Facebook has taken the world by storm and has become a great way for friends and family to stay connected. Many people would assume that Facebook’s broad scope would mean that small to medium-sized businesses would get lost in the shuffle amongst global brands. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Just as you and your loved ones have built online communities based on personal interaction, you too can build a community of users based on the people your local business is already servicing.

Encourage people that you already reach on a regular basis to interact with you on Facebook. In the past you may have used your local newspaper to put out a coupon or customer incentive. Now you can do so with your business Page to encourage “Likes.” You can really increase your brand’s local awareness by taking advantage of the relationships you’ve already established and let your trusted customers become brand ambassadors online. Your community’s interactions and reviews on your Page will then be shared with the people in their community – many of whom are people you’ve yet to reach who are closer to you than you think!

Local Awareness Ads can also be a great way for you to target potential clients as part of your social media strategy. For starters, it gives the business owner the opportunity to set specific targets based on age, gender and proximity to their business. You’re speaking directly to the people you know will connect with your message and make up your consumer base.

On the other hand, you also become a knowledge expert for people in your area looking for something to do. People use Facebook for more that just connecting with friends. The Facebook News Feed provides information people are looking for before they even know it exists. Your Awareness ads will reach people as the ad becomes a part of their own personal news feed – providing them with the latest in local entertainment and news, separate from the personal updates they consume from their friends.

Facebook can be an enormous part of your local Social Media Marketing strategy. While there may be 1.55 Billion Facebook users, among them are the EXACT people you need to target to grow your business. Just as your business can exist in the global marketplace successfully, incorporating Facebook in your Social Media Marketing plan can help you thrive in the online marketplace as well. If that plan is executed correctly with the help of a trusted professional, you’ll be able to use a globally accepted marketing tool to stand out in the place you want to be seen most – in your community.