Businesses are scrambling to find ways to keep engagement high on social media, and some are finding answers in paid social and localized content.
Facebook’s algorithm change has limited the reach of organic posts substantially, but there are certain steps that every multi-location business should take in 2019 to ensure their social media marketing keeps up with consumer trends and platform changes. By setting up the right internal management model, creating localized content and bolstering your efforts with ad dollars, you can keep each of your locations relevant and top-of-mind with local consumers.
Here are the three steps you can implement to leverage the power of social media at the local level.
Step One: Consider a new local-focused social media management model
Before you can use localized social marketing effectively, you’ll need to establish a management model that leverages the relationship between corporate brand and individual business locations. For marketers managing social media for multi-location businesses, localized social marketing is only possible with a strategic management model.
We recommend a hybrid model of localized social marketing management, which requires the individual locations and corporate brand to work together to create the most effective online presence possible on each local Page.
A multi-location business has local Pages and a corporate brand Page. Those local Pages should be filled with content that is relevant to the surrounding community. That content is most effective when provided by people working at the local level, but often requires corporate approval in order to ensure consistent messaging and brand imagery. A workflow solution tool like SOCi can help you set up an approval process between the individual locations and the corporate office to ensure the best localized, branded content is shared across all location pages.
An effective localized social marketing model for Facebook local Pages leverages the insights of the local business owners — who understand the local audience — while still adhering to brand guidelines and messaging from corporate. The hybrid model creates authenticity, consistency, and relevance; the brand has authenticity because the content is created at the local level, it’s consistent because the content has corporate oversight, and it’s relevant because the content is designed with the local audience in mind.
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Step Two. Start rolling out localized content
Now that you’ve set up your new management model, you can start empowering your local and corporate marketers with the ability to post branded localized content. Localized content is authentic, community-focused, and designed to engage the local customers in each business location’s city or neighborhood.
Posting localized content on local Pages creates a relationship between the business and consumer. Some ideas for localized content include local events, location-specific special offers, local community shout outs, customer highlights and employees of the week/month. If you want to really go all-in on your localized content strategy, you can even create posts that highlight hometown team sponsorships or use local influencers to promote your content and brand.
Of course, the localized content should still be aligned with your corporate brand — which is where the hybrid local social management model comes into play. Make sure your individual franchise owners have support form the corporate level so that their local posts still look and sound like they’re coming from your carefully curated brand.
Step Three: Put dollars behind your social media efforts
You spend hours creating content to post on Facebook, but are you taking steps to ensure that content earns meaningful engagement? Don’t let your brand’s original content go unnoticed. Instead, bolster your efforts with advertising dollars.
One of the best ways to combat the decline in organic reach is by turning your organic posts into Boosted posts. Boost is a Facebook feature that allows you to put dollars behind your organic posts in order to show them to a wider audience beyond just a small percentage of people who like your business Page.
An effective Boost strategy requires experimentation with different audience targeting parameters, language, and imagery, but the payoff of these efforts is increased reach and engagement. One downside to Boost is that it can be tedious if you log into multiple business’ location Pages to Boost individual posts, but a tool like SOCi can consolidate this process into one platform. With Boost Plus, you can mass Boost content across all of your Pages. Additionally, Boost Plus empowers marketers to Boost the most engaging content through analysis of the top performing posts.
Localized content can help your individual franchise owners engage the community around them, and Boost can help you ensure all your localized content gets in front of your local consumers. By implementing these three steps for localized social marketing success, you can build a sense of community around each location, increase your overall brand visibility and unlock the power of a localized marketing strategy.