This one goes out to all those small business types that are jumping into social media. First of all, good for you! It is a great for you to connect with the people who are actually walking in and out of your establishment. It is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to hyper-local marketing.
The term “Hyperlocal” is characterized by two major elements.
1) Events, news, and happenings are all located within a well-defined target area.
2) Content is intended primarily for people who are located in that area, it is a very defined target.
Example: You are a generic local bar; you have a few TV’s and three beers on tap in your establishment. Your market is the people who live nearby who can easily get to your bar for a cold one. That is your hyper-local community, your neighbors.
The beautiful thing about hyper-local social media is that it is going to allow you to connect and target those people who are your current customers as well as potential nearby customers.
There are a number of things that you need to do to market yourself properly to your hyperlocal community but the number one mistake that I see is the first thing that everyone does. They Create a Facebook profile page instead of creating a “Like-able” business page. Facebook profile pages are meant for individuals and NOT businesses. In fact, it is actually a violation of the Terms of Service.
From the Facebook Terms of Service:
“Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization”
If you have to add a friend instead of having somebody “Like” your business then you have screwed up. You have a profile page, you need to have a business page, you are going to want people to “Like” your business and it is essential in targeting your hyperlocal community if you want to do this right.
What’s the difference? Many, but for starters and it’s a big one, you are limited to 5000 friends and your business page is unlimited to the amount of “Likes” it can receive. You want as many people to “Like” your business as possible right? So why stop at 5,000? Besides, one morning you may wake up and go to post that you are having a 2 for 1 special tonight at the bar you are running and you discover your profile is gone. You have violated the terms of service (TOS) and Facebook reserves the right to eliminate your profile once they discover that you are a business and not a individual.
Fortunately, if you have been tirelessly building your friends on Facebook and your reading this thinking that you are eventually going to be screwed, Facebook has recently allowed you to convert a profile page into a business page so there is hope for you after all.
Convert your profile to a page here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=19691
Please keep in mind that this is meant for people who intended to create a business page and instead created a profile page for their business. If you are not running a business do not just arbitrarily convert your personal profile page into a business page as some people have done. This has resulted in people losing a ton of their personal Facebook data.
Key takeaway: Facebook profiles are for individual people and Facebook business pages are for organizations and businesses.