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Throughout COVID-19, many multi-location businesses have had to become creative and find ways to consolidate their localized marketing efforts, spend, and even teams. With 100s or 1,000s of locations, it can be challenging to manage a localized marketing strategy, especially during a pandemic with even more limited time and resources. Throughout this blog, we’ll take you through different ways you can consolidate your marketing efforts, saving time for you and your employees to focus on other areas of your business that will need attention as the comeback begins.

Local Business Listings 

Updated local listings are a great way to keep your consumers informed about your multi-location business without a high cost. Rather than having to reach out to each of your consumers to let them know what changes your business has made throughout the current pandemic, you can update your local listings instead. Data from our 2019 Annual State of the Market Report found that Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and Facebook were the top three most used platforms for local listings among multi-location businesses. 

If your business hasn’t already claimed its local listings for each of your business locations, it’s time to do so. Through your local listings, you can share pertinent information about each business location’s hours of operation, updated business practices such as curbside and delivery options, and contact information – including updated phone numbers and email addresses. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to local listings to get information that informs purchase decisions. If your multi-location business hasn’t updated its business hours or business practices, this can cause added confusion to your consumers. 

When looking into consolidating your localized marketing efforts, it may seem like the process of maintaining up-to-date listings would be a big lift for businesses with 100s or 1,000s of locations. Through SOCi’s Listings Management Solution, you can easily update all of your business’ local listings from our easy to use platform, which majorly reduces the amount of time and effort from your team to maintain this critical digital channel. 

Local Reviews 

Multi-location businesses also need to start brainstorming ways to consolidate their strategy for managing online ratings and reviews. Although consumers may not be able to step inside your business physically, that doesn’t mean that they can’t interact with you digitally and leave reviews about their experience! If you’re experiencing some downtime due to a temporary closure, or lack of foot-traffic if you’re able to remain open, now is an excellent opportunity to start building your online reputation through increased ratings and reviews. 

If you’re looking for ways to incentivize ratings and reviews without soliciting, consider switching up the call-to-action on your website and social media channels. You can also host virtual events, and ask participants to leave reviews about their experience at the conclusion. Now is the time to get creative! When businesses begin to re-open, consumers will revert to researching ratings and reviews of local businesses before deciding where to do business. Reviews are the number one factor that consumers consider when making a purchasing decision. The more reviews your business can obtain now, during this downtime, the better it’ll be in the long run. 

If you’re worried that trying to gain more reviews will offset your consolidation efforts, you’d be surprised! While you may be concerned about the amount of time it takes to visit each review site and monitor reviews that each of your business locations received one by one, there’s no need to do that any longer! SOCi can help you manage all of the reviews your multi-location business receives from our reputation management software. Through SOCi’s platform, you can monitor, analyze, and respond to all of your reviews all in one centralized platform. This will save you a lot of time and help with consolidating your localized marketing efforts. 

Localized Social Media

Organic social media is a great cost-effective way to communicate with your consumers while your business is currently closed or facing limited hours. Through social media, your business can continue to both communicate and interact with consumers through: 

  • Social media events
  • Virtual tours 
  • Live Q&As 
  • Promotions and contests 

If your business is staying active on local social media pages, your consumers will have your business at the top of their mind when things begin to re-open. Through virtual tours, you can share what precautionary measures your business will take when it is time to open your doors again. 

To help recoup some of the profits lost during this pandemic, you can also deploy incentives and contests through social media to help incentivize purchases. For instance, if your multi-location business is a restaurant, you can offer a buy one get one half-off deal for consumers who order curbside food from you on certain nights of the week, or a gift card with purchase to use once you reopen your dining rooms. While you’re offering a discount, it will still increase traffic to your business. 

While a social media strategy seems like a no-brainer, it’s still an area that allows for the consolidation of your marketing efforts. SOCi empowers your multi-location business to share custom, localized content across local social pages through SOCi Content Manager. SOCi Content Manager allows you to simplify collaboration between corporate and local teams, significantly reducing the time spent localizing content, therefore consolidating your marketing efforts. 

Long Term Strategy for Localized Marketing

While it seems like some businesses are starting to slowly re-open at reduced capacity, it looks as though things won’t go back to business as usual for the foreseeable future. Now is an excellent time to start thinking about a long term consolidation strategy for your multi-location business. During this time, your business should begin brainstorming how it can do more, for less cost, with fewer resources. With skeleton crews and reduced staff, marketing teams will still be required to get more done. Right now is a good time to look at your technology stack to see where consolidation can occur. This is where SOCi may be able to help! It’s imperative for you to consider an all-in-one platform, versus individual point solutions for your localized marketing strategy. Take a look at our consolidation checklist to consider how you can streamline your marketing stack.

As you can see, SOCi offers the tools needed to consolidate your localized marketing efforts. From managing your local listings to managing your social media content and ratings and reviews, SOCi has you covered. The last thing you need to worry about during this time is how you’re going to execute a localized marketing strategy. SOCi is here to help you consolidate now, and prepare for a successful comeback for your multi-location business. For more information on what SOCi has to offer, email us a [email protected]

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