There is no question that social media marketing is necessary for any business, but it presents unique challenges for the franchisor. Corporate obligations and industry requirements can make it difficult to execute an effective social media plan that appeals to local communities. However, a dynamic social media plan can generate leads, establish new relationships and take your brand to the next level. Here are some important social media marketing elements for the franchisor to consider while generating those much-needed sales.
Document Your Social Brand
Your franchise has the potential to be a household name, if it isn’t one already. Make sure that your brand and social media plan comes with a clear identity and voice that is documented and actionable, no matter who’s writing your social posts. Develop a keen sense of what your image should look like as well. What types of product photos, site photos, graphics and other visual elements are appropriate for your brand to use socially? Make sure these are clearly defined, documented and disseminated to your team.
Have A Communication Strategy
How often will you post? What will you post about? On which days and at which times will your posts go out? These are questions you’ll need to answer in order to set a schedule for your social media plan that you can stick to. These answers may vary by platform depending on which social media channels are more effective or more relevant for your business.
Consider Your Resources
As you determine how much posting you want to do and just what you’ll be posting about, you will also need to consider who is doing this work and what they will need in order to do it. If your brand will only have social accounts at the corporate level, do you have a team of social managers, designers, writers or other creative teams to manage these accounts for your social media plan? Do they have the tools, skills and time to handle this enormous undertaking? If you will also have your individual local franchisees managing individual Facebook pages or Instagram accounts, are they well equipped for the task? Do they have the budget to hire someone to help? Will you have regional social media managers take these pages over? Do you have enough product or facility photos, behind-the-scenes video or other interesting content to reach consumers? While this section offers more questions than answers, it’s important to understand that social media resource management is more complex than many people think.
Plan Consumer Touch Points
Social media is a two-way street and one that’s often used for more than just marketing. On social channels, you should be building a community of loyal and engaged followers. You need to create a plan that includes social listening, mining for mentions of your brand, handling customer service requests and reviews, and strategies for how you’ll respond to comments and messages. You may want to consider whether you would like to engage with influencers on social media, host a social contest of some kind or post user-generated content from consumers. These are all important plans to make. Without a plan to encourage and handle these types of engagement, social media will not be an effective marketing channel for your business.
Set Goals And Metrics
Without goals, you will only be posting on social media to check a to-do off of your long list. If you want these channels to be an effective source of brand growth and revenue for your business, you’ll need to decide what matters most. How many followers do you want to gain, and by when? How much engagement do you hope to see per post? How many clicks to your website or calls from customers do you hope that social channels will illicit? Be realistic and specific to make the most of these goals. Don’t forget to determine a plan and frequency for analyzing these numbers and adjusting where needed.
Seek Franchisee Feedback
How are your independent franchise owners adapting? If each of your local franchise branches operates its own Facebook page, how are these managers handling the task? If you only have umbrella-brand social accounts, how are individual franchise owners benefiting from your efforts? In any case, the people with boots on the ground and daily interactions with customers will hold tremendous insight about your social effectiveness.
Adapt As You Grow
Social media is a living, breathing thing. These platforms and our expectations of them grow exponentially every quarter. Stay abreast of what your consumers prefer, how your competitors are growing and what new opportunities you have to tell your story. If you need help to craft the perfect strategy for your franchise, let us know. At EagleONE, we’re experts in digital growth and we would be delighted to help.
EagleONE can help you drive your customer experience, lead generation, and digital marketing results. We offer total marketing solutions for today’s companies that get results. Contact one of our team members today to discuss.
Mike Hutzel – CEO – mike.hutzel@Eagle1group.com – 513-847-0410
Jim Borum – CXO – jim.borum@Eagle1group.com – 513-847-0410