How many times have you said you want to improve your multi-location business’s localized marketing strategy but never get around doing it? Or, have you not yet considered how a strong localized marketing strategy can help your business? Either way, it’s time to take action and scale up your multi-location business’s localized marketing strategy.
Many businesses have been experiencing a lull in traffic due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Rather than sitting idle during this time, you can use it to your advantage and maximize your localized digital presence. A scaled-up localized marketing strategy will ensure that your business bounces back from COVID-19 and stands out amongst competitors. From social media to ratings and reviews to local listings, there’s a lot to cover! We’ll walk you through the key tactics to scale up to match consumer’s digital fist behaviors amid COVID-19.
Develop a social media strategy across all locations
Social media is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways your multi-location business can communicate with your consumers and target audience. While your multi-location business may already have a social media strategy in place, there are plenty of opportunities to scale up your strategy in social and make it more relevant to the situations we are all facing due to COVID-19.
For instance, your multi-location business should be using social media to promote safety precautions you’re taking during this time to keep consumers safe. If your business is currently open, are you requiring masks, and are your employees wearing them? How often are you sanitizing the store and checking the health of your employees? This is information that consumers are looking for right now. The virus is affecting every area differently – it’s essential to localize these updates to remain relevant. It is important to make consumers feel secure and highlight how your business is proactive in keeping them healthy.
In addition to using social media to highlight what measures your business is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s also important to share any changes to business operations that may have happened. Many businesses have reduced their hours, which should be highlighted on your social media channels. We understand that these hours may vary per location, so your multi-location business must have a local Facebook page for each site. Your business may also have senior hours or hours that differ for takeout and delivery, all of which should be highlighted on your social media.
If your multi-location business has yet to open due to the current pandemic or is reducing foot traffic, virtual events or Q&As are also a great way to scale-up your social media strategy during this time. For instance, if you work at a restaurant and are only allowed 25 percent capacity, you could host virtual cooking classes or release some fun recipes on your social media channels to keep your consumers engaged. While some consumers may not be able to visit your multi-location business right now, they will remember these efforts once they can go out to eat again or visit a hair salon or gym.
While it’s essential to use social media to inform your consumers about what is going on during the current pandemic, it’s also important to remember that it shouldn’t be the only thing you post about. You don’t want to over-post about COVID-19 and have your consumers lose interest in your posts. While you should be aware of the nation’s current state, it’s also okay to post about your business or other relevant topics. Keeping a balanced social media presence will keep your consumers engaged in your content and ultimately help them remember your business when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.
If you’re wondering how you will manage these new social media tactics with fewer resources, you’re not alone! SOCi realizes that many businesses have had to consolidate their marketing efforts during this time, which is why we’re here to help! SOCi’s Content Manager allows you to manage all of your local social media pages across a variety of channels, all from a single platform! We make it easy for you to manage and monitor all of your social media pages from one centralized platform, saving you a lot of time and effort.
Collect ratings and reviews and manage them for each location
Another great way to scale-up your localized marketing strategy is to focus on your local ratings and reviews. Our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that reviews were the most critical factor consumers consider when making a purchase decision. If your multi-location business hasn’t been focusing on ratings and reviews through COVID-19, it’s time to start.
You may be wondering how you can get new ratings and reviews while your business operations are limited, but there are ways to get creative! If you haven’t already responded to all of the reviews each of your business locations have received on various search and social platforms, now is a great time to do so. Eighty-seven percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds. If you’re trying to improve your overall star-rating and sentiments around reviews, responding is a must! Whether it’s just a simple response to a positive review or an acknowledgment of a negative review, responses are critical.
After you’ve finished responding to all of the reviews your business has received, you can brainstorm ways to collect more reviews both now, and once your business returns to normal. Is it easy for consumers to navigate how to leave a review for your business? Are you mentioning reviews without incentivizing them? These are some tactics that your multi-location business can use to gain more reviews during this downtime. For more ideas on how to gather reviews for your business, check out our blog on the topic.
As mentioned previously, we know that your business may be strained for resources right now. That is why SOCi is here to help you manage your local ratings and reviews as well! Through our reputation and reviews feature, SOCi pulls every review for all your business locations into one centralized platform — accessible by both corporate and local teams. Give local marketing teams the power to respond to reviews, and your corporate team the oversight through the creation of approval workflows. If you’re looking to scale up your reputation and reviews strategy, SOCi has you covered.
Update your local listings with relevant information
Local listings may be one of the most important ways your multi-location business can scale up your localized marketing strategy, especially now. Having up-to-date local listings across all of your business locations is more important than ever. Up-to-date local listings can save your consumers time and confusion, which is vital during these difficult times.
If your operation hours have changed, that should be updated on all of your listings across every business location. Google My Business (GMB) and other search platforms have also added new features to their platforms that businesses can utilize to highlight changes due to COVID-19. For instance, GMB has allowed companies to communicate temporary closures and highlight secondary business hours if your business has differing hours for seniors or takeout and delivery. Yelp has also added a new COVID-19 section, where you can include all relevant information for your local businesses as well.
While ensuring that your local listings are up to date is crucial, there are also ways you can scale-up your listings to make them more effective as people slowly return to your business. For instance, you can include a cover photo and other local photos to your profile, respond to questions that may have been received in your Q&A section, and start replacing COVID-19 posts with other posts that may interest your target audience. For more ideas on how to improve your local listings post-COVID-19, check our blog on the topic.
If you need more help on navigating your local listings or are concerned about how you will manage all of your location’s listings, SOCi again is here to help! Not only can we assist you with your content management and ratings and reviews, but our listings solution allows you to maintain accurate and consistent information across 100s or 1,000s of business listings and networks.
Now that you have all of the tools needed to scale-up your localized marketing strategy, the future is in your hands. What steps is your multi-location business going to take to level-up amid the current pandemic? You must put effort into improving your localized marketing strategy to see the payoff when it comes to new leads and, ultimately, sales. Learn how SOCi can become the central command for your multi-location businesses and can help you maximize every part of the consumer journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SOCi is an award-winning platform built specifically for “next-level” multi-location marketers.