Six Reasons to Know Your Online Neighbour
by CHRISTINA PILARSKI
Originally Published in Fernie Fix | September 2018 Issue
Knowledge is power when creating your social media strategy. The more you know about your community, your audience, and your industry means the more you can leverage to bolster your profile.
This knowledge isn’t always instinctual. You might push back assuming this research is time consuming and focusing solely on the customer is the priority. My answer: by knowing what is going on around you, you get to know your customer even more.
So why should you invest time into growing online knowledge?
1 - CONNECTION
Connection to the community is powerful. One of the first things I always ask a client when we create their online strategy is their connection to their community. What are your favourite causes, hang outs, people, organisations? These things should be part of your social media content schedule. Each connection to your community extends your reach and proves you are invested in Fernie.
2 - TRENDING TOPICS
You should know what’s trending in your world. No one should ever know what’s trending in the whole world; you should know what is trending in YOUR world. What’s happening in Fernie? What are your friends and neighbours talking about? Is it where the Fernie Elf is hiding? Is it a pending visit from the Griz (hopefully not yet!)? Is it a new business initiative from the Chamber? These are all things you can leverage – use those trending hashtags and ride the local trend wave.
3 - AMBASSADORS
You might find a fun new ambassador. When you are researching online regularly chances are you will get to know which of your customers are the most engaged online. If you continue to notice a happy client’s posts getting high engagement approach them to see if their next visit with you could be featured on their next social post.
4 - INDUSTRY LEADERS
Businesses in the same industry may have a secret sauce. My favourite example here is #TravelTuesday. A major air carrier started this trendy hashtag using it to promote sales. Now it is used industry wide by travel companies, destination marketing organisations, bloggers … and, yes, still by that major air carrier. By knowing what industry players are doing successfully you can gain powerful reach by doing it too.
5 - PARTNERS
You can find partners. Admit it, you’ve been caught in an Instagram contest loop! Those loops are great ways to share your product with your target audience through a trusted third party. Find companies with similar values and complimentary services. Think of online promotions that can promote what you both do and leverage one another’s following to increase your own.
6 - COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Your competition might be doing something cool. Think of an empty taco stand on a Sunday. Every other day of the week they have a line up. With a simple scan online, they see that every Sunday the taco stand on the other side of town gives a free sombrero with every purchase. Light bulb! Social media allows you to get a direct view into what your competitors are up to – these things can inform your communications tactics AND your business strategy.
A successful social media strategy always includes elements of research. Do your homework and make sure you regularly check out popular Fernie hashtags, competitor accounts, and community influencers. You never know what or who may turn into a great online opportunity for your business.
Follow us at @CIPRComs - we share our own communications and marketing knowledge, so you can maintain your edge. Use the hashtags #PRPower and #FernieSuccess to let us know what you are following online to get a leg up.