Despite having access to a high budget and extensive resources, marketing still remains a significant concern for franchises. In fact, Forbes notes that brand consistency and localized marketing are the top two marketing challenges for franchises in 2023!
But how do you manage to create content that suits local audiences and maintain brand consistency across all locations?
One of the best ways to address this is through marketing automation. This approach leverages advanced franchise marketing systems like Adplorer to run ads, manage social media, and optimize campaigns across different locales.
With marketing automation, you can create customizable templates that seamlessly blend the overarching brand message with local relevance. This means, instead of allocating extensive resources to manually tailor each campaign, you can efficiently adapt pre-set templates to suit diverse local needs.
When you think about your franchise’s online presence, the first thing that should come to mind is Local SEO. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. Here are three main components on Local SEO to think about:
The secret here is understanding what people in your area are typing into their search bars and ensuring your website and online content speak directly to those queries. For example, if you run a coffee shop franchise in Austin, you want to show up when someone searches for “best espresso in Austin” or “Austin coffee shop near me”.
Another critical aspect of Local SEO is the consistency of the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) of your business. These details need to be the same everywhere they appear online, from your website to your social media profiles, and especially on online directories like Google My Business.
Your GMB profile helps local customers find and engage with your franchise. Here you can showcase everything from your business hours to customer reviews, and even photos of your products or premises.
Effective social media marketing for franchises is a blend of brand consistency and local flavor: you’ll want to make sure that your franchise is not just a business, but a part of the daily lives of your customers. Here’s how you can do that:
You can do this by highlighting local events, sharing stories of local team members, or even showcasing how your products or services fit into the local lifestyle.
Engagement is not just about responding to comments and messages. It’s about actively participating in local online communities, like local Facebook groups, Twitter threads, or Instagram stories of community events.
Finally, use social media for what it’s great at – targeted promotions and ads. With the ability to target your advertising to a specific local demographic, you can ensure that your marketing budget is being used to reach the people most likely to walk through your door. Push out special deals for local residents, promotions tied to local events, or ads that show your franchise’s involvement in the community.
Online audiences want to see content that they can relate to, or feel a personal connection with. Here’s how you can achieve that:
Whether it’s acknowledging the local high school football team’s latest win or sharing a post about a popular local festival, make your content a celebration of what’s happening in your community.
Nothing beats the authenticity of real stories from local customers or team members. Share customer testimonials, stories of employees volunteering locally, or how your services have made a difference in someone’s day-to-day life.
Loyalty programs are a classic yet incredibly effective tool in fostering long-term relationships with your local customer base. So, how do you make use of loyalty programs in localized marketing?
The first step is to design a loyalty program that resonates with your local market’s preferences and behaviors. For example, if your franchise is in a region known for its love of outdoor activities, rewards could include discounts on local adventure experiences or gear.
You can offer things like special discounts, exclusive access to new products or services, or rewards on special occasions like local festivals or holidays.
To maximize the impact, integrate your loyalty program with digital platforms. This allows customers to easily track their rewards, receive personalized offers, and engage with your franchise at their convenience.
Sometimes, the most impactful marketing strategies aren’t about increasing your budget. Focusing on local marketing strategies can be the real game changer when it comes to connecting with your community and standing out. It’s not just about being another franchise in the area; it’s about becoming a local favorite, a name that’s spoken with fondness and familiarity.
Franchising can certainly make it easier to run a well-known company or brand, but you still have certain responsibilities. For every task that your franchisees handle, you’ll need a way to monitor it and make sure it’s effective. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to social media. Depending on the social media strategy you choose for your franchise, you’ll have to take on various responsibilities to make sure the accounts for your local franchises are appropriate and on message.
Creating a strong franchise marketing strategy on social media is essential for franchise businesses. An effective franchise marketing strategy can help franchise business owners reach their customer base, establish brand recognition, increase sales, and strengthen relationships between franchisees and franchise support teams. To create the most successful franchise marketing social media plan, it’s important to learn the unique values of each platform, identify metrics to measure success, create content that resonates with the target audience, use relevant hashtags to increase visibility, and monitor activity for customer feedback. With careful planning and consideration of these key elements, franchise owners will be well on their way to developing an attractive and profitable presence on social media.
Most people think that setting up a social media strategy for your franchise is a binary choice, where you have to choose between giving every franchisee total autonomy or managing absolutely everything by yourself. However, that’s not actually true—there are actually several different social media strategies you can employ for your franchise. Most social media strategies for franchises can be grouped into one of four categories:
In a centralized social media strategy, your entire franchise is represented by a single social media hub—which you control entirely. This strategy is excellent for making sure that your content is always relevant and appropriate, but it can deprive your franchisees of meaningful connections with potential customers in their local areas. Because of this, a centralized strategy can make your brand seem a little cold and detached. You sacrifice a certain amount of authenticity for security’s sake.
In a centralized blend, you manage each of the accounts for your brand, but task the franchisees to produce regular content for them. This can be an effective way to make sure that your content stays on message, since you’ll be the final arbiter in every decision. Better yet, you can control the content without alienating your franchisees, who will still feel involved in the process. However, this strategy requires a powerful in-house team that can manage your social media empire effectively. Without one, your content can become inconsistent, or just flat and kind of boring.
A controlled social media strategy allows your franchises to manage their profiles individually, while you send the majority of their content from your corporate HQ. This method helps make sure that your franchisees can take active roles in growing their local branches, but to make it truly effective you’ll have to check up on local accounts every so often and ensure that their posts do not conflict with each other. This strategy can also make some franchisees more effective than others, since each local branch is likely to have different resources at its disposal.
If you want to make sure that your franchisees each have the strongest local voice possible, use a monitored strategy. You simply send guidelines to your franchisees, and allow them to control their own accounts. Be careful with this strategy—you’ll need to vet each potential new franchisee before you choose them, and make sure you can trust them to run their own social media account. You’ll also have to have a team working at corporate to inspect your local accounts regularly, so that you can avoid compliance or liability issues.
Choosing the social media strategy that you want for your franchise depends on numerous factors. How many resources do you have at your headquarters, and how can you afford to spend them? Will your business benefit more from letting each branch build strong connections with local customers, or will you be stronger by establishing consistent branding?
Whether you’re creating all the content yourself or putting out guidelines for local franchisees, you need to establish certain constants. Make sure that your content follows the rules of SEO and digital marketing—it should add value to the reader, use likely search terms, and include references to geographic regions with likely customers.
Social media strategies for franchises require certain unique considerations, but they’re still in the realm of digital marketing and should be treated as such. Take the time to analyze your audience and your resources before you start, and you should have no trouble deciding on the right strategy for your franchise.
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