Based upon my recent interview with Renee Bailey at Franchise Direct, we discussed a new trend in media - Social Mobile Local or SoMoLo.
1. How are franchisors utilizing social media to connect with prospective franchisees throughout the prospecting process?
Great question because many are not connecting with prospective franchisees. Social media is not the silver bullet many want and expect to make the sales process easier, or even to generate leads on its own.
Instead, social media for franchise development should be looked at as a vital complementing component in the traditional lead generation process. That means it should provide a support mechanism that candidates can be directed to and that candidates can find on their own in their own due diligence.
Today's candidates are also more diligent and cautious than ever before.
Social media allows them to virtually stand next to a brand and experience how that brand interacts with its customers, franchisees, etc.
All that being said, social media can be utilized in the franchise development process as a way to drive candidates to a specific event like a webinar, where the concept can be explained in detail. The key here is that one-size-fits-all strategies with social media do not work effectively.
One more thing: it's critical to ask questions at the onset of utilizing social media related to expectations and desired results. This is crucial in evaluating whether or not the program worked.
As important as click-thru's, insights, impressions, etc. are in analyzing the process and program itself, looking at desired results against actual results is really the true Social Media P&L.
2. Have new media options available altered the franchisor-franchisee relationship?
Of course, but they don't need to. New media is all about truth, trust and transparency. Really, isn't that what the franchise relationship should be built upon?
New media is a wonderful way of keeping in communications at all times. Embrace and adapt is what I typically advise.
It's important to receive proper training to fully understand new media and all its capabilities and features.
3. How does a personal brand enhance the overall brand of a franchise system?
The new trend in digital marketing, or better stated, in attracting today's consumer is referred to as SoMoLo, or Social Mobile Local.
- Social, we've touched upon above.
- Mobile is just the way consumers are choosing to access and search information, and communicate.
- Local, well, that's all about the "personal side" of the business transaction.
People want to do business with people. They buy from people. Sure, the brand may get them in the door, but it's the person representing the brand that they want to business with.
So, as consumers technologically advance, it's not uncommon for them to check out the local franchisee's Facebook page or LinkedIn profile, perform a Google search of the franchisee.
What the consumer hopes to find is a person of experience and integrity. Even, the banking industry is leaning towards utilizing a social reputation score for business loan applicants that will rival the credit score. Franchisees need to keep their social reputation score high.