Social media marketing is nowadays a key piece of franchise success in a customer-driven arena in order to attract new consumers and potential new franchisees.
Some franchise businesses prefer to have their social media marketing all in one place, i.e., having one general brand page on Facebook, one on Twitter, and just one as well on other platforms. Depending on the nature of the business they might work well for them.
But for other franchise businesses and especially the ones that have a presence in specific locations or even different countries, they prefer to have separate social media company pages based on location where each franchisee manages those pages.
This decision makes sense when considering that although there are similarities with customer behaviour and characteristics, there are also many differences and preferences based on location. Each franchisee knows their specific customers more than anyone else.
But the question for many franchise businesses is how can they integrate their marketing when they have different social media pages by location, so that the core brand image and message remains the same?
Here are 5 amazing tips:
1. Create a structure
One way to make it easier to integrate your marketing across all social media pages is to create a structure that works for your business.
Many franchise businesses created an internal social media network to be used by the franchisees. It can be located on the brand’s website or it can simply be a Facebook private group.
This helps the franchisor to identify the overall online maturity of the group, assists in developing an acceptable online language for the brand, begins to build a repository for great content to share on the public channels, and is a great place for them to access the brand’s social media policy.
2. Create an editorial calendar
Creating an editorial calendar integrated with your promotional calendar is a great idea to integrate your marketing.
Plan relevant content around your main keywords, your planned promotions and/or your events. Develop a framework to minimise content creation time by not needing to think about what you’re going to write before you craft content.
If you have an internal system for franchisees that manage their own local social media accounts, they can also access this calendar and create content based on key promotions and times of the year, helping them as well. It is also a good place to brainstorm new ideas.
3. Train your franchisees on social media
Many franchisees know very well how to run their business but are not that comfortable to manage social media marketing, therefore it is important to provide them proper training.
Some franchisees might be extremely active on social media and have a good understanding but others might not, so it’s important to provide regular training, some more general on what is social media and how to use it and more specific training on how to use social media for your particular business in order for your message to be consistent and integrated.
In order to be effective, you should provide regular training and not just a one-off. Social media and the online world are always changing and it’s good to provide regular updates.
4. Have a social media policy
This comes hand in hand with training your franchisees about social media, and it should follow it.
A social media policy ensures compliance with the brand marketing plan and procedures and cover the general do’s and don’ts regarding copyright law and confidentiality concerns.
It must also cover enforcement in the event competitors or other parties infringe on the rights of the franchisor and the system, or other unwanted content is posted to the franchisor’s social network accounts or elsewhere.
5. Integrate your website
Integrating all your marketing efforts means including your website! On a website, franchise inquiry forms should be just one click away from any social media tool a brand employs. And the content you share on social media like a specific promotion or offer should also be on your website as well.
This could mean having different URL’s based on location or have different information displayed based on location. Or could simply mean that you show what’s being done in different stores like events or promotions, and link those with the different social media pages.
This is a great marketing strategy for your customers that know that you have a presence in many different places and is also a good place for franchisees to visit regularly and het updates and information, especially if you don’t have an internal social media network.