5 Quick and Simple Ways to Boost Your Franchise’s Social Media Following
Posted by Martin Greenbaum
February 6, 2013

You’ve probably heard a lot recently about how social media is becoming more important to businesses’ marketing efforts.  Though it might seem like a fun distraction that just happens to be associated with your brand, in reality there are many different purposes these channels can serve.  Services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest can be utilized for reputation management, customer service, branding, PR, and even direct marketing.

Unfortunately, posting on social media channels can be a waste of time if your following remains small.  The greater your follower base, the greater the chances are that your message will be seen and shared with others.  Thus, it’s important to actively increase the size of your audience to insure that your network of listeners continues to grow.  The goal is to build a presence that gradually increases the value, legitimacy, and reach of your brand.

Here are a few easy ways to do this:

  • Internal encouragement- I know this seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes getting all of your employees to go “like” and follow your business on all social channels can be like herding cats.  Send out an email with a link to all of your accounts and make it clear that this needs to be done.  Don’t make people create personal accounts, but for the people that do have accounts, there’s no reason not to comply.  Also, ask your team to invite their friends to these pages. Most people are willing to take two seconds to help out a buddy in need.
  • Customers- The most valuable followers you can have are actual customers.  You can build your chances of repeat business and communicate new deals or other promotions to the people who are most likely to take advantage of them. Make sure you have social icons easily visible on your homepage, and make it quite evident in multiple places in your store that you’ve got a social media presence.  Offering coupons to those that “like” you is a simple, effective way to incentivize people to actually follow through on this.
  • Tit-for-tat- On Twitter especially, it’s really quite easy to garner new followers.  Just search for specific organizations and big personalities in your industry and follow as many of them as possible.  Most of the time, these accounts will follow you back out of courtesy.  You can also try businesses in your area, charity organizations you work with, and even celebrities, as getting retweeted by an account with a massive following can do wonders for building your own audience.
  • Utilize promoted posts- Facebook and Twitter both give you the option to automatically increase the reach of your posts quite significantly, provided you’re willing to shell out a little bit for it.  For major announcements and promotions, it makes sense to pay for promotion, especially if your audience isn’t very big to begin with. Like Google AdWords, you can set your own budget and target customers geographically. Usually, you can increase the number of people who see the posts exponentially with only a few hundred dollars, and sometimes much less.
  • Run a campaign-  This last one is slightly less “quick and simple” than the others, but it still doesn’t require too much work and usually has the most significant effects.  What seems to be a very effective initiative is the donation campaign strategy.  Team your franchise up with a local non-profit and offer to donate $1 to the organization for every new like, follower, retweet, or share that your business gets in a given period of time (a few weeks to a month is usually sufficient).  It’s great PR and it works really well.  And of course, you’re helping a good cause while you’re at it.

 

If you don’t have a dedicated social media guru, take a few minutes once a week or so to make sure your following is growing.  It’s fun. It’s easy. And it can provide real value for your business at no or very little cost to you.

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dwalter@weintraubadv.com said
September 2, 2014 - Happy reading ahead