Social Media Strategy: SOCi Offers Protection and Engagement

Most brands know that it is important to have a corporate social media presence, but simply being online is no longer enough. SOCi Inc., the premier social media management platform for the franchise industry, recommends a strong social media strategy start with going local. Just consider Facebook, the top player in the social media game when it comes to marketing to local businesses. Facebook is: 

#1 in Local Reviews

Facebook is the go-to site to review and recommend businesses. They host more than four times as many reviews as other sites in certain categories. Reviews also appear on unclaimed pages. That means your pages aren’t just yours. Franchises today must communicate on a more personal level. 

#2 Mobile Search Engine

1 in 4 mobile searches for a local business happen on Facebook, the second largest search engine in the world. Ranking is based on your local engagement. Local pages can increase brand visibility, boost social search results, and provide valuable insights on your client base.

Social media has grown exponentially over the past few years, and so has its user base. With more than 50 million business pages active on Facebook, local social profiles provide franchises an organic way to interact and engage digitally in a powerful way. Brands, who fear going local will increase the number of pages they need to manage, can mitigate this with a solid mission plan.

Profile

Create a new business page for each of your locations. Check that Facebook hasn’t automatically created one for you. If they have, apply to claim it. Complete your entire profile, including your address, hours, category, about, and story sections. A full profile indicates to customers that this is an official brand page, not one that is unattended or made for fraud.

Mission

Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Are you aiming to increase brand awareness? Figure out what you wish to accomplish before devising a content or advertising plan and align this mission with your global marketing strategy.

Content

Content and consistency go hand-in-hand. Tackle both in an efficient and effective manner with the following:

  • Rules & Best Practices. Give each franchisee a set of policies and best practices that they must follow when running their individual pages. Provide a written description for each guideline so there is no confusion regarding what can and cannot be posted or shared. Require each employee to read these policies.
  • Creative Content. Create a variety of on-brand content for different locations and audiences in order to increase engagement and relate to customers on a higher level. Research local events, traditions, foods, slang, and more, to post about and participate in.

Stay on Brand: Gateways & Libraries

When you have a large number of Facebook profiles, it can become easy to lose track of what each of them post and share. An all-in-one social media tool is a must for franchises.

Ensure that everything posted on the profiles of your franchisees is on-brand by setting up approval gateways. Give a select few in your organization permission to create and schedule content, and others the ability to approve it for posting. This will produce a more consistent voice throughout your pages and align the messages with your brand mission. Use an asset management tool to store brand-approved content. Message and image libraries allow franchisees to pull and post corporate-approved material, streamlines social media efforts, and protects the image of the franchise.

Monitor, Respond, Repeat

How your franchisees reply to reviews or comments left?on their page is crucial to your business. Most consumers now expect a reply within 24 hours. Brands can’t afford to let any comment or customer slip through the cracks.

Find a reputation management workflow solution that will allow you to monitor incoming reviews and comments for each location. Set up custom alerts and notifications so that nothing gets missed. Review your analytics to monitor the locations that reply within the ideal window and which are falling behind.

An effective social media strategy can protect your brand and boost engagement with your local customers. With the explosion in local activity and the inherent risks and opportunities associated with that growth, now is the time to solidify your social media strategy.

Make your brand findable on Facebook. Go local today. Visit www.meetsoci.com/resources for more guides and resources.

Published: August 17th, 2017

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