When asked, multi-location businesses often cite communication between local owners and corporate as one of their most significant pain points as found in a recent study conducted by Forrester. As a multi-location marketer, getting all local owners on the same page can be challenging when it comes to understanding the importance of a robust localized marketing strategy. Throughout this blog, we’ll explain how you can sell the value of both ratings and reviews and social media to your local owners – two critical components to a localized marketing strategy. As multi-location marketers, you are likely already aware of the value of localized marketing, so it’s all about how you communicate its importance to local owners. 

 

Reviews Strongly Influence Purchase Decisions 

 

One of the most powerful ways you can communicate the necessity of reviews is through data. Research from our recent 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that reviews are the number one determining factor consumers look at when making a purchasing decision. If your local owners aren’t already striving to achieve success through reviews, it’s time to start. 

 

Some local owners may be hesitant to collect reviews because they are afraid of negative reviews, so it’s essential to show them that the lack of reviews can hurt your business more than negative reviews. Data from our Q2 2020 State of the Market Report saw an increase in reviews on all three of the top platforms for reviews, including Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Yelp. If your business locations are not collecting reviews, you are falling behind.

 

GMB is a great place to start for ratings and reviews. Consumers are posting 4x the reviews on GMB vs. Facebook. It’s clear that consumers are willing to post reviews, but your business locations need to understand how to collect them effectively. For more information on gaining reviews without asking for them outright, read our blog on the topic. 

 

Ratings and Reviews Can Affect Your Business Traffic 

 

To drive home the importance of ratings and reviews, you can also highlight the fact that a comprehensive rating and review strategy positively impacts your business traffic. For instance, 52 percent of consumers ages 18-54 “always” read reviews when searching for local businesses, and only 53 percent will consider companies with fewer than four stars. If your multi-location business doesn’t have reviews or a solid star-rating at the local level, you are limiting the opportunities for your business to grow. 

 

If your local owners realize that ratings and reviews are an essential aspect of a winning localized marketing strategy, but want guidance when managing them, consider these statistics. In our previously mentioned Q2 2020 State of the Market Report, data found that the average review response time for multi-location businesses across platforms was 3.6 days. The average review response rate was 49 percent. Also, the average star-rating for the top rating and review networks was 4.16 stars. These are good indicators for your business to see if it’s on par with other multi-location businesses when it comes to ratings and reviews. 

 

While your local owners may understand the importance of ratings and reviews, we know that managing them can seem intimidating. That’s where SOCi comes in! Through SOCi’s reviews solution, local business owners and enterprise teams can monitor every rating and review their business receives all in one platform. The software also allows companies to respond to the reviews at the local level and provides an opportunity for corporate oversight. 

 

Local Social Pages Perform Better Than Corporate Pages 

 

When it comes to emphasizing the importance of social media to local business owners, the numbers speak for themselves. Seventy-six percent of U.S. consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post. Many multi-location businesses aren’t utilizing social media to its fullest potential, therefore missing out on sales opportunities. If your local owners realize that social media is a critical aspect of localized marketing, but are intimated in social media execution, this blog can help. There are many factors to consider when developing a social media strategy for multi-location businesses. Still, as long as both corporate and local owners are on the same page, it will keep things running smoothly. 

 

Social Media Is the Most Cost Efficient Way to Engage Your Audience 

 

Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with your target audiences at no cost and increase your brand visibility. 

 

When it comes to local social, what are the active channels for your multi-location business? Data from our Q2 2020 State of the Market Report found that individual brand locations are engaging 2x more often on Facebook when compared to Google My Business (GMB). We saw a double-digit increase in social posts in March when COVID-19 ramped up across the nation. This data confirms that many multi-location businesses have shifted their efforts to focus on organic content. 

 

If you’re looking for an easy way for your multi-location business to navigate social media at both the local and corporate levels, SOCi is here to help! SOCi’s social solution simplifies collaboration between corporate and local businesses. Through the product, 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.  

 

Now that you’re equipped to sell the value of reviews and social to your multi-location business’s local owners, it’s time to get started. As mentioned above, SOCi is here to help you streamline your localized marketing efforts between both corporate and local owners. For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business succeed, request a demo today!

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