Let’s say you are now part of the marketing team of a brand with stores in multiple locations, and your mission is to manage the brand’s online reputation by organising its social media channels. You go on Facebook, search for your company’s page and boom! You enter a very messy universe with many unmanaged location Pages, many of them with inconsistent branding and inaccurate information.
How do you start to put things together? Well, the first step is to get in contact with local managers to align a localised social strategy for the brand. Find out who is going to be responsible for updating local content, such as promotions, opening hours and events.
What may seem complicated at first can be an advantage when engaging with customers and attracting more buyers through social media channels.
Why a single brand page doesn’t do the job?
Businesses have realised that sales are now driven by online reviews and recommendations. However, these reviews are happening at a local level, not at the brand’s page level.
Surveys reveal that online consumers search for information before they buy. According to Brightlocal’s latest survey, 86% of consumers read local business reviews. In addition, 89% also read business responses, and 91% rely on online reviews as much as recommendations from people they know.
When a company does not have a specific location Page, customers will create their own page for the business so other local customers can find more information about the store they have visited.
See the infographic Location Pages vs. Corporate Pages: why multi-store brands and franchises need a localised social media strategy?
The Facebook Factor
If you want your multi-location business to succeed it is important to invest time to optimising your Google My Business and Facebook Location Pages, this is because those services are two primary sources of online reviews.
Facebook pages have less volume of reviews compared to Google my Business, but it is a social network which has more overall engagement. In addition, Facebook is investing heavily in becoming the largest network of word of mouth recommendations for local businesses.
It has recently replaced its system of reviews by a simple question: “Do you recommend this service?” The idea is to encourage more people to share their experiences.
The social network allows posts from Brand Pages to appear on Location Pages, but you can also create specific content with promotions and events that are limited to certain stores. The brand Page becomes a large hub of information receiving notifications when people leave messages, ratings, reviews, likes, check-ins and posts on Location Pages.
Claiming ownership of a Location Page
If you find an unofficial Location Page on Facebook, you can request to claim the page and become the admin for it. You are then able to merge the page into a page which you already manage for your business.
Keep in mind that you may be asked for information to verify your relationship with the business, such as business phone number, business email or documentation.
Managing multiple pages and teams
It is a good strategy to invest in a tool to manage your social media profiles. This will make things easier because you can add local people as managers of specific Location Pages and they will be able to use the same template you are using for your brand to create location-specific content.
A social media management tool can also allow you to schedule, approve and publish content at both Brand and Location Pages.