We’ve already talked about how to handle the most current and pressing concern facing most businesses; the COVID 19 pandemic, but it’s also important to be ahead of the curve no matter what challenges you’re facing, and always be thinking about future opportunities. If you’re just starting out in the world of franchises, it can be difficult to know how to make your own mark and lead the way when it comes to the progression of the brand as a whole, so we’re here to tell you how social media can be a great first step. Social media can be daunting but it really is where the future lies for businesses, so let’s consider how you can use these platforms, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, to your advantage as a franchisee.

 

Recruitment

LinkedIn may be best known for it’s networking opportunities, essentially being social media for professionals, but did you know that it can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to recruitment too? As a franchisee, finding the best employees can be one of the most challenging aspect of running your business, but luckily LinkedIn can make it really easy for you. 

Professionals from almost all industries can set up a profile on LinkedIn and these profiles contain all the information you could possibly need to know about their working history. They can list the roles they’ve had and the responsibilities these involved, their qualifications to date, and even their goals for the future, making it really straight forward for you to calculate their suitability as potential staff. All you have to do is search for what you’re looking for, whether that’s specific  skills, location, experience or anything else, and you’ll be given a list of relevant people. 

40 million people use linkedin to search for jobs each week, so it is fast becoming the go-to place for people looking for work. By setting up your own page all about your business, those looking for roles in companies such as yours can also find and reach out to you; cutting your recruitment costs even more.

 

Exposure

As well as being a handy recruitment tool, LinkedIn is a great way to raise awareness of your business. The more you invest, the more exposure you could have, but remember, it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to posting on this social media platform, in fact,  83% of marketers believe the quality of social media posts is more important than the quantity. Once you’ve set up an informative page about your business, try creating and sharing some useful content which could catch the eye of potential customers and colleagues. The more useful a contribution you make to the platform, the more likely it is that you will appear in search results and home pages. 

Similarly, you could also use Twitter to get you and your business well into the public eye. Although Twitter is more of a social platform than LinkedIn, you can expect to see more meaningful, content-heavy contributions from its users than, say, instagram which is more image-based. As a result, Twitter gives you the opportunity to become well known and respected within your industry, leading to a high follower count and, therefore, a ready and waiting potential customer base. Who knows, you could even go viral and become a trending topic worldwide and this kind of exposure is priceless for the success of your franchise. 

 

An Expert in Your Field

If you want to take this a step further, you could strive to become known as an expert in your field, online. Whether that’s on LinkedIn or Twitter, becoming the go-to person for advice on certain topics can lead to a huge leap in the reputation of your business. The more well-known you become, the more of an audience you will have for new product releases or news you want to share.

 

Reputation

How you present yourself and your business on social media can really help to mould and boost its reputation. It provides a platform for expression which you have complete control over, so though this you get to decide how your franchise comes across, as well as the kind of people it attracts, not to mention how many of them! 

The best way to add value to your business on social media is to show how passionate you are about your venture, as this lends weight to its integrity and, therefore, reliability. It’s not often we see the real people behind a business; they tend to be faceless entities, so it’s easy to stand out from the crowd by forging a personal connection with potential customers through social media. 

 

Insider Scoop

Adding onto this; having an online presence allows your followers to feel that they have information that the general public don’t, which, in turn, results in an investment and forges a relationship with them. It’s a way to get closer to customers and keep them on-side.  These insights, depending on what you choose them to be, can allow others to see firsthand what the benefits of working with you could be, which is a much better alternative to simply hoping that your reputation does the talking.

 

SEO

Another big benefit to using social media for your business, is the fact it will boost your standing in terms of SEO. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of ensuring that you are as high as possible on google search result pages, for searches relating to what your business has to offer. It is key when it comes to successful marketing and having a presence on social media will certainly help with this.

Having social media pages gives your company credibility as it shows that it is a genuine entity. It also shows that you deem your business worthy of this level of investment, and an openness towards communication from customers in this way proves that you have nothing to fear from their feeedback. Additionally, the more engagement your pages receive, the more reputable the google algorithm will consider your business, therefore allowing for SEO. 

 

Communication 

Arguably the most important point of all is that social media, beyond anything else, is built to be a communication platform. When it comes to social media and business, it is a fantastic way to touch base with your customers and gain insight into what your market is looking for. For example, you can post polls to find out what kind of products would be most popular among your audience; minimising risk for future product launches. You can also welcome feedback from customers which helps you to make adjustments to the services and products you offer. Furthermore, you can share positive reviews to boost your reputation, which will also provide you with what I am sure is some much needed motivation at times. 

LinkedIn is also known for providing a space for a higher level of communication. So as well as conversing with customers, you can also expect to have opportunities to interact with other businesses in your industry; sharing tips and insights into the future, as well as potential colleagues. Building relationships with other business owners can, thanks to how effective a networking platform social media like LikedIn is, lead to a referral system. Other businesses will refer you to their contacts and you will refer them to yours, thus creating a chain of opportunity for you to benefit from. 

 

B2B

This brings me to my next point. Social media enables many B2B business opportunities. In fact, 

67% of all b2b businesses are using twitter as a digital marketing tool, meaning that they are logging on with the sole purpose of connecting with other companies that they can collaborate with in ways that are mutually beneficial. For example, through social media you could become aware of and come to an arrangement with a financial service who could benefit your business.

There are multiple benefits to bringing social media into your business strategy as a franchisee. Not only can it help you recruit the best staff, it also offers opportunities for exposure and improving your reputation. Furthermore, it can boost your SEO and help you to win over new customers. Lastly, it allows you to collaborate with like minded business owners in order to improve your prospects.   

However, no matter how much of an advantage joining social media can be, you may feel held back by your lack of experience or ability in this area. But don’t worry, there’s a solution to this, as you can easily and affordably outsource the management of your social media pages to a third party like Cymphony, who are experts in social media strategy. You can hire their help on a temporary or long term basis, and you only have to pay for the time you need rather than hiring expensive new employees. So, what’s stopping you now?

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