Is Social Media Hyperlocal Or Mere Hype?

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hyperlocal

You’ve known that social media was important. You’ve been told countless times. And indeed it is. But this is the first time I think I’ve seen anyone call it hyperlocal.

(Source) The firm also says that even though the web is world-wide, its emerging power is hyperlocal. This is because this is the space where online and offline most often meet. That is a key reason why businesses, particularly local businesses should not ignore social media.

What does hyperlocal actually mean?

Hyperlocal is a phrase that has been around for awhile, but it is usually used in a context referencing other media, rarely social media. I have seen it used in reference to blogs where the hyperlocal blog is described as a blog whose mission and purpose is to serve a specific niche in a local environment or a very small geographic area. But how can social media in the broader sense be hyperlocal?

I think the idea here is that local businesses seeking to connect to customers and potential customers can do so on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but rather than seeking out connections on a global level, you can seek out relationships on a purely local level. Facebook, with its local networks, makes this easy. Twitter is flexible enough that hyperlocal businesses can make good use of it as well. Other social media can be used in a hyperlocal context as needed.

Just because the term hyperlocal is being used in reference to social media doesn’t mean it’s being used that way – yet. I do see some local businesses making use of Twitter, but there’s still lots of room to grow. Facebook is probably leading the pack. YouTube is growing a strong hyperlocal user base as well.

When it comes to social media, if you’re a local business in a specific geographic area, you don’t have to count yourself out of the social media game. In fact, you can use social media in your favor.  Just be sure that you don’t get wrapped up in the global hype and focus on your goal… to engage your customers and get new ones to try you out.

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