All companies, no matter their size, face many struggles. Corporations with multiple locations face a particularly difficult obstacle on their path to success: meeting customer expectations while staying on brand in every location. Much easier said than done.
Most corporations do a great job making sure their locations have aesthetic consistency. For example, the McDonald’s sign is recognizable from a distance, their buildings are always the same, and their interior design is consistent across locations, down to the employee’s uniforms and the tiled floor. Aesthetics can be easily managed by headquarters. But what about social media?
Social Media for Corporations
Corporations generally want to have the same level of control over social media marketing as aesthetics. While it will ensure brand consistency, this kind of control can be harmful to social media customer experience. But why? Shouldn’t sharing the same marketing messages to the target audience ensure brand consistency and attract potential customers? The answer: yes and no.
Yes, in theory, being consistent in your messaging to your entire target audience should work as your customers share the same basic needs. No, because the bigger your audience is the more their needs will vary. These variations result from differences in culture and location. These factors, in particular, can heavily influence the lens through which your consumers view life, which will influence the way they interpret your marketing messages. This is especially true for social media since social posts must connect with a viewer almost immediately if it’s to have optimal effect.
Use marketing research to discover differences in your target audience, no matter how nuanced and then create strategies that utilize these differences to better connect with more potential customers. McDonald’s is a good example of this. They’re well known for their Glocal model, in which they combine global marketing efforts with local applications.
*some of these McDonald’s products are no longer available
These are just a few examples of the diverse McDonald's menu around the world. They’ve researched and delivered food that people in their respective countries will like. This example of excellent customer experience has positively developed customer perception of the food chain across the world. While McDonald’s’ menu localization is a large scale example, a similar increase in brand perception can result from focusing on social customer experience in every location. After doing market research and utilizing social listening tools to identify geographical differences in your audience, your company will need authentic content for social media and efficient communication.
Authentic Social Media Content
Social media algorithms want authentic content. If the same social post from corporate is posted to each location’s social platform, the algorithms will see that as templated rather than personalized. However, giving each location a gallery of images, approved content, and auto social scheduling tools will enable them to publish the social post that is more relevant to your customer base, stay on brand, and save them (and you) time.
Another way to publish authentic content is to gather employee-generated content. Nuvi Capture is an app that allows users to take a picture with or of a customer, get their signature to approve the company’s use of the image, and then save it to the gallery. When they put it in the gallery, headquarters can see the image and approve or remove it. The account manager can then download the image and upload it to other location’s galleries.
Capture encourages word of mouth as well. When the customer signs off on the image, they also provide their phone number and name. When the social post with the image is live, the location can send a text message to the customer with a link for further sharing.
Effective Team Communication
In order for local teams to publish authentic social content, each location’s employees need open and clear communication paths with corporate. To start, corporate should create and outline social strategies for each location. Then, corporate and local teams can coordinate on which tools and assets are needed to implement the strategies.
As each location is given more of a role in publishing content on their own, they need to ensure that they are letting their corporate contact know when they’re publishing what content. Of course, there will be some content that needs to be pushed out in a certain timeframe, but letting each location, which has the best pulse on consumers in their area, select when to publish within that time frame can increase customer engagement. Now, corporate has the hard task of overseeing and managing this content. A calendar that can be shared with all locations or simply local teams and their corporate representative can help keep content and social media marketing initiatives organized.
The more each location is enabled to assist and implement social customer experience strategies, the further the social content will go and the more successful it will be. And your local employees will show more brand pride. Employees that feel a sense of fulfillment as they do their part to keep the company running, and even improve it, will be happier and more likely to “talk up” the company with potential customers and their own friends.
As local social media marketers are empowered to share brand messaging, the company’s online presence will grow. Potential customers will be drawn to the location-specific messaging as well as the vibrant social presence.
Discover how Nuvi’s Multiple Location solutions will help you better reach your target audience by giving employees the resources they need.