Running a franchise can be a rewarding experience for many entrepreneurs. However, it can take time to build up a new customer base. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks for marketing a franchise through social media.
Marketing Assistance from a Franchisor
If you’ve purchased licensing rights for a popular franchise, it’s often possible to get marketing assistance from the main franchisor when you buy a franchise. Most franchisors provide franchisees with a variety of marketing and advertising tools. In some cases, a franchisor may restrict a franchisee from creating their own social media accounts, since there is a central account that is carefully managed by the main franchise company. As an example, lots of McDonald’s have non-corporate ownership. However, they can only use marketing and advertising tools that have been approved by central management. The use of non-approved tools can result in the loss of licensure.
If a franchisor does allow a franchisee to market a business on social media, they’ll usually provide graphics, banners, and a variety of print materials to promote your business. The cost of these materials is build into the licensing cost of a franchise. Many franchisors will allow franchisees at a new location to offer limited-time promotions for new customers. However, these types of promotions require approval by the franchisor.
Franchisee Marketing Opportunities
Some companies, such as Subway, allow franchisees to develop their own marketing materials for their location. Franchisees can offer special discounts on food, unique coupons, and a variety of other perks for new customers.
Even if a franchisee can’t directly market his or her location, there are ways to manage a company’s image on social media. Social media websites like Facebook will often create restaurant location pages automatically based on maps. These pages are then used by consumers to leave feedback. Google Business provides a similar service.
For example, if you do a Google search for a restaurant, it will usually appear on the right side of the search engine result page underneath a map. The entry will contain the business name, address, and a link to reviews that people have left for the restaurant. By registering with Google Business, you can manage this page and ensure that all the information on it is accurate. You can also respond to reviews.
Google Map Pack has been a top lead source for many local business and franchise businesses. Google Map Pack provides the top 3 businesses in your given area to easily find the closest business. Having a top spot presence on the Google Map Pack is just as important as managing your social media effectively as it can bring you hundreds of customers from just that one marketing source.
Franchise Reviews on Social Media
If your franchise location has negative reviews on social media, it’s important to address them in a way that protects your franchise brand. Rude responses to a negative review will often backfire on a company. Instead of getting angry at negative review, it’s a good idea to use them as an opportunity to gain new customers by showing off your customer service skills. Polite, funny responses to negative reviews can be a great way to defuse tension and potentially gain back a lost customer.
Reviews can tell a lot about the business, from what it looks like on the inside to how the customer service is. People are social creatures and thus take information in from other people. You want to be proactive in trying to acquire reviews from your best customers who love your business but also want you to succeed.
Most important of all, it’s important to avoid situations that could backfire on social media. We live in a world where everyone has access to their smartphone 24/7. If one of the employees at a franchise location is rude to customers, it only takes a few minutes for video of that incident to be uploaded to Facebook and shared with the world.