Is Social Media Working for Your Franchise System?

by Paul Slack
  |  April 16, 2014  |  
April 16, 2014

In 2014 Franchise Systems need an integrated approach to win in social media.

To win in social media companies must empower franchisees to connect and engage with consumers in a way that protects the brand while developing real relationships with consumers within their geographic market.

Here are five key components to develop an effective strategy that meets the needs of the brand, franchisee, and consumer:

  1. The brand must develop its social media strategy and policies. This includes developing the vision, purpose, and selecting platforms to leverage. Ultimately, social media marketing activities must align with the overall brand objectives.
  2. Train franchisees on fundamental and universal tactics. Many franchisees fail because they don’t understand what they should be doing on a daily basis to win in social.  Companies should train their franchisees on how to accomplish the following within approved social platforms:
    • Listening – monitoring local conversations in social.
    • Building community – getting customers and prospects to follow them.
    • Broadcasting – providing relevant multi-media posts within their profiles.
    • Content – delivering information that will educate and inspire their followers.
    • Conversion – providing the correct amount of offers to convert followers into customers.
  3. Content marketing (i.e. blogging) must be done by the brand, not the franchisee. Content is the heart and soul of an effective strategy.  Blog content will give potential customers information that will improve their lives and build affinity with the brand.  The role of the franchisee is to promote blog content within their social environments.
  4. Franchisees should be empowered to post their own content. However, the brand should ensure that what is being posted aligns with the overall brand strategy.
  5. Community management must be done at the hyper-local level. Training and coaching is the best way to ensure that whoever is tasked with this function within the franchisees’ businesses, understands the what, the why, and the how.

Investing in these steps will pay off. Many of the brands that consistently practice these 5 steps at the brand and franchisee level appear in the top 50 of the Franchise Social Index (FSI 100).

By implementing these 5 steps, brands can drive toward a win/win/win scenario where social media is delivered at a hyper-local level that meets the needs of consumers while empowering franchise owners to implement best practices in social media marketing and protecting the brand’s image.  All three stakeholders must be satisfied to win the day in this new era of marketing.

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