What works and what doesn’t

Social media for local businesses can become stagnant very easily. For one, many businesses don’t have the budget for a full time social media manager. Second, the pages often don’t get many new followers, so business owners feel like social media can be a waste of time.

The struggle is very different for various industries. For example, a restaurant might not be experiencing social media troubles. Restaurants often have innate character that fits on various social media platforms. People like pictures of food, like telling others about their favorite restaurant, and are way into special deals for meals.

But then consider a dentist. Who seeks out a dentist to follow on social media? People generally care about dentists once or twice a year, when they need a cleaning or a cavity filled. And dentists aren’t really something you tell your friends about, nor do they provide social-media-worthy experiences for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Sure, it happens sometimes if people are really jazzed about their teeth. But most people aren’t prone to post pictures of their mouth.

When you get 3 likes:


Three Things To Do

Engage With Customers

Ask questions, respond, and give good advice about your area of expertise. Don’t just blanket followers with promotional stuff. In this vein, make sure you are actively asking clients/customers to follow your social media. Offer some discount/free drink/etc. if they follow your social media. Then produce some good content so they don’t leave!

Make Your Channels Look Popular

See “Should I Buy Followers?” below. Boost a few posts to spark engagement, and make sure every image on your channel is crisp, clean, and professional.

Give the People What They Want

Don’t just throw up blurry pictures of things nobody cares about.

  • Use high quality images, and Photoshop them.
  • Deals, deals, deals. People want value from following you.
  • Stay on brand. Stay out of politics, don’t post personal stuff.

Utilize a 3rd Party Influencer

According to Forbes, in 2017, “80% of Nordstrom’s mobile traffic came from a single influencer, RewardStyle Network. This same influencer network also drove 21.94% of Sephora’s traffic, 34% of traffic to Revolve.com, and 30.83% to Net-A-Porter.”

Wow. There a couple things to learn from this. First, Nordstrom, an enormous, very recognizable brand, can’t generate traffic on its own. Second, today’s purchasers rely on opinions of their peers.

Local celebrities, athletes, or just social media hotties can be amazing ways to boost your social media, and get people to recognize your business. Offer a trade in services, or just see how much they need in compensation. Remember, there are a lot of local social media celebrities everywhere.

Example: This guy teamed up with American Express. Think American Express Instagram could get 71,000 likes on their own?

social media influencer

Should I Buy Followers?

Of course, the best and most valuable followers are real people who live around your business, or engage with it. But here’s the conundrum: when people see you have less than a hundred followers, they’ll assume you’re not very popular or don’t have a very engaging account.

Consider this: when people are considering buying your goods or services, they will often check your social media accounts. If they see measly numbers, they will assume that your good or service isn’t that great.

71% of people are more likely to make a purchase online if the product or service comes recommended by others.


Here are some services you might use:


Now, remember that this should be a catalyst for natural growth, not an end unto itself. Fake social media followers in and of themselves do nothing for your business.

Paid Promotion

Have a cool video, or excellent deal running? Boost that baby. For $20-$50 you can likely hit an additional 5-10,000 people on Facebook and Instagram. And both those platforms (both owned by Facebook) will let you choose what action you want people to take. For example, you can point people to your account page, to get more follows. Or you can point them to a landing page on your site.

Some experts actually recommend boosting posts every day to get the social media following you want. We think that has to be a case-by-case approach. Some businesses are better off putting budget toward Adwords, versus spending a big chunk of their marketing budget on paid social media promotion.

Beyond boosting posts, social media advertising can be excellent for drumming up new business, and you can get more exact analytics than if you just boost posts. Yes, that is correct: advertising on Facebook and Instagram is different than just boosting a post. Go to business.facebook.com to learn more.