5 Essentials to Succeeding on Social Media

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This article is taken from the Build Your Queue podcast below, Season 1 Episode 6 with Mike McDowell, Director of Operations for SocialJoey.

You want to get value out of your social media marketing, but what does that look like for franchise brands? And how does it change for local, multi-location, and international businesses?

Not only do you need to find a way to measure ROI for your individual location, you also need a strategy that creates successful and unique content to generate a profit.

To create a social media marketing strategy that works, you have to ask:

  • What content should you be creating?
  • How do you set goals for your content’s success?
  • How do you measure attribution?
  • How do you keep adapting to the constant updates social media platforms make?

We’ll help you answer these questions, and show you the best ways your business can develop a local following that profits your brand. While this article is based on a franchise model, this advice translates equally well to local and multi-location businesses. Keep reading, or listen to the full audio in the player above.

PC: Forbes

1. What content should you be creating?

How do you create content that draws in customers? You focus on what they care about, which is what’s happening in their community.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram reward custom, local content. They want to see that your business is real people creating content that's relevant to your specific community.

So, how do you generate all that local content for your business?

The good news is, custom-local content doesn’t have to be uniquely authored, it just has to be unique to your local area. That’s why sharing local content, like a news piece or event, can be a quick and easy way to positively trigger a platform’s algorithm, especially if you can drive a conversation around it (shares, comments, likes, ect.).

If you're only pushing out content from you and your website, platforms see you as self-promoting. Self-promotion can be good for you, but isn't necessarily good for that platform's users. The platform cares about what's good for its users, and that's why it's so important to become a leader and voice in your community.

You can talk about your team and services from time to time, but you also also need to talk about local news, what's happening in your community, and what it means for people.

The content you do link from your website can be blogs about unique parts of your business's local area. This doesn’t mean just having the name of your city in the blog post, but really touching on things that are specific to your community.

85% of customer engagement happens on local pages, so those local pages need to focus on local content instead of just what corporate is doing.

2. How do you scale custom, local content?

You know what kind of content you need to create, now you just need the process and the people to implement it.

Start by searching for freelance writers in your local area who have specific interests that relate to your brand. The writer must also be equipped to do research on:

  • What makes your area special?
  • What do people love to do here?
  • What resources do people in your community use?

You can search for freelance writers on websites, like:

Your network of contacts may also be able to connect you to writers who are looking for work and have experience in your industry.

After you find a writer, you’ll also need a team of editors to look at their work before it goes live, and you’ll want a process that allows your writers to know what’s being requested of them ahead of time so there’s enough space for:

1. The writer to receive and review their assignments for the month

2. The writer to complete a draft, and the editor to review the draft

3. The writer to make any edits the editor requests

4. The editor to proof the draft again

5. That draft to be approved by the franchisee before it goes live

Since there's breaking news happening all the time, this process leaves space so writers can act on the fly if a new trend or piece of news you want to cover pops up.

Collaboration tools, like Trello, can help organize this editorial process by giving the writer, editor, and franchisees a single place to share and view drafts.

3. How do you set expectations for content?

Every strategy needs a plan and a timeline.

What direct return will you see? What intangibles? How long? These all depend on the goals you set, which could be:

  • Providing better customer service
  • Hitting a certain amount of dollars sold or new customers brought in
  • Increasing brand awareness

PC: Sprout Social

The amount of time it takes to see a return will also depend on where your franchise is already at with your social media. For example, a business that doesn’t have a local Facebook page will need much more time to see return vs. a business that has already been diligent with their local social media.

This difference could be anywhere from 90 days to a year.

4. How do you measure attribution for ROI metrics?

Depending on the kind of ROI numbers your franchise wants to see, there are certain types of tracking you’ll have to set up. Granted, you have to set this tracking up regardless—but the more numbers you want to see, the more indepth your tracking has to be.

For example, Facebook Pixel is a code for tracking Facebook ad conversions and retargeting customers, but it has to be properly arranged on your website to actually see results. The base code alone can’t recognize what a qualified lead is. This means you'll need to change your pixel based on whether you're tracking for form submissions, purchases, page views, or some other goal.

Hootsuite can be very helpful in helping you manage this, and you can even use it to track multiple conversion events simultaneously.

Setting all this up is extra work, but it has to be done if you’re going to track things properly.

Remember that Facebook metrics are completely different from Google metrics, because Facebook is an interruptive medium.

With Google Analytics, people search, they find what they want, and then maybe they take action.

But with Facebook, you show something you think a person might want, you create interest, you create demand, and then you capture the demand. This process takes more time because you aren't already top of mind.

So, your tracking needs to reflect that.

Ultimately, you want to be able to look across channels to identify exactly where the traffic comes from, in addition to if it led to any conversions. This will give you a better view of the digital funnel that led to a purchase.

5. How do you keep adapting to the constant updates social media platforms make?

It’s more than likely you’ll wake up tomorrow morning and something will be different on Facebook. Maybe the algorithm will be slightly tweaked, or a new feature will be added—it’s just the nature of social media platforms.

So you need a way for your brand to stay in touch internally whenever these changes occur, and that starts with your team being able to recognize which changes will actually be utilized by your brand.

Whenever there are updates (like new features, algorithm changes, ect.), start by asking your team:

1. Is there a change that directly affects your social media strategy?

2. Is there a change that directly affects your target audience?

If the answer is yes, then you know which updates your teams need to prioritize.

In addition to platform and algorithm changes, you’ll also want to monitor what’s trending—especially in your local area.

Location-based Google Analytics can help you learn what’s trending in your city or town.

PC: Google Analytics

Thinking local is the key to getting value from social media marketing.

You can’t think of your franchises’ social media as just your corporate Facebook page, if you want to generate sales at a local level. Instead, you have to treat your local markets locally, because that’s who your customers are. This applies to any business—multi-location, small, or international.

Championing the people of your franchises’ local community is the key to brand equity.

Related: [Podcast] 5 Musts to Effectively Navigating Digital Advertising