Up to this point, social media strategy has focused on one brand and/or one location. Blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates could be conveniently managed from one place. Not anymore.
Social networking has jumped into the mainstream and your company is probably faced with a unique problem: your customers want a relationship with their neighborhood location not HQ. Or, they are deeply engaged with a specific brand but could care less about the sponsoring brand. Think Corvette vs. GM.
Your organization still needs a cohesive message; but how can you allow for the local flavor and personality that will attract engaged customers?
Unique Personality Plus Cohesive Message
Like every good marketing strategy, the solution begins with the interaction between the brand and the customer. In this case your social media strategy should address the needs of your audience, market-by-market, brand-by-brand. Next you must have a frank conversation about who can best serve that need.
These are tough decisions, so here are a few pointers to help guide the discussion:
- What’s the Topic? Decide what type of conversation the local unit should sponsor and encourage. Decide what topics are best suited for local responses and which should be handled by the corporate team.
- Agree on the Numbers: Get a firm handle on which metrics you will use to evaluate performance. Use these metrics as the foundation for incentive plans to encourage brand managers and local directors to focus on growing their socially-connected audience.
- Conduct a Content Audit: Understand where content for your local platform is coming from and who will repurpose it for your community. Remember that your corporate team can moderate content but you should push for local content creation whenever possible.
- Follow an Editorial Calendar: Use an editorial calendar to keep everyone organized and on message. An editorial calendar makes sure that every social media extension has content that reinforces the brand and attracts new followers and fans.
- Create a Style and Procedures Guide: It pays to create clear processes for creating, editing, and moderating content. Even if full editorial control is centrally maintained, your brands and local locations will appreciate knowing the guidelines.
- Spread and Deploy Best Practices: Work on a plan to that will regularly pinpoint effective tactics and quickly spread them to other platforms. Consistent innovators should be invited to train other brands/units on what works and how to improve.
With proper planning, your team can be instrumental in setting up highly effective and engaged communities across your organization’s locations and brands.
We’re curious, how are you managing your multi-location/brand social media strategy? What challenges are you facing?