LinkedIn is a great professional networking tool to communicate with existing and potential franchisees, connect to peers, monitor competitors, and find new talent for your franchise.
Many franchisors don’t realise the true power of LinkedIn and this is great news for those who do, as they can easily fill that void with a lesser amount of effort than on more crowded social channels. Many have started leveraging LinkedIn to different ends – from monitoring their online reputation to developing and nurturing a loyal community and attracting franchisees. Your franchise should be listening to your audience, responding and opening conversation, encouraging them to engage with your brand.
How are businesses using LinkedIn?
- 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content *
- 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn *
- LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of all social media platforms at 2.74%, compared to Facebook at .77% and Twitter at .69% **
- 46% of social media traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn *
- 79% of B2B marketers believe LinkedIn is an effective lead generation source*
LinkedIn can have a big impact on your capability to generate franchise leads and opportunities and convert prospective buyers into new owners. Here’s your snapshot of what you need to know:
Know Your Audience and Reach Out
Who are your prospective buyers on LinkedIn? The better you understand and can answer this question, the easier it will be to engage, connect and position your franchise. Search for people who fit your ideal franchisee or are based in areas where you’re recruiting. Reach out to them because even if they aren’t a good fit, they might know someone who is!
Review your competitors’ LinkedIn company profiles, as well as a few personal profiles of employees. This will help you to better understand how they’re positioning themselves toward their (and your) target audience. Take notes on what their profile and company page tell you about them and the franchise. Can you do better, do prospective buyers really get what your franchise is all about?
Post regular educational, informative and fun news about your franchise together with any team news and PR that your brand receives. Not only will this show the ‘human’ side of your brand but will increase the awareness of your brand, when people research their franchise opportunity. Examples of content to post could include: video, mentions in the media, any market expansion, new location openings (newly signed up franchisees), awards and recognition, franchisee testimonials or case studies about their investment, and charitable activities.
Develop a showcase page that focuses on your franchise opportunity. Showcase Pages are extensions of your Company Page designed for highlighting a specific product or service. Create your Showcase Page for aspects of your franchise with its own content, to attract your target audience.
Amplify your voice and encourage employees to share updates via their personal profiles, maximising your exposure and help keep your brand top of mind with employees’ friends, contacts and business connections: these types of connections are historically excellent at helping to make referrals and recommendations on your behalf.
Engage with any LinkedIn Groups relevant to your target audience. Share your content relevant to keep top of mind with those people who may be a potential franchisee in time.
Use sponsored updates to cost-effectively maximise a post’s visibility; target people based on parameters such as location, work experience, current job title, age, skills and educational background.
Upgrade Your Membership
LinkedIn has different Premium account options for those who want to get more out of LinkedIn. If you have a free account and want to upgrade, you can compare account types described here.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for supporting your franchise development efforts. If you’d like to chat about any LinkedIn training requirements, bespoke to your company either on a one to one or group basis, or ongoing management and support, please contact me on 07752 539719 or 0161 826 7181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ann Davies, Director