Making the most out of social media for your franchise business Part 1: Facebook

Note: This is the first blog in a four part series that will cover how franchise businesses use social media to market their business.

It’s been over a decade since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in his dorm room in college. In ten years, Facebook has gone from a college networking site into a global business empire that has revolutionized the way that franchise businesses advertise their franchise, engage in franchise marketing, recruit employees, and gain new customers. Here are some general best practices when it comes to marketing your franchise business on social media.

  • Post at least five times a week.
  • Include hashtags relevant to your business. For example, our fictional franchise business, Zoe’s Zebras, would use #zoeszebras and #zoeszebras with almost every post
  • Convert customers to followers by posting pictures of them (with their consent), holding periodic contests for a small item (free appetizer, free class, small denomination gift card, etc.)
  • Do monthly trivia contests in which the first respondent gets a small prize
  • Post interesting industry articles and ask your followers to share (more people will be likely to follow your page)
  • Either post shorter content (between 10 and 90 characters) or longer content (between 570 and 780 characters)
  • Use self-referential language (I, me, us, and we). People and businesses on Facebook use the platform to talk about themselves. Since people are already doing this, using self-referential language will help you find your place in the conversation.
  • Use calls to action such as:
    • “Like this post if you agree.”
    • “Tell us your favorite healthy food.”
    • “Share this story about Primal Kitchen’s founders.”
  • Posts that contain the word “like” tend to get more likes, posts that contain the word “share” tend to get more shares and posts that contain the word “comment” tend to get more comments.
  • The majority of your posts should be photos, then text, then videos and then links. Photos tend to get the most likes because they do not require Facebook users to think. The majority of your target market has been working all day; they want to get their information quickly and conveniently – using photos is the quickest and most convenient way to provide them with information. (See the graphic on previous page.)
  • Ask should, would, which, and who questions. More people will be inclined to answer these types of questions because they can answer them in one word.
  • Write at a fifth grade reading level.
  • Include your business URL in the “about” section.
  • Ask questions that are likely to elicit a non-political response, such as, “What is your favorite menu item? What is your favorite class? What classes would you like to see offered at different times? Is there any brand of a product that you wish we carried?”
  • Monitor your site and remove any comments that could be construed as racist, defamatory, or negative towards a certain group of people.
  • Integrate with seasonal themes whenever possible.

If you are trying to grow a franchise, you should periodically announce franchising opportunities on Facebook several times using a variety of statements, questions, and other announcements. Some examples include:

“Where would you like to see a new [your business]?”

“Sick of the cubicle? Own your own [your business]. Click here to learn more about franchising opportunities.” (provide link to your franchise contact page)

However, Facebook isn’t the only social media tool anymore. More and more, franchise businesses are understanding the need to use other tools such as Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Yelp! These will be covered in future blogs.

As always, be sure to add some G-rated humor every now and then. And with that, happy Friday from us here at Upside Group- in honor of National Dog Day this week, Zoe’s pug Taegi would like to say that we’ve been working “like a dog” to provide our clients with the highest quality of franchise materials. If you have any questions about how we can help you franchise your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

zoespug

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