Today, social media is ruling the marketing scene. Even B2B businesses are finding that social media can be an excellent source for lead generation and value offering. Franchises can also use social media – however, it will require a unique spin. Though franchises are past the startup phase where social media can be very tricky, they can still run into some hurdles along the way. If you own a franchise, a huge hurdle can be the effectiveness of your strategy. If you’re working on improving your social media game, here are some suggestions:
- Define the Voice and Purpose
What’s the purpose of your social efforts? Are you trying to generate more customers? Draw attention to the brand? Reach more customers? Your primary purpose will greatly influence your strategies and their effectiveness.
Defining your voice will be a large part of achieving that purpose. When marketing a franchise, aim to stand out from your major competitors. If you’re a McDonald’s franchise, for example, you’ll be up against Wendy’s, Burger King, and other fast food restaurants in the area. Your voice will set you apart from your biggest competitors.
- Rely on the Brand Name’s Popularity
Most franchises are well-known, and you can use that popularity to your advantage with your social strategy. People love Starbucks, for example, so if you own a Starbucks franchise, you can focus on what the company stands for, their signature products, and their imagery in order to make the most of your social efforts.
- Use the Best Platforms
Some social media platforms will be more effective for you than others. For most franchises, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essential for sharing viral content. Original blog posts, videos, memes, vines, and other content that has the potential to spread are best handled through these platforms. Google Plus is also useful for connecting on the professional level and increasing search engine rankings.
- Be Present on Each Platform
After you’ve figured out the tenets above, focus on building a ubiquitous presence on social media. This is essential to making your specific franchise visible and standing out against competitors.
The most important part of developing a presence is filling out your profile. Make sure contact information, your website, and details about the business are easy to find. Your cover image and profile picture should also be engaging and encourage likes. Use this opportunity to share your voice and make it stand out.
After you’ve defined the profile, be present. Pop onto social pages often to interact with customers, make comments, and respond to messages. Customers respond much better to companies that are readily available.
- Stick with Timely and Relevant Content
Timely content is essential for attracting attention. Loyal customers enjoy entertainment regarding pop culture, current news events, and trending stories. Scanning local and world newsfeeds can be a gold mine of useful topics that can raise sales and create loyal customers.
The content must also be relevant. If you’re trying to get people to eat at your restaurant, the content you share should make customers want to eat at your restaurant. It shouldn’t gross them out, convince them to go on a diet, or persuade them to do anything else that goes against the purpose of your social efforts.
- Be Local
Local social engagement is everything for franchises. You are a local business, after all. It’s your job to stand out from the other franchises in your area, and drawing more attention from locals is essential.
Social media can also extend to your physical activities. For example, attend or sponsor local events. This shows that you’re invested in the community and important causes. After you’ve attended, you can share your experience on your social pages.
- Create a Vision for Your Marketing Efforts
Ultimately, every move you make on social media boils down to your primary vision. You’ll step back and look at the big picture, tweaking your strategy in order to send you in the right direction. It creates a road map that both you and your customers can follow with ease.