Franchising and Social Media Marketing – 5 Steps for Success
In Part 1 of this blog series on social media marketing for franchises, we discussed why many franchises struggle with developing a social media marketing strategy that simultaneously meets the needs of the brand, the franchisees, and most importantly the customer. The main reason is that social media marketing is completely unlike traditional marketing/advertising where the Brand is primarily responsible for creating demand and is in control of standards and collateral.
To win in social a Brand must:
- develop a strategy that meets the needs of their customers in a hyper-local manner.
- empower the franchisees to connect and engage with consumers directly
- protect the integrity of the brand message
Here are five key components to develop an effective strategy that meets the needs of the Brand, Franchisee, and Consumer;
- The social media strategy and policy must be developed by the Brand. This includes developing the vision, purpose, and selecting platforms to leverage. Ultimately social media marketing activities must align with the overall Brand objectives.
- Train franchisees on fundamental and universal tactics. Many franchisees fail in social because they don’t understand how to tie the social media sites and their activities together towards a common purpose. The tactical wheel is a fundamental and universal method that enables any business to perform social media best practices that will produce results.
- Blogging must be done by the Brand not the franchisee. Content is the heart and soul of an effective social strategy. Blog content will give potential customers information that will improve their lives and build affinity with the Brand. The role of the franchisee is to promote blog content within their social environments.
- Social posts should be tied to the overall strategy. Franchisees should be empowered to post on their own within their social environments, but the Brand should ensure that what is being posted is aligned to the overall strategy.
- Community management must be done at the hyper-local level.Franchisees need to manage their own communities within social environments. Training and coaching by the Brand is the best way to ensure that whoever is tasked with this function within the franchisees’ business, understands the what, the why, and the how.
By implementing these 5 steps, Brands can drive towards win/win/win where social media is delivered at a hyper-local level meeting the needs of consumers while empowering franchise owners to implement best practices in social media marketing, and protecting the Brand’s image. All three stakeholders must be satisfied to win the day in this new era of marketing.