It wasn’t that long ago when many franchises were at least a little skeptical about whether or not social media could do anything tangible for their bottom line. However, thanks to the explosion in social media usage across B2B and B2C demographics, franchise social media has become a standard marketing strategy for most organizations. So, what caused so many businesses to change their opinion in a relatively short amount of time about the fact that social media is a smart strategy for them? Not only has the growth of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and LinkedIn shown that social media is here to stay, but those platforms continue to put a lot of resources into making their offerings more useful to businesses. For example, tracking the effectiveness of specific platforms used to be quite challenging. However, most major social platforms now make analytics readily available to business users. The Most Important Lesson About Franchise Social Media While the majority of franchises are now on board with social media, that doesn’t mean everyone feels like they have this medium figured out. Plenty of organizations are still trying to find the right way to leverage franchise social media. Although the ideal strategy can vary by industry, the biggest lesson every franchise can learn is that social media is all about the people. Although social platforms can be used for things like promoting discounts and special offers, it’s vital to make it clear that real people are in control of the accounts and not just automated programs. So while it’s important for franchise owners and employees to stay consistent with things like brand messaging, they need to have the freedom to show some of their personality as well. Tools are a Key Part of Franchise Social Media Marketing While authentic interactions are crucial for social media success, that doesn’t mean franchises should be afraid of using tools. With tools like HootSuite, it becomes much easier to manage or automate many tasks. By harnessing this type of tool, franchise owners can spend more of their social media time focusing on what will help them get the best results. And what exactly will help get the best results? In addition to emphasizing relationships, creating and sharing lots of great content is an important component of this overall strategy. For franchises, the three most important things to remember in terms of content are to think locally, utilize pictures, and remain responsive. By becoming a local resource, a franchise can really gain a lot of ground in their community. And the reason pictures work so well is they’re the type of content that people enjoy sharing the most. Finally, while not every message may require a response, the more you can make social media a two-way conversation instead of a one-way broadcast, the more successful you’ll be with your efforts. For many franchisors and individual franchise owners, formulating the right franchise social media strategy still comes with plenty of challenges. However, as long as you remember that this medium is all about relationships, as well as take advantage of the tools and professional guidance that’s available, it’s possible to get a lot of positive results from utilizing social media.
Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day.
She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location and more. Just let her know how she can help!