Utilizing Social Media for Franchise Success

I believe anything a franchisor does should be done to benefit the franchise relationship, and social media plays perfectly into this philosophy as it affords interactivity at all stages of the franchise relationship. From prospecting for qualified franchise candidates to supporting current franchisees, the utilization of social media tools and technology creates environments that strengthen relationships, shares information, provides two-way communications, and provides points of reference for follow up. It creates a multi-tiered platform of information that benefits both franchise development and customer generation efforts alike. Often, simultaneously.

For franchise startups, the founder’s vision of the concept is paramount to future success. They are perceived as the concept. They are essentially the brand. At least until a significant number of franchises are awarded and brand awareness is established across multiple markets, they are the inspiration for franchise candidates. The benefit to spreading this message through social media outlets such as social networking, video sharing, blogs, etc. is that these tools and associated strategies will generate direct excitement about the business model while generating subliminal, subtle interest in the franchise concept. This establishes a perfect foundation for growth. It also defines a very worthwhile, visible support mechanism for franchisees. Of course, it’s imperative to have a well-defined support system in place for training and assisting franchisees.

For established franchise brands, it’s a matter of improving brand awareness in current markets while creating brand awareness in new markets, and markets that are on the horizon for expansion. Again, as with startup franchise concepts, the interactivity created by social media makes it a viable option in driving customers to franchise locations and generating interest in the franchise concept. But, what’s important in a mature system, and a complement to its franchise development efforts, is the improvement of communications throughout the franchise system that is created by social media activity and ultimately lends itself to validation of the franchise concept by the franchisees. For once, franchisees are feeling part of the franchise development process as it’s visible in the organization’s social media efforts. Something that many franchisees have not been a part of in the past.

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One thought on “Utilizing Social Media for Franchise Success

  1. Paul, this is a great post. The franchisor/franchisee relationship is simultaneously a potential source of tension as well as a potential well-spring of success. You’ve really done a great job pointing out that social media can help the two groups come together and further their mutual goals – and I couldn’t agree more with this analysis.

    Engage121 is a social media management application specifically designed for organizations with a distributed sales network – like franchises – and facilitates EXACTLY the kind of relationships you describe in the post. If you want to learn more about how Engage121 does that, I invite you to learn more at website http://www.engage121.com.

    Anyone who wants to can also connect with us on Twitter @Engage121 on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Engage121 You can also or reach us directly by emailing social@engage121.com

    Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

    Marketing Manager

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