While Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all popular social media platforms, LinkedIn is a hub as far as franchise leads and sales are concerned. With over 450-million profiles registered and easy outreach tools for franchisors to take advantage of, LinkedIn is responsible for more than 40% of total social media-related franchise sales. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering LinkedIn’s business-centric branding, yet franchise owners continue to let conversion opportunities slip away all the time.
With this in mind, today’s post is designed to help you make the most of your brand’s LinkedIn presence. Read on to learn LinkedIn’s role in the purchase process, then review 8 no-nonsense tips to help you capture franchise leads.
First, let’s review the typical route people take when researching franchises to buy:
- Once the entrepreneurial urge strikes, prospective owners will typically Google available opportunities. At this stage, somebody happening upon your LinkedIn profile could inspire a franchise lead (or raise a red flag, depending on how you’re managing your account!).
- Finding a few franchises that match their personal criteria, they will start to read online reviews to gauge the company’s reputation. At this point, they might peruse social media mentions and blog posts to get a feel for the brand’s values and organizational culture.
- Next, it’s off to the franchise recruitment site to do some research about start-up costs, market opportunities, and what else to expect. This is also where contact information is gathered, though not typically when it’s put to use.
- Now, at the deciding moment before a conversion, LinkedIn usually comes into play. The researcher has your franchise on their shortlist, and their fingers are practically hovering over the dial pad for that initial consultation call…. But first, they’ll check the backgrounds, work histories, and public face of all franchise owners and executives. And if they don’t like what they see, your company gets crossed off.
Scary stuff. But don’t worry: the following 8 tips are designed to help! If you’re ignoring these best practices – or making any of the following common mistakes – you may be jeopardizing franchise leads:
- Reverse-engineer the competition. Part of your LinkedIn strategy should be dedicated to analyzing the competition. This doesn’t take any fancy software, just a critical eye. Observe the pictures, updates, conduct, and profile descriptions of top performers, then think about ways to use them for yourself.
- No half-measures. If you’re going to have a LinkedIn profile, you might as well make the most of it. Fill out all applicable sections, including any past charity work under the “Volunteer & Causes” section. It’s not often in life that you get a green light to talk up your accomplishments, plus you never know what might resonate with a potential buyer!
- Develop a showcase page. This page should focus entirely on the details of your franchise opportunity.
- Update regularly. The best pages publish relevant and informative content on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you have to create brilliance out of thin air – sharing great posts is fine!
- Encourage sharing within your franchise family. Posts get more visibility and authority when they’re sharing and liked by multiple people, so encourage your franchise family to join the conversation in a mutually beneficial way. Ghost-town profile pages scare away franchise leads fast.
- Know your prospects. Every franchise attracts a different kind of person. Familiarizing yourself with this personality type will help you design posts that resonate with your clients on an emotional level.
- Reach out. Waiting for the prospect to make the move can be a huge mistake. Sometimes reaching out to an ideal franchisee is all it takes to start a great business relationship. Plus, even if they don’t want in, they might know somebody who does!
- Study the numbers. Review your metrics at every opportunity, and consider setting up conversion goals in your Analytics account to track specific LinkedIn leads.