When the internet was first conceived back in the dark ages, nobody could really of predicted how big a phenomenon it would become in our lives. All of a sudden traditional obstacles to good communication – cost, distance and time – just started to fade away. Now, of course, it’s possible to do almost anything online: you can organise a party in Australia, meet with colleagues China, reach out to customers in Holland and Germany or just look at pictures of American cats.
For those of who didn’t grow up with the internet, it’s been a process of adaptation and slowly getting used to the increased possibilities of digital communication. However, the next generation of social media whizzes were born into a world of Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. The possibilities of worldwide communication just aren’t a novelty to them.
In fact, most recently we’ve seen a lot of social media turning away from its global perspective and developing a genuinely local outlook.
Facebook is a prime example of this, and it’s become our go-to place for organising events and meetings. There’s really something paradoxical about using a global, public interface to organise your next team catch-up or even just drinks on a Friday night, but it does seem to work. Rather than using social media to plug our local lives into the global network, we seem to be using these tools the other way around.
From a marketing perspective, the possibilities that this throws up are absolutely endless. While we all know the benefits of strong social media exposure, boosting your SEO and hitting the widest audience you possibly can, the old marketers mantra that face-to-face marketing is still the best tool out there lives on. So it turns out, global social media is one of the best ways of interacting with local customers there is.
We see this best played out with some very small businesses that can quickly generate a good social media presence and a following. Take the recent trend for pop-up restaurants and stores. These are businesses that don’t sell anything online, they have no obvious need for an online presence and they depend almost entirely on local, passing trade to make a profit.
However, the tool that’s really allowing these businesses to make a living is online. A Twitter account is the perfect tool for the chef who wants to change his menu daily, a Facebook page is perfect for getting the word out about that big launch party in an unheard of location, and the blog is essential for keeping customers up to speed with where you’ll be tomorrow night and what you’ll be offering.
In the UK we love local businesses, and while these businesses can still flourish through word-of-mouth, social media can be a fantastic first contact point for customers seeking out something great in their local area.
If you thought you business was too small and your customer base was too niche for social media, you’d be amazed at the potential to generate a great local presence from the tools that are available on the world-wide-web. If you’re curious about the possibilities, why not give us a call and we can help to come up with a social media marketing strategy that can help you generate a lasting, effective and, importantly, local customer base.
( image courtesy of ventures-africa.com )