Having your franchisees manage their own social media accounts can be both beneficial, and challenging. If managed well, they can drive sales and spread your messaging. If managed poorly, they can cause an avalanche of damages ranging from brand disconnect, to full on PR crisis.
We’ve laid out the pros and cons of allowing franchisees to have social accounts. If you have decided that this works for your business, then the next step to having a successful campaign is creating social media guidelines for your employees and community managers. Creating a social media marketing guide is incredibly useful, but developing it is no easy feat. (This goes back to our previous post that discusses 5 Reasons to Hire an Agency for Digital Management, but I digress.)
Here is a short glimpse into what developing a social media marketing guide would look like.
- Develop a Consistent Image: Your image, be it your logo or any creative you have on your social media accounts (cover photos, backgrounds, etc.) represent who you are. If your brand image is not consistent across all of your social media platforms and accounts, the power of your message is lost.
- Profile Picture: Make sure that your employees are aware of the approved profile picture for both Facebook and Twitter. This simple step will help the brand image resonate with your customers.
- Cover Photos for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube: Too many times have we seen community managers post their own cover-photos which are blown out, blurry images, that are completely off brand. You can manage this by having standard cover-photos for your community members to choose from. Communicating this with your employees help ensure they will follow guidelines.
- Set The Tone: Setting proper tone for your franchisee social accounts is just as important as having one for your corporate account. If your community managers are writing content that does not sound like your company, your message will be lost. You want to determine exactly what your community managers are allowed to post, how you want them to say it, and how much local vs. corporate content you want them to share. The tone of the accounts should sound like your brand, but have the flare of the local franchisee. It is a fine line to walk on.
- Train Your Community Managers: One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to managing franchisee social accounts is the idea that anyone can do it. Unfortunately, we see way too many businesses allowing their employees to run company social accounts like their own person accounts. Training your community managers will not only enlighten them on how important social media marketing is for the brand, it will also make them feel as if they have a bigger role in the company.
Having a cohesive social media marketing guideline will catapult your online marketing into success. So many companies have beautifully managed corporate accounts, but fall short on local franchisee accounts. The idea is to always stay on brand, but add individual content to create a unique, and personal experience for your local customer.