How to make Local a priority in your Brand’s Social Media Strategies
Local marketing is an essential element of a larger marketing strategy for brands. It can get it in front of a broader local audience that is likely to patronise your business. However, some brands find the thought of local marketing daunting.
When I talk to Brand Marketing Teams for large brands after their initial set-up on SocioCommand, I can often see an overwhelmed look on their faces. They scan 500+ channels they will need to create a posting strategy for and imagine a mountain of work ahead of them. I am here to tell you, as I have told them, it really isn’t that hard (promise!)
Your brand strategy will set up the building blocks that you need to create an EPIC local strategy. In fact, it should be part of it! In this article, I am going to discuss how to plan your brand’s social media whilst considering both brand and local content.
Continue reading if you want to know the simple steps you need to take to consider local marketing in your next brand strategy to keep building your brand’s global reach, local audiences and brand loyalty.
Back to basics!
Let’s take it back to the basics, to the concept of a brand. According to Jerry McLaughlin, Forbes Contributor; “Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual and emotional…Your brand exists only in someone’s mind.” If your brand considers all prospects and current customers, then your marketing strategy should consider them too. Online Marketing consists of brand marketing, product marketing and local marketing. All 3 combine to create a strategy for your social media channels - whether that consists of 5 locations or 5,000 locations. Let’s take a look at what each of those areas entail:
- Brand marketing aims to influence consumer perception of the entire company by promoting values, brand purpose, and ethics.
- Product marketing aims to build awareness of specific customer offerings by concentrating on the benefits and features of those specific items.
- Local marketing aims to increase awareness of a store within a local area and to turn shoppers into loyal advocates.
All 3 are part of a puzzle that works cohesively together to increase the overall sales of a multi-location brand. When creating posts on SocioCommand, you need to take into consideration each of these elements on social media and build a strategy that layers each of them together - like a beautifully decorated cake!
Now let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to consider brand, product and local marketing in your social media strategy:
1. Clarify your main objective
It is important to start by setting out your brand’s main objective. All elements of future campaigns should relate back to this. Clarifying your main objective first makes building each strand of marketing much easier and ensures that they are all working together effectively.
Set a duration
You can set this objective for the next month, the next quarter or even the next year. However, it is important to review your objectives periodically. Setting an end date can help with this. It allows you to regroup, evaluate how your posting strategy performed and see whether you hit your key performance metrics. This moves us on to…
Setting key performance metrics you want to achieve
Successful social media is all about analyzing your results and learning from them. This helps with decision-making on future content plans easier.
What worked and why? What didn’t work?
Creating successful posts and campaigns comes from experimenting and learning. Your audience is unique, so you need to get in tune with them.
Next, break down how your main objective can be translated into brand, product & local marketing. For example, if you own a grocery retail brand and your main objective is “Increasing App Downloads”, make sure that elements of this objective is carried down to each section of your brand’s marketing. This increases the likelihood of your customers downloading the app and increases the awareness of the app to multiple different audiences.
2. Define your target audience
After figuring out how to translate your main objective to brand & local posts, it’s time to define your target audience. You need to know who you’re targeting and have them in mind when you’re designing your value offer and the messaging behind your campaign.
Your target audience will be different for each element of marketing. Be aware of this when planning your posts. Make sure the content is relatable and applicable to the area you are posting to for local marketing.
Consider the tone of voice you will use for each audience. Each strand of marketing needs to emulate your brand's tone of voice, but remember to keep local in mind when creating local posts - increase colloquial language used, ask local audiences questions they can engage with, and break posts up per region to make it more applicable to the target audience.
3. Consider seasonal promotions and public holidays
Considering seasonal promotions can help propel your social media even further. Take a look at your upcoming calendar on the Monthly View tab on SocioCommand and figure out what events can tie in with your main objective. Most months have a theme that a campaign can be related to, you just need to figure out if it’s applicable to your main objective.
Let’s take a look at the first few months of the year and see if any of these can relate to the objective “Increasing App Downloads” specified above;
January - Little Christmas, Blue Monday, New Year’s Resolutions
February - Valentine’s Day, 6 Nations Rugby Tournament begins
March - Start of spring, Lent, St Patrck’s Day, Pancake Tuesday, International Women’s Day
April - April Fools Day, Easter, Earth Day, etc.
Each month here has an opportunity to promote App downloads. Posts can be linked with seasonal promotions only available on the app, they can be linked to products that are more likely to be purchased during that season on the app or you can release a seasonal promotion code that will only be available for a certain weekend on the app.
4. Break down local stores into Groups on SocioCommand
Groups are a group of Locations on SocioCommand. You can use them to group stores that have opted into certain promotions quickly and easily. They are how you'll manage your stores into the marketing Groups that work best for you! They are also a great way to separate different Locations for reporting purposes. Stores can be members of as many Groups as necessary at the same time! Using groups increases scheduling speed quite significantly, which makes them a very important part of your posting strategy.
Here are some examples of groups that have worked well for the brands that we support on SocioCommand:
- Regional Groups for hyperlocal content
- Groups for each concession such as coffee, delis, ice creams, etc.
Sometimes brands break these down into smaller groups so that all stores with ‘x’ branded coffee don’t receive the same post on the same day.
- Groups for brand pages
- Groups for specific product promotions if not all stores have opted into them
- Groups for stores with small followings - that need a bit more advertising
5. Create a Skeleton Calendar
I always advise teams to create a very basic breakdown of posts for the month ahead. These posts will need to be created and scheduled after this point so think of this as a basic blueprint - only the bare bones of information needs to be recorded here. Doing this can ensure that you are scheduling the right number of posts for each group you have created on SocioCommand. Consistency is everything on social media! Each store’s channels will get a combination of posts depending on what groups they are in on SocioCommand.
When creating a calendar for social media, don’t overthink it! Start by separating your brand, product and local out into different headings, then list the main elements that you need to post about for the month ahead, ensuring that you are keeping your main objective in mind.
It’s game time - start posting!
Now that we have all of the planning out of the way, it’s time to start posting! When starting initially, keep a few things in mind:
- The purpose and message behind your post!
- Are your brand and local posts all singing from the same hymn sheet?
Do they represent the same values? Are you increasing awareness of a brand campaign by posting it locally too?
- How many posts each store is getting?
According to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Trends Report 2022, it is recommended that each B2C page gets 6 posts per week. This can be a combination of brand and local posts.
- Are your stores getting a variety of different content on a weekly page?
Don’t let 2 stores from neighbouring towns get the same 5 posts every week.
To summarise; considering local social media in your brand strategy is invaluable for increasing your reach and awareness AND it’s not that hard. Breaking up your strategy into these top 5 steps will allow you to visualise what needs to be created for the months ahead and saves you time when you begin posting.
Utilising SocioCommand for multi-location businesses is time-saving, ensure your stores are getting hyperlocal, bespoke content and allows you to view all of your brand, product and local posts in one place. Not only that but it has many other features that benefit multi-location brands such as social media governance, brand compliance, education and much more!
To talk to us about your brand or have any question answered, book in a call and we would be happy to chat through some options.