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Ashley Zeckman

Hello Local, Meet Social – Learning the Basics at SES Chicago

By Ashley Zeckman     Local SEO, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines, Social Search

Proper execution of a local and social media strategy is still a head scratcher for many internet marketers.  The session on “Local + Social: the Future of Promotion” featuring Gregg Stewart and Benu Aggarwal at SES Chicago was a must see to answer several important questions.

A Best Practices Approach with Gregg Stewart

Did you know that roughly 20% of all Google searches have local intent?  When you look at mobile data that number is even higher.  These statistics alone should show us as marketers how important a online local strategy is for improving engagement.

Checking the Box Won’t Work

While website All Facebook says that 96% of small businesses are on Facebook, Mashable.com says that 64% of small businesses think that social media is unnecessary.  Part of what this data tells us that many companies are simply checking the box, but aren’t sure how to properly utilize social media marketing channels.

Caution: Mistakes Ahead

Stewart stated that the biggest mistake that advertisers trying to go local make is focusing on the wrong data.  Often advertisers will say that the number of clicks on the website are not improving, or the e-commerce on the website isn’t that great.  Consumers are looking for your business in a variety of places and they expect that information to be readily available and accurate.

Local + Social Best Practices

When implementing a local and social media strategy there are some key factors that are part of a best practices approach including:

  • Accuracy
  • Distribution
  • Signal Strength
  • Enrichment

A “SoLoMo” Strategy by Benu Aggarwal

Presenter Benu Aggarwal did a great job of highlighting the importance of of a social, local, and mobile strategy and the importance of integration between the three.  A common theme for both presenters was the emphasis on consistency across multiple channels.  In addition to remaining consistent what else should you know about a social and local strategy?

The Why, Who, & How of Social + Local

Successful local and social strategies are built upon a strong foundation.  What questions should be taken into consideration when building a strategy?

  • Why should you connect with your audience?
  • Who should you be connected with?
  • How are you going to connect with them?
  • What is your audience talking about?
  • Where are they socializing?

Participate in Active Conversations

Relevant and active participation in online conversations can go a long way.  What are some examples of this interaction?

  • Connect with brand evangelists in your area
  • Respond to direct questions about great places to stay before your competition does
  • Connect with users who have the power to influence others

Exploring Local Trends on Twitter

Twitter’s search capacity is better than you may think.  What are some ways you can better utilize twitter from a local perspective?

  • Reach out to users instead of waiting for them to come to you
  • Explore discussions that are happening in your target markets
  • Insert yourself into existing conversations in a productive manner

5 Ways to Enhance your Foursquare Business Page 

Foursquare Business Pages can be tricky.  Aggarwal recommends the following enhancements:

  • Optimize your banner
  • Use keywords and bullet points
  • Link to other key online channels
  • Create list of local interest categories
  • Leave compelling and engaging tips on local businesses

Local + Social Media Key Takeaways

  • Manage your listings effectively
  • Continue to place importance on UGC (user generated content)
  • Users like both search and social media
  • Define your goals, target audience, and know where they are
  • Leverage the most popular channels
  • Optimize across all channels
  • Integrate social, local, offline, and online channels

If executed correctly a local and social media marketing strategy can work wonders for gaining popularity, improving brand awareness, and increasing revenue.  A main focus of this session was on consistency across channels.  Are you incorporating local and social in your online marketing mix? What are some of your best tips?


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