market that sees the exchange between the two friends.

Consider this important commentary from SOCi in their “Localized Social Marketing” report:

“Consumers continue to review businesses on platforms like Yelp and Google My Business (GMB), but are now also posting recommendations and reviews on social networks like Facebook — blurring the lines between traditional review sites and social media platforms.”

What’s the Strategy to Manage Social Reviews?

Because of how important localized social marketing is for businesses in 2019 and beyond, you need to take a proactive approach of managing both your local SEO for web search and your local social media presence on each social platform.

The overlap for both local SEO and local social media marketing is managing reviews. Why? Buying decisions are much more social than ever before. Today’s consumers don’t want to make the wrong decision or make a purchase decision from a company with poor reviews. So, they turn to like-minded individuals to see what their experience is with your company.

Instead of trying to avoid reviews, smart companies are jumping into the conversation to show they care about engaging customers. How can your company achieve this?

  • Take a customer service approach responding to poor reviews.
  • Quickly address any questions or concerns.
  • Redirect the conversation to your website to contact your customer service team.
  • Encourage a follow-up purchase on your website if the conversation is positive.

The bottom line, as captured by SOCi, is that “both review and social media sites are essential for a strong localized social marketing presence.”

Target Your Local Audience Through Social Media

One of the benefits of monitoring reviews on both web and social is gaining insight into your local audience’s preferences and expectations.

This insight could help you decide whether to change a certain aspect of your customer service experience, introduce a new product or service, or create a sale or discount offer for a current product or service.

Gaining insight directly from your customer base through real conversations will then help you better target your local audience. It just takes one step of proactively monitoring your reviews — both on web and social — and actively engaging in the conversation to better connect with your local consumer base.

Consider Marketing Refresh to Support Your Local Presence

When our team read the SOCi report, we were surprised by how influential social media has become for local purchase decisions. However, it made us realize how important this is for our clients who are targeting local customers.

We know that managing reviews in search and social media is a daunting task for any business, especially knowing when and how to jump into a social conversation to make sure your company is seen in a positive light in the eyes of your target audience.

Marketing Refresh can come alongside your business to help manage this process. Younger, social-savvy consumers are entering the market and you want to engage with them in a proactive manner while the cement is still wet with an impression about your business. Let’s make sure it’s a good impression before the cement sets!

Contact our digital marketing agency today to inquire about how we can help manage your business’ reviews, support your local social media strategy, and provide other digital marketing services to help your business grow.

James Caldwell

written by...

James Caldwell

James Caldwell is a copywriter for Marketing Refresh. This native Houstonian loves to write, watch sports, and partake in delicious food.

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