New report underscores the importance of localized marketing for multi-location businesses, including search, social media, and reviews  

Originally published on Business Wire on January 15, 2020.

SAN DIEGO—January 15, 2020—SOCi, Inc., the leading social and reputation management platform for multi-location businesses, today released its annual State of the Market report. In addition to detailing the top localized marketing trends and growth areas, The Rise of Localization for Multi-Location Marketers focuses on anticipated trends for 2020 and the strategies multi-location marketers can adopt to drive growth at the local level.  Specifically, The Rise of Localization for Multi-Location Marketers covers:  
  • The importance of local search, social, and ratings and reviews – Localization is key to making businesses stand out from competitors. 
  • The platforms that perform best when it comes to localization – SOCi recommends investing time developing a local presence on Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp. 
  • The growing similarities between search and social platforms – With the average digital user spending nearly two and a half hours on social media platforms alone daily, there is a great opportunity for multi-location marketers to promote their brand and engage those users. 
  • How marketers can use these trends to improve their overall localized marketing strategy – Local ratings and reviews are the most impactful element on local search ranking factors with eight out of the 10 factors based on a business’s reviews. 
“While we saw an increased focus on local results on leading search and social platforms like Google My Business and Facebook, there is still a lack of awareness among marketers about the significant impact localization has on sales and awareness for specific business locations,” said Monica Ho, CMO of SOCi. “We know that brands that are effectively optimizing their local social, reviews, and search strategies are growing up to three times faster than their competitors, which is why it’s absolutely critical that multi-location brands have a strategy in place.”
As outlined in this year’s State of the Market report, ratings and reviews are the most influential factor for customers’ buying decisions, demonstrating that online reputation management should be a key focus in marketers’ localization strategies. Ratings and reviews are also the most impactful element in a business’s search and social ranking, with 75% of the top local search ranking factors based on a business’s reviews.   In 2019, SOCi cemented its role as a localized marketing leader, recognized by Street Fight as the best social media platform in its 2019 Innovator Awards, Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America, and Entrepreneur as a Top Supplier for Franchisesthe latter two both for a second consecutive year. Signaling the growing importance of localized marketing to brands outlined in this year’s State of the Market report, SOCi was also named the new global platform of record for localized social marketing for Self Esteem Brands (the parent company of Anytime Fitness, Waxing The City, Basecamp Fitness, and The Bar Method). SOCi also launched its inaugural Customer Advisory Council in 2019, consisting of 15 multi-location marketers from some of the largest franchise and property management brands in the United States including Ace Hardware, Pinnacle Property Management Services, and Self Esteem Brands. The council, dedicated to addressing the needs of digital marketers working with multi-location businesses, was tapped by SOCi to identify the top localized marketing predictions for 2020 in the State of the Market Report. These top trends include the rise of real-time messaging and chatbots, that reputation management will become increasingly important as customers’ expectations continue to rise, and the growth of social commerce.   For more information on the biggest trends and opportunities in localization, download SOCi’s new State of the Market Report here.

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