For the first time ever, SOCi and the Local Search Association (LSA) have teamed up to set industry standards for localized social marketing (LSM) in the franchise space. Introducing the LSM Benchmark Report, a collaborative research project between SOCi and the LSA — the leading global association helping marketers and agencies realize the true potential in localized marketing.
This collaborative research report identifies the top franchise marketing brands in LSM based on three key areas:
- The brand’s local social media presence
- Customer care in terms of ratings and local reviews
- Local community engagement
Revealing the Top Brands in Localized Social Marketing
The list of 163 brands studied in the report was determined based on a combination of the top 100 largest brands by Franchising Times and the 100 fastest growing brands based on Entrepreneur’s List. Through an analysis of the top performing brands in the three areas of presence, care, and engagement, this research report establishes industry benchmarks and identifies best practices for LSM. Using the report’s findings, franchise marketers can implement these best practices and compare their own localized social marketing to these industry leaders.
Based on the research results, the top 10 brands in Localized Social Marketing today are as follows:
- McAlister’s Deli
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
- Holiday Inn Express
- The Camp Transformation Center
- Blaze Pizza
- Crunch Franchise
- Planet Fitness
- The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education
Consumer Behavior Emphasizes the Impact of Localized Social Marketing
The LSM Benchmark Report comes out at a time when localized social marketing is becoming an increasingly important marketing tactic, as evidenced by recent trends in consumer behavior.
When consumers want more information about a business, the first thing they do is perform a local search. That local search generally turns up reviews for the business on Google and Facebook, in addition to the business’ various social media pages. Those ratings and reviews have become not just a top local search ranking factor, but also the #1-factor consumers use in determining which business to go to. As for the social pages, they’re often as informative as business’ website — containing recent posts, store hours, and the business’ location information.
Additional research from SOCi shows that 3 out of 4 social brand engagements happen on local pages as opposed to national pages. These local engagement trends hold true on leading platforms like Facebook and Google My Business, and reflect the affinity consumers have for localized content.
These consumer behaviors and the key findings from the LSM Benchmark Report highlight the importance of a localized social marketing strategy, and show why franchise marketers must make it a core component of any franchise brands’ overall marketing strategy.
Social Platforms Adapt to Enable Localized Social Marketing
Major social media platforms are continuously rolling out functionalities that enable localized social marketing for multi-location businesses. Features like reviews, recommendations, social conversations, and individual pages for local businesses all contribute to the growing world of localized social marketing.
With this LSM Benchmark Report, SOCi and the LSA have identified the industry leaders in localized social marketing, and revealed how localized social marketing can impact the bottom line for franchise businesses.
Notably, the report shows the connection between strong localized social marketing and revenue growth; the top 10 brands in localized social marketing are growing at 3x the rate of their category peers based on a 5-year trend of each brand’s revenue growth rate.
It’s difficult to understate the impact of effective localized social marketing, especially with the increased prevalence of local search and location-enabled mobile devices. A localized social marketing strategy that follows best practices can propel brands to the top of organic search results, build an engaged base of loyal customers and drive foot-traffic into each business location.