To grow a successful multi-location or franchise brand, you need a strong social media presence. That’s true whether you’re a longstanding brand with a national presence or a business that’s just getting started.
On its own, social media provides brands with a powerful tool for local brand awareness, targeted advertising, and developing customer relationships. Every stage of your consumer sales funnel can benefit from savvy social media strategy.
Just as importantly, social media can serve as a launchpad for other aspects of digital marketing. Today, social networks play an integral role in content marketing, reputation management, organic and local SEO, plus a range of other digital marketing channels. At the same time, social media can provide the data your brand needs to boost ROI on other digital campaigns.
How Savvy Franchise Brands Leverage Social Media
Increase Visibility & Brand Awareness
Organic social media content is a great tool for building awareness within your target market. This is true for growing brands that consumers don’t already recognize. It’s also true for established brands that need to reinforce existing brand awareness.
Several factors make social media a particularly powerful channel for building brand awareness online. If you can provide engaging, uplifting, uniquely valuable social content, you’ll earn a place in consumers’ minds. And while it takes a mix of talent, timing, and luck to find your voice on social media, organic content remains one of the most cost-effective channels for reaching a wider audience.
Build Relationships with Customers
Social media’s greatest strength is the chance to showcase your brand’s personality and engage directly with consumers.
Before the internet, brands could speak to their markets, but they had no way to speak with them. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram changed this. Users can now engage directly with brands, and brands can engage right back.
This allows brands to build relationships with their target market in a way that wasn’t previously possible. In recent years, brands as diverse as Lululemon, Wendy’s, Casper, and Wayfair — just to name a few — have built devoted fan bases by understanding their target market and engaging with them on a personal level.
Targeted Ads on Social Networks
Social media’s value to brands started with organic content. But in the past five years, paid advertising on networks like Facebook and Instagram has become invaluable. Ads on these networks have particularly strong engagement metrics and offer some of the strongest ROI online.
The most effective ads on social media right now are those that harness the power of audience targeting. Unlike television or print advertising, in which brands had limited ability to micro-target their intended audience, social media gives you the ability to target users based on narrow parameters.
Other online channels have similar functionality. But few of these channels boast the rich audience data of social networks. Social media is the space where modern consumers live and showcase their lives. This provides brands with exceptional data for audience targeting.
Augment Other Digital Marketing Channels
The data that you collect for targeted social media advertising can also be used for non-social media campaigns. This data can be used for targeting users through social-media-driven ad networks, such as Facebook’s Audience Network. Or it can be analyzed for market insights that you can use on other digital (or non-digital) campaigns.
Social media also plays a key role in directly and indirectly boosting other digital channels. Content marketing campaigns depend on social networks to reach as wide an audience as possible. Reputation management now largely takes place on social media platforms. And while Google claims that social media has no direct effect on its search engine results, case studies have shown that likes and shares on social media lead to higher rankings.
Social Media for Franchise Development
In addition to helping franchise brands reach their target consumer market, social media can also be a powerful tool for franchise development.
If you’re trying to attract new owners to your franchise network, LinkedIn and Facebook offer powerful tools for building your brand. Both of these sites can be used to generate awareness about your franchise offering, target prospects that fit your ideal franchisee profile, and engage with potential franchise owners one on one.
To learn more about our Social Media solutions for multi-location and franchise brands, connect with one of our social media experts by filling out the form below.