1. What Is Franchising?
First of all there are few important terms which we should know or have a brief idea before we move ahead so these are the terms,
- Franchising: The legal process of expanding the business by providing legal rights to someone else to use the business model & its processes in an standardised setup. Examples are “McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, Subway & Cafe Coffee Day etc.”
- Franchisor: The business which is expanding or the person who is providing the franchising rights to someone would be called as Franchisor.
- Franchisee: Finally, the person who is taking the rights of using the name, business model & standardised format of the business from franchisor for a specific region or area. This could be Master franchisee (master franchisee can be the one who has the overall rights for a specific country or a region of that country & then this franchisee further appoints franchisee under him/her) or just a normal franchisee.
2. Franchise Using Social Media As A Tool
More than 50% of world population is internet user, out of which 74% are active social media users (approx. 37% of world’s population). In this article I will share my understanding about “7 ways to leverage social media for franchising with the of which, How young entrepreneurs & even brands can franchise their business through Social Media for hacking more growth”.
Once said by Alisa Harrison, former vice president, communications and marketing at the International Franchise Association (IFA) “Social media platforms are quickly becoming an important part of franchise companies’ marketing strategies, especially in a time of lower marketing budgets.” Let’s dig into it:
3.What Are The 7 Ways To Leverage Social Media For Franchising?
3.1 Prioritise the Platforms
- Choosing the right & relevant one for example B2B organisation would select the LinkedIn & Twitter.
- Try to match the business objective with the right platform.
- We can blindly use any platform but that would only going to waste our time, money & efforts.
- As per the 2014 Franchise development report (which includes 101 franchisors & 35,000 units) LinkedIn is the central for the Franchise expansion &
- 40 percent of total franchise sales coming from Social Media is from LinkedIn.
3.2 Use B2B with B2C
Creating a franchise opportunity page on Facebook along with your organisational official page.
- Redirect traffic from the official page to franchise opportunity page.
- Skim the prospect franchisees from the cluster of the fans & customers.
- Dedicate a separate YouTube channel for franchising opportunities.
- Invite other franchise owners & industry people to share their success stories.
3.3 Target Potential audience:
Use social media insights & create a target audience for developing more franchisees.
- Target geographically, demographically & using the area of interest etc.
- Track events people engage in.
- Find out the match point between their areas of interest & our business.
- Filter out opportunity seekers to start a business.
- Make use of tools like Facebook Insights.
3.4 Monitor Competitors:
Your competitors are using the same platforms as a part of their franchising objectives.
- Learn from the mistakes of your competitors.
- Follow the footprints of competitors & then make your digital strategy more effective.
- Analyse recent posts of the competitors over LinkedIn along with other platforms.
- At present “Subway India” is using the LinkedIn (Sponsored posts) as their Platform for franchising.
3.5 Stay Updated & Share Content:
We understand that social media sharing is an integral part for every business doing franchising.
- Share good content on social media because it can reach a mass if it is relevant & new content.
- Engage more audience like with those who are looking forward to start a career in franchise industry.
- Budget 2017-2018 got released, look is there any news which may have direct or indirect impact on franchising or can be of any help to the potential franchisors & the franchisees & then inform them by posts.
3.6 People “DO Check” References, Ratings & Ranks:
Remember people do ask others also for the help in finalising something before they buy it.
- According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, online reviews rank 3rd for trust, behind only personal references and branded sites.
- Furthermore 83% of respondents said they are likely to take action on recommendations from people they know & which follows the consumer opinions posted online at 66 percent.
- While here an example to check the reviews about a business especially in franchising, one is “Yelp”.
- Finally it is business model that you are allowing someone to use, it is not a product or service.
Therefore people ask in friends & family also the relatives who are probably working in such kind of setups or organisation may be industry experts in conference or seminar & may have started the business through providing franchisees or get one for themselves to start their business in the past.
3.7 Just jump in:
Finally for those franchising companies who are still in the phase of “we’ll think about social media for franchising” I would say just jump in it is nothing in which you have the fear of any unknown or risk of any unknown.
- Make use of Digital marketing professionals & Social media specialists for some time in the initial months & years.
- most of all it is an evolving medium it is not exact science & you need to accept the fact that you will learn & grow as you go.
- furthermore this (social media) is the frontier of communication it is not just a trend anymore. Now we do hell lot of use of social media in our life.
In addition to all these ways of social media for franchising you can also do a lot of stuff like,
- “As a result generating more traffic on your websites through your social media links & backlinks,
- Furthermore increase the search engine rank by making separate website for franchising & creating Youtube channel,
- Also building brand loyalty through Yelp & creating awareness using Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn”.
In conclusion ROI with ROE hence it is not only Always ROI that matter because in social media it also about the engagement therefore we cannot define the success only with the number of people liked and joined us on Facebook, followed us on twitter and retweeted. It is also making a connection (building long-term relationship) ROI with ROE (Return on Engagement) also matters.