In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, brands have transitioned from seeking global appeal to recognizing the importance of establishing personal connections with their audience on a local level. Accompanied by the increasing reliance on mobile devices for research, engagement, and purchasing decisions, hyperlocal social media marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy for large and small brands alike to reach and connect with their target customers.
With the rise of check-in features on platforms like Facebook, consumers are expressing their desire for businesses to know their whereabouts and provide relevant information to enhance their local experiences. This trend presents companies with an opportunity to deliver localized offers while gaining insights into consumer behavior within specific areas.
The Emergence of Hyperlocal Social Marketing
The demand for local social connections has led to the creation of hyperlocal private social networks such as Townsquared and NextDoor. Even industry giant Google has joined the movement by transforming Google Maps into a social platform, enabling users to share reviews, photos, and information about their activities in a given area. This wealth of consumer data is a goldmine for businesses seeking to optimize their marketing efforts.
Hyperlocal social marketing is not limited to large brands; it is also an effective online and mobile strategy for smaller businesses. By adopting best practices from industry leaders like Ritz Bits, U.S. Cellular, Miller Lite, and Allstate, smaller brands can tailor their marketing approach to the local level and achieve success.
Defining Hyperlocal Social Marketing
Companies and agencies engaged in hyperlocal social marketing have a clear understanding of its purpose. Sanjay Gupta, CMO of Allstate, explains, “Hyperlocal social marketing allows brands to communicate with individuals who share common interests within specific communities or neighborhoods. This approach enables our agents to establish more personal connections with customers, demonstrating our care for them and the local community.”
For Allstate, hyperlocal social marketing reinforces its commitment to customers, enhancing its brand reputation and fostering deeper connections. The insurance company considers it one of the most authentic ways to fulfill its “Good Hands” pledge and truly understand customers on a personal level.
Similarly, Mondelez, the parent company of Oreo’s and Ritz Bits, utilizes hyperlocal social marketing to shape its strategic approach. Stephen Chriss, Senior Director of North America Marketing Activation & Strategic Partnerships, explains, “In today’s innovative and technology-enabled world, our snack brands, such as Oreo, Ritz, Trident, and Triscuit, have numerous avenues to reach consumers. Our focus is on delivering the right message at the right time and place, which is a crucial aspect of hyperlocal marketing.”
Marketing platform Pear, which collaborates with major brands on hyperlocal social marketing strategies, emphasizes the importance of targeting smaller consumer segments compared to traditional online channels. Amish Tolia, Chief of Strategy at Pear, highlights that brands must actively engage their target audience within their everyday lives. By connecting with consumers at the right time and place, brands can create a lasting impact and achieve a higher return on investment than generic marketing campaigns.
The Value of Hyperlocal Social Marketing
Brands investing in hyperlocal social marketing are reaping significant rewards. For instance, Mondelez’s Ritz Bits sponsored over 1,000 youth soccer teams across the country, establishing positive relationships with parents and encouraging social content sharing. This initiative resulted in over 100,000 digital brand engagements and a remarkable 77% increase in purchase intent among the target demographic.
According to Pear, this sponsorship tactic effectively reaches group organizers within the target demographics, creating a ripple effect through communities and social networks. Hyperlocal social marketing leverages the concept of brand advocates, generating value both online and offline.
Another advantage of hyperlocal social marketing is the ability to engage in local conversations, complementing national messaging strategies. Not all national campaigns resonate with every consumer, making customization and authentic local storytelling in the form of video content using an online movie maker is crucial for reaching specific target audiences.
Is Hyperlocal Social Marketing Right for Your Business?
While hyperlocal social marketing has proven effective for the aforementioned brands, it may not suit every business. Consider whether your product or service caters to a localized audience that would benefit from this strategic approach. Hyperlocal social marketing is particularly effective for brands aiming to contribute to their local communities or participate in sponsorships.
However, Pear’s Tolia emphasizes that brands of all sizes can benefit from establishing a hyperlocal presence to develop personal relationships with consumers and communities. In today’s market, consumers have become desensitized to traditional marketing strategies. Brands that break through the noise by connecting with consumers on a local level can create lasting relationships and make a profound impact on their target audience.
Mondelez’s Chriss highlights that hyperlocal social marketing should be integrated into a broader marketing strategy, encompassing various tactics and channels. Whether you run a small or large business, identifying opportunities to incorporate this unique marketing approach can help drive success.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Hyperlocal Social Marketing
Before delving into hyperlocal social marketing, it is crucial to understand how to effectively use this strategy. Jared Golden, President of Pear, emphasizes that consumer-centricity should be the guiding principle. Brands must identify what matters most within consumers’ networks and align their marketing efforts accordingly.
Here are some key guidelines:
- Do personalize your communication: Tailor your messaging to resonate with local audiences.
- Don’t reuse the same themes or topics: Stay up-to-date with local community interests and adapt your content accordingly.
- Don’t overlook research: Understand what local communities find relevant to create engaging content that resonates.
- Do focus on authenticity: Consumers can discern between genuine and forced engagement. Build real relationships based on trust and genuine interest in the local community.
By following these principles, brands can successfully leverage hyperlocal social marketing to attract and retain customers, regardless of their size or industry.