I won’t pretend to have some secret formula for Social Media ROI for franchises or any other types of organizations. I’ll leave that to the software companies who have recently popped up and discovered how huge the franchising industry is and want to build your Facebook page…
What I will tell you is this: you need to measure Social Media activity against your bottom line.
Is there a correlation? Is SM making an impact on sales, leads, customers, or your other most important metrics?
If Social Media engagement is increasing your numbers, then keep going!
If not, then you need to do one of these four things:
1. Increase Social Media activity
2. Change Social Media tactics
3. Improve the content
4. Stop using Social Media
I don’t advocate #4, but it may be the right thing for some organizations. Let’s focus on the other three.
1. Increase Social Media Activity
How often are you engaging in conversations with consumers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and all of the others? How often are you updating your blog(s) with something other than marketing materials and ads?
Too many organizations rely on the Field of Dreams method of social media places: build it and wait for them to come. Sure there are 600 million users of Facebook, but how many actually run to your fan page once a week?
Best Practice: Post engaging content to your pages three times per week to set a cadence.
2. Change Social Media Tactics
Maybe you’ve been posting to a Facebook Fan Page but getting no conversion of fans to customers. Perhaps your targeted consumers aren’t “living” on Facebook; they may be more apt to engage you on Twitter, a blog, or a LinkedIn group. You must cover all bases and try all avenues to find your community.
Best Practice: add a new platform or channel every 60 days for the rest of 2011. And, try setting up individual Fan Pages, profiles, or blog sites for each store, location, or franchisee.
3. Improve the Content
Is there value for others? Or is there value in this content for only you and your organization?
Here’s a good test: Take a quick look right now at the content on your blog(s), Facebook pages, or Twitter account. Is it all press releases, announcements about your company, promotions, and broadcasts about products and how you’re better than the other guys? Guess who’s going to engage with you over this content? No one (except your co-workers and maybe some current customers who are being kind).
Best Practice: include marketing content in one out of every ten posts. The other nine will draw consumers into the conversation about the industry, lifestyle, or other information in which they see value.