Sources for Localism Posts. You DO Want the Consumer to Find YOU, Right??
You know the consumer wants the info. Yes, locally themed posts might not be as much "fun" to write. You might get a few more comments than a listing or Open House post, but if social reasons are your reason for blogging, you're probably going to be disappointed by the comment results of your local posts.
But here's the thing, as more and more consumers go straight to the Web to find out what they want to know....are YOU getting in front of them? And the side perk with a focus on locally flavored posts is YOU also get to know more about your community. Before we started blogging we knew quite a bit about our area, but blogging has encouraged us to reach out further, add involvement in avenues that we ignored before!
So you want to know how we find out what to blog about? (hi Brenda!)
It's mostly a matter of tuning in to:
- Your newspapers! Yes, those "old" things that are hopelessly out of date....supposedly. Here's the reality: they STILL provide a local focus that doesn't always make it to the Web. And guess what, MOST of your readers DON'T read the papers, so anything you find is NEWS to them! We're not saying copy the newspaper, but find the pertinent info and make it the core of your post.
- Facebook! Find the local groups in your area that post events! Your city government pages, your county government, the neighborhoods, etc. They're giving you great info that you can blog about AND share on your Wall too! We follow dozens of local organizations! The Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Art Museum, Kings Island, waterparks, governments, etc.! They're FANTASTIC sources!
- Twitter! Yes, TWITTER! Our post last night about FREE KINGS ISLAND TICKETS from Hoxworth Blood Centers originated from a Hoxworth Tweet! We followed the link and worked the story from there. Do the same as Facebook and find the accounts to follow.
- Your local tourist/convention bureau! They'll love the assist in spreading the word!
- Local Schools! Don't you think they'd LOVE to have you spread the word on school plays, fundraisers, etc? And what makes parents happy? Good press about their kids!
- Magazines! If you're lucky, you've got a magazine with a local focus! We use Cincinnati Magazine for more ideas!
- Guidebooks for the area are great for attractions and events too!
- Community organizations! Whether a downtown group or a community HOA, big time brownie points for helping them spread the word...and WHO is the neighborhood expert now?
You get the idea, the ideas ARE out there! So get those relationships established! Check your sources! Dig a little deeper! Get some pertinent pictures, find a Youtube video from a past event, spiff your post and hit Submit! Slowly but surely, you'll know the area MORE than your competition! You'll get some crazy calls too, "can I bring pets to the Kitefest?", but you'll also get some consumer calls that are business!
So keep blogging local (and hyperlocal)!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz