You’re a franchisee – good job!! The great thing about operating a franchise is that you get to live the entrepreneurial dream while getting business and marketing support from HQ. Depending on who your home office is, you may have received a ton of handy-dandy marketing materials to get you started: business cards, flyers, and even social media assets.
The thing is that while the digital assets and blog post content that your home office have sent your way might be GREAT, they’re not necessarily tailored to your local market. And putting out generic content can result in so-so results. Here’s why putting a local spin on your content matters – and how it can help you build those relationships and close those deals.
What I mean by local content
Your social media audience doesn’t exist in a vacuum. They’re real people living in real communities in a town or city like yours – and their needs and interests are shaped by that context. If you’re a plumber in Arlington, VA, your audience wants to see content that helps solve problems or deals with issues related to their day-to-day life. (Or hey, even that just celebrates all the good stuff Arlington has to offer!) They don’t want to know about plumbing codes in New Jersey or how to deal with a septic tank in rural Tennessee.
Need some stats? In 2022, 40% more consumers searched for local businesses online before trying them out. And a massive 70% of Facebook users view local business pages once a week. The upshot: putting a local spin on your content matters.
The home office pitfall
If you’re posting content provided by your home office, chances are the majority of your content will be pretty general (i.e., generic). Typical breakdowns of “home office-led” social media accounts end up being 10% original stuff, 60% home office content, and 30% sales content.
On the plus side, if you just work with the home office assets, you don’t have to think about creating content. But there are a few downsides:
- Your strategy is all push, no pull
- Your marketing is inconsistent and disjointed
- Your posts aren’t relevant
- You’re missing the chance to celebrate local!
Basically, while this approach probably won’t harm your business, people aren’t going to pay much attention to it.
Dialing up your “local” push
Going local doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel. Not every single piece of content has to be 100% targeted to a specific zip code. If HQ has given you some great stuff to work with, you can totally use it!
What we need to do is adjust our content breakdowns so that we’re aiming for 60% local content, 30% home office content, and 10% sales.
I get it, that’s a ton more content to create. But the ROI is totally worth it – especially when you realize that you’re not creating a big budget Hollywood film here. Simple can be super effective.
Here’s how to do it.
Start by creating a few content buckets. Let’s say you want to focus on “before and afters,” “Q&As” and “Behind the scenes.” Spend an hour generating as many ideas as you can for each “bucket,” then set aside some time to put together the posts. Don’t overthink it: a simple image with overlaid text or a quick video showing you at work will do the job. User-generated content such as photos and reviews are great as well. Easy!
Now it’s time to think about engagement. Consistent engagement = more leads. If people ask questions or send you messages, respond every time. Even a quick emoji response helps show that you’re listening. That there’s a human behind the brand. To boost engagement, post relevant content on the right platforms, use hashtags and mentions, and include a question or call to action in every post caption.
Third, focus on strategic local partnerships. Tag or feature other local businesses, show how you’re giving back to your community, and highlight people or orgs doing great things. It’s a great way to amplify your reach and build connections while also putting some goodwill out into the neighborhood.
Finally, don’t forget to measure your efforts! Success on social is about more than views. It’s about outlining your SMART goals and getting people to go from engaging with your posts to picking up the phone. If that number is growing, you’re doing it right!
If you’re a franchisee looking to elevate your social strategy by ensuring it’s targeted to your local market, drop me a line! I’ll help you pinpoint where you are, define a strategy, and then implement it. Let’s do this!