This is a guest blog post by Ben, a Web Content Editor at Engage Web.
In today’s global market, it is important to remain competitive, especially online. As such, more and more businesses are turning to social media to do this. It’s fast and direct, so why shouldn’t franchises be making use of social media as an online marketing tool?
However, this can be something of a hurdle for franchise owners, as there are likely to be more restrictions placed in areas such as marketing than for a traditional business. As a franchisee, therefore, it is best to take a step back and gain a grasp of your franchise’s situation and what you can do with it.
Establishing Your Strategy
As a franchisee, you are working within a preset industry, so the question arises as to how closely your social media activity is regulated by your franchisor. Once you are clear about what your obligations are to your franchisor, using social media to market your location is an excellent way to connect with customers and generate sales.
Remember, social media is a great way to provide yourself, as a franchisee, with a method of direct contact to customers seeking your goods or services. One point that must always be considered, however, is that your goals should also be in line with your franchisor’s brand position. As such, a shared experience for your customers is key, which means that consistency over all channels should be at the core.
What’s It Going to Cost?
As a franchisee, you should be asking yourself what marketing via social media will cost you, not only financially, but in terms of time. After all, you have a franchise to run, and there’s likely no paid time away from work for illness or vacation. We need to look at this objectively, ultimately, to be able to effectively market your franchise on social media, as you will need to pay for it, even if you are producing the content yourself.
This is straightforward on some platforms, such as Facebook, which now requires marketers to pay for sponsored ads, which are often needed to be able to effectively market via this specific social networking site. Therefore, this means that you should have room in your budget for any platforms that you choose to market on, and remember that you shouldn’t put more in than you can get out.
However, creating and monitoring your social media pages can also cost a lot in terms of time. What you need to take into account is that it’s not simply posting your content that is important, as answering comments from your customers is just as vital. On top of this, you have to spend time ensuring that you have established a multifaceted approach across assorted different social networking platforms, again a time-consuming task.
In reality, the only approach to social media marketing you as a franchisee can take is an active one. You need to make the social channels you are using not only work for you in terms of public relations, especially as a way to get the word out to followers, but also as a complete tool for direct marketing.
If we look at one of the most well-known franchises, McDonald’s, it has products that are only available for certain weeks or at specific times of the year. During the periods when products are available that wouldn’t usually be, the brand ensures that it is posting on its social media accounts about them. While this costs money and time, the likely chance is that the company will have a dedicated team running its social media campaigns to deliver the results its restaurants need.
Why Should I Worry About Marketing My Franchise on Social Media?
Ultimately, as part of a franchise, you need to remember that it is important to be the best of the best. You need to keep your content as localized as possible, while staying within your franchise’s guidelines, in order to appeal to the people in your local area. Ultimately, they are your core customer base.
Overall, this means that your content should reflect your locality. However, no matter what, remember that it is not all about the content, as it’s also about responding to your customers’ cheers and jeers. Without regular interaction, none of us know where we are going wrong, what we are doing well, and how we can make our service the best it can be.
Ben has a keen interest in content development and web design, and is a Web Content Editor at Engage Web, a UK online marketing agency specializing in the franchise industry.