Social Media for Franchisees
Utilising Social Media as a Franchisee
Maybe you’re a newbie franchise holder wondering should your business be on social media? Well our answer is a resounding yes!
You see traditional marketing can be a big drain on your resources when you’re just starting out, but social media marketing is free or very low cost and gives you a direct line to prospective customers.
Social Media Use in a Regulated Market
One of the first things to figure out is how regulated are your social media activities by your franchisor. Are there restrictions and guidelines already in place regarding social media posting? Policies will usually exist to ensure that the brand keeps a consistent voice across channels and locations.
A good social media policy outlines not only the rules and restrictions with respect to the
use of social media platforms, but also identifies best practices. While your franchisor might not be that strict, there are probably specific guidelines about displaying logos, using marketing catch phrases, and all that fun stuff. Be mindful of those rules as you start up your social media efforts and don’t be afraid to call your franchisor with questions about what is allowed and what isn’t.
As a franchisee, if your umbrella franchisor offers content, use it—a lot. When original content is available, using and reposting up to 60% of your content can be a good strategy. This ensures consistent messaging with other franchises, and the 40% lets you tailor local content as you see fit.
The Challenges of Social Media
While social media can provide terrific marketing opportunities, it also has a downside. Social media is a very fast and informal means of communication, and given the fast-paced nature of social media, one can easily get caught up in the rapid back-and-forth responses.
Never forget that anything posted online has the potential to reach over a billion people and cannot be unsaid.
Your social success depends largely on the type of business you run and how much time and
effort you intend to put into your strategy. Some networks, like Facebook, are more low-maintenance and work for every type of business, while others, like Instagram, require more dedication, working best for certain niche businesses.
Want to create an enviable social strategy? Well you need to familiarise yourself with all of the social networks out there right now and figure out which features will work best with your business. Focus on the platforms that best reflect your business’s mission and you’ll ensure a super successful marketing campaign.
If you feel you might need some extra help, Irish Franchising Skillnet run regular courses and workshops on how to get the most from social media for your franchise.
We profile the top social media platforms, so you can decide which ones fit you best. It’s time to get social!
Facebook is the biggest social network out there, both in terms of name recognition and with over 1.39 billion active users. You can use it to share photographs and videos, press releases and more. Facebook is fairly low maintenance in terms of posting frequency - you can post updates a few times a day or just once a week.
Twitter is another social network where pretty much anything goes. With Twitter, you can post short (140 characters or less) text updates along with photos, videos, images, links and more. You can also easily interact with other users and network this way. It’s also very useful for customer service.
Despite claims that it’s dying, the search giant’s “social network” has 90 million users and building an audience on Google+ might be the smartest thing you do. Interactions on your content inside Google+ tell Google that this particular bit of content is good, and therefore should be ranked well. If people in your Google+ Circles recommend a website or article through their interactions on Google+, this will rank higher in your Google search results giving you an immediate SEO boost.
This is a visual social media platform that is based entirely on photo and video posts. Its USP is its square photo/video post format that makes each post look like a Polaroid picture. It may not be the best fit for your business depending on your industry. However, if you can find the right hashtags to latch onto and can post interesting photos, anybody can make it work.
This is a digital bulletin board where users can save and display content they like in the form of pins. Users create and organise their boards by category. However it’s a much more niche network than Facebook or Twitter, and so it may not work for everyone. Pinterest’s user base is predominantly female, and it will work best for fashion, beauty and food businesses.
Hosting over 200 million blogs, Tumblr is popular with young people (half of Tumblr’s visitor base is under the age of 25) and so will work best for businesses aimed at this demographic. On the upside, it has a sub community for almost every niche and interest you can think of, so a successful marketing campaign is very achievable if you use Tumblr correctly.
Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network and of the businesses that currently market on social media, just 2% of them use Snapchat. Because of this lack of competition you could make your business really stand out from the crowd and the fact that the snaps vanish after one viewing means you have the user’s undivided attention. You just need to get creative and build up a following.
With 200 million members LinkedIn is by far the leading social networking site for professionals. So while it’s excellent for networking, the millions of professionals are consumers too. That means there is certainly success to be found for business-to-consumer companies on LinkedIn as well as professional networking.
Video is a powerful tool for businesses of any size and YouTube’s free-to-use model, ease of use and mass market audience means it’s one of the best options available. Use YouTube for training, tutorials and brand advertising on products and services.