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The number of social media users is constantly rising. So, if you’re not using these channels to promote your business, you don’t exist.
However, just creating a bunch of social media accounts for your business is not enough.
Especially if you’re a franchise.
In this case, you need to promote each branch to your local audiences without losing your overall brand identity. Above all, you need to stand out in the ever-expanding sea of your competitors.
Here are a few social media practices that will skyrocket your franchise business promotion.
Go Local to Boost Brand Awareness
We’re living in a fast-paced, mobile-first era. Your customers are using their smartphones to find you on social networks, consume your content, and read customer reviews. And, most of these searches are location-based. They want to find local businesses in their vicinity they can visit right away.
So, to understand your local customers and maximize your reach, you need to integrate your franchise branches into local business ecosystems. This infographic shows how franchises impact local businesses:
Infographic: How Franchises Impact the Local Business Landscape
Here are a few areas where handling your social media presence on a local level can be super-helpful:
- Social media monitoring. Sure, your corporate headquarters will do the heavy lifting when it comes to listening to your customers and handling potential social media crises. However, franchisees can also monitor local social media activities across multiple platforms and inform you about any potential problems. They can even handle local customer service and provide local customers with personalized services.
- Building better buyer personas. Your marketing teams will create detailed buyer personas, but franchisees can make them better-nuanced. They interact with local customers daily and they understand their intent, problems, worries, and habits better.
- Creating localized content. Creating high-quality content that resonates with all audience segments is your priority. As I’ve mentioned above, your franchisees understand the needs of local customers and, as such, they’re able to create highly engaging localized content that will drive you more conversions.
Many Locations, One Brand
Each social network serves a different purpose and targets different audiences. Precisely because of that, marketers need to adapt their content marketing strategy to each channel they use.
For example, if you rely on visual content and high-quality product images, then focus on Instagram. Twitter is all about sharing news, promoting your new content, and communicating with your customers and other brands. Finally, as the largest social network, Facebook is all about engagement and casting your net wider.
Promoting a franchise, on the other hand, adds an additional level of complexity to your social media marketing strategy. Not only do you need to create a content that resonates with your audiences on each social network, but you also need to create original content for each franchise.
The problem is obvious. As a franchisor, you need to create separate and fresh content for each of your branches. At the same time, entering the world of franchises is all about establishing a solid, recognizable brand that builds trust. In other words, the local content you create shouldn’t harm your brand image. Every aspect of your social media marketing strategy, from the use of your brand assets to crisis management, needs to remain consistent.
And, one of the most effective ways to do so is to create detailed social media guidelines. They should clearly lay out the rules franchisees need to follow and provide clear instructions regarding what content to focus on.
So, first determine what you want to sound like on social networks. Social media give you a great opportunity to humanize your brand and establish a unique personality. Just look at Wendy’s sarcastic replies to customer questions or KFC’s humorous use of their product photos on Twitter and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Now, every solid social media style guide should cover the following:
- Guidelines for communicating with influencers
- Guidelines for social customer support
- Guidelines for using visual content
- Advertising guidelines
- Crisis management guidelines
- Guidelines for publishing frequency
- Using brand assets, such as logo, typography, and colors
- The tools your social media managers will use, such as automation tools or social media management tools
Track the Right KPIs
Setting clear social media goals is important. However, without measuring your results consistently, you won’t be able to improve your performance on the go. So, before you even start promoting your franchise business on social networks, you need to set the KPIs you will track. Most importantly, you need to use these KPIs to assess the performance of each branch on your major social media channels.
Here are a few ideas for social media metrics to get you started:
- An average response time- the average amount of time it takes you to reply to customer messages within the determined date range
- Follower count- the total number of followers on your social media channels
- Organic impressions- how many times a user was served your content in an organic search
- Share of voice- tells you how many people talk to you, compared to your rivals.
- The social media conversion rate- shows you the number of conversions vs. the total site visits from social networks.
- The click-through rate- shows how many people clicked on your CTA from social networks.
- Audience growth rate- the speed at which your following grows
- Engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, and comments- tell you how well your content speaks to your audiences.
Over to You
Many digital marketing guides will tell you that social media marketing is the “cheapest” or the “easiest” way to boost your online presence. However, it’s not that simple, especially for franchises that are dealing with multiple accounts across numerous locations.
So, choose the metrics and tools that will tell you whether you’re achieving the social media goals you’ve set.
Go local to connect with your local audiences effectively and create an engaging social media strategy.
However, keep in mind that your branding efforts need to remain untouched. And, this is where building solid brand guidelines will help you.
What tactics do you use to promote your franchise?