Social media marketing for franchises is a challenge, but also an opportunity to stand out from your competition. Franchise marketers recognize the value of their franchisees having their own social media pages. The algorithms for social networks now favor accounts with more engagement and more local relevance. But to realize these benefits requires something of a leap of faith. Franchise marketers shouldn’t have to worry about whether franchisees will maintain their social media pages and stay on brand while doing so.
Franchise-specific pages can succeed by having a cohesive franchise brand strategy and social media collaboration technology. Franchisors need to ensure that each franchisee has the right media, content and messages at their disposal. And doing that at scale without advanced software is a losing proposition.
Why Brand Matters for Franchise Social Media Marketing
It’s a fact that consistent brand presentation increases revenue by 33%. McDonald’s wouldn’t want a franchisee to paint their Golden Arches blue. And the same goes for any franchise brand. If you enable franchisees to manage social on their own, they can go rogue or off message. They could produce their own creative assets and copy that deviate from the brand. But the benefits of franchise-specific pages outweigh the risks. The local pages will reach and engage audiences, without ads, that the global brand will miss. Read on for actionable tactics and strategies to ensure your franchise brand can get the benefit of individual franchise social media accounts while protecting and amplifying the global brand.
The best social media marketing outcome for franchises is central coordination and local execution. This combines the intimacy that each of the franchisees have with their local audiences with the strength of the franchise brand behind them. The technology to accomplish this goal should help franchise marketers ensure the following with their franchisee social media pages:
- Maintain a consistent aesthetic
- Stay on brand with messaging and voice
- Track activity and performance
- Align around company promotions
The Brand Should be Recognizable on Every Franchise Social Media Page
When there are dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of franchise social media pages, that’s great for organic reach and engagement for the brand. But it also means the scale is too big for the franchisor to handhold or email every piece of approved creative designed for social. The best solution doesn’t auto-post on local pages, it empowers franchisees to act on their own. To give franchisees such autonomy while keeping them on brand, franchisees need easy access to on-brand content and messaging.
The way to solve this challenge is not by sending endless emails and Slack messages with attachments and text to copy—that’s not scalable at all. It’s not with a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox—there’s no way to provide context with the creative. And there is little to no search or filtering capability with those platforms. The resolution to this problem must be quick and simple for franchisees to use. And it should give franchise marketers the flexibility to allow franchisees to choose among on-brand assets, but also to prescribe a specific asset when necessary.
The franchises that use Greenfly technology can access collections of approved creative or share one-off assets for required posts. Franchisees can also search and filter collections by metadata tags to find the content they want to post on their social media feeds or stories. Franchisees get what they need and franchisors can rest assured every video or image posted remains on brand. This helps eliminate franchisee requests for creative assets and gives them the autonomy to grab content and act on their own. The consistent creative aesthetic is one piece of the puzzle, but messaging matters just as much.
How to Ensure Consistent Franchise Messaging on Social Media
When franchisees have access to on-brand creative, their social media will reflect a consistent visual brand. But for a franchisor to protect their brand across social media accounts, both creative AND copy must be cohesive. It doesn’t mean the text of every post and comment has to be identical across every franchise. But the messaging should be consistent. That may mean promoting certain products, services, or specials across the US or in a region. It could be using a global brand hashtag. It means that all social media accounts with the brand name on them speak in a consistent tone and stay true to the brand’s values.
Magic happens when the messaging is consistent. If the first step to achieving brand consistency is a central repository of brand assets, the messaging element comes next. It should be clear to franchisees how and where to use each asset. Franchisors need to be able provide suggested copy or notes with each asset or collection of assets. That way when franchisees post the content, they know how to stay on brand and the messaging that should go with each asset.
There are two factors at play for franchise social media marketing that the Greenfly platform supports. First, all assets in Greenfly can have notes and instructions, which keeps franchisees on message with their posts. Second, Greenfly empowers franchise marketers to provide example copy for every asset. That maintains the brand personality and voice across franchise social media pages. When all these elements exist in the same tech platform — creative, notes, and copy — on-brand social media marketing for franchises is scalable and successful.
Measuring Franchise Social Media Marketing Activity is a Must
Franchise marketers can equip their franchisees with content and messaging, but franchisees have to use it. The frustration of a franchisee’s dormant social media pages is all too real. Franchisors need to be able to see that franchisees are actively posting. They also must measure the effectiveness of social media marketing at the brand, franchisee and even content level. This way, franchise marketers can know which franchisees are or are not posting. They should also be able to track which franchise social media pages are doing well or poorly. And it's also valuable to know which content resonates most with franchisees and their social media audiences. These insights help franchise brands optimize their social media marketing efforts at all levels.
Greenfly recognized those needs for franchise marketers. With Greenfly technology, franchisors can see every asset that a franchisee views, downloads, or shares. The platform also tracks the performance of each of their social media posts. They can also view each franchisee’s social media posts, which helps them ensure they’re on brand. Marketers that work with Greenfly also get a lot of value out of seeing the top-performing creative assets. This helps inform their future social media marketing efforts.
The marriage of activity and performance is key. And that’s why the Greenfly platform allows marketers to track both. It’s easy to spot which franchisees are lagging, and which posts and content are performing the best with franchisees and customers.
Coordinate & Align Franchisees Around Joint Social Promotions
It can be difficult to launch a promotion, campaign, or offer at scale with franchisees on their social media feeds and stories. There should be a way to align the content calendar with the creative, copy and communication.
Keeping franchisees and their marketers aligned on promotions can be an exercise in cat herding. Franchisees need a way to be reminded when they should share a post, and need as much of that post created for them as possible. If they only have to change a few words and push ‘Publish,’ it's more likely they'll do it. It would keep them on message, and ensure brand consistency. With a pre-created social post, corporate marketers can amplify the same message across all their audiences.
The Greenfly platform combines the autonomy and access to content collections with the ability to program social posting tasks. Franchise marketers can coordinate the same creative and message from every franchisee at the same time. The simplicity enables franchisees to execute the promotion in a couple of clicks. The franchise marketers can see when each franchisee views and executes the post, along with the post performance. Greenfly also maximizes efficiency because franchise marketers can schedule out social media posting tasks. This saves time and stress, while scaling massive social media promotions.
The days and hours leading up to a new product launch, seasonal promotion, new messaging, or a special event shouldn’t induce sweating. Franchise businesses can have the best of both worlds: The rapport of a local franchise social media page with scaled and on-brand messaging, creative and promotions.
Empower Franchisees to Run Their Own Social Media
Such coordinated efforts across content and messaging was not possible for franchises in the past. Greenfly makes it possible. The platform empowers franchisees to manage their social media and use on-brand creative and messaging. It keeps hundreds or even thousands of franchisees in lockstep with the global brand. It gives franchisees access to a central, private network that houses content, communication and copy. It also allows franchisors to monitor each franchise, tracking their social media activity. Greenfly even has built-in approvals should a franchisee need to seek sign off on posting their own original content.
The most successful franchises moving forward will harness the collective voice of their local franchisees. The franchisees will be able to connect more personally with their individual communities while also growing the value of the global brand. Social media marketing for franchises can make or break the success of a franchisee and its parent brand. Done the right way, it can set up a brand for sustained, scalable success.