The Role of the Franchisor in Social Media

The Role of the Franchisor in Social Media

Facebook alone has over 500 million active users spending over 700 billion minutes per month on the site, social media is one of the first places customers go to when looking for a product or service. If a business does not have an online presence, it does not exist in the consumers eyes. Research shows, consumers are becoming increasingly impatient and expect responses from social media within 30 minutes. It is vital to the success of a business that they have a current and relevant social media strategy.

There are so many benefits of having a social media presence, including:

  1. Search Engine Rankings
  2. Data Tracking
  3. Real Time Results
  4. Brand Recognition
  5. Localisation

Franchises are in a unique position when it comes to social media due to the nature of their business structure. Franchises are independently owned and operated, but still need to establish a  consistent, solid recognisable brand that builds trust, and much like a website, their social media is a representation of their brand.

Franchise agreements generally include a social media policy. It is essential that all marketing materials remain consistent, a strong strategy will lead to a cohesive brand voice.

If franchisors fail to include a social media policy, and do not regulate what is posted, the brand will have many unrelated voices, this will cause the brand identity to become murky and unclear, which is less than desirable.

So how do franchisors control social media across multiple owners and locations? Here’s our guide on setting up your own social media guidelines:

Franchisors: How to set social media guidelines

Before social media was invented and as significant as it is today, franchisees had been following brand standards for many years, and were confident with the process of having all marketing material approved of before it went to print. However now with the prevalence of social media it can be difficult for franchisors to manage, without their brand voice becoming inconsistent. The social media guidelines should not be a list of what not to do, rather a list of what they should do. Remember that most franchisees are not experts in social media, so be sure to make your guidelines and advice clear and helpful.

Visuals

Visuals are the most important element for brand recognition, the guide should include clear information on how to use the following: Font, Colour, Logos and Images. Franchisees have access to millions of photos on Google, which opens up the possibility of copyright infringement, as well as poor quality images which could be damaging to the brands efforts. Franchisors should provide franchisees with access to a digital image library containing approved photos.

Language

In order to create a consistent brand, the appropriate language and tone of voice should be identified (Casual, comedic or formal for example). The tone of voice is also used to address questions, complaints and reviews should also be identified. Keeping all the same tone of voice across all franchises is key to establishing a unified brand.

About

Static information found in the ‘About Section’ of each platform, should be standardised and consistent across all pages. This will help customers identify it as a legitimate brand.

Reporting

In order to keep an eye, and maintain consistency across all franchises regular scheduled check ins should occur. This is an opportunity for the franchisor to monitor the progress of the franchise, as well as monitor their social media to ensure it is staying within the guidelines. It is also an opportunity for them to provide encouragement and offer feedback.

Purpose

The purpose of each platform should be identified, and the activities expected on the page should be clearly described.

Eg. Instagram is for posting high quality photos, and posting short snippets of day to day activity in their stories function.

Customer Engagement 

Lastly, the guide should contain how franchisees are expected to engage with customers online. Outlining what comments they reply to, how to answer reviews and general day to day engagement with customers.

5 Effective Marketing Strategies You’ve Already Heard And 5 You Haven’t

5 Effective Marketing Strategies You’ve Already Heard And 5 You Haven’t

5 You’ve Already Heard

Social Media

Social media is a no brainer when it comes to modern day marketing strategies. With businesses of all sizes being able to take advantage of the free platforms it is no surprise that almost every brand has some form of social media presence. Despite that some may perceive this channel to be over-saturated, it still proves effective.

The platform has high adoption rates by consumers, giving you the largest opportunity for reach. In addition to this, all of the major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn) offer advance targeting methods and measurable insights into your contents performance. This allows your marketing department to make sure they are getting the most out of their time (and money), in addition to this, social channels self-learning algorithms help get your ads in front of the right people with little effort needed.

Create content

Content has and will continue to be the base of many marketing plans. As advertising intensity increased, consumers began to tune it out. Creative content strategies provide brands a way to reach out to their target market in a manner that wouldn’t be brushed off as a pushy sales tactic. Cue the creation of company blogs, which have now expanded to include video content, webinars and eBooks.

Despite how popular consumer focused content has become, its effectiveness has not diminished. Brands are utilising content to drive value for their customers in areas where their goods/services offering can’t. The good news is, producing content requires only the investment of time from someone in your marketing department and can significantly increase website traffic and brand engagement.

Lead nurturing through email marketing

Let’s make one thing clear, email marketing is not dead. This strategy is very much alive and well, delivering positive ROI for companies around the globe. Utilising email marketing as part of a larger lead nurture strategy may seem like a ‘worn out’ approach, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing it.

Whilst it shouldn’t be the only channel your company is investing in, it plays a pivotal role in maintaining contact with potential leads and keeping them in a nurture cycle to encourage conversion down the line. In addition to this, the platform helps you keep in touch with existing clients, and can be highly effective at triggering a second conversion.

SEO

SEO is definitely something you have heard of if you work in the world of marketing. However, all too often companies view SEO as a one off activity and then are disappointed when the results don’t stand up. An SEO strategy is a long-term and ever-changing activity that focuses on optimising a brands online presence for search engines, with an aim to achieve better organic results.

Whilst this may seem a bit outlandish if you are not savvy in the world of digital marketing, at its core the concept is quite simple. It means organising your websites content by topic, in a logical manner that makes sure search engines like Google can understand what they should be showing to users. However, there are a lot of other elements that come into consideration when building an effective SEO strategy, so we suggest outsourcing this one to the experts.

Paid Search

Paid Search, or Pay per Click (PPC) is something that companies both large and small can get behind. However, it is important not to just throw money into this channel and hope to achieve results. Like any other marketing activity, it is important that there is underlying strategy and goals to support it. PPC can put your website at the very top of a users search results, but first you have to understand which search queries are worth your money.

Whilst bidding on your brand terms may deliver excellent results, is it worth paying to appear in front of people who already know who you are? Other common strategies include bidding on competitors brand terms, or bidding on keywords that are relevant to your offering (e.g. Clothing giant ASOS would bid on the keyword ‘Dresses’ or ‘Clothing’.) The important thing to consider is that deciding to invest in PPC doesn’t always mean your ad will show, and if you’re going to do it yourself you should read up on the bidding algorithm to get the most out of your money.

 

5 You Haven’t

Support a cause

Your main drive for supporting any kind of charitable cause should be a genuine passion for their mission, and if you as a business owner can funnel some of your time and money into doing so, there is benefits for all involved. This is a move adopted by almost every major corporation around the globe, and for a good reason. Supporting a cause gives your customers another reason to support your brand, and raises awareness and funds for those who really need it.

Research shows that 85% of consumers prefer a business that supports a cause they care about, and note that it helps them see a meaningful impact behind their purchases. Partnering with a cause that mirrors your companies goals is a win-win, generating goodwill for your brand and bolstering support and donations for the non-profit.

Enter a competition

Whilst this may seem a little out of the box, winning a prize or acknowledgement is a great marketing tool that can help strengthen your brand and boost your reputation. Whether it be for your product, customer service or business performance, winning an award is a great publicity opportunity for your business. In addition to this, award shows are a great opportunity to network, so even if you’re not a contender for the prize, consider attending to scope out other business opportunities.

Leverage local

This applies to small business especially, it is so important to have a local area marketing plan in addition to your overall brand strategy. Whether this be sponsoring some sporting teams in your local area or donating a prize to a school raffle, getting your brand out there amongst your local clientele is important in building and maintaining a loyal customer base.

Another great way to leverage local is to consider partnering with other local businesses to boost your joined marketing efforts. Taking part in a cross-promotion activity can help you achieve a marketing campaign larger than what you could achieve independently, and also puts your brand in front of a new market.

Host an event or class

Adding value for your customers is key, and if there is some skills or knowledge that compliment the product or service you offer, hosting an event or class is a great idea. Getting more face time with your target market leads to increased engagement and strengthens your chance of conversion or repeat purchase.

The event doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, and if your customers aren’t central to a specific area, you could even consider hosting a webinar. In order to draw customers to attend it is important that what you are offering is in line with their buying behaviour, and perhaps including a goody bag or discount code will help. Events and classes provide you the opportunity to communicate with a captive audience and develop a more intimate rapport with your customers.

User generated content

Last but not least, is user generated content. Whilst this strategy has come into the spotlight since the introduction of social media, this tactic has been utilised by brands for a long time. The best way to launch a user-generated content campaign is through a competition, encouraging customers to post a photo, or share a story with a hashtag that links back to your company. This strategy also links back to the concept of social proof, meaning that consumers are more likely to trust the word of others than of a brand itself. So getting your real customers to put out content about your brand can help bring in new ones.