Social Media. Like it or not personally, if you’re running a franchise you need to embrace this powerful marketing tool.
Research by Sprout Social found that 55% of consumers learn about brands on social media first, with the number nearly 80% for GenZ. And 78% of consumers are willing to buy from a company after positive experiences with the brand on social channels.
For any emerging franchise brand, these two stats alone drive home the importance of using social media. But before you go off and sign up for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and more, you need to have a social media strategy that makes sense for your brand.
How will your social be structured?
A franchise business is unique in that you can have one account for the overall brand, but often each franchisee wants to use social to promote their individual locations. One of the best ways to deal with this is to have the franchisor use the brand name, for example, PayMore and each location to have a username like PayMoreRaleigh.
What are your goals?
Before diving in, it’s important to know what you want to achieve through social media. Some common goals include:
- Driving traffic into stores
- Increasing sales
- Franchisee prospecting
- Increasing following or engagement
Who will manage the accounts?
Social media is a beast. Between creating content, posts and interacting with others, it is more than a full-time job when you have several channels you’re utilizing. The franchisor needs to decide if they will manage social media in-house or hire a freelancer or agency. The same for any franchisee that maintains his or her local accounts.
How will you measure results?
This dovetails with whatever goals you defined. Each social platform offers analytics so you can analyze the success of your content and social media efforts.
Once you’ve got a strategy in place, it’s time to dive into the actual content. Shawn Flynn, owner of Socially Winning Marketing offers his top 5 tips for franchise social media management.
Embrace Video – With the emergence of TikTok, social media networks like Instagram & Facebook are working hard to protect their relevance by going all-in on their Reels platform. What does this mean for you? If you want to maximize your reach within the organic algorithms for each social media network, video has become an absolute must.
Be Consistent – In the world of social media algorithms, consistency is key. If you post infrequently, you will quickly lose favor within the algorithms. Quite simply, the more people see your content and engage with it, the more likely each social media network is to continue to put your fresh content in front of their eyes. If you take a break from regular posting, other brands will quickly steal your “place” in your followers’ feeds.
Give Them What They Want – It’s very easy to get stuck in the tunnel vision of posting what YOU want people to see on social media as opposed to what THEY want to see. If you want people to engage with your content, take a moment to ask yourself how you can position your content in a manner that your customer base relates to. Not sure where to start for inspiration? Look at similar business pages to yours and see which content is engaged with the most and ask yourself WHY. Then see how you can apply similar strategies to your content.
Use Influencers – Struggling to keep up with quality content to post? You’re not alone. Luckily there are TONS of content creators all around you in the form of local influencers. Sure, you can hire a professional photographer for a few hundred dollars, but you can ALSO recruit local influencers to come by and create some content for you in exchange for some free goodies. Not only will they provide you with fresh content to post, but they will also share it with their followers, furthering your reach.
Run Paid Social Media Campaigns – The B2C space on every social media network has become a pay-to-play market. If you have 2,000 followers on any given platform, you are lucky if 100 people are presented your post organically in their feed. Tough break, right? The good news? For very minimal ad spend, especially with a solid strategy, you can reach thousands of targeted people who are not only local to your franchise but have also shown an interest in concepts similar to yours.
Learn from the Best
If you’re new to social media it can be overwhelming. One of the best ways to understand what works is by looking at franchise brands that successfully use social media. Crumbl Cookies is a social media darling, using social media to drive frequency and to sell franchises. With its first location not yet open, JARS has used social media to create buzz for future customers and franchisees. Plant-based nomoo has developed a loyal fan base and sold meat-eaters on its meat alternative burgers and more by vividly showcasing how appealing the food is.
As the leading franchise development company for emerging brands, Fransmart helps market each brand in our portfolio using a wide variety of marketing tactics, including social media. For more information on how Fransmart can help you market your franchise, contact us today.