A good social media campaign will act as a very powerful brand building and recruitment tool for start-up franchisors (or those thinking of franchising their businesses in the next year or so).
One of the first things I look at when a prospective franchisor approaches me is a good brand image (or at least the beginnings of one). The next thing I look at or question is its impact on the customer target market (is it well understood; is it well respected; is it something they will tell their friends about; etc).
For any small business trying to build a brand, it is very clear from the outset that very few can afford to spend a ton of money on marketing and advertising to get their brand in the forefront of the consumer’s mind. Now, with the advent of social media and its prevalence in the new generation of consumer – growing a brand couldn’t be easier. Of course it still takes careful planning, design and message architecture, so please don’t minimise the importance of that!
Now – where do you start? What kinds of social media should you be using? Well – it does depend a bit on what your target audience is:
1) As a franchisor
(i.e. which prospective franchisees do you want to attract), and
2) As a business
(i.e. the target customer of the product or service).
The things I would suggest you look into are:
BLOGGING: This is an often misunderstood platform and a lot of people fear it because they think that they have to be writers to do it. Not so. I mean – yes its important to not make huge grammatical and spelling errors because this will lead to an unprofessional reflection on you and your business by default. The thing about blogging is h however two-fold: the number of blogger readers in the world is staggering (we are talking in the 100’s of millions) and Google loves the constantly changing and rich content. For some blogging tips have a read of this article – Top Ten Easy Steps to Starting a Business Blog – by Denise Wiseman.
Denise rightly says : ” Blogging should be one of the cores of your business. It should be right in the middle of your social media mix—the bulls-eye, the main target.”
FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE: This is VERY important to set up and I mean VERY important. If you don’t already have a presence on Facebook, then I strongly suggest you get started today. Again – please pay attention to your brand, your message and what you want to get out of the exercise. If you want to know more about what Facebook is about have a listen to my podcast here and it you need tips on how to get started on Facebook, think about buying some very easy to understand guides by Kirsty Wilson of Interim Business Solutions…click here.
Through this Facebook Business (Fan) Page you will be able to engage with an audience, find out what people think about your brand, and run recruitment campaigns for new franchisees! Never minimise the importance of creating (and sustaining) a buzz about your brand or business culture.
I think to start, these two major platforms are good to go with, I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much in one go! As a business you will also need to look into Twitter and some of the social news bookmark mediums – but we’ll save that for another time!
Do let me know how you get on!
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