Marketing to multi-locations can be challenging. You want to keep consistency across your brand, but how can you add local flavour when you have outlets in different locations? Multi-location businesses have to think of each retail outlet as a distinct entity. Each location needs individual attention for local search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, and to keep location and contact information current.
Here are ways social media can help:
– Start with the big picture
– Think local
– Claim your local places
– Think mobile
– Think geo-targeting
Start with the big picture
Make sure you have a corporate strategy for social media. You want to make sure that your branding is consistent across all retail outlets. You need to have the infrastructure for inbound marketing and reputation management, scaling content and campaign management. Your head or main office is the place for developing guidelines that will maintain consistency across all locations.
Add local knowledge
Corporate content can ensure consistency and that all locations have an online presence, but it will become too generic. The missing ingredient is local knowledge. Work with your local teams to add local events, community insights, local charities and store specific news. Social media management technology makes it easy to centralise social media management for the company, at the same time allowing local retailers to share photographs and their news too.
Claim your local places
Make sure you claim all your local places like Google Plus, Facebook and Yelp. The most obvious place to start is by creating a listing in Google My Business, but don’t forget that Facebook will also help customers find local businesses. Make sure that all the addresses are exactly the same in all places. You also need to make sure that your Facebook Place pages are linked to your pages. This may be tedious to do at the time, but it has a tremendous impact on SEO when people are searching for, say, camping equipment near me.
Think mobile first
Imagine how great it would be to target customers when they are physically close to your store if not actually in your shop. 91% of adults keep their smartphone within arm’s reach throughout the day. Well, you can now because technology has become so much smarter.
Marriott Hotels use a technology called geo-fencing to make sure they can see public posts that people staying at their hotels are posting. This technology creates virtual boundaries around their properties using GPS and other digital markers. The Marriott digital marketing team can listen to their guests’ conversations in real time.
People constantly use their smartphone, so make sure that when they’re out and about that your shop’s location and contact details make it easy for people to get instore.
Marketing budgets still lag behind on spend for mobile advertising. Yet mobile is where your customers are spending their time online.
Targeting ads by the location of your customers is very powerful for multi-location businesses. You can target people within a set distance of one or many of your shops with ads designed to help navigate or contact the location nearest to them. If you have multiple store locations, use Facebook Ads with ’Store Visits‘ as an objective for your campaign. This will build a dynamic advertising campaign that target people around each shop location.
You will need to have Facebook Locations set up before you do this and the details for each location.
Instagram uses Facebook’s advertising system to help you geo target customers.
Twitter allows you to geo target by country, city or even postcode!
As a multi-location business, you need to be able to ’think local‘. Getting foot traffic to your physical stores is essential at a time when so many retail outlets are struggling. Make sure you take advantage of technology that will help you.