Incorporating Social Media Into Your Lead Gen Strategy


Pervasive as it is, social media is still the "final frontier" for many franchise lead generation campaigns.

By Jamie Izaks

Ubiquitous across all age groups, social media has become an important part of how we communicate with our personal and professional networks. It’s only natural that this communication method would become ripe for advertising, and now more than ever it’s essential for franchises to utilize all means available to drive more leads. ComScore data shows that social networking sites reach more than 82 percent of the world’s online population and three quarters of B2B buyers have said that social media would significantly influence a future purchase.

Further, it’s important to include mobile capabilities in any discussion about social media. Mobile represents two out of every three digital media minutes and up to 60 percent of this time is spent on social media apps. That’s precious selling time that you’re missing out on if you’re not trying to reach leads through social. And it’s not only millennials that are attached to their phones, there is steady growth across all age groups, including a huge jump in mobile usage in the 55 to 64 age set (37 percent growth from 2015 to 2016).

Here are a few more reasons to adapt a franchise lead generation strategy to include social media:

Advertising through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram has come a long way.

Now, anyone with a budget big or small can put that money I’m talking deep details. Maybe you’re an education franchise looking to sell a territory in Texas. You can target men and women with master’s degrees, ages 45 to 54, in Dallas, with management titles, in a specific income range with an interest in education. It can’t get more focused than that.

Facebook and LinkedIn in particular have great ad power, and Facebook offers phenomenal ad products that provide an immersive experience, including canvas ads and carousel ads. In fact, Facebook ads make up almost 20 percent of global mobile digital ad spending. There’s a reason for this: Facebook ads are incredibly user friendly, work well on almost any budget and provide very substantial analytics for internal tracking.

LinkedIn, too, is a platform that offers excellent targeting, and has seen great growth on its mobile platform. As of 2016, 57 percent of all LinkedIn traffic is mobile, so it makes sense to optimize all LinkedIn content — both paid and organic — for mobile.

Social media is unique in that it provides potential franchisees the opportunity to see more than the carefully crafted messaging your franchise development team approves for distribution; they can see how customers interact with your brand, and vice versa. Why not lean into this transparency and give your franchise prospects an inside look at how your company operates? You should aim to capture the feeling that franchisees will get in your system. Social media is the perfect place to let your hair down a little as a company, so to speak, using a more indirect way to connect with franchisees.

There’s nothing more important than consistency in messaging.

This impacts your franchise prospects, as well. You want potential franchisees to be able to visit any of your social media channels, websites or reference print materials and see the same key phrases and ideas. Often, franchise brands overlook an easy way to stay on brand — repurposing existing written material for social media. If your brand produces blog copy — whether it’s franchise or consumer-focused — or sends out franchise development emails, you can formulate posts
around that.

Simply post a link to a blog entry, or highlight key phrases from an email to ensure that you’re getting the most mileage out of your content. An added bonus is the SEO benefits — it never hurts to repurpose wiring that has been optimized.

Pervasive as it is, social media is still the “final frontier” for many franchise lead generation campaigns. Don’t miss out on potential franchise leads. Incorporate targeted ads, transparency and content marketing into your strategy.

Jamie Izaks is President of All Points PR.

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