Social networks are all about getting in contact and staying in touch with people. And while social media is used to build a brand, and a community, not necessarily to drive sales, ultimately that’s the net outcome of building a brand following. Here’s how to promote your franchise by tweeting, posting, linking and hanging out on social media…
1. Get a Facebook Page
What is Facebook?
Facebook is the world’s leading social network site (based on monthly unique visits), and is used to connect friends, family and anyone else who share similar interests. The connections you make on your personal Facebook Profile are referred to as friends and those on your organisation or brand’s Facebook Page are called fans.
How can Facebook help my franchise?
- Tap into the 750 million users of Facebook worldwide
- Network – look for mutual contacts on your friends’ lists, and suggest friends to clients and colleagues
- Post business updates on your wall – focus on business activities like ‘working on major plumbing contract at ABC Company, Durban’
- Post photos of your products or videos of how your products can be used
- Broadcast information about upcoming events
- Join network and alumni events related to your industry
- Research prospects before contacting/pitching to them
- Add your Facebook URL to your email signatures and marketing collateral
- Buy Facebook ads to target your exact customer profile
- Use Facebook to drive organic search results and traffic to your website.
Cool Facebook Marketing Idea: Facebook has a Birthday Calendar application which sends you reminders about friends’ birthdays. Use it to send your clients birthday messages on Facebook, along with a discount coupon for your products or services.
Where do I sign up? http://www.facebook.com
Read more about Facebook Marketing:
2. Get Tweeting
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media site used for micro-blogging. Tweeps (a contraction of twitter people, i.e. Twitter users) publish posts of 140 characters, called Tweets. The connections you make on Twitter are referred to as followers. Twitter has approximately 300 million users around the world.
How can Twitter help my franchise?
- Find new contacts and prospects
- Post links to your website or blog
- Exchange ideas with people in your industry, from around the globe
- Discover what people are saying about your brand, organisation or industry
- Gain information by posing a question for others to answer
- Establish yourself as an industry expert by answering questions posed by others.
Where do I sign up? http://www.twitter.com
Read more about Twitter marketing:
3. Link up with LinkedIn
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 150 million members. Often described as ‘Facebook for business’, LinkedIn is specifically designed for business networking. Connections made through LinkedIn are referred to – quite obviously – as connections and represent a relational hierarchy:
- Direct connections – people you actually know
- Second degree connections – connections of people you know
- Third degree connections – connections of connections of people you know.
How Can LinkedIn Help My Franchise?
- Maintain a list of contact details of people with whom you have some sort of relationship (a sort of online Rolodex)
- Showcase your work, products and services
- Find business opportunities and get leads from decision-makers
- Advertise jobs and search for potential candidates.
Where do I sign up? http://za.linkedin.com/
Read more about LinkedIn marketing:
4. Get +1s (‘plus ones’)
What is Google+?
Pronounced Google Plus, it’s the fastest growing social network site with 20 million members and counting. Connections are organised into circles, organised into the following categories – Friends; Family; Acquaintances and Following (people you don’t know but whom you find interesting). Using the Google +1 button, people can give a web page their stamp of approval.
How can Google+ help my franchise?
- Find contacts and prospects
- Share photos, videos and links to your website or blog
- Use the Hangout function to facilitate group chats, conduct product demos or answer customer queries
- Boost your search engine optimisation (SEO) – predictably, perhaps, given that it’s Google’s own brand social network site, Google+ appears to having a significantly positive effect on indexation and ranking of URLs in search results…reason enough to be on Google+.
Where do I sign up? https://plus.google.com/
Read more about Google+ marketing:
5. Get on YouTube
What is YouTube?
YouTube is a social media site, now owned by Google, where users share video content, up to fifteen minutes in duration. YouTube has approximately 400 million unique users every month.
How Can YouTube Help My Franchise?
- Take your corporate video to the world
- Show mini brand ads – make them funny and maybe they’ll go viral
- Offer a peak behind the scenes – how your products are made or how your services are carried out
- Broadcast ‘How to’ videos to help customers use your products
- Collect video testimonials from customers
- Upload videos of presentations or seminars you’ve given
- Ask other brands to use your products in their YouTube videos (product placement).
Where do I sign up? http://www.youtube.com
Read more about YouTube marketing:
Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa