I am noticing a shift in the marketplace. I have said for over a year now that SEO is dying, but have re-worded it with…
Local SEO is Dying.
I use Google everyday to search for things, typically answers to my problems, but I rarely use it for local businesses. So SEO is not dying, but am seeing a shift for local SEO. I actually use Twitter more to look for more of a recommendation as oppose to Google as I know the search results can be manipulated. I have context with the people on Twitter and trust them more than Google.
I am a huge believer in building a community (blog post coming soon), or as I like to call it “A Tribe” (a reference from Seth Godin‘s book, Tribes: We All Need You to Lead Us“). Building a tribe of raving fans similar to Apple, Zappos and/or Starbucks should be most company’s goal. This is where social media can be so powerful. Ryan Hanley just wrote a blog post about why you should build your community first and I agree with what he is saying. He states, “The reach of your content is limited only by the size of your community”.
Awesome things happen on social and it gets shared. If it’s really awesome, a lot of people hear about it. Your people spread your message for you. Remember, non-awesome things spread as well, sometimes a lot faster, so be careful.
I heard an excellent quote this weekend from a marketer I really respect;
“There’s no ROI in Twitter. There is ROI in being awesome, and sometimes that happens on Twitter.”
Why Sin City Local?
I created Sin City Local (come join the conversation here) for a few reasons. It grew a lot faster than originally planned and the people really seem to enjoy what we’ve (the community) have built.
Prove It – Facebook offers a great place to build a community for B2C businesses. In my opinion, Facebook is not the best for B2B so we didn’t have a big following on our business page. People would ask why and that is a reason we started Sin City Local.
Small Town Values – I am from a small town in Michigan where community was important. We knew a lot of people in the town and we all helped each other. We are trying to do the same with SCL, just digitally.
We do that with the Facebook page as people are asking what to do on the weekends, where to eat, if we’re hiring, places for elders to go, places to shoot guns and a lot more. We try and connect the people looking for a certain something. We’re connecting Las Vegas via social media.
It’s Fun! – Now when we started this back in the end of February, I had no idea it would grow as fast as it did. I also didn’t expect it to be as much fun as it has been.
We give the community what they want by asking them. I know, just a novel concept, huh? We listen to what they ask for and do our best to offer it. We have contests where we have given out gift cards to Starbucks, local restaurants, grocery & gas cards. You know how we decide on the prizes we award?
It’s really pretty simple, but often times overlooked.
What Does This All Mean?
We are building up our “social currency” with the community. Think of it like a bank, in order to take (out money), you deposit (give) money. Social is about giving first and I always say…
Give, give, give and you’ll get, get, get
We are social with our community and make it fun for them. We entertain them (I get quite entertained by them as well). We receive a lot of email from people thanking us for doing what we are doing, although I complained about that in this post.
They Trust Us
People go to Google to search for local businesses, right? Well, two weeks ago I noticed something. It seems to have set off of a trend that I am noticing and it goes along with what I have been saying for awhile, community building is powerful.
We received a message from a lady that was looking for a bridal store…
We then posted the question to the community;
We had 6 recommendations for a bridal store within 8 hours. Pretty powerful stuff.
We then asked the community for a pest control recommendation as I was looking for one. Here is the feedback we received;
I received 19 total recommendations the day we posted to the community.
A lady messaged us looking for an attorney. Obviously, I had to block out a lot of the information, but she came to us before she went to Google.
Another lady messaged us the other day looking for a window cleaning company. She got a recommendation from the community and called them up.
All this has happened in the last two weeks. The people of Las Vegas are coming to us, Sin City Local, to see the recommendations of the community. We also receive emails from people that want us to ask the community for recommendations for local products/services. They could use Google and get an instant result, but choose to ask the community, and wait to get a recommendation from someone they trust.