It’s Franchise Social Media Time!

To those of you who have been able to wrap your arms around social media, congratulations. You are learning  what it can potentially do for you, and your company.  In my industry, our arms haven’t been moving too far from our hips. Yet.

Will social media marketing start to penetrate every industry, and every industry segment? Or, is it already?

Franchisors join social media express

I try to keep up on marketing and advertising trends, and over at the Media Transparent blog, I was reading “The Leading Trends In Social Media.  One of them {#4} says;

“The 2009 Recession Will Elevate Social Media Marketing as a Corporate Cost Control Measure”

This section goes on to talk about “branding,” which really came from Madison Avenue in the 1950’s, because of an increasingly popular medium called television. It became a visual world, and advertising agencies were scrambling to capitalize on it.

But brand advertising is expensive for several reasons as the article points out.

With the current recession in full swing, {but hopefully bottoming out now} franchisors are trying to find less expensive ways to get the message out about their franchise offerings, as they try to keep their systems in growth mode. Franchise companies must sell new franchises, during good times, and not so good times.

Some franchisors are starting to use social media to get their messages out, but it has been a painfully slow process to get things implemented. That is because social media is still really hard to explain. Heck, Twitter is hard to explain!

In conversations that I have had with franchise company executives, a lot of the same questions come up;

  1. How many leads will we get with a social media marketing program?
  2. How qualified are they going to be?
  3. What will my ROI be?
  4. Why should we have a blog?
  5. Why should we allow negative comments to stay on our blog?

As those of you who have been hawking the advantages of social media marketing know, these are very common questions, and concerns.

One answer comes from the Social Media Explorer blog, but it may not make those same cautious franchise execs spin in their chairs and say, “Yes! Yes! I want to do social media! Where do I sign?”:

“The problem with trying to determine ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.”

I am not sure if I want to try that line, but I feel that it is probably right on the money.

I feel that more and more franchisors will join in this social media conversation as time goes on, and it will mesh perfectly with what I discussed here in March: Franchise Transparency

I tend to see things in black and white-no gray areas. I feel that if the franchise industry is really going to continue to become more transparent, then the individual franchisors need to go full speed ahead, and adopt that model too. Setting up a simple blog is one way. How about a Fan Page on Facebook?  An intern can set one up in a half hour. A Twitter account? Why not? Welcome comments. Embrace them. Don’t worry about the negative ones. The negative ones may help you and your brand get even better.

Most franchisors will wait until the “other ones” climb aboard the social media bandwagon train. It is a train. A really big, really fast, really serious train. All Aboard!

Joel Libava Joel Libava is the Franchise Expert for Small Business Trends. Joel, The Franchise King®, equips today’s prospective franchise owners with time-tested, proven techniques designed to increase odds of success. He does this through one-on-one coaching, and gobs of useful content that can be found on places like Small Business Trends, SBA.Gov, and his award-winning franchise blog, The Franchise King Blog . He’s been featured in Entrepreneur® magazine, and is frequently called upon by national media outlets and publications for his no-spin insights into the world of franchising.