Social media has shown us that there’s power in niche and hyperlocal communities. A person doesn’t have to be a celebrity or captivate a national audience in order to make a measurable impact with their news, recommendations and content.
Looking to tap the strengths and benefits of influencers and localized communities in your next public relations or marketing campaign? Here are three tips for getting started:
1. Pick quality over quantity.
This is true when you send a press release, and it’s true when you target influential communities on a niche or local level. Find out who the top influencers are in the group you’re cultivating—this could include local journalists or bloggers, fans who engage your social channels, or those who use geo-location networks like Yelp or Foursquare to write reviews. Follow a few of the most involved, listen to their conversations and engage where appropriate. You’ll see better results if you target a handful of relevant influencers rather than try to build a community around everyone.
2. Tell a local story.
Find a narrative that’s unique to the audience you’re targeting. Focus on the behaviors, interests and regional qualities of your community. But above all, be sincere and don’t overreach. GrubHub did this well in a recent email campaign. The company targeted Chicago-based customers, made jokes and commiserated with the awful weather the city was having, and used the opportunity to position their food delivery service to people who didn’t want to leave the house. Find that common thread or shared experience and use it to mobilize your audience.
3. Have a tangible community presence.
Most public relations and marketing is done online these days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a live, physical presence with your most invested stakeholders. Consider hosting local events, giveaways or exclusive networking opportunities for your most devoted advocates. Giving your fans a platform to talk about your brand can positively boost your message. Not to mention, when your fans have a chance to meet each other in real life, the message becomes amplified and communities begin to take shape and become sustained across social media.