Social media is a relatively new marketing tool, and some industries are figuring it out faster than others. Franchise businesses are especially vulnerable to social media pitfalls, as each location requires its own thorough and strategic online presence. While they may be more vulnerable than other types of businesses on social media, multi-location marketers also have the power of local on their side. These businesses can maximize their impact in each community they serve by leveraging the power of localized social media marketing tools to empower franchisees at the local level.
Before franchise marketers can leverage the true power of local, they must analyze their existing digital presence to clean up mistakes that lead to poor reviews, inaccurate business information, and low engagement levels on social media. Below, you’ll find four mistakes that are common but fixable with the right social media and reputation management tools.
Mistake #1: Talking without listening
Social media gives businesses unprecedented audience targeting capabilities, but it also gives consumers the power to react and respond. Through social, you can obviously use every paid tool in your digital arsenal to push your message out to consumers. However, the difference with social and reviews, compared to other traditional marketing tactics, is that your audience can talk back, and be the one who initiates those conversations. Users can start a 1:1 conversation with a business through social using direct messages, messenger bots or posting reviews and recommendations that shape public opinion regarding your business.
Social conversations provide businesses with valuable feedback, and this is especially true of Facebook Local Pages. According to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 72 percent of all audience engagement on business pages happens on Local Pages. Every national franchise brand has a Brand Page plus individual Local Pages for each franchise, but it’s the Local Pages where consumers are interacting with businesses and creating those 1:1 conversations.
As a marketer, you should respond to feedback and join the conversations that help you connect with your consumers on a more personal level. At worst, you’ll better understand how consumers see your business. At best, you’ll earn new brand ambassadors who appreciate your authenticity and communication.
Stay up to date on social media trends and the latest SOCi news. Sign up today.
Mistake #2: Failing to adjust to the data
Few marketing methods deliver data as social media does. Every organic post, Boost campaign, and advertisement is trackable, clickable, and adjustable. Whether you’re trying to sell a product or get foot traffic into your business, Facebook has tools to track the success of your marketing efforts.
Smart marketers adjust campaigns in response to data, and test variables to ensure the data is accurate. Audience targeting, CTAs, images and messaging are all examples of variables that should be A/B tested to find out which option receives the most clicks or engagement. The analytics might show that one CTA earned more clicks than another, or that one target audience engaged more with the content than another, but detailed data reveals deeper insights.
For instance, engagement can be a misleading statistic. Shares — along with comments and direct messages — are considered high-value engagements. Likes, reactions and retweets are low-value engagements, and don’t help organic reach. A post with 50 shares looks like it has the same number of engagements as a post with 50 likes, but since shares are high-value engagements that appeal to Facebook’s algorithm, the content with 50 shares is more likely to help your Page increase organic reach. In the eyes of social algorithms, not all actions are created equal.
According to SOCi’s Q1 2019 State of the Market report, organic reach can be as low as <1 percent of Page followers if your posts don’t receive high-value engagement, but as high as 10 percent if they do. The good news is that marketers are starting to catch on to this trend. In Q4 2018, just 14% of engagement was high-value. In Q1 2019, 44% of engagement was high-level. Marketers are posting more tailored, local content on each of their local business pages to encourage high-value engagement.
Mistake #3: Letting rogue content run wild
72 percent of brand engagement happens on Local Pages, but 100 percent of rogue content appears at the local level. Rogue content refers to unclaimed Facebook and Google My Business Pages, duplicate pages, or anything that includes incorrect logos, reviews without a response and inaccurate comments that the business hasn’t addressed. Non-official local pages pop up for a few reasons. In some cases, Facebook creates Local Business pages automatically if a user wants to review or check-into a business that doesn’t yet have one. In other cases, local franchise owners will create Local Pages for their businesses without connecting it to the corporate Facebook account.
Rogue pages with rogue content can harm a brand’s reputation, impact SEO and annoy potential customers.
To take control of rogue content, claim rogue Pages then respond to comments and reviews — Facebook calls them Recommendations — as quickly as possible. According to a research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 40 percent of consumers expect a response within 24-hours, and 64 percent expect a response within a few days. Despite these expectations, the report shows that 40 percent of businesses fail to respond within 24-hours. Consumers care about review response, and businesses that respond quickly can gain a competitive advantage in-market.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the pay-to-play movement
Facebook’s algorithm change led to a major decline in organic reach, and was the first step in social media’s movement towards a pay-to-play model for marketers. Facebook Boost and Facebook Ads are the first two pay-to-play features marketers should implement.
Social media marketers can use Facebook Boost to increase the reach and/or engagement of their social content. You’re already creating social content to post organically, but Boost will help you get more out of that content. SOCi’s research shows that Boost can lead to a 2000 percent increase in reach and a 500 percent increase in comments versus organic posts.
Boost should be seen as an enhancement to an organic social strategy. Facebook ads, on the other hand, are a different marketing tactic entirely.
Facebook ads help digital marketers drive a specific action through the creation and deployment of highly-targeted ads. Locally-focused tools like SOCi Ads PLUS are empowering franchise businesses to instantly promote ads to all Local Facebook Pages through a single corporate ad account or individual ad accounts. Features like dynamic ad copy and images allow franchise marketers to realize the full potential of social media advertising. Features like these are part of the reason why 59 percent of marketers plan to increase their use of Facebook ads in the future, and 30 percent believe it has the best ROI of any ad platform.
To recap, franchise marketers have to treat social media as a conversation, adjust to the analytics, clean up inaccurate information and invest in powerful tools like Facebook Boost and Ads. These social media best practices, when implemented across an entire franchise business, will help you build an impactful localized presence on all your business’ social pages.