As the impact of social media on businesses continues to grow, many franchisors are seeing the ever-increasing need for a social media policy. Your franchise public relations and branding strategy was carefully developed, and social media is an integral part of both.

To avoid brand confusion, and varying messages, a contractual policy should be developed for franchisees. When developing the franchise social media policy, it should include the following components:

  • Localized Pages: There should be a notation of whether franchisees are allowed to have localized accounts, and if so, how the page should be built - down to the title of the page, account, or group. Consistency in localization is imperative. For example, if you have a location in Plano, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee that both want localized pages, the names of those should be identical except for the city. (i.e. Franchise X - Plano & Franchise X - Memphis)
  • Approval: Whether it's approval of an account on a platform lacking a corporate account, images or contests, there should be an approval process that is laid out step by step for each scenario.
  • Branded Graphics: If graphics are not provided for branding the pages, and posts on the pages, details of the steps needed to gain the approval for those should be detailed. This should include the contact person, and how far in advance graphics should be submitted.
  • Social Media Contest Guidelines: Contest guidelines should note what kind of contests aren't allowed, if co-promotions are acceptable, and a nominal cap for contest prizes if applicable.
  • Key messages: Providing sample posts for the various platforms is a good way to ensure that Franchisees understand what is required of them.
  • Best Practices: A one-sheet of best times, days and character count for posts is a necessary guideline to guarantee that the various pages are successful.

With the ever-changing social media landscape, policies will have to be adjusted to accommodate new regulations. It is important to note in the policy document that it can be changed at any time, and should they occur, how franchisees will be notified of those changes.

Do you see a need for a social media policy for your franchise, but don't know where to start? Ripley PR specializes in franchise public relations, and has social media experts on hand to help you develop the best possible policy for your franchise that will work fluidly with your overall marketing and public relations strategy.

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