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When a corporate business begins to add franchise locations, it can be difficult to navigate the waters of social marketing. Do you keep everything under one social “voice” or allow your franchises more freedom (and potential headaches later)? Where do you even start?

Balancing brand consistency is one of the biggest marketing challenges you will face Click To TweetWhether a franchise or a corporate company with many locations, you first need to decide if separate social media channels make sense, or if a central hub would be more effective. As a general guideline, franchises are usually best served by store specific social pages, while corporate organizations use global social channels. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Some franchises can be so close in proximity that it can be better to have a unified regional page. This means the close locations do not have to compete for business on social media.

Here are some tips from Franchise Marketing Group to help your business activate social networks the best way, the first time.

  1. Streamline Setting Up Social Accounts

Streamline the brand process, and reduce the risk of inconsistency by setting up each individual franchise page for different social channels. This will ensure that each location is providing the same messaging and business information, and approved profile photos.

  1. Create Brand Guidelines

Establish your look and feel, and decide on your voice. Is your brand playful and energetic? Or does it portray a more serious tone? It all depends on the type of product you offer. An ice cream shop would be more fun and playful, where a fine dining restaurant would be more sophisticated. These are decisions to make up front, so you can deliver your messaging to the franchises.

This is also the best time to provide a list of do’s and don’ts for your brand. Social media can be difficult to learn, and not every franchise-owner may have the means to hire a dedicated social media manager. Be clear about acceptable use and expectations.

  1. Allow Some Freedom

Give the stores freedom to include local promotions when applicable, and share more specific messaging to their local audience. But be certain to caution them that with that ability comes responsibility – to include messaging specific to their location and hours. Although relinquishing control can be tough, it’s important for each social channel to reflect the location’s personality. If you’re having difficulty letting go, you might need to consider one central platform.

  1. Consider a Marketing Agency

At a certain point during business growth, certain marketing tasks become unmanageable. Sometimes it is better to turn things over to a trusted marketing specialist or firm who can handle all social channels for you. This will give you the peace of mind that the correct photos, messaging and promotional information goes out to your audience.

  1. Provide Resources

Set your stores up for success by providing resources for them to pull from when they don’t have any original content. Set up a shared drive of photos, or distribute suggested posts that stores can share on their own platforms.

By taking a proactive and organized approach to your social media marketing, you can maintain your brand voice across franchises. This will save you and your partners time and money.

Looking for even more social media tips for franchises? Check out our Key Ingredients to a Successful Social Media Strategy.

If you are looking for an expert in social media marketing, contact Franchise Marketing Group here.