A strong and positive reputation is something that every multi-location business strives for, but achieving this can be tricky. Whether your multi-location brand is relatively new or has been around for decades, you should always be working to improve your brand’s reputation. If you already have an excellent reputation, good for you! It takes a lot of work to achieve that status, and even more, to stay there. If your multi-location business’s reputation isn’t where you want it to be, no worries! There are easy steps to follow to begin transforming your brand’s reputation.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover five different tactics you can implement today to transform and maintain a good reputation for your multi-location business.
1. Proactively Communicate With Consumers
One of the easiest ways your multi-location business can begin transforming your reputation is by proactively communicating with your consumers and target audience, so proper expectations can be set. When it comes to brand reputation, communication is critical – especially at the local level. If your business is going through any changes, whether they are caused by the pandemic or are just changes in general, it’s important to communicate those changes with your customers, so their experiences are not negatively impacted.
For instance, consumers should know ahead of time if your business hours have changed, or if you have limited capacity in your store. If they are planning to dine in at your restaurant, and you are only offering dine-out or take-out services, it may hurt your reputation if the consumer wasn’t aware of these changes ahead of time. If a consumer feels as though you took the time to provide them with the right information ahead of time, they will be more likely to trust your brand.
When it comes to communicating with consumers, localized content is essential. Our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized. Consumers are craving that local connection and social content is a key tool within this tactic. If you’re more transparent with your content and ultimately setting the proper expectations, which helps to improve your reputation, localized content is a must.
2. Keep Your Local Business Listings Up to Date
Another great way to transform your brand’s reputation is by keeping your local listings up to date. While this may seem simple, updated local listings across hundreds or thousands of locations is challenging. However, updated local business listings can make a big difference when it comes to reputation. If your multi-location business doesn’t already have local listings claimed for each of your business’s locations, that’s the first step.
After you have your local listings, it’s critical to keep all of the information updated. As mentioned when communicating with your consumers, hours of operation, contact information, and services offered are just some of the items you can update through your local listings. Updated local listings can save consumer confusion, which will improve your reputation. If you take the time to update your listings, consumers will be more likely to have a positive experience at your business and recommend it to others through word of mouth or reviews.
3. Monitor and Respond to Local Reviews
Data from our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that reviews are the number one factor consumers consider when making a purchase decision. If your multi-location business doesn’t have a strong ratings and reviews strategy, it will obviously negatively impact your business’s online reputation.
When building out a ratings and reviews strategy, it’s essential to consider localization. Each business location should be monitoring and responding to reviews at the local level. If your multi-location business isn’t monitoring or responding to reviews, you’re missing out on huge engagement potential. Negative reviews can impact your business’s reputation, but did you know that 87 percent of consumers have a willingness to change a negative review depending on how the company responds? If your business takes the time to respond to negative reviews and makes the consumer feel like they’re heard, you are increasing your chances that they will change their negative review.
While responding to negative reviews is a must, it’s recommended to respond to all reviews. Our previously mentioned Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that in Q2, businesses responded to less than 50 percent of the reviews they received. The more reviews your business can respond to at the local level, the better!
4. Analyze Individual Business Location Performance
Once you’ve completed all of the tactics above to improve your brand’s reputation, you can start analyzing each business location’s performance. Analyzing the performance of individual business locations allows you to make optimizations based on performance. For instance, is there a specific business location that is bringing down your business’s overall reputation? What is causing this? Are there keyword commonalities mentioned in either negative or positive reviews that help you gain insight? Is this an on-site issue at a particular location? Or is this something that should be changed across the entire brand? If you gain a better understanding of where the dip in reputation is coming from, you can work to solve it.
On the other hand, if you find an individual business location that is killing it when it comes to reputation, look at what that business location is doing to maintain a strong reputation, and encourage other business locations to do the same.
5. Consolidate Your Localized Marketing Efforts
While, in theory, it is ideal for your brand to kill all of the previous tactics, we realize that it can be impossible to do with across 100s or 1,000s of business locations while using various marketing platforms. Consolidating your localized marketing efforts is the last thing your multi-location business should do to begin transforming your brand’s reputation. By consolidating your marketing efforts into a centralized platform, you’ll have better oversight and gain a better understanding of your brand’s reputation at the national, regional, and local levels,, while simultaneously reducing inefficiencies created by having multiple marketing solutions, which gives your marketing team more time to focus on your localized marketing strategy. All of which further improves your online reputation.
If your multi-location business needs a platform to help you accomplish all of the tactics we reviewed in this blog, SOCi can help. SOCi is the central command for multi-location marketers and is an all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. From social to local listings, to ratings and reviews, SOCi has you covered. For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business create a winning localized marketing strategy that will transform your brand’s reputation, request a demo today!