Warren Buffet famously said: “It can take 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it. If you think about it you’ll do things differently.”
Social media is often a conundrum to franchisors and franchisees. Everyone that joins a franchise is invested into the brand and themselves. No-one wants to join a franchise with the objective of ruining their own or the brand’s reputation. However, expertise in the social media arena can be patchy, which creates risk.
No one invests into a franchise to be a social media expert but increasingly clients are expecting it Social media is considered a necessary evil to some, an opportunity for others and a no-go area for many. This includes franchisors as well as franchisees. The result is inconsistency and a lack of clarity which is not good for the brand or its business.
To be effective in the area of social media franchisors need to lead with confidence. This can be difficult if social media is little understood in the commercial context by senior staff at the head office level.
Inactivity and a lack of leadership from the franchisor in the arena of social media can lead to frustration on the part of franchisees and would be clients. So there can be opportunities missed where clear leadership is not taken around this area. So how can franchisors move forward with confidence?
The key is to simplify the process Below is my suggested step process 1. Ideally franchisors should invest into themselves so they understand where social media fits into the marketing mix in a way that supports leads, sales and recruitment. This know-how will help develop confidence to make decisions and create a budget. 2. Work with an expert in the area of holistic marketing development to identify the opportunities. 3. Find the right technology to support the plan is key. We have built
*SocialHANDLER.online to support this process. It is an online system that enables head office or its agency to build and send social media campaigns to franchisees for them to publish to their own following. 4. For those franchisees and staff that want to publish through social media for the brand, make sure that they are trained. It’s also useful to have a monitoring gateway. This can protect franchisees and staff from unwittingly publishing poor or offensive content. 5. Measure engagement. Increasingly people considering buying a franchise or local goods and services from a franchisee will look at the social media buzz around the brand and its people. Getting social media consistently right across all voices in the brand supports buyer confidence and sales. 6. Be sociable. Social media is about sharing and engaging with people. It’s a way of getting to know people and building trust that leads to conversation and sales.
Buyers are more in control Increasingly potential franchise buyers and local clients are doing research about the brand, its ratings and its people before making contact with the franchisor or the franchisee.
It is therefore vital that the franchisor leads franchisees and staff effectively when it comes to creating a quality and consistent digital identity though social media.
Leading in the area of social media has therefore never been more important for franchisors.