Small business marketing success has gone full circle. Several decades ago people did business only with other businesses in their town or nearby city. Word of mouth marketing was prevalent and most helpful. But small businesses longed for a way to have a larger reach.
By mid-1995 or so, it looked like small businesses had been handed the best present they could ever receive and that was the emergence of the internet. I write from the heart about this as my destination/business was one of the early adopters of the internet and suddenly we were able to successfully compete with other destinations. Compete not just in our state but globally as well. We were able to “market to the masses” and we made the most of the opportunities the internet presented us with. The internet truly has been a gift to small business – it leveled the playing field and for those who embraced it, the rewards were fantastic.
But everything in life is cyclical. After years of marketing to everyone suddenly “local marketing” is back front and center. Through social media marketing small businesses can now narrow their focus; they can target their specific niche. When done properly, social media marketing can provide a fantastic option to spending large amounts of money via traditional marketing methods. And, it can provide a wonderful increase in business too! (Again, I know this as this is exactly what happened with my social media marketing experience.)
Have you spent time learning about local online marketing? Are you connecting with your customers the way they want to connect with you? Are you connecting via search engines and directories? Are you ready for the shift back to local marketing with the new “word of mouth” being social media outlets?
Are you ready for more business? Because that’s exactly what will happen if you embrace social media and local online marketing.
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*One tip each day is posted on the Just a Small Town Girl Facebook page – hope you will visit and drop a note on the wall!
*The Small Town Marketing Handbook (free short ebook) discusses how social media allows each of us to be part of our own “small town” regardless of where we live. The download is found at the top right hand side of this page.
Nice post Leslie. What you’ve done is take 1:1 marketing via social media and adapt it to your business, “small town marketing.” Social media has created an access for you to gather data on destination preferences so you can target your marketing accordingly.
Now, how can you expand this data collection to find prospects that may not necessarily know about you … but rather other locals that are similar? Structuring a campaign towards these people would be more informational – but still doable.
Thanks so much for your comment and interestingly enough I am taking that on right now regionally via the development of a social media program for our region to target areas throughout the state that don’t know about us, but could potentially be good markets for us. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s exciting too. We’ll see how all the new connecting goes.