Franchisers : How To Use Social Media To Your Advantage
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Social media is fast becoming one of the most important ways to market brands and businesses online. It’s both a direct way to communicate with customers and an easy system for filtering out those who aren’t interested in your franchise, and it’s no surprise that it’s so popular. Social media sites are free to register with, easy to use, and can open your franchise up to the whole world. Before you get started with Facebook, Twitter and Google+, here are some tips on how to best make use of social media when marketing a franchise.
A Few Things to Be Aware of…
It’s important to remember that when you’re part of a franchise, any marketing moves you make aren’t simply affecting your business; they’ll affect other parts of the franchise all over the country. For this reason, every franchise company has a franchise agreement, and many of these might make reference to social media use. Check your franchise agreement terms first to make sure that social media use is permitted, and to ensure that you don’t breach any limitations set out in the terms, which are especially likely to cover use of the franchisor’s trademarks.
How Social Media Can Help You
The first thing social media pages will give you is an online presence. Even if you already have a website, social media pages are more likely to get passed around the web, and seen by many people. Make sure you keep some up-to-date information on your Facebook page so that visitors can find out opening hours and days of your business, and make regular status updates on both Twitter and Facebook – even if it’s just to let people know you’re still around.
Social media sites can also be useful in humanising your brand a little bit. Unlike adverts and more traditional forms of marketing, social media offers two-way communication with the customer. Not only can you tell them about your offers, but the customer can leave feedback and comments for you. Be sure to reply to these comments, to let the customers know you appreciate their opinions; it’ll keep your brand human, and prove that you’re a trusted franchise that takes the time to understand what its customers want.
Finally, social media sites are a great way to keep your customers updated with news and offers. If you keep a regular blog on your website, linking to new posts via Twitter is an excellent way to increase your readership. Users who follow your posts on Twitter and Facebook are likely to be regular patrons, and so keeping them up to date with the latest offers and changes to opening hours is all-important. Don’t forget – maintaining a healthy presence in your customers’ lives, even if it’s just via social networking sites, is a good way to ensure they keep coming back to your business.
Neil is a small business marketing specialist, covering marketing advice for new business owners and franchisees. He writes for Ameci Pizza Kitchen, an Italian pizza restaurant franchise based in California.