Wired Flare recently conducted a study of franchises in the greater Toronto area to help us get a better grasp on the existing needs in the franchise industry for social media support.

The findings were rather surprising.

We analyzed 89 franchises in the GTA. These are the questions as part of the analysis process:

1. On what platforms does the franchise have corporate brand pages setup (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, other, all or none)?

2. On what platforms does the franchise have local franchisee pages setup (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, other, all or none)?

3. If the franchise has franchisee pages, are their pages for all franchisees or only some?

4. Are the brand images (logos, banners, headers, etc.) good quality, reflective of the brand and consistent across all channels?

5. What is the frequency of posting to each setup social network?

6. What is the consistency of posting to each social network?

7. What types of content are being posted to each social network (promotional, product-related, inspirational, informative, etc.)?

8. What is the level of audience engagement on each social channel?

9. How many online reviews have been published for each franchise on each applicable platform?

10. Do Google Plus listings come up in local map results for every location?

After compiling the answers to each of those questions for the franchises in the study, here are our findings:

Only 28% - Strong Corporate Presence, Inconsistent Franchisee Presence

28% of the franchises were found to have a solid corporate presence on social media. They had setup at least two brand pages on social media channels, were posting consistent content and were actively engaging and responding to their audience.

And none of those 28% of franchises had a solid, identifiable plan for their franchisees. Some of the franchisees had set up their own social media pages, some had not. Some were posting a lot, some not at all. Images were often varied, and in some cases customer questions remained unanswered.

54% - Poor Brand Presence, Poor Franchisee Presence

54% of the franchises had social media profiles setup but did not have a solid corporate presence on those channels. Posting was inconsistent, infrequent, and did not elicit response from fans or followers. In many cases there were customer posts that not been responded to. In every case there was also no identifiable plan for franchisees. As with the above findings, some local pages posted a lot, some not at all. Branding and customer service were inconsistent across the board.

18% - Not Found on Social Media

18% of the franchises had no social media profiles that could be found on any social networks. That is hard to believe...but true.

The noticeable statistic that does not appear is one that would represent the franchises with a strong brand presence and strong, consistent franchisee presence. Not one of the franchises we analyzed fit into that category.

Clearly our findings indicate that many franchisors still do not understand the importance of social media. Therefore most franchises do not have a solid social media program in place that benefits all their franchisees.

This is a huge missed opportunities for franchises, and it's one that they can't afford to keep missing.

If you're a franchisor that fits into one of the above categories and is in need of support to implement a social media program that works for you and your franchisees...contact us now. We're here to help.

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