9 Effective Multi-Location Reputation Management Strategies

9 Effective Multi-Location Reputation Management Strategies

Discover 9 actionable strategies for bolstering your brand’s reputation across multiple locations, ensuring increased visibility and engagement in each community you serve.

Multi-Location Reputation Management Strategies

Reputation management of a single business location is hard enough.

Throw in multi-location businesses with several physical storefronts, franchises, or branches; it can become a nightmare.

Still, you can’t afford to avoid the task. 60% of consumers say negative reviews made them not want to use a business.

Multi-Location Reputation Management

With the right multi-location reputation management strategies in place, you can manage the chaos and protect your business’s reputation across different locations.

Without further ado, let’s uncover the best multi-location reputation strategies!

9 Key Multi-Location Reputation Management Strategies

1. Decide Who Will Manage the Reputation

Deciding who will be owning the review and reputation management process is crucial. There are two ways to do it:

Using a Centralized Team

You can create a dedicated reputation management team in your corporate office. They will monitor and respond to all reviews across every location.

This structure is very good for maintaining a consistent tone, messaging, and strategy across all locations.

But this might not be an all-effective structure for you if your multi-location business is a large chain with multiple outlets across different geographical locations.

It is difficult to keep track of everything happening in each location. Corporations can find it challenging to grasp the nuances of localized issues quickly and provide timely, personalized responses from afar.

That brings us to the second solution.

Using Location-specific Teams

The second way is to let each location manage their reviews independently. You can appoint store managers to oversee responding to customer feedback.

Of course, some kind of guidelines or training should be given from the corporate end to ensure a unified brand voice and customer experience across every location.

The merits of this structure lie in the fact that the location managers have a better understanding of localized nuances and customer contexts. They can grasp the specifics of the issue and take practical measures to resolve it more promptly.

2. Optimizing GMB and Local Listing Sites

Having an online listing for each location is important to make them discoverable and cater to the consumers in that specific area.

You don’t need to essentially create a listing on Google Business Profile (GBP) and other prominent review sites like Trip-advisor or Yelp for each store location.

If your stores across locations have been operating for some time, chances are listings for all of them already exist.

What you need to do, though, is to claim those listings and optimize them.

Yard House

Unclaimed listings often have inaccurate and outdated information. Even worse, your customers might leave reviews that will go unnoticed and unanswered by you, leading to distrust and damage to your reputation.

You need to optimize your GBP listing with the right name, address, phone details, and other key information like operating times and holidays. This lets customers quickly find information and ask questions without the need to move to your website or call you.

Look at the well-optimized GBP listing of the Yard House sports bar chain across two locations. Both are consistent and carry complete information.

GBP listing

It is not just GMB; you need to claim or create listings for every single location on Facebook, Yelp, G2, or any industry-specific platforms. Following the above example, Yard House’s listing across different locations is also present and claimed on Yelp.

single location

As tedious as it may be, maintaining a consistent presence at every location with separate listings builds your reputation and pushes you up in local rankings.

3. Encourage Local Reviews

Reviews can make or break your multi-location reputation management. 72% of people say they are more likely to trust a local business with positive reviews.

However, continuously getting a stream of positive reviews for each location is a little tricky. You need to nudge your happy customers to leave good reviews.

The key is to make the process of leaving reviews super-easy, fun, and rewarding. You need to give your customers a way to reach the review platform through your website, social media, or email signature.

Don’t stop there.

Put QR codes in physical locations that direct customers to your review pages. This technique attracts fantastic hyperlocal reviews.

But the real nudge is when you give them something back in return for their reviews. For example, you can offer a discount on their current bill or their next visit as a reward.

4. Leverage the Power of Social Media

On social media platforms, customers often share the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences that they’ve had with brands, local stores, and franchises.

So, you ought to be there when they talk about a particular branch of your business.

However, having one global brand account with a broad messaging won’t cut it for a multi-location business. To have a genuine connection, you need a tailored presence for each individual location.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has created a separate Facebook page for every location they have in Texas.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Creating a separate social media account for each location will enable you to create content, promotions, and updates relevant to that locality’s population.

Beyond just making content, you can use multiple social media accounts to monitor location-specific reviews and feedback better and respond promptly. Also, when your customers want to praise you, they will have a proper and localized destination to reach you.

You can further use their shared post about your brand as user-generated content to generate more trust and authenticity.

Overall, an active, location-focused social media strategy is a powerhouse for multi-business reputation management.

5. Collaborate with Local Influencers

Influencer marketing is an excellent strategy for enhancing your business’s reputation.

Multi-location businesses like yours can partner with local influencers in each area they operate to boost awareness and foster positive sentiment.

Local influencers primarily include nano-influencers (1K-10K followers) and sometimes micro-influencers (10K-100K followers).

Influencers are effective because they boast a highly engaged follower base that trusts and values their recommendations. Their authentic, word-of-mouth-style promotions resonate much better than traditional advertising in local areas.

That’s why it’s crucial not to work with just any influencer. You need to find influencers who are active in your specific location and post content that aligns with your audience’s interests.

Once you’ve identified suitable influencers, partner with them to create content such as:

  • A walkthrough of your business location
  • Product/service review and tutorial
  • Coverage and promotion of local events your business is participating in
  • Contests and giveaways for user-generated content
  • Promotion of location-specific sales, discounts, and limited-time offers

The key is to make the collaboration feel authentic. That’s why you must let influencers take charge of the creatives while your store manager helps them stay true to brand guidelines.

6. Centralized Monitoring with Review Management Tools

Managing customer reviews across all your social profiles, review sites, and locations is a tedious task.

When dealing with hundreds of locations, going to every review site and manually replying will not work. You need a centralized system to monitor and manage customer reviews.

That’s where dedicated review management tools come into play. They let you pull reviews from different review sites, such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, G2, and many other industry-specific sources, into one unified dashboard for each location.

In addition to responding to reviews and feedback, you can use these tools’ analytics features to visualize review data, compare location performance, and analyze sentiments. This enables you to make data-driven decisions to improve your reputation across locations.

7. Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy comes in real handy in building the reputation of your multi-location businesses.

It is all about empowering your employees at the location level to become vocal brand advocates across their own social circles. Your employees, after all, are part of the same community. The content they share reaches the people who are living in the same community.

When people see your employees celebrating the culture and the offerings of your business, it builds a positive sentiment among your audience.

You need to provide the right training and resources to make advocacy easy. Encourage your managers and customer-facing employees to share news, content, and positive customer interactions specific to their local venues.

To make things fun, you can run competitions between different branches and give public rewards to the good performers.

8. Address Negative Feedback Promptly

Reputation management isn’t always going to be all hunky-dory. Negative reviews are part and parcel of the whole process.

Your aim should be not to let things escalate out of your hands.

For that, reputation managers at every business venue should be prepared on how to handle negative reviews. The biggest rule? Address the issue promptly. An angry customer left waiting for a response is just going to get angrier.

Establish a strategic process that enables you to monitor and prioritize negative reviews quickly. You can set up alerts for one-star ratings or damaging comments.

When you approach negative feedback, keep your response professional and empathetic, whether you are able to provide a resolution or not.

You should also aim to take the conversation from open to closed space like DMs so that it doesn’t draw more public eyes.

Over time, you’ll build trust that your brand takes accountability seriously across all locations.

9. Utilize Local Events and Charities for Community Engagement

Getting involved and giving back to the local communities is a stellar reputation management strategy. It helps you showcase your brand’s values and humanize its presence.

You can start by identifying upcoming events, festivals, or fundraisers around your business venue. You can get involved by sponsoring and participating in them. Remember to choose causes that resonate with your business’s values and interests.

Later, you can share the stories from the events and partnerships across location-specific social media, websites, and email marketing.

Wrapping Up!

The digital age has made reputation management for multi-location businesses more crucial than ever before.

Customers are actively sharing their feedback and reviews across multiple channels. For multi-location businesses, negative reviews of one location can affect the reputation of the whole franchise.

That’s why you must proactively implement the right multi-location reputation management strategies to protect and enhance your brand’s image across all your business footprints.

We have covered all important strategies for the success of multi-unit reputation, from structuring your revenue management team to hyperlocal marketing and employee advocacy programs.

The task of managing reviews for multi-location businesses becomes way simpler when using a review and reputation management tool. So, make sure to add it to your reputation management arsenal.

Now’s the time to apply the strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a multi-location business?

Restaurant chains, hotel franchises, and retail stores with branches scattered across cities and regions are examples of multi-location businesses.

Can an LLC have multiple locations?

Yes, a limited liability company (LLC) can absolutely have multiple physical business locations. However, the LLC remains a separate entity, regardless of the number of locations or offices it operates.

About the Author

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Chandraveer Singh

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