Tips for Managing Facebook as part of a Franchise Social Media Strategy
by Frances Leary
Facebook is the most popular social media platorm to use as part of an overall franchise social media strategy. This is likely because of the platform's popularity with many franchise's target markets. However, it can also likely be attributed to the fact that Facebook has provisions in place to support organizations with multiple locations.
There are a number of important factors to consider in order to manage your franchise Facebook presence successfully.
Corporate vs. Local Pages
However, before even exploring the management functionality, the first question franchisors must answer is this: Should each of our franchise locations have its own Facebook page, or should we simply maintain corporate pages as part of our franchise online brand management? Once you have answered that question, it needs to be built into your franchise internet marketing and social media model so that your entire organization is aware of how you will be handling communication on the platform and who is responsible for what. It is very important to implement a franchise social media usage policy to ensure that all your franchisees understand what they can and cannot do online.
Should you decide to have Facebook pages for each location, it is very important that the corporate team has management access to the pages, even if they are not actually posting content. This will allow the franchisor to monitor the pages and ensure that proper brand guidelines are being followed and that good customer service is being delivered consistently. It is also a great tool for tracking your Facebook insights and will give a more complete picture of how Facebook is impacting franchise growth.
Location Page Management
Managing multiple pages on Facebook can be problematic if you do not have some way to monitor them all at once. Luckily, Facebook actually offers this functionality. The Facebook Locations application allows you to manage multiple location pages in once place. You can make changes and updates more quickly, see insights all in one place, and manage local ads from here as well. You can still have additional admins on your pages who only have access to an individual page, so the locations management is reserved for the franchisor.
What's the sense of having Facebook pags if they aren't updated with consistent content? Not much. Facebook is one of the only social media platforms that makes supports the distribution of the same content to multiple pages. That means that you can post the same thing on all your franchise location pages at the same time. And why not? Your franchise in one location has a completely different audience than your franchise in a different location, so the same content would rarely be seen twice by any one person. You can do this through a variety of scheduling tools, including Hootsuite. You may want to differentiate the content you distribute to your corporate brand pages - this, however, is up to you.
It is great to have a social media platform that caters to the franchise model. As you'll find...not all the social media platforms do this. In most cases we would recommend that especially since Facebook makes it so easy to manage, consider having pages for each of your locations as part of your overall franchise internet marketing strategy.