Any franchise business network can benefit from the notion of ‘Think Global, Act Local’. It is becoming increasingly crucial to create a balance between what you need to control and what you can leave to the franchisees when it comes to social media.
Running a business is difficult enough but running a global franchise network is far more difficult. Unlike global brands with regional headquarters, franchise business firms have limited control over their franchise branches. This can be problematic because many parts of the business, such as marketing, directly reflect the franchiser’s brand image.
Because lending your brand and logo is the same as lending your face, you must ensure that your company standards are followed throughout a vast network of diverse business units controlled by various people and corporations.
However, if you apply too much control, they will have difficulty attracting local audiences. On the other hand, a lack of control can severely harm a company’s reputation.
Social Media Challenges for Franchisees
Local branches confront a variety of obstacles as franchisees, with competition at the forefront of them all. Franchisees compete against other fast-food brands as well as one another.
They effectively overcome each challenge with various levels of ingenuity and social buzz.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors and other franchise locations.
As a franchisee, you gain a lot from the umbrella brand; if it has a great global image, you may have an advantage over your competitors. However, you must ensure that your service quality and customer satisfaction are exceptional.
You can utilize social media to communicate this greatness to your audience by sharing testimonials, reposting favourable comments, and promoting unique discounts and events through social channels to enhance engagement and foot traffic.
Despite serving the same brand, franchisees confront internal competition, prompting local franchises to think outside the box and craft hyper-localized campaigns that gain traction throughout the global social media realm.
Social Media Strategy of Franchise
You may start making a plan after you know what you want to achieve using social media.
If you want to gain more Facebook followers, you could devise a Facebook advertising strategy. Alternatively, you may create specialized landing pages and content for social media users if you are attempting to increase website traffic.
Remember to tailor your overall aims to the needs of franchisees if you are collaborating with them on social media initiatives. Their location, for example, may cater to an older audience while another caters to a younger audience.
You must also develop a social media strategy in addition to producing a social media handbook.
This method may or may not apply to your franchise sites, depending on your franchise. For instance, your franchise may request that franchisees refrain from creating social media profiles for their various locations. Instead, you are in charge of all your social media initiatives, including franchisee location promotion.
Even if your franchise business permits franchisees to have dedicated social media identities, you may set strategy guidelines. By advising approaches and sharing best practices, these recommendations can assist franchisees in creating successful profiles and plans.
Use tools like a content distribution tool, a content scheduling tool, a customization tool, and a reporting tool to plan your Social Media strategy. Below are a few strategies of social media for franchisees.
Franchisees must ensure that the locations have on-brand material that will increase engagement on their sites and aid in promoting the company. The most effective multi-format content, promotions, discounts, and local events.
Employees do not always have sufficient time to produce material. It has the potential to prevent them from publishing; to counteract this, the head office may send them editable templates. Locations will always have the stuff to post in this manner.
Control Posting Schedule
It is also important to consider the time taken to post. It should also be modified for the local time zone and weather. For example, there should be topical entries for the occasion if there is a local holiday. And in some cases, certain posts may be irrelevant.
Track Performance of every location
A franchisor must monitor a franchisee’s social media success to ensure that his efforts are yielding benefits and that the firm is on the right track. It may be done by looking at the page’s statistics and monitoring the metrics for each post to see which ones are the most engaging and working on a content plan.
Clear brand rules and appropriate monitoring and oversight may help you prevent costly social media mistakes and boost the social media presence of all branches. Even if something goes unnoticed and the hatred spreads like wildfire, social media monitoring may help you respond quickly and repair the harm to your core brand’s reputation.
Educate your franchise
The local team will undoubtedly benefit from appropriate social media promotion, and all you must do now is show them how they can make more. It is time to take the following step once they have seen how it works and is inspired.
Set a realistic budget
You should set a reasonable budget for your franchise and franchisees, whether you are promoting or marketing on social media. Determine the average cost of marketing and advertising on social media, and then create a budget.
You may achieve your company’s social media results with a reasonable budget.
Observe your competitors
Examine the methods employed by other franchisees and competitors in the business. You do not want to imitate a competitor’s strategy, but if you notice a technique that gets a lot of likes or shares, think about how you can adapt it to your own efforts.
Similarly, if your competitors are getting a lot of attention by talking about specific themes, think about how you might give your company’s unique perspective on those same topics. When it comes to setting expectations for your postings, just keep in mind the potential for audience size variances.
Franchises are not like other businesses, and you confront unique challenges as a franchisee. Local marketers will most likely be required to follow the parent organization’s requirements and budgets.
To build a strategy that works for you, you will need to work within these constraints. Social media will undoubtedly play a significant role in that strategy, and with the correct amount of time, effort, and strategy, it may become your most effective marketing tool.
How to Set Social Media Guidelines for Franchisees
For decades, franchises had adhered to brand standards, creating style guidelines and approving brochures and advertisements before they were printed. Adhering to these principles has grown more challenging since the introduction of social media into the marketing environment, but it is just as crucial, if not more so.
Without these guidelines, a brand’s message and style become muddled and confusing. This is especially difficult for franchises, as franchisees may use off-brand fonts, taglines, or graphics, but it is not impossible. When brand guidelines are set and implemented correctly, your franchise will be strengthened, benefiting each franchisee, and increasing their worth.
There should be criteria in place to ensure that franchisees adhere to brand standards. A social media policy for your franchisees should go beyond a standard style guide for fonts and colours. It should provide standards for franchisees to follow in order to create ongoing content that is appropriate for both their individual location and the general brand.
On both the franchisor and franchisee levels, we will go over some of the specific tactics for establishing social media rules so that you can give a consistent brand experience to your customers.
Expansion to the franchise level carries a lot of risks, but it also comes with a lot of potential rewards. While it may be tempting to play it safe in some areas to reduce risk, it is crucial to remember that franchises are truly local brands, and local brands must communicate with local audiences.
A clear plan and the means to put it in place are critical fundamental components, but the key is to give people the freedom to create creative material that reflects the overall brand as well as the real values of the community.