Sunday, February 3, 2013

Social Media's Split Personality for Franchise Sales and Development

On February 17th I will be a panelist in a day-long Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) class at the International Franchise Association's 53rd Annual Convention in Las Vegas. To prepare, I have talked to a number of Franchise Development Execs and Third-Party Social Media/Marketing Professionals over the past month and the data I've collected tends to put Social Media strategy for Franchise Recruitment into 2 camps:

1. Using social media to engage 1 on 1 with prospective franchise candidates through social media channels primarily with group discussions on LinkedIn and advertising/messaging on LinkedIn and Facebook. I didn't hear much about direct success with Twitter, G+, and the others. This is a time-consuming "needle in a haystack" type of approach that requires dedicated resources but has proven to be able to deliver franchise awards.

2. Using social media platforms as drivers back to a franchise sales BLOG and/or franchise sales website. This sounded much more like a marketing play than a "traditional" use of social media as franchisees do on the consumer side, to provide that 1 on 1 "conversation" with customers. It's simply another channel, albeit important channel, to drive eyeballs to your brand's story that really resides on other website or blog platforms.

Throughout it all, however, the common theme is that franchise candidates will access your brand's social media channels as part of their due diligence and validation, so you better keep up with it and pay attention to the content.

If you are a Franchise Development professional or industry supplier, what do you think?


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