How to Connect With Local Customers Via Facebook

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal, an agency that does Facebook advertising for businesses with a local presence.

Dennis shares tips on how to set up a successful Facebook strategy for local businesses.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • How to use Facebook to capitalize on reaching local markets
  • The number of fans brands want to have on Facebook
  • Why you need to build a critical mass for successful Facebook marketing
  • Why you need to leverage the existing friends your business already has
  • How to know whether the Facebook fans you have are a worthwhile investment
  • How social lead generation is different
  • What analytics you need to track social lead generation
  • Why small brands are better at Facebook marketing
  • How to start with a solid marketing strategy
  • What you can learn from communication problems already encountered on email marketing

Connect with Dennis on Twitter @dennisyu, check out BlitzLocal on Facebook and get your free BlitzMetrics dashboard.

Does your business have a successful Facebook strategy? What tips do you have to share about leveraging your Facebook marketing? Please leave them below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.lookingformarketingjobs.com/ John Thomas

    The internet has made everyone see global business as “it”, that they forget about local. I have a friend who only focuses his web business local because local is easy to dominate if you know what you are doing.

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    Great interview Michael and Dennis. This topic is really big – and you covered a LOT here! I really like how Dennis has clear examples and data to back up what he says. nice. 

  • http://coupsmart.com/ Nick Sweeney

    “You might know that Facebook is leading to sales, but you want to track it back to that user.”

    Exactly. That “middle layer” of analytics is exactly what we do at CoupSmart.

    I love that he is not having the local dentist compete with McDonald’s reach. I think too many small businesses think social media is useless because they don’t have 1,85,924 fans. Great interview, Michael!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks much Phyllis!

  • Vickie

    I can only partially agree with what you said about how large businesses shouldn’t outsource the most important part – the engagement. But for smaller businesses, this is sometimes necessary. As a community manager for other businesses, I do act as their proxy. Granted, it would be ideal for owners to be involved, but the time constraints of simply running their business doesn’t allow it. However, a good community manager communicates well with the owner, keeping them informed and getting them involved to a greater extent, when circumstances require it.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    This is a great interview. So true, especially about ROI. I would suggest to everyone to pick up the book “Data Driven Marketing” by Mark Jeffrey. It will open your eyes to return on marketing investment, and is directly applicable to what Dennis is talking about.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    There is a huge opportunity at the local level.  So I fully agree John

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Nick and I agree

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Good point Vickie.  It can be very hard for small business owners

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Nick :)

  • http://twitter.com/eernoult Emeric Ernoult

    Great interview Michael! Dennis is a real Facebook Marketing expert, you picked the right guy :-)  
    I am waiting the time when businesses will be ready to connect their CRM and tracking systems with Facebook to finally demonstrate the real value behind all this! It is not the case right now…

  • Paulii

    Excellent interview, and a promising company for sure. I visited their website and found a dead link on my 3rd click. Probably would be important to let your interviewees know that they are going to get visitors, so check their website…. this was on their non-profit link for a free download. Dennis impressed me. The website, not so much.

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  • Alex

    Very useful. I have to say that I am struggling to get to that critical mass. The amount of fans is creeping up and I do not believe in “buying fans” or “get thousands of fans in one week”. But any more information on how to build an honest-to-God fan base would be very useful. 80 new fans in one month will not get me anywhere…

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    It is really great interview. I hope it would be more helpful in connecting with local customers via Facebook. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • http://lovintrends.com/ Niall Harbison

    They have been making some good additions like adding the local targeting in ads and giving out vouchers etc but to be honest I’m not sure local businesses have a clue how to use the platform yet. Huge potential though

  • Nelson

    Great content, lousy production.  We have thought about developing a page on the 10 things not to do for web video.  One for this video – never use the camera microphone.

  • http://www.mycustardpie.com/ MyCustardPie

    A really interesting interview – especially the point about hiring young graduates to manage online strategy just because they use Facebook instead of a marketing professional with knowledge of brand strategy.  A question – which sounds like a criticism but isn’t meant to – despite a huge 20,000 ‘likes’ Blitzlocal only has 35 talking about it.  This sounds like very low engagement to me…or am I missing the point?  Appreciate a response.

  • http://twitter.com/AlphaWolfDesign Alpha Wolf Designs

    I enjoyed the video, but I somewhat disagree with growing your facebook fans as much as you can being a bad thing. I understand that fans don’t matter if they have no pertinence to your product, but it is impossible to predict who may know someone in need of your services. I can’t imagine any ploy to bring in large amounts of fans being a waste of time because of this. We offer graphic design. “Becky the 22 year old college student” may not have any use for our services, but maybe her Aunt’s small business does. Plus you build a better trust if someone’s friends already “like” your page, another incentive to drive in as many fans as possible. Your thoughts?

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  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    John– you are 100% right.  I’d further add that local is the next battleground. It’s where social and mobile meet to compete.  Opportunity for your friend and others like us! The challenge is how to scale.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Phyllis– thank you.  Could you let us know what topics you’d like covered next time?

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Nick– agreed! And I like how you’re using CoupSmart to connect online with offline. Couponing is going to be a lot bigger than the Groupons of the world imagine– and significantly different, too.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Vickie– I’d agree with your clarification.  While it’s true that small business owners must own their voice, it often makes sense to have someone else help manage the details. You can architect the house, but might not be the one hammering in each and every nail.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Nick– classic book! Now the question is about attribution and the “assist”.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the way to “measure” brand.

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  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Paulii– yes, the website has been stagnant for quite some time. We need to put resources on our own stuff eventually, but the client work is priority!

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Alex, what is your page?

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Sally– we’re not engaging fans on this page. That’s why the PTA metric is low. When we have our local product ready early next year, expect to see an uptick. Nothing to share there yet.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Alpha– you’re right in that sometimes a mass approach will work.  The question is can you afford junk clicks and junk fans?  If you have the money for it, by all means, targeting isn’t so important. We find that small business owners are typically very cautious with their ad budgets.

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  • Andy Carvin

    well said, thank you.essay help

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Hi Dennis. Sorry for the delayed response! Well the assist gets complicated, but if one designs a marketing program that is measurable from the start, PLUS attach multi-channel link attribution cookies to visits from each channel, you would be able to do that.

    For example, if you have a blog post that is describing a type of problem, you share it to Facebook, and after reading it, the person downloads some type of informational piece, their cookies are attached to their CRM record, but the person doesn’t convert to a sale until 3 months later, so a portion of that sale should go to Facebook (depending on how many touch points there were).

    I know HubSpot has the ability to attach pages viewed before and after a person converts, and Performable (which HubSpot just bought) has the ability measure touch points along the way. Argyle Social has done a pretty good job at doing this type of stuff as well.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Hi Nick,

    I think the issue is less about whether these touchpoints can be tracked and more about the subjective issue of assigning credit when there are many assists leading to a sale. Most people use an arbitrary assignment- a fixed percentage or arithmetic-based attribution. Hard to defend.

    Best regards,
    Dennis Yu
    facebook.com/dennisyu
    dennis@blitzlocal.com

    Want a killer Facebook dashboard?

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Do you think there could be some type of weighting algorithm for actions taken, certain types of clicks, etc.? Maybe that would solve the fixed percentage issue?

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Nick, absolutely! The question is how to adjust the weightings based on contributed value, something which differs by company. We have a few frameworks (simple logic, really) to do this. Even attribution is a good start.

    Best regards,
    Dennis Yu
    facebook.com/dennisyu
    dennis@blitzlocal.com

    Want a killer Facebook dashboard?

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  • http://www.DevaniFreeman.com/ Devani Freeman

    Great interview! Very useful! ;-)

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  • http://www.mycustardpie.com/ MyCustardPie

    Thanks appreciate the response.

  • eDigitalAus

    Fantastic Interview.
    A well thought Local Facebook business page strategy needs both: Acquisition and Retention strategies.
    From experience, what attracts local community to follow you is when they see the is a value for them to follow your local fb business page. 
    There are many ways you can create value. 
    Options are: 
    - Offer unique content that help people better use your product or service. Tips, educational videos, etc.
    - Offer access to money can’t buy activities: in-store events with celebrities, etc
    - Offer exclusive discounts, promotions. Do not like much this as you are bringing the price sensitive consumer…if you are spot the discounts…they will move somewhere else.
    - Offer exclusive access to back stage, sneak-peak info…how you make the products, etc.

    Before you action any of the above, your local business need to prioritise the top 2-3 consumer segments that are worth engaging. Consumer segmentation is possibly one of the most critical marketing activities you can do for your local business and it will clear and and give you focus on the “cash” cows or consumer types where you can grow market share or even build a new category.

    Strategies for engagement are varied according to what will resonance with your key segments so there is no a define formula here. you have to test, test and test. but again always focus on those top 2 0r 3 key consumer segments.

    Areas most local business forget to amplify and take advantage:
    - Your suppliers: they also have Facebook pages and they can also bring you exclusive content. Ask them to promote your fb page and or bring unique content or events to your local business.
    - You local council/bounty: if you provide value to your local community through what you sell, well you have great chances for your local council/bounty to promote you.
    - Your shopping centre: if you are a store inside a shopping district, ask them to promote you on their website and e-newsletters.
    - Your local media partners: if you can create events that no-one has ever done, you have amazing chances to get publicity for free.

    Remember: if anything you post/do on social media is not worth sharing, do not do it.:)

    Happy days and contact me me if you need more advice.







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