Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why Is Social Media Important to Franchisors and Franchisees?

Since more and more Americans use their connections to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to guide them in their consumer decisions, they expect the companies they patronize to be accessible on the web. That fact gives franchisors and their franchisees a common interest in having their business develop a dynamic presence on the Internet via the various social media outlets.

Many franchisors have gotten the message and have made budgeting decisions accordingly with respect to their marketing programs. Existing franchisees may ask, “Are the social media programs being adopted by their franchisors more than just trying to get on the bandwagon or simply attracting prospective franchisees and/or investors”? This is because whatever expense the franchisor makes for social media marketing is probably going to be paid for by the franchisees through the advertising or fees they are charged.

It behooves both franchisors and franchisees to develop the best and nimblest social media marketing program that they can so that it will be of interest to, and attract, potential customers/clients. Many businesses have figured out what it takes. Their programs are so well developed that while a customer is sitting in a restaurant wondering why he does not have more corn tortillas, the franchisor’s corporate HQ picks up the Twitter complaint and can inform the local restaurant owner of his customer’s concern.

This kind of 24/7 social media coverage can be expensive. Given the size of certain chains, they may not be able to respond within minutes to a customer’s complaint. However, that should be a goal towards which each franchisor aims and it is certainly a marketing sophistication level that any prospective franchisee should expect.

If a franchisor cannot provide such “hands on” response time for their social media marketing campaigns, what would be a reasonable standard to expect?

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