eBrandz Blog

How is social media benefiting franchise industry?

The success of franchise industry has been largely defined by its consistency and uniformity over time. But with the advent of Web-based communication tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc, the conventional business model is fast undergoing a change. The industry is being dramatically transformed by dynamic social media platforms. Indeed, potential investors now rely less on trade shows and offline franchise publications, to seek information about latest developments, thanks to online social networks. Not surprisingly, they depend more on social networks and blogs to make key decisions.

Social media platforms in spotlight
As a logical extension of this trend, franchisors have been prompted to devote more of their time and energy on social media platforms – both generic and niche.They have effectively become a vital element of marketing strategies, especially when budgets are getting constrained.

A recent research report only establishes this fact. Based on a study done by Aberdeen Group, it concludes that more than 6o percent of companies want to increase their allocation to social media marketing, in spite of, rather because of, the difficult state of the global economy and tough market conditions.

Customers prefer to connect via social media
The move perhaps has also been made owing to the fact that consumers and partners invariably expect brands to have a solid social media presence. Communications firms like Arment Dietrich, which specialize in franchise & business services, confirm this trend. Its CEO Gini Dietrich has been quoted as saying: “Nearly 93 percent of Americans now expect companies to have a (constructive) social media presence. They are using the tool to take part in conversations, meaningfully engage with brands, and also look for job opportunities.”

Franchise companies have no option but to stay true to that expectation and fulfill their aspirations. And they are benefiting from the switch over to social media. Here are a few examples:

  • Church’s Chicken attracted fans to its Twitter feed by offering $1 to every individual who opted to sign up during the initial 30-day period.
  • Papa John’s carried its Facebook-exclusive promotional program to successfully test the social media waters.
  • Pizza Hut launched a hunt for an intern, interestingly termed ‘a twintern’, who could employ the twisted Twitter lingo to update other users on Pizza Hut events.
  • Computer Explorers built an exclusive franchise development YouTube channel, featuring testimonies from franchisees. Its Facebook page posts announcements on upcoming programs plus advertising and videos. The update page connected with Twitter audiences as well.

    Summing up the trend, ‘The Franchise King’ Joel Libava has stated: “Social media will get adopted by most franchisors in the next couple of years. It won’t be termed social medial. In fact it will be the way that we all do business.”

    To sum up, more and more companies are resorting to social media platforms for reaching out to prospective consumers as well as potential investors, to sustain and grow their business in today’s competitive environment. And they are doing so with a fair degree of success!