Social Media is Changing – Don’t Let Your Multi-Location Business Miss Out

Social media influences 71 percent of consumers’ buying decisions. Social media is more prevalent than ever before and constantly changing. As a multi-location marketer, it can seem daunting to stay in the know with all of the most recent social media changes, but this blog is here to keep you informed. We’ll look at why Facebook and Instagram are crucial for your multi-location business and break down some of the most recent platform updates within this blog. While we’re focusing on Facebook and Instagram in this blog, your business needs to consider other social channels depending on where your target audience spends their time.

Facebook and Instagram Remain the Top Social Platforms 

One of SOCi’s Local Memo blogs broke down a recent GWI report which found that Facebook and Instagram remain the top social media platforms. More specifically, Facebook is the most popular platform across all age demographics in the U.S. except Gen Z, where Instagram takes the top position. If your multi-location business doesn’t have a presence on these platforms, you could be missing out.

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While a presence on these platforms is critical, it’s also important to emphasize the importance of localization across your local search and social efforts. Your multi-location business should have individual pages for each location when it comes to Facebook. Data has found that localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized, emphasizing the need for a local social strategy on Facebook. If your multi-location business is struggling to develop a local social plan, SOCi’s Localized Social Content Guide can help.

Social Commerce Has Become a Significant Force 

While a solid local social strategy is a must, it’s also important to remember that social media can be used as a sales tool. The Influencer Marketing Factory released a new report highlighting that social commerce has significantly grown, with 82 percent of the 1,000 survey respondents reporting that they’ve purchased something on their phone that they discovered through social media. It’s also worth noting that 40 percent of survey respondents preferred shopping online over shopping in stores. In today’s digital-first world, your multi-location business’s local social channels must be optimized for social selling. If you’re interested in learning more about shoppable social and how your business can incorporate it into your localized marketing efforts, this blog on the topic goes more in-depth.

Recent Facebook Platform Updates

Now that we’ve covered why a presence on local social is a must for your multi-location business, let’s look at some of the most recent updates and how they can impact your marketing efforts.

  • Facebook Introduces Comment Moderation and Live Chat

Facebook is increasing its support for businesses and other users by increasing its comment moderation controls and testing live support for troubleshooting. The comment moderation controls allow users to hide unwanted comments and use keyword blocking to prevent comments that include specific keywords from appearing. As a multi-location marketer, it’s essential to be transparent on local social media. While SOCi doesn’t recommend hiding comments that your business doesn’t agree with, it is helpful to be aware of this feature. For instance, if a comment includes unwanted language or might confuse consumers with inaccurate information, that may be a reason to hide the comment.

Facebook is also testing a live chat support feature to answer any questions a user might have about Facebook or Instagram. Although the test is not currently available for everyone, it’s something to keep an eye out for in the future.

  • Facebook Reels for iOS and Android Expand Globally 

When looking at a breakdown of the time spent on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook found that more than half of the time spent was watching videos. This is one of the main reasons Facebook decided to expand reels across 150 countries. With this expansion, Facebook will also be testing more ways for users to monetize Facebook Reels. With reels growing at a rapid pace, it might be something your multi-location business wants to test out if you haven’t already. Similarly, if your business is already leveraging reels, it’s worth looking into the monetization options to get the most out of your efforts.

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  • Facebook Introduces a Safer Shopping Experience 

Last but not least, Facebook has also made recent changes to create a safer shopping experience. As we mentioned previously, shoppable social is rising, so it’s essential to secure users’ shopping experience. Facebook released this article on ensuring a safe and trusted shopping experience. In the article, they provided a list of policies that may apply to businesses who are selling on Facebook, as seen in the image below. If your business is selling its products or services on Facebook, this is something to be aware of.

Recent Instagram Platform Updates

Like Facebook, let’s cover the most recent updates on Instagram and how they can impact your business’s localized marketing efforts. Ninety percent of people on Instagram follow a company, so it’s critical to stay on top of the latest trends.

  • Instagram Releases “Your Activity” Feature

Instagram recently added a new feature that allows users to manage all of the activity they receive on the platform in a single location. This tool will be beneficial for multi-location marketers as you will now be able to manage all of your business’s comments, likes, and reactions in a single location. The feature will also allow companies to search for comments or likes received within a specific date range. As a multi-location marketer, it’s critical to engage with your target audience on local social, and this tool makes it easier for you to do so. To access the “your activity” section, click on the menu in your profile and select “your activity.”

  • Instagram Improves Live Scheduling Features 

It’s also worth noting that Instagram is improving how users can promote and schedule live videos. With these improvements, users now have the opportunity to create posts or stories that promote a scheduled Instagram Live. Scheduled lives will also appear in your profile just below the bio and allow other users to subscribe to reminders about the live. If your multi-location business hasn’t used live videos in the past, it can be a great way to highlight local events or other happenings at specific business locations. Consumers crave a local connection, and Instagram Lives can provide one.

  • Instagram Is Testing New Feed Changes 

Instagram is testing changes to its feed so users can have more control over how their posts appear on the platform. As you may already know, Instagram’s feed is currently an algorithm that recommends posts based on your interests and previous activity. While this algorithm will remain an option, Instagram is also testing two other viewing options – “favorites” and “following,” which will show content in chronological order. The favorites option will allow users to create a list of their favorite accounts and view posts from those accounts in the order they were posted. As expected, the following option will show users’ posts from the accounts they’re following again in chronological order.

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So what does this mean for your multi-location business? Once these changes are in place, your multi-location business will need to brainstorm ways to level up your Instagram strategy to land on more users’ “favorites” list.

Start Building a Social Media Strategy That Stands Out 

Social media is changing. If your multi-location business isn’t keeping up with the latest updates, you’re falling behind. Now that you have the tools needed to keep up with the world of local social, it’s time to start revamping your strategy. Finding a tool that can help your multi-location business manage its local social efforts at both the enterprise and local levels is key. Get more information about how SOCi can help your multi-location business can help your business crush its local social goals here.

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