Should Each Franchise Location Have a Separate Facebook Page?
May 23rd, 2016 by
It’s no secret that Facebook is a social media powerhouse. With an average 1.09 billion daily active users, the platform has transformed the way people interact with each other and the world around them, and has revolutionized the way and speed at which we can access information. As consumers turn to Facebook more and more for information and as a means to connect with people, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of people expect companies to be active on Facebook. According to a study performed by Hubspot, 95% of Millennials expect brands to have a Facebook presence.
Having an active presence on Facebook is no doubt a great way for brands to connect with their consumers on a more personal level, as well as a cost effective means to target new customers. However, what does this mean for franchises with multiple locations? Should each location have its own Facebook page, or should the franchise have one page that represents the brand but not necessarily each location?
According to Mashable, there are several questions a franchise should answer before deciding upon its Facebook strategy.
Does your business have components that vary based on the location?
For example, does your business offer different promotions, products, pricing, decor, etc. based on the location? If so, your business may benefit from delegating Facebook management to individual locations. By allowing franchisees to post their own content, each location can have more personal interactions, something that is very important if your business varies slightly based on location. Take McDonald’s, for example. Their menu varies based on the culture of the location. Therefore, they take a decentralized approach—they have a corporate Facebook page but also allow each location to manage their own pages.
Does your business benefit from a close relationship with its customers?
Service businesses are the perfect example of businesses that benefit from a close relationship with its customers. These businesses rely on positive interactions with customers. Because so many people are on Facebook, this is a great way to reach and interact with consumers on a personal level. Allowing franchisees to post their own content allows the brand to take on a personality as well as establish themselves as an involved player in the local community. Having a positive and strong presence on social media can be very beneficial in building strong customer relationships.
Are your industry’s consumers on Facebook?
It’s important to analyze if your target demographic is active on Facebook. For example, while 90% of Millennials are active on social networking sites, only 46% of seniors use the platforms. It’s important to analyze this to ensure that your marketing efforts are not falling on deaf ears.
Where are your locations?
While all of the above data seems to point towards a decentralized approach, there are many businesses that benefit from a centralized Facebook strategy. For example, if all of your locations are within one city or region, one Facebook page makes sense. Instead of oversaturating the market with multiple pages, it’s better to have one page that represents all of the locations within that city or region.
It’s also important to note that by allowing franchisees to post content, you forfeit complete control over your brand. By entrusting franchisees with managing their own Facebook presence, you are allowing them to represent your brand in every post, comment, or picture posted. However, in order to help guide your franchisees in post content and tone, a franchisor can provide them with Social Media Guides outlining their dos and don’ts for posting. Planet Fitness is a great example of this. While they do have a corporate Facebook page, they also empower each of their locations to manage their own Facebook page. The goal of the location pages is to drive local engagement and interaction within the community by posting about community events, special club promotions, and specific club information.
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule. However, by assessing your industry, customer demographics and company culture, you can choose the best Facebook strategy for your franchise.