In 2017, social media plays a part in every serious franchise marketing strategy. The internet has been the leading source of franchise sales since the late 2000s, and a growing amount of lead captures, prospect communication, and conversions are taking place on LinkedIn.
Boasting more than 106-million monthly active users in more than 200 countries and territories according to a survey conducted this year, LinkedIn is fertile ground for franchise sales and development. According to the same survey, 44% of users earn more than $75,000 per year, which makes them the perfect candidates for serious franchise sales.
We want your franchise marketing strategy to make the most of this free asset. To that end, our social media optimization team has put together 3 tips to increase franchise sales, recruiting efforts, general branding, and local audience engagement.
1. Set up a company page. While this won’t crowd your inbox with leads, setting up a simple company page fleshes out your franchise’s online presence in a big way, while also giving you another platform from which to broadcast your blog posts, tweets, and positive reviews, or even feature product and service packages.
2. Get active in groups. Think of LinkedIn groups as mini “forums” populated entirely by your target audience. They’re great for branding, customer interactions, and passive prospecting.
As with forum posts, avoid blundering into threads with a business pitch nobody asked for. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your profile has clean and visible links for users to explore, then focus on adding value to discussions with thoughtful comments and answers.
When choosing groups, emphasize activity over total group size. You’ll have to join groups to get a feel for their activity level. Monitor new groups’ activity for a day and decide whether it’s worth the effort you’ll need to put it. Don’t waste time on inactive groups; if nobody’s talking after 24 hours, move on.
3. Familiarize yourself with InMail, but shift the conversation elsewhere ASAP. InMail is LinkedIn’s direct messaging system. It’s instant, user-friendly, and, as the name suggests, puts you directly in contact with leads.
Appreciate that for a second: before the internet, the notion of a free network that allowed you to find and message prospects with a few keystrokes was unthinkable. If you’re not taking advantage of it with appropriate outreach, you’re missing out.
In addition to active prospecting, InMail is also a great vehicle for passive prospecting, which is when the prospect contacts you with interest in franchising. If you’re using the right franchise marketing strategy, you’ll occasionally get InMail worth following up on, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the system.
While InMail is useful, we always encourage moving the conversation elsewhere as soon as possible. Not only is connecting via email or phone more personal (and therefore more conducive to a sale), it’s also a lot more reliable. It’s not that InMail messages get lost (in fact, all correspondence is archived in your inbox, another huge benefit), but LinkedIn’s automated messages end up in the same inbox. This can create a bit of clutter, and also make ignoring InMail alert habitual. For these reasons, we recommend taking the conversation elsewhere as soon as is appropriate.
That’s all for now. These 3 tips have only scratched the surface; and truly, LinkedIn is only one small piece of a successful franchise marketing strategy. We’d love to tell you more – why not give InMail a try and message our company page to keep the conversation going?Back