Modernize Your Local Social Strategy for 2021
Is your multi-location business using local social media to its fullest potential? With the new year upon us, it’s time to evaluate your multi-location business’s localized marketing efforts and determine how you can elevate them even more. With almost everyone – businesses and consumers, alike, using social media, it’s an excellent place to start. Throughout this blog, we’ll look at ways you can boost your local social strategy for 2021 and give it the power it needs to catapult your business’s growth.
Re-Evaluate Your Local Target Audience
Many multi-location businesses tend to do the same thing over and over when it comes to social media. It’s easy to get in the groove of things and not consider whether or not you’re reaching the right audiences, and effectively engaging them. Now is a great time for your multi-location business to evaluate who you want to be speaking to and determine if your efforts are practical. For instance, if you’re in the fitness industry, you want to reach people in your area whose goal is to improve their fitness in the new year. If you’re in the home improvement industry, you want to target local consumers who are doing projects on their homes during the pandemic. So, what are you doing to speak to and engage with these audiences?
It’s always important to consider your ideal local audiences and how you’re going to attract them. If your multi-location business is posting generic content to satisfy a broader audience, you’re missing out on huge engagement potential – after all, a recent report found that localized content leads to a 12X higher engagement compared to corporate, generic content. While casting a wider net can help you reach more people, the key is finding local consumers who are interested in your business’s products or services. When developing your content plan for 2021, consider who your ideal customer is and create localized content that will engage them. Get creative – don’t think of social as a strictly sales tool – it’s much more of a discovery engine. Creating thoughtful, useful content that relates to your industry that can engage local consumers at any stage in the buyer’s journey is the key to crushing your strategy. With so many options available at their fingertips, consumers want to know that your business is putting in the time and effort to engage them specifically, and developing a localized content plan keeps you top-of-mind with consumers.
Consider All Social Media Platforms
In your 2021 content plan, it’s not enough to just think about how you’re effectively engaging your local audience, you should also consider where they’re spending their digital time online. Data from our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Yelp were the three most utilized platforms. These local search and social platforms are critical if you want to communicate effectively with your local target audiences.
While Facebook, Yelp, and GMB are a must for your local social efforts, there are additional platforms you shouldn’t neglect. For instance, if you’re in the restaurant industry, local Opentable pages are a must. Similarly, if you’re in the property management world, an apartments.com account for each of your properties is necessary. It’s also important not to forget about other local social platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and even newer platforms like Tik Tok.
Once you’ve determined which platforms your multi-location business should be active on, it’s time to start thinking about what type of content you want to post.
Share Content At The Local Level
If you’ve read any of our previous content on local social efforts, you know that content at the local level is necessary for multi-location businesses. To do so, your multi-location business must have local social pages claimed for each of your business locations. While your multi-location business must know who your local target audience is and where they’re spending time online, the actual content you share is the most important component. Now more than ever, consumers are craving a local connection, and it’s your business’s job to provide them with one.
For instance, the way you would speak to a consumer in Indiana can vary drastically from how you’d talk to a consumer in California. 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 individual 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 you’re helping frontline workers during this time, or have an annual food drive for your local community, highlight these events on your local social channels.
While corporate can share some generic content, it’s essential to have a strong local social media presence, which can be done by implementing the tactics above.
Utilize Other Ways to Engage Your Target Audience
While posting content at the local level is essential, there are additional opportunities your multi-location business can leverage to engage with potential consumers through local social media. Below are a few tactics your multi-location business should consider.
Localized Digital Advertising
While local organic content is a great way to connect with your local communities, digital advertising empowers your multi-location business to increase visibility among these audiences. Through localized digital advertising, your multi-location business can set up campaigns that are super targeted and utilize localized imagery and text that will engage your target audience. Through digital advertising, your multi-location business can leverage various targeting options – including what age groups you want to target, what geographical areas you want to target, and groups with particular interests that are relevant to your industry.
Although many companies have faced budget restraints due to COVID-19, the return on investment you get through digital advertising could make the dollars worth it. If there’s a little extra room in your marketing budget, set up a small test, and determine if it’s worth the additional cost for your business.
Chatbots and messenger options can also help your multi-location business take its local social efforts to the next level. For instance, through chatbots or messenger, your multi-location business can answer questions that a potential customer may have in a matter of seconds. Chatbots also empower your multi-location business to collect information from potential leads through forms and questions that can then be passed along to your sales team.
Chatbots also take some of the strain off your local marketing teams. Rather than having to answer repetitive questions from consumers, the chatbot can do it for you. Your time is incredibly valuable, let chatbots answer the easy questions so you can focus on what matters – growing your business. If your multi-location business is looking for a chatbot solution explicitly built for multi-location marketers, look no further than SOCi. SOCi SmartBot™ is always on and never misses a question or lead. The first of its kind, this Messenger and Google Business Messages chatbot delivers localized, proactive responses to commonly asked questions. It can drive call-to-actions, including calls, website clicks, appointment setting, purchases, and more! In order to elevate your multi-location business’s local social media efforts, chatbots are a must.
Facebook Discussion Groups and More
Finally, your multi-location business can connect with your target audience through Facebook Discussion Groups, comments on threads about your business, and more. If your multi-location business wants to stand out in 2021, you need to be seen as a leader in your industry and community. To do this, join discussion groups relevant to your industry or company, and answer questions that consumers might have about your business or industry. If a consumer sees that your business has taken the time and effort to engage in relevant conversations on local social, they will be more likely to choose your business when it comes time to make a purchase decision.
Now that you’re equipped with all the tools needed to dominate your local social efforts this year, it’s time to get started. We all know that it’s easy to fall back on our old ways when it comes to localized marketing, but it’s essential to stay on top of your local social strategy if you want to crush the competition. While this may seem overwhelming, SOCi is here to help! Not only is SOCi the central command for multi-location marketers, but we also have a social media management solution.
This tool empowers enterprise and local teams to publish localized content, manage content libraries, respond to social engagements, and analyze performance — all within one powerful platform. Now corporate, regional, and local teams can plan, share, and manage all aspects of their localized social strategy effortlessly. For more information on how your multi-location business can level-up your localized marketing efforts with the help of SOCi, request a demo today!