Being in business “for yourself, but not by yourself” is the classic allure of franchise ownership. Buying a franchise means buying into proven systems and processes, with a team that’s there for you every step of the way. From your marketing to your operations, you have a plan for starting and growing your business right from the get-go.
What’s not always immediately evident within those systems and processes are the franchise social media best practices. When we start working with clients, one of the first things we’ll take a look at is whether they have any kind of guidelines in place. Then we either add to them or help develop guidelines that work within the framework of our Rallio technology and services.
What we find time and time again is that those organizations that have a system in place from the start are successful at growing their online presence. Those that don’t … aren’t.
With guidelines, it’s clear what franchisees can and cannot do on social media. If you need to develop guidelines of your own for your franchise, we recommend implementing the following franchise social media best practices.
Be Grammatically Correct
What not to do: Fill your content with typos. Use “there” when you mean “their.” Throw in extra apostrophes where they don’t belong. Make your followers die a slow death while trying to read sentences that make no sense. Throw caution to the wind by ignoring every basic rule of grammar you’ve ever heard.
What to do instead: Triple, heck, quadruple check your content before you send it out. Get a second pair of eyes on it to make sure it’s error-free, makes sense and isn’t potentially offensive. If you happen to post something with an error in it, edit it or republish it if you have to. That’s the beauty of digital publishing — you can fix mistakes.
Take Videos in Good Lighting
What not to do: Film yourself with no lights on. Stand in the sun and squint. Step into the shadows like Darth Vader. Might as well put on the mask and breathe heavily while you’re at it.
What to do instead: Get yourself some good lighting, y’all. Natural light is great — and free. Position yourself and your camera near a window, with you mostly facing the light source. Play around with the angle and time of day to find your ideal filming conditions. If the sun is too harsh, it may create unflattering shadows.
If you’re looking to step up your video game even more, you can opt for special lighting like a ring light or a softbox. Adorama has a good roundup of various lighting options here.
Honestly, though, if you had time for all that fancy schmancy equipment, you’d probably be an influencer or you’d be writing this playbook, right? So just get yo’self some natural light, brush your hair, throw on a smile and press “Record.” Upload it, write a cute caption and call it a day.
Make Sure We Can Hear You
What not to do: Post videos that make you sound like you have a pillow over your face.
What to do instead: Even the greatest lighting isn’t going to fix muffled, hard-to-hear videos. And the last thing you want is to get to the end of your recording, only to realize no one can hear you. Test out your sound quality before you record your full video. Make sure all systems are a-go-go, and then get to filming. You can also add subtitles to be safe, as we did in the video below.
Don’t Use Music You Don’t Own
What not to do: Throw on any ol’ tunes you like in your videos. Have a great Spotify playlist? Well, shouldn’t everyone hear it?
What to do instead: Use royalty-free music. If you use audio or music you don’t own, it may be taken down by the social media platform where you posted it. With royalty-free music, you can have some nice background audio without worrying your content will be removed.
A few options for finding royalty-free music include:
Be aware, though, that rules vary from site to site (and are subject to change) as far as using music for commercial use, as well as whether attribution is required. Check with each site to be sure you’re following the rules before posting.
Keep It Friendly
What not to do: Get in your customers’ faces when they write a bad review or say something negative to you. Point out all their shortcomings. Tell them they probably ate paste in kindergarten. Be the cyber-bully you’ve always wanted to be.
What to do instead: Be friendly even in the face of criticism. Offer to rectify situations where you were at fault (it happens). You can’t make everyone happy, nor should you try. When customers complain or write a negative review, use it as an opportunity to a) educate the customer, or b) improve your business.
There’s no need to argue — doing so will only make you look defensive. Attempt to take challenging conversations offline so you can handle matters privately.
Respond to positive feedback, too! Your customers appreciate when you take the time to acknowledge their kind words.
Think Quality, Not Quantity
What not to do: Post 43 times a day about literally nothing. Snap low-quality photos and post them without captions. Better yet, use strictly stock photos. Promote yourself shamelessly.
What to do instead: Post highly engaging, hyper-local content. Engaging content features real people and places, like the owner/operator, employees, customers and the work you’ve done. Listen and converse more than you sell. Showcase the great work you’re doing and awesome people at your company, and let that content speak for itself.
Boost Your Content
What not to do: With all that low-quality content above, just keep pushing it out there and hope someone sees it. Your followers are bound to come across it sometime. Don’t spend any money on social media — it’s free, right?
What to do instead: Boost your content. No one will see it — not your followers, not their friends and not any prospects — if you don’t pay to play. Start with a reasonable budget and ramp it up as you go. Target the audiences you want to reach, smartly and strategically; then it will be money well-spent. Popular posts like the one below are exactly the kind of content you want your audience to see.
Get Brand-Specific With Franchise Social Media Best Practices
These best practices are just a taste of recommendations we make for our franchise clients. The “best practices” can vary slightly based on your goals and the type of involvement you want to have in your social media — whether totally hands-free or fully involved with the process.
If you’re looking for an even more in-depth look at best practices specific to your brand, schedule a no-obligation demo. We’ll take information about your business and customize a complete playbook tailored to your organization’s needs.