78% of consumer purchasing decisions are influenced by social content.
In case you didn’t know, we’re pretty into social media content around here. More specifically, we’re interested in effective social media content. Trust us, there’s a big difference. (We know, groundbreaking stuff here.)
Essentially, social media has changed the landscape of the franchise industry by giving individual businesses a localized online presence. Corporate content has taken a backseat to a more audience-focused strategy that relies heavily on the reputation of franchise locations rather than their overall brand voice.
Industry professionals, Jacob Chappell (SOCi) and David Card (Street Fight) shared their thoughts on this subject in SOCi’s webinar, The Secrets to Local Social Media Management for Your Franchise. Check out the full recording here:
DID YOU KNOW: The franchise industry is slated to grow for the 8th consecutive year in 2018. Additionally, the industry, on the whole, added 250,000 new jobs in 2017 alone. Combine this ever-growing industry with 3 Billion active social media users and the result is a now massive network of content, reviews, and conversations around your business.
Social media has actually surpassed SEO and AdWords for generating new business. And the top contender? Referrals. 88% of people trust an online review just as much as a personal referral, meaning that every time your brand is mentioned on social media, an audience is listening.
A staggering $41 BILLION is lost by US companies every year due to poor customer service. Now that these experiences are taking place in front of an entire digital network, franchise locations no longer simply have the option of participating in their social media strategy, they MUST if they want to survive.
So, how can your franchise locations compete with the noise and stay on top of these online reviews?
- Know how to respond – keep it polite, professional, and if possible, take it offline.
- Respond in a timely manner – reply to all reviews, positive or negative, within 24 hours of posting.
- Keep reviews relevant and recent – if you know a customer has had a great experience, it’s the perfect time to ask for a review!
- Turn fans into advocates -Reach out to followers and ask them to spread your good word across their social sites
Franchise locations should also start looking at ways to grow their social audience in order to reach new customers and potential advocates.
Question: I don’t have a big Facebook following and my business doesn’t get much engagement from the platform. Should I even spend time on it?
Jacob’s answer was a resounding YES. From an organic perspective, sure, you’re reaching your small network of followers who may turn around and tell a friend or two about your business. Even that would be reason enough to stay with social. However, from a paid perspective, as you invest more dollars into your social media budget, you’ll watch that reach extend to customers who may have never been part of your network to begin with who can then turn around and become advocates to their network of friends and family— this reach can have an exponential effect that should not be ignored by even the smallest of franchise locations.
Franchise social media success relies on participation, not just from corporate offices, but from individual locations who connect with consumers on a daily basis, both online and in the real world. Ready to learn all the secrets to social media management for your franchise? Watch the entire webinar now.