A few years ago, the business community viewed social media as chat rooms littered with unclear voices that held no relevance to impacting sales or visibility. Many CEO’s could not foresee these conversations as being the next qualitative measurement units for their company’s awareness and visibility. This has now changed, as today’s companies realize the more visible their name is on social networks, the more clients, reputation and eventually income they will gain through consistent investment overtime.
Many companies ask themselves; “where do we fit in on social media? We know it’s important to establish a platform and a presence, but what type of strategy goes into this?” In this article, we will focus the above statement on franchise business and how a franchise can effectively leverage social channels.
The franchise industry’s success can be characterized by homogeny and consistency in image, know-how and business related work philosophy. Social media is shaking up this rigorous business sector with the arrival of tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Without a doubt, as potential investors rely less on industry trade shows and turn more to social networks and blogs, franchises are finding it necessary to spend more of their time testing out social media possibilities.
“Social media platforms are quickly becoming an important part of franchise companies’ marketing strategies, especially in a time of lower marketing budgets,” explains Alisa Harrison, vice president, communications and marketing at the International Franchise Association(IFA).
The social media field is maturing in the sense that it is becoming more business friendly. Platforms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are working to make their platforms more significant to the unique characteristics of the various sectors of business utilizing them as a marketing tool, including franchise companies. Houlihan’s, an 83-unit restaurant chain based in Leawood, Kansas, says its stores will see an extra 20 to 40 tables because of a last-minute mobile deal shared via Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. “You can easily see how quickly it can pay off,” says Jennifer Guvlik, vice president of marketing. In this Entrepreneur article you can review more examples of successful franchises utilizing social media.
So, as a franchisee, instead of asking yourself “Is social media even necessary?” understand that we are talking about a medium you can no longer avoid! If you still want your franchise brand to remain consistent in image and philosophy, be sure to include social media as an important sector of your overall marketing strategy.
How can we make social media work better for us and our franchise?
As a franchise owner, you know your company must develop strong brand awareness that can easily be viewed and shared by everyone. This is the consistency point every brand needs. At the same time, customers don’t have relationships with corporation, but with local businesses. Every day, community members that all have the potential of becoming loyal customers visit local franchise businesses. Consumer interest is about connecting to local businesses because they are viewed as part of the community.
Here are some tips on what a franchise should focus on to increase their social awareness.
- Consistency of a brand should take social media into consideration and develop best practices on how to efficiently and correctly use your franchise’s online presence.
- Online reputation management needs to be constantly monitored by headquarters in order to maintain a positive brand image and establish a connection with your franchisor and customers.
- A franchise should create a general social media strategy that covers all communication and online image flaws. This strategy should be applied by each franchise buyer and managed by a custom designed application that will serve your specific needs.
Not long ago, many were skeptical about the value of social media. Today, it seems that it’s all they talk about. With the right social media strategy and approach, growth is inevitable. Succeeding the implementation of this, your franchise will be more visible, not to mention more trusted by the public. At SimplySocial, we truly believe that every business can grow their online image and become more strategically developed in their social media activities. Our custom designed app is ready to help grow and revitalize this image. Are you ready to grow big?