I don’t know about you, but I love a good statistic. Especially when it comes to making sense of the work we do with clients, and how best to advise on budget and strategy. I find it helps to understand the scope of what can be achieved online when we look at the wider landscape, as well as digging into our own data. Both are valuable for forward-planning.
So, at the start of this New Year, I’m going to focus, specifically on Social Media. This can include anything from ads and retargeting to ongoing content (posts, videos, stories etc)
According to Statista, the UK had over 57 million active social media users this time last year; 84% of the population. One thing am confident with: this will have risen over the course of the year!
However, some of the key learnings detailed in various recently released reports, though perhaps unsurprising for any of us who are involved in Social Media marketing, is in the shifting around of platform usage and investment.
According to DemandSage, who released a report at the beginning of 2024, user-popularity of platforms in the UK has changed; even over the last 3 months, when compared to the previous survey by Statista in October. YouTube and TikTok gained momentum over the Christmas period, along with Instagram, while Facebook and Whatsapp have fallen slightly.
The key thing to remember with the popularity of the various platforms, is who uses them and why. Currently, you’re less likely to see the boomer generation on TikTok, compared to GenZ, and will see more of them on Facebook, compared to most other generations.
Which is why we constantly stress the importance of understanding who your franchise recruitment marketing is aimed at. If you want more franchisees in your network from each generation, you must speak differently to them, and on different platforms.
According to Hootsuite’s annual social media survey, there were big changes in core marketing across each platform from 2022 to 2023. Marketing budgets were moved, quite significantly, away from Facebook and Twitter, and invested in Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
This is because businesses became more focused about their spend, and invested in the platforms which are proving to work for them. No one has money to waste on something which isn’t working or proving profitable!
What this means for the franchise industry
Thinking strategically about your social media marketing should be something you’re already doing – it’s certainly something we advocate and support, here at Coconut. You need to know who your target audience is, to know where they can be found. Whilst it might look like you need to ditch Facebook and invest in TikTok from the stats above, this isn’t the case when it comes to franchise recruitment… at the moment.
Some industries are seeing success for their core marketing, on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, but not so much for franchise recruitment; or for brand awareness, but not lead generation. It’s important to understand your brand, your target, and your budget goals before you start following the crowd into new arenas.
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve, the first thing to do is to analyse HOW WELL each platform is working for you, in terms of both advertising and content engagement. Assess what
worked well in 2023, and what didn’t.
- How many platforms are you on?
- How well is each one performing? Do you base this on engagement, click-throughs, impressions/views, or some other metric?
- What type of content for each platform generates the best response from
a) your network b) your customers/followers c) new people?
- Are you making the most of the tools available to you for each?
- Are you treating each platform as a unique entity, or a carbon copy?
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get the same results. So, if it’s not working well, this may be the year to either scale back, or change your approach.
The next thing to do is to assess HOW you’re going to use each platform. Over the last few years, short form videos are, and will be for the foreseeable future, the strongest form of content. People want authentic, content they can:
- Learn from
- Be entertained by
- Connect with over a shared interest/opinion etc.
If your strategy doesn’t include this for 2024, you could expect to lose followers. And, according to Aspiration, the type of content you share matters too:
- Video generates 1200% more shares than text-only content
- Infographics are shared 300% more often than text-only articles
- Lists are shared 170% more often than other types of content (I love a good list!)
So, think about how you can incorporate these types of content into your marketing for this year… it might be worth observing for yourself, how well each content-type performs for your brand, so you know what to re-use, and what to leave out.
And finally, tweak what you’ve created for each of your target audiences across the platforms. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well – if you’re going to spend time creating adverts and content, it should be the best it can be. If you want to speak to millennials in month 2, but empty nesters in month 9 – the language you use about your franchise opportunity, should be different.
Social media works for many of us. It’s great for brand building, and for connecting to both customers and prospects. So, if we can help you make the most of your online strategy for this year, give either myself, or Adam Lovelock a shout. We love data, so would love to help you analyse yours!
 Hootsuite Social Trends 2024 Survey, Hootsuite Social Trends 2023 Survey 23 AI