Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit. The social media marketing landscape is constantly changing, creating some complex challenges for multi-location businesses. Franchisors have to take stock of their ability to create a consistent user experience across digital platforms, and that requires a two-way street between the franchisor and franchisees. One of the most accessible ways to do this is by implementing a social media strategy. In this article, we share five tips for managing social media marketing for franchises.
Social Media Marketing for Franchises: Coordination and Consistency
As our lives become increasingly tangled with our digital technology, the push to have a responsive and effective digital strategy is no exception. When developing an effective franchise social media strategy, franchisors must create an easily-replicated brand, and franchise locations must maintain a positive brand reputation. So, how can you get started? Follow the steps below.
Implement Clear Brand Guidelines
If you don’t have one already, the first step in your digital marketing strategy should be to create a set of clear brand and style guidelines. By sharing this information with franchisees, you can allow them to share relevant information for their local community, while still following the brand’s established voice, tone, and overall style.
Create Detailed Policies
While brand guidelines will add a better sense of brand consistency to your social media marketing strategy, it’s also crucial to create detailed policies to help local franchisees avoid pitfalls. Set expectations for appropriate and inappropriate use of their social media accounts, and develop a social media policy to help guide them. Furthermore, you can use these policies to protect yourself, as the franchisor, from any legal issues that could occur in a social media crisis.
Determine How to Share Social Media Marketing
For most brands, it doesn’t make sense for the franchise owners to handle social media channels solo. The quantity of messages, comments, and interactions that a franchise can receive daily is not only overwhelming, but often specific to each location. Since 67 percent of customers have used social media, live chat, or texting for customer service, it’s important they’re reaching someone that can attend to their needs. Once you’ve empowered franchisees with brand and posting guidelines, it’s likely more useful to have them handle customer service opportunities on social media at the local level.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
One of the most challenging aspects of social media management for franchises is maintaining effective use across multiple marketing channels. If a potential customer goes to a local franchise owner’s page and finds the most recent post is from years ago, it can be a serious turnoff.
Although your corporate office may not have the information to curate relevant content to each location, you can still boost brand awareness for your stores at the local level. Cross-posting content that’s relevant across regions can help maintain active social profiles. Doing so helps ensure that each local business’ social media platforms stay consistent while allowing individual franchisees to post location-specific content such as local events and sales.
Share Customizable Templates
To maintain more control over your franchise marketing while still giving individual locations some freedom to share their content, consider implementing an asset library. Create and add templates to this media library that you can share with franchisees so that they can make small changes to ensure content is relevant to their local audience.
Of course, setting up your social media strategy is just one piece of your franchise marketing efforts. Google ads and other pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), email, and traditional marketing for franchises are all still essential parts of the puzzle. There’s a lot to handle when managing a franchise business and maintaining consistent standards. For expert help making the most of your franchise digital marketing, get in touch with Front Porch Solutions. With more than a decade of experience working with franchise networks across a variety of industries, we can help you scale your marketing efforts without the cost of hiring in-house.