5 Social Media Tips for Franchisees

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The popularity of social media cannot be ignored, and incorporating social media into your overall marketing plan is necessary to remain competitive. As a franchisee engaging in social media, you should use it as a channel to evolve your brand from a local level, and to increase your engagement with your current and potential customers.

Traditional advertising like print, radio and TV are not out the window, but if you are not present on social media, your customers will notice, and you could possibly be handing over your business to your competitors. Below are 5 tips on how to be successful on social media:

1. Define your purpose. Why are you there? Do you want to reach as many potential customers as possible and increase sales? Or did you create a Facebook page because you felt like you needed to? Make sure you are on social media for a purpose – and not just to have a presence if you are not going to use it to your advantage.

2. Create your voice. Create a unique voice for your account(s), while keeping the franchise brand consistent. Define your voice by assessing who your brand is, and its core values.

3. Establish a plan. Establishing a social media marketing plan is crucial to the success of your efforts. Who is the voice behind the profile (one person or multiple people)? Do you have an employee social media policy? Do you know where your customers hang out and how they like to be reached? What analytics tools will you be using to monitor your page? What will you measure? These are important questions that will form your overall plan.

4. Be there. Being present is not just limited to monitoring and responding to mentions. It is posting regularly, answering questions, concerns, complaints and connecting with your local community. Creating a sense of community among your customers is important in cultivating loyalty to your brand, and to your specific franchise location.

5. Avoid over-discounting/couponing. Discounting and couponing are very feasible marketing techniques, except when they are overdone and/or confusing. In social media, the attraction is to offer something to gain more visitors, but offering a discount too often tells the customer that they should not have to pay the regular price, and they will wait until there is a discount to come in to your store. This does not create loyalty to the brand, it creates loyalty to the discount.

If you’re a business owner who hasn’t been actively using it on a regular basis, then take the advice above and begin today.