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If you're serious about moving your franchise forward this year, now is the time to recognize the role that social media can play in helping you reach your 2017 goals. There are many reasons why a franchise should want to use social media to drive their business and create relationships with their customers.
In utilizing social media properly, a franchise can turn their interactions into followers, their followers into customers and those customers into brand advocates. Below, are a few benefits of social for your franchise system to capitalize on:
1. It's Easy to Quickly Reach Your Potential Audience
In just a few clicks, you’re able to post informative videos and share interesting blog content with your audience via a social media management tool, and engage with your community online. In addition, social media can also be an outlet for your customers to ask location-specific questions and receive personalized answers from you, quickly.
Social media provides the opportunity to add an additional level of interaction to your content and overall marketing, connecting with your community in real-time. With a traditional marketing activity, such as a magazine advertisement, your audience would not be able to respond to you immediately and generate a conversation, instantly. Thanks to the world of social media, you can send out a tweet and receive responses within minutes, even seconds. You can then engage in a dynamic dialogue which optimizes the relationship-building process.
2. You Can Provide Your Audience with Instant Updates
Another great reason to utilize social media is the ability to provide your audience with instant updates from your brand, 24/7. Social media users in 2017 expect immediate information, at their fingertips. They want to learn about your brand, find new solutions, gather their news and more, online.
- 42% of customers expect a response from a brand within the hour
- In addition, 57% of customers expect the same response time, regardless if it occurs outside business hours or on weekends
- However, when you do answer a customer’s complaint in a timely manner, customer advocacy increases by 25%.
Example: Let's say that you decide to have a last-minute sale and want your target market to know about it as quickly as possible, so you can optimize your conversion rates. Posting to social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you'll be able to tell people about the sale in a few seconds. This differs from traditional methods of advertising like print ads, brochures and direct mail that are not shared instantaneously and may or may not reach your audience before the date of your sale.
3. Social Media as a Research Tool
When using social media to build your franchise you can leverage social to conduct research in ways that traditional marketing hasn’t allow. Utilizing Twitter to create and administer polls is a great way to ask your customers for their direct feedback. For example, you might ask your audience a question like "Which of our products would you be most likely to give a friend as a holiday gift?" Once you receive the answer, then you'll be able to plan which products to stock up on during the holiday season and which products to strategically plan discounts and sales around.
In addition to creating polls for your social community, try:
- Running weekly, monthly and yearly analytics and social reports to track results – this is easy with a social media management tool, like Manalto.
- Use social media to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and leverage any different activities that might fit for your franchise
- Monitor all comments and mentions of your brand to listen to your audience and adjust where needed
If you're serious about growing your franchise in 2017, work to share your brand on social through connecting with your audience, real-time interactions and conducting research.