Can Social Media Marketing Help Your Franchise Business?
Social media is the platform through which the world communicates and seeks information. If your franchise business is to succeed, you must master social media marketing. Just how important is social media to your franchise? More important than you may realize.
According to a study by MGH, a restaurant marketing agency, “Almost half the customers in America say they tried a new restaurant because of its social media posts.” The study also found “45 percent of diners decided to give a restaurant a first try because of its social media post. Another 22 percent said a restaurant’s post enticed them to return.”
Of course, the same research revealed a negative side to social media marketing. Doing it wrong caused restaurants to lose business.
The following statistics reveal just how vital a sound social media marketing strategy can be for your franchise business:
- 89% of U.S. diners have a social media account.
- 62% of U.S. diners say they log on to their social media accounts several times per day.
- 42% of U.S. diners say they have interacted with restaurants on at least one social media platform. Of that group, 66% said they are more likely to visit or order food from the restaurant.
- 36% of U.S. diners follow restaurants on social media, and 39% of that group mainly do so to help determine if they want to dine in or order food from the restaurant.
We understand that all franchise businesses do not involve food, but these facts reveal that consumers use social media to make decisions, particularly involving service and retail purchases.
What are the Essentials for a Sound Franchise Social Media Strategy?
In the arena of social media marketing, several key factors rise above the rest as being vital to success. Let’s take a brief look at each and how it applies to your franchise business.
The restaurant-oriented study cited above suggests that positive restaurant-to-consumer social media engagement often leads to increased customer visits. Of respondents who actively follow and engage with restaurants on social media, 74 percent say they are more likely to visit or order food from those establishments.
The same principle applies across different industries. “People spend hours every day on their phones and on social media, and if you’re not capturing at least some of their attention, that means that they’re engaging with someone else’s brand or business instead of yours.” Social media is the new form of communication, and unresponsive brands get left behind.
Engagement means communicating with your potential clientele online through the social media channels they frequently use. Upload posts about your brand that ask for responses, and then respond to those users who answer with a comment. Use social media to promote your franchise business and offer discounts for social media engagement.
- If you’re a restaurant, offer 10% for guests who take a picture of their meal and post it on Instagram.
- If you’re a clothing retailer, offer customers 10% off of their bill if they provide their e-mail address and phone number for your mailing list and “sales alert” text service.
- If you’re a hair salon, offer a discount for customers who book an appointment using your online appointment booking service and share it on social media.
Post Great Content
Social media posts are not long on words, but their message still must be powerful. Consider how images and videos capture users’ attention and leverage those for your franchise business brand. Tell your brand story in high quality images with brief captions. Use videos to show consumers how your products or services are used and how they can benefit from them.
This is particularly effective when you use brief videos that feature instructional or how-to content that shed light on the workings of your product or help viewers understand how you have the solution to their problem. Popular ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has produced great Instagram videos that showcase neat ways to use their products. Every video touches a pain point of their target audience, yet doesn’t last over 30 seconds.
Focus on Local
If your franchise business has physical franchisees, focus on making your social media marketing efforts localized to drive traffic to each franchise location. Larger franchise businesses can produce generic image, text, and video and provide it to franchisees, who can customize and post it to their own individual social media accounts.
Most franchises are local branches and localized advertising is key to their survival. Provide resources and then allow your franchises to take them and run to create their own creative advertisements for sales, giveaways, customer engagement, community support, and more. Through social media, your local franchises can become important community partners and supporters, and this can drive increasing numbers of customers to your franchise business.
Can Franchise Guardian Help?
Franchise Guardian is here to help you franchise your business for greater expansion and success. But that’s not all. We’re also here to provide ongoing support as your franchise business adds franchisees, including branding, marketing, lead generation, and even SEO and social media marketing. Why go it alone, when you can have Franchise Guardian on your side? Call or contact us online today for more information.