George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
Businesses are using social media more and more every day, and it's a great tool for building a successful Canadian franchise. Statista reports that more than 20 million Canadians will have at least one social media account by 2018 (https://www.statista.com). Many of those users will have contact with businesses, as a study covered by Canadians Internet found that Canadians using social media interacted with companies 18 percent of the time (http://canadiansinternet.com).
Despite all the benefits social media can have for your franchise, it's easy to make costly mistakes. Here's what to avoid when it comes to your social media use, along with some strategies for your new business.
Not having a local voice
This may come down to the franchiser's policy, so you'll want to find out how they handle social media in general and with their franchisees. Sometimes, franchisers only communicate on social media with a national or regional voice. While brand consistency is important, you should also be empowered and able to use social media for your own local business. It can be a wonderful tool for driving local traffic into your location or toward your service.
Removing or ignoring complaints
If you get a complaint on your company's social media account, it needs to be addressed. Ignoring it will not look good to other users, and deleting the comment can make the situation even worse. Leave the complaint up and address it calmly as soon as possible. If you're able to work through the issue, other viewers on your account will have more faith in your business. The only exception to the deletion ban would be if the message was inappropriate in some way, such as full of profane words.
Not knowing your platforms
Not all social media platforms are the same, and you'll need content that reflects the experience for each. On Twitter, for example, short sound bites work far better than the longer posts you can use on Facebook. Users on Instagram, on the other hand, expect to see images, so a text-heavy post won't go over well there.
Posting in hasteYou really need to consider what you're posting before it goes up. Companies in the past have taken reputation hits for poor humor, bad hashtags and other blunders that may have been avoided with a little forethought. On social media, backlash is often swift and merciless, so make sure your business isn't on the receiving end.