Connecting to the community around you.
If you own a local business where the majority of your customers are located in one area you should be using Social Media to connect to the community around you. Making yourself a part of your community is simple and easy. If you live in the community you know what things are happening around your community.
What things are important to your community and what types of things affect your community? Just by taking that knowledge that you already have and sharing it with your audience you will seem more engaged and a part of your followers lives. Remember you are people selling to people (read more about that).
So what are some things that you could post about?
Weather– As simple as posting about the good weather or a warning to prepare for bad weather.
Community Events and News– Special concerts, festivals, parades (many of these events will have Facebook pages or events you can share) Human interest stories shared by your local paper. Is your town rallying around a certain family or event show your support (Look for hashtags and utilize them).
Local Sporting Events– Did the local high school win State football? Congratulate them! Can you post the schedule of games? Does your business sponsor a team?
Local Charities– If you support local charities or are going to participate in their events sharing a photo on Social Media is a great way to show your commitment to your community. To make sure you don’t come across as bragging make sure you highlight the charity’s good work more than your donation/participation.
Some things that you should avoid posting about
Personal Politics– people are passionate about their political views and taking a stance only opens up your business page as a platform for debate. It is best to avoid it all together.
Bashing Other Businesses– This comes across as desperate and unprofessional and opens you up to criticism and retaliation.
Other Topics?– There are a variety of other issues that could offend (sexual content, coarse language, etc) filter what you post through who your audience is and the community you are in, to avoid losing followers and even worse creating enemies.
As you make your business more present and active on Facebook or other social media channels it is a good idea to come up with a Social Media Policy for your employees. They way they represent themselves in the community on Social Media will reflect on your business. We will write more about this in a future blog.