If you’re looking to build up your local Facebook audience for your business, you don’t necessarily have to promote content, boost posts or buy a Facebook ad.
Yes, those tools will help—they are, probably, the quickest way to do it—but there are a few ways you can build your audience organically, using tools or tactics that are readily available. Here are a five quick ways to boost your local reach, organically.
Encourage customers to ‘check in’
If you have a Facebook page, customers can check in when they’re at your shop or business. Technically, they can even check in when they’re not there, as evidenced by the recent social media support for the protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Whenever someone checks-in to your location, their network can see it—unless they’ve hidden that activity.
There are two ways this helps your business. First, it spreads your reach organically to an audience that is, theoretically, close to you.
Also, check-ins encourage reviews from other customers, a type of free word-of-mouth advertisement that is most trusted among consumers.
Some people check in automatically, but many don’t. You can encourage them by offering a discount, an entry into a month-long contest or something else.
Share your business content on your personal page
This is particularly effective when you’re just getting started with your business page. Chances are, your personal network is more established, so use it to get the ball rolling. Post an update to your business page first and then share it to your own page. Add a personal message, because people like to see a face or personality attached to a brand or business. Don’t forget to invite your friends to like your page regularly as your personal network grows. Just be careful not to do either of these things too often—you don’t want to turn off your friends and family by trying to promote your business too often.
Find and join local Facebook groups
Chances are, there’s a local Facebook group—or more than one—that is relevant to your business. These are great ways to connect with local customers, as long as you don’t overdo it. They’re a great way to share your knowledge and expertise and to build trust with potential customers.
Here’s how to find them:
- click ‘Discover Groups,’ which is located in the navigation bar to the left of your news feed on desktop.
- Scroll through the options; they’re listed categorically across the top, with individual groups listed below. If you run an auto shop, click on automobiles and motorcycles, for example, or one of the classic car groups.
One rule of thumb here—and it’s pretty universal for all groups—is that obvious and repeated self-promotion will get you kicked out. It’s ok to just talk.
Support your neighbors
As long as they’re not direct competitors, support your neighboring businesses. If they have something going on, mention that you’re going over to check it out. You can talk with your neighbors and plan cross promotions that way, too. It shows a commitment to your community that goes beyond your bottom line, and that will earn you some new customers.
Use local hashtags
Hashtags help group you together with other similar interests. If your town uses one in its promotional material, make sure you use it in yours, too. (They won’t mind; it helps spread the word). If you’re sponsoring a local event, use the event hashtags in combination with your own to promote it: Happy to help bring #OctoberFest back for another year! #BobsService.
Those are five quick ideas to use Facebook to spread your local reach. Do you have others? Let us know in the comments!