Want to promote your local businesses? Use a social list-making site to collect the websites and social profiles of businesses in your area.
I first heard this idea from Dave Shideler, back when delicio.us was the social bookmarking tool of choice. Today’s social list-making tools offer some key advantages.
Why use social list-making tools?
1. As you build a list of local businesses, you’re building a resource that you and others can re-use.
A social-list tool is always synced up. You don’t have to update the list in more than one place. You don’t have to rely on the chamber, the city, and the newspaper to update their website with the new updated list of local businesses. And by sharing it all over, you reach more potential customers for your businesses.
2. Create more local shopping.
Most people don’t realize how many local businesses they really have. Your list can help them find stores and businesses they didn’t know existed.
3. Get more people involved.
Social list-making tools offer a way to let the public contribute. I know your town is small, but you probably don’t know every single thing that every business carries. With social tools, other people can pitch in and add other businesses they know about.
What social list-making tools can you use?
List.ly is a tool specifically for creating lists. It’s fun, makes pretty lists, and gets people involved. Once you’ve created a list, people can vote items up or down the list. Great for making sure your best businesses rise to the top. You can allow other sites (like the chamber, the newspaper, etc.) to embed that list into their own websites.
Pinterest lets you “pin” or save visual bookmarks of anything on the web. You can create a group board to let lots of other people contribute. Then you can embed a board onto other community websites.
Be sure to type a description of each business, tag them with the general type of business, include brands they carry, and as much information as you know about them. That makes them easier to find in searches.
What ways can you think of using social list-making for sharing the links to local businesses?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.