Yesway Dominates Crowded Market with Comprehensive Localized Marketing Strategy

The Challenge

When Yesway, one of the fastest-growing convenience stores in the United States, acquired the iconic Allsup’s convenience store chain, the Yesway store portfolio quickly scaled to over 400 locations. This fast-paced growth came with a lot of questions, one of the most important to the marketing team was how to manage their digital presence and brand reputation across both brands. Convenience retail is highly competitive and Yesway knew it needed to stand out to achieve the overall goal of increasing the two brand’s top-line sales by driving more customers into its stores. 

 

In order to drive more customer traffic, Yesway’s marketing team needed a single scalable digital platform that could manage 3 key initiatives 1) create meaningful content to scale their brands and local store presence, 2) enhance their ability to run more efficient and targeted social advertising campaigns and 3) manage and scale their multi-brand portfolio of store listings and online reputation sentiments. Yesway had a detailed outline of KPI needs that its chosen solution had to provide, such as engagement rate, impression & reach, customer sentiment, response rates, and the volume of total responded reviews.

 

The brand also wanted to empower its team to respond to reviews quickly and easily and operationalize reputation and review insights with internal teams to improve overall brand sentiment. With so many stores, it was imperative that the solution give its team the power to monitor and maintain accurate and robust business information at scale; focus their efforts on Google 3 Pack rankings to increase local visibility; and elevate local search and SEO capabilities to ensure location descriptions, information, keywords, and store-specific services were accurate.

“If you don’t have the right partner and defined goals, someone will eventually come knocking and ask what we’re getting out of the relationship. SOCi met all of our key business goals and the platform provided us with the tools to execute our plans at a high level. We want to work with best-in-class partners in brands and technology, and SOCi is that for digital marketing.” – Yesway Vice President of Marketing, Darrin Samaha

The Solution

“We are very busy opening up new stores and needed an all-in-one solution that could provide the digital infrastructure to meet our goals. We looked at a lot of platforms and it was clear, SOCi was the right partner for us,” said Yesway Vice President of Marketing, Darrin Samaha. “The SOCi team did a terrific job of showcasing how we could be partners by helping us develop our foundational goals around campaign management, reputation management, and listings management.” The Yesway team utilizes the SOCi platform for Listings, Reviews, Social, AdsPlus, and BoostPlus.

 

The Yesway brand knew they had great native content and momentum on social media and didn’t want to lose that when incorporating Allsup’s through the acquisition. SOCi helped Yesway harness those strengths and inventory existing content to increase engagement. On the opposite hand, Allsup’s did not have a strong digital presence, so building out the brand’s footprint and claiming stores was an essential first step. At one time, there were 300 new stores coming online. Some store pages were claimed, some were not, and most store descriptions and services needed to be updated. Additionally, with many Yesway convenience locations offering slightly different services, SOCi worked with the marketing team to address each individual location’s needs and ensure all were up to date.   

 

Through 2021 and 2022, the digital landscape became even more important and expedited many of the goals Yesway and SOCi had established. With ongoing supply chain issues, labor shortages, and gas price fluctuations, Yesway is very cognizant of what they ask of team members and customers. SOCi helps the Yesway marketing team emphasize brand value through aligned promotions and operational cadences down to the local store level. This planning helped drive the “Stack and Save” promotion – fuel savings tied to product purchases through their Rewards program – throughout an entire year for the first time in 2022.

SOCi Results

Yesway has built a solid digital foundation with SOCi resulting in significant improvements. Yesway’s 2022 average local social engagement rate for all brands is 10.1% compared to the average retail benchmark of 2.8 percent. They have increased their Facebook page likes by 40,000 in one year, have over 13 million impressions, and almost 1 million page post engagements.  

 

The Yesway review response time also saw incredible improvement, up 900 percent year over year with 100 percent of responses managed. Their online sentiment trend is over 50 percent positive and their local search has expanded 31 percent year over year. Local search views show over 73 million total views with over 63 million coming from map views. In just eight months Yesway grew its map views by over two million, literally driving more customers to their stores. 

 

The future is bright for Yesway with SOCi as they continue to expand their audience growth strategies with additional social media influencer campaigns and an emphasis on doubling down on local-level visibility. In the next year, Yesway plans to use SOCi to build out local websites for each Yesway and Allsup’s location and increase posting at the local level to continue to drive engagement.

 

100%

Online review response rate

 

31%

Increase in local search in just one year

 

40,000

Additional Facebook "likes" in one year

 

+2 mil

Growth in map views in just 8 months

 

10.1%

Local social engagement rate for all brands compared to an average industry benchmark of 2.8%

 

+1 mil

Facebook page post engagements

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localized marketing to the next level.