As part of your franchise search, you may very well be...
There is an array of social media platforms out there today that can be used to boost your franchise's profile and increase brand awareness. Mainstays such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are obvious outlets, but there are other platforms out there gaining popularity, particularly Instagram. Bought by Facebook in 2012, this photo sharing application is now very popular for business promotions. According to Instagram's figures, 80 percent of its over 500 million accounts now follow a business on there.
A business account is free to create and run on Instagram, and it can be a valuable tool for your new franchise business. You will need to confirm with your franchisor what you are allowed to post on Instagram and what the rules for use are, but many major franchise brands in Canada do allow local franchisees to run an account specific to their location.
What you can do
In short, on Instagram, you can edit and upload short videos and photos via a mobile app. You can caption posts and use location-based geotags and hashtags to index your posts and allow them to be searched by other users on the platform. If, for example, you have a franchise in the quick restaurant sector with amazing salads, you can use photos of those salads to catch the attention of local people with the proper hashtags and geotags.
It is important to keep four simple rules in mind to run a successful account for your franchise on Instagram. Photos should be enticing and high in quality. Poor-quality photos may dissuade people from your location because it comes across as unprofessional. Whatever your message is, make sure it's clearly communicated. The post that comes with your photo should also include some sort of call to action, although it's best to avoid being heavy-handed. The strong sales tactics of marketing past no longer work on today's consumer.
Last but certainly not least, always double-check a post before you let it go live. A post that comes across as offensive or insensitive can spread quickly and do damage to your local business and the brand as a whole. If you're in doubt, don't post until you've run it past other people you trust.
Social media today offers plenty of free and low-cost marketing tools for a business. Take advantage of these platforms to help your franchise reach the widest audience possible.