Social media is established as an effective tool for mass communication and publicity. Thanks to social media’s aptitude for fostering strong community engagement, small businesses reap a ton of benefits from projecting their brand through online platforms. According to Small Business Trends,  approximately 77% of small businesses use social media to promote themselves, so aspiring establishments can set themselves apart by making the effort to interact with their customers in a real world setting. However, prolonged usage of social media often leads to increased feelings of stress and anxiety. But by encouraging consumers to interact with your brand in a real world setting, a small business offers a unique change of pace from their typical online-only brand interaction. By finding ways to branch the use of social media into real world engagement and avenues for networking, consumers will develop a greater sense of trust and positive association with your growing small business.

Build A Visible Following 

Social media advertising offers the advantage of reaching both consumers local to your business along with those who are remote and may be interested in your products or services. Facebook influences over 52% of consumer’s online and offline purchases, making it optimal for reaching people regardless of whether your business operates remotely or has a physical location. Making your profile visible to as many users possible is vital for attracting local consumers. Prompting followers to check-in through Facebook after visiting your site is an effective way of advertising your business, while also promoting consumer engagement. The likelihood for your business to be discovered by people who frequent social media daily will increase as they see other users demonstrate interest.

Collaborate With Other Small Businesses 

Forming visible partnerships with other small businesses is an effective way of building your business network, along with fostering a shared community among clients. Becoming a part of a development network, a generally informal and unstructured form of association with other competing businesses, offers the advantage of sharing resources and information with local businesses that share your market. This lax form of association is best mediated through social media. Commenting and tagging other profiles, when appropriate, that relate to your content is useful for forming constructive relationships with competitors. Visiting another small business to take cross-promotional photos is also an effective way of developing the small-business culture of your locality. It’s integral to be respectful of your competitors, as the priority is creating an amiable social media experience for followers.

Engage Consumers at Events

Hosting local events, promoted through social media, encourages followers to visit your location and can lead to your business becoming a recognizable site of the community. If your business is remote, then hosting a pop-up meeting in a popular public space is also a constructive way to engage with followers and have them interact directly with your products and services. The addition of free promotional items for consumers can add to the experience, as reports reveal the majority of people who receive promotional items will keep them in their homefor up to eight months. Handing out promotional material leaves a lasting personal impact on the customer that is unique to an in person experience.

While social media is renowned for its proficiency at engaging people from any part of the world, facilitating a local presence can push your business further than just an online brand. Locals will grow to appreciate your presence in the community, and become regional fans.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.