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Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to help brands connect with people. In the United States alone, approximately 223 million people use social media and they spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social platforms each day.
Those are staggering numbers proving the number of people using it, yet social media is still one of those marketing tools that creates confusion for some and overall is frequently misunderstood in terms of how it can be applied to support business initiatives.
This is likely because lines are often blurred between professional and personal use. Additionally, brands are still perfecting a balance of how to engage with their customers on social platforms through a mix of paid and organic outreach.
So, with all the confusion comes questions. And top of mind for many clients we work with is, can utilizing social media help sell franchises and can a social presence benefit an existing franchise network?
The answer is yes and yes. Let me explain.
From experience working with a roster of franchise clients, I know that the questions “will this help sell franchises?” or “how will this help our franchisees?” is always top of mind for executives. And rightfully so. When investing a budget in something, you want to know that it’s going to help move the needle.
There are plenty of ways that an elevated social media presence will help a franchise brand. Below are three things I’ve seen create traction best for franchises.
Keep Your Buyer in Mind
At the end of the day, franchise prospects are regular people, and regular people spend time each day on social media. Taking the time to survey your existing franchise network on their personal social media habits is a great place to start to realize where to invest your social time and budget.
Sending a survey to the existing franchise network asking questions like what social platforms they’re on, who they follow and what kind of messaging they best respond to online is a perfect place to start.
After all, your existing network is your perfect buyer persona. They’ve already been qualified as a lead and have converted, so lean on their habits as a guide for what platforms to invest in and what the messaging should be.
Leadership Should Have a Social Presence
Social media is a great place for the CEO and the rest of the executive team to establish a presence as faces of the brand. At our core, people like to connect with other people. Executives’ social media handles are a perfect place to show the faces behind a company.
Additionally, regularly publishing LinkedIn articles is a way to share the exciting announcements and development news that’s coming out of a franchise brand. These are the kind of things that get prospects excited about a brand and supplying prospects with this kind of information outside of a cold call or email campaign might be just what they need to see.
Spotlight Your Existing Network
Everyone enjoys getting a pat on the back and franchisees are no different. Spotlighting a “franchisee of the month” is a way to get franchisees more involved and engaged on social.
Prospects also love seeing real examples of people who have made the jump they’re looking to make, joined the franchise, and are finding success. This allows them to see themselves in the shoes of an existing franchisee and may be what they need to help them make a decision to become a franchisee themselves.
So, yes, social media can help you sell franchises. But don’t just be on social because you think you need to be. Take the time to listen to your network, develop a presence for the leadership team and spotlight the franchisee superstars in your network.