As you consider your decision to purchase a franchise, you are most certainly also weighing the other commitments that go along with running your own business: employee management, day-to-day operations, sales, marketing and more.
By buying into a franchise, you’re buying into what should be a working and easy-to-duplicate system that, when followed, will lead you to success.
It’s important to consider what the franchisor has incorporated into that system. Is there a set sales strategy and process? Likely. Is there a system for hiring and managing employees? Likely. Is there a system for daily operations? Likely.
Is there a system for social media communication? Unfortunately, likely NOT. In fact, in a recent study only 2% of franchise systems with head offices in the Greater Toronto Area actually had a franchise-wide social media system in place.
Yikes. This is bad news for you if you’re buying into a franchise that falls into the other 98%.
Does it mean you should walk away from an otherwise fantastic franchise opportunity? Absolutely not. It is, however, something you should plan for in advance.
Without support from your franchisor in the area of social media, here are the crucial questions you’ll need to answer:
What ongoing social media platforms do I need to participate in and how?
You need to participate ONLY on the platforms where your customers are actively engaged (and you don’t have to tackle all of them at once).
Let’s make it simple:
Where do I get content?
Most likely your franchisor will have loads of resources such as images, videos and/or articles (depending on your industry) that you can use both to setup your social profiles and to distribute as content. How do you script posts and decide what content to use? Well, that’s up to you, and likely you’ll need to create some original content on your own.
How do I manage it efficiently?
This is the hardest part because first you have to make a crucial decision. Are you going to be fully committed to social media or not? For most franchisees, this is a hard question to answer. You have a few options to consider:
Option 3 is by far the best choice when it comes to branding and building relationships with your audience. However, it is also the most time consuming and/or costly. Using an online communication tool like www.hootsuite.com will help with content, and email notifications will ensure you can keep up with customer service.
The second best choice in my opinion is option 4, and my third choice would be option 2. I don’t really see 1 and 5 as options…but you have to decide that for yourself.
The best choice is to be honest with your franchisor and tell them that their support in this area would benefit not only local growth but the brand overall. Hopefully they will listen and take action. If not, at least you have a place to start. Ultimately the success of your franchise is in your hands, so don’t let the lack of corporate support hold you back. Go for it!
Frances Leary, President Wired Flare
Wired Flare, Inc., is a Canadian online marketing firm that develops and implements Internet marketing campaigns for franchises and organizations worldwide. She is also a published author and professional speaker, whose MA in folklore led to the development of a unique marketing approach that serves as the foundation of Wired Flare’s methodology.
When it comes to franchising, Murphy’s Law comes into play more often than desired. In many cases, a new franchise takes off slower than anticipated.
Before a prospective franchisee invests they must review the information disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Documents.
The most immediate consideration is usually how much is the franchise fee and other ongoing payments like royalty and advertising fees.
In the franchise industry, franchisors can view comparisons and relationships between consumer satisfaction for the products or services a franchise offers.
A good consumer experience is not a reason to invest in a franchise. It skews the decision-making process of a prospective franchisee from start to finish.