Whether you are a franchisee of a global brand or run a marketing for a regionally segmented business, there are no guarantees that every post, contest and engagement will move your shoppers along the social path to purchase. What I can tell you is that an honest, consistent and personal relationship with your social communities will enhance your brand, increase engagement and provide insights to your audience--and ultimately play an integral role in driving the sales of the products or services featured on social media.
So now let’s say you also have a corporate headquarters that provides a foundation of social media support but does not dictate individual division/franchisee social media strategy. In this case the likely role for the corporate entity is protecting the brand and providing guidance and/or tools to the divisions/franchisees.
Corporate support can be invaluable, but the question we frequently get from marketing managers of regional divisions and franchisees is: How do I tailor our corporate social media marketing strategy to speak authentically to and reach my local customers?
Here are a few of the recommendations Social Forces makes for increasing brand engagement and influence purchase behavior at the regional level:
Partner with Corporate to understand the strategy behind their social media tools. They may be providing more resources for reaching your local audiences than first seems apparent. Working within their guidelines will always be more warmly received than working around them.
Develop custom content that focuses on the specifics of the culture and personality of your regional geography while finding a way to supplement the use of the corporate highlights.
Promote both events and in-store offers with content created specially for your local target audiences: Experiential and lifestyle photography featuring people that your real customers can relate to versus stock/generic images--always taking care to make sure the corporate brand standards are still met.
Understand your local audience and choose the right platform/channel for each piece of content. The adoption and use of social media channels can vary geographically.
Maximize targeting to boost posts and optimize for all content so that it may engage your community who values the consistent experience of your Pages.
Embrace social listening and feedback to continually improve relationships with your local community. This may be one of your strongest opportunities to shine at the regional level.
Shoppers of all types are looking for is a transparent place to vent, be heard and have the opportunity for the relationship to continue with your brand. Sometimes that means a true corporate response and lots of times it’s the people on the front lines that need to have those conversations. Localized creative content helps your customers understand and value them as individuals and can often help prompt positive conversations. If this sounds daunting know that you don’t have to go at it alone for a localized strategy to be effective. An experienced social media agency like Social Forces can partner with your to manage all of the above without losing any of the regional authenticity.
Ari Rothman is the VP/Accounts & Marketing Services at Social Forces, and a 20+ year CPG/retail and restaurant marketing veteran with account experience in integrated social media platforms and now leads new business development. To contact Ari or hear more about Social Forces email Ari@SocialForces.com or call 813-775-2282 Ext. 700