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Local Business and Social Media

If you’re not online using social media you can bet your competitors are. And chances are they have become your competitors because they are.

How many times have you been reading a local newspaper or turned up to a business event, only to hear about a company who has been operating on your doorstep for years, yet you haven’t heard of their name or services?

Well, that happened to me this week and I wondered a few things. Is it because I have never needed, therefore looked for their services? In which case fair enough, although this wasn’t the case in this instance. Maybe it’s because they aren’t using the same social media that I do? (Using the appropriate social medium for your business is a whole other blog topic!) Or is it because social media accounts set up some time ago haven’t been updated,  regularly taking the time to check out and add new and local businesses and build a following to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Social media usage has changed, it’s become very community minded and almost the done thing to ‘love thy neighbours’ by following, by reTweeting and ‘Liking’ a neighbouring business’s page.

It’s part of my role to look for new business, and those similar to those of our existing clients. These are ideally businesses who have been set up for about 10 years, have at least 10 members of staff and are mainly based in Hertfordshire.

Using your social media as a search engine for local companies is perhaps still little known.

It’s a clear brief. So here are some hints and reminders for keeping up to date on social media.

Reminders and tips:

Build your tribe by ‘Following’ and ‘Like’ some of these groups to start you off:

  • Charities
  • Local newspapers
  • Local shops and businesses on your high street or industrial estate
  • Business similar to your own (yes, your competitors!)
  • Public services
  • Cafe’s, bars, restaurant’s
  • Local networking groups
  • Venues, meeting places
  • Bloggers in your field
  • Trade journals, chartered insititutes for your field

Read your social media like a daily, online newspaper. A quick glance in the morning, lunchtime and say on the train home, for just 2-3 minutes.

If you don’t have either the time or experience in-house to talk about your products and services on line, let someone else do it for you.

It’s probably cheaper than you think even after a minimum 6 month contract. You will be left with a message/tweet for each day which you can repost, alter seasonally or straight forward use again.