By Lora Kellogg
As any franchise leader knows, developing and expanding your brand isn’t easy. Traditional methods of franchise development, such as working with franchise brokers and using public relations, can be successful. But they’re much more effective when paired with newer methods, such as digital marketing.
Social media platforms provide great lead generation options for advertising. Consumers already feel comfortable engaging on social platforms, and platforms such as Facebook have lead generation-specific ads that provide outstanding targeting options. Users can submit their information on Facebook or Instagram without having to leave the app or website, which makes the process easier for mobile users and delivers more leads to your franchise development team’s inbox.
Brands with an active social media presence already understand the benefits of social platforms. Users interacting with brands on social media aren’t looking only for promotions and discounts; they also are looking for business opportunities.
Brands hoping to interact with potential franchisees should take note. Leads generated through social media are highly motivated. Here are four ways your franchise can increase leads generated from social media platforms.
1. Increase overall brand awareness
Want more consumer interaction on social media? Start by telling your brand story. Tell customers what your company stands for and what it has to offer through articles, videos, and other posts on social media. Seize this opportunity to introduce your brand to potential franchisees on platforms where they’re already comfortable engaging.
Approximately 68 percent of American adults use Facebook — which towers above adult user statistics for other platforms. YouTube takes second place, with 40 percent of adults using it regularly. Talk to your franchisee candidates on the platform or platforms of their choice.
2. Develop lookalike audiences on Facebook
Facebook engagement reigns supreme among adults on social media platforms, so take advantage. Develop new leads by uploading an existing email leads list and using Facebook to create a target “lookalike” audience based on common characteristics shared by members of your email list.
Similarly, you can develop an audience by examining which people have visited your franchise development website. These potential franchisees have shown a clear interest in your brand and already are being served your remarketing ads. Create a lookalike audience based on these users to find similar leads to add to your remarketing list.
3. Create personas among your target demographic
Even among your target demographic, there are a lot of variations. Millennials, for example, share similarities, but they can be subgrouped into young married people with kids, young married people without kids, single college graduates in their first jobs, and other categories. Develop personas within your preferred demographic to more clearly define your target audiences.
Take inventory of the traits you look for in new franchisees to divide your target demographic into desirable categories, then take advantage of hypertargeted social media ads to talk to each persona differently. Recent college graduates are looking for something different from young married people with children. Provide messaging that forges authentic connections with each persona in your audience.
4. Take advantage of Facebook’s new lead-gen ads
Using Facebook’s hypertargeted lead ads can point your qualified audience members to a landing page. This page should offer relevant gated content in exchange for an email address. The content could include an e-book, webinar, or promotional offer.
Once you have collected this email list of qualified leads, target them with remarketing ads. This list also can be used in an email drip campaign. Despite all of Facebook’s offerings, don’t forget to follow up in real life. Digital platforms can’t replace the personal touch, after all.
Growing a franchise is a challenge every franchisor must meet. But in this digital-first world, social media provides a strong tool for lead generation. Follow these four simple tips to ensure your team is getting the most out of its social endeavors.
By Lora Kellogg
Lora Kellogg is president and CEO of Curious Jane, an ad agency specializing in franchises. With nearly 15 years of experience and a portfolio of top brands, she and her team work with established and emerging franchises to grow sales, increase traffic, build brand awareness, and generate leads.