Over the years I’ve counseled all sorts of clients on issues relating to social media marketing and pr. There definitely is not, a one-size fits all when it comes to mapping social media objectives to business objectives. There are a lot of things that play into deciding to leverage social media and in what way you want to use it. Things like industry, business size, number of locations all play a part, along with a deep understanding of what your overall marketing and business objectives are. The thing that astonishes me however, is that there exists a segment of the business world that still seems conflicted over localized social media. The segment I’m referring to in this post are businesses that reach consumers through a local, brick and mortar, channel. Restaurant and retail primarily. It’s amazing to me that small to large size regional, national and global chains are still hitching their wagon to a one-size fits all approach to social media, setting up the single Facebook page or Twitter account and letting their brand amass 100,000+ likes and followers just on shear brand equity. But then what? Brands, it’s time to realistically consider a local social option. I hate to be a bandwagon peddler, but a lot of big organizations are rolling out locally and doing it successfully. I wrote about three examples of local social media strategy here before. But let’s dive into why it makes good sense for organizations that drive sales through a local channel. I’ll discuss two primary reasons that I write about in great detail in my latest E-Book (Free Download) titled, Localized Social Media: How to leverage the power of a localized social media strategy and increase marketing efficiency.
Don’t disrupt consumer psychology
In a recent interview with Jason Falls at Social Media Explorer, I explain the most foundational premise for a localized social media strategy in an organization that drives sales through multiple, physical, locations. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a brand that has as strong of an emotional appeal as Apple or Target, the chances are that your brand affinity was developed by consumers’ your local connection to the brand either through a store, agent, rep or channel.A consumer may love brand X, but the location down the street is where you engage with brand X. That locations is where your consumer knows their way around the store, or how to contact them etc. So why on earth, would an organization decide to not leverage localized social media, which is designed and intended to augment the local experience? It beats me. To put it more concisely, albeit cliche. Business is local. All marketing is local. Your social media should be local.
Increase marketing efficiency
In a world of shrinking budgets but rising expectations, marketers continue to have to find ways to do more with less. For the organization with dozens or hundreds of locations either corporately owned or locally owned, the best thing you can do is to roll out a local social media strategy, here’s why. There’s no doubt that social reach is relevant, however, just how relevant it is can be easy to forget. McKinsey once likened the power of peer recommendation through social media to be 30 times more effective than traditional online advertising. Great! You say, that’s why I have my corporate Facebook page, why should I go local? I’m already being efficient at a 3o-to-1 ratio? Well my friends, you can amp that with another multiplier, we’ll call it the local effect. MainStay Salire published a report not too long ago that points our that one fan of a local social media account is equal to 40 fans of a corporate account, a 40-to-1 ratio, that coupled with the 30-to-1 I point out from Gartner should be enough to close the case for local/social once and for all.
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What about you? What’s holding your organization back from leveraging the power of localized social media efforts?
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