As a multi-location business, have you ever stopped to see what other companies in your industry are doing? Tracking your competitors can give your business insight into what you’re up against when it comes to localized marketing and beyond. If your business has a good idea of what competitors are doing, you will better understand how you can make your business stand out.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover ways your multi-location business should be tracking competitors, and how you can utilize this information to better position your business.
1. Tracking Review Performance
One of the first things your business can do when comparing your business to competitors is to look at the differences in your ratings and reviews. How many reviews does your business have compared to competitors? Do competitors have a higher star-rating than your business or are you currently leading the pack? Data from our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that reviews are the number one factor influencing a consumer’s purchasing decisions, so it’s clear that ratings and reviews hold a lot of value.
When it comes to reviews, you may be asking yourself what is the standard when it comes to ratings and reviews for multi-location businesses? Our Q2 2020 State of the Market Report found that, on average, multi-location businesses received a 4.16 star rating across Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business (GMB). Additional data found that multi-location businesses received an average of 94 percent of reviews that were four stars or above, and the businesses responded to an average of 49 percent of those reviews. Does your multi-location business fall above or below these averages?
While looking at overall averages is essential, you must also keep in mind that the norms may vary depending on your industry. This is why it’s necessary to keep track of your competitors. If the majority of your industry competitors have a 4.5 star rating or higher, your business should strive to attain this rating. Having an idea of where your business stands against the competition when it comes to ratings and reviews will hold you accountable in the long run – considering ratings and reviews have become not only a top-ranking factor, but the #1 factor in determining which company a consumer chooses for business.
If your business is struggling to manage your ratings and reviews across all of your business locations, SOCi can help! SOCi pulls every review for all your business locations into one centralized platform — accessible by both corporate and local teams. Give local marketing teams the power to respond to reviews, and your corporate team the ability to maintain oversight through SOCi’s platform.
2. Comparing Website Content
Once your multi-location business has a better grasp of where you stand when it comes to ratings and reviews, you can then start looking at your competitors’ website content. If you have a strong understanding of how the competition is positioning themselves in your industry, you can begin to figure out how to differentiate yourself. For instance, if you’re an Italian restaurant and most other Italian restaurants in the area are claiming to have the best pizza in town, you can highlight different areas of your restaurant, rather than trying to compete with the best pizza. Does your business have a special happy hour or Italian atmosphere that you can promote instead? Small differences like this will help your business stand out against the competition rather than compete against each other. Defining your key differentiators gives a reason to the customers to choose your business over others.
It’s also important to look at other aspects of your competitors’ websites. Is their contact information easily accessible? Do they have a chatbot on their website that answers consumers’ questions quickly? Do they have local pages with up-to-date business information for each of their locations? Once you know what you’re up against, you can again optimize your website to be the best engagement tool it can be.
3. Monitoring Social Media
Similarly to comparing website content, you can also monitor your competitors’ social media channels. You should be aware of how often your competitors are posting on social media, what type of content they’re posting, and how much engagement they are receiving. If you have competitors that have a highly engaged, loyal audience on social media, you may want to look at ways to leverage your own business’s digital efforts. This can be done by tracking your engagement on social media, and also by looking at your audience size. Are you gaining more followers when you post? Is any of your content getting shared? On the other hand, if your competition is not as active on social media, this allows your multi-location business to be the industry leader on social media and target a broader audience.
It’s also critical to ensure that your business is not using designs or messaging on your social media that is similar to the competition. You want to make sure that your business is standing out as much as possible, and having unique messaging and graphics that ultimately reflect your enterprise brand will help you do so.
We know that just like managing ratings and reviews across 100s or 1000s of locations can be difficult, the same can be said for social media. That’s where SOCi comes in! SOCi’s Social tool simplifies social media collaboration between corporate and local teams. With SOCi’s Social tool, regional and local teams can access shared content libraries, which gives each side the ability to create, schedule, and approve social posts. This significantly reduces both the time and effort that your multi-location business is putting into social media, giving your marketing team more time to focus on other areas of your localized marketing strategy.
How to Position Your Business Against Competitors
Once you do a full audit of how your business performs against competitors, you can then brainstorm how to reposition your business. If your multi-location business is already crushing the competition, good for you! If not, there’s still time to make improvements. For more information on how your business can strengthen its localized marketing strategy and beat the competition, request a demo. Not only can SOCi help your multi-location business manage its social media and ratings and reviews, but SOCi can also help you manage your local listings, ad strategy, local pages, and more! What are you waiting for? Start rebuilding your localized marketing strategy today!