4 Major Mistakes Franchises Make with Social Media

Many franchisors have given up on social media, which in its early days was an ineffective marketing tool. While originally an understandable move, today it makes little sense to underuse or abandon social media marketing. Recently, social networks like Facebook and Twitter use metrics to provide statistics and tracking tools, as well as paid ads that actually work. This makes it much easier not only to view a business’s conversions, but to make them happen.

But even a few years ago, social media marketing was not as effective as it could have been. According to FranConnect’s 2015 Franchise Marketing Report, only 1 of 5 franchises use social media effectively. Worse, these focus more on what customers say about their brand without actually making changes.

This powerful tool should be in your arsenal, if it isn’t already. But you’ll need to know how to use it correctly, and how to avoid major mistakes other franchisors make with their social media. These serious errors include:

1. Ignoring Customers’ Comments Online

Customers just want to be heard–even if it doesn’t fix their problems. Complaining customers require feedback more quickly as well, with 42% wanting a 60 minute wait before receiving a response. Yet the FranConnect report showed that none of the participants used social media as a primary way to gain customer feedback. Putting time into a response, whether it’s for kudos or grievances, can help increase confidence in your brand’s customer service.

2. Spreading Yourself Thin

One key to successful social media use is to pick a handful of outlets, rather than trying to use every major site out there. Spreading your brand to every social media platform creates much more work for you and your franchisees. It may be more difficult to respond to customers’ comments, for one. For another, this practice can lead to attempts at promotion through redirection. In other words, instead of posting the necessary information on your accounts, customers must go back and forth to Facebook, Twitter, and a blog in order to enter a promotion or get offers, or even to follow your business.

If it works for your franchisees, let them pick the two or three social media platforms where they already succeed, and let them build their campaigns around these. This lets you and your franchisees target specific audiences more effectively.

3. Not Monitoring Your Franchises

Franchisors who do use a platform’s tracking functions often focus on a corporate or global level. However, they fail to monitor franchisees’ social networking. Your brand is your greatest asset, and if left to their own devices, some franchisees may begin altering it. This could be by deviating from approved designs and phrases, using vastly different marketing, or simply not posting at all–potentially damaging customers’ trust in the brand.

Learn how your franchisees are communicating on social media, and how they use the marketing material provided. Once you have a clear picture of their social media use, you can create a social media strategy. Make sure it involves and motivates your franchisees. A successful promotion will also encourage your franchisees to keep up-to-date on their social media platforms in order to facilitate future events and promotions.

Once you begin these kinds of campaigns, you can learn how to streamline your social media promotion on the franchisee level, and your franchisees will be motivated to stay up-to-date with their platforms.

4. Avoiding Social Media Automation

Traditional methods for monitoring and posting require large, expertly-trained teams of account managers. So, to stay on top of your various platforms–especially if you have many franchise locations–why not try social media automation?

Automation helps you maintain consistency as well as your brand, and gives you more control over what you share. The time you can save with automation then benefits your business. The trick is knowing what not to automate versus what you should automate.

You should automate scheduled posts, campaigns, press releases, blog promotion, and metrics. However, do not automate direct messages and conversations with customers and franchisees. These should be kept personal, rather than delivered as a form, which only do damage to your brand and to you when used this way.

 

Divvy’s social media automation creates branded content and can help you monitor your franchisees.  This frees up your time and gives you the horsepower necessary to steer your franchise’s social media marketing in whatever direction you need. Contact us today, and learn how Divvy can help your franchise better use its social media.