When you’re running a local business, you want to be visible to the most relevant audience possible. That means people in your area who are likely to need the goods or services you provide.
Organic social media tactics are a great way to connect with and engage those who are already fans of your brand, but you need to incorporate social ads in your marketing plan if you want to reach a whole new audience. Let’s walk through everything that social ads can do to give your local business a boost with the consumers who matter most to you.
What are social ads?
As I mentioned above, not all social media marketing serves the same purpose. Organic social media allows you to take advantage of free features on social media. This includes establishing a profile for your business and sharing posts with your fans and followers.
So why social media ads, if you can market your business on a platform like Facebook or Instagram for free? Well, it’s because social ads take things a step further. These are an opportunity for you to reach out to new consumers, namely those who don’t already follow your brand.
The great thing about social media advertising is that these platforms allow you to get super specific about the audiences you’d like to target. By analyzing your existing fan base, Facebook and Instagram can help you direct your advertising at other consumers with similar profiles based on the demographics that matter most to your business model “ think age, gender, location, industry, or job title.
Do social ads work for local businesses?
Local businesses have a very specific segment of the population that they’re trying to reach. They want to engage with people who are in their community but aren’t yet familiar with their brand.
A key aspect of how social ads work is that they allow you to target consumers based on geographic location. If you already have a brick-and-mortar location, you can display your advertising to those in your hometown or nearby areas. If you’re about to expand to a new space in a new city, you can ensure your advertising is seen by your soon-to-be neighbors.
Additionally, local businesses sometimes need more help than the big brands in getting their name out there. Organic social media can help you grow your word-of-mouth reputation, but engaging new audiences via organic tactics is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a while to generate that name recognition and likability for your brand if you’re only using unpaid channels.
Paid advertising, like Facebook advertising, however, allows you to get your name in front of new audiences more frequently. It’s a well-known marketing tenet that a person must see a brand’s name at least seven times before they consider doing business with them, so the more frequently you can place your business’s name in your local audience’s field of vision–via their Facebook or Instagram feeds–the more likely they are to move more quickly down the funnel towards becoming a full-fledged customer.
How Does this Integrate with Other Marketing Tactics?
Social media advertising has some obvious overlap with your organic social media efforts. When people encounter your brand through a social ad, they’re more likely to check out your organic social pages later to learn more about who you are and what you do.
Plus, social media advertising can be used to boost your organic content, sharing it with a wider audience. This is one way to get more bang for your content-creation buck, as you share the content that’s housed on your website with a broader audience via your social channels.
Finally, paid social plays an important role in generating that brand awareness. Since social advertising is relatively low-cost, it’s a fast and efficient way to generate brand recognition with a broader audience. Once you’ve gotten their attention via social media, you can invest in other forms of marketing, like direct mail or print advertising, when you know the investment will be more likely to catch the eye of an already engaged prospect.
Social ads are an integral part of the marketing strategy for any business, but they can be an especially useful channel for small and local businesses. The ability to target your advertising at specific, local segments of the broader Facebook and Instagram audiences, plus the cost-effectiveness of the investment in the advertising, make it a smart option for local businesses hoping to connect with more local consumers.