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Industry News: Platform Updates Ramp Up Across Local Search and Social Channels


Our industry news blog is back, and we have a lot of important updates for you! In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all of the latest industry news, so this blog is here to help! Today, we’re going to highlight the most important industry news from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google My Business (GMB) and break down how they’ll impact your localized marketing efforts. To stay ahead of the competition and win more sales, keeping up with industry news is a must! 


Facebook Reveals Live Audio Rooms and Podcasts 


Facebook recently released Live Audio Rooms in the U.S. that works on Apple devices. While this new feature is still in its testing phase and only be leveraged by select Facebook Groups and public figures, it’s still something to be aware of. Along with the audio rooms, Facebook also debuted an initial set of U.S. podcast partners. While both products will become more widely available in the future, Facebook users can still leverage both Live Audio Rooms and podcasts. 


Looking for more information about Live Audio Rooms? Consider the following: 

  • Users can search and listen to conversations they are interested in from public figures or experts on the topic
  • Hosts can invite speakers to join the discussion in advance or during the conversation 
  • Conversations can have up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners. 


When Live Audio Rooms become more available, your multi-location business should consider testing them as a part of your localized marketing efforts. For instance, rather than having a formal webinar, you can utilize Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms for a more informal conversation and as a way to interact with your local audiences. Through Live Audio Rooms, listeners can ask questions and get involved in the conversation. 


As expected, with Facebook’s new podcasts, listeners will be able to listen to the podcast as they’re scrolling Facebook. Additional features will allow users to share clips of the podcast to their Facebook profile and include captions. 


Businesses Can Add a Black-Owned Label to Instagram 


After listening to community feedback, Instagram revealed that they have created a way for businesses to add a black-owned label to their Instagram profile. If your multi-location business is black-owned and would like to turn on this label, click on Edit Profile and select Business Diversity Info under Profile Information. Instagram explained that this label was created after seeing a 50 percent increase in U.S. businesses that added “black-owned” or “black-led” to their profile. Similarly, in the Fall of 2020, Instagram saw 1.3 million posts that shared support for black-owned businesses, indicating the need for this label. 


Google My Business Expands Restaurant Reviews 


Earlier in July, Google announced that they would be expanding restaurant reviews. With this expansion, customers will indicate the price range of the meal, what type of meal they had (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), and whether they dined in or got takeout or delivery. As multi-location marketers, specifically within the restaurant industry, the importance of reviews to potential customers cannot be overstated. In fact, ninety-five percent of consumers say reviews influence their buying decisions. Google’s added functionality allows potential customers to get even more information out of reviews to help ensure they’re making the best decision when choosing where to eat. 


So what does this new review expansion mean for your multi-location restaurant business? First, you should be encouraging your diners to leave keyword-rich reviews, utilizing these enhanced features, on GMB, and your restaurants must respond in a timely manner utilizing personalized responses. Data from our 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report examines key data and provides best practices for online reputation management for multi-location businesses by industry. When looking at the restaurant industry, the report found that restaurants were only responding to an average of 18.1 percent of reviews received at the local level. When looking at response time, restaurants took an average of 19.1 days to respond to a review. While ideally, your restaurant should exceed these averages, it’s essential to meet them to keep pace with the competition. 





While monitoring reviews your local business receives is always a priority, it should be even more so. With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, SOCi understands that managing reviews across business locations can be challenging, but we’re here to help! SOCi’s Reviews Solution enables users to view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Now, your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect. While there may be more detail in your reviews due to this added feature, SOCi can help streamline online reputation management for your business, ensuring that a review never goes unseen. 



Twitter Allows Apple Users to Share Tweets to Instagram Stories


Twitter and Instagram have come together to make it easier for social media users to share tweets in their Instagram stories. Twitter recently announced an integration that allows users to share tweets that are public directly to Instagram. This new integration allows your multi-location business to share content across multiple platforms simultaneously. 


As a multi-location marketer, you likely understand the challenges that come along with sharing content across social platforms for each of your business locations. While this new feature helps bridge the different platforms gap, SOCi’s Social Solution may provide the added help your business needs to keep track of local social efforts. SOCi’s Social Solution enables multi-location companies to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the enterprise and local levels. Rather than logging into different social platforms and creating and scheduling content separately, SOCi gives you a single platform to publish to all major networks to amplify audience engagement with localized shareable content.



Facebook Introduces Shop Ads 


We’ll keep this one short and sweet! As mentioned in a previous Industry News blog, Facebook rolled out Facebook Shops amid the pandemic to provide users with an easy way to shop from their favorite businesses online. Facebook recently announced that Facebook Shops would now be available on WhatsApp and Marketplace and noted that Facebook Shops would soon have access to Shop ads. While not yet available, Shop ads will allow your multi-location business to set up Shopping Custom Audiences, use product tags in ads, and ultimately direct more traffic to your Facebook Shops. If your multi-location company is already leveraging Facebook Shops, Shop ads will provide an excellent opportunity for you to increase visibility to your shops and ultimately drive more sales. 


Now that you have the latest industry news, the fun part can begin! It’s time for you to think about which platform updates could improve your localized marketing efforts and start adding them into your strategy. With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, adjusting your localized marketing efforts might seem daunting, but SOCi is here to help! 

SOCi is the central command for multi-location marketers and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. From SOCi’s Social Solution to SOCi Listings and SOCi’s Reviews Solution, there are countless tools your multi-location business can leverage to help you manage your marketing efforts across business locations. For more insight into how SOCi can help your multi-location business take its marketing efforts to new heights, request a demo today! It’s time to crush the competition, and SOCi is here to make it happen!


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