Is The Franchise Industry Using Social Media Marketing Effectively Yet?
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: May 6, 2010, 4:41 am
Social media. Those two words, (if yo;re online a lot) are quite popular. The-re so popular that if you search them on a search engine like Bing, yo-ll see that there are 191 million results. If you do the same search on Google, it will yield about 227 million results.
The franchise industry, as a whole, has not exactly been an'early adopte' of social media, especially, social media marketing.
Le's start out by defining social media. Brian Solis, one of the brightest, and most influential of all the social media and public relations specialists, defines it as'the online tools that people use to share content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself, thus facilitating conversations and interaction online between groups of people. These tools include blogs, message boards, podcasts, micro blogs, lifestreams, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis, and vlog'.
If yo'd like to dig a little deeper, Brian discusses his definition, *here.
Yo're actually using social media right now on Business.Gov. Yo're learning about social media from a US Government website that's fully engaged in it. Business.Gov has to chosen to be engaged by having its own version of a blog, and inviting a team of small business experts to provide content that's relevant to the conversations that are taking place in the world of small business.
Here's a list of some of the small business experts that contribute content here;
Joel Libava * (Me)
So far, the social media train doesn't seem to be slowing down. All types of industries are using it to market their products and services.
It's taken a while, but the franchise industry seems to be taking it seriously now. Here are some concrete examples of franchise brands that have done some really innovative things to tell their unique stories, and get the word out about their products and services;
Domino's Pizza- This is a fine example of how an innovative Chicago area franchisee used social media to rectify a mistake.
Dunkin Donuts- They've done a great job with their Facebook Fan page. Over 1 million customers have joined up, and can get access to the latest promotions, discounts, plus lots of chatter about the donuts, and the coffee. Fans also get insider information on upcoming new product launches.
NexCen Franchises- This company owns several franchise brands including The Athlete's Foot, and MaggieMoo's. They've decided to devote an entire page of their corporate website to social media marketing. This corporation obviously takes social media quite seriously.
Roni Deutch Tax Centers- This tax preparation franchisor has gone the video route. They have found a way to use the power of YouTube to explain their services, and to gain interest from prospective franchisees. They have uploaded over 100 videos, and have thousands of views.
Those are just a few examples of how specific franchise companies have added social media to their marketing mix. There are several others, and they're being added almost every day.
So, if you're a franchisor, should you get involved in social media? The simple answer is yes, but you need to decide how much of it (and in what channels) you'd like to be engaged in.
Social media marketing can certainly be an inexpensive way to get the word out. That's the upside.
The downside is that it takes a lot of time and energy to be active and engaged in the social media space. It also takes time to produce videos, write articles for blogs, and keep a Facebook Fan page fresh. Maintaining a Twitter account, with its constant stream of 140 character conversations, can't really be done on a part-time basis.
Are you ready to join the conversation?
*Non-government website links
(The Franchise King ®, Joel Libava, is president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc. Joel helps those interested in exploring franchise ownership all over the country find great opportunities that are a great match for them. He is frequently called on by the media for his no-spin insights on the world of franchising. Joel is also deeply entrenched in social media. His latest project is an educational one, Franchise Online University.com)
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