On Wednesday, April 20th at 12 PM CDT, franchisEssentials is proud to present a complimentary webinar, Franchise Social Media – Beyond the Basics. A couple of weeks ago, an article by the same title was posted on Franchising.com, a popular Franchise Update Media Group site. Since the article was published, we’ve received numerous requests for additional information, and registrations for the upcoming webinar has increased significantly.
Leading into the webinar, as many within the franchise community are still hesitant and reluctant to venture into social media, and embrace social technology, we’re posting the article on this site, in segments, over the next few days. The article serves two purposes. One, it provides an overview of the basis for the webinar. And two, it provides a detailed explanation of franchise social media in very simplistic terms, and defines a simple process to embracing social media within a franchise organization.
Franchise Social Media – Beyond the Basics
What is Franchise Social Media? Basically, it’s more than just social media. It’s the application and utilization of social media within a franchise environment. Sure, many of the same principles apply. But, franchising is different than most small business models. It’s unique in many ways beyond the typical B2B or B2C model. There are specific disclosure laws that are a major part of the franchise candidate recruitment process. Even from a consumer proposition standpoint, the integrity of the entire franchise organization must be considered. And, one cannot discuss social media in a franchise environment without touching upon guidelines, policies and procedures, and brand uniformity.
So, Franchise Social Media is how social media is tailored to not only fit within the various levels of franchising, it must also be integrated within processes and methods within franchise marketing and development. Certainly, utilizing social media within franchising is more than just asking an administrative assistant to set up a Facebook and Twitter account and post and tweet away; especially, without a purpose or specific objective, and definitely not without a well-defined plan of action.
Despite what many marketing professionals believe, Franchise Social Media must be more than what is defined and implemented across most small business segments. The interdependency of the franchise relationship, the franchise dynamic, if you will, must be considered and focused upon as a social media plan is put into action. At all times, the question, “How does today’s [social media] activity affect others within the organization?” must be on the forefront of administrators’ minds as they post, tweet, connect, and engage… every day! A simple mistake can send a ripple effect throughout an organization. A major error, which could include a slow reaction to a potential crisis (remember Dominos employees’ You Tube video?), could be akin to a tsunami racing ashore at 500 miles an hour, with little or no warning to the people (franchisees) along the coast, and possibly inland as well.
Are you afraid or frightened yet? Are your thoughts circling around the decision to just leave social media alone? Or, if you’re already entrenched within social media, are you now considering slowing down, pulling back on your efforts, or maybe even bailing out altogether? Well, you shouldn’t be afraid or frightened, and certainly, you should not bail out. Actually, there needs be more focus beyond the basics of social media, with a very detailed, comprehensive plan to direct efforts specifically to Franchise Social Media.
At franchisEssentials, we utilize a basic acronym of e-IDEA as a guideline when developing franchise social media strategies for clients. The acronym translates to Explore, Identify, Develop, Execute and Analyze. Five easy steps to keep in mind and remember to remain focused and stay on track in your efforts.
Over the next few days we’ll break down each segment of e-IDEA.