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Social Media for Franchises: Overcoming Key Challenges

Social media marketing for franchises is challenging. While other businesses only have one account to manage, franchises must manage multiple branch accounts across large geographic areas – while maintaining brand consistency. As a result, some franchises play it safe. In these instances, social media interactions and content become sterile. The franchise avoids risk but hinders value. However, the safety gained with this strategy is short-lived. In the long-term, the most engaging and personable brands will win.

Thankfully, social media for franchises doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. In this article, we’ll look at the challenges with franchise social media management and how you can overcome them to coordinate a successful strategy.

The Importance of Social Media for Franchises 

Why is social media marketing so effective?

As always, marketers must meet consumers wherever they spend time – and people spend an average of 3 hours per day on social networks and messaging apps. Social media also provides a fantastic opportunity to engage consumers directly in a personable way. This is vital when you consider that 39% of customers only trust brands if they’ve interacted with them on social media.

Plus, social media can also heavily influence buying decisions. In a study by Curalate, 76% of consumers made a purchase after seeing a brand’s social media post.

Social Media Consumer Statistics

If that’s not enough, social media marketing is particularly useful for franchises. For example, extensive national advertising campaigns run by franchises may not directly affect branches’ bottom lines. However, a well-coordinated social media management strategy is a fantastic way to empower branches to grow their businesses themselves.

The Key Challenge for Franchises: Maintaining Consistent Brand Experiences

Consistency is key.

Much of a franchise’s power lies in its brand, brands are built on trust, and trust grows from consistency. Simple, right? Not for franchises. Here’s the problem in a nutshell:

  • If franchises don’t control the social media operations of branches, consumers will experience inconsistent brand messaging and quality.
  • However, if franchises control the social media operations of branches too much, they won’t be empowered to implement localized content strategies.

If franchises are to access the power of social media, they must find the right balance between control and empowerment. This is no easy feat. Maintaining a consistent brand experience becomes particularly difficult when you consider the logistical challenges faced. This is why franchises must find a way to effectively manage and monitor the organization’s social media marketing operations.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper.

3 Ways This Challenge Manifests and How to Overcome Them

Let’s take a closer look at three specific challenges with social media for franchises. Plus, we’ll discuss how franchises can solve these problems with franchise social media management software.

1. Scale Complicates Things

Franchises are complex entities, involving many branches spread across large geographic areas. Not only does the franchise itself need to maintain corporate social media accounts in each country, but each outlet also needs to create a localized social media presence.

A quick search on Twitter for “McDonald’s” illustrates the problem:
Twitter search result showing McDonald's huge franchise network

It gets worse. The franchise itself and every branch must also manage social media marketing efforts across multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

So, how can franchises monitor multiple branches using many social accounts on different platforms?

This incredibly complex task is made simple by franchise social media management software. For example, MavSocial’s Business and Enterprise plans provide complete monitoring and management capabilities to the franchise –  all while providing branches with an effective social media tool. Take the Post Manager feature. This allows franchises to publish social media posts to every branch social media account, on every platform, in just one click.

Example of how Franchises can use MavSocial's Post Manager to Post to multiple accounts at once

2. Content Governance is Difficult

Franchises must create detailed content guidelines to govern all social media marketing activities. Once a franchise sets the guidelines, the real task begins.

Somehow, franchises must find a way to monitor the quality of the content and direct the brand messaging for every single social media account representing the brand – all while providing branches with autonomy. This is the only way to ensure that branches operate within the brand guidelines – and as a result, maintain the integrity of the brand.

So, how can franchises overcome this challenge?

Team management tools provide franchises with the ability to implement effective content governance at scale. For example, MavSocial’s Team Management features (available on our Business and Enterprise plans) allow Super Admins to assign approval permissions to team members. As a result, franchises can set up a simple workflow to monitor and approve every branch’s social media posts. Or to put it another way, every single post from every branch would require approval before being able to publish.

MavSocial Team Management for Franchises and Franchisees to collaborate on Social Media Campaigns

This is a simple way to centralize and streamline content governance – and, consequently, improve brand consistency.

3. Providing Sufficient Resources is Challenging 

Regularly creating and sharing content is a crucial part of social media marketing for franchises. So, every branch will need to regularly create localized content that meets the branding strategies and quality guidelines created by the franchise. To meet content output needs, branches will need a body of assets and resources that provide direction and guidance. These assets should be easy to repurpose and tailor for local markets. Take this franchise social media post from KFC Canada. The content is specific to Canada, but it maintains KFC’s brand consistency by using the same colors, font, graphics, and voice.

So, how can franchises provide resources, assets, and tools that empower branches? And how can branches create local content consistently that’s within the franchise’s guidelines? One of the best ways is to create a centralized library of assets using franchise social media management software. For example, MavSocial’s Digital Library allows franchises and branches to share social media assets with other teams, or with the entire organization.

Social Media Digital Asset Management Systems help franchises keep their content in one place across multiple franchisees, teams, and geographies

Summary: Social Media Marketing for Franchise Businesses

Franchise social media marketing isn’t easy, but the potential benefits make it well worth the investment.

When developing a marketing strategy for franchise businesses, remember:

  • Franchises must monitor and control branch social media operations to maintain a consistent brand experience.
  • Branches must be empowered and given a degree of autonomy so they can create tailor-made localized content to market the business effectively.

Finally, to harness the power of social media marketing, franchises must overcome significant logistical and managerial challenges. Thankfully, franchises can overcome these challenges with specialist franchise social media management software, such as MavSocial.

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