See what the experts had to say about finding an effective balance between corporate and localized social media content and how to optimize local posts.
Localized social media content offers franchisees a way to share their weekly specials, community events and other specialized content. Beyond that, it serves as a way for business owners to connect with their fans directly in order to build a lasting relationship and establish brand loyalty amongst customers.
Mix Corporate & Local Content
It is not uncommon for a franchisor to provide a corporate content calendar for all franchisees to execute across their social platforms. These serve as a way to ensure all locations have access to large-scale promotions, imagery and other promotional assets. This serves as a starting point for a franchisee’s social media plan, which should then be supplemented with more localized content.
Hand & Stone’s internal agency, HSM Advertising, offers franchisees a fee-based service that they can opt into. This is a comprehensive plan that includes social media management and advertising work. Regardless of whether or not franchisees choose to use this service, they all have access to a full-scale content calendar each month.
“The calendar includes corporate promotions and engaging content that represents the brand and is applicable to all locations. The franchisee can adopt the content they see fit for their location(s) or further localize. In addition to that, we recommend franchisees post images showing what’s going on at the spa, photos of the staff and any events going on locally,” explained Materia.
Your Pie also offers a professional content calendar to its franchisees. In addition to using this resource, they are encouraged to focus first and foremost on page growth and boosting engagement. Therefore, direct selling should not be a priority for their local social content.
“The brand content serves as the foundation, helping to ensure consistency in terms of messaging and cadence. From there, franchisees have the opportunity to make it their own by engaging with their audience through customer questions, post comments, direct messages and more,” said Jeffers.
Use Targeted Boosting
With the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, organic reach continues to decline for brands across industries. As a result of this reduced reach, engagement on posts has plummeted. In order to combat this challenge, ad content has become necessary to succeed in the social space.
“New numbers from Facebook show that only about six percent of page followers ever see un-boosted content on their own newsfeed let alone ever visit a Facebook page,” said Materia. “A strength to our program is the advertising component, which is designed to maximize social media ads to drive traffic to local websites for services and gift card sales.”
Social advertising is a great way to reach a targeted audience, as platforms allow brands to specify locations, groups and interests whom they wish to reach with their messaging.
“Best practices include utilizing local Facebook and Instagram ads to make engaging brand content more relevant to the local audience. Franchisees also have the freedom to tweak or edit brand posts to announce upcoming local events, promote store offers, share team updates, spotlight community involvement efforts and more,” said Jeffers.
Take Advantage of Corporate Resources
Your franchisor is a dedicated partner in your business journey and there to help you succeed. It is beneficial to research and take advantage of all the available support that the team can provide for marketing efforts–including those for social media best practices.
“We provide articles in our brand and operations manual with best practices for social media page growth, engagement, local Facebook and Instagram ads, community management and more. We also provide our franchisees access to one-on-one training, which includes live tutorials for using Facebook Ads Managers and identifying target audiences, creating local content for Facebook Live, sharing store updates and more,” said Jeffers.
Once you have a strong handle on these guidelines, it will make it easier to implement social media in a more effective localized format.
Engage with Your Local Community
Some of the most successful franchisees on social media are those who take an active interest in building two-way communication with their audiences. Jeffers explained that the franchisees that have built a stronger social following are those who have offered special deals or giveaways as a way to directly reward their local fans.
“Localized content develops long-term relationships with loyal fans, increases word-of-mouth marketing and encourages authentic feedback,” said Jeffers