On my latest trip to San Francisco, I discovered that the major Japanese fashion retailer, Uniqlo, recently opened a store in San Francisco. With only four other stores in the US, the popularity of this clothing store was highly noticeable: 9 out of 10 people* walking along the streets of SF were wearing the signature Uniqlo puffy vest. (*Completely fabricated stat but it just seemed that way). Being the information hoarder that I am, I had to figure out why this brand was so popular, especially in such a centralized part of the city.

With close examination of the local market and interests in mind, Uniqlo utilized hometown celebrities such as the San Francisco 49ers football legend, Joe Montana, in their ads and events to promote their newest store opening in one of the busiest shopping areas in the city, Union Square. With a monster sports year for the Bay Area, it’s undeniable that this community is proud of their sports teams. Uniqlo created a targeted expansion strategy and honed in on this specific interest of San Franciscans and the rest of the Bay Area community. But not only targeting the sports-minded shopper, Uniqlo also enlisted local celebrities within the various industries that make up the San Francisco culture, such as food, tech, and music. Entrepreneur Magazine describes this strategy perfectly:

“Make it personal, and tailor strategies to specific markets. Nothing annoys more than mass-market ‘spray and pray’ strategies.”

This idea can be implemented into a localized social media campaigns. Some tips on building engaging and valuable content and inspiring brand advocates via social media:

The Big Picture

  • If you’re a corporation with multiple local stores and are considering creating specific accounts for each store, make sure each store’s marketing team understands the brand’s big picture and tone. Even though content will be localized, each store should have the same overall brand tone.

Gain Valuable Prospects

  • 1 million fans that have no idea or care about what your product is will prove to be worthless in terms of creating brand advocates. Provide valuable localized content and reward them with a local discount or promotion–something to help them believe that you are appreciating their support.

R & D

  • Research your target market. See what people in the location are talking about, looking at, and clicking on so you can build valuable content to share with your potential consumers. Analytics show that your fans love the baby Panda that was just born at the San Diego Zoo? Build a quick mini-campaign for your product or brand to optimize on this spike in interest, while still making sure it’s relevant to your brand and will (eventually) convert consumers.

By “going local,” brands are able to generate more relevant content for their consumers and expect higher response rates and repeat business. Brands are able to speak to their customers in the same “language” and instill a community-centric personality in order build a local fan base—and, of course, sell lots of puffy vests.