Its no secret that social media platforms continue to make lots of changes to their algorithms and rules, that not only promote relevant and localised social media content, but now actually prevent organisations from posting the same content to all their accounts simultaneously!
So, you might be thinking what’s the big deal with localised social media, what is it and why should I be interested?
We’re answering those questions and covering the top reasons why creating tailored social media content for each of your local audiences is much more powerful than just relying on central activity.
What Do We Mean by Local Social Media?
Firstly, when we talk about local social media we mean tailoring your social media strategy and content to engage and provide value to your local audiences, via dedicated local social media pages. As such, localised social media strategies are great for organisations with multiple physical locations.
For example, if you are a high street travel agent, having social media pages for each store location allows you and your team to create and share locally-relevant content alongside national campaigns, and also provides a natural point of contact for customer and potential customer alike.
Another sector where localised social media strategies are common is the leisure and fitness. For example, Bannatyne’s adopted a local social strategy which enabled them to build an engaged customer community over 200,000 Facebook fans across the UK, by creating local content and engaging local venue customers on social media.
When adopting a localised social media strategy, central marketing teams need to provide their local venue colleagues with safe access to their local social media accounts to schedule content and respond to inbound questions and enquiries; social media management platforms like SoCrowd can help you do this.
Local Social vs Centralised Social Media Management
When it comes to generating unique local content for social media, centralised teams often struggle. They may have to resort to emailing local teams for photos or other assets that they can post on social media on their behalf; not a very efficient process! Or worse, organisations simply choose to not have local accounts because they are too difficult to update, or they allow local venue teams to have ‘free reign’ of their accounts but risk an inconsistent brand and customer experience.
Localised social media differs from centralised social media management, but doesn’t replace it. For multi-site organisations to get the most benefit from a coordinated local social media strategy, the central marketing, communications or social media team must have visibility of all local page activities, and be able to approve or validate content being scheduled by the local teams before it goes live, to ensure content is on-brand and using the correct tone-of-voice.
This way, local venue teams are empowered to engage with their local audiences to provide a better customer experience, but at the same time the central marketing team can retain control over the brand identify but also continue to run national marketing campaigns and promotions.
Why Should you Build Local Social Media into Your Digital Strategy?
Wondering if a local social media strategy is right for your team or your organisation? Here’s the 4 keys to multi-site organisations adopting local social media.
1. Control Over Your Accounts
A localised strategy allows your central marketing or comms team to proactively take ownership of local venue accounts, and avoid over-enthusiastic employees creating unauthorised social media profiles or customers creating new pages when leaving a review.
A social media management platform like SoCrowd gives everyone a unique login to safely access their relevant social profiles, and provides the central team with full visibility of all connected accounts, and the ability to approve or reject content scheduled by the local venue teams to ensure it remains on-brand.
2. Engaged Local Audiences
There is no doubt that your local venue teams know your customers better than almost anyone else in the organisation. Their day-to-day interactions with these customers mean they know what their priorities are, their interests and also their concerns. As a result, your local teams are perfectly placed to create highly-relevant content that keeps audiences engaged with your brand.
3. Faster, Better Customer Service When Customers Want It
Localised social media opens up your brand to help customers find you and engage with you more easily, and your local venue teams are often best placed to respond to their enquiries when they do so. For example, questions about stock availability, the latest gym class timetables or event restaurant table availability can be seen and immediately responded to. Opportunities that could otherwise be missed or at least be delayed as the central Marketing or Comms team have other priorities to handle first.
Working in this way can also increase efficiency, as social media management platforms like SoCrowd can automatically alert users and route enquiries to the most relevant individuals to respond. This eliminates the ‘social postmen’ who often have to send and receive questions and answers internally via email before being able to respond to the customer.
4. Reducing Negativity
In having completely separate Facebook accounts for each location, any negative content that the pages do receive will only appear on that specific page, thus lessening the impact on your brand. If your customers have their questions answered on local pages, it can also help to draw negativity away from your main brand pages which is great for your reputation.
Its clear there are lots of benefits to local social but of course there are steps to successfully integrate this into your social media strategy. Check out our Making it Personal guide to find out more about what goes into it and which structure would best suit your organisation.
Do you have a successful local social media strategy? Tweet us @SoCrowd!