TikTok and Meta: The Future Is Here… Are You?
There are two massive marketing-related issues that will have an impact on your franchise brand throughout the rest of the year. They exist in digital spaces where your brand’s customers and future franchisees are living now, or will be in the near future. For both issues, we’ll discuss why it is important, and what you can do now to mitigate risk or optimize opportunities.
It’s time for TikTok
The most downloaded app in 2021 was TikTok. More importantly, consumers are spending far more screen time here than on any other platform. TikTok is already beating Google, Facebook, and every other site!
Even more compelling are the age and demographics of users. Just a year or two ago, many people joked that TikTok was just for kids, and that Gen Z would move on to something else in no time. On the contrary, TikTok has become mainstream and wildly popular with customers of all ages. Brands can no longer ignore the potential opportunity to reach new audiences here.
I’m not suggesting that you throw a large amount of ad spend at TikTok (yet!). But you should consider using a very small portion of your budget on this or other new areas and see what pays off. At some point, every brand moved a few newspaper ad dollars to television, traditional ad dollars to Facebook, etc. Set aside a small portion of your marketing resources and some time to experiment with TikTok.
If you’re not ready to dedicate dollars yet, start by simply setting up your brand on the platform, claim your brand’s name/account, and see what leading brands in your category are doing. Unlike the direct targeted advertising you’ve been doing on other social media channels, TikTok is a raw form of storytelling where influencers in your space, and possibly your own team members, can be more compelling than traditional paid ads. Your to-do list includes the following.
- Setting up your brand on the platform
- Setting aside a small portion of your marketing resources for experimentation
- Searching for and following other franchise professionals and brands
The Metaverse is here
Facebook rebranded its parent company as Meta in late 2021. It’s more than just a PR move. Facebook is going all in. The company sees social media as just a starting point for consumers to spend lots of time on their devices. The augmented reality world, including the Metaverse, is where users will soon be found. If your brand is to remain relevant, users must find you there as well.
Your brand, regardless of what you sell, is about to become digitized and present in the Metaverse.
If this feels too far out for you and your brand, think about this: Four years ago, would you believe how important Instagram or TikTok would become for many of your customers? Twelve years ago, who at your brand forecasted the importance of Facebook to your current marketing plans? Or the same for the Internet 25 years ago?
Some CEOs are already saying it will be a long time before their customers will put on Oculus or other VR headsets. Perhaps. But once they do, will they take them off? If you’re not there when mass numbers of potential customers are exploring, you will miss this virtual boat. You don’t have to be first to the game, but being early in your category may introduce some consumers to you before your competitors do.
Facebook and its sister platforms, as well as the other tech giants, are committed to this direction. Likewise, consumer brands are lined up to take advantage of this new universe. Here’s how to make the most of this potential opportunity this year.
- Pull together your current team now to explore, learn together, and prepare your brand.
- Invest in your future team. Acquire talent who already understand or are interested in learning about AR and VR environments.
- Automate as many day-to-day marketing tasks as possible now to spend more time in the future learning and planning.
We’re all in it now
We’re all learning these things together as we go. That’s an advantage we have in the franchise space. We can share marketing challenges and solutions virtually or at in-person events such as this June’s Franchise Marketing Leadership Conference. See you in Atlanta! (And thanks to my digital tribe members Kristen Pechacek and Mike McDowell for your input on the issues covered in this article.)
Jack Monson is the host of the Social Geek Radio Network, home of the number-one podcasts in franchising, including “The Franchise News Podcast.” He has been helping franchisors and franchisees with digital marketing for 13 years and recently joined the team at Eulerity.
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