Did you know that 55 percent of consumers regularly use social media to find information about local businesses such as the business’ address, phone number and hours of operation? This is the perfect opportunity for franchise brands to reach consumers through engaging, shareable, localized social content.
But, how do you manage this localized social marketing strategy effectively across a multi-location business? Franchise brands have three choices when it comes to social media management models; centralized, decentralized, and hybrid. In the centralized model, the corporate team controls the social presence for every franchise location. In the decentralized model, each franchise location is responsible for their social presence.
The hybrid model is the only way to create true localized social marketing that leverages both the individual franchises and the national brand. In this model, the franchisees and franchisor work collaboratively to create localized content that stays true to the look and feel of the corporate brand.
According to a research report created by SOCi and The Local Search Association (LSA), franchise brands that excel in localized social marketing experience revenue growth at 3x the rate of their peers. Below, experts from SOCi have provided five examples of effective localized social content for franchise brands.
1. Get in front of consumers early with Google Posts
Using Google Posts, franchisees can put sales and event information in front of customers early on in the consumer journey. Anyone searching for a business on Google will see the Google Posts on the search results page, in the business’ Google Knowledge Panel. Because the user doesn’t have to click away from the search engine results page to see Google Posts, the content is more visible than content on Facebook or the business’ website.
A Google Post can be an event that your business is hosting, a sales promotion or a new product offering. These posts are clickable, shareable, and free to use.
2. Leverage the power of local events and promotions
Not only do local events drive people to your business’ location, but they also drive social media engagement on your local pages while providing an opportunity for loyal customers to invite friends to your event. You can’t get more localized than an event that takes place in the local business, and the messaging is clearly targeted to local consumers who may be able to attend. By posting before the event, during and afterward with pictures of the attendees, brands can create an entire week’s worth of localized social content from one event or promotion.
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3. Reach a wider audience by partnering with a local organization
Partnering with local organizations such as charities, local sports teams, or community festivals can help you extend the reach of your business at the local level. Let’s say your business decides to donate 10 percent of a day’s sales to a local charity. As part of this effort, you can post about the philanthropic partnership and tag the organization you’re partnering with. This will introduce your business’ social page to a new audience of people; those who follow the philanthropic organization. The same is true if you give your customers discounts on festival tickets, or sponsor a local youth sports team. No matter what kind of organization your business partners with, tagging the other business on social can introduce your business to everyone who follows and engages with the partner organization’s page.
4. Highlight local team members whenever possible
Creating posts that feature local team members show the human side of your business by highlighting the people who interact with local consumers every day. Franchisees can share team accomplishments, positive reviews, and new hires who are making an impact.
Adding pictures of local employees does require a social media strategy that empowers local franchisees. As the corporate team — working at a national scale — you won’t be able to post localized content with location-specific employees. Through the hybrid model of social media management, however, the corporate team can support these localized posts by providing on-brand messaging, branded design templates and best practices for an effective social strategy.
5. Repurpose localized content for national campaigns
As much as localized content helps local franchisees, it can also benefit the national brand’s social media presence. While it’s difficult to create content at the national level that resonates with local consumers, it’s easy to repurpose localized content for corporate social media campaigns.
National campaigns can feature store-specific photos, positive reviews earned at the local level, and employees from individual franchise locations. Franchisees can assist in the corporate brand’s social efforts by providing these photos, which the corporate team can then use for far-reaching national campaigns.
Managing a localized social marketing strategy across 100s of franchise locations is no easy task, but tools like SOCi can help facilitate coordination between corporate teams and local franchisees. More franchise brands are turning to localized social marketing to find success, as shown in SOCi and the LSA’s collaborative research report; The 2019 Localized Social Marketing Benchmark.
Download the report today and see which brands are boosting revenue through localized social marketing