Your Complete Guide to Local Presence Management
As a multi-location business, you likely understand the importance of having a local presence. A staggering 80 percent of local searches on mobile phones end in a purchase. You’re missing out if your multi-location business isn’t visible at the local level. That’s where local presence management comes in.
Within this blog, we’ll define local presence management, how your business can optimize its local presence, and share how SOCi can help you achieve this across multiple business locations using AI and other tactics. Let’s get into it!
What is Local Presence Management?
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If you’re unfamiliar with local presence management, it’s a set of techniques marketers use to optimize the online appearance of their local businesses and ensure all of the information is updated and accurate. Multi-location marketers often use it to improve local search rankings and ultimately boost online visibility.
While your current marketing strategy likely incorporates some aspects of local presence management, let’s dive into why it’s essential.
Why Is Local Presence Management Important
As mentioned previously, when done correctly, local presence management can improve your search rankings on platforms like Google. Since Google owns 93 percent of the desktop and mobile search market share, it’s imperative that you appear in relevant searches on Google.
Not only can local presence management help with visibility, but it can also improve the customer experience.
For instance, if a potential customer finds your restaurant brand in a search for “burgers near me” and can get all the information needed about a location near them through local listings or local pages versus a competitor with limited information, which do you think they will choose?
Consumers crave convenience, and a solid local presence provides this.
5 Ways Your Business Can Manage Its Local Presence
Next, let’s walk through the five ways your business can better control its local presence.
One of the most impactful ways your multi-location business can manage its local presence is through local listings. A local listing is when an online directory mentions your local property and gives essential business information.
These local listings often include basic business information, such as your business location’s name, address, phone number (NAP), and a link to your website. Below is an example of one of Jersey Mike’s Subs’ Google Business Profile, one of the most important local listings.
Ensuring your business has claimed and updated its local listings across relevant local search platforms is a sure way to optimize your business’s local presence.
With today’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, you should utilize AI tools or software with AI capabilities to help your local listings rank — or else risk falling behind competitors.
For instance, you can leverage AI to quickly identify important keywords that you can then include in the business description of your local listings and in review responses. Read our AI and search engine optimization (SEO) article for more details.
Local pages are another critical component of local presence management. Local pages, or local landing pages, are individual web pages on your website connected to an individual business location or franchise. They’re similar to local listings.
As a multi-location business, each business location must have its own local page. On your local pages, you should include all the essential business information on your listings, such as:
- Name, address, phone number (NAP)
- Business hours
- Products and promotions
- Links to local social accounts, and more.
This will allow customers to find all the information they want about your local business within a single page. Here’s an example of one of Nékter’s local landing pages.
Read our blog post on local landing pages for a more detailed look into what they are and how to build them to improve your search rankings.
Local Social Media
As mentioned, local presence management includes any digital footprint of your local businesses, which goes beyond your local listings and local pages. Your local social pages are another aspect of your business’s local presence.
Each business location should have a local social profile on the most relevant social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.
Research from SOCi found that localized content receives 12x the engagement as non-localized content, emphasizing the need for local social profiles to optimize your local presence fully.
While your business locations may share some content about the national brand, local content is a must. When planning content at the local level, franchisees can share various types of content, including:
- Special promotions or discounts that are happening at their location
- Positive customer reviews from local consumers
- Pictures of live or virtual events happening at local stores
- Information on current events that are happening in their local area
- Ways franchisees are giving back to their local communities
You can utilize AI technology like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to help you brainstorm local social media ideas and draft content. Read our blog post on ways multi-location marketers can utilize ChatGPT for more insight!
Also, download our Localized Social Content Guide for additional information on creating a solid local social strategy that optimizes your local presence.
Reputation Management Efforts
Like social media, your ratings and reviews go hand in hand with your local presence. When a person searches for “haircut near me” and your local salon appears in the search results, your ratings and reviews can impact whether or not someone considers your business.
As a multi-location marketer, staying on top of your online reputation is essential. SOCi’s data found that businesses with higher star ratings are more likely to be chosen by consumers over the competition.
For instance, conversion improves by 44 percent when a business increases its average star rating by one full star. Similarly, 98 percent of consumers feel that reviews are essential when making purchase decisions.
To optimize your local presence through reputation management, focus on review response, your volume of reviews, and your overall star rating.
If you need help automating and managing your review response, consider using SOCi Genius Reviews. SOCi Genius Reviews integrates with GPT-4 to deliver a customizable and automated review management system.
More on SOCi Genius Reviews later. For now, download our Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management for a more detailed look into online reputation management.
Audit Your Website
Lastly, it’s wise for your business to audit your main website to see how you fare regarding your local presence. Can customers easily find your local pages from your main website? Is navigating your website painless? These are questions to consider.
The same tactics used to optimize your local pages should also be implemented on your website. For instance, you should optimize your website for local search, include easy-to-find business information, and link to your corporate social accounts.
How SOCi Can Help With Local Presence Management
Local presence management is essential if your business wants to stand out from competitors online. Although many marketers understand the importance of local presence management, with 100s or 1,000s of business locations, implementing a local presence management is often challenging. That’s where SOCi comes in!
SOCi is the marketing platform for multi-location brands and can help your business manage its local presence across all locations. From managing local listings to local pages, reputation management efforts, local social media, and beyond, SOCi has you covered.
As mentioned earlier, SOCi Genius Reviews recently integrated with OpenAI’s GPT-4. This integration allows you to automate your local review responses with highly personalized and helpful reviews. Furthermore, our tool’s sentiment analysis capabilities allow you to better understand how local stores are performing and the ability to address customer pain points proactively.
Request a demo today for additional insight into how SOCi can help you dominate your local presence and boost online visibility!