With two billion active users, Facebook now has a larger population than the United States,
When it comes to managing social media for an entire franchise network, the key to avoiding complete chaos is scalability. However, developing a social media program that works for hundreds of units is easier said than done, and often, it comes at the expense of losing a localized feel on franchisee pages. To effectively manage franchise social media marketing at scale, try one or a combination of the following three methods.
3 Methods to Effectively Scale Your Franchise Social Media
For a franchisee’s social media profiles to be successful, they must have a healthy balance of corporate content and hyper-local posts that appeal to their community. Managing those localized posts and ensuring they are brand compliant is where many franchise networks struggle. Try a combination of the following three methods to maximize brand consistency and ensure an active social media presence across all franchisee social media accounts.
1. Create approved social media images for your digital asset library.
One simple way to ensure that all social media imaging used by franchisees is brand-compliant is to create a digital asset library. By designing and sharing a broad scope of images and videos that can be used by the entire network, you minimize the need to create custom graphics at a local level. Providing images sized for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram will ensure that posts display properly on each platform.
Of course, this still leaves you with the problem of ensuring content matches your brand voice and that proper hashtags are used. One way to solve this problem is to develop a review process for all posts; however, this often slows down franchisees and discourages them from posting timely content. Instead, many franchises opt for developing an in-depth social media policy and training franchisees on it. Franchise social media policies should contain everything from colors and logo usage to acceptable content, hashtags, and posting guides for each social media platform. Members of the corporate staff can review profiles each day or week to ensure all published posts meet brand guidelines.
2. Develop an online proofing and review process for franchisees’ local posts.
Another way that some franchise businesses manage social media marketing is through a review process. When franchisees create a new image or post to be used on social media, they submit it via a form, social media management tool, or sophisticated online proofing software. The franchisor’s marketing or brand team can promptly review the content and ensure that all imaging and content comply with brand voice and social media guidelines. If edits are needed, the franchisor’s staff can work with the franchisee to draft new content or make specific imaging changes.
3. Post on behalf of franchisees.
Many franchisors regularly post deals and special offers on behalf of franchise locations, while others post several times per week for their network. To scalably share corporate posts that include local phone numbers, addresses, and websites, try using a tool like Yext to post for your network. Using a directory management system that already contains each unit’s contact details, you can share what looks like customized content across hundreds of Facebook pages in a matter of minutes.
Remember, corporate posts should not be the end all be all for your network’s social media marketing strategy. While sharing corporate content can help franchisees maintain a presence online, posts that are hyper-local and relevant to the local audience will achieve the highest engagement, reach, and click-through rates. Use method 1 or 2 to allow franchisees to post local content.
Scalably Answering Your Franchise’s Social Media Comments, Reviews, and Messages
As you probably know, managing your franchise’s social media channels doesn’t stop at creating content and running advertisements. Constant monitoring of comments, reviews, and messages is critical to provide top-notch customer service; however, answering users across hundreds of pages and multiple channels requires a full-time staff of social media managers.
Typically, it is best if each franchisee manages user interaction at the local level to ensure there is a personalized touch to comments and messages. Additionally, if pricing or service isn’t consistent from one unit to the next, questions regarding quotes, pricing, and service availability must be answered by franchisees.
Implementing a Scalable Social Media Strategy for Your Franchise
As you can see, franchise marketing has many nuances, and what works for one franchise owner may not work for another. For help developing a scalable yet effective social media program for your franchise, contact the franchising marketing team at Front Porch Solutions.
Our digital marketing team works with many franchises, and no two social programs are the same. Put our social media and franchising expertise to work for your team to streamline marketing efforts for your network.