Organic growth is cost-efficient, but it can’t compare with the mass reach and engagement power of targeted ads and social boosting – the two most common paid social strategies. 

A boosted or promoted post helps get your content in front of more than just the people who follow your page and is the simplest way to advertise on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Paid social ads are targeted pieces of content that can appear in the desktop or mobile News Feed. Compared to boosting posts, targeted ads provide more sophisticated features to reach a local audience on social. Franchise Update found that social advertising is the most cost-efficient way to engage your customers in conversation. 

There are many ways to use social advertising to reach your goals. You can execute campaigns to generate brand awareness, to capture leads, or to retarget potential customers. The ultimate goal is to increase sales for your local locations, and paid social ads can get you there. Is your multi-location business currently implementing a paid social media strategy? This blog will illustrate why it’s so important for your multi-location business to invest in paid social media at the local level, and highlight ways to improve your strategy! 

1. Maximize reach and engagement

Over the past few years, social platforms have made it increasingly difficult for marketers to generate effective reach and engagement through organic posting. Social platforms are prioritizing content from friends and family first, which makes it increasingly difficult for content from your multi-location business to reach your audience and receive engagement – especially on Facebook. This is where paid social media at the local level comes in. Paid social media can greatly impact your marketing efforts. 

Reach refers to the number of people that see a piece of content on a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Engagement measures how many clicks, views, comments, likes, form-fills, and shares your content gets. Engagement metrics are important if you’re trying to build a relationship with your customers, but not all engagements are created equally. High-value engagements are more powerful and beneficial and include actions like form-fills or shares, while a like or click would be considered low-value engagement. As marketers, we’re all striving for high-value engagements as social platforms prefer this type of engagement, and will be more likely to place high-value content on users’ social media feeds. Paid social media increases these important high-value metrics. 

Data conducted by Wordstream found that multi-location businesses that advertise on Facebook reach 90 percent more fans and receive 96 percent more page clicks than businesses that don’t. SOCi’s research shows that boosting a post can lead to a 2,000 percent increase in reach and a 500 percent increase in comments versus organic posts.

2. Target specific audiences

Another great perk of investing in paid social media is the opportunity to target specific audiences. When utilizing both boost and paid advertising on social platforms have many options for audience targeting. 

With Facebook advertising you can target your ad delivery with three audience selection tools: 

  • Custom audiences: Adjust and define your audience based on criteria like location, demographics, interest, behavior, and connections
  • Core audiences: Connect with people who have already shown interest in your business through contact lists and app users
  • Lookalike audiences: Reach people who are similar to your current customer and will likely connect with your ads. 

Because Facebook owns Instagram, a lot of the targeting options are similar. 

On Instagram, targeting options include the following: 

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Custom audiences
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Automated targeting

As far as targeting on Twitter goes, some of the categories are the same as Facebook and Instagram, while others vary. 

Twitter allows marketers to target by: 

  • Age or gender
  • Username
  • Interested 
  • Tailored audiences
  • TV engagement
  • Event attendance 
  • Conversation participation 

Social advertising is one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising because of its audience targeting capabilities. It is one of the only mediums that allows you to drill down your target audience so you only pay to reach people who fit your target demographic.

3. Test localized content

With paid social media, multi-location businesses have the opportunity to test localized content among target audiences to see what performs best in each market. Each business location has a different market, so testing localized content, creative, and audience targeting is key. This will help you ensure you’re maximizing your paid social investment.

Through boosted posts, marketers can easily put money behind organic posts to test which type of content performs best in different markets. The best performing boosted content can help inform future content strategies, and inspire content development for paid advertising campaigns.

Having a hard time thinking of what type of content to test? Videos typically outperform regular blog content, and content that requires audience engagement like a Q&A or poll – typically performs well too. While some content types could work well in certain locations within your multi-location business, it could fall flat for others. Trial and error is key until you find the type of content that resonates best among your local target audiences. 

While testing the type of content that performs best is a perk of paid social media, there’s also an opportunity to test visuals. Does your local audience react better to an image of a man sitting at a desk in a suit, or do they prefer an image that has a group of people dressed casually sitting on bean bags? These are things you can test through paid social media. Later, we’ll dive into insights that will explain how you can analyze which type of content is performing best.

4. Boost brand awareness

Multi-location businesses should constantly be looking to boost brand awareness, and paid social media can help. Like previously mentioned, boosting posts and social advertising increases both reach and engagement around your content, which ultimately drives brand awareness. 

If more people know and trust your multi-location brand, they will be more likely to do business with you. If a consumer is not ready to make a purchase when they see your ad or boosted post, your content can make an impression. So, when the time comes to make a purchase, they come to you because they remember your brand. 

5. Drive local business growth

Paid social media also drives business growth. Sixty-seven percent of consumers have made a purchase after seeing an advertisement on social media, and 76 percent of consumers have purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s social media post. However, that conversion is not always instantaneous as 65 percent of these people purchased the product at a later date. And 20 percent of them bought in-store, meaning social is sending foot traffic to local stores. 

No matter what your multi-location business is selling, paid social media can help you sell it. For instance, data from our 2019 Localized Social Marketing Report found that the top 10 localized social marketing leaders have sales that are growing 3 times their category peers.

 In addition to driving sales, paid social media can also help drive website traffic and generate new leads – which can impact your sales funnel.

6. Access mobile users more efficiently

According to data from PEW research, more than 80 percent of the time spent on social media is spent on a mobile device. Paid social media advertising campaigns allow you to optimize your content for mobile, reach consumers more efficiently, and connect with mobile users in the moment. 

If a target consumer is scrolling through a social platform with or without the intention to find information or buy an item, and your ad meets a need they have, it will help you win the sale. 

It’s important to keep in mind how quickly users are scrolling through their social platforms on mobile, so keep text to a minimum, and use creative that will grab their attention. 

7. Gain performance insights 

Investing in paid social media at the local level will allow your multi-location business to gain insights on ad performance. Although the insights vary by social platform, you will still be able to get an idea of the number of people viewing your ads, how many people engaged with your content, and the cost per click. 

Insights allow you to see how your audience is interacting with your content, which will then empower you to make changes to more effectively engage your target audience. For instance, if a video ad campaign has a low cost per click and high engagement rate, it may be an indication that videos work well among your target audience. You can also test different types of content in the same localized ad campaign through A/B testing. A/B testing allows marketers to change variables, such as ad creative, audience or placement, to determine which strategy performs best and improve future campaigns.   

Invest in your marketing efforts!

As marketers, we are always looking for ways to make our strategies more efficient. Paid social media at the local level can help you effectively reach and engage your local target audiences to drive local business growth. 

Without a doubt, paid social media is necessary for your multi-location business’s marketing strategy. If you already have an ads strategy, what can you do to improve? If you don’t already have an ad strategy, what are you waiting for? 

SOCi Ads PLUS can help! SOCi Ads PLUS lets you instantly create and deploy highly customized, targeted local ads, across 100s or 1,000s of business locations. You can deploy a single ad that will auto-populate with local text and images across all of your locations. SOCi Ads PLUS also provides flexibility in how you fund your social campaigns. In addition to SOCi Ads PLUS, SOCi Boost PLUS lets you boost unlimited, custom social posts for multiple pages in less than 30 seconds. With both of these tools, it’s time to get started building your paid local social media campaigns! 

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