Reaching a Local Audience Digitally

Reaching a Local Audience Digitally

The digital age has helped businesses reach customers in so many new ways, and opened up numerous new avenues through which to communicate with the public.  With these incredible opportunities there have, of course, come some new challenges as well. 

Businesses now have unprecedented access to millions more people than ever before.  However, they need to filter through these people to be able to effectively reach their target demographic.  This has presented a particular challenge to small, local businesses, who rely almost exclusively on customers within their geographic area. How can a brand best target people near them when the internet seemingly transcends location?

Here are some tools and tricks that have emerged to help with this particular issue.    

Local Hashtags 

On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, people widely use hashtags to tag their content.  Some of these can be geographically specific.  Search for hashtags that include the city, state, or region you are looking to target.  Searches like #midwestblogger, #stlproud, and #nashvillefood often yield promising results. 


Another helpful feature users can add to their Facebook and Instagram posts is a geotag.  This will show others the location where the photo was taken.  It can be as broad as the name of the state they are in or as specific as the name of the exact salon they are getting their hair done at.  Searching through various locations near you to see who was there recently is a great way to find potential customers in your area. 

Use competitors and customers

Local competitors and existing customers also likely have friends or followers that you would want to connect with.  Many of the people your competitors and customers are connecting with are likely local to the area, and may share common interests that make them a prime candidate to shop your brand as well.

Location filters 

There are also tools and websites that pair with various social media platforms and allow you to filter results you are seeing by location.  These tools allow you to choose a radius in which you will see results from, and help narrow down the pool you need to comb through to reach potential customers. 

Bios and About Me pages

Users on every social platform can also reveal their location in their biography or About Me section.  These can be harder to search for in large batches, as there are not as many accessible tools available to comb through these and filter them for you.  But before connecting with a potential consumer, this can be a good final step to check that they are located within your area. 

Targeted Ads

You can target your paid advertisements on social media based on many factors, and one of them is location.  You can choose to only run your ad to those currently in a specified area. This will help you save money on advertisements to people who could not become customers while reaching much of your intended audience.  

Website Search Keywords 

Last but not least, you can work on your SEO ranking for local search words.  Craft your website so that the name of your city or town plus the product or service you are offering ranks high in search engines (ie. Memphis Chinese food or New York photographer).  You want to find ways to pop up when people near you are searching for the product or service you offer, even if they are not specifically searching for your brand. 

So while it may seem challenging when you are first trying to craft your digital presence, finding your local audience can actually be quite simple with the right tools and methods. 

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