Sometimes when you look at a Facebook page or the Twitter feed of a major national or international brand, it’s hard to look past the well-established branding, creative imagery and the millions of “likes” or followers. The sheer audience size and engagement frequency that big brands are able to create and maintain can be a daunting challenge for franchise owners thinking about taking the plunge into social media marketing. No need to fret, some of the most recognizable franchise brands implement basic principles that any organization can practice to build a thriving social media community. Here are a few of our favorites.
Subway, a top international franchise, is consistently a top performer in the entrepreneurial world. With over 19 million likes on their Facebook page and one million Twitter followers, they must be doing something right with social media, too. A basic principle that we discuss with our clients is the importance of content other than routine product info and company news. The chain sandwich shop certainly understands the value of original content. Subway features a Customer Appreciation Month campaign to recognize faithful customers, as well as capitalizing on timely posts and posing questions to the audience.
Similarly, Dunkin’ Donuts, is not only is one of the top five international franchise brands, but is also a top social media performer. They run a Fan of the Week campaign that invites DD fans to submit photos for a chance to appear in DD’s digital billboard in Times Square. They are also running a sweepstakes capitalizing on the holiday season and their newest product: Keurig K-Cups, offering free K-Cups for six months and the grand prize: $2500 towards a home payment. Timely campaigns that are simple in nature, but offer huge incentives, are fun and exciting ways to entice your audience and keep them engaged.
7-Eleven was so successful at building its own brand page that it developed a popular, comedic page for the infamous 7-Eleven Slurpee. While the Slurpee fan page continues to grow like wildfire, the same continues for the 7-Eleven page through a variety of fundamental practices even small business owners can implement. For instance, through “Facebook Fan Page Outreach”, 7-Eleven exchanges Facebook coverage by featuring partners’ Facebook pages, such as Coca-Cola in this instance. Doing so creates a cross-pollination effect between Facebook pages. They also engage with community members by posing questions and posting timely content such as this “end of the world” post on Dec. 21, the supposed last day of the world according to the Mayan calendar.
Franchises offer business owners the freedom to open and operate a business under the umbrella of a larger brand. The umbrella can sometimes offer a boost in an over-saturated industry, a marketing advantage and infrastructure support. Social media is a great tool for franchise owners because it offers you the opportunity to engage with your local audience under the recognition of a much larger brand. After all, social media marketing allows you to communicate directly with your customer and what brand, whether big or small, wouldn’t want that?