While social media is certainly not a new phenomenon, many franchise businesses are still trying to figure out how to harness it to their advantage. Whether you own one franchise or twenty, using social media effectively can have a big impact on your business. From the moment you open your franchise, you should be utilizing social media to grow your business, bring in customers, and get impressions for your business.
There are 3 main types of social media content that franchise businesses should be utilizing: visual content, blog content, and video content. Keep reading for advice on harnessing these types of content, as well as a few tips on building a strong social media strategy.
Images are incredibly powerful on social media. Whether they are images of your franchise business’s products or images of adorable cats (the internet loves cats!), visual content receives more reactions on social media. Social networks like Instagram are based on this idea that visual content conveys unique messages that words don’t, but visual content is incredibly effective on Facebook and other networks.
In order to be appealing, your pictures must be:
It goes without saying that you should share information about your business: your products, story, promotions, history, events, and any other brand content. Your followers on social media are interested in your business, or they wouldn’t be following you.
But if your social media presence is too brand oriented it will get boring for your followers, so you need to add in fun, non-brand content. Things like cat pictures (seriously, they love cats), inspirational quotes, information about charities you believe in, or a relevant article add interest to your social media. The point of using social media is to make your followers feel like your business shares their values and lifestyle, and non-brand content is a way to reinforce that.
One thing that many franchise businesses ignore is blog content, which is an incredibly useful tool that you can use in your social media arsenal. Franchise businesses that blog regularly see a big impact on their engagement online, SEO, customer trust, and so much more. A good blog with quality content can tell your customers who your franchise is more effectively than almost any other tool.
So, what makes a quality blog? Quality content. Your content should capture your voice and not overtly sell your products. Remember, a blog is giving information that is interesting to your customers while showing the human side of your franchise.
Your social media followers want to see more than just sales pitches from your social media. Building credibility through your content makes you trustworthy to your followers. This, in turn, has an influence on whether they buy from you. Quality content—that is, content that is about more than just your most recent promotion—on a regular basis helps you build that credibility.
If you have done any research on social media content, you will not be surprised to learn that video content has the highest engagement of any other type of content. As a franchise owner, you should be taking advantage of this type of content to create a buzz around your brand.
I know what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t video require a huge budget and production team to make it worthwhile?” While videos like that can be incredibly useful, that is not the only way to capitalize on video content. You can make video work for you with your smartphone, shooting live videos on virtually every social media platform. Or you can design and create a great video that your followers can view on demand.
Regardless of what tools or budget you use, your video content should fit a few basics criteria:
Don’t make the mistake of posting the exact same content to all social media channels at the same time. Different social media platforms have different feelings to them. Knowing that, be sure to tailor your content to each platform to best reach your audience. You can use one social network to point to content on your other networks. For example, post a short video to your Instagram, and post about it on Facebook with an easy-to-follow link.
The most important tip I can give you about social media? Don’t overlook it! Social media can be a game changer for your franchise and you will be remiss if you don’t get engaged.
Pretzelmaker is one of the largest gourmet soft pretzel franchises. As such we have learned a thing or two about social media. Read more on our blog to learn more tips about owning a small business. Or download our ebook to learn more about the unique franchise opportunities we offer.