The struggle to keep franchisees’ social media and online reviews on-brand
By Mike Georgoff, Chief Product Officer
It’s challenging to create a comprehensive social media and reputation strategy for one business, and marketers for franchise networks know it’s even more difficult to set up a strategy that masters micro-moments for the brand overall, as well as individual franchisees located across the country.
For brand networks, their biggest battle is establishing an authentic brand identity for their corporate location and ensuring that brand is reflected at the franchisee level, while at the same time, maintaining each individual location’s local feel.
So, how can marketers create a strategy where the brand network’s franchisees are authentic and on-brand, but also localized and genuine? How can they be certain that every customer service request and review is answered in a way that will resonate with the local community it serves? Marketers first need to overcome these 4 main challenges:
Challenge #1: Posting authentic, localized content for each franchisee
Marketers need to implement a comprehensive content strategy for each franchisee’s pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Bob’s Gym — Cincinnati and Bob’s Gym — Cleveland should both contain content that come from corporate across these platforms (like graphics, information, and news), but marketers should have a content calendar in place for each franchisee (in line with corporate brand, style, voice and content guidelines). These calendars will indicate what localized content for local fans and followers should be posted on what days to increase the maximum amount of engagement. Since local fans are the target audience for each franchisee, marketers should be monitoring when these fans interact most with franchisee’s social posts to reach potential new customers in the community as well.
Note: Main Street Hub can become a distribution engine for corporate level content as well as a content creation engine for local content. More info about how we help franchisors here.
Challenge #2: Entrusting franchisees with local social media content
When maintaining the online presence of franchisees, marketers for brand networks might think it’s a good idea to assign designated team members at each location to post on social media — with the support of corporate guidelines, templates, and an image library of approved graphics. But, this can be difficult if these team members aren’t experts at using social media for marketing and don’t understand why posting on social media is essential for the brand.
It’s also incredibly difficult to quality control — franchisees could use the wrong fonts, inappropriate posts, off-brand images or gifs, and much more. This unknown factor is what marketers fear most, since they are there to ensure consistency across the board in order to align with the brand’s voice and message.
Having a marketing strategy from corporate and entrusting local marketers at the franchisee level might not be enough to distribute and monitor quality content.
Note: Main Street Hub empowers franchisors to execute their brand vision and strategy at the local franchisee level, across thousands of social media touchpoints — blending brand compliance and local authenticity to power an exceptional digital consumer experience.
Challenge #3: Responding to reviews for each franchisee
One of the hardest things for marketers to keep consistent across franchisees are review pages. Feedback on these sites can often be charged, and situations can escalate quickly, especially if an appropriate response is not issued in a timely manner. Plus, one negative occurrence at one location or miscommunication on the part of one franchisee owner can affect other franchisees and reach all the way to corporate.
Marketers need to ensure that their brand networks have a reputation management strategy in place that trickles down to each franchisee in order to handle these incidents and keep each response on each page in line with the overall brand.
Similar to Challenge #2 above, it may seem like the best idea to leave review responses up to each franchisee. But if it’s risky to allow franchisee team members to take the reins for local social media accounts, it’s even riskier to allow team members, who are often not customer service experts, to be the voice of the company. This is true because responses are public, and ultimately affect the brand’s overall image and reputation.
For instance, what if one franchisee responds to a negative review in an offensive or inappropriate manner? That could escalate onto other channels and affect how the public sees not just franchisee, but the overall brand. Marketers need to ensure that they are protecting their brand networks’ reputation 24/7 for each location.
Note: Main Street Hub’s deep understanding of the franchise landscape helps brand networks increase successful and sincere interactions with their customer base.
Challenge #4: Handling franchisees’ customer service requests on social media
As more consumers turn to social media for their customer service requests, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers for brand networks to keep up. When marketers are controlling all franchisees’ customer requests on social media, it can feel like too many are coming in too quickly to manage properly and respond skillfully.
In fact, a majority of consumers report using Twitter and Facebook for customer service requests, and 33% of consumers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than calling a business. If these communications are ignored or mishandled, that can cause negative perception for the franchisee and its brand network overall.
Here’s an example from Kogneta showing how a franchisee neglecting a negative comment on social media can affect the overall brand — they point to this example from a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee’s Facebook page:
“Dunkin’ Donuts allows individual franchises to have accounts and this specific account is for a location in New York with a small following of 209 people. As you can see, a regular post was made by the location and then received a negative comment about that location, but from there the situation spread and people began to comment on Dunkin’ Donuts as a whole. It received 59 shares and not one comment from Dunkin’ Donuts. The corporate Facebook account would have been better prepared to do damage control, but instead this franchisee page didn’t even acknowledge it, which reflects upon the brand as a whole.”
Every review, message, and mention on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram present new challenges for marketers, since each one has the power to influence consumers and their perspective, not just on the brand of their local franchisee, but the corporate brand presence across the board.
Note: Main Street Hub empower franchises with our one-of-a-kind technology to find, engage, and delight their customers, at both the brand and local level.
Challenge: The battle for brand authenticity at the local level
Solution: Main Street Hub
We’ve got you covered. We’ll take the brand network corporate vision and strategy and execute it across the network, across channels, with the right blend of brand compliance and local authenticity.
We’ll be at IFA 2018 at Booth 556, ready to chat with franchise professionals about the challenges franchises face in the world of social media and online reviews — and we’ll how we can take all of those challenges off your plate, for good.
Read the full press release on the launch of Main Street Hub’s new solution for franchise networks and learn more on our blog here.
Ready to partner with us? Get started with us here.
Creating beautiful designs both inside and outside the office
Our Content Team at Main Street Hub specializes in representing our small business customers’ voice and brand authentically online. Our Content Specialists, who are an essential part of our Content Team, have an incredible knack for creating eye-catching, on-brand designs and an unwavering drive to produce quality content for our customers.
Laura Kraay, Content Specialist, Email and Customer Requests, has a skill for creating high-quality designs both inside and outside the office — in her free time, she creates beautiful illustrations and cards that tell a story and make people smile. Right now, her literary valentines are big sellers ahead of Valentine’s Day. We sat down with Laura to chat about her Etsy shop and what she hopes her cards will bring to Valentine’s shoppers for this upcoming holiday.
What’s your shop called and what do you sell?
“My shop is called Laura Kraay Designs and although these cards have been around for years, I just began to sell on Etsy. It’s been so much fun to bring this project to life!”
What’s your favorite thing about being a virtual local business owner?
“I love creating cards that can tell a personal story or capture something about a relationship. In some purchase orders, people will tell me the reason they picked the specific card for a specific friend. It’s such a gift to receive a piece of their story.”
Where do you get inspiration from?
“A designer that inspired me is Emily McDowell. Her empathy cards answer the conundrum of ‘what to say when you don’t know what to say.’ Of course, I’m also a sucker for any sort of literary pun.”
Do you have a favorite illustrator?
“I’m constantly wowed by how Liana Finck can capture complex emotions in seemingly simple drawings.”
What’s a favorite illustration of yours?
“My favorite is a Gwendolyn Brooks valentine I made. ‘We Real Cool’ is one of the first poems I fell in love with, so it felt fitting for it to become a valentine.”
What do you hope your cards will do for buyers this Valentine’s Day?
“I hope they’ll bring a smile! I love extending the boundaries of giving Valentine’s cards beyond significant others. I think all the loved ones, from grandmothers to college roommates, should know that they’re appreciated.”
Find Laura’s shop on Etsy and Instagram for valentines for all your loved ones!
Want to be a part of the Main Street Hub Team? Apply here!
As love fills the air with the fragrance of dark chocolates, crisp perfumes, and fresh bouquets, it’s hard not to notice that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Many will be on the hunt for the perfect gift for their loved ones, and with the right strategy, your business can be top-of-mind when their search begins.
With so much revenue going toward jewelry this time of year, we’re here to help your business use social media as a tool to increase awareness and bring in new customers.
Use these three tips to charm shoppers into checking out your business this Valentine’s Day.
1. Run a contest on Instagram
Contests are incredibly useful when it comes to increasing engagement and awareness on Instagram. Many are designed to incentivize users to comment on the post, tag friends, or follow the page for a chance to win the prize. This instantly boosts interaction and gives many new consumers the chance to fall in love with your business.
This post from a jewelry boutique is a great example of how you might go about setting up your contest.
Getting positive feedback on review sites like Facebook, Google, and Yelp is not only flattering as a business owner, but it’s extremely valuable to other consumers. In fact,88% of consumers claim to trust review recommendations as personal recommendations. For that reason, if someone leaves a positive review for your business this season, share it on your page! You’ll be thanking that friendly customer for their feedback while potentially matchmaking your business with a new customer.
You could post your testimonial in the form of a graphic like this jeweler did:
3. Make connections on Twitter
Twitter is a great platform for conducting casual conversations with potential customers. If you notice someone in your area talking about your field of expertise (like diamonds, birthstone necklaces, or tennis bracelets), reach out and start a conversation with them! Whether it’s a short chat or a longer series of engagement, you’re putting your name on their radar just in time for Valentine’s Day.
You’ll see below how a custom jeweler was able to bring in a new customer through a simple conversation.
With these three tips at the ready, you’ll be better at making connections than Cupid himself.
Want to partner with Main Street Hub? Click here to get started with us today.
How Marketers Can Win New Customers for Each Franchisee
By Sarah Milbrath, Product Marketing Manager
Marketers know that mobile marketing is an indispensable part of doing business in today’s world as more and more consumers turn to their smartphones to check their social networks, check out brands and businesses, and, most importantly, buy.
When a consumer turns to their mobile phone to take action on whatever they need or want in that moment, that’s called a micro-moment — a term coined by the Think With Google team. Micro-moments are changing how consumers make purchasing decisions, which is why it’s more important than ever for marketers to own each and every one.
By 2020, it’s expected that 186.3 million people in the U.S. will use smartphones to access social media
This shift in behavior has compressed the consumer decision journey from days, to hours, to just seconds — which means at any given moment, marketers could be winning or losing customers for their brand networks. As a marketer, you may have a clear vision and strategy for your brand network, but executing it across each franchisee’s multiple channels and social platforms, with the right blend of consistency and local authenticity, is incredibly challenging.
As a marketer for a brand network with multiple franchisees, micro-moments are happening across your network, and you may be missing out on the opportunity to capture them at the local level.
Just think about this stat: 88% of consumers who search for local businesses on mobile either call or visit that business within 24 hours, according to Nectafy.
Marketers can win these micro-moments by ensuring that each franchisee has a presence on social media, (separate from the corporate page), that they are posting compelling and useful information on those pages, and that they are swiftly answering requests, comments, and concerns across those social platforms.
Follow these 3 steps to win micro-moments:
Be there: This is simple — marketers should ensure that brand networks are where their customers are so they don’t miss a micro-moment. It’s essential that each franchisee has an established presence on the social platforms consumers are spending their time on like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and review sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor.
Regular customers think of the franchisee they visit most frequently as their location. They want to interact with the business they visit every day, not just the corporate Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page — so be there to engage with them.
2. Be useful: Marketers need to make sure that each franchisee is posting compelling content across its pages and sharing information its customers want to know. Through relevant and interesting content, franchisees can make it easy for their customers to stay up-to-date on all of the news, events, specials, and promotions for their locations and choose their business at every micro-moment.
According to MarketingSherpa, 95% of millennials (ages 18–34) are likely follow a brand on social media for incentives like a gift cards and discounts, and so they can contact the business quickly and directly if a problem, concern, or question arises.
3. Be quick: Every interaction is a micro-moment in the making, so when a customer reaches out to a franchisee with an issue via social media, marketers need to make certain that the franchisees are there for them in that moment. The longer the delay, the more likely the franchisee is to lose that customer.
Using social media for customer service requests is on the rise. In fact, 67% of consumers now utilize Twitter and Facebook for questions, comments, and concerns, and, 71% of consumers who have had a positive customer service experience on social media with a brand are likely to recommend that brand to others.
Customer service requests provide marketers with an opportunity to master micro-moments like responding to a question or comment, and that action in turn can help spread the word about the franchisee to bring customers in the door.
It’s clear that marketers can master these micro-moments by ensuring that franchisees are present on the platforms that matter, are engaging with the community, and are responding quickly to deepen relationships with loyal fans and win new customers — and these micro-moments all add up to make a big impact for their brand network clients.
Want to learn more about how to master micro-moments?
Come see us atIFA 2018 (The International Franchise Association Conference) at Booth 556.
We’re looking forward to discussing the changing behaviors of consumers in today’s mobile-first world and what franchises can do to win every micro-moment.
Read the full press release on the launch of Main Street Hub’s new solution for franchise networks and learn more on our blog here.
As a reputation management pioneer, Nick has the inside scoop on all things Reputation Management. This blog will focus on Reputation, practices, technologies, providers and re-shared content from some of the preeminent players in the industry. We hope you enjoy!