New Podcast: “Localized social marketing and performance are correlated,” featuring Monica Ho

Our latest Above the Cloud forecast features an interview with SOCi Chief Marketing Officer Monica Ho, who lead a recent project to sift through more than 50,000 pages for 16,000 locations for 163 franchise brands to answer a simple question, “What does successful localized social marketing look like?”

The result is the recently released 2019 LSM Benchmark Report that SOCi produced in cooperation with the Local Search Association. We encourage you to download the full report and read it. Also, my LSA colleague Greg Sterling shared highlights of the report in a recent post.

This episode of the podcast offers a concise synopsis of why SOCi believed the report was necessary, how it was put together, and what it tells us about the state of localized social marketing. SOCi defines LSM as having three elements: Presence (e.g., Google My Business optimization), Care (e.g., managing reviews, responding to customer messages), and Engagement (e.g., is your content generating comments and shares?). For the report, SOCi and LSA devised a scoring system for brands based on these three elements.

Here are a few highlights from our discussion with Monica:

  • Localized search marketing is one area where small businesses are outperforming brands.
  • The localized social marketing game is all about three players — Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp. And Monica stresses the importance of paying attention to all three.
  • Most brands are doing a poor job of LSM, with an average benchmark score of just 45.3. “There are a lot of national brands that just aren’t paying attention,” Monica noted on the podcast.
  • Those companies that do a good job of LSM are richly rewarded. SOCi and LSA found those franchise companies with scores of 80 and higher were growing revenue at 3X the pace of franchise businesses overall.
  • Engagement is perhaps the area where greater attention produces the greatest benefit. Monica said this factor was weighted heavily than presence and care in the benchmarketing score, “because it is harder to achieve.”

“The franchise companies are aware of their brands at the national level,” Monica explains. “They know what is going on there. But it is really hard for brands with a lot of locations to aggregate all of that data up in order to really understand how this is impacting their businesses.”

In this excerpt from the podcast, Monica talks about the correlation between a good LSM score for a franchise brand and a 3X growth rate vs franchise peers.

You can listen to the podcast here:



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