Franchises and/or multiple locations can be tricky beasts when it comes to social media. There are generally 2 routes you can take: Some brands create one massive brand account page for all information about relevant locations and businesses. On the other hand, you can create an individual brand page for each store or location, made easier thanks to Facebook’s Locations application.
A few years back, Mashable interviewed some large and small businesses to find out how they tackled this challenge. Lululemon, who kills it on social media, has individual Facebook Brand Pages because their marketing strategy is grassroots and hyperlocal. The company drives business by utilizing “ambassadors,” who are athletes in the community, and by hosting free, local events.
“Our goal with all of our social media channels is to inspire, educate and challenge,” says Michelle Davies, Lululemon’s brand experience manager. “To create a hub for health that’s more than just our products, the brand finds it helpful to make each store have their own community.” The brand’s main page shares new product releases and general company information.
On the other hand, smaller businesses, especially those that are geographically proximate, find it helpful to keep it simple and stick with one Facebook page. Butter Lane, a New York bakery, keeps one page for both locales. Co-owner Maria Baugh says, “Both shops are very similar, and we don’t want to dilute the fan base. We also don’t want to confuse people. I think it’s important for brand identity to have one consistent voice, theme, and look, which would mean just one Facebook page.” With 13,000 likes for their small business, it looks like this strategy is working just fine.
In other words, the choice depends on a variety of factors. Are you locally adjacent to or near your other locations, or do you have completely different geographic customer bases? How many additional locations or stores do you have? Do those locations have the same ethos? Do you have a large enough customer base to have a healthy following in more than one place? If you have separate pages, do you have the resources to post unique content?
Those are just a few of the criterion to keep in mind when trying to figure out how to manage your brand pages. The number one “do not” tenet is to have multiple pages with the same content, thereby diluting your value and making it essentially worthless for a follower. The key to multiple pages is to have the resources and staff that can treat the page as if it’s the only one that exists (i.e. create unique, exciting content). The content can overlap a little, but there should be enough compelling content to make someone like one page as opposed to another.
If you are finding that one large brand page is not working, you may want to create new ones. Be patient with this process. You w will have the same growth and engagement right away, which might feel like a letdown, but it should be an opportunity to capture an entirely new audience. Running a few local ads can also help with this transition. (Learn more about how to create those here.)
Regardless of which path you choose, be purposeful in your strategy, and make sure that it is truly right for you and your brand. Social media should fuel growth, not impede it, and it is your responsibility to make that happen.
Image credit: CC by OTA_Photos