Who’s your banker? Who’s your accountant? Who’s your lawyer?
Think about if someone asked you these questions about your business. Would your answer be the name of a business? More likely, you would give the name of a person, even if your contract is technically with a large institution. You might say: “Oh, Steve at the Main Street branch takes care of me,” or “Gladys is a great business attorney.”
One of the major benefits large corporations have in marketing is a massive presence in multiple locations. Everywhere you see the golden arches, you know what they mean, and
each function as an advertisement for the next. While that might raise a company’s overall profile, it does little to engage customers or generate referrals. After all, who feels a personal connection with a massive corporation?
But how can organizations with more than one office walk the line between being everywhere and still being local?
One way is through specific Facebook pages for branch offices, which were found to generate five times as much engagement as the corporate mothership page.
Researchers at Mainstay Salire and Hearsay Social found that, while posts from the home office would get many more “likes,” the content would engage many fewer customers. That’s because social media is at its best when it is getting not just to the initial audience, but is powerful enough to get them to act. A custo
mer might read a post from a corporate office, and might even click on it, but we take action based on personal connections, and that is far more likely to come from a branch, where the actual banker, or lawyer, or accountant is communicating directly with people he or she knows.
This means that corporations of all sizes that are looking to leverage social media to help them grow would be better served delegating more marketing dollars to local branches – and, likely, to local marketing firms – for their social media efforts.
But wait, a corporate marketer might say, that loses the benefits of an economy of scale!
That’s only true if spending as much money on corporate SocMed efforts is as effective, dollar-for-dollar, as it is on the front lines. And it’s not.
1. The value of social media is turning your customers into a sales force
2. Customers will only sell if they feel connected
3. Customers only feel connected to the people they see and deal with every day
Greater engagement by your customers means more referrals, more sales, more free advertising and greater search engine marketing juice. That means lower SEO costs on a corporate side and a stronger brand that is more resilient both online and in real life.