It's not easy to be the new person in anything, and...
With about 32% of Canadians using social media to glean information about businesses and their products, businesses that aren't already using online platforms to connect with their audiences should consider doing so.
Social Media for Franchisees
It is the responsibility of the franchisor to set the marketing direction of the brand, including propagating their choice of logo, motto and color scheme. Franchisees need to work with their franchisor to ensure that their use of social media is consistent with the overarching media strategy of the brand and delivered in a coherent fashion.
Social media allows franchisees to increase their visibility, attract new customers and improve their connection with existing customers. Those who are wary of the internet and social media in particular will need to keep an open mind to develop and deliver an effective social media strategy.
The franchisor should set a social media marketing strategy that outlines how to appeal to the target audience and propose a frequency and type of posting for their franchisees to deliver. It will include any mandatory branding, colour schemes, font style and language to maintain consistency across the brand. Noting the speed with which social media algorithms change, the franchisor should organize quarterly meetings with their franchisees to discuss the strategy and adapt it as appropriate to keep it current and as effective as possible.
Understand your target demographic
Just as your social media marketing strategy should be agile and open to change, so should your choice of social media platform. You need to advertise where your audience is, so if your engagement statistics are declining, you need to find out why. If your target demographic has largely moved to another platform that better suits their needs, you will need to move, too.
Use your analytics
All social media platforms offer a level of analysis of your business activity and consumer engagement. Review these regularly and pay attention to how a change of approach, posting time or type of content affects them. This will help you be proactive in attracting and engaging with your customers.
It is important to reward the time that your customers take in engaging with your brand on social media. Respond to their queries, involve them in the discussion, and ask for feedback. Not only will this engagement tell the platform's algorithms that good things are happening on your page and direct more traffic to it, but it will also make your customers feel good - and customers who feel noticed are more likely to stick around.
Social media is here to stay, and businesses need to adapt and learn how best to utilize the platforms to deliver the business benefits they are seeking. This is one area where a cohesive approach by the brand and all of its franchisees can deliver true value.