How Franchises Can Implement Localization in Their Digital Strategy

February 8, 2023
By   Alexandra Few
Category   Franchise Marketing

Franchise systems have the innate power of localization at their core, as each location within their network includes franchise owners who operate within communities and foster local relationships with customers. Harnessing this local power can play a key role in the success of each location. However, many franchisors and, subsequently, franchisees may not utilize it to its greatest extent.

By implementing various digital strategies, franchise businesses can use localization to boost customer acquisition, retention, experience, and more. This article will explore the importance of applying localization as part of a digital strategy and some of the steps franchise businesses can take to benefit from this “local goodness.”

This article is part of a franchise series. Check out our other articles below:

The Rise in Buying Local

When the pandemic hit, many consumers turned to online shopping out of sheer need, causing a significant increase in e-commerce sales. While it is clear that the rise in retail e-commerce is here to stay, especially since online sales worldwide are expected to reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, the push to buy local was also introduced during this time among consumers who wanted to support local business owners within their communities, and now has some permanent roots.

Reports from 2020 found that 68% of Canadian consumers and 66% of American consumers said they primarily shopped at local businesses to help strengthen the local economy.

Fast-forward to now, and reports from Shopify indicate that 53% of consumers in North America said their changed shopping habits because of the pandemic are here to stay. This is important to note because the same report says 63% of consumers between 18=34 years old seek out local businesses, which is not far behind those 55+ years old (57%) and 35=54 years old (53%). Additionally, of those who shop locally, 79% said supporting their community or protecting local jobs were the motivating factors for doing so.

As a result of this interest in buying local, there is a high volume of “near me” searches, as consumers want to find businesses in their community, especially with an expected economic slowdown this year causing many to look to local businesses they can support.

Tapping into this trend of “buying local,” franchise systems should implement localized approaches to their website, search, social media, and advertising strategies. This allows them to stand out from the competition that publishes national, branded content and allows them to connect with their current and prospective customers at a local level.

A Localized Social Media Strategy For Franchises

One of the first steps a franchise business can take when implementing a localized approach is through social media. Each franchise location should have its own social media account on the top platforms (i.e., Instagram,, Facebook, etc.). Not only is this a great way to reach customers living in and around the location’s neighbourhood, but it also allows franchisees to post content specific to their location.

Posting details such as local pricing, offers, a photo of the storefront, a video of the local team, and other relevant information and content specific to the location emphasizes the “localness” of the business, which gives the consumers who are active in the “buy local” trend the chance to dive into the location to a greater degree, further strengthening their impression. Posting this content also helps ensure customers receive relevant information compared to only generalized national content.

There are several ways to go about posting local content on social media, but one method can be by posting a mix of relevant local information along with company-wide content across all locations. One reason this can be beneficial is the greater variety of content the franchise business creates. Additionally, localized posts created by a franchisee can include local terms and information, which can gain better traction on social media because it is more relevant to users. Creating this content, such as local pricing and promotions, also avoids the need for adding copy like “at participating locations” to the content.  Franchise systems can also use software, such as the Social Brand Amplifier, to cascade national posts to local handles with dynamically inserted local terms.

Social media advertising is another aspect of this approach. Local digital advertising campaigns can use local information and more specific targeting for each location. In turn, this can reach consumers who want to buy locally. In 2022, local advertising really took off and is expected to continue to be successful in the years to come. Again, franchise systems can use software to help automate this approach.

Emphasize Localness Through Search

When a consumer thinks of large-scale franchise businesses, or really any franchise business for that matter, they may not consider that each location is locally owned and operated. Consumers need to be aware that local business owners are running the franchise location. By supporting what seems like a big brand, they are actually supporting their community.

What can you do to get the public to understand this? Tell them! It can be as simple as that. If you want your franchise business to reflect the “buy local” trend, you need to implement a strategy that will help emphasize this. One way to do so is for franchise businesses to increase their visibility for local searches and communicate their “localness” within their communities.

Claiming their Google Business Profile and Bing Places listing is a great place to start. This is a critical first step because this will help a franchise location appear when a consumer conducts a local search (i.e., a “cleaning services near me”). Each location in a franchise network should have its own listing on these platforms. That way, local elements, such as images of the location and, ideally, the localized website link for the specific location, can be added for each.

Optimize your Google Business Profile by utilizing all of the features available. Include photos, answer questions from the public, regularly update, ensure consistency across all digital content, etc.

Implementing a localized approach is not necessarily challenging, but it is about understanding the need for it and then executing it through digital strategies. By tapping into what already exists for franchise systems – localization – you can build customer relations and improve the overall experience, ultimately leading to greater success for each franchise location long-term.

Top 5 franchise digital marketing trends for 2023


The ideas presented in this article can be found in our free guidebook, Top 5 Franchise Digital Marketing Trends for 2023. To find out more about this and other franchise trends, be sure to download the guidebook here.



Check out our other articles in this series below:


digital marketing franchise


Alexandra Few

Alexandra is a Content Producer at Reshift Media. Her work in our social team includes creating and designing content for social media, as well as researching and developing blog posts, landing pages, and other forms of web content for several brands. She has completed certifications in digital marketing, professional writing, and digital strategy and communications management, and she has published work on topics that range from franchising and social media to music and wellness.

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