When you set up your franchise, the furthest thing from your mind is social media. After all, there is all the important stuff to do. The business admin, the CQC applications, the banking and financing. Not to mention getting your head around all the procedures and policies.
However, you need to ensure you are discoverable by your future clients, and how are they looking for you? Through the Yellow Pages? So last century. Even our older clientele is adept at using Google and Facebook. Therefore, you have to ensure you are visible online in the places they are searching in.
The good news is that when you join Apollo Care, we issue you with your own franchise page on our website. This means you automatically have an online presence for your potential clients to get to know you before they get in touch.
However, you do need to keep your social media channels fresh and current.
Why is it important to update social media channels?
Even if you don’t love it, social media is how lots of people conduct their research into a company, so you have to make the time to post a minimum of one post a week. That’s a minimum.
If you leave your Facebook page without any posts for months on end, you risk people thinking you are no longer in business. Your Facebook page is your online news platform. It’s your pulse that shows the world you are alive, well and ready to welcome business. Too busy to update your Facebook? Then you must be too busy to receive any new clients.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
Okay, so I have to keep posting on Facebook. But what do I post?
Good question. I’m so glad you asked! This is the sticking point when it comes to a lot of new businesses. They are ready and willing to update their statuses… But they don’t know what to put on there.
Here are a few simple ideas you can rotate to vary your social media content and keep it fresh and relevant.
Photos of life in your business
Whether it’s your staff suited and booted for an award night, or a lunch time eating ice creams in the sun, people are interested in people. Show potential customers the human side of your business. We’re also curious creatures who want to know about the everyday side of what people get up to. And if your future client is going to be welcoming you into their home, they want to get a handle on the kind of people who will be stepping over their threshold.
People enjoy social media because it makes them feel good. Or it’s supposed to. Beautiful sayings and pearls of wisdom are a welcome feature in anyone’s newsfeed. It serves as a reminder that human nature can be and should be kind. This supports the ethos of a caring business. If you come across kind words in a book or in an article, be sure to share them with your little piece of the social media world. Consider using popular hashtags such as #wednesdaywisdom and #mondaymotivation to increase your reach.
If you’re looking into a new service, it’s helpful to know other people’s opinions, even if you don’t know them. That’s why Amazon encourages customers to leave reviews. Collect reviews from all your customers and post them on your Facebook page so other people can see you have current happy customers.
Post about holidays, special events and particular calendar days relating to your business and the care sector in general. This shows you’re involved in the wider sector and also keeps your Facebook fresh with current events that are on people’s minds.
Being part of Apollo, you get to write and publish blog posts on our website, but not only that, you have access to the blog posts from other franchises too. Don’t let those resources go to waste. Blog posts are the slow-release carbs of content, meaning their value lasts a long time. You can post them more than once after you publish them. Also, you can share the whole pizza, or you can slice it into little slivers of juicy content nuggets. Using a simple graphic design tool, you can select lines or quotes from the text and post as a stunning visual. Not a graphic design pro? You don’t need to be. There are tools on the web that help you create graphics within minutes.
Interesting articles or videos on YouTube
Of course, not all the updates you post have to be authored by you. Articles from news sites and relevant blogs are just as good and offer value to your readers. You can even share entertaining videos you like on YouTube. Not everything has to be corporate.
Building on the human side, you don’t have to hide your personality away. “Our staff’s favourite summer reads” is something that may pique curiosity among your followers, and if they like reading too, they may be compelled to leave a comment with their own choices. You could even create a Facebook photo album with your 5-10 recommendations.
It’s simple enough to ask a question that your followers can answer easily in the comments. This could relate to a newly introduced service to get some light feedback, or it could be to do with the time of the year, such as “What is your favourite Christmas food?” Make it even easier by creating a poll, which means you ask a question with 2-4 possible answers and find out what the most popular response is.
60 Seconds with Staff
Allow your staff to shine online. Create some short mobile phone videos where you ask them a question they have a short time to answer, or some quickfire yes/no questions. This could be about their role, a piece of advice for clients or a comment on the latest craze on TV.
This is a hashtag that has been going for a long time and is particularly pertinent if you have an older audience. It is an opportunity for clients and followers to reminisce. This could be an event in your franchise from a year ago, or something that creates nostalgia universally, such as a picture of an old car or the local town high street fifty years ago.
I hope this has given you some ideas of what you can include to keep your social media channels up to date in a way that’s not too taxing. Try to update at least three times a week and share the load with your staff team so you don’t have to be the one coming up with ideas. And don’t forget, you can always borrow updates from other Apollo franchises. Sharing is caring, and caring is what we do best.