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Franchisees: The Do's and Don'ts of Social Media

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It's amazing to think that, just 10 short years ago, the best way to market your restaurant was probably with an ad in the local paper or with door hangers. While door hangers may still work, the advent of social media has 100 percent changed the landscape in the restaurant world. But social media can be a double-edged sword, so here are some do's and don'ts.

DO have a rocking Facebook page preferably designed by a professional. Remember how many people will eventually see this if things go the way you want them to.

DO have a Twitter account. You don't have to be a maniac posting constantly. One a day is preferable. Posting a great lunch special in the AM could likely bring in more business. Or, post a dinner special in the afternoon. Use hashtags.

Related: Why 'Captain America' Types Make the Best Franchisees

DO have an Instagram account if possible. It's easiest if you have a reliable employee who is excellent at taking pictures with his/her smartphone. Post that lunch special pic.

DO include links in your posts to the company website and other subjects of interest pertaining to the post.

DO engage your audience. So instead of just saying how great your food is, ask them questions such as "which one of our sandwiches is your favorite?"

DO keep everything looking clean. If you are using graphics (which you should on Facebook) keep them hi-resolution and vibrant.

DO monitor all sites including Yelp to learn how customers feel about your business. Acknowledge negative remarks with a phrase such as, "Thank you for your feedback. We are looking into this matter."

Related: Catch the Public's Eyes and Ears as a Storyteller

DON'T however engage with those leaving negative comments. This means do not defend or argue with the commenter.

DON'T post political or controversial items to your business page.

DON'T bash a competitor or anyone else on your business page.

DON'T make it personal. Don't let your emotions out all over your pages.

And one more big DO: proofread all of your posts before you post them.

Related: Why Picking a Franchise Is Like Picking a Pair of Shoes

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