Local platforms are better for local discovery
If you’re trying to gain exposure for your business or organisation in a local market, one of the best ways to do that is on local platforms, and here are a few reasons why.
Specific vs. General
Global platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. are completely general in their approach to discovery. Their algorithms, can be very effective when working with generic search terms, but they completely fail when dealing with the idiosyncrasies of local communities. If you’re searching for things related to Boscombe, their algorithms will not pull up results tagged with Southbourne and Bournemouth once everything they have on Boscombe has been displayed.
A local platform that is aware of the unique local idiosyncrasies can provide much smarter discovery results.
Recognising search mentality
When people use global platforms to search for and discover businesses and organisations, they do so with a global mentality, even if their target is local.
Imagine a situation where a person who is looking for businesses in the BCP comes across yours. Being a global platform, you might have listed your business as being in Dorset instead of the BCP, because it’s bigger, and perhaps more recognisable.
It’s perfectly plausible and for a lot of situations it makes sense. However, for the person who’s just found you, they now have to add an extra step to their decision-making process to determine whether your listing as Dorset means inside or outside of the BCP.
No matter how great global platforms are, they do not provide ways of altering your business’ profile information based on different search criteria.
Local platforms excel in this area because people subconsciously redefine their search mentality to local only. They know that whatever results they find will be from the target area they are looking for.
There’s only so much screen real estate
Whether we’re talking about global or local platforms, there is only so much screen real estate available to display search results. On a global platform you’re competing with the whole world for that real estate.
If a person searches for ‘Wellbeing’ they could get results from anywhere in the world. This vastly reduces the likelihood of your business being displayed, even though they’re probably looking specifically for your business.
On local platforms you’re much more likely to appear early on in search results because there’s only so much competition. It gives your customers a better chance of finding you.
By working with local platforms, and supporting their efforts, you’re having a positive effect on your local community. If your target market is your local community then getting your business or organisation onto local platforms should always be your first step.
This is not to say that global platforms are a waste of time, because they aren’t. They have great value and can certainly increase potential leads for you, but they will never be as effective as a local platform in this regard.