Instagram vs LinkedIn vs Facebook vs time that could be spent on the studio floor. It’s a daily battle a lot of fitness franchise owners feel.
Many franchisees find themselves wondering: should I post and share more brand content or focus on running my individual studio? For some franchisees, social media can come with many questions and opportunities; so much so that it can be difficult getting the balance right.
It is because of this that F45 has worked hard to optimize our social communication and ensure that franchisees have everything they need for social success at their fingertips.
Through the F45 Training network, franchisees have access to a wealth of content and programs designed to allow them to stand out on social media. From bite-sized brand communications to initiatives like the F45 Challenge and Playoffs, everything is easy to monitor, post and publish. Our goal is to make it simple for franchisees, so they can be on their studio floors and focused on their business’ day-to-day challenges, rather than stressing about Instagram 24/7.
With a host of tools available, monitoring social feeds and managing reviews is also simple. For the best results, franchisees will need to spend some time getting their individual approaches spot-on, adding their own insights and learnings, and hopefully having fun, too.
Here are some of our top tips for getting it right:
Realize that it’s organic.
Social communication is about conversations that flow and change. With a fixed approach, followers may lose interest if they feel like the franchisee is going through the motions and working off a template. It’s important to have a sense of what an audience responds well to, and also which content doesn’t create as much positive sentiment. As a business grows and changes, your social media strategy should evolve, too—think of it like a training program that needs to be updated so that it can continue to deliver results and avoid plateaus.
Strike a balance between brand and local content.
As a business that lives and breathes across 45+ countries, F45 Training has a truly global footprint. We’re constantly creating new content and leveraging global news & innovations. This not only gives franchisees a wealth of material to share, but it’s also important to give their social feeds some local flavor.
It’s a balance that needs to be struck between maximizing franchisees’ return on their investment in a compelling product and tapping into positive local sentiment and leveraging local community. A franchise’s social personality should align with the brand voice—each post should feel like a natural fit with the F45 brand and follow the guidelines we’ve created. However, the power of community should never be discounted, and a franchisee’s main audience should be their existing members and people from their studio’s surrounding community. After all, it’s these people who will sweating on the studio floor and directly helping the franchisee’s business grow.
Our advice is to follow the 80/20 rule by dedicating 20% of social content to brand comms and properties and 80% to what’s happening in an individual studio. Following and supporting local corporations, colleges, and events will help a franchise build a community presence and increase consideration for their key target consumers.
It will take time, though, and franchisees should be careful not to spam their social feeds, as this will have the opposite effect on their audience.
When it comes to social, people want a personal touch. As aforementioned, aligning with the F45 brand voice is vital, but remember that you’re talking to real people through your social comms. We encourage franchisees to adopt a coaching mindset and voice, one that is supportive, empathetic and understanding. We want to be a brand that people will open up to and share with.
Different channel, different purpose.
It’s extremely important to understand which people are plugged into which social channels and how to maximize the value of each one.
LinkedIn has a strong business focus. Long-form content performs well, as the audience is looking for insights that they can apply to their own work and skillsets. Specifically, you should utilize opinion-leading pieces and deeper detail.
Instagram lives on the opposite side of the spectrum. It’s a visual feast and short, ‘snackable’ content works better than long-winded essays and lots of text. Here, franchisees should prioritize posts that are visually striking and look to deliver inspiration rather than finer detail and loads of information.
Facebook sits somewhere in between the two. It’s a great channel for managing conversations, as well as running polls and contests. Slightly longer articles are acceptable, so long as they remain lighter in tone. Remember that visual comms are still the way to go, as franchisees should look to post content that stops people from scrolling and gets them to engage on a deeper level.
Stay on top of it.
Successful social does require a time investment, and while we don’t want our franchisees to sink all of their precious hours into posting, liking, sharing or waiting for the next comment, staying on top of social feeds is vital.
One way to do this is to gamify a franchise’s social channels by allowing staff to control content on a rotating basis. As a result, staff will view the responsibility as a reward for a job well done, and by offering incentives to staff who do it best, franchisees will be able to further optimize their social communication.
A simple measure like most followers gained, likes, or shares could see the top-performing social managers being rewarded with extra training and empowerment. Most importantly, though, taking an approach like this will give staff a better understanding of the importance of social marketing while also freeing the franchisee up to focus on building a sustainable business.
Social channels and trends are sure to keep changing and evolving—and it’s franchisees that stay informed and engage with their friends and followers in authentic, meaningful ways who will stay ahead and continue to thrive.
Image: Franchise India
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