Local social media pages and local content are becoming increasingly important. When people conduct a search for a restaurant or bar on their phone, they’ll likely be prompted to search for one “near me” or they’ll see the closest location as the first result, meaning that they often engage first with a local listing rather than a brand presence. The organic reach of corporate brands’ Facebook posts has continued to decrease. Local business page posts, however, reach a larger percentage of their audience and have higher engagement.
Local Business Pages
If you’re not familiar with local pages, any brand that has brick-and-mortar locations has local pages on Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc. These pages may not be active and may not have been set up by the brand. If guests go to “check in” at a location and a page doesn’t exist for that location, the guest can create one. If a guest creates a page, the brand has no control over what’s on the page until they claim it. Brands that don’t claim their pages run the risk of pages containing inaccurate and misleading information. Brands that claim local pages have the benefit of being able to share more locally relevant content in addition to their brand-level content.
Customizing Content for Local
Consumers increasingly expect to be able to customize food and beverages: Chipotle and Subway with their assembly lines, Coca-Cola Freestyle or Pepsi Spire machines, big selections of locally brewed beer and craft cocktails. Content is no different. Content that feels more personal is more likely to capture their attention, and they’ll be more likely to share.
There’s a lot of noise in users’ social media feeds, and it takes impactful content for brands to break through. For example, football fans notice when a brand speaks directly to their specific fan base. Not all brands have the $$$ to sponsor NFL teams, but Papa John’s does, and they publish content about local teams to their local pages.
Local content should also be important to brands that serve alcohol. Growing up in Massachusetts, I never heard the term “happy hour” because apparently a law prevents such a thing. When I moved to Dallas, we didn’t even consider restaurants that didn’t promote a happy hour. Why does that matter? That type of pricing and promotion can vary wildly from region to region for multi-unit brands. For example, a restaurant group may have over 20 different versions of a 2 for $20 menu. Some locations have 2 for $25 or $26, with food varying by location. To accurately promote such a deal nationwide, it could take thousands of geo-targeted ads and much versioning of creative messaging.
If local users can’t find this type of information and find out what’s relevant at the location they’re interested in, they’ll move on to the next option.
It can sound overwhelming and It may involve a spreadsheet or two, but it is effective and absolutely worth the effort. Want to know more? Give us a shout.
This post was created in partnership with content agency NATIVE. Stellar Digital and NATIVE partner to fuel brands fire through strategy, creative and experiences.