The Changing Role of Social Media in Franchise Digital Marketing

The Changing Role of Social Media in Franchise Digital Marketing

July 4, 2018 By

The days of using social media as a content link hub and promotional soapbox may be over. Big brands have begun penalizing posts that include external links in hopes of keeping users from navigating off-site.

But that doesn’t mean social media’s a dead asset. Different social media platforms still have tons of utility for savvy advertisers, and they still deserve a prominent place in your franchise digital marketing strategy.

Today’s post shares some tips for making the most of social media for your franchise digital marketing in 2018.

Stress quality over quantity

Posting on your social media accounts more often does not translate to more audience engagement. On the contrary, flooding your feed with posts usually gets you unfollowed or ignored.

The “more is more” misconception is an artifact from the 1990s approach to franchise digital marketing, which leaned heavily on spamming links and keywords in hopes that some would stick.

And the “feed flood” approach doesn’t only gets a bad reader response. Now social algorithms are set up to penalize spam posters, so that greater posting frequency directly lowers the number of feeds your content appears on.

Stick to 1-2 posts per day, and really make them count for something. Anything more than that overloads the user on branded content and triggers an adverse reactive. Be cut-throat about this: if you have 10 posts under consideration, don’t hesitate to weed out the weaker ones.

Recognize cross-platform variability

Franchise digital marketing teams sometimes get caught up referring to “social media” as a single amalgamation. In reality, every social media platform is unique, with variable engagement rates, user expectations, and uses. For example, Instagram boasts an engagement rate of over 1% and obviously favors compelling visual content. In contrast, Twitter’s engagement rate sits around 0.46%, and users value concise, pithy posts in almost exclusively written form.

Knowing which platforms do what and how different audiences prefer their messages presented is crucial when it comes to hitting your franchise digital marketing goals.

Accept that social media algorithms evolved away from engagement

Social media used to be a soap box from which to speak directly to your target audience and share valuable links and discounts. But as the previous point showed, engagement rates are way down – 1% for Instagram and as low as 0.46% for Facebook.

Why did engagement rates drop? Are all social media users just feed-scrolling zombies?

It’s actually not hard to understand when you consider how the algorithms have changed. Whereas social media feed used to be largely controlled by the user, since they filled out based on similar accounts you chose to follow, the feed is now 100% curated by algorithms. That means the user has less direct control over what they see, and thus are less likely to engage with content.

Does that mean social media is no longer worthwhile? Not at all. It’s still a high-value asset for general branding, promotion, building intrigue, gauging interest in potential products and services, and online reputation management. But it should not be treated like the link hub or referral traffic factory it used to be.

Show local audiences you’re there (and you care)

As social media platforms expand into product and service review hubs, their utility for online reputation management (ORM) increases.

While daily post engagement may be down because the news feed is such hotly contested online real-estate, Facebook business reviews stay pinned to your page and are archived for potential users to browse at their leisure.

Reviews will be prominently displayed on your business page, along with any comments or interaction your representatives had with that post. This is great for both positive and negative reviews, as you can either show readers your appreciation for the kind words, or display your commitment to customer service by offering to make it right for somebody with a complaint.

Learn more about social media management and franchise digital marketing

Visit to book a free consultation with a member of our team and bring your social media campaigns up to date!