Originally published in the Four51 blog.
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It was inevitable. A social media topical blog themed in honor of the Olympics. Cheesy yes? Informative? Always.
It’s been over a year since Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions boldly announced that Facebook marketing success for business occurs with a localized marketing strategy. That strategy can be local on a lot of levels: store by store, region by region or country by country depending on the size of your organization.
It seems appropriate to check in with brands of all sizes to see how they’re doing with local social strategy and award their “Olympic Medals” in the category of “Local Social Marketing.” Believe me, social marketing can be a grueling “sport.”
In third place, receiving the bronze medal, Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s has a country by country approach to their localization. What’s great about their approach is that the campaigns and overall strategy/policy remains the same from page to page dictated by corporate marketing.
However the added touch, is that the guts or content of some of their campaigns get a local flavor added to them, so the same campaign can be running in the U.S. and the U.K. but be speaking to the local audience. Ben & Jerry’s get’s the bronze medal for rolling out their strategy country by country, but knowing to keep things relatively consistent for branding purposes. Check out more on the Ben & Jerry’s strategy at Simply Zesty.
In second place, receiving the silver medal, REI. REI is a brand that evokes strong emotions from it’s customers. As a co-op sporting goods and outfitting store, REI knew that people were loyal to their local stores and that REI needed to keep in contact with them at a more local level than one central corporate page. They rolled their strategy out to geographical regions. Along with internal store training, REI set up a winning local strategy with 53 individual regions being represented.
In first place, receiving the gold medal, Wal-Mart. There are a lot of reasons that Wal-Mart wins the gold in the Local Social category. First, Wal-Mart rolled out a truly local strategy, establishing thousands of Facebook pages, one for each of it’s brick and mortar stores. Wal-Mart was also one of the earliest adopters of localized social media marketing for the enterprise. In the AdAge article detailing the strategy and reasoning behind the local/social strategy, Wal-Mart CMO Stephen Quinn says social media is enabling Walmart to “go back to the future” by providing an authentic local customer experience, but at scale.
Business is local. Marketing is local. Is your social strategy local?
Regardless of how you decide to localize your social media efforts, whether by country, region or store, a growing number of brands and organizations are embracing local social strategy. As the Wal-Mart AdAge article points out, “Long before the digital age, all business was local and social. Customer engagement was paramount. Shopkeepers, barbers and Avon ladies alike intuitively knew that their ability to connect with customers would often determine whether a purchase would be made. They understood that building long-standing relationships with customers would result in repeat visits and loyalty.” Sounds like good argument for bring your enterprise social strategy to the local level to me.
How about you? Do you know of any global, national or regional brands/organizations that are rolling out and have rolled out a localized social media strategy?