Social Media Marketing Strategies for Local Franchises

BY Adam Ambro
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As a marketing professional, at some point you’ll more than likely end up working with franchises. In the past, the local franchisees would rely heavily on their parent company to handle their social media marketing strategies, but as Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They Are A‑Changin'.” According to a report from Entrepreneur​.com, local franchises should shift their focus away from social media marketing strategies coming from their corporate parents and do it themselves.

Why is it important for social media marketing strategies to be local?

Basically, parent companies are too large to know what’s happening at the ground level. Think of it like a political campaign’s grass-​roots approach: the more local knowledge, the better. As a local market expert, talk to your franchisee advertisers about how you can develop social media strategies and monitor local review sites for them.

These local pages could be actively connecting with franchisees’ communities, building relationships with their followers, and giving people a reason to visit their establishment or pay for their service,” Entrepreneur​.com. explains. “In some cases, these empty pages mean more than just missed connections. Customers could be commenting on posts or submitting feedback, sending direct messages, or even inquiring about products or services. Franchisees who aren’t monitoring their pages may be neglecting sales opportunities, along with disgruntled customers.”

A great way to approach your advertisers with this tactic is to utilize AdMall’s Digital Audit, powered by SalesFuel. In the report, you’ll see how the company is reviewed on social media sites. Compile that with AdMall’s AudienceSCAN profiles, which show how a specific audience reacts to a business when they have positive or negative reviews online, and immediately you’re setting yourself up for success with a client.

Why focus on social media?

In a separate article, Entrepreneur laid out advice for how to help an advertiser with their social media marketing strategies. In your proposal, you can promise to give your advertiser the following:

  • Dedicate a social media manager to the project.
  • Be authentic. Post your thoughts. Post your products. Post anything that you find relevant and useful that would help your audience either learn more about you and your business, or about the industry that you're in.
  • Use direct messages on platforms like Instagram and even Snapchat or Twitter to reach out to other successful businesses or even to communicate with potential customers who might be looking for your products and services.

Don’t overthink your client’s social media marketing strategies. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. As Entrepreneur says, “start by taking out your phone and snapping pictures of staff members and customers, with permission, or capturing glimpses of life behind the scenes at your [advertiser’s] business. Team celebrations, events, holidays, birthdays, video testimonials, how-​to posts, even pictures of [their] dog, these are all ways to show the authentic personality behind [their] business, and to remind people that even though [their] business may be part of a larger franchise system, [their] location is run by [them] and [they’re] part of the community.”

Revenue in reviews

Ultimately, social media marketing strategies all come down to revenue. SOCi, a local marketing analytics company, looked at the relationship between local reviews and how it related to revenue.

There is a connection between reviews and revenue; a Harvard University study found that a one-​star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating led to a 9% increase in revenue,” wrote SOCi. “A Cornell research report found that a 1‑star increase in ratings (i.e. from 3 stars to 4 stars) led to a 39% increase in revenue for hotels on TripAdvisor. And from a report from Uberall, a star rating increase of just 0.1 could increase the conversion rates of a business location by 25%…social media is reputation management, and to calculate its ROI, marketers must understand that connection.”

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