Should Your Franchise Online Marketing "Play to the Algorithms"?

Should Your Franchise Online Marketing “Play to the Algorithms”?

March 26, 2018 By

Social media algorithm updates are changing franchise online marketing.

Franchise online marketing is currently facing an interesting conflict of interests, as site owners and social media giants struggle to keep users on their respective pages.

Social networks have begun developing their algorithms to boost visibility for content that keeps users on their app, rather than redirecting them to other websites. This means, for example, that in terms of ranking and visibility, Facebook would privilege a “native video” hosted on its page over a link to the same clip on YouTube or another site.

  • Facebook frowns upon content that includes external links and tends to lower its overall visibility;
  • Twitter uses both an algorithm and limited character system that hurts the performance of tweets that include external links;
  • Instagram allows no external links at all, which is why you may have seen a famous actor or athlete you follow directing you to the link posted in their bio;
  • LinkedIn privileges self-contained content and dampens posts containing external links.

As you might imagine, this seriously affects franchise online marketing strategies for social media outreach and engagement. Brands trying to drive traffic and visitors to external pages may find themselves fighting an uphill battle.

Now experienced franchise online marketing players are talking about social media in different terms, framing it as a general branding and audience-engagement asset, and moving away from its longtime role as an easy link-builder and traffic generator.

Do you keep up the same franchise online marketing approach, or start playing to the social media algorithms?

In this case, “playing to the algorithms” means creating more self-contained social media content. This approach advances the social media giants’ goals of keeping users on-site and engaged, somewhat at the franchise owners’ expense.

This approach isn’t all bad. The key is sharing posts that you can rely on to get you high engagement, because that’s the only thing in it for you; you won’t be getting traffic, click-through, or call-to-action goal completions, so you might as well engage your audience and do something good for your brand. This approach also takes advantage of Twitter and Facebook’s tendency to reward momentum, where 2-3 high-performing posts give you a visibility advantage for your next one.

Alternately, you can say “stuff the algorithms!” and continue to serve your website. Tease quality content to engage your audience, then drop an external link to attract as many visitors as you can.

So what’s the right move?

Our recommendation for franchise online marketing on social media is balance. And also doing what serves your specific goals. If you want more social media audience engagement, leave out the link and enjoy the visibility boost that comes along with that more austere posting style. But if you want to build your on-site audience, drop that link with pride!

But if we have to choose one, serving your site is ultimately what matters. After all, this is an asset you own and have full control of. Most people would rather 10 loyal, action-taking site visitors than 100 new Twitter followers.

Like all algorithms, these social media formulas are all changing, so we encourage you to keep up to date with breaking news and updates on our blog at Alternately, you can give one of our experts a call with any questions you may have.