Think global, act local

Web. Social media. New technology. It allows us to work anywhere in the world and with any business in any country.
But that doesn’t mean we should neglect our own locality. Canary Dwarf has a customer base that is 95% local, so it’s only right that we try and help our own community when it is in need.
Forres traders are facing an uncertain future after the government announced it was closing the local RAF base, which provides an economic value to the town in the tens of millions.
And now, as social media is an accepted tool for business, 4TM are often asked what is the next big thing, and QR codes is just one of the emerging technologies on the horizon.
We have a specialist division which provides support for QR code campaigns in Scotland, and 4TM asked us to give a presentation on how they could be used to boost business locally.
There’s something very homely about using these global services at a hyperlocal level. Services that are used to valuable effect by the globe’s largest brands. But they’re not just for big business. They’re relevant to our local businesses, however small.
We talked about creating a Foursquare footprint right across the town, to build Facebook profiles for every business and get people using social media to recommend local businesses to their friends and followers, and to use QR codes to link businesses up to the impending dominance of the mobile web.

Rene Looper from 4TM Social Media, tells local businesses about the power of Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor

But our presentation in Forres was more than a meeting about social media and QR codes. It was about the real people behind businesses in Forres who see that, however successful they are, there are tough times ahead, and they won’t take them lying down.
Every generation goes through a tough time of one sort or another and claims casualties along the way, but the fact is, now we have a set of tools that we never had before, and while we wonder at the way we can chat to people on the other side of the planet, we’re not doing business with our neighbours or encouraging locals to do business locally. One businesswoman told me that a local person had said they never realised her business existed for 15 years!
Social media is great tool for connecting businesses, but they can do a lot for themselves by keeping trade in their area – your neighbours customers can be yours too. All they need to do is ‘connect’ or ‘engage’ – fashionable terms, but with a basic meaning.
Social media and the never-ending wave of new tools coming our way can help them do that. We must not ignore them.