Use Social Media to Grow Your Brand: How to Attract Clients to Your Business
Social media hasn’t been around nearly as long as other forms of advertising, but it has quickly dominated the advertising industry. For many small business owners and franchisees, social media is an easy way to reach out to current and potential customers alike, and it is commonly seen as a more user-friendly form of advertising. While it doesn’t take much to create a Facebook page and make a post, it can be a challenge to devise and execute an effective social media strategy. Here are four practices to keep in mind when developing your franchise’s social media presence.
Why Do I Need Social Media Advertising?
There are many forms of advertising, but few have the same reach across demographics and influence that social media does. In fact, the majority of consumers use social media to influence their purchasing decisions. Social media advertising goes far beyond ads, however. Users can easily review and share businesses they like — or dislike. This information can be used to your advantage, though.
The benefits of your franchise’s social media presence include:
- The ability to build a community of repeat customers.
- Increased influence over a larger audience with community leaders, trendsetters, and taste-makers.
- The chance to use objective reviews and validation from your customers to highlight your business’s credibility, trustworthiness, and service.
- Instant feedback on promotions so you can improve them in real-time.
- Improved ranking in mobile searches, which can bring more customers through your doors.
- The ability to reach potential talent with job openings.
Best Practices for Franchise Social Media Campaigns
As a franchise owner, you have a lot on your plate. You’re juggling a variety of products, services, pricing, promotions, and other events and holidays, and fitting all these variables into a social media plan can seem impossible. Before you take another step, read through these four practices for your franchise’s social media channels and think about how you can incorporate them into your strategy.
1. Have a Game Plan and Stick to It
As a franchisee, you work hand-in-hand with corporate to provide uniformly branded experiences, both online and offline. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your local audience into account by considering local knowledge, weather, community demographics, consumer habits, and other locally-influenced factors.
- Conduct an audit: Determine who are your most common customers, and figure out when they shop, what their preferred services and products are, and understand their demographics.
- Create guidelines: These should control how your franchise interacts with users on all social networks and should comply with any corporate rules. You also should consider how positive and negative customer responses are handled.
- Schedule: Now that you have a better understanding of your social media use, create a posting schedule and follow it. You may also want a system to log social media actions so you can see exactly what is happening in one place.
2. Automate Your System
Business owners have access to an incredible amount of software and social media tools that are designed to simplify their advertising experience. Use them to schedule posts ahead of time across your platforms. Now you can reach your customers when and where they are online, without needing to spend all day in front of the computer. You can even take advantage of scheduling for:
- Holiday promotions, notices regarding holiday hours, and holiday-appropriate greetings
- Building up to local events, promoting your involvement, or connecting customers with fundraisers that benefit the community
- Specials and promotions, both in-store and online
3. Listen to Your Customers
You don’t like to be ignored, and neither do your customers. When consumers take the time to provide positive or negative feedback, they want to feel listened to. Aggregated social listening can compile common themes and give you a better insight into what your clients want.
Your responses to positive and negative feedback can also sway customers. Thoughtful responses, genuine care, and mutually satisfying solutions can make your customers feel appreciated and heard — even if they aren’t the ones commenting. Let your potential customers witness how much you care about their experience and the experiences of other customers.
Strategies for engaging customers on social media:
- Identify engaged followers, and reach out to them to convert them into loyal customers.
- Build a positive reputation online, and increase your influence across multiple platforms.
- Notice recurring issues and take steps to fix them, as well as tell your customers that you see the problem and are making changes for the better.
- Compare feedback and ratings across locations to target issues.
- Convert unhappy customers proactively by helping them to feel their voice is heard and respected.
4. Engage, Don’t Advertise
Before you protest that the point of social media advertising is to do just that — let us explain. Today’s consumers have been bombarded by advertisements since day one, and are savvy shoppers as a result of it. Try creating engaging, on-brand content for your social media to let your customers feel connected to your company.
Key factors to engagement:
- Consistency: When writing your posts, try to keep your tone and style consistent. Similarly, the images and visual elements of your post should remain consistent, too.
- Interactivity: Make your content interactive so your consumers want to click on it. Polls, quizzes, Q&A sessions, competitions, and other posts that encourage interaction are excellent for engaging customers and potential customers.
- Insight: Give a sneak peek of upcoming products, and exclusive views into the inner workings of your company, or even get involved in community events to help your customers see your company as more than just a brand.
As a franchisee, you need to make sure that your posts are consistent with the corporate brand, but you often have considerable freedom to keep your customers engaged. Remember, social media advertising is more than promotional. You want to keep your brand relevant and engaging, and give your customers a reason to talk about your company to their social connections.
Are you seeking the opportunity to join a world-class men’s grooming franchise brand? The Gents Place works with our Strategic-Partners to bring exceptional grooming services to men across the nation. Want to learn more? Read up on our franchise process and discover how you can join our movement.
Contact our team by calling (888) 463-2145. Rise, gentlemen.