The basics of franchise social media are more relevant today than ever before — particularly given the current challenges so many businesses are facing. If it’s been a while since you dusted off your social media marketing strategy, now would be an excellent time to do so.
When you do, you might come to some tough conclusions about the way that strategy is working — or not. It’s easy to let your franchise social media lag if you’re caught up in other parts of your business that you think are more important. However, your social media is honestly one of the most important areas of your business you can focus on right now.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: We’re not here to judge. We are, however, here to shine a light on the 7 Deadly Franchise Social Media Sins that many franchise owners make.
If you’re guilty of any of these sins, we forgive you. And we’ve got a cure for each of them we think will set you on the path to righteousness with your social media pages.
Deadly Sin #1: Lust
In the context of social media: Lust, of course, is a strong passion or longing for something. It might be that you’re “lusting” after vanity metrics like a high follower count, for instance.
When we say “vanity metrics,” it refers to numbers that might look good on paper, but do not actually tell you how your page is performing. As the Content Marketing Institute explains it, “the sheen on these numbers fades when you use them to explain important business outcomes like ROI or customer lifetime value (CLTV); they become hollow digits that contribute little substance to proving your marketing is making money.”
You can lust after those followers all you want, but even if you get them, will you really be happy … er, impactful on social media? All the shiny new followers in the world don’t matter if nobody sees your content, or if they see it and don’t care.
Why would nobody see your content? You aren’t boosting it. You figured they followed you, so they must be lusting after you, too. Sorry, buddy. Unless you pay to put your content in their newsfeeds, they won’t know it exists.
Why would nobody care about your content? It could be overly promotional, trite, confusing, repetitive or — bear with us here — a tad bit boring.
The cure: The combination of great content and boosting gets your content seen. And great content is hyper-local, personable, authentic, entertaining or informational. Now put your eyeballs back in their sockets, quit chasing followers and move on to the next deadly sin.
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Deadly Sin #2: Gluttony
In the context of social media: Gluttony could mean consuming more than you’re contributing. It might come in the form of failing to respond to online reviews, comments and questions on your page.
If you’ve done a good job with avoiding sin #1 and you’re posting highly engaging content that you’re also boosting, you should start to see audience interaction. They’ll like your posts, share them, leave comments, post reviews and send you DMs.
Sure, it’s easy to sit back and let the engagements roll in — maybe not even noticing what’s happening on your social media pages. But sooner or later, it’s like watching Netflix for too long, when you get the question, “Are you still watching?” Or, in this case, are you still listening?
When you don’t respond to engagements, both positive and negative, it makes you look like you’re just out there enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner while your audience waits for a reply.
The cure: Set down your fork, dab your face with a napkin and jump into the conversation. You’ve got to get in the trenches with your followers and make sure they know you’re there. Get excited about serving up delicious morsels of customer service. If they get “fat” on your cheerful replies and helpful tips, they’ll be loyal consumers for life.
Deadly Sin #3: Greed
In the context of social media: Being greedy may mean you’re being overly promotional. You’re pushing sales more than you’re being social.
When you excessively post about a promotion or offer, it drives people away and may cause them to unfollow you. The key word in “social media” is, of course, social. Being yourself, posting authentic images and talking to your audience like friends is much more effective than self-promotion.
It’s like going to a party where you don’t know a lot of people. You make a few jokes, ask people what they do for a living, maybe throw in casually that you clean houses for a living and see what they say. You don’t immediately pull out your vacuum and start asking people to lift their feet as you sweep up (though you might come in handy after the party!).
The cure: Put your followers first. Be friendly, personable and charitable. Listen and engage more than you sell. Don’t be that desperate salesperson who follows people around the virtual “store,” if you will.
Deadly Sin #4: Sloth
In the context of social media: For lack of a better word, you’re lazy with your social media. Your pages are collecting dust. You haven’t posted anything in months, if ever.
It’s not hard to guess what happens when you ignore your social media pages. Nobody will see them.
By failing to put effort into your pages, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with your target customers. And right now especially, with so many people online during the COVID-19 crisis, you’re letting leads and customers slip away.
The cure: Be diligent with your social media. Treat it like the necessary part of your business that it is. Create a buzz about your business so people become eager to hear from you. Like that alarm going off at 5 a.m. reminding you to go for a morning run, get into the habit of posting regularly to your page and interacting with your audience. Promise you can have pancakes afterward.
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Deadly Sin #5: Wrath
In the context of social media: Maybe you get upset with detractors or people posting negative reviews or comments.
It’s easy to feel angry when you feel attacked, right? If someone says something about your business that’s not true, or worded meanly, you might feel like hurling back a few strong words. And it can easily turn into a public or private argument with a customer.
Although it’s tempting to get into a word battle with people online, there’s no way to win in this situation. You might as well start yelling, “I know you are, but what am I!” Arguing with a customer only gets them more upset and makes you look defensive.
The cure: Go scream in a pillow if you must, and then collect yourself. Be cool, all you cool cats and kittens. Respond professionally. Invite customers to take a conversation offline. Look for ways to solve the problem rather than focus on the words that made you angry.
When you’re patient and choose your words carefully, you always win. You’re either going to make the customer happy, you’ll be the one taking the high road, or you’ll maybe say goodbye to a customer you’re happy to see leave. You might even find ways to improve your business if you look for them.
Deadly Sin #6: Envy
In the context of social media: Perhaps you’re jealous of competitors. You envy their success, so you’re trying to be like them.
When you focus on trying to imitate others, you fail to differentiate yourself. Why be a sheep when you can be a shepherd? You have something unique to offer that your competitors don’t. You have some kind of competitive advantage — what is it?
The cure: Don’t be jelly. You can and should keep an eye on what your competitors are doing so you don’t fall behind. But you should use those observations to make your business better, to offer something different and to set yourself apart. Put on that shepherd’s cloak and be a leader.
Deadly Sin #7: Pride
Pride can take on many forms in the context of social media:
- Not asking for help, thinking you can do it all yourself because no one can do it better than you. While that may be true, you’re going to burn yourself out if you do business this way.
- Boasting excessively, to the point where you fail to see any potential flaws. Because everybody loves a business that can’t get enough of itself, right?
- Not taking criticism well, even when it might help your business. So maybe you’re having flashbacks to junior high when your teacher took a red pen to your heartfelt essay about water conservation. Well, she was only trying to give you some constructive feedback, and so are the people who leave reviews (even if sometimes it’s not so constructive).
- Letting ego run rampant. Your selfie stick is always in your back pocket.
We know you’re amazing at what you do. You wouldn’t be in business otherwise. Consider, however, that there may be times when pride is getting in the way of your success.
The cure: Be open to the idea that other people have value to add to your social media. Set the ego aside, and focus on a mindset of collaboration — with your team, with your followers, with your community. Turn the spotlight on others, and eventually, it will shine right back on you, you beautiful human.
Franchise Social Media Made Simple
Having a digital agency that always has your back can help you avoid the deadly sins of franchise social media and stay on track. Rallio works with franchises in all different industries to improve their social media, online reputation and brand management — from corporate down to the location level.