Local Social: Improve Customer Experience (CX), Win More Sales, Repeat
This post was originally posted in MarTech Cube.
As marketers, one of our primary goals is to keep the customer happy. There’s a lot to juggle, from providing them with a positive digital experience to producing quality products and content. With 76 percent of U.S. customers purchasing a product they’ve seen in a social media post, providing a good customer experience on local social media is a must. Similarly, three out of four consumers say they’ve discovered a new local offering based on recommendations and posts on social media.
What is your multi-location business’s current local social strategy? Is there anything that can be improved? We’ll go through tips for leveling up your local social strategy to make customers happy and ultimately win more sales within this blog. For this blog, we’ll be focusing on Facebook, but your multi-location business can use many of these tactics on other social platforms as well.
1. Ensure Local Teams Understand the Importance of Local Social
A successful local social strategy would be very challenging without local teams on board. Local teams must understand the importance of local social and assume some responsibility for strategy and implementation. While some local social platforms will allow corporate to schedule and approve social content at the local level, local teams will still need to be on board to provide insight into which content will resonate well with local audiences. We’ll get more into this topic later in the blog, but how you speak to your target audience in one business location may differ from how you speak to another audience across the country.
If you’re having trouble getting local teams on board with local social, consider sharing the following data:
- Localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized. As mentioned above, even if corporate were to manage most local social efforts, input would be needed from local teams.
- Similarly, 72 percent of user engagement and 66 percent of brand-related impressions happen on local Facebook rather than corporate pages.
Social media users prefer a localized experience on social media. Once your local teams understand this and that a solid local social strategy can bring in more customers, they should be on board.
2. Post Locally and Interact With Your Audience
Once you have your local teams willing to put in the effort for local social, you can start thinking more about strategy. As mentioned, local content outperforms other types of content. If your multi-location business doesn’t already have its local social pages claimed and active, that’s a great first place to start. After claiming your social media profiles, you can begin thinking about a content plan.
Your messaging must align with your local consumer base. When planning content at the local level, you can share various types of content, including:
- Special promotions or discounts that are happening at your location
- Positive customer reviews from local consumers
- Pictures of live or virtual events happening at your local store. If you hosted a Zoom wine tasting event, share those images on your local social media accounts.
- Current events that are happening in your local area. Is there a snowstorm headed your way? Did your city’s sports team win a big game? These are things you can incorporate into your local content.
- Ways your local business is giving back to the community. If your local business has an annual food drive for your local community or collects coats for kids during winter, highlight these events on your local social channels.
While local content is a great way to improve the customer experience on social, your multi-location business can take it a step further by interacting with your audience. For instance, if a customer or potential customer leaves a comment on your social post asking a question about a product or sharing positive feedback about your services, your business needs to respond at the local level. The more interaction your company has with local audiences, the more likely you’ll convert those interactions into sales. Similarly, the more high-value engagement (comments and shares) your business receives on local content, the more eyes you’ll get on your content through organic reach.
3. Leverage Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops is a free tool that empowers business page admins to create a virtual storefront that lives on your business’s local Facebook and Instagram pages. With Facebook Shops, customers and potential customers can view your products, share them with others, and even make purchases – all directly from the app, making it a seamless buying process. Customers also can message businesses straight through Facebook Shops’ Messenger integration to ask questions, track deliveries, and learn more about products.
With approximately 2.89 billion monthly users on Facebook worldwide, providing your target audience with the option to buy directly from Facebook Shops only makes sense. Consumers crave convenience, and Facebook Shops offers it. If your multi-location business hasn’t already leveraged Facebook Shops, our recent blog on the topic provides more detail into what it takes to create and optimize your shops.
4. Don’t Forget About The Power of Messenger
As mentioned in the last section, your Facebook Shops can be connected with Messenger to provide information about your products, sales, and services. However, there are additional benefits to using Messenger. Messenger offers consumers an added layer of convenience. Rather than calling your business or sending an email, consumers can communicate with your business directly through Messenger. If your multi-location business does leverage Messenger, it’s essential to stay on top of messages and not let any messages slip through the cracks.
Your multi-location business must decide whether corporate or local teams are responsible for managing messages received through Messenger. Chatbot solutions can also be integrated with Messenger and respond to messages received in real-time. For example, SOCi SmartBot™ is the first of its kind. This Facebook, Google, and SMS Messaging chatbot delivers localized, proactive responses to commonly asked questions and can drive call-to-actions, including calls, website clicks, appointment setting, purchases, and more! With SOCi Smartbot™, your company can take full advantage of Messenger and improve the customer experience by providing consumers with the information they need without any wait. Get more details on SOCi Smartbot™ and how your business can use it with Messenger here.
5. Pay Attention to the Data and Make Improvements
One of the best things about Facebook and other social platforms is their ability to track performance on paid and organic efforts. As a multi-location marketer, it’s your job to understand what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to local social efforts and make adjustments accordingly. Making changes based on customer feedback is vital to improving your customer experience. So how exactly do you track performance?
Many of the most common local social platforms have a business manager that allows you to track many of the standard metrics you want to improve. However, depending on your goals, you should consider additional tracking measures.
- If increased clicks on your social posts is your goal, you can add UTM codes to your links.
- If increased reach and engagement is your goal, establishing baseline benchmarks in each platform is critical. Create monthly or quarterly reporting on your goal to see if you’re attaining it.
- If only impressions matter, establish a baseline number of people who view your posts and report monthly or quarterly progress.
Monitoring these metrics and reporting on them can give you an idea of what works well and where you still have room to improve. You can also leverage social listening to understand the conversation around both your business and industry. People now have more conversations online than speaking face to face, but not all discussions are directed at your brand. Social listening at the local level allows your multi-location business to pay attention to the conversations around your products, your brand, and your competitors. This information will help inform your localized marketing strategy and provide you with insight you may not have gained otherwise.
While providing you with more metrics and a glimpse into your consumers’ minds, social listening can eventually help lead generation. For instance, through social listening, your multi-location business can:
- Proactively monitor and take action on local sales opportunities
- Respond to feedback and questions on specific products or services
- See what potential leads are saying about your brand vs. competitors
- Discover, save, and reshare authentic UGC from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
The more information your multi-location business can gain from conversations happening online and performance metrics, the better.
Get Started Rebuilding Your Local Social Efforts
If customers have an enjoyable experience with your business on local social, they will be more likely to remember you when it comes time to make a purchase. Whether your business is already crushing its local social strategy or just getting started, there’s always room for improvement, and SOCi’s here to help every step of the way. For instance, managing social across 100s or 1,000s of business locations may seem challenging, but SOCi’s social media management solution is here to help. SOCi’s tool enables multi-location businesses to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the enterprise and local levels. With SOCi’s social media management solution, your multi-location business will be able to amplify audience engagement and provide a great customer experience.
Similarly, if your business needs to focus on social listening and make optimizations based on conversations around your brand, SOCi Listening can get the job done. SOCi Listening is the elite listening product that gives you VIP access to every critical conversation happening around your business. With SOCi Listening, your multi-location business can:
- Centralize corporate and local discussions happening on social and the web
- Mitigate potential crises before they occur with smart alerts
- Gain a holistic view of your business and use data to inform business decisions at the national and local level
Both SOCi Listening and SOCi’s social media management solution can provide your business with the support it needs to create a winning local social strategy. For more insight into how SOCi can help your business dominate local social and other areas of its localized marketing strategy, request a demo today!