For national franchise brands, social advertising requires a two-pronged approach from the corporate and franchise level. One reason for this is that in addition to the corporate brand page, Facebook also creates local pages for each individual franchise location.
An effective localized social marketing strategy incorporates input from both the local franchisor and the corporate team creating ads that follow corporate brand standards while also speaking to the local consumers around each franchise location. Implementing this presents a few challenges, but with a few best practices you can easily to overcome them to succeed.
Challenge 1: Finding a new approach to advertising
Some franchise brands resort to a centralized approach to ads — in which the corporate team or agency creates one overarching campaign that is intended to cover every franchise location. When one entity manages ads for hundreds of franchises, the resulting content looks generic. The ads show one image, target one audience, and feature one message for every franchise location.
To appeal to different audiences all across the country, incorporate localized Facebook ads into your marketing strategy. This advertising approach features tailored messaging, store-specific imagery, and custom location-based audiences while maintaining the look and feel of the national brand. Scaling this localized approach is difficult, but utilizing a tool that empowers dynamic imagery, text, and links solves the scaling issue while empowering franchises to reach local audiences.
Challenge 2: Understanding your local customers
No matter how many locations a franchise brand has, almost, if not, all of in-store customers are local customers. Because the people who walk into each business are members of the surrounding community, social ads must reflect the unique needs of each community’s consumers.
A strategy that deploys one Facebook ad campaign for hundreds or thousands of franchise locations fails to leverage the knowledge franchisees have about local consumers. When franchisees provide input on localized social marketing campaigns, the national marketing team can use these on-the-ground insights to build better localized ads and better reach the local target audience.
Challenge 3: Balancing the relationship between corporate and local
Most multi-location brands are structured so that the corporate team has resources to develop branded marketing campaigns. At the franchise level, however, teams are often more focused on day-to-day operations and may not have time to learn the intricacies of Facebook Ads Manager or develop ad campaigns.
To balance this relationship and resources, deploy a hybrid marketing management model. With this model, the franchisor manages the corporate social media presence while franchisees oversee individual local pages and local content. This approach enables corporate teams to pre-set the creative, targeting, geo-fencing, and other time-consuming aspects of social advertising. Then, the local teams can select the creative that works for their local audience, and start the ad campaign. The hybrid model leaves the broad strokes to the corporate teams while letting the franchisees fill in the local details.
Challenge 4: Protecting brand authenticity
More than 60 percent of consumers deliberately choose authentic brands over others, which is a significant reason why creating ad content without localizing it leads to generic ads that don’t come across as authentic. Authentic brands are true to their brand values, which is why some brands are reluctant to allow local franchise owners to create their own advertisements. Brand images, logo, and messaging should stay consistent, and allowing franchisees to post their own content without corporate oversight leaves room for inconsistencies.
Challenge 5: Creating ads with store-specific information
From a digital standpoint, multi-location brands should put the most accurate information online about each of their business locations. This means using location-specific store images and exact addresses of local stores.
By using Facebook ads with dynamic text, multi-location brands can encourage the audience to visit whichever business location is closest. The dynamic text will update to show various addresses depending on which city the user is in when they see the ad. Because the ads contain copy, and in some cases dynamic imagery, that is specific to a geographic location, they are more relevant to the user.
Advances in Facebook and third-party social ad technology have made it possible for multi-location brands to shift to a localized social marketing strategy, empowering brands to protect brand integrity while localizing ads for each franchise location.
With consumers embracing the “buy local” movement, the time really is now to go local with paid social.
Olivia Starr is a senior marketing professional with the innate ability to truly maximize the ROI of a company’s marketing efforts. Olivia has experience supplying the strategic marketing vision for how a company needs to communicate its brand – both written and visually. As the senior content marketing manager for SOCi, Olivia has developed and grown the department to help position SOCi as a leader in social media and reputation management for multi-location businesses, but also further the category and conversation surrounding localized social marketing.