This article appears in the November/December 2013 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
While the common advice provided by social media consultants is to engage with your followers and not sell through social media, there are tools and tips that can help franchises grow online.
Why Use Social Selling?
In a nutshell, there are three reasons to combine social media with sales:
1. Your target audience is already there
2. Your competition is leveraging social media
3. The more prospects you get using online tools, the higher the opportunities.
There is a certain way to do it – and when done right, the various platforms can bring you more leads that you can later convert into sales.
1. Connect, engage and build:
Whether it’s selling a franchise or promoting a customer offer, creating connection is crucial. Even when you participate in a trade show, you don’t sell straight away. A sale only happens when you connect a need with a specific answer to that need, and this starts with generating interest and engagement.
You might start with finding people who are interested in your offer through groups or partner channels and provide them something interesting that they might benefit from.
A great example of this is a campaign undertaken by Step into Life, Australia’s leading Group Outdoor Personal Training franchise called the ‘GOOD PT GUIDE’.
The campaign, which incorporated landing pages, polls and an e-Book give away, resulted in generating a database of prospective franchisees and at the same time, assisted them in communicating their unique brand proposition to the marketplace. The franchise also uses a variety of online marketing campaigns from videos to apps to support their franchisees that are both pioneering and results orientated in their industry.
2. It’s all in the reach
People forget that in the online space it’s all about reach. It’s no different to how you would develop campaigns offline. When you create a marketing campaign, you need to still look at the audience, the reach (how many you are going to reach based on the marketing campaign you are creating), as well as how many partners and channels you can use to leverage your opportunities.
If you are promoting a customer offer, let’s say for example a “FREEBIE FRIDAY” offer, you need to ensure that you reach as many people to make your campaign a success. If your social media pages only have a combined follower group of 1000 and you have 30 stores, then it’s really not going to get the impact you want. Look at strategies like “promoted posts” if you are on Facebook, or look at working with other partners to reach the same audience. Could you partner with a blogger who has a channel to your existing customers? What about looking at an electronic email offer through a partner database?
You’ve probably heard the saying “You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take”. Would you succeed if you reach out? Will they support your campaign? Will they buy from you? You will only know once you take the first step! Create partnerships to extend your reach, then promote the offer!
Boost Juice create amazing campaigns that really captivate their customers from special customer challenges that honour special days, like ‘Pirate Day’, where their customers get a free juice if they come into the store dressed as a pirate.
These campaigns are not just clever but it keeps people engaged and glued to their online channels waiting to hear the next fun challenge. It’s a clever way to continue to bring customers in store.
Boost Juice know how to build loyalty and how to keep their customers coming back for more – while keeping it all fun which is part of their unique brand personality.
3. All online tools are not the same
Believe it or not there is more to online than just Facebook. While franchisees can get overwhelmed at the opportunities, it is still an opportunity. By using multiple tools to find and engage your customers from Pinterest to Instagram, you can extend your customer reach and your engagement.
We have worked with some clients who merely just used the # hashtag strategy to grow their facebook database by hundreds. Imagine that!
Another myth to debunk is the cost of social media. Seriously, it doesn’t have to cost the earth to develop a competition app. There are so many tools that are off the shelf nowadays to help franchises to thrive. All you have to do is let your fingers do the walking. It’s called Googling!
Some of the good toolkits on the market include WooBox and North Social. They’re all user-friendly and will help you on your way to lead generation and customer engagement. Developing franchise competitions to create database growth can be as easy as A, B, C.
Maria is the Director of Revive Projects and is passionate about helping franchises attract, engage and retain their clients through marketing, communications and social media policy development. Revive Projects helps retail, FMCG and franchise businesses grow by increasing their visibility in markets through integrated marketing and social media.
Reach Maria at:
Phone: 1300 836 863