Do’s & Don’ts of Facebook Marketing For Franchises
Facebook marketing for franchises is a whole different ball game compared to Facebook for single-location businesses. There are way more bases to cover – Managing multiple Facebook Pages, attracting local audiences, implementing cohesive strategies, and the list goes on. It can be easy for franchise brands to miss crucial elements needed to succeed on Facebook, so we’ve put together four Facebook marketing do’s and don’ts.
1. Introduce your franchise in the ‘About’ section
Your Page’s ‘About’ section is your place to shine. Here is where you can be as creative, straightforward, or strategic as you’d like! The goal is to make it as clear as possible what your business is about before the user keeps scrolling through your posts. Having the ‘About’ section completed tells the story of your brand and helps new users find your page. Be sure to use relevant keywords, so it’s as easy as possible for users to find your brand on Facebook.
2. Create one brand Page AND individual Pages for each location
Is this worth the added effort? Absolutely! Create one main Facebook Page for your franchise brand that caters to an audience seeking general information about your brand. As your franchise expands, it’s important to create an individual Facebook Page for each franchise location, in addition to the brand Page. Yes, the franchise’s main Page will get the job done in terms of capturing the essence of your brand. Still, the local Pages significantly strengthen relationships and engagement with local consumers. The main and local Pages should have a slightly different look to them as well.
Corporate Facebook Business Pages typically have a more professional, sleek, and branded look. The content is generic, represents the franchise brand as a whole, and tells a clear brand story. With the local franchisee Pages, the content should be centered around the local community (showing off employees, business space, customers, etc.). Localization is key with any franchise marketing strategy, so the more you cater your franchisee Pages to the local community, the more ahead you are of local competition. You need both a main brand and individual local franchise Facebook Pages! One approach without the other means you are missing out on the opportunity to reach a massive volume of your target audience.
3. Use hashtags (strategically)
If you scroll through Instagram, you’ll likely see several posts that use more hashtags than actual text. When talking about Facebook marketing for franchises, fewer hashtags is often a better approach. Sounds backward, right? Typically, when people think of social media, hashtags are one of the first things to pop into their heads. Don’t get me wrong, hashtags bring plenty of value and shouldn’t be entirely left out of your content strategy, but be sure to follow best practices for using hashtags on Facebook. The most important one is to stay below two hashtags per post.
Some studies show that Facebook posts without hashtags perform better than those with hashtags. Still, the reason you shouldn’t abandon the use of hashtags on Facebook is that they play a major role in social media search. Social media networks are being used more and more as a search engine, so when creating your posts and using hashtags, don’t just throw anything in there and publish.
Think strategically about what hashtags to include in your posts based on how your target audience will search for the topic of your content. Keep that up, and your Facebook posts will be getting lots of love (AKA post engagements).
4. Provide brand guidelines at the corporate level
Considering that corporate and each franchisee have their own Facebook Page, it’s crucial to implement and maintain a cohesive strategy across the board. By setting brand guidelines at the corporate level and requiring franchisees to follow them, the franchise’s overall Facebook performance benefits. The brand is far more recognizable, there is more ease in building a loyal relationship with the brand, and local Pages will give off a more professional look.
Don’t forget localization is still key! Yes, franchisees should follow brand guidelines as a foundation for their content, but there still needs to be a major spotlight on local aspects within your overall content strategy. If you think about it, there wouldn’t be much sense for the local content posts to be executed at the corporate level because it’s likely that franchisee owners will have a firmer grasp on local audiences, trends, and insight.
1. Post too many times per day
Yes, posting without consistency or frequency is frowned upon when it comes to Facebook marketing for franchises, but be careful to not go overboard. If we were talking about Twitter, I’d say go for it! The more tweets published daily, the better (to an extent). But Facebook requires a more laid-back approach to keep your followers engaged yet not annoyed. Facebook marketing best practices typically call for no more than two posts per day.
There’s no one-size-fits-all blueprint for Facebook marketing, so, at the end of the day, it’s all about what works best for your brand and target audience.
Test out the waters and start publishing one Facebook post per day for a few weeks, then bump up to two posts and see how your audience reacts. After a few weeks of posting twice per day, if the post engagement levels and reach look promising, then two posts per day may very well be the sweet spot for your franchise brand. If you notice negative reactions or find that engagement levels are decreasing once switching over to a twice-a-day frequency, then no worries! Just tweak your content strategy and go back to publishing a single post per day.
2. Ignore the power of boosted posts
Give your social media presence a boost by putting a budget behind your posts. Posting organically to Facebook means your content is reaching current followers and those they share your posts with. Reach people beyond your existing audience with boosted posts!
Since a budget is involved, it’s not always the best idea to go wild and boost all your posts. Which posts are worth boosting? Start by focusing on high-performing posts, special offers or discounts, and any meaningful updates. To get you started, let’s go through the steps to show how much control marketers have over boosted posts and what to expect!
How to boost a Facebook post:
- Go to the desired post to boost and click the blue “Boost Post” button.
- You will then be prompted to select a desired goal for the selected post (more messages, website visits, engagement, leads, etc.).
- Choose the desired call-to-action button label to be displayed with your boosted post (Book Now, Learn More, Send Message, Sign Up, etc.).
- Create a target audience by selecting location, age, gender, and interests of the people you want to see your post.
- Schedule the timing and duration of your boosted post. You can even select specific days of the week or specific times!
- Set your daily budget, keeping in mind that Facebook has a minimum of $1 per day. As you play around with the slider to determine your budget, an estimated number of people reached per day will be displayed to help choose the right budget.
- Select the ad placement (Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger) and your payment method.
- Final review of ad preview and estimated results, click “Boost Post Now”, and… You’re done!
3. Forget to monitor & reply to all engagement
A common Facebook mistake for franchises is publishing a post and forgetting all about it. Stay on top of all incoming private messages, comments, reviews, and general engagements. A franchise’s Facebook Page serves as a representation of the brand as a whole, so imagine there are negative comments on a post or poor customer reviews all with no responses. This can leave a lousy impression of your brand and weakens customer relationships and overall engagement.
Show your audience that you care about all customers and prioritize customer service by replying to engagements (both positive and negative) that include questions, reviews, direct messages, inquiries, etc. Learn to use Facebook as a tool to listen to and learn about your customers!
4. Publish the same type of content over & over
Attention spans are getting shorter, and people need variety in their newsfeeds if you want them to stay engaged. Franchises cannot sustain their social media engagement if they only post images, or worse, only stock images. Like everything else in life, a healthy balance goes a long way! I’m not saying throw the use of stock photos out the window entirely; just switch it up once in a while and utilize authentic images of staff or happy customers, for example.
Don’t stop there! Integrate video content into your content strategy if you really want your audience to be engaged. Video content can include ideas such as tours of your store/business space, product tutorials, user-generated content, client testimonials, etc. Video has been a top trend for the past few years and it’s not going away any time soon.
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