What You Missed at SOCi Summit 2022
SOCi recently held the first in-person SOCi Summit since 2019! This two-day event was filled with knowledgeable speakers in the local search, social, and reputation management sectors. If you couldn’t attend the event or follow along on our social channels for updates, this blog is for you!
We’ll break down some of the key takeaways from the event and share some of the essential localized marketing updates your multi-location business can implement into its localized marketing strategy.
The Loyalty Loop
SOCi Summit kicked off with our keynote speaker, Andrew Davis. Andrew Davis is a best-selling author and keynote speaker. He’s built and sold a digital marketing agency, produced for NBC, and worked for The Muppets. Today, Andrew Davis teaches business leaders how to grow businesses, transform cities, and leave a legacy.
Andrew’s highly engaging presentation focused on the Loyalty Loop and its importance for multi-location marketers. The Loyalty Loop is an adaptation of the marketing funnel that portrays how a customer decides to make a purchase and whether or not they would consider making the same purchase again.
Davis explained that the original sales funnel was created in 1898, emphasizing the need for businesses to adopt a new model and a new view on marketing. Understanding the Loyalty Loop is important because it can help to create memorable customer experiences. If you understand why customers return and what they are looking for, you can optimize those details, differentiate your services, and ultimately win more sales from new and existing customers.
Local Search Visibility: New Rules for Success
We were joined in this session by a panel of experts to discuss the latest developments in local search. The panel was led by well-known analyst Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, and included Google Product Expert Ben Fisher; Cindy Krum, CEO and founder of Mobile Moxie; and Lily Ray, senior director of SEO at Amsive Digital. The panel discussed trending topics like the rise of visual search and best practices for Google Business Profile management, mobile search optimization, and onsite SEO from a local search perspective. The panel also took the time to answer several questions from the audience.
LMBR 2022: What We’ve Just Learned
In this session, we heard from Damian Rollison, SOCi’s director of market insights. Rollison walked us through the findings of the 2022 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR), SOCi’s fourth annual study that examines the drivers of success in multi-location marketing and identifies the performance benchmarks companies should strive to exceed to outpace the average competitor.
Rollison pointed out, for example, that the average multi-location brand responds to just 36% of its Google reviews and answers only about 7% of the questions consumers ask in the Q&A section of Google profiles. Though all brands should strive to exceed these numbers, it’s essential to understand that once you exceed these benchmarks, you’ve entered the upper tier of competitors.
The LMBR examines more than 100 metrics like these, categorized into search optimization, reputation management, and social media marketing. Brands can request their own audit from SOCi to see how they measure up against the relevant benchmarks in their industry.
What I Wish I’d Known Before I Took This Job
One of our final sessions of day one was a panel conversation hosted by our very own CMO, Monica Ho. Joining the panel was Jason Boertje, Director of Marketing at Carquest, Tina Miserendino, Director of Marketing at Waterton, and Matt Riezman, Director of Brand Marketing at Kum and Go. During the conversation, the panelists discussed important takeaways they’ve learned as marketers that they wish they had known sooner.
For instance, Miserendino touched on the importance of relationship building. She explained, “Relationship building is key and important early in your career. You might be tasked with something that seems small or mundane, but once you dive in, there is much to learn and people to meet. No task is too small.” As a multi-location marketer, you never know who you might need support from down the road, emphasizing the importance of relationships.
Boertje also discussed tech adoption. As a multi-location marketer, tech adoption is often a challenge. If you find technology that adds value to your marketing efforts, emphasize this to independent store owners. The more they hear that the technology is worth investing in, the more likely they will start using it.
Finally, when providing tips for other marketers, Boertje explained that while there is a fear of missing out in marketing, your team should understand what it wants to accomplish. Otherwise, you’ll spend too much time chasing things that aren’t worth your time. He also mentioned that marketers should not mistake activity for achievement. Riezman chimed in and noted that as marketers, if you’re not doing stuff that scares you, you probably won’t reach the heights you imagined.
As a multi-location marketer, you often learn as you go, but these tips can save you from facing some of the same obstacles that other leaders in multi-location marketing face.
A Winning Localized Marketing Strategy: Ideation to Execution
After an insightful first day, day two kicked off with another keynote featuring Kara Lombardo, SEO Manager at DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Meg McDougall, Sr. Manager of Marketing, Self Esteem Brands. This conversation was facilitated by SOCi’s own CSO, Jacob Chappell.
DICK’S Sporting Goods and Self Esteem Brands were featured as top 10 leaders in localized marketing in our 2022 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR). These two brands understand what it takes to create a winning localized marketing strategy.
During the conversation, McDougall and Lombardo both touched on the importance of social media at the local level. McDougall explained that local social media isn’t just about community building. It’s about prospecting and converting. She also pointed out that local social pages are a great way for potential customers to get information about your local business.
As a leader in localized marketing, Self Esteem Brands understands the importance of a solid local social strategy. Kara Lombardo highlighted why online visibility and local search are equally important. Data from the 2022 LMBR found that businesses displayed in the coveted Google 3-Pack receive 126 percent more traffic and 93 percent more actions (calls, website clicks, and driving directions) than businesses ranked 4-10. If your multi-location business doesn’t leverage local search to boost online visibility, it’s missing out.
To wrap up, our speakers emphasized that while a comprehensive localized marketing strategy is essential, it doesn’t mean anything unless you track performance. As a multi-location marketer, it’s your job to own the numbers, understand them, and make optimizations accordingly.
The Future of Shopping is Social
Next, we had a great conversation with Ty Schlegel, Ecommerce Lead at Meta. Schlegel started his session by explaining that we live in a time of transformation. How we work, shop, connect, and express ourselves is evolving.
We’re in an era where online and in-person experiences seamlessly flow, which leads to an opportunity to create demand through discovery. Seventy-four percent of online shoppers surveyed in research conducted by Meta have discovered new brands or products on Meta technologies. Additional data found that by 2025, the global $492B social commerce industry is set to grow 3X as fast as traditional e-commerce to $1.2 trillion.
As a multi-location business, these shifts are something to be aware of. If your brand doesn’t have a robust online presence and isn’t sharing its products and services on local social media, you’re missing out.
Schlegel explained that multi-location businesses should focus on:
- Building a local mobile storefront
- Building a nimble local strategy
Focusing on these tactics allows your multi-location business to become more competitive in the world of e-commerce while also reducing reliance on national or traditional media. While local mobile storefronts are important, personalization is equally essential. Additional data from Meta has revealed that providing consumers with the option to shop online through deeply relevant experiences will lead to higher engagement and lower cost per acquisition.
For additional insight into Meta’s conversations around social commerce and what your multi-location business needs to do to keep up, check out their blog on the topic.
TikTok: What’s Next in Multi-Location Marketing?
If your brand hasn’t conquered TikTok yet, you’re not alone. Joined by Greg Sterling, Co-Founder of Near Media, Matt Cleary, U.S. Head of Retail & eCommerce, Global Business Solutions at TikTok, was our next SOCi Summit speaker. During the conversation, he dove into best practices for multi-location brands.
Research from TikTok that was shared during the conversation shows that 45 percent of their users believe that TikTok is the place to discover something new.
The data speaks for itself. From a retail perspective, there’s a real opportunity on the platform. If your multi-location business needs further convincing, the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag has over 19 million views. There may already be a conversation about your brand on TikTok that you don’t know about.
If you’re a multi-location business hesitant to take the plunge and join TikTok, Cleary provides these three tips for getting started:
- Get on the platform and understand how it works
- Look for industry trends
- Leverage TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which allows businesses to connect with creators to create content for them
Matt Cleary wrapped the session with an impressive stat! Seventy-three percent of people have a higher affinity for brands they see on the platform. Whether your multi-location business is a part of TikTok or not, conversations are going on around your brand and industry.
Future Proofing Your Brand
For our final session of SOCi Summit, we heard from Brandon Rhoten, a Growth Advisor at SOCi, Jaime Lane, Director of Partnerships at Olo, and Stephanie Sollers, CEO of Virtual Dining Concepts. The three sat down for a fireside chat on how to future-proof your brand in a volatile market.
Olo is a New York City-based B2B SaaS company that develops digital ordering and delivery programs for restaurants. Virtual Dining Concepts offers traditional restaurant owners a low-risk, all-in-one solution to launch a profitable delivery-only concept in their existing kitchen operations with zero upfront fees. While both companies are in the restaurant industry, all multi-location businesses can apply this information to their localized marketing strategies.
To kick things off, Rhoten asked what has stuck for businesses after the pandemic. Lane emphasized the importance of digital — it’s here to stay. Both Lane and Sollers explained that businesses can purchase infrastructure in digital. For instance, finding a tool to help your business manage its local social efforts gives your marketing teams more time and energy to focus on other things that can differentiate your business from competitors.
When asked for a deeper look into what it takes to future-proof your brand, Lane and Sollers shared the following:
- Be your own customer – understanding the customer experience is a must
- Test and learn
- If something doesn’t work, be okay with scrapping it
Future-proofing your brand is about constant innovation rather than knowing what will happen in the future. Build infrastructure that allows you to pivot based on consumer behavior.
As you can see, there was a lot of great information covered in our 2022 SOCi Summit. We’re already looking forward to next year’s SOCi Summit and learning more about the world of localized marketing! From local social to reputation management to local listings, social listening, and beyond, SOCi has you covered every step. If you’re interested in learning more about how SOCi can help your multi-location business crush its localized marketing efforts, request a demo today!