How to promote your franchise using social media
Social media is quickly becoming one of the most critical aspects of digital marketing. Consumers are choosing to migrate from traditional means of sharing and receiving information to using social media as their primary way to communicate. This provides enormous benefits to small businesses as an affordable way to reach vast numbers of potential customers.
And if you’re not using social media as part of your marketing mix, you’re missing out on an unbelievable marketing opportunity. Not only does it make it simple to spread the word about your franchise but it’s cheap to do so too.
The benefits of social media marketing
It’s easy to see that social media is a useful tool and should be included in the marketing plan of franchise brands of all sizes. The potential for business growth is enormous using social media platforms, but this isn’t the only benefit.
Here are some compelling reasons for how social media can help you to become one of the most profitable franchises:
Increased brand awareness: You can develop and enhance your franchise brands’ credibility. Just having people connect with your content you’ll increase your brand awareness and begin building your reputation.
More traffic: Traditional marketing will drive your ‘typical’ customer to your website but what about those outside of your usual customer base? By placing your content on as many social media platforms as possible opens your franchise to a wider variety of prospective customers who can organically reach your business.
Improves customer satisfaction: Because you’re able to connect with customers and respond to feedback in real-time, it is a powerful way of engaging your customer base.
Reduces costs: Social media marketing is often the most cost-efficient part of any marketing plan. This gives you a huge advantage because you can see a more significant return on your franchise investment allowing you to fund other types of marketing to complement your social media activity.
But how do you build an effective social media strategy as a franchisee? It’s easier than you’d think.
10 step guide to developing a social media strategy for your franchise
Step 1 – Set your goals.
Right at the outset, you should define your objectives so that you can measure your success. Remember that while tracking the number of likes and shares you get is a way of gauging the relevancy of your content, they don’t demonstrate any value to your business. Set at least three social media goals to include more tangible targets like the number of leads and sales generated along with the conversion rate.
Step 2 – Know your audience.
The most profitable franchises can engage with their audience because the content they produce is relevant and speaks to them in their language. By learning everything you can about your audience, you can develop your social media strategy based on their wants and needs.
Step 3 – Find your voice.
It’s one thing to know your audience, but you should know who you are too. Give some thought to what your franchise stands for and align your voice to your core values. This will make you recognisable when you’re sharing content via social media.
Step 4 – Assess your competitors.
You won’t be able to stand out from the crowd if you don’t know what content your competitors are producing. Franchise brands can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace by offering an alternative angle or unique thought leadership, and you can too. You can also learn a lot from the social media successes and failures of your competition.
Step 5 – Conduct a social media audit.
To make the most out of your franchise investment, you may have already dabbled in some social media activity. Look at the content you’ve already produced and analyse how it performed, who engaged with it, and was it posted on the most relevant platform? When you have the answers to these questions, you can start to use the information to build your plan.
Step 5 – Develop a plan.
Now you know what your objectives are, who your audience and competitors are, how your voice should sound and what has worked previously; you’ve got all the information you need to create an actionable plan.
Step 6 – Set up platform profiles.
It’s time to start setting up social media profiles or improving existing ones so that you can put your plan into action. There are lots of different social media channels out there, but rather than becoming overwhelmed trying to develop a presence on all the sites, focus on the core ones that your target audience use most regularly.
Step 7 – Create a social media content calendar
For you to become one of the most profitable franchises, you need to have a clear idea of what content you’re going to post, where and when. This way you can review whether what you’re producing and the results they’re getting align with your original goals.
Step 8 – Monitor your posts
It’s essential that you monitor the effectiveness of your social media posts, but you should also look out for any comments or questions that need your response. The immediacy of social media makes it a very powerful tool when it comes to improving customer satisfaction but unless you respond to customers queries efficiently your reputation can take a knock.
Step 9 – Be relevant and timely.
Your social media strategy will only be a success if you invest the required time and effort into it. It’s essential that you keep your content relevant by producing topical posts as well as evergreen content. You should also post regularly to remain front of mind for your customers.
Step 10 – Evaluate your strategy.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get your social media strategy right the first time so you should review it regularly. Track your results and then use this data to decide whether any changes need to be made to improve the performance or whether your plan is working as expected. Remember that your strategy is a living document and should be updated to reflect the changes in your business, the environment or your customers’ preferences.
Deciding to make a franchise investment and start your own business is a big deal. It’s only natural that you want it to be as successful as possible. And the part that social media marketing plays in this success is significant. Take time to understand how social media marketing opportunities can improve your business at just a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing activity.