How Hyper-Localised Social Media Can Hit Home For Businesses
Updated on July 8th, 2013
This is a guest blog post by Melissa Jun Rowley.
In the last few years, “engagement,” “authenticity,” and “transparency” have been the key buzzwords and actions for unlocking social media marketing potential. However, it was only a matter of time before audiences began to require a bit more special attention—a bit more focus on their individuality, or at least their locality. As luck would have it new and familiar social technologies are enabling brands to get up close and personal with their consumers through the curation and distribution of localised and personalised content.
Here are some tips for localising social media content.
Partner up and cross pollinate.
Foursquare, is key player in the local social ecosystem and is ideal for promoting geolocalised content. Last year, the website Examiner.com recognised this and forged a partnership with the location-based service with intentions of better penetrating local markets. People who use Foursquare to check-in at local establishments get Examiner.com access to reviews of restaurants, concerts, book signings, and other events and stores in the area.
Foursquare also has partnerships with Zagat, Warner Bros., HBO, and the History Channel, just to name a few. The social site’s deal with Warner Bros. provided locally based romantic tips for users, while promoting the movie Valentine’s Day in those areas.
Be visual and colorful.
Currently the largest mobile social network in the world, Instagram is being embraced by large companies, such as Starbucks. An early adopter among powerful franchises, Starbucks uses Instagram to capture lifestyle images showing how caffeinated brew and the Starbucks brand is incorporated into day-to-day life. Imagine how thrilled a customer would be seeing a Starbucks cup captured in front of a popular landmark in his or her hometown. Instigating dialogue through pictures allows marketers to understand what excites their audience visually and emotionally.
Instagram provides ideal playing grounds for creating themes significant to a geographic location. Just as the fashion label Kate Spade uses the hashtag #popcolor to indicate when their photos highlight items splashed with red, brands can incorporate the same practice with state-wide or neighborhood themes that are consistent with the look and atmosphere of an area. This lets people know what to expect, and keeps them coming back for more.
If you Tumble, you won’t fall.
Speaking of spreading themes, the blogging platform Tumblr has great impact in this department because it functions as a social network. With the cultivation of blogs focused on local content, a main Tumblr account can serve as an umbrella under which localised messaging and interactions can be highlighted.
Tumbling is quickly becoming the equivalent of launching themes that lead to memes. Case in point: the “Hey, girl” odes of Ryan Gosling. The Internet meme that started as a simple tribute to the famous actor led to a blog targeting his fans in Silicon Valley http://siliconvalleyryangosling.tumblr.com/.
In addition to Tumblr being an easy and intuitive platform, there are a number of benefits for marketers. Here’s a rundown.
1. Themes can be created from scratch or customised from offered designs to accent a city’s look and feel.
2. Users can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows and “Tumble” other posts.
3. Users can create custom domains.
5. Users can track stats with Google Analytics.
6. Photos from Instagram can be cross-posted, as can popular Twitter and Facebook posts.
7. Tagging posts with key words characteristic of a location.
Jump on the pinboard wagon.
The online juggernaut pinboard, Pinterest, is ideal for initiating product-oriented or localised themes. From DIY activities to decorating homes to sharing personal style, Pinterest provides a plethora of ways for people to discover common links between one another. Users can create multiple pinboards that cover a broad range of topics.
Major brands began picking up on Pinterest’s impact fairly early on in the game. For example, Kraft Foods has it’s own comfort food pinboard. Think of how much gravitational pull a local restaurant could have by sharing recipes on Pinterest. The Travel Channel has boards that feature information about animals around the world and exotic beaches. You can’t get much more localised than that.
It’s all about the story.
Storify helps users tell stories by curating social media within one platform or across multiple channels. Originally intended for journalists, the tool can also be instrumental in enhancing brand engagement. Using the Storify tool, marketers can collect and display content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. All of these collages can then be embedded on other sites. While allowing for users to aggregate social media mentions specific to stories, the Storify editor has the ability to locate posts geographically. This feature can be incredibly useful to brands, as they work to pick out the most relevant pieces of online content out there, while giving them context that’s meaningful to distinct audience segments.
Levis and Samsung are the first brands to use Storify in their storytelling efforts. During SxSW Interactive in 2011, Samsung used Storify to capture the social buzz http://storify.com/samsungtweets about the brand’s presence at the conference. By targeting social media mentions specific to the event, Samsung was able to show their team in action and on location.
Think Big, Hit the Target.
This is just the beginning. In the not-so-distant future, emerging technologies in augmented reality and cloud collaboration are going to enhance the ability to implement localised content in social marketing even more than the aforementioned platforms. Until then, it’s important to think globally, while executing locally. In other words, look at the big picture, but hit the bullseye.
Thank you Mel.
Melissa Jun Rowley is an award-winning journalist, on-air host, and content strategist with a passion for all things tied to social innovation. She is currently the founder and editor-in-chief of Incentivize, a digital media company focused on the convergence of capitalism and activism. A former producer for CNN and the Associated Press, Melissa has flown in zero gravity at NASA, produced business updates from the New York Stock Exchange, and field produced coverage of the Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys.
Her online work encompasses features for Mashable, Cisco’s Technology News Site, Discovery News, BlogHer and MTV Act. As a self-proclaimed “Cause Correspondent,” Melissa dedicates her passion for storytelling to spreading the good word about business, emerging technology, art, entertainment, and heroes benefitting humanity.