Part 1: Franchise brands with 100+ locations.
(Editor's Note: Click on the brand name to take you to the Facebook page.)
With over 25 million Facebook fans and 2 million Twitter followers, Subway—the sandwich giant—is not to be messed with when it comes to their social strategy. Subway utilizes great food-focused photography with quick and witty text to highlight their newest products without forgetting old favorites. In addition to stellar photography, the brand has really hit the mark with their videos, making the brand more relevant in fans’ newsfeeds.
The famous Golden Arches are one of the most widely recognized logos in the world, and that fame translates to the brand’s social media pages. The McDonald’s Facebook page boasts over 57 million fans. They also garner 2.85 million Twitter followers and over 642,000 Instagram fans. What works for the fast food giant is the creativity behind their transformation of products into share-worthy content. The page blends menu items with fun and fresh photography to perfectly integrate the two. It’s a fun and familiar feel for one of the biggest brands on the planet.
One brand that is hitting the millennial mark on social media is Taco Bell. The brand has been reinventing its image with quick and on-trend posts featuring great images of their products. In addition to the cleverness of the brand, Taco Bell is also an early adopter of new social trends—they were one of the first brands to target fans on SnapChat. With that ingenuity Taco Bell capitalized on their seat at the cool kids’ table.
Just like the brand itself, the fresh, healthy smoothies and nutritional snacks are the star of the show on the Smoothie King social media pages. On the Smoothie King social pages not only do their great product shots reign supreme, but the posts also focus on a fun and healthy lifestyle. Smoothie King is hitting the mark on social media by making it about the whole customer and not just promoting their products, and that is a winning strategy with fans. In addition to their health and wellness focus, the page is also actively engaging with almost every customer that interacts with the brand. Showing customers that they matter and that the brand is eager to please is a top priority for this rapidly growing brand.
Jack in the Box is showing off some star power in their latest social media push. The brand is working with director Vince Gilligan to celebrate the brand and bring buzz to their new Black Pepper Cheeseburger. This is one way that the brand highlights their fun side while showing off their products. The brand also cleverly uses their mascot and menu items to bring pop culture tidbits to the page and connect with their tuned-in fans.
The brand behind “Freak Fast Delivery” is also proving that they have what it takes to make a name for themselves on social media. Jimmy John’s social channels capture the brand’s lively personality while flaunting their product seamlessly. Their #ModifiedMonday campaign encourages fans to switch it up and create their own sandwich from one on the menu. Looking at the page, you can tell this brand loves to connect with their fans, because no comment falls to the wayside and every question is answered. It’s a brand that knows social media and is using it to bring their sandwich-loving community together.
Philly Pretzel Factory
If the Tim Tebow pretzel means anything to you, then you’ve seen the magic of Philly Pretzel Factory’s social media presence. The brand is great at capturing real-time buzz and finding a way to use artistically shaped pretzels to tie the message back to the franchise brand. In addition to twisting its way to stardom, the brand isn’t shy when it comes to giving the fans what they want—pretzels. The social pages are not shy with running contests, giveaways and sweepstakes on the page. This method is winning, as engagement is high and the fan count keeps climbing each and every day.
This Facebook page runs on Dunkin’. The brand utilizes imaginative photo and video content to share the latest news and campaigns on their pages. From partnering with vloggers, New England Patriot’s Rob Gronkowski and Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz to release a one-of-a-kind video, the brand is using its name recognition to connect fans and stars to their classic donuts and hot new menu items. The social pages show how the brand is able to mix their products with fun, shareable content.
America’s Drive-In is connecting with fans on social media by showing off their endless variations of menu items in a fun and family-friendly way while also keeping the fans involved with exclusive deals and specials. This is a great method to keep fans coming back for more, especially when half-price shakes are in the spotlight.
Sometimes bigger really is better. One of the best attributes of the Checkers and Rally’s social media presence is the use of big, beautiful photography to show off their products. The franchise brand had a very consistent look and feel with instant fan recognition. Not only do the visual elements make a big splash on the page, but the Checkers and Rally’s page is breaking the mold and going against best practices to get their message out— it’s working, too. C&R’s are not shy about asking fans to like, share and comment on their content, and fans are readily responding.
The classic brown paper bag is the star of the show at Which Wich and on their social pages. Using the brand’s trademark beige bag, the social posts are filled with fun, trendy doodles. It’s a great way to utilize brand recognition to highlight the menu and the brand’s lightheartedness on social media.
“Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating” has a home on the Pita Pit social media pages. The Kingston, Ontario-based franchise is all about having fun with their fans. The brand’s pages are full of user-generated photos and shareable graphics that highlight the brand and its personality. Using User Generated Content—like fans’ photos of artfully crafted pitas, salads and smoothies-- is a way that this brand is letting fans know that not only are they listening and engaging with them, but they also appreciate them.
It’s not about selling a product; it’s about selling a lifestyle. That’s why GNC Live Well is winning with fans on social media. The social media posts are not about pushing product to the fans, instead, they inspire a certain lifestyle with motivational quotes and images. That’s why fans are flocking to GNC’s pages.
Part of what’s working for the brand is the transparency of their pages. From showcasing their delectable pizza and fresh ingredients to having fun with sporting events and trending topics, the brand knows how to show off their product while still having fun. Marvelous photography and engaging videos give the social pages the distinctive look and feel that is unmistakably “Papa John’s Pizza.”
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK
Community is the star of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK social sites. The brand does a great job of highlighting local franchisees and locations in their posts. Using photos from around the country and posting articles about the brand’s team members shows fans that there is more to the brand than the iconic moving trucks. It’s the personalities and community highlights on the page that make this franchise brand stand out.
This brand knows how to promote the globetrotting lifestyle on their social media pages. The posts are filled with beautiful destination photography, informative videos and deals to help fans get there. The Expedia Cruise Ship Centers pages really know how to push the aspirational and help fans get one step closer to their own getaway—even if it’s just on the computer screen.
It’s not just the delicious and unexpected ice cream flavors that keep fans coming back for more on the Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page; it’s also their commitment to giving back to the community. The brand’s pages feature fantastic photos of delicious ice cream pints, BRRR-itos, and other decadent products. In addition to focusing on ice cream, the brand is using their social channels to raise awareness of issues important to the company, and the fans are responding positively.
The KFC social pages offer fans a great way to connect with the classic franchise brand and allow them find out more about various campaigns and promotions. The products offers are highlighted on the social pages and give fans an opportunity to daydream about their next order while also connecting with the brand. The KFC page keeps fans in the loop by responding to comments and questions with the Colonel’s voice in mind.
You can’t say Pizza Hut without “pizza,” and that is what you will find on the Pizza Hut social media pages. The brand with over 25 million Facebook fans, 1.2 million Twitter followers and 239,000 Instagram fans is showing off their menu and having a great time doing it. The fun, food-focused photography encourages fans to connect with both new and classic menu items. From stunning close-up shots to fun ways to whimsical pizza shapes and photos, Pizza Hut understands that millennials are a visual audience and are using that to their advantage.
Ice cream treat purveyor Dairy Queen is getting fans excited about their frosty treats on social media. The brand has found fun ways to translate their advertising campaigns into engaging social posts. During the brand’s 75th “Fanniversary,” they promoted their Blizzard treats by flipping them upside down. That translated to Facebook, where not only was the promotion front and center, but the text was also flipped upside down. It’s a great way to bridge mediums and give fans a reason to check back to see what’s new. In addition to their fun promotions, DQ is active on their social media pages and tirelessly working to help resolve any customer service issues that arise.
There is more than just Slurpees at 7-Eleven. The convenience store franchise has been able to keep fans entertained and thinking about the brand on social media by showcasing all of their products with fun photographs and great text. In addition to that, the brands pages are filled with great contests to get fans excited about large prizes, like music festival tickets.
Cinnabon is about giving the fans what they want. From showcasing drool-worthy photos on their social media pages to promoting the products you can buy at the store, the brand is all about promoting their products. It’s a pretty straightforward tactic, but when you know what your customers want, it’s a great way to keep them coming back for more.
The social media pages for The UPS Store offer fans not only information about the company, but also tips, tricks, motivational quotes and information about the business. This is a great tactic to show fans how they can use The UPS Store page as a resource for more than just the bare minimum—just like the store itself.
If one word comes to mind when looking at the Baskin-Robbins’ social pages it has to be “celebratory.” Not only does the brand place emphasis on their products during holidays and celebrations, but the page also creates a feeling that every day can be a little extra special with Baskin-Robbins. It’s the light-hearted content that pairs well with the ice cream, drinks and treats that the brand offers fans.
Sit back, relax and plan to take a moment for yourself on the Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa social sites. The massage and spa services franchise is using social media to connect with fans by promoting a healthy and relaxing lifestyle. From curating tranquil imaging to asking fans what their favorite massage is, this brand is bringing the serene spa feel to social media. In addition, there are also ample opportunities for fans to win prizes through fun contests and giveaways.
One thing that shines on CiCi’s Pizza social sites is how much they focus on their franchise locations. The posts offer up regular updates on the brand’s wide network of franchises, from announcing Grand Openings to revealing recently remodeled stores. This is a fantastic way to showcase the brand’s franchising opportunities and lets franchisees know how much the company cares.