Social Media: Don’t Set It and Forget It

Your Facebook page just called. It misses you. Twitter texted a minute ago. It wonders: “Was it something I tweeted?”

Ah, the local business owner’s social media dilemma. With all that I have to do on a given day, you expect me to post to Facebook, tweet and Instagram, too?

Yes, yes and yes.

Ignoring your established social pages (or failing to set up a social media presence in the first place) is unacceptable in today’s social business world. Your customers are talking about your local business and they are recommending it (or not); they are wondering if they should spend money with you; and they are seeking you out online.

The recent Google Mobile Movement Study found that 88 percent of consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device will call or visit that business within 24 hours. (The study included parks and government offices, too, but you get the picture.) People are looking for your business, so in addition to having correct online business listings (name, address, website, phone number), you need to make sure your social media presence is humming along smoothly.

Here are 5 ways to give your social media platforms a little love this week.

1. Take stock of the damage. Has it been weeks since you last posted? Months? Resolve to stick to a posting schedule: A Facebook update every other day. One tweet per day from your phone. An post to Instagram each day at noon.

2. Listen in on the social conversation. Connectivity’s platform allows you to view social buzz and examine sentiment over time; it will also email or text our clients when a new customer review is posted online in places such as Yelp. Resist the urge to blast a negative reviewer or someone who posts an unhappy experience on Twitter or Facebook. There are thoughtful ways to respond. (See our blog post about responding to negative reviews.)

3. Create great new content. Take pictures of your products, entrees, drinks or happy customers (with their permission). For retail stores, can you entice a loyal customer to model your newest crop of fall fashions? A hobby shop could ask customers to upload completed projects to the store’s Facebook wall. Consider a video tour of your business using an iPhone video edited with iMovie (cost = free!).

4. Research mobile loyalty offers. Plastic cards are so 2013. New players in the loyalty card market include Thanx which links a credit card to a customer’s account. The customer never shows anything to the merchant, but when they have achieved enough rewards, their phone buzzes.

5. Keep it local. Target Facebook posts to your city. Consider offers such as same-day delivery or free shipping for certain items. Sprinkle content with local hashtags like #sandiego and #denver to attract new eyes to your social presence. Use local nicknames and post content that is geared toward your city. For instance, a gardening store might remind followers of the upcoming first fall frost date. A ballet studio could comment on a recent story in the local paper about funding for the arts.

Don’t just set it and forget it. Keep your social presence alive, each and every day. You’ll likely see engagement soar and hopefully, revenue, too.

Ready to learn more? Get our Guide to Social Media for Local Business

Alex is Connectivity’s VP of Marketing.