How many tweets does it take to close a franchise deal? You might be expecting a punchline, but using Twitter for lead generation is no joke. The micro-blogging social network is a powerhouse when it comes to connecting with franchise prospects.
Does Twitter Work?
There’s a longstanding claim that Twitter doesn’t perform for business-to-business lead generation and, by extension, franchise development. However, any of the social networks or marketing channels you use to connect with your audience aren’t going yield positive results if you’re not using them the right way and for the right purposes.
As HubSpot pointed out, 30 percent of B2B marketers indicated they generated leads through Twitter, while LinkedIn has been the more demonstrably successful channel – at least in terms of self-reported statistics.
Yet, B2B companies have been able to leverage Twitter to target and engage customers. Nearly 4 in 10 marketers were successful in finding a customer using Twitter in 2013.
Reaching Out to Prospects
At the top of the sales funnel, franchise prospects are in the discovery phase, looking for information about an investment opportunity. As they navigate the decision-making process, you want make sure you’re able to reach and engage them on a consistent basis. Here are a few tips to do this effectively:
- Distribute content: We’ve previously explained that blogging is a critical piece of your digital marketing strategy. However, beyond creating informative and engaging online content, you need make sure it’s effectively reaching your audience. Twitter is a great tool to post links to a wide variety of content types, including your brand’s franchise-facing blog, industry reports, white papers, case studies and webinars. Prospective franchisees searching for the right industry and brand to invest in are using a variety of channels, including social networks like Twitter. In fact, 80 percent of B2B marketers use Twitter to distribute content.
- Cast a wider net: One way that Twitter has made it easier for your brand to connect with other individuals who are likely interested in franchising is through the People Recommendation Engine. The engine does a lot of the legwork for you by sending out recommendations to the followers of the people who are already connect to you. However, you can go a step further by using relevant hashtags and usernames – usually seen as @username – to send your messages to groups of people. For instance, you can tweet @franchising411 to reach the IFA’s substantial group of followers.
- Be a visual storyteller: In the world of online marketing, B2B brands have typically been cast as the boring, flavorless counterparts of the B2C world. But that doesn’t have to be the case. For instance, the global logistics firm Maersk Line has made a point of using social media – and Twitter in particular – to create a compelling brand image and connect with prospective partners. With the hashtag #wintermaersk, the company told a visually rich story, showcasing the lengths the company goes to complete its objectives regardless of how many miles of ice stands in its way. Additionally, Maersk nurtured interested Twitter followers with other kinds of content and links to the company website to compile a list of hot leads. In combination with other social channels, the seasonal campaign yielded 150 individual leads.
Social Media Marketing for Franchise Brands
Before diving into social media marketing, it’s important to know your audience. What channels are they one most frequently? What types of content is most likely to inspire them to take action and potentially invest in your brand?
With these tips, you can increase your chances for success with online franchise development efforts. Twitter is a powerful resource for accomplishing many marketing goals, including brand awareness and lead generation.
Learn more about making content marketing an effective part of franchise lead generation…