A report from Pew recently revealed that a majority of people are using the internet to research local business. However, far fewer are using social networking sites to get opinions on these businesses. Pew is a reputable polling service. However, the poll was conducted over the phone, which means that it was done over a landline.
Pop quiz, who still has a landline? Bueller….Bueller…..? Apparently the telegraph cables were backed up and they had to telephone folks on their landlines to get opinions about the box social down by the ranch. If these people still use landlines as their primary telephone, then their search engine of choice is probably AOl and they have an email address that ends in hotmail.com or AOL.com
Local businesses still need to reach those with landlines though. We’ll assume that, at some point in time those people will venture into some form of social media to play Farmville or a mid-evil monster game. They may even go out to eat or to a store, here are some ways that local business can enhance their reach.
Offer something of value
Yeah!!! Your local business is on facebook, twitter, Foursquare and more to bring the business on. Your customers are visiting you online because they want a deal, freebie, coupon or more freebies. They aren’t ‘liking’ you because you’re a pillar of the local community.
People want to engage with you on social media to get something. On Foursquare give your people a free cup of coffee if they check in 7 times. Occasionally offer something to the first person that comes into the store and shows you that they follow you on twitter. The freebies don’t have to be big, but they have-to-be. Now quit being cheap and give something away.
Start a local group
Hey you, with the yoga studio-start a club on alternative ways to relax. Maybe the coffee shop down the road can start a tea club once a month to educate or share different teas. Whatever your business you can start a group.
Once the group is formed, put it out on Meetup, local newspapers; bulletin boards and of course social media. The group will, of course, be free of charge, but the publicity your business receives will more than pay for anytime you put into it.
Does your business have tables or chairs? If you said ‘yes’ to that question and you don’t have a sign in your business, either on the wall or on the tables, then you’re ignoring a captive and social audience.
I still have a landline, but it’s for emergencies and costs me a couple of dollars a month. If a pollster calls me on that line I won’t answer it because I don’t know who it is. The post office and your landline are fabulous things, they just don’t need to be used as much as they once did.
Photo credit: @rickaroons