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National multi-location brands must see social advertising from two angles at the same; from a 1,000-foot view and at a granular level. Ads have to follow corporate brand standards while also speaking to the local consumers around each franchise location.

Incorporating store-specific information into a social ad campaign is called localizing the campaign. Social technology has advanced to the point where localized advertising is now possible, and multi-location brands must seize the power of local. Of course, implementing a new paid social strategy presents challenges. Below, we’ll explain how to overcome these obstacles, and what a successful localized ad strategy looks like. Get ready to get local!

Challenge 1: Finding a new approach to advertising

A centralized approach to ads — in which a corporate team or agency creates one overarching campaign for every franchise location — is a one-size-fits-all approach. Multi-location businesses often settle for this one-size-fits-all approach because they don’t have tools with which to implement a more localized approach — one in which each franchise gets tailored ads while the corporate team maintains oversight.

When one agency or marketing team manages ads for 100s of franchises, the result ends up looking generic. The ads show one image, target one audience and feature one message for every franchise location. Localized Facebook ads, on the other hand, feature tailored messaging, store-specific imagery and custom location-based audiences — all while maintaining the look and feel of the national brand.

Challenge 2: Understanding your local customers

No matter how many locations your business has, all your customers are local customers. The people who walk into your businesses are members of the community around each location. Customers might choose a store because they recognize the corporate brand, but they’re interacting with local team members and making purchases at individual franchise locations. Your business’ ads should reflect the unique nature of each community you serve.

Still, some marketing teams try to deploy Facebook ads across 100s of franchise locations with one all-encompassing strategy. Instead, the corporate marketing team should leverage the franchisees’ knowledge, perhaps even empowering them to develop their own ads to submit to corporate for approval. When franchisees provide input on local social media advertising campaigns, it provides the national marketing team with on-the-ground insights that lead to better localized ads.

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Challenge 3. Balancing the relationship between corporate and local teams

Most multi-location brands are structured so that the corporate team has an abundance of resources with which to develop strong marketing campaigns. At the franchise level, however, teams are often more focused on day-to-day operations. Franchise owners often don’t have time to learn Facebook Ads Manager or develop ad campaigns, so multi-location businesses handle it at the corporate level or through an agency.

Using technology from Facebook and SOCi, corporate teams can develop localized ad campaigns that leverage the power of the brand while still tailoring to consumers at the local level. Promoting the corporate brand with national campaigns can help raise brand awareness overall, but promoting individual stores through localized ads can actually help the franchises in each community.

Multi-location brands sometimes struggle to implement a localized strategy because the corporate teams don’t interact with local consumers; they don’t live in the communities where each franchise is located. Corporate teams must overcome this obstacle to create content that’s relevant to the consumers who go into the franchise every day. The solution comes in the form of a hybrid marketing management model, in which franchisor and franchisee work together to create the most effective online presence possible on the national and local levels. The franchisor manages the corporate social media presence, while franchisees oversee individual local pages and local content.

This model works because franchise owners shouldn’t have total control over their ad campaigns; the corporate team knows the brand better, understands best practices for social advertising and can develop templated messaging and imagery. However, the franchisor knows the individual markets and should be trusted to provide input. Leave the broad strokes to the corporate teams, and let the local franchisors fill in the local details.

Challenge 4: Protecting your brand’s authenticity

Brand authenticity refers to the public perception of your brand. If your brand is authentic, it means the public sees your brand as reliable, respectful and real. 63 percent of consumers deliberately choose authentic brands over others. That means that 63 percent of consumers will only choose your stores if they perceive your brand to be genuine. If you create ad content without localizing it, you’re creating content that is generic rather than authentic.

Authentic brands are true to their values, which is why some corporations are so reluctant to allow local franchise owners to post their own content or make their own advertisements. The brand images, logo and messaging need to stay true at all times, and a decentralized brand strategy leaves room for local franchisors to change the brand — intentionally or not.

Challenge 5. Creating ads with store-specific information

From a digital standpoint, multi-location brands should put the most accurate information online about each of their business locations. This can be accomplished with dynamic text and images features, which insert store-specific information into each ad campaign.

Why use a generic picture of your brand’s stores or logo when you could use a picture of the actual store that each local customer will be visiting? As for the ad messaging, why tell consumers to “visit a store near you” when you could tell them the exact address of the store nearest them?

This localized approach works because audiences feel as though the company is speaking directly to them. One example of this is We Work, the remote workspace provider.

WeWork’s localized ads were so successful that Facebook wrote a case study on the campaign. The ads use dynamic text to encourage the audience to “Book a Tour” at whichever WeWork building is closest to them. Because WeWork targeted the ads to people aged 27–54 in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and London, the dynamic text updated to show various addresses in each of those cities. The ads contain copy and imagery that is specific to a geographic location, and thus incredibly relevant to the user. That’s likely why this campaign resulted in WeWork seeing a 10x return on ad spend

It’s hard to argue with results like that, and it’s now easier than ever for multi-location brands to shift to a localized paid social strategy. Social advertising tools like SOCi can help national brands support individual franchisees while protecting brand integrity and implementing a full localized ads strategy. Through the use of dynamic text in SOCi Ads PLUS, one ad campaign can be customized for 100s of franchise locations with the click of a button.

Find out more about how SOCi helps franchise brands leverage the power of localization

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