Choosing The Right Social Media Platform To Promote Your Franchise

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Franchise social media information

In the last ten years, social media use has risen at an exponential rate as more business and online franchises have taken advantage of digital networks to reduce their marketing costs, improve brand recognition, and achieve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the UK's franchise industry is booming, too.

In fact, research from the British Franchise Association (bfa) in 2016 revealed that 97 percent of franchisee-owned units were profitable. Annual turnover in the franchise industry also rose from around £5 billion in 1995 to more than £15 billion by 2015, and the number of people employed in the industry increased to more than 620,000.

Now you can create your own franchise community

The bfa has also revealed that there are more than 900 franchisor brands operating across the UK. As you might imagine, this means there is stiff competition to reach out to customers, build brand awareness and achieve customer retention.

Unlike the olden days, when franchises had to market their businesses through print media, social media gives you unlimited potential to connect with people and create an engaging community of loyal customers.

So, which social media platform is right for you?

With so many social media channels available, it can be tricky to figure out which platforms are right for your franchise. There's no 'one size fits all' approach, because not all channels will be appropriate for every business. Depending on your franchise brands and target market, some outlets may be much more beneficial than others.

Firstly, you'll need to determine which platforms your customers already use. Perhaps they're more likely to use Twitter than Facebook, or maybe they post more photos on Instagram than on Pinterest. Find out which platform will help you build your brand presence and connect with your customer base, as well as any new markets you want to tap into.

  • Facebook

    With more than two billion active Facebook users by the third quarter of 2017, this channel offers enormous marketing opportunities for online franchises. From sharing updates to advertising special offers and investing in Paid Social, Facebook is king when it comes to connecting businesses with their audiences. This channel is also great for marketing new products, promoting upcoming events and telling people about any other recent changes to your businesses such as a new address or a new member of staff.

    With Facebook reviews, your customers can give their verdict on your franchise. As more reviews are posted, you'll receive an overall rating score, which can have a big impact on your brand reputation, especially if you're competing with many other franchises in your area. If any of your customers give you an unfavourable review, message them privately to find out what went wrong and how you can take steps to improve their experience.
  • Twitter
    With well over 300 million active users, Twitter is another social media giant which can help you promote your franchise brands quickly. With direct messaging, you can also exchange feedback and resolve customer disputes more efficiently than by phone or e-mail.

    When users with large numbers of followers retweet your posts, there's a chance your tweets could go viral. This could help you gain many new followers and improve your franchise marketing success in a very short space of time, and it won't cost you anything when people retweet your posts. However, franchises should monitor their Twitter activity carefully to ensure their content does not breach Twitter guidelines or cause offence. A controversial tweet can quickly turn into a Twitter storm, which can harm your franchise's reputation, especially if the tweet is reported in national and international media.
  • YouTube

    For online franchises, YouTube is an excellent platform for content marketing strategies, as businesses can post content to market their services indirectly. This is all about giving people useful, relevant information that will help them put your products/services to good use. Encourage your viewers to click the 'like' button if they enjoyed your video, and allow people to post comments so they can give you their feedback and ask questions.

    For example, a gym franchise could post a series of workout videos with guidance on correct posture and form, and the best exercises/routines for different muscle groups. Likewise, a cosmetics franchise could provide in-depth tutorials for all its DIY products so customers feel confident enough to keep using them. Food brands that earn much of their revenue in the run up to Christmas could also offer fun how-to guides for preparing festive treats like mince pies or cocktails to drive more traffic to their websites.
  • Pinterest
    Although not as popular than other social media channels, Pinterest already has around 100 million active monthly users, so it shouldn't be underestimated. Like Instagram, the emphasis here is on aesthetics, so if you have visual products like clothing or accessories, inspire your customers with beautiful imagery. Most Pinterest users are female, so this is another good choice for women's/women-themed franchise brands.
  • Snapchat

    Because of its popularity with younger audiences, Snapchat is a good choice if you're targeting the Millennial market for your franchise marketing. Use this channel to promote what's happening right now in your franchise, whether it's a new product launch or a fundraising event. Think of Snapchat as a place to promote your products 'behind the scenes', where customers can see your brand in its developmental stage rather than the finished product. With Snapchat's Geofilters, you can promote an upcoming event, such as the opening of a new franchise, within a specific geographical area for a particular time period.

  • Instagram

    Showcase your products visually by marketing your brand on Instagram, which had around 400 million active daily users by 2017 according to Inc. magazine. For example, a retail franchise that specialises in sports footwear could use Instagram to promote its products across different locations. If one of your locations is London, you could post inspirational photos of people jogging in running shoes through Hyde Park or near the River Thames. Likewise, if you have locations on the coast of southern Spain, you could post photos of people wearing sandals on the beach. Like Pinterest, most Instagram users are female, so if most of your customers are female, this could be another useful platform for your franchise marketing.

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