As social media continues to become a more significant part of the consumer journey, new features are providing businesses with ways to engage customers and create brand ambassadors on a more personalized local level.
Social media platforms are providing a growing list of features and functionalities such as reviews, recommendations, social conversations, and local business Pages that fuel what SOCi has come to call localized social marketing.
The SOCi platform was built for localized social marketing, and we’ve compiled droves of data detailing how consumers engage with businesses on a local level. That data comes to life in our latest Q4 2018 State of the Market report, featuring SOCi platform data from Q4 2017 to Q3 2018.
In the report, we identify patterns, determine trends and share best practices in building a localized social marketing strategy. Before we get to the report, let’s talk about why localized marketing matters, who is using it and what kind of content is working on a local level.
Why does localized social marketing matter?
As part of social media’s continued evolution, consumers are liking, sharing, and reviewing businesses near them. Those local reviews matter; in a research report that SOCi created with the Local Search Association, we found that 52 percent of consumers have passed up a business because it didn’t have, “enough stars.”
New locally focused features —such as Facebook Local Pages — are enabling consumers to leave reviews for local businesses. As a marketer for a multi-location business, you can create one Facebook Business Page for your overall brand and individual Local Pages for each of your business locations. According to another report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, these Local Pages experience twice as many impressions as corporate Brand Pages and nearly 72% of all user engagement on Facebook.
The importance of localized social marketing cannot be overstated. Local reviews affect your business’ SEO, purchase decisions and allow local businesses to remain relevant in a digital era while competing with the online and offline retail giants of the world.
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Who is already using localized social marketing?
According to the Q4 2018 State of the Market report, 48,000 local social profiles, and more than 19,000 review site profiles are managed on the SOCi platform each month. After analyzing users on the SOCi platform, we found that localized social marketing is especially important for multi-location businesses in property management, marketing agencies, retail, food and beverages, and medical industries.
Among these multi-location businesses, Facebook is the dominant platform for localized social marketing with 4x the amount of profiles and pages under management on the SOCi platform than we see on networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. This is largely due to the fact that Facebook has the unique ability to create multiple Local Pages in addition to a corporate or Brand Page.
That doesn’t mean you can ignore the other networks. Google is deprecating Google+ while investing in new local-focused features such as Google Posts and Google Q&A. Instagram is also enabling localized marketing with its new in-app local business profile pages — a feature that’s not yet available to all users. No matter what network you’re using, you’re going to want to develop content that attracts engagement from local consumers.
What kind of local content drives engagement?
Not all engagements are created equal. In the Q4 2018 State of the Market report, we describe the difference between high-value and low-value engagement. Through its recent algorithm changes, Facebook has been limiting the reach of content that receives low-value engagement such as likes. That’s why it’s so important for social media marketers to double down on the content that receives high-value engagement, e.g., localized content. In the Q4 2018 State of Market report, we explain what localized content is, why it outperforms other content and share examples of businesses using localized content to earn high-value engagement such as comments, replies, and shares.
The Q4 2018 State of the Market report also outlines best practices for multi-location marketers, including strategies for responding to reviews as quickly as possible. Response time is everything, and the sense of urgency to respond quickly will only get stronger moving forward. What is the best way to keep up with the emerging localized marketing movement? Download the report and inform your marketing strategy moving forward as both multi-location businesses and social media platforms go local.