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As a small online business owner, I know how hard it is to get noticed on social media. Between the big brands and everyone else trying to sell something, cutting through the noise seems nearly impossible. But over the last few years, I’ve discovered some hyperlocal social media marketing strategies. That have moved the needle for my business. These techniques allow me to reach potential customers right in my own neighborhood. They’ve helped me gain new local customers and better engage with my existing ones. In this post, I want to share a few of the hyperlocal social media tactics that have been most effective for me. I hope these strategies will help other small business owners better connect with their local communities and gain more customers through social media.
What Is Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing?
Hyperlocal social media marketing means targeting customers in a specific geographic location, like a neighborhood, town, or city. As a small business owner, this strategy can help you connect with potential customers in your backyard.
I started using hyperlocal social media marketing for my bakery about a year ago, and it’s really paid off. Here’s how I made it work:
Focus on the platforms your customers use
For me, that’s Facebook and Instagram. I post photos of my latest creations and behind-the-scenes shots of the bakery. I engage with locals by posting and answering questions.
Build your local followers
Encourage customers to follow you on social media. You can promote your accounts on receipts, flyers, and in your physical store. Offer promotions and coupons for followers to help build your audience.
Engage with your local community
Comment on and share posts from neighborhood groups and local influencers. Sponsor local events or sports teams. Participate in hashtag campaigns related to your city or town. The more you engage, the more visibility you’ll gain.
Run hyperlocal ads and promotions
Boost posts or run ads targeting customers within a 5 to 10-mile radius of your business. Offer “neighbors only” coupons and promotions on social media. This gives locals an incentive to buy from you.
Be active and consistent
Post regularly to stay on the radar of local customers. Share a combination of promotional and non-promotional content to build authentic engagement. Remember to be responsive when customers reach you.
With a strategic hyperlocal marketing plan, you can turn nearby customers into loyal fans and brand ambassadors. Focus on community, meaningful engagement, and incentivizing local customers; your neighborhood will become your business’s biggest fans.
Identify Your Target Locations and Audiences
You must first identify your target locations and audiences to market your business locally on social media. That meant focusing on neighborhoods within a 3-mile radius of my shop.
I started by listing the residential areas, apartment complexes, recreation centers, and businesses in that range. Then I look up who might be interested in my products and services in each location. College students? Busy young families? Retirees? The more specific you can get, the better.
Next, find the social platforms where your target audiences are most active. For reaching nearby neighborhoods, I’ve found success with community Facebook groups, Nextdoor, and even local subreddits on Reddit. Engage by posting about local happenings, sharing tips, or promoting any events you host. But be sure to contribute value beyond just marketing your business. People will notice and appreciate your genuine engagement.
Make the content you share highly localized too. Post photos of happy customers from the area. Mention neighborhood landmarks or events. Hyperlocal social media marketing means focusing on the locations and people around you. Keep your messaging tight within that 3-mile radius.
To maximize your reach, consider boosting posts or running ads that target specific locations and interests. And don’t forget to include location tags, hashtags, and geotags whenever possible. They help people in your target areas discover your social content and recognize you as a local business that cares about the community.
With time and consistency, hyperlocal social media marketing can become one of the most effective ways to raise visibility and drive new customers through your doors. Stay engaged, keep it local, and watch your following grow.
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Optimize Your Social Media Profiles for Local SEO
I include essential location-based information and keywords to optimize my social media profiles for local SEO.
First, I ensure my business name, address, and phone number are prominently displayed on all social media profiles. This signals to Google that my business has a physical location. I also link to my Google My Business listing from all profiles.
Next, I include my city and state name in my profile bios and descriptions. For example, my Twitter bio reads: “Providing social media marketing services for small businesses in Austin, TX.” I also work my location into posts when relevant. On Facebook, for instance, I’ll start a post with “Here in Austin…” or mention a local event.
Hashtags are another way I optimize for local SEO. I frequently use hashtags to tag my location. This helps local customers find me on social media and associates my business with the local area. I’ll use location-based hashtags in posts about my community involvement or events I’m attending.
Engaging with other local businesses and people in my area also helps. I like and comment on other Austin businesses’ social media posts and @mention or tag them in my posts. I also share their posts and news, building connections between us. This interlinking signals to search engines that our businesses are related locally.
Running social media contests and giveaways is a great way to increase local engagement. I offer prizes from local businesses or tickets to Austin events. People usually have to like, share, tag friends, or comment on my post to enter. This spreads awareness of my business throughout the local community.
Optimizing my social media profiles and activity for local SEO helps my business rank higher in local search results. By prominently featuring my location, engaging with others in my area, and encouraging local shares and connections, I make it clear to search engines like Google that I’m an integral part of my city’s business community. The end result is an increase in local customers and clients.
Engage Your Audience With Relevant Local Content
As a local business, your social media content must be hyper-focused on engaging your immediate community. Here are some tips for creating relevant local content:
Post About Local Events
Promoting local events, fundraisers, and community gatherings is a great way to show your support for your neighborhood. Share details about the event, and encourage your followers to attend. This helps raise awareness, drive foot traffic to the event, and position you as an active community member.
Feature Local Partners or Vendors
Do you have a favorite coffee shop you visit every morning or a pet groomer you trust with your furry friend? Please give them a shout-out on social media. Tag them in your posts and write a genuine message about your experience with their business. This helps build goodwill between local businesses, and your customers may discover new vendors they want to support.
Share Customer Stories and Testimonials
Your happy customers are your best marketing tool. Ask satisfied clients if you can share their experiences on your social media profiles. Share their stories, photos, and testimonials. This social proof builds trust in your business, and the personal touch of spotlighting loyal customers always resonates well.
Post About Local News and Issues
Comment on news and issues affecting your neighborhood to show you stay updated with the community. For example, new road construction, school initiatives, local government changes, or hot-button issues being debated. Provide your perspective and encourage discussion. Just be sure to remain polite and open-minded. People will appreciate your input and honesty.
Run Hyperlocal Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are always a hit on social media. But to make them hyperlocal, entrants must enter your business or venue to enter or pick up their prize. This gets people through your doors and raises brand awareness in your neighborhood. Promote the contest on your social media profiles to reach as many locals as possible.
Using a mix of these hyperlocal content strategies on your social media channels helps to boost engagement within your immediate community. Your followers will see you as an integral part of the neighborhood, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion. Focus on the area around your business and the people most likely to become your customers.
Use Location Tagging and Geotagging
As a local business owner, location-based social media marketing is one of the best ways to reach potential customers in your area. Hyperlocal strategies incorporating location tagging and geotagging should be essential to your social media plan.
I ALWAYS TAG MY BUSINESS’S LOCATION when I post on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This helps people find my social media profiles when they search for businesses in my city or neighborhood. Still, it also triggers the social networks to show my posts to users with location services on their devices turned on. According to research from Omnicore Agency, geotagged posts on social media get 79% more engagement than posts without location tags.
I also frequently geotag images I share on Instagram and Facebook. Geotagging means adding location coordinates to a photo so that when people view the image, they can see exactly where it was taken. This is especially useful for local businesses because it visually shows potential customers your location and surrounding area. Geotagged photos also appear in location-based search results, so people exploring your neighborhood on social media may stumble upon your posts.
Some other location-based strategies I use include:
- Checking in on Facebook when I arrive at my business location. This notifies my followers that I’m open and on-site.
- Tagging my location in Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories. The location sticker is an easy way to geotag casual, in-the-moment posts.
- Using local hashtags in my posts like #ShopLocal, #SupportSmallBusinesses, and the name of my city or neighborhood. This makes my social content more discoverable to people searching those location-based hashtags.
- Posting about local events, activities, and news related to my business’s surrounding area. Authentically engaging with your local community builds goodwill and brand awareness.
Hyperlocal social media marketing has been vital in boosting my business’s online visibility and driving more foot traffic from social media to my storefront. Focusing my efforts on location-based strategies has allowed me to reach more potential customers in my neighborhood.
Run Hyperlocal Social Media Contests and Giveaways
Running contests and giveaways on hyperlocal social media is a great way to increase engagement and build brand awareness in your community. As an online business owner focused on hyperlocal marketing, I’ve found success with the following types of social promotions:
Like and Share Giveaways
Asking people to like and share a post for a chance to win a prize is an easy way to spread the word about your business. I’ll offer a free product or service or a gift card and ask people to like the post and share it publicly for an entry to win. The more shares, the more eyes on your business! Promote the contest in your local Facebook groups and Nextdoor neighborhoods.
If visuals are essential to your business, run a photo contest. For example, ask people to share photos of them using or wearing your product or at your location. Offer a prize for the most creative or most likes. Photo contests spread brand awareness and often go viral in communities. Just be sure to obtain proper photo release forms from all contestants.
For location-based businesses, check-in contests on Facebook, Instagram, and Foursquare are ideal. Offer a prize for the 10th, 25th, or 50th person to check in at your place of business. This incentive gets more customers through your doors and simultaneously spreads the word about your brand on social media.
User-Generated Content Campaigns
Hyperlocal social media marketing aims to get your customers and community talking about your brand. Launch a UGC campaign by asking people to create and share content like photos, videos, blog posts, or podcasts about their experience with your business. Offer a prize or discount for participation. UGC spreads authentic word-of-mouth marketing and boosts your search rankings.
Running social contests and giveaways is a win-win. Your community gets to participate for a chance to win a grand prize. At the same time, you gain increased brand visibility and new customer leads. With hyperlocal social media marketing, the more people talk, the more your business will thrive. Keep your contests and campaigns going year-round for the best results.
Collaborate With Local Influencers and Businesses
As an online business owner, collaborating with local influencers and businesses in your area will significantly increase your hyperlocal social media marketing success.
Find Relevant Influencers
Search for influencers in your location who focus on topics related to your industry or business. As a digital marketing agency, I look for influencers involved in social media, content creation, and online business. Reach out and express your interest in collaborating. Some ideas could be:
- Interviewing them for your podcast or blog
- Featuring their tips or expertise in your content
- Cross-promoting to each other’s audiences
- Co-hosting a local event
Building relationships with influencers in your community is a win-win. Their audience gets value, and so does yours. Over time, these connections can turn into partnerships or new client opportunities.
Partner With Local Businesses
Seek out businesses that complement yours and propose a collaboration. For example, I partnered with a local coworking space to host an educational workshop on social media for their members. In return, they promoted the event to their community. Look for places where your audiences may overlap and explore ways to cross-promote, such as:
- Writing guest blog posts for each other
- Featuring each other on your social media channels
- Creating a referral or loyalty program between companies
- Co-hosting an event to promote to both of your audiences
Local partnerships get more eyes on your brand and introduce you to new potential customers. And by promoting other local businesses, you build goodwill and become an influencer in your community.
Forging relationships with local influencers and businesses has been invaluable for my agency’s hyperlocal social media marketing. By collaborating, we’ve widened our reach, gained new clients, and strengthened our position as a leader in the local community. The impact on our business has been tremendous, and the opportunities continue to grow over time through the network we’ve built. I highly recommend adding local collaborations as a crucial part of your strategy.
Advertise on Local Social Media Platforms
As a local business, promoting on hyperlocal social platforms should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. These networks were explicitly designed to connect people within a geographic community. Advertising on them is a great way to raise awareness about your business and engage potential new customers.
I use some major hyperlocal social networks to promote my store. Nextdoor is one of my favorites. This neighborhood-based app allows you to post updates, events, and promotions that will be seen by people living within a 5-mile radius of your business. I share photos of new products, announce sales, and promote our involvement in local events. We’ve gotten a good response from Nextdoor members visiting the store and signing up for our mailing list.
Another platform I’ve had success with is Facebook Groups. Search for active groups centered around your city, neighborhood, or industry. Request to join the groups, and once approved, you can start sharing information about your business. Engage with group members by commenting on their posts, answering questions, and participating in discussions. Don’t just broadcast promotions – provide value to group members. As you become a recognized and trusted contributor, people will be more open to learning about your products and services.
Try advertising on Snapchat and TikTok to reach college students and millennials in your area. Their filters and lenses allow you to create customized location-based photo overlays. When people use your filter, your business name and information will be displayed on their snaps and stories. You only pay when users view and interact with your sponsored filter or lens.
Hyperlocal advertising may require building relationships and engaging with your target audience. But promoting on networks where people already connect with their local community can be very rewarding. Keep your messaging authentic and focused on how you can benefit members, and these platforms will become an essential tool for boosting your visibility and driving new customers to your business.
Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing FAQs
So you’ve decided to dive into hyperlocal social media marketing for your business. Great! It can be an extremely effective way to reach potential customers in your area. But you probably have some questions about how to get started. Here are some of the FAQs I get about hyperlocal social media marketing and my answers:
When choosing which social media platforms to focus on, the big three are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These have huge audiences and are where most people spend their time.
Next, claim your business profiles and optimize them. Add your business name, address, hours of operation, contact info, and a link to your website. Also, add high-quality photos – especially of your products or storefront. Engage with your followers by posting updates, running contests, sharing local events, etc. The more you engage, the more visibility you’ll get.
A common question is how often you should post. As a rule of thumb, aim for 1-2 social posts per day, spread over different platforms. Post a mix of content like blog posts, photos, event announcements, etc. And don’t just broadcast promotions – share community news and engage with your followers. People want to connect with the businesses they frequent.
Geo-targeting your posts is vital. Use location tags, geotags, and hashtags to ensure your content reaches people within a certain radius of your business. Facebook and Instagram both offer location-based targeting. Take advantage of these free tools.
It can feel overwhelming at first to manage multiple social profiles. Let’s start by focusing on one or two platforms, setting a regular posting schedule, engaging with your followers, and tracking your results. As you get more comfortable, you can expand from there. The key is consistency. Keep showing up, providing value, and building genuine connections.
In the end, hyperlocal social media marketing comes down to being an active, engaged local community member. Participate in neighborhood events, support other local businesses, and make personal connections at every chance. Your followers will appreciate your authenticity and support you in return. Build those relationships, and your business will thrive.
At the end of the day, hyperlocal social media marketing is all about engaging your community and building genuine connections. Take the time to start conversations, share interesting local content, and listen to the people who follow your business. When you make those genuine connections, you’ll gain loyal customers and passionate brand ambassadors who will spread the word about your business to others. Though it requires time and effort, focusing on hyperlocal social media marketing can pay off in a big way. So get out there, start posting, and become an integral part of your neighborhood – your business will thank you.