Marketing Ideas to Help Get Your Go Local Campaign off the Ground
- Offer to do an information session for local prospective entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a small business. Outline how the application process works and how community banks like yours have the local expertise to help them get started.
- Working with the local chamber of commerce or county government, hold a small business forum to help connect successful local small businesses with start-ups.
- Work with the local chamber of commerce to host “Go Local” mixers to help connect small business owners with local providers to reward customers who shop locally.
- Profile your small business customers in your local advertising. Demonstrate that you are making a real difference in the community by supporting local small businesses.
- Set up a place in your lobby to highlight local small businesses your bank supports.
- Use “Go Local” as a way to open a conversation with new small businesses in town. By doing so, you can help differentiate your community bank from other financial institutions in your area.
- Have a contest to encourage your consumer banking customers to use as many local merchants as possible. Offer prizes supplied by the small business owners.
Social Media Ideas
- Use #GoLocal on Twitter.
- Tap into local small business groups and share their celebrations or social media posts (make sure to link them). A list of regional SBA branches are here: http://www.sba.gov/social-media
- Organize a cash mob in your local community and document it with photos and video (see Mercantile Bank example and here) to post on social media.
- Highlight one small business a day on Twitter and/or Facebook and talk about why they are so important to your community. (If they have a Twitter handle and Facebook page, make sure to @ and link to them.)
- Increase engagement with visuals. On Facebook, post photos of local businesses your community enjoys, and on Twitter, be sure to use an engaging headline and then provide a link to the photo.
- Create a contest in which consumers can share about their favorite small business and offer a gift card to that location as a reward.