the Local Search Association (LSA) and SOCi, launched the first-ever Localized Social Marketing Benchmark Report (LSM Benchmark Report). The collaborative research was designed to help marketers understand the impact of localized social marketing (LSM) to their respective businesses while providing good examples of what effective LSM looks like to help set a benchmark of success for practicing marketers. The project examined the top franchise brands and their performance in LSM and concluded the top 10 brand performers are growing three times faster than their category peers based on a 5-year trend of each brand’s revenue growth rate.
“When done effectively, it can propel brands to the top of organic search results, build and maintain a highly engaged base of loyal customers and drive increased traffic and, ultimately, sales to local businesses.”
The research report was developed by the LSA, the leading global association that enables enterprises and small businesses to achieve more through local marketing, and SOCi, the leading platform for social and reputation management for multi-location brands.
Now more than ever, localized social marketing is a key driver in consumer behavior. According to Social Media Today, 78% of purchase decisions are influenced by social content and more than 75% of brand engagement is happening on local pages. Further, while ratings and reviews have always been important, consumers now consider these as the number one influence on their purchases– 71% of consumers read reviews before every purchase and this increases to over 80% for consumers ages 18-35. What these consumer behaviors and the key findings from the LSM Benchmark Report make clear, a localized social marketing strategy needs to be a core component of any franchise brands’ overall marketing strategy.
“Over the last decade, social media has quickly become an integral part of our daily lives and its evolution has provided businesses a vehicle to truly interact with fans, followers, and customers on a more personalized and local level. This vehicle provides brands the opportunity to personally engage with each and every consumer and create true brand advocates,” said Monica Ho, CMO, SOCi. “To keep pace with this trend, social media platforms are providing a growing list of features and functionalities, such as reviews, social conversations, and local Business Pages that now enable what we have come to call Localized Social Marketing. Our new benchmark finally enables marketers to understand the tactics and strategies that lead to an effective LSM presence and why this matters. Even more so, the Benchmark ensures marketers are able to better understand the true impact of there social media marketing investments on businesses’ overall revenue growth.”
The LSM Benchmark studied three key areas of Localized Social Marketing including the brands’ localized presence, customer care in the form of local ratings and reviews, and local community engagement. The result is a clear understanding of what success looks like (or benchmark) in LSM for the franchise marketing category overall and by specific industries. Based on the research results, the top 10 brands in Localized Social Marketing today are as follows:
- McAlister’s Deli
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
- Holiday Inn Express
- The Camp Transformation Center
- Blaze Pizza
- Crunch Franchise
- Planet Fitness
- The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education
“Localized Social Marketing is the key for multi-location businesses to compete and win in a world dominated by e-commerce and Amazon,” said Greg Sterling, VP of Strategy & Insights, Local Search Association. “When done effectively, it can propel brands to the top of organic search results, build and maintain a highly engaged base of loyal customers and drive increased traffic and, ultimately, sales to local businesses.”