George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
Many Canadian franchisers offer franchisees some marketing help, but there is a good chance you'll be responsible for at least a portion of your local presence on social media. Getting your location out there on social media can work wonders. When your customers talk about you on these platforms, they're acting like brand ambassadors and giving you free exposure in your community. First, however, you've got to get them talking about you on social media. Here are four tips to get you started.
Use Facebook's Check-In Feature
Before your doors are even open, set up your Facebook page. Use it to post updates and keep the local community excited about your opening. On your opening day, encourage people to check-in on their Facebook pages. This way, everyone else on their network will see that they were in your location, which is a fast and easy way to gain more exposure and let people know you're open without the cost of a major ad push to do the same thing.
Take Advantage of Instagram's Tagging
Set up an Instagram account as soon as you can and start putting up photos, even if you're not open yet. Make use of local hashtags to reach people in your community to start building a following on there. When you open, you can ask customers to take photos in your location and tag you on Instagram. This is an organic way to spread the news that you're open.
Use Instagram Hashtags
There is a good chance that people in your community are posting photos on Instagram daily. One way to get your franchise out there is by commenting on or liking photos found in local hashtags. The easiest one to start with is the hashtag for your city or town. In there, you're likely to find other hashtags you can browse that are popular in your area. Don't forget to create and use your hashtag, such as your brand name with its location, and interact with others.
Aim for Reviews
Reviews can be scary at first for franchisees, and it's only natural to worry that you'll get some bad ones. While that's always possible, it's more likely all the positive reviews will drown out the occasional negative ones, so encourage people to review your location on social media.
Online marketing doesn't have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. Using the modern-day tips above, you can use the power of social media to boost your grassroots marketing. Just be sure to always follow any rules your franchiser has set for marketing before you go ahead full speed.