Using Social Media to Grow Your Local Businesses

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Bryan Elliott, founder of Linked OC. The “OC” stands for Orange County and Linked OC is a local organization servicing the local Orange County area.

Bryan shares how he built a 5,000 strong local community organically thanks to social media. You’ll also discover how Bryan uses a mix of live events, social media and geo-location services for hyper-local marketing.

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 social media impacts at the local level how people stay connected on both:

  • Real life events
  • Social media

How on a local scale social media:

  • Connects people in a more powerful way
  • Helps buyers find sellers, or businesses, on a hyper-local scale
  • Gives small businesses a cost effective tool to find local customers

Bryan also shares how Seth Godin’s book Tribes inspired Bryan as he built the Orange County community.

Connect with Bryan and find out more about his new TV show, 24 in the OC, which showcases local businesses doing things that matter.

How does Bryan’s experience of hyper-local marketing with social media inspire you? Please leave your comments 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.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Micheal..how funny is this..just yesterday I was writing some articles on “Local Seo Ranking” and I was hitting on some key points when it comes to business should take charge of their businesses by doing seo so that they can show up in the local Google searches.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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

    Antonio, looks like you’re onto something.

    In fact, Bryan just launched a new service yesterday called Bryan’s Local List. Check it out here: http://bryanslocallist.com/

  • http://mytwittertoolbox.com David Perdew

    Often, the grass roots movements like Bryan’s OC campaign are the ones that have the most impact, and not just on local communities, as this post proves. I was impressed with the fact that he put together enough community contacts to create a TV show, a move that is only now beginning to be utilized by other people.

    Combining traditional media with social media is the wave of the future, I think, and some app developers are starting to work those deals out on their own. It helps both forms of media “crossover” to each other, and that’s exciting for us as marketers.

  • http://www.LinkedOC.com bryan elliott

    Mike, thanks so much for the shout out. What you and your team are doing at Social Media Examiner is awesome! For me, there are 2 great resources for all things social media: Mashable and Social Media Examiner. But what you guys have that I can’t get from Pete’s site are the “How-To” elements–especially videos. SME is super pragmatic, hands-on and personal. Keep up the great work!

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

    Thanks a bunch Brian and keep up the great work yourself!

  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Thanks..I see that its a brand new site also..I will take a look.

  • http://www.mixfitness.net Sara

    I know nothing about Four Square. Can someone direct me to posts about that? Would like more info. Thanks!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner
  • http://adaptgather.com/ Andrew Nhem

    Great interview.

    Hearing these stories goes so far, beyond anecdotal tales read upon “guru site” after “guru site.”

    Bryan’s story gives us people in the small business trenches some hope in gaining a foothold in our universe of marketing.

    Thanks so much!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/mdyoder Michael D. Yoder

    Amazing the similarities between Linked OC and what I’ve done in Grand Rapids, MI with my LinkedUp Grand Rapids group. The group is now over 5,800 members. It has been grown to this point over the last couple of years by paying special attention to creating opportunities for group members to connect in person on a regular basis. The group started on LinkedIn and now has a Facebook group page along with a Ning web site http://www.linkedupgr.com. We’ve also integrated the use of Foursquare with events at local venues, and even got a swarm badge at an event earlier this year. The group logo was crowdsourced with contributions and input from the group membership. In addition to helping foster trusted business relationships, the group tries to give back to the community. We have collected relief supplies for Haiti, contributed toward a fund that provides scholarships for local students, and Christmas projects to benefit Kids Food Basket and the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

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  • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

    Interesting content. I just recently got into locator functionality and really like the combination with so lo marketing tools like foursquare or yelp. They enhance local business call to action by offering customers location-based coupons and events. I especially love what Chick Fil A has done with this on their facebook page. They are still able to share the feeling of a local family business. And what I have seen they grew from 1 million fans half way 2010 to 3,6 million right now!!! Geo location services are certainly helping local businesses. Have a great weekend.

  • SM newbie

    I absolutely love this site!! As a newbie to business, social media and blogging, this site is invaluable!! I read it religiously every day to extract every word out of it. Well .. the articles themselves. I’ve learned to skim read the comments so i don’t waste time reading “Michael, it’s funny. Just yesterday i was doing the exact same thing as you ..” style comments that shamelessly piggyback this blog whilst offering an upgrade to nothingness. Sighs .. i wonder if i have the temperament to be able to survive what it obviously takes to be a blogger. Kudos to you for continuing to deliver amazing quality article after article. Thank you so much for being my ‘remote’ Coach on all things social media!!

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

    Thanks so much newbie :)

  • http://www.willowridgesocialmedia.com Mariapeagler

    Bryan is dead-on accurate about the realities of small business owners: they can’t afford PPC ads & SEO strategists, are lucky if they have a good website, and don’t have time to even think about this stuff. His solution is a good one.

  • http://www.mixfitness.net Sara

    That was helpful. Thanks!

  • http://www.MarketingBytes.biz/ Alison D. Gilbert

    Michael,
    I always look forward to your weekly blog filled with great Social Media tips. I love this one especially the video with Brian Elliott. So many people are getting with the idea of ‘community’ or tribes as Seth Godin put it. We are simultaneously rebuilding the small town where everyone knew everyone. lived together and did business to support each other with the virtual building of that through the internet and Social Media. How great is that!
    ‘MarketingBytesMaven.biz aka lady in the hat! Connecting biz and buyer with Inbound Marketing, Social Media, traditional communications, and graphic design.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13803832 Nick Robinson

    Bryan is spot on when it comes to geo-location. For example, in Foursquare you can search for places that are nearby based on the gps functionality of your mobile phone. Even better, these businesses can display deals for check-in activity. Plus your customers have the option to broadcast their check-in to their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Word of mouth marketing on steroids, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk.

  • Dawoodsait

    really cool, great site.You have hit the right chord in developing local business communities.

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  • http://www.localbiznovascotia.com Prviau

    Local Business is becoming a hot topic – especially when combined with social media. Blogging is real giant killer because it really levels the playing field.

  • http://www.localbiznovascotia.com Prviau

    Local Business is becoming a hot topic – especially when combined with social media. Blogging is real giant killer because it really levels the playing field.







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