Brands Turn To Local Social Media Marketing For Success

We previously wrote about Facebook’s assertion that localised marketing was the way to success for brands, and it seems like that trend is continuing. More brands are focusing on local content, local audiences and localised platforms to execute their social media strategy. The ability for brands to choose local platforms is expanding as social technologies develop to include niche targeting options, allowing you to reach smaller audiences with more targeted and relevant content. The payoff for brands is significant – though you have to invest time in localised strategies that differ for each market, the end result is that you build a more engaged audience and community for your brand, and you create cut-through for your audience that can relate to the content in a real way.

Large brands want local ads
According to a recent survey of large ad agencies, 90% had clients that had asked for ads which are geographically targeted. This shows that local advertising isn’t just in the domain of small brands, but that larger brands are interested in breaking down their overall ad strategy to suit the needs of individual audiences that have particular geographical needs : What’s even more telling, perhaps, is the rate at which this increase in geographically targeted ads is growing. Of the 10 agencies in the survey, over half said that the request for geographically targeted ads had risen by double digits based on the previous year. Localised marketing and advertising is growing quickly as a market, and the good news for brands is that the technologies are there to meet the growing need amongst consumers.

Learn from Ben and Jerrys
Showing the importance of a localised strategy on Facebook for a national brand, Ben and Jerrys are providing an excellent ‘how-to’ for brands. A quick look at their search results on Facebook shows consistent Facebook Pages across different markets, as opposed to one main Page that is set up to serve all markets. 

Going into their Pages shows that the content is also localised, and executed in a good way. They recently ran a ‘deserted flavours’ promotion, where you could vote for which flavour you wanted back. Though the promotion was run across the separate Pages for UK & Ireland, the updates on the Irish Page kept this targeted for the Irish market.

This shows how individual markets can form part of an overall marketing strategy, while keeping it targeted for their local market. Ben and Jerrys kept the same promotion running across both pages, but the content (arguably the thing that matters most) is localised and relevant, not just a case of cutting out the word ‘England’ and replacing with ‘Ireland’. This shows an example of how a global brand can operate at a national level, but this is now being taken even further by brands that want to target hyperlocal markets.

Opportunities in mobile
For brands that really want to execute a local, or hyperlocal social media strategy, the answer lies in mobile. The opportunities in mobile social networking are huge, with many brands using Instagram for example, to connect with local audiences and upload localised content. To put this into context, local advertising via mobile is expected to make up 70% of overall mobile ad spend in 2011, showing the importance of this for brands. Though there are excellent niche targeting options available via social networks, such as geotargeting Facebook Page updates, mobile needs to factor into the local strategy for brands more. The nature of mobile or smartphone usage is that you can be much more reactive to localised content, such as offers in your local restaurant. The redemption method is also simple, with many promotions simply requiring you to present your mobile at a store to avail of an offer. The fact is that the more content we consume online, the more we want niche, targeted content. Though this may prove to be a more lengthy strategy for brands, as it means creating entirely new content for markets, whether on a national or regional basis, the end result will be worth it. As much as we live our lives online, we still walk past shops, meet up with friends, read local news. A brand’s content or social media strategy should be a reflection of this, using increasingly sophisticated social technologies to reach these consumers in new ways.

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