It's common knowledge by now that you can find and engage potential customers online, particularly via social media channels. Connecting with people, answering questions and guiding purchase decisions without selling is a powerful and relatively inexpensive way to market your business.
For national companies, it's often enough to focus on industry and product-related keywords to find those potential customers. For brick and mortar stores and local service providers though, the online targeting needs to be that much more precise.
Even so, there are still plenty of places you can start your search for an audience in your area.
Where to Look Up Your Local Customers
Your potential customers are almost certainly engaging online and searching locally. Even if the numbers are smaller than the numbers for businesses that can connect with anyone, anywhere, discovering the places that your local audience goes to share is an excellent marketing tactic.
Here are five online spaces that you can explore to look for local customers:
- Foursquare Check-ins and Reviews: The original location-based social network has a small but dedicated user base who mark their visits to local businesses by "checking in." They can also leave tips that attract (or deter) others from visiting. Claim and manage your business profile to interact with locals checking in at your business and others.
- Localized Landing Pages: Build pages on your website that attract local searchers. Describe your offering by pairing town names with product or service keywords that customers are searching for.
- Look at Instagram Locations: Last year the popular photo-sharing site introduced maps, which encouraged more people to tag the locations where they take photos. Often the location is a business or town, meaning that you can zero in on locations in your area and engage people based on your local knowledge.
- Targeted Facebook Ads: Facebook's ability to focus adverts locally is one of its most powerful features. For a low daily budget, you can deliver your message to those who live within 5, 10 or 25 miles of your chosen location.
- Twitter Nearby: Rather than seeing the world's tweets, you can zero in on only those tweeting within a certain area of your location. Whether you just scan that stream or set up searches for keywords related to your business, this is a valuable way to cut through the global noise to a local audience.