Franchise Update recently released its 2014 Annual Franchise Development Report, which is a comprehensive research guide to sales and lead generation performance in franchise recruitment.

This year's results were collected and analyzed from September-November of last year, and highlight some of the keys to franchise development success. We found several points interesting, especially those that touched on social media and public relations, including the following:

  • Social media is playing a huge role in franchise sales and development. Fifteen of the respondents said they'd made 123 sales using social media last year. That nearly triples the previous year, when 14 companies reported a total of 46 sales through social media.

    More than 50 of those sales were made through blogging, 49 through LinkedIn, 10 through Facebook, seven through Craigslist, and five through YouTube.

    Franchise Update believes the trend is likely to continue.

    At Ripley PR, we agree. We encourage all of our franchisor clients to be active in blogging and on social media, and we have seen the results of such efforts pay off in franchise sales.

    Twitter wasn't included on the report's list, but we believe it's a great, although underused, source for finding leads.

  • Respondents to the report said their five more important factors in franchise development success were: 1) franchisee validation, 2) unit economics, 3) quality leads, 4) sales person, and 5) sales process. By making use of resources like social media, we have definitely helped our clients achieve success.

  • Businesses need to understand that social media is useful for much more than finding friends or colleagues.

    An estimated 87 percent of franchisors have a Facebook link on their website, and 73 percent have a Google+ corporate page.

    However, Franchise Update believes (and we agree) that franchisors needs to learn how to make better use of social media as part of their development strategy.

  • Franchisors spend about 12 percent of their recruitment budgets on PR. If you're on the fence about whether this is a worthwhile expense, all it takes is to see the results that an effective public relations and marketing strategy can have on your business.

  • Here's one area where PR is very important: getting your franchise opportunity into the media including newspapers and trade publications, as well as helping raise your rankings on search engine results. The report found that multi-unit franchisees use these tools to find new brands.

So, are you attending Franchise Expo South? If you plan to be there and would like to meet me to find out more about these things and how we can help your franchise development strategy, please reach out to me directly at [email protected]. We hope to see you there!



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