Social Media Marketing at the Local Level: Breadsmith
1) What are you doing with social media at the local store level now, and what are your plans for 2018?
Breadsmith's franchise model is designed to be highly customized, allowing franchisees the freedom to determine their locally relevant menus from among more than 300 approved product recipes. As such, each local store's marketing strategy and social media campaigns are most effective when they reflect the product offerings and promotions taking place in each community we serve.
In recent years, we've put additional emphasis on our digital marketing efforts, including social media. We've helped our franchisees publish content on a more frequent basis, regularly engage with their guests, and maximize any advertising dollars they spend to drive traffic to the bakeries. We've also educated them on the importance of online guest reviews and the role they play in shaping guest perception.
For 2018, we're focusing our attention on developing video content and improving social media integration with our internally managed email club program. We're confident our stores will benefit from these activities in the year ahead. There's still work to do, but we believe we're heading in the right direction.
2) How are you educating your franchisees about the value of social media marketing, and how do you get them to actively participate in it?
Our franchisees' experience and comfort level with social media varies tremendously, and we focus our training efforts on meeting each owner's individual needs. Some will require a basic overview of each platform, while others benefit from more advanced training. Each franchisee's social media education begins as early as our discovery day discussions and continues with specific, hands-on training before their bakery's grand opening. We ensure that each franchisee has a solid understanding of our brand's "pride points," and we work with them to determine how those can best be communicated on the local level. In addition, we share best practice examples from our other franchised partners so they can visualize firsthand what success looks like.
3) How do you train your franchisees to work with new platforms and channels?
We regularly review each store's social media efforts on a one-to-one basis when we visit each location, incorporating appropriate growth opportunities as part of their ongoing marketing planning. We have also accumulated numerous third-party resources, including white papers and video tutorials, to share with franchisees before they add new accounts or deploy campaigns. A key for us is helping them understand that "more" is not necessarily always better, and that working within their strengths will produce better results.
4) How do you enforce brand standards at the local level?
We stress the importance of understanding that social media is part of our overall brand messaging platform and should really be treated as an extension of their guest's in-store experience. Before proceeding, franchisees must sign an agreement to adhere to our brand's social media guidelines. They are then given access to a library of downloadable promotional materials. Many also take advantage of our brand's marketing and graphics support services to request special materials for use in their local market. Brand enforcement is never easy, but we do our best to monitor our franchisees' efforts and partner with them to make adjustments when needed.
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