Navigating Social Media Advertising Trends for Franchises: Strategies for Success

Navigating Social Media Advertising Trends for Franchises: Strategies for Success

Franchises operate within a unique framework where maintaining brand consistency across multiple individual locations is crucial for building trust and achieving success. This presents a challenge where a one-size-fits-all marketing approach might not be effective in connecting with the broader public in a way that inspires trust in the brand. Staying current on social media advertising trends can be a tough thing to do, but in this blog, we will share some examples of franchises that have utilized social media to their benefit and why their strategies worked.

Influencer Marketing

Subway is a great example of a franchise that leverages influencers in their marketing to help bolster brand awareness as well as associate their products with positive characteristics such as health and athleticism. Their star-studded ensemble of celebrity athletic endorsers such as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tom Brady, Steph Curry and more for their “eat fresh” campaign has brought positive attention to the brand. When they faced criticism over the healthfulness of their food, rather than shying away from calling themselves a healthy brand, they leaned into it and found a way to convince consumers they were wrong to think otherwise. They have successfully parted ways with the challenges of the past and now find themselves back in the good graces of the general public.

Social Engagement Strategies

One franchise brand that has nailed social media marketing is Anytime Fitness. Their social engagement strategy encourages members to post their fitness journeys to online communities, and it has worked. Anytime Fitness rewards user engagement with giveaways and offers challenges to gamify their marketing. Members have built such a community around Anytime Fitness that they voluntarily post workout tips, health advice and anything related to fitness. Their goal was to tap into the fitness culture and become a leader in the minds of the public, so that when you think about getting into shape you think of Anytime Fitness. Their initial strategy was to lean heavily on the idea of being open 24/7, catering to those with busy schedules who still want to stay active and healthy. However, through their skillful use of social media, they have expanded their marketing message and as a result have built an engaged community of like-minded people.


One franchise brand that sets the standard for how to use hashtags on Instagram is Dunkin’. Their #DunkinLove campaign, in which customers share love stories and images on Instagram and tag them with the hashtag #DunkinLove has garnered massive engagement and provided the franchise with tons of great user testimonials. Dunkin’s original marketing play was centered around the utility and function of the brand, with its “America Runs on Dunkin’” message.

However, with its Instagram campaign, it has forged a new marketing message that it is more than a necessary part of the daily grind.

The Social Media Edge

So what are the common threads behind these franchises successful and instrumental uses of social media?

  • Brand Consistency: Much of a franchise’s success is dependent on maintaining brand consistency, which not only attracts new customers but also franchisees. However, it’s more than that: The way a brand looks and sounds needs to be the same, whether messaging is coming from the franchisor or from an individual location – just as the customer experience is reliable and consistent across each location. In a way, a franchise’s social marketing strategy informs customers what to expect when they interact with the brand.
  • Community Building and Engagement: The franchises mentioned have used social media in creative ways to build strong communities, which has enhanced the brand and strengthened the value proposition. They listen to their audience, which allows them to keep delivering relevant content and further deepen the relationship and brand loyalty.
  • UGC is King: A robust and timely social media strategy that leverages multiple tactics will also deliver tons of user generated content (UGC) that enhances the authenticity of the brand while achieving marketing goals. Over-produced marketing content may not resonate with all of the demographic segments a franchise is trying to reach, so having the community that actually uses your brand create real content is extremely powerful. UGC is also much more cost-effective than other marketing tactics. Every franchise should incorporate UGC into their marketing mix.
  • Real-time Responsiveness: More than ever, consumers expect nearly-instant responses from companies when we encounter an issue. Social platforms are a great place to deliver excellent customer service for franchises and maintain active social listening. When a franchise listens to their customers, they make course corrections before issues balloon into problems.

The transformative power of social media in franchising is evident. When deployed correctly, social media trends have time and again helped franchises pivot, strengthen, and grow their brands to new heights.