Recently, my family and I relocated to Selma, NC. in Johnston County. My wife has some medical problems and we wanted to be closer to her family, so they can help when needed. We saw this move as an opportunity for a fresh start and I saw it as an opportunity to help others in a new town.
I did my research and noticed one common thread among local business and non-profits: the need for help getting the visibility they deserve. Selma and the neighboring towns are growing and with growth comes opportunity. My goal is to help local business, entrepreneurs, and non-profits get noticed. Whether it’s by building them a new website, creating and managing their marketing strategy, increasing their web traffic through social media marketing or helping local non-profits raise money there are so many ways I can serve that I never asked myself the most important question. Why aren’t these people using social media to get noticed in the first place?
Well, the answer is obvious now. IT’S A SMALL TOWN AND EVERYONE KNOWS ONE ANOTHER!
The thing is they have a way to extend their reach and grow their business and/or non-profit in ways they aren't using, through social media!
Lucky for them I am not willing to just lie down and give up. See, what they don’t realize is two things:
- The skills I have learned while building my own personal brand; and
- The lengths I will go to help others.
So, what can a social media manager do for your local business and/or non-profit in a community like Selma, NC?
1. Help you reach bigger towns and cities to share what you do. Coming from a suburban community like South Riding, Virginia we had tons of places to go to and buy stuff from, but everything was the same. However, just down the road was a quaint little town called Middleburg, Va. It had great shops and boutiques we were happy to travel to because we wanted something authentic and unique and we wanted to be treated better. We sought out artisanal vendors and “Mom and Pop” shops that provide unique products and delivered personalized customer service. People will do the same here, and they want to visit organizations that provide locally made products and services such as:
- Cheese makers
- Unique clothing designers
- Farmers markets
- Niche services like:
- Furniture makers
- Specialty Restaurants
- Coffee Shops
- Ice cream parlors
The list goes on and on. People are starting to get burnt out on the same old chain stores they see every day and are willing to travel long distances to find amazing products and services. A well-built, mobily responsive website and strategic social media campaign can get you noticed in markets you haven’t even considered, or maybe you have and just haven’t the skills to reach them.
The same goes for local non-profits. Your community can only do so much for so many, by extending your reach and engaging with a larger audience, you increase your chance of building a larger donor base and increase the number of people or animals you serve.
2. Provide an online presence so your referrals can find you. Word-of-mouth and referrals are still the best way to earn business, however, you need a way for those referrals to get in touch with you. A properly optimized website, Google profile and social media platform will ensure they have all they need to reach you AND learn more about your products and services. Having a strong digital presence will also help:
- Improve brand recognition: Give your brand a voice and be an expert in your industry with quality content
- Improve brand loyalty: According to a study published by Convince & Convert they found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
- Social Media is Where (96% of) Your Competitors Are: Don’t let potential customers use your competitors simply because they can’t find you.
3. Help you stay ahead of the competition. According to Chris Marentis, Founder, and CEO of Surefire Local “The local businesses that really embrace and understand the technology behind local marketing are going to become more visible than their competitors and they’ll end up with the lion’s share of the business and with better quality customers.” By building up your online presence and engaging with your followers on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you’re going to start developing much more personalized relationships with your current and past customers, as well as prospects.
4. Help ensure you’re reaching your customers on their mobile devices. According to a recent study conducted by Hitwise, “Mobile devices now account for a majority—or near majority—of online searches for almost every major industry” Smartphones and tablets, the analysis found, now account for 48% of online searches that result in a visit to a realtor site, while 68% account for healthcare providers. Food and beverage providers accounted for 72%, the highest among all searches. So, if you’re a local restaurant, doctor, dentist or Realtor and you’re not investing in your Facebook page or website SEO, you are missing out in a big way.
5. Get you noticed! Sure, you're well-liked in your community and you have a loyal fan base for your brand or nonprofit, but a good social media manager will help you get more fans, donors and customers using tried and true digital marketing techniques.
We love the community we live in and are excited to start a new life here in North Carolina, but even more, I look forward to helping your business, nonprofit and the community prosper.