Ashley Zeckman

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

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, 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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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Really useful information here and I am glad you included some of the items covered in the presentation, instead of just saying it was an “informative presentation”, which often happens in this kind of coverage. Any ide if this panel will be in SES SF?

    • I don’t believe the 2012 information for SES SF has been released yet but I will be sure to key an eye out for it and let you know.  Thanks for the comment.

  2. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This list is helpful not only to social media bloggers but for all the blogger who are looking for information on how to get the best out of social media. 

  4. The Q&A session would have been interesting in this session. The guidance makes sense, but is very broad. I’d like to see a translation of how SoLoMo works when you’re in SoloMode (e.g. a solo-entrepreneur or small business). Does the local business really have the bandwidth to be everywhere? Some places, the checkbox will have to be enough, but which channel helps you win and deserves your extra attention?

  5. Avatar Joe Winpisinger says

    This just made it onto my top post bookmarks. First one in there because I do not want to lose this! In other words this post inspired to create that folder. Which will be checked for when I sit down to schedule what I share on Hootsuite.

    I am marketing Director for a business I used to own but turned over to my partner who knows how to monetize better than I. We do both Real Estate and Social, Local, and Mobile media consultation. This post will be sent out quite often in our bulk emails.

    One question: What is the best to become more local focused on Twitter?