Managing social media for multiple locations requires finesse. Click to learn how to kick your small business social media campaign into overdrive.
Social media has evened the playing field for small businesses that just don’t have the resources to compete with giant corporations. Instead of spending the bulk of your marketing budget on television or magazine advertising, you can set up free social media accounts and use them to connect with potential customers. If you have multiple locations, however, using social media as a marketing tool becomes a little more complex. This guide explains how to maximize your small business social media efforts based on your location.
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Consistency is the key to succeeding with your small business social media efforts. That’s why it’s so important to create a set of cohesive brand guidelines and make sure everyone uses them. Your brand guidelines should cover things like logo usage, writing style, formatting, tone of voice, and custom design elements. If your employees apply the guidelines correctly, you’ll have an easier time delivering a consistent experience for customers regardless of which location pages they visit.
Broad Vs Hyperlocal Content
When you’re marketing a multi-location business via social media, it’s important to have a mix of broad and hyperlocal content. Broad content focuses on building the overall brand, while hyperlocal content is developed with the needs of local customers in mind. To understand how this works, imagine you’re in charge of social media for a national roofing company with more than 30 locations. For broad content, you might post general tips for maintaining a roof or educate audience members on the importance of having regular roof inspections. Your hyperlocal content would focus on topics of interest to customers in specific areas. For example, if one of your locations is near the beach, you could do a series of posts on protecting a roof from damage caused by salt water.
Setting Up Social Media Pages
Home service contractors can benefit from using several social media platforms to promote their businesses. To maximize the benefits of small business social media, however, you need to set up the right pages on the right platforms. Here are some tips for setting up your pages on some of the most popular networks.
- Facebook: Facebook makes it easy for a growing business to promote multiple locations. All you have to do is set up your primary brand page and then add separate location pages underneath. To do this, you must set each page as a location under the main brand identity.
- Google My Business: This platform is ideal for hyperlocal marketing as it allows you to create separate pages for each business location. If your company has 10 locations, you can have a Google My Business profile for each one, ensuring customers in each city can easily learn more about your services.
- Twitter: Twitter is somewhat limited when it comes to location-based marketing. Since customers can’t review your business on Twitter, you don’t have to create separate accounts for each business location. Just set up one Twitter profile for your overall brand.
- Instagram: Instagram’s tagging capabilities make the platform ideal for hyperlocal marketing. To encourage customers to post about their experiences with your business, set up a separate page for each of your locations.
- YouTube: Creating quality YouTube videos takes time and money. If you have a limited marketing budget, start out with a brand page and use it to increase awareness of your business.
Local Landing Pages
If you plan to set up location pages on social media, your website should also have local landing pages, or pages that focus on specific business locations. A landing page is where a user “lands” after clicking a link from one of your social media accounts. Setting up location-based landing pages makes it easier for potential customers to find you when they search for local keywords like “plumber in Philadelphia” or “house cleaning service in Jacksonville.”
Creating local landing pages takes a little work, but the potential payoff is well worth the effort. These are just a few of the advantages of creating a separate landing page for each of your business locations:
- If you offer a different set of services at each location, you can customize your landing pages to highlight those services. For example, a landscaping company might highlight its xeriscaping expertise on landing pages for locations in Arizona and New Mexico, while it might want to focus on landscape winterization for locations that receive a lot of snow.
- Landing pages can be set up to promote discounts or special events at individual locations.
- You can publish short bios and photos of staff members at each location, helping potential customers establish a connection with your business.
- You can publish reviews for each specific location, showing potential customers that real people in their neighborhoods have been satisfied with your services.
- Having separate landing pages reduces confusion. If a customer from Nashville clicks a link from your Nashville Facebook page, they might be confused if they end up on a page that talks about San Diego or Cleveland.
What To Include
For best results, your landing pages should have several key elements. When you set up a new landing page, be sure to include the following:
- Keyword-rich headings and subheadings: Every piece of content you publish should have headings to break up large chunks of text and make it easier for readers to skim. Headings also serve another important purpose — they help Google and other search engines understand what your content is about. Be sure to incorporate relevant keywords to optimize each page as much as possible. For example, a landscaping company might use headings like “Xeriscaping Expert in Phoenix” or “Landscaping Greater Phoenix Area.”
- Relevant images: Including relevant images shows customers your company is capable of handling a variety of projects. For example, a contractor setting up a local landing page for Albuquerque might use photos to highlight the work they’ve done on homes designed in the traditional pueblo style.
- Hours of operation: There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to guess what time your business opens or closes. Eliminate this frustration by posting your hours of operation on each local landing page.
Once you have your social media location pages set up, it’s critical you post customized content on each one, as you want customers to be able to distinguish your hyperlocal content from your overall brand content. There are many ways to customize your content for customers in a specific location, but one of the most effective is to mention local attractions or events. For example, if your city is holding an event to educate residents on fire safety, you could post about it and explain how your plumbing company can help customers reduce the risk of fires caused by faulty furnaces.
Another way to customize your small business social media content is to post photos and videos of projects completed in each location. This is especially helpful if your business operates in locations that have vastly different environments, such one near the ocean and one in a heavily wooded area. This makes it easier to show potential customers you have an established presence in their communities, building trust and making them more confident in your ability to handle their projects. You can also post location-specific offers, such as an offer for a free roof inspection, or invitations to special events.
Location-Based Customer Personas
Creating location-specific customer personas is another good way to market a business with multiple locations. In marketing lingo, a persona is a profile of an ideal customer. Before you spend money on Facebook ads for contractors or a big social media push, you need to know who you’re targeting. Customer personas can help you personalize your marketing messages by getting clear about what services potential customers need, how much money they have to spend, and what they value.
Location-specific customer personas can help you refine your marketing strategy even further, increasing your ROI without increasing your marketing expenses. When you’re creating customer personas, think about how location affects your potential customer’s needs. Do you live in a city that gets a lot of snow? Maybe local residents need help with winterization. Is your city known for its high summer temperatures? Your ideal customer might be someone who wants to install central air conditioning. You should also think about how you can connect with potential customers by mentioning local landmarks or cultural icons. If you do business in a city with a beloved professional sports team, for example, you can write about how you’re rooting for the team or excited about an upcoming sports event.
Another way to customize your social media content is to post reviews from local customers. This shows people in your target audience that you already have a strong presence in the community and aren’t just a fly-by-night contractor who doesn’t care about their needs. If you pursue this strategy, be sure to post real reviews, not reviews made up by your marketing team to make your business look better. You want to come across as authentic as possible — after all, you want people to trust your business enough to hire you.
If you don’t have a lot of reviews, there are a few things you can do to get more, but one of the easiest is to ask past customers to share their experiences. It’s best to wait until after you’ve completed a project, as some customers may be hesitant to post a positive review before you’ve had a chance to finish the work. If multiple employees worked on the project, make sure the one who’s had the most contact with the customer is the one who asks for the review. This builds naturally on their existing relationship and takes some of the awkwardness out of asking.
Partnering With Other Organizations
As noted earlier, showing people you care about the community is a great way to build trust. When potential customers know you donate to local causes or support community events, they feel more comfortable asking you into their homes and potentially paying you large sums of money. Partnering with other organizations is a great way to complement your existing marketing efforts, as many nonprofits highlight their donors in press releases and social media posts. Donating your services to a Habitat for Humanity project or contributing to a fundraiser for a local family is a good thing to do in its own right, but it can also give your social media marketing efforts a bit of a boost.
Master Small Business Social Media
When it comes to marketing, most contractors ask the same question: How do I grow my business when I don’t have an unlimited marketing budget? Social media marketing is a good start. If your business has multiple locations, setting up individual location pages and customizing your content based on location can help you connect with the people in your target audience, making your business more profitable.