Internet Marketing For Local Business: Google Plus and Social Media

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By Jan Ashby

“Overwhelm” – a word often used to demonstrate the confusion companies feel regarding social media.

The problem is two-fold:

  • Establishing an online presence with social media takes a concerted, continuous effort.  You must be consistent, and bear in mind that returns will not be “overnight”.
  • You need to ensure you are using social media correctly – in a way which makes sense for your company

To clarify this picture, ask yourself the following:

First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

– Am I using the right platform?

Keep in mind that there are a number of social media platforms for you to use – there’s How To Build LOCAL BusinessFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  And within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For one thing, in Facebook  you can have either a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.”  Each platform has its own set of purposes, tools and functionality. Also, you might consider whether you wish to use several social media at the same time – or just focus on one or two.

– Have you ditched past efforts?
You need to realize that once you take  this on, it will have to be maintained and updated regularly. This involves a cost – time and people resources.  It can be worth it in the end, if you are able to have a long-term outlook.

*Note:  If you are not able to follow through with a particular social media outlet (such as Twitter, Reddit, FB etc.), be sure to delete the accounts.  If you don’t, you could erode your brand value — since there will be no recent updates, and a visitor (potential customer) will see this.

Who is Your Target Market

Are you providing valuable info — the type of information your “target market” wishes to see?

Think about this — who is your target audience? What product features would they want to learn about?  You must discover this, and utilize that knowledge.

For example, providing a giveaway can be useful – but you want to do it when families are out and about (your target market) .  Thus, if your business is a restaurant, you will want to know which day of the week is your busiest day.

Upon considering your target market, ask yourself what form of media you should use to feed the information to them? In some cases, a brochure or direct mailing will work.  In other instances, it might be best to send a CD out to them.

Promotions/Ads – Pay Attention to Detail

If you have the budget for a local television ad, that is great.  Yet you want to have attention to detail.  It can be important to list your  facebook address (as well as your business phone no.) at the conclusion of the commercial.

Coupon Marketing


Having discounts, contests or giveaways can be put to good use —yet you need to have more than that. Post facts about your company, its history, mission statement; also the brand, or its products. Many of today’s consumers are interested in what you are doing for the environment – either with respect to your daily operations, or by donating something to the cause.

Consider the pieces of information you encounter daily which make you stop and take notice, or be “wowed”.   You could do up a  fun video on what goes on behind the scenes of your local business; explain why your business does what it does, or makes certain decisions – for example why your company discontinued a certain product, or flavor.  People are often fascinated by these “behind the scenes” details!

– Are you Social Media: How To Build Local Businesstuned in to your audience – truly listening?

Are you responding to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond?  Are you aware of times when your business is mentioned at other sites, blogs, social media, etc.?  Do you make the most of it, by replying with relevant, well-thought out comments  (on your blog or website)?

Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather to give people a voice — so that they can now have a say in the things that matter to them.

– Do you allow them a voice?

You’ll want to ensure you provide ample opportunity for your audience to respond.  Ask open-ended questions, do surveys and polls.  And you should include them in new product decisions;  your company could do a poll on FacebookIn this way, you’ll be more in touch with your target audience, and consequently your audience will feel valued and included. Bear in mind that interactivity is an integral part of a successful social media campaign.

Local Internet Marketing is a key part of growing your business and brand, to attract local consumers.

In the end, you need to be found and recognized to be a success online.  With Google Plus Local, there are  number of ways to stand out.  This is because many businesses in Google Plus have not optimized their listings; so your business could have a video, for example, in its listing. Or a special coupon.  And there is a special way you can call attention to it. (Hint:  Most business listings at Google Plus have not bothered to do this)

Additionally, you can brainstorm many more ideas for attracting your customers. You should first make up an avatar of WHO your ideal customer is.  Then look at creating a graphic which represents the age and sex of your “perfect customer”.

You might run a contest (through FB or at your site) and put an announcement about it on your Google Plus page.

So you see, Internet Marketing For Local Business is not simply putting up a website.  There is much more to marketing your local business online – as I’ve explained, you should really FOCUS on just a few social media platforms & get GOOD results from those.. before you even consider adding an additional platform.

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is really hot right now – but you need to have the time (or an employee) to devote to it.  Generally speaking, Pinterest will work best with high quality images – and a business that can benefit from Pinterest might be one that publishes a lot of images of its inventory (like Retail clothing, or a bakery).


It is important that your local customers can find you when they are searching. And Google Plus Local is one one those places.  Also, here is another suggestion – go to Universal Business Listing, you can register and pay a small fee ($79 for Basic Pkg) to get your business initially listed at multiple directories.  Yet, you want to follow up on this, and have a staff member manually submit your business NAP (NAP=Name, Address, Phone) at various sites for multiple exposure.

(*Note: There is Essential Package, Premium Package & Professional  Package at UBL).

It is very important that you submit your company’s NAP the same way each & every time. Also, Citations & Reviews are a significant factor in helping with your on-page SEO.  To learn more about Google Plus Local, QR codes e.g., visit How To Get Listed.   Be aware that the info in this PDF is just a guideline (general information).  To get more specific, contact Jan Ashby at [email protected] .


Video:  Overview of  Google Maps and Places     AND    Coupons: Building Time Sensitive Offers