Congratulations on your new franchise! You will probably receive some guidance on social media best practices from your franchisor, including what you can and can’t post. But you still need a little help getting started, don’t you?
This guidebook is designed to help you launch your social media marketing and establish local authority through the content you share.
Note: Before creating social media profiles for your local franchise, consult with your franchisor to understand what rules and regulations it requires.
Facebook. Instagram. LinkedIn. Snapchat. Twitter. Pinterest. With so many social media channels, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. However, the truth is: your specific audience probably spends more time on just one or two social channels, so rather than creating profiles (that you then have to manage) on all social media sites, do a little investigating to find out which channels will have the biggest impact.
Look at what other franchisees under the same brand are doing. Where do they have the biggest following and highest engagement? Facebook is appropriate for nearly every business type, but realize that you actually can have several Pages: the franchise likely has a Brand Page, and then you can create both a Local Page and a Places Page. Combining these two allows people to check in to your location, post a recommendation, and view content from you.
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The tone of voice you use in all your social media marketing efforts (as well as all your marketing in general) should reflect your brand. If you run an office supply franchise, you’re speaking to a business audience, so your tone should be professional. But if you run a clothing franchise targeting teens, your tone can be more casual and youthful.
Make sure you use that same tone across all marketing channels to be consistent. And again, check with your franchisor because there may be brand tone guidelines or rules about what kind of language you can and can’t use.
What you say with words is just as important as what you communicate visually. Use franchise-approved logos consistently across all social media channels. Your franchisor may have provided you with an image library of the company logo iterations as well as professional shots of the brand’s products. These can be useful, but go beyond them to add a little local color to the images you post.
You could share photos of your employees, customers holding up their products, or participation in community events. For a franchise, it’s essential to find the balance between connecting to the bigger brand and having a local impact.
Certainly, use boilerplates and templates from your franchisor to fill out your social profiles, but make sure you have all the local information people care about as well, including:
- Business address and phone number
- Hours of operation
- Your location-specific website
There are so many ways to promote your local franchise through social media. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share tips that your audience cares about, like “how to dress for a work party” if you’re a retailer.
- Post weekly specials exclusive to your social media followers. Track redemptions.
- Share other people’s content, including that of your followers. User-generated content helps increase your brand’s authenticity!
- Ask your followers to use unique hashtags to interact with your brand.
- Share behind-the-scenes images to humanize your brand.
- Create funny GIFs or videos to get your followers smiling, and share those on your Stories feed.
- Share updates, invites and photos of your brand participating in community events.
- Promote other local businesses and ask for a reciprocal promotion.
If you’ve started posting localized content across your pages, and you’re not receiving the level of engagement that you were expecting, consider throwing some advertising dollars behind a boosting strategy for your content. After the 2018 Facebook algorithm changes, brands had to dramatically shift their content sharing strategy to allocate funds to boosting and advertising on the platform. To learn more about “The Death of Facebook Organic Reach”, check out our on-demand webinar. And we’ve created a list of tips for better social boosting, here.
It’s important to realize that people now use social media as a tool to interact with a brand, and they expect a fast response from your franchise. Plan to monitor your accounts daily, so that you can quickly respond to any questions or comments a customer has, as well as reviews.
Especially if a review or Facebook recommendation is less-than-positive, you need to promptly apologize that your customer has had a bad experience and work to remedy the situation. Have a policy in place for how you respond to negative reviews. Will you offer a refund? Ask the customer to come back for a better experience? Having your policy established makes it easier to deal with reviews as they are published. Check out our guide on local reputation response for more tips on how to properly respond to reviews.
Even if the franchisor doesn’t require you to get all social media posts approved by the company, you can leverage the fact that the franchise as a whole has already laid the foundation for great national marketing. You can always share content from the franchise’s Brand Page or profile to fill in your content calendar when you have a lull.
Reach out to the franchise if you have something you want to spread far and wide to see if the brand can post it to its national social media profiles. Your corporate franchise contact can be helpful if you have questions about what’s appropriate to post or want ideas beyond what we shared here in this resource.
Do’s and Don’ts of Franchise Social Media Marketing
Do monitor and/or post to each of your social channels, daily if possible. Don’t post content just to post something. Do carefully plan out the types of content you will share; it can be helpful to build a content calendar so all you have to do is look at it to know what you need to share on a given day.
Do work to build your social following; have a link to your social profiles on your site and invite people via email to follow you. Don’t pay for followers! It’s unethical and not all that beneficial to your franchise.
Do pay attention to insights and analytics to understand what types of content are resonating with your audience, then create more content with similar objectives. Don’t get overwhelmed by the data! Just look at what you care about: number of engagements or shares, or clicks to your website.
As a franchisee, you have vast opportunities to create the local social marketing conversation for your brand – utilize our guidebook, your knowledge of the local community, and your franchisor, and you’ll be well on your way to social media marketing genius.