Thousands of Franchisees Now Using Social Media Who Thought They Never Could

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Renee Bailey, of Franchise Direct, and  recently I discussed challenges franchisors face integrating new types of media and how franchisors and franchisees alike could better utilize mediums at their disposal.

What are some challenges franchises are facing concerning integrating new types of media?

The biggest challenge franchises face with new media is a lack of understanding that like anything else, requires planning. Many are not taking the time to:

  • develop and explore the various media available
  • identify their targets along with identifying where they congregate and communicate online
  • develop a strategy based upon the targets (which may actually require sub-strategies for each target and their online communities)
  • execute the plan and all that goes into it, including dedication of financial AND human resources in managing and monitoring activity, and of course
  • analyze and quantify results in order to continue moving forward or adjusting as necessary

Yes, that's a lot to grasp but it is essential to developing an effective program utilizing new media.

Basically, what I've described is e-IDEA, which is something we utilize religiously when working with franchise clients - Explore, Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze. It really is a great, simple guide to follow.

How do you feel franchisors and franchisees can better utilize the mediums at their disposal?

By working together, as many franchisees essentially "got there first," meaning they were posting within social media in its early stages. It's important to utilize their efforts as a foundation on which to build a uniform social media or new media program.

Franchisors should not take a rigid approach with respect to messaging and social involvement. New media is all about interaction and engagement, and as such, requires a "personal" touch at the local level. Of course, there needs to be guidelines and certain policies to protect the brand.

But that is more common sense than anything.

Also, I believe franchises shouldn't get all caught up in just driving LIKES. It's more important to create a community of sharing and engagement. I much prefer seeing a Facebook with lower number of LIKES but a high number of post views. That tells me that people are coming back day after day after day to see what is on the page. Whereas just LIKING a page, they may never return. What good does that do?

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7 Comments

True that Franchisors shouldn't take rigid approach with social media, though they do need to collect data and statistics from each of the Franchisees social media efforts. And they should provide overall strategy and general guidelines to franchisees.

@Himanshi -

You make a very important point that measuring has to happen for your online marketing.

Too many people spray posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter with no plan and no measurement.

And that activity seems to also hold true for many blogs and websites.

Simple way to start measuring is to use Google Analytics on your own website and blog to see if all your online marketing actions are building traffic.

And it's very important for folks to get the free http://www.alexa.com/toolbar plugin for their toolbar so they can measure their own website/blog but also competitor and service provider websites.

Great points Joe.
Google Analytics is a great start for tracking.

Next question: does it make sense for Franchisors to also extend this for inbound marketing?

Himanshi;

Not sure what you are driving at - yes, franchisors need to track their inbound marketing.

Do they need more than google?

Well, depends on their skill. They might access the log files, have their own javascript, or any number of ways of tracking pages.

Probably should have hit reply - the reply is down below.

Michael:

Reason I ask is because the way Franchisor/Franchisee relationship is, inbound marketing might get complex to track.

Google+ has started to make it's headway in inbound marketing and of course with a simple java script you can start tracking it in Google analytics.

For most franchisors, they need to measure their inbound marketing for franchise development or sales.

Hard for many of them because their franchise sales websites have little traffic.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Paul Segreto published on January 31, 2013 4:36 PM.

How You Can Get the Right Radio Voice for Your Franchisees and Their Customers was the previous entry in this blog.

Three New Trends in Social Media for Franchising is the next entry in this blog.

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