It may have started as a fun way to pass the time, but today’s social media environment provides one of the best forms of advertisement for modern businesses. It reaches users of all kinds, including potential franchisees. Social media offers several advantages if you want to convince people to become franchisees for your organization. It’s affordable, easy to use, and full of resources.

Still, you’ll need to know how to use it effectively. Each platform excels in different areas, and social media advertising differs from posting, though both have their place. If used correctly, social media can drastically improve your ability to reach and attract more franchisees.

5 most popular social media platforms for franchisors

Popular Social Media Platforms for Franchisors

Before we discuss using social media for franchise advertising, let’s review the major platforms and their differences. Understanding your options can help you choose the best ones for your audience. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok are some of the most common platforms, each offering unique features and user demographics. Understanding these specialties can help you create more targeted content and maximize your platform reach.

1. Facebook

Facebook was one of the first social media websites to take the world by storm. As of January 2023, it had¬†almost three billion monthly active users. It’s infamous all over the planet, especially in places like India, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. Although Facebook is still largely populated by younger crowds‚ÄĒprimarily in the 25-34 age range‚ÄĒit appeals to all age groups.

Popular ad formats on Facebook include photos and videos in the user’s feed and stories that take up the whole screen, showing up between user-generated stories. Posts are also highly versatile, as you can share photos, videos, links, slideshows, and much more when using Facebook for franchises.

2. Twitter

Twitter is another social media behemoth focusing on short, text-based updates. According to one estimate, 7.4% of all eligible people worldwide use Twitter. That number includes people over 13 who do not live in China, where the platform is blocked. Advertisers can potentially reach 372.9 million users.

Posts on Twitter, called Tweets, can include text, photos, videos, links, and hashtags, which are used to tag a post as being related to a specific topic. For example, a basketball game might have hashtags with the team names. Twitter has a significant focus on news, often issued directly from journalists and organizations. Using Twitter for franchise advertising can be a great way to connect with specific communities.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a career-focused platform designed for networking with other professionals in your field. As of April 2023, marketers could see a¬†potential reach of 922.3 million users¬†on LinkedIn ads. This platform has a relatively even distribution of women and men, with most users in the 25-34 age bracket. The 18-24 and 35-54 age brackets have about a fifth of LinkedIn’s users.

Unlike most other platforms, LinkedIn is almost solely dedicated to building careers, so your audience is likely already in the mindset of pursuing new business opportunities. You can create regular posts, place ads on the user’s feeds, put sponsored messages in a user’s inbox, or incorporate ads on the side of the page.

One unique way to promote your franchise on LinkedIn is with thought leadership. By publishing articles that show off your expertise, you can position yourself as a trusted partner and get your name out there.

4. Instagram

Instagram is an image- and video-based platform owned by the same company as Facebook. It has over two billion monthly active users, 60% of whom are 18-34 years old. Many users post personal updates, and influencers are popular on Instagram, promoting products through their content. Companies might post photos of their products, graphics to promote deals, or videos highlighting their process or team culture.

When using Instagram for franchises, you can make standard posts, which include photos, videos, and carousels with multiple images or videos. As with Facebook, you can place Instagram ads in the user’s feed or between stories, which are full-screen videos or photos, only visible for 24 hours. Reels are similar but stay up forever, like a regular post.

You might find Instagram a good match if you have a franchise focused on aesthetics, such as a photography studio or a wellness workshop. As a platform driven by visuals, its users often appreciate high-quality stylistic content. Still, it’s used by many people for different purposes, and its demographic tools can help you find the right audience.

5. TikTok

Like all of the apps on our list, TikTok is hugely popular. In 2023, it¬†had 113.2 million users¬†in the United States alone. It focuses on short-form videos, often accompanied by music. You’ll see skits, dances, educational content, clips from larger pieces of content, storytelling, and many other types of content.

One aspect that makes TikTok stand out is its young user base. As of September 2022, most content creators were 18-24 years old, contributing to TikTok’s popularity among Generation Z and Millennials. Keep this audience in mind when using TikTok for franchise ads. Videos tend to be more lighthearted, so this platform could be a great way to promote a fun franchise like a toy store, donut shop, or cafe.

How Franchisors Can Leverage Social Media

Social media offers a lot more than just an advertising space. It’s a place to engage with your audience ‚ÄĒ¬†in this case, people who could open a franchise. It can also help you develop your brand image. First, it’s important to note the difference between paid advertisements and posting content:

  • Standard posts:¬†When you have an account on these social media platforms, you can post content like anyone else. Depending on the platform and your following, this content might get significant reach, but it might not. You could post organizational news, link to articles on your company blog, or highlight an outstanding franchisee. These posts are free to make, but increasing reach might call for tactics like using hashtags or having users share your post.
  • Advertisements:¬†The other option is to use advertisements. Ads often look similar to regular posts because they’re designed to look cohesive to the user. The difference is that you pay for these posts to get pushed to specific audiences, and you may have access to particular formats. Many platforms also give you comprehensive analytics with advertisements to help you learn more about your strategies.

Boosting posts make them function like an ad

Using Ads on Social Media

Some platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, let you promote or “boost” a standard post, making it function more like an ad. It will appear on users’ feeds but still looks like a regular post, sometimes with text marking it as boosted content. Most businesses do best with a healthy mix of organic posts and paid advertisements. Your ads help you reach more people, while posts develop your brand image and help you engage with customers.

Ads can also help you differentiate your content for potential franchisees from content for customers. If you don’t want to fill your company’s profile with posts about opening a franchise, you could put this messaging in ads, which will only show up to the specified audience.

Using ads involves more than making regular posts because you’ll need to choose who to target and how you’ll pay for the ads. Most platforms guide you through the process. For example, the Facebook Ads Manager asks you to choose an objective, such as brand awareness, engagement, or conversions, so that it can make suggestions accordingly.

Next, configure your target audience. It might take some trial and error, but you have many options. Analyze the demographics of your existing franchisees, looking at factors like age, gender, income, and hobbies. Targeting similar people can help you focus on the most qualified prospects.

Pricing varies between platforms, but you’ll typically set your budget and the timeframe for which you want to run the ad. The platform will keep delivering your ad to customers until it meets the budget. You can choose from many different pricing structures. It’s worth¬†learning more about your options¬†if you plan to invest heavily in social media advertising.

With these different posts defined, let’s look at some of the ways you can use social media for franchises.

A phone screen with several social media apps on it

Social Media Leads

A great way to use franchise social media marketing is to generate leads. As you reach more people with posts and ads, you can facilitate deeper connections and urge people to take action. You might end a post by telling people to message you directly, or you could push an ad that links to a webpage with more information on opening a franchise location.

Social media’s expansive reach and diverse formats are ideal for generating leads, especially with granular audience targeting capabilities, which you can use to find more potential customers who wouldn’t otherwise see your brand.

Generating leads relies on collecting information. In other types of advertising, users might have to go through many steps to give you their information, like finding your website and filling out a form. Social media makes it much easier for them to connect with you. Your posts appear on their feeds, and their details are ready to share from their profiles. Between comments on posts, direct messages, phone numbers, and links to your website, social media lets users reach you in many ways.

Social media also helps you make the most of your leads through nurturing and conversion. It can nurture leads by helping you build relationships with them and support conversion with relevant, natural prompts. Use your calls to action to spur people along in the sales journey.

With so many ways to use social media, keeping track of leads can get complex. Use a franchise management platform with resources to manage your social media interactions. Good management is essential for following through with all of your leads and effectively guiding them through the sales funnel.

Tracking Performance and ROI

Most social media platforms offer analytics tools to help you understand your performance and maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your ad spending. Like other analytics platforms, these tools collect data on how users interact with your posts ‚ÄĒ¬†whether organic posts or paid ads ‚ÄĒ and generate metrics you can track. You can use these metrics to assess your progress toward specific goals.

For instance, if you use social media to increase engagement, you could monitor the number of views your posts typically get. You might also track conversion rates to attract potential franchisees based on how often users contact you after seeing an ad. Metrics can ultimately tell you if your tactics are working. If not, they might point you in the right direction.

Some of the areas in which you can benefit from social media marketing for franchises include:

  • ROI:¬†If you spend time on social media, paid or not, you want to know that it works. Metrics can accomplish this task. They can help you show the efficacy of your social media activity to stakeholders by displaying exactly how many people your ads and posts reach.
  • Decision-making:¬†Metrics can provide insights into your content’s performance, allowing you to change strategies if necessary. They point you in the right direction and guide you toward better results.
  • Social listening:¬†A more qualitative way to assess social media activity is to track common topics being discussed. Pay attention to the conversation. The insights might help you improve your offerings or learn more about your audience. For example, you might know that many franchisees are confused about how opening a store works. Making¬†content that explains the process¬†could help push them toward franchising and boost conversions.

While social media platforms offer insights into your performance on that platform, they don’t show you the bigger picture. Plus, navigating to the individual platforms can be time-consuming and cumbersome. A¬†franchise social media management system¬†can pull data from all your social media platforms, providing a comprehensive picture that lets you drill down into specific platforms and demographics. FranConnect, for instance, can integrate data from all major social media platforms to help you plan your outreach and engage more potential franchisees.

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Finding potential franchisees can be difficult, but social media offers the ideal environment for reaching new people. With granular targeting capabilities and various format options, social media can help you generate high-quality leads and grow your franchise. Managing multiple platforms and types of advertising is a great way to cover your bases, but you need the right resources for tracking performance and nurturing leads across platforms.

FranConnect is a comprehensive franchise management system with many social media tools to help collect metrics, identify your target audience, track leads, and more. Integrate your franchise’s social media platforms to see the whole picture and meet your goals.¬†Request your demo today¬†to see FranConnect in action and learn more about how it can help you tackle social media management.

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