Let’s talk about how to get in front of more local customers for local businesses! If you have a local business you’re usually looking to help someone in your area. If you’re here in McKinney, you don’t necessarily want to help someone who is in Seattle, Washington, unless you’re in e-commerce. But we’re talking about the brick and mortar locations, or the home services businesses that like to target certain areas.
I’m going to give you three tips on how to use Facebook to not only get in front of local people, but how to get them to use your products and services!
1. Use Facebook ads:
You have to pay to play! This is no different from attending a networking event that you have to pay for. You have to have some kind of a marketing budget, and Facebook ads get you in front of the right people. Here’s what I mean: The first kind of ad I can run is called “Reach People Near Your Business.” Now, be careful here. If you’re a home services business you may not want to use this one, because you could be targeting someone who lives in an apartment, and they’re not going to call you, they’re going to call the apartment manager. The “Reach People Near Your Business” ad is just that—it targets people near your business. It doesn’t differentiate between whether they’re in a house or an apartment. This type of ad is great for auto repair businesses, dentists, restaurants—any business that doesn’t depend on the customer living in a house.
When you run other Facebook ads you can also create a very specific audience for them to go to. You can choose specific cities, zip codes, home owner vs. renter, and all kinds of criteria to make sure your ad reaches people who would actually benefit from using your services. Start here, and think about what kind of business you have. Can anyone use my services, or do they have to own a home? Think about it.
2. Have your customers check in:
If you have a brick and mortar location, please encourage your customers to “check in.” Of course, don’t try to force them to—that will just make it awkward! And some industries aren’t really going to lend themselves to check-ins as much as others, so use your judgement here. But when customers check in to your location, it broadcasts your business to all their friends (and more than likely a good number of them will be local too). Their friends might not run right in to use your business, but now they’ve seen your name, they know where you are, and they know their friends use you. The more you encourage people to check in, the more your business is exposed to the hundreds of people that they are connected to. So definitely encourage people to check in! That will help your local presence!
3. Search for your keywords:
This is one of my favorites. We do this for every single one of our clients on a daily basis, and I suggest you do too. We search in the Facebook search bar for keywords for people who are looking for your services. For instance, if you are a garage door repair company in the McKinney/Allen area, you can search for “garage door” in the Facebook search tool. And then there are different filters you can use to get more specific. You can select the city, or whether or not they’re your friends. (I typically like to search within my friends list, because friends are more likely to take your suggestion than a stranger.)
What happens is this: Someone posts “Oh my gosh, I can’t get out of my garage door!” Then if you own a garage door company, and these people are friends of yours who lives in the area, you can comment on their post: “Hey! I don’t know if you know this or not, but I own a garage door company. Message me and we’ll see what we can do to help you out!”
Believe it or not, a lot of our Facebook friends have no idea what we do! Maybe we went to high school together, or maybe you just met them. But often, they don’t really know what you’re doing now. Or, they might forget, because we have so many Facebook friends to keep up with!
So make sure you’re doing this search at least once a day, especially if you’re a plumber or a landscaper or something like that. Facebook is where people go to vent and ask people for recommendations. Every day there are posts like: “Hey, do you guys know a good garage door repair company?” If you’re searching for that and you get in first, chances are you’re going to get that phone call. And typically if they’re you’re Facebook friend, they’re going to use your service!
To recap: Use Facebook ads to get you in front of a certain geographic location and demographic, encourage your customers to check in if you have a brick and mortar location, and search for your service’s keywords in the Facebook search bar/friends list.
If you’re thinking, “This is great and all, but I don’t have time to do this any my job!” That’s what we do! And by the way, if you do know the owner of a garage door company, let them know that we can help!