Owning the Changing Social Media Landscape
The social media landscape is changing. Social platforms are constantly evolving. Tactics that have been successful for your multi-location business in the past may not be as effective today. While there’s no doubt that these changes are occurring, it doesn’t take away from the importance of social media.
In 2021, 50 percent of Generation Z (Gen Z) and 58 percent of millennials in the U.S. stated that social media advertising influenced their purchasing decisions. Similarly, three out of four consumers say they’ve discovered a new local offering based on recommendations and posts on social media. It’s no question that a strong local presence is a must.
Within this blog, we’ll share three main ways social media has changed and break down what your multi-location business must do to keep up.
The Rise In Video Content
Video content has steadily increased in popularity over the past few years. On Facebook, posts with videos have twice the correlation with engagement as posts with photos. Further proving the popularity of videos, a recent analysis found Reels have the greatest reach of any content type on Instagram. Reels account for nearly 34 percent of the audience reached by all content types analyzed in the study.
To further drive home the need for video content, when seeing an ad from a brand on social media, 40 percent of Gen Zers prefer stories, Reels, or TikTok. As the social media landscape changes, multi-location businesses must get on board with video content.
When getting started with video content, your multi-location business should:
- Start small by choosing one platform to test video content on
- Analyze the performance of your videos
- Determine if they’re getting more engagement than other content
- Test various types of content to see what resonates best with your audience
- Try different video lengths
- Note: Facebook and Instagram Reels can be up to 90 seconds, while TikTok allows for ten minutes in length
Once you find the sweet spot for your video content, you can begin rolling out the strategy to additional platforms. While the strategy can remain similar, it’s essential to recognize that each social platform has individual audience bases that may be interested in different types of video content.
A Push Towards Local
As a multi-location marketer, your business may already have a local presence on search and social platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. If not, that’s a critical first step. While other social platforms like Instagram, and TikTok don’t provide the ability to create a corporate account connected to local accounts for each business like Facebook, they recognize the importance of local.
Instagram has added search functionality to its map, allowing users to search for nearby businesses on the platform. Previously, most users could only see recent location-associated posts on the map. This feature provides a more discovery-oriented local experience, with users searching by city or neighborhood to see new businesses that might interest them.
Source: Meta / TechCrunch
The interface lets users filter by business category or search by Instagram hashtags, further emphasizing the need for your business to have optimized Instagram accounts for each business location.
TikTok is testing a “Nearby” feed that displays content from users in your vicinity. TikTok is testing the new feed with users in Southeast Asia. On the homepage, users who see the update will now have access to a Nearby tab next to For You and Following — meaning that, if the test becomes a permanent feature, nearby content will occupy a prominent position in the app.
Alongside the Nearby feed, TikTok is testing the ability to tag videos with the user’s location. While still in the testing stage, these tests acknowledge that TikTok is aware of users preferring localized content on other platforms.
Although your multi-location business may not currently have a presence on TikTok, at a minimum, it’s essential to pay attention to it. As its popularity and ability to have a local presence grows, it may be worth investing in.
Shoppable Social is Here to Stay
A recent report from SimplicityDX shows that 83 percent of social media users consider Meta apps, including Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, to be destinations for shopping. More specifically, 87 percent of Instagram users reported that they had followed a brand or visited a brand website after encountering a product on the platform. Meta apps represent the most significant opportunity for brands looking to win customers via social discovery.
Source: SimplicityDX / Business of Apps
TikTok is offering the fiercest competition to Meta as a shopping platform, even though it only began supporting e-commerce last year.
So what is shoppable social? Shoppable social is a way for consumers to purchase products from your social media content. It often includes a lifestyle photo or product-focused image on social media with product tags that followers can click on to buy.
While the importance of shoppable social is undeniable, what does this mean for your multi-location business? Consider these best practices for your multi-location business to leverage shoppable social fully.
1. Stage your products naturally: Photos shouldn’t look forced. Rather than just setting up products and taking a picture of them, consider including people in your images. Consumers can picture themselves using your products if your product photos look natural.
2. Include lifestyle photos: Similar to ensuring that your photos look natural, it’s a good idea to consider lifestyle photos. Take your products out into the world, and show real people using them. Again, this will help consumers imagine themselves using the product in its natural setting.
3. Be mindful when selecting which products to highlight: Are there certain best-sellers among your target audience? Would some products look more appealing in a social post? These are questions to consider when developing your content plan for shoppable social.
4. Remarket shoppable social content: If a consumer visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, you can re-engage with remarketing ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Retargeting shoppable social posts to a target audience can keep your products and multi-location business top-of-mind.
Not only can shoppable social make it easier for consumers to purchase your product, but it can also increase your overall sales. If your multi-location business isn’t already utilizing shoppable social, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Take Your Social Strategy to New Heights
Now that you have an in-depth understanding of the changes to local social, it’s time to adjust your social efforts accordingly. Changing your social strategy can seem daunting, especially when you must implement tactics your business hasn’t leveraged before. That’s where SOCi comes in.
SOCi Social enables multi-location businesses to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the enterprise and local levels.
The tool allows users to publish brand-consistent, localized content and perform real-time customer care on all major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google Business Profile. SOCi Social also supports video content!