Building franchisee network sales though social media – More success stories
Social media is no longer the preserve of those franchisees or small businesses that might be thought of as ‘a bit of a techie’ or ‘know about marketing’. Statistics show from WeAreSocial (Jan 2015) demonstrate that internet marketing has gone mainstream and it is simply not acceptable any more for a business not to engage with its customers using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Whether a franchise business is B2B or B2C it should expect a significant if not, now majority, of the marketing budget to be for on-line marketing and social media. There are success stories of franchisors using social media however the opportunity remains largely un-tapped as we enter the Autumn of 2015.
- There are over 57.3 active daily internet users in the UK (that’s 89% of the population).
- Facebook is ten times larger than the biggest TV channel in the world (SocialBakers 2015)
- In the UK there are over 30 million active daily users of Facebook alone.
- Instagram has over 14 million monthly UK users
Targeted Social Media Communication: Facebook Groups & Facebook Advertising
Getting really local - Many franchise companies have multiple branches across the UK which as well as promoting their national marketing campaigns and messages have a job to communicate and engage with their local and regional audiences. A great way to do this is by using Facebook with both paid and unpaid tactics.
Facebook Groups – While Facebook Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. A group in Facebook allows people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives and discuss issues, post photos and share related content. Using Facebook Groups in a strategic way as a brand being careful not to break any of the rules set by either Facebook or the group manager is an excellent way of marketing messages to highly relevant geographically targeted sets of potential customers. Franchisees and marketing agents working with franchise brands, are using Facebook Groups in this way and are even setting up their own groups to get their message across in a subtle non-threatening manner. This method is an organic un-paid method which can yield excellent results.
Facebook Advertising – The free ride with much of social media is over especially with Facebook with very few posts actually reaching your targeted audience unless paid for using the variety of methods Facebook now offer. On the plus side Facebook advertising is a very good way of getting to your customers and it is still highly cost efficient offering good value for money. Franchise businesses should adopt a strategy lead by the franchisor to help the brand and the network build business via Facebook advertising as well as the other advertising options offered by popular social media platforms.
Twitter Hours & Hashtags
The hashtag has become a popular marketing tactic and it is something that genuinely benefits franchise brands in a number of different ways.
A hashtag is a type of label or tag used on social networks which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character (or number sign) # in front of a word or un-spaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Searching for that hashtag will then present each message that has been tagged with it. E.g. Franchisor Barking Mad use the hashtag #dogholidays to collate information for their customers as shown in the post below
Hashtags can be used to collect public opinion on events and ideas at the local, corporate, or world level. Businesses that successfully coin and use their own unique hashtag gain traffic and SEO benefits.
Twitter and/or Hashtag hours – this is a marketing phenomenon that centres on a particular phrased hashtag at a pre-set time or times that repeat every week. It is a useful way of networking and influencing those in a particular industry, at an event or in a targeted geographical location.
The British Franchise Association recently used #BFAConf2015 for the franchise industry conference and the UK franchise industry has started using the #FranchiseHour in 2015. It can be used as a place to quickly check who is active in the industry on-line. To find out more about social media in franchising and how your business can benefit. Contact Richard R Dancy at Franchise Intelligence.
Connect with Richard Dancy
Franchise Intelligence Senior Consultant
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