Blog, Marketing

Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has steadily evolved into a vital digital marketing tool for franchises to grow their social media presence and brand—especially at the local level. With nearly 1 billion active users, and especially popular with millennials, savvy businesses are catching on: They can use this platform to command attention from their target audience and separate themselves from the crowd. Now, as Instagram’s “Stories” feature gains increasing popularity, franchise business growth can happen in new ways.

Show the personal side of your business.

In a market saturated by companies seemingly selling the same product or service, your target audience learns to recognize (and ignore) traditional ads. From fun filters to Gifs, and even Boomerang videos, Instagram Stories lets you amp up your content with creative flare.

Show your company’s human side by using these features:

  • Filters
  • Text
  • Stickers
  • Gifs
  • Freehand drawing
  • Boomerangs
  • Location stickers
  • Hashtags
  • Music

Stand out from the “white noise” of endless social media and create Instagram Stories your followers will take the time to watch. Get creative:

  • DIY tutorials
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Staff takeovers
  • Exclusive Stories-only promotions

By infusing content with humor and originality, B2C companies are able to show a side of them that reduces fear of trial and helps build lasting relationships.

New features are continuously being rolled out, so be sure to check your phone for Instagram updates.

Be interactive to reinforce a strong sense of community.

With the addition of “polling” and “question” features, Instagram Stories has given its massive platform the feel of a small, tight-knit community.

The polling option allows your followers to vote for their favorite choice or select from pre-set answers (which could be as simple as “yes” or “no”) or even on a slider scale. As soon as they select an answer, they’ll be shown a screen that shows the most up-to-date poll results from everyone who answered. The questions option flips it around and allows your followers to send you questions to answer.

These options are especially appealing for membership-based franchises, including the hundreds of Orangetheory Fitness studios we work with. For a fitness franchise like Orangetheory, building a supportive sense of community both in studio and online is essential so members never feel alone on their fitness journey. The interactive component of Instagram Stories keeps members engaged and reminds them that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

No matter how near or far your customer is, you can make them feel included and involved—and even like they play a larger role in company decision making. Using Instagram Stories helps you reinforce the sense of belonging that customers so often crave from their favorite brand.

Leave a lasting impression.

Similar to Snapchat, content uploaded to Instagram Stories disappears after 24 hours—unless you take advantage of Instagram’s latest update: Story Highlights.

Story Highlights let you upload past stories for permanent display in a special section at the top of your profile. You can completely customize your Story Highlights section to exude a more cohesive and on-brand look.

Likely the first thing potential new customers see when visiting your profile, Instagram Story Highlights are an opportunity to showcase videos that elevate your brand.

Master Instagram’s algorithm.

Instagram’s complicated and unchronological algorithm attempts to compile a unique feed of content for every user based on their app activity. It works on a ranking system, primarily based on three factors: interest, recency, and relationship. This sounds great in theory, but a business who doesn’t spark interaction and engagement will find it challenging to gain more followers and will be seen less and less by the followers they already have.

Staying top of mind is key. By generating Instagram Stories your followers love to watch and interact with, the boost in engagement results in additional exposure for your Instagram content—and additional exposure for your brand.

Tell your story.

Social media is changing the way we interact with others—and that’s not a bad thing. Instagram Stories has opened up the lines of communication between businesses and their audiences and has created a distinct opportunity to ascertain a strong relationship with both clients and prospects. As brand awareness continues to serve an essential role in franchise growth, staying up to date with the latest social media marketing trends and creating your digital footprint is a necessity, not an option.

For innovative social media marketing strategy and management custom tailored to your franchise brand, schedule a call with our team.

0