This is part three of a three-part series on Facebook opportunities for franchisors and businesses with multiple locations.
In parts one and two of this series, we discussed how businesses can translate national brand strength into local Facebook success and how they can use Facebook’s Parent-Child functionality to do so. In both articles, we outlined both the benefits and the challenges of this approach. Today we will address the challenges and offer a solution to effectively manage a strong local Facebook network.
We at Reshift Media have worked with several multi-location brands to implement Facebook’s Parent-Child functionality. Although we are big fans for all the reasons outlined in the previous posts, it is not a perfect solution on its own. Although Parent-Child connects your national Facebook page too as many local ones as you like, it, unfortunately, does not:
- Enable you to cascade content to your local pages from one interface. Though the Parent-Child framework enables you to set up a “super admin” who can post to each local page, you either need to log into each page individually to post or tie each page into a dashboard such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. This may be feasible if you have a small number of pages, but becomes unmanageable once you are managing dozens or hundreds of pages.
- Amalgamate metrics from the local pages. Again, as a super admin you can log into each individual page and access its built-in Facebook insights, but there is no standard dashboard where information from all your local pages is aggregated.
- Provide alerts to the super admin when customers comment and post on local pages.
This is probably a good point to recap why we recommend implementing local social pages in the first place: to encourage local engagement (likes, shares, check-ins) to increase visibility in social search and mobile, which can provide you with a leg-up over your competition.
Now here is the problem: no content means no engagement, and no engagement means no visibility. So if you are unable to populate relevant content onto the local pages on a regular basis, there really is no point in pursuing a local approach. In fact, I would go so far as to say that an empty local Facebook page is worse than having no page at all – it may even negatively impact your Facebook Edgerank score.
So the main issue to solve is the content one. To address this, the absolute best source of content is your local store/management/staff. If your local teams have the time and knowledge to manage their local pages, then that is the best way to go. Your local teams are best positioned to create original, highly localized content that can be used as an engagement opportunity. Lululemon, for example, has set up the Facebook Parent-Child framework and does a magnificent job of populating their individual pages with unique local content.
Unfortunately, Lululemon is the exception rather than the rule. In most cases, brands that have implemented Parent-Child have no local content and therefore are losing out on local engagement. In our experience, only about 20% of local stores make a lasting effort to populate their page. It isn’t a criticism in any way – these people have businesses to run and may not have the time or expertise to actively manage a social media presence.
After watching several of our clients struggle with this conundrum, we at Reshift Media developed proprietary software aptly named Social Brand Amplifier™ which we have partnered with The UPS Store to launch across Canada. The Social Brand Amplifier™ is fully integrated with Facebook’s Parent-Child functionality to take advantage of all of the benefits it offers while addressing the challenges outlined above.
As outlined in this infographic, the Social Brand Amplifier™ allows multi-location organizations to:
- Reach 100% of their national and local Facebook audience by cascading content and offers to child pages
- Target posts by geography, demographic or custom parameters
- Maintain consistent branding including creative and tone
- Access metrics from national and local pages to create custom reporting and insights
- Receive alerts when customers post on their local pages, and respond accordingly
From a local perspective, there are many benefits as well:
- Complete flexibility to post relevant information and offers to local customers
- Automated local page setup pre-populated with:
- Creative and content to get started
- Address and contact information
- Map and directions to store
- Automatically receive high-quality creative, posts, offers, and incentives from the national team to keep the local page active
- Fully integrated into Facebook’s mobile app, “Nearby” functionality and graph search
So far, the effect on The UPS Store’s social visibility has been very positive. It is early days, but we are starting to see local communities take root and the local pages surface in both Graph Search and on Facebook’s mobile app – both of which have strong geographic aspects.
Part 1: Facebook Parent–Child Framework: What it is and Practical Applications for Franchisors and Multi-Location Businesses
Part 2: How To Translate National Brand Strength to Local Facebook Pages
Today: How Franchises and Other Multi-Location Businesses Can Effectively and Easily Manage Facebook’s Parent-Child Framework
To learn more about implementing Facebook Parent-Child for your multi-location business, email [email protected].