Turn Your Local Retailers into Social Media Experts!
Today, we are looking at what brands can do to help train their local retailers in social media marketing. We have worked with many brands who have set up their local stores’ social media from the ground up and learned a lot of great tricks along the way.
Check out some of our favourite initiatives brands have included in their roll-out strategy to get local stores invested in growing their reach and awareness.
- Create a social media guidebook
- Share a getting started check-list with your local stores
- Create regular and consistent brand posts for stores to opt-in to
- Set up training webinars to show stores what’s working and what isn’t
- Have a new store opening/store renovation posting plan at hand
- Gamify local social media with retailers
- Monitor your local store’s output by using the right tool for multiple local pages
Creating a social media guidebook
As a Head Office Brand Marketer or a Franchisor, you have to give clear direction about how the brand should be represented to all local stores. This is an extension of the brand guidelines with a specific concentration on practical social media tools for local stores. First, establish a brand voice across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and help local stores spread this voice in their social media posts. Second, provide examples of what works and what doesn’t. Third, let them know ahead of time what the brand will be focusing on for the period ahead.
- Define your brand’s tone of voice.
- Provide guidelines on the kind of imagery you accept and prohibit.
- Provide response templates that can be tailored to each location.
- Clearly mention what your brand stands for and does not tolerate.
- Showcase ‘best in class’ case studies of the stores that have excelled at social media.
- Let them know of any social media regulations they should consider when posting (for example; posts about alcohol).
- Break down the national media plan for the year ahead.
Getting started checklist
There are a few things to bear in mind when starting off on social media.
First things first, how does a retailer set up a social media page? What networks should they concentrate on? Once they are set up, what information do they need to populate their pages?
Ensuring each local page has its business information filled in ensures that each store page is searchable and that customers can find it. Research suggests you have just seven seconds to make a first impression — it can be even shorter online. The secret sauce? A good intro to your business! Spelling out to local retailers what they should have filled out on their social media pages ensures that you set expectations from the start.
A few other things local stores need to consider are what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Check out our handy downloadable guide geared towards grocery retail attached below. This can be used as a guide to suit your brand and business vertical.
Creating brand posts for stores
Local Posts are necessary to increase page reach and customer engagement. They give a social media page personality and ensure that local audiences create connections with businesses online.
Brand Posts are necessary to ensure that your brand is being represented across the country and that your brand messages and tone of voice are passed down to an engaged local audience. Brand Posts ensure that key campaigns and promotions are seen through the eyes of the hundreds and thousands of followers of each local store. Local posts create the audience, and brand posts create the hook that brings them in the door!
Set up training webinars to show stores what’s working and what isn’t
Having a training webinar every 6 months to showcase what is working well and what isn’t can really help improve the overall quality of your local store's social media. Training webinars can help focus stores and remind them of the importance of social media. You can also use this time to present case studies on how a local social media campaign increased the sales of a local store dramatically.
Check out a recent case study we completed for Daybreak Dungarvan, a local store in Waterford, Ireland. We utilised this case study together with the Daybreak Brand Team to increase the number of Daybreak stores that opted into social media. Seeing real-life examples of the power of social media and how it improved the overall sales of a peer, helped convince Daybreak retailers to start their social media journey and begin growing their business online.
New store opening/store renovation posting plans
The build-up to a store opening, announcing the switching of its branding or the story of a renovation/refit are great opportunities to ensure that the retailers and their customers are hooked into social media from the get-go of their new opening. Starting off with social media can tell the store’s story, build a community, connect with vendors and other stores, boost sales, and drive traffic to a website or brick-and-mortar location. We recommend creating a template for new store openings that includes a few popular content ideas.
- Behind-the-scenes posts
- Introductions to brand concessions
- Reminders and updates of the store opening
- Posts about the store opening - the first customer in the door, cutting the ribbon, etc.
- Surveys and polls
*TOP TIP* Always include some advertising spend to help launch the page on social media to an accurate audience.
Gamify local social media
Everyone wants to get to a gold standard. Adding gamification to local stores' social media allows retailers to engage in healthy competition in order to improve their overall output. The psychology of games can help to improve the induction of social media, improve knowledge and speed up their desire to make it a constant part of their business strategy. Gamification contributes to motivating all retailers, even if they are part of different teams in several geographic points. It also contributes to employees feeling more individually rewarded. According to Joris Beerda, FRSA, from The Octalysis Group, a global gamification and digital engagement consulting firm, “Gamification for employee motivation can lead to increased engagement, productivity, and ultimately, success. By incorporating good gamification into the workplace, employers can drive positive outcomes and tap into the intrinsic motivation of their employees.”
Why not create a bronze, silver and gold standard of social media engagement and give stores that climb the ladder a shout-out on your quarterly bulletins?
Monitor your local store’s output by using the right tool for multiple local pages
SocioConnect has 2 product offerings. SocioCommand allows Brand Marketing Teams to feed brand posts down to local stores, track local stores’ social media performance and ensure brand consistency across their local pages.
SocioLocal allows stores to utilise SocioConnect too. Here, they can view Brand Posts ahead of time, schedule local posts, view branded content and professional photography on our content pool and track their inboxes across every social media platform.
Whichever option a brand chooses; choosing SocioConnect allows them to make sure that brand posts are cohesive across their estate and maintains a posting consistency that keeps local pages active.
We hope those initiatives will be included in your roll-out strategy to get local stores invested in growing their presence on social media! We have helped lots of brands succeed in implementing local social media across their estate and we would love to help you! Book in a call if you'd like more information.