How to Build a Robust Social Footprint
How to Build a Robust Social Footprint

In the ever-changing world of media, many brands are still trying to figure out how to best leverage their franchise through social media.

Over the past few years, the discussion in regard to social media has focused on two primary questions: Should a brand use social media to connect with its cu.....

In the ever-changing world of media, many brands are still trying to figure out how to best leverage their franchise through social media.

Over the past few years, the discussion in regard to social media has focused on two primary questions: Should a brand use social media to connect with its customers or on franchise development?

The simple answer is that brands should be using social media for both.

Let’s start with a truism that no longer can be debated: Social media shouldn’t be managed as something set aside from the brand’s overall marketing plan. And with new social networks popping up every few years, brands need to sit down their marketing and franchise development teams and clearly align social media strategy across the silos.

To use social media effectively doesn’t mean that a brand needs to have an account on every site. Chief Marketing Officers and executive leadership needs to determine which will be most beneficial to accomplish the company’s goals. To achieve such, a clearly defined and designed strategy for two to three platforms should be determined along with the necessary action steps required to execute. And this should be done for each platform. After conquering one, move on to the next, because as needs are identified so do the platforms.

Take some advice from Jersey Mike’s, one of the franchisors out there that is using social media as part of an integrated media strategy. Their primary focus at this point is Facebook, followed by Twitter and then Instagram. Jersey Mike’s knows to run a successful campaign like its most recent “Wreaths Across America” endeavor, they needed to use all three platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in a coordinated effort, according to Holly Sansolo, Jersey Mike’s social media coordinator.

For every interaction – up to 25,000 – on their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages, they would donate $1 per interaction on behalf of the customer. With a mix of Facebook ads and promoted Twitter posts, they ended up having to pull some of the advertising budget early due to the overwhelming success and the viral nature of the campaign. One tweet on Twitter alone had 9,105 retweets, making this a true grassroots, fan-driven initiative.

“If your brand hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, we highly recommend it to anyone out there,” said Tina Amelchenko, social media coordinator for Jersey Mike’s. “Your customers are already sharing information about your brand and their experience with their friends on nearly every site. Once you can control and moderate those channels, interact with your fans and start a discussion with consistent messaging, your brand will be put in a much better light.”

For example, nearly 1 billion people are now on Facebook, approximately 200 million of those people are only using their mobile device as a means of logging according to source Facebook. GlobalWebIndex.com found that the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 age group, and 60 percent of people sign in daily. On Pinterest, 80 percent of the users are women and moms are one of the biggest supporters of branding on Facebook according to source Mashable.

However, one of the platforms where every brand can increase their presence, especially on the franchise development side, is LinkedIn. Every second, two new members join the career networking site according to the social networking site. That environment provides an outstanding platform for job listings, thought-leadership content and franchise-development messaging.

With their focused strategy on the three primary platforms, one of their biggest successes of the grassroots brand has been the word of mouth they’ve been able to generate, Rich Hope added, Jersey Mike’s CMO. The brand’s entire marketing team believes that measuring interactions is the best way to gauge their success. Their focus is to share user generated content to let fans be the biggest activists.

“On a national level, we have created a brand that our customers talk about and are passionate to share with their friends,” Hope said. “We had 120 openings in 2013 and believe that a lot of entrepreneurs want to be a part of a socially conscious brand, which our campaigns have contributed to.”

 

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