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No modern marketing campaign is complete without a solid social media strategy. Social media provides a fast-paced and instant way for businesses to connect with consumers, but it’s not as simple as it may first appear. Taking to social media without a well-planned strategy in mind can be deadly for any brand, and franchises have even more to consider when it comes to finding success on social media. With that in mind, here are our key ingredients for a successful social media strategy for franchises.

Determine Franchise Social Media Strategy Guidelines

In order to maintain a strong and united brand voice, the franchisor should set marketing guidelines for the franchisees. First, the franchisor must determine what message and tone are in line with the franchise’s mission statement and brand and how to help franchisees maintain that brand.

In order to find success in a local market, it is helpful for local franchisees to have their own social media accounts. However, that doesn’t mean that the franchisor should just let the franchisees take full control of individual accounts. Rather, there should be a balance of corporate control and local presence. If franchisees already have existing social media accounts in place, the franchisor should have admin access in order to oversee those accounts and ensure that all posts and interactions are in line with brand standards. Facebook makes this process easy with its Facebook Locations feature, which allows for parent/child setup of pages under one convenient dashboard.

In terms of the posts themselves, the franchisor should contribute corporate posts to social media accounts. It can also be beneficial for the franchisee to create local posts, such as for local events and specials, in order to stay connected with their local customers.

Utilizing a social media management tool like Sendible can make all the difference in helping franchisors to manage multiple accounts. Sendible allows you to connect multiple accounts to their online platform in order to create lists, plan out posts ahead of time, and even approve posts suggested by individual franchisees. It provides one online platform where the franchisor can oversee all the different franchise social media accounts across social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram.

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Plan a Strategic Calendar

A key part of any marketing strategy is to plan out a strategic calendar. This allows you to mark out important dates, like holidays or company events, and plan out specific posts to go out on different days and times. Having a calendar also helps to ensure that posts are going out on a regular basis and that they are spread out so there aren’t five posts going out at the same time. This is especially important when dealing with multiple social media accounts for various franchise locations. Making a calendar helps the franchisor and the franchisee to communicate about what posts are going out at what time so that everyone is organized and on the same page.

Finally, keeping a social media calendar also helps to make sure that posting to social media doesn’t get brushed aside amid other everyday business concerns. So, rather than posting at random, try using an online tool like Trello, which will help get your team create an organized posting plan and schedule.

Track Online Engagement

There’s no point in putting in all the time and effort to plan a social media strategy if you don’t track the progress to see if the strategy is successful. Start by analyzing the current social media results for all the franchise social media accounts to get a baseline. Then, be sure to track results on a regular basis in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in the social media strategy.

There are several different areas that franchises should track to measure results on social media:

  • Post engagement – keep track of retweets, likes, favorites, shares, and comments (including the sentiments expressed in comments–are people responding in a positive or negative way?)
  • Account followers – count followers gained and lost over time
  • Best times – figure out if certain times of the day result in posts with more follower interaction
  • Most successful social media networks – see if one social media network seems to have better results than others

Tracking engagement across different accounts on various social media platforms gives franchises an overall picture of how their social media strategy is working. It also helps identify areas to improve, such as choosing to post at a certain key time or posting more often about a certain topic. In other words, tracking engagements helps franchises to replicate social media successes and cut out failures for a better social media strategy in the future.

Build Your Perfect Social Media Strategy

Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, Franchise Marketing Group can help you build the perfect social media strategy for your business. Ready to get social? Give us a call today at (816) 875-9311.