For the last 20 years, Wicked Local has been recognizing successful local businesses through its Readers Choice Awards. The award, as voted on by the fans, is the answer to your question, “Am I doing everything right?” If you’ve won the award, clearly, you are. Your community respects and appreciates your business and has said thank you with this award.
Now it’s your turn to thank them. Turn to Facebook to help spread the news that you’re a winner, AND to reward your customers for voting for your business. Your Facebook page is the best place to share your message quickly and with the most people possible.
According to the Pew Research Center, 71% of internet users have a Facebook account, so it’s a safe bet that your customers are on the social network. However, they won’t see your announcements if they don’t follow you. Make sure you promote your Facebook page to your community. Post it on signs, bags, receipts and boxes. Hand them business cards with the URL or a QR code* to make it easy for them to like your page. Now that they can see all of your Facebook updates and announcements.
The moment that the Readers Choice Award winners have been announced, say, “Thanks,” to your customers. Share that you have been selected as a winner. Write a message or even better shoot a quick video with your smartphone.
When you receive your certificate hang it up on the wall, take a picture of it and share it. If you have won more than one award over the last few years take a picture of a prior award and share it for a “Throwback Thursday” image. Or find a picture of your business from the year you won your first award and share that piece of nostalgia instead. Photos are the most engaged with content on Facebook.
You are going to receive a lot of attention over the next few weeks because you’ve won a Readers Choice award, so use this momentum to create an active social media fan base. Once you’ve built a strong following, start interacting with them. Your activity will encourage your fans to engage with your feed.
Create a promotion or incentive for customers to come to your business to thank them for voting for you. Let them know that their recognition is appreciated. This will continue to build positive publicity for your business.
For the businesses that didn’t win, take this opportunity to think about why. Do you offer comparable deals to your competitors? Do you go to the same community events? Do you advertise in the same place? Do some research to see what it is that could’ve have lead customers to fight for another business. Your goal, over the next year, is to convince customers that your business is worthy of votes too. How can you do this?
Luckily, a business that won a Readers Choice Award and a business that came just short of winning can both extend themselves on social media to help build consumer engagement. Both types of businesses can use similar strategies, even if their content is going to be different.
Have fun. Create short videos and post them on Facebook during the year. During the Fourth of July make a patriotic speech that includes name dropping products. On hot days promote “cool sales.” Dress up in a costume for a Halloween promotion. These video ideas may seem simple, but that’s the point. They allow you to demonstrate that your business and brand has personality. If you don’t want to create video clips, then take photos or write clever posts. Create any content that shows that your business is a part of the community.
Being a part of your community is what Wicked Local’s Readers Choice Awards are all about. It’s about consumers thanking a business for being a partner in their city or town. Not only for the services they provide but how they engage with their customers. Before social media, these interactions were based on face-to-face interaction. Now, every business needs to work on promoting and engaging with clients in person and online. Don’t just be on a social media site, use it to your advantage.
*QR code - is a barcode created to be scanned by a smartphone. This barcode will trigger the smartphone to open its web browser to a certain web page.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at email@example.com.