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Owning a local business can seem to be an unfair predicament, especially if your service is competing with a more popular and more well-known brand. Though it might be difficult for you to comprehend, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to being an underdog in your local market. Besides your geographic advantage, you have one of the most accessible tools to your advantage – the internet.

Being the Underdog

There’s a reason why local restaurants have stood the test of time against popular fast-food chains in their area. It’s because they provide a type of service that these companies can’t offer – familiarity and family. As an added example, these restaurants can easily adapt to their community by adjusting their prices and menu items depending on the demand of the customers. Unlike large companies that need approval from a board of executives, local businesses have a smaller chain of command which makes it easier to implement personal touches to the service that they provide.

Though you might have a much smaller reach, your local establishment keeps you grounded and makes you a local-friendly brand that people can relate to. Local establishments have a much easier way of gaining a local following compared to international brands. 

Standing Against the Big Leagues

The biggest setback when it comes to competing with popular brands is that you won’t have even a fraction of the reach that they have in terms of product placement and logistical superiority compared to yours. While they might have a nationwide, or even international reach, your business’ budget department can only do so much. But you don’t always need to reach farther physical distances in terms of advertising; that’s the beauty of being visible online.

Internet Visibility

Just because your reach is just within the realm of a local establishment, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in increasing your online presence. It’s no longer the wild west of the internet where page-long paragraphs of text are matched with Microsoft WordArt text to ‘wow’ your readers. Having your page up doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly have thousands upon thousands of viewers to your site. It takes proper planning and a little bit of tech-savviness to e-marketing in order to build a following. Here are some suggestions on how to develop your page’s quality. 

Cater your content to your customers

You should always cater to your content to match your customers’ needs. Whether it be a promo on a sale or information on your latest item in the menu, staying on brand allows you to keep a stable and consistent brand identity that your customers can depend on. Apple’s commitment to a sleek and fashionable line of products is what makes it both attractive to buy and technologically advanced for convenient use. 

Or you could do the complete opposite. One of 2018’s biggest viral hit is the social media team behind Wendy’s which brought their mascot into an overnight star as her sass on issues and backbiting on other restaurant chains in a comic and blunt way gave it a meme status for all generations to appreciate. Though it’s completely ‘off-brand’ for the burger joint to be an ‘internet troll’, it turned out to be for the better as it has become an example of how the internet viral status can be used to a company’s advantage.

Know your platform

 If you’re using another platform such as Wordpress or Wix for your website’s domain then there’s much more freedom in doing what you want to the page, but it does come at the price of a very limited reach compared to what innate social media platforms can offer. 

Though it might be confusing for newcomers to see, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook demand different types of content. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are mainly used for queries and promotional blasts. Twitter's DM function and Facebook Inboxes are usually used for customer service to address customer concerns ASAP.

Engage your customers instantly and appropriately

Instead of simply announcing promos and work hours on holidays, you should also make use of your customers’ interaction with social media to get yourself an organic reach to a broader demographic. It has become a popular trick to engage customers in raffle contests designed to raise traffic to their page by coercing customers to like and share their posts to their own feed.

This simple but sly tactic can give your page a boost in visibility by being seen through your customers’ feeds which are considered as organic posts instead of sponsored posts on social media (which can be turned off or blocked).

Knowing how your platform works and how frequently you should update it is a step closer to keeping your page engaged to keep your brand’s visibility online healthy and consistent. 

Modernizing your platforms

If you’re still having trouble getting your way around using the internet and using social media to your business’ advantage, you can look for two solutions to your problem. The first is to research and possibly benchmark practices by larger companies with similar services. You can take a few tips from their successes and their failures when it comes to employing digital marketing tactics without taking the risk of doing it yourself. An ample amount of research goes a long way especially when it comes to staying competitive in this economy. The second solution is to seek help for experts in the scene. Agencies such as Chimes Consulting that offer both marketing and IT services, can provide assessment and aid to your current model of ad placements or online advertising to ensure that you’re not doing anything wrong to get your ranking down. They can give you pointers on how you can raise your company’s reach online.

Regardless of which path you take in learning digital marketing strategies, it’s important to note that you should stick to your strengths instead of attempting to please everyone. Your brand’s image is your own to mold and develop and it’s up to you to take which direction it should go to. With the right internet tools at your disposal, you can bring your brand to a higher level of appreciation and reach beyond a few blocks from your main office.

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