A strong presence on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter is definitely a good marketing strategy for a local business.
A “strong” presence means an active presence. Making and responding to posts at least several times per week is necessary for social media to be a marketing asset.
To make social media work for your business, you need to “play the game”. This means get involved with the conversations, “like” other people’s posts, comment on them and make posts of your own. Subtlety is important. You shouldn't try to sell something with every post. If you do, people will turn you off.
Facebook has a complex system which evaluates your activity and responses to your posts. If people don’t interact with you, you will be increasingly less visible even if you are actively making posts.
Here are a few tips on getting good results on the social sites:
- Engage every day. Respond to posts from friends and their friends.
- Request to become friends with people often. Be careful here. Facebook frowns upon over-doing friend requests. This can backfire
- Don’t be overly opinionated. This will invariably endear you to some but alienate you from others.
- Ask questions. People love to answer them and that will help Facebook determine you are an engaging person. This helps.
- Avoid politics Share interesting articles you may have written or posted on your blog.
- Share interesting news and ask for opinions.
- Make your business fan page a reflection of your website.
- Ask your friends to Like your Facebook fan page.
- Set up a twitter account and turn on the setting which automatically duplicates your twitter post to Facebook. (big time saver)
- Post photos on your Fan page. People often will respond with a comment.
These are but a few ideas and there are endless resources for more. Social media is free but it will cost you in terms of time and effort. As I always say, nothing worthwhile is easy.