How The Top 10 Service Franchises Leverage Social Media
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Learn more and download this white paper at http://bit.ly/aECHB1. Freshout has released a white paper, "How the Top 10 Service Franchises Leverage Social Media", exposing the dilemmas franchisors......

Learn more and download this white paper at http://bit.ly/aECHB1. Freshout has released a white paper, "How the Top 10 Service Franchises Leverage Social Media", exposing the dilemmas franchisors face in adapting to the social web. The report profiles and ranks each franchise to show their activity in the top social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube), how franchisee adoption has fared, and concludes with an overall assessment with actionable best practice tips for franchisors to start seeing results.

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  • 1. How the Top 10 Service-Based Franchises Leverage Social Media Learn Expert Tips to Jumpstart Your Franchise’s Social Media Program Countless discussions are happening all the time about your franchise, both good and bad, on social networks – you can take part in the conversations and exert a level of control and awareness over your brand on the social web, or stand by and do nothing Call 877.803.4213 | info@empowerkit.com Empowerkit is a product of
  • 2. Empowering your organization on the web How the Top 10 Service-Based Franchises Leverage Social Media Learn Expert Tips to Jumpstart Your Franchise’s Social Media Program Social media & networking has become a massive phenomenon that has dramatically changed the way people communicate and share ideas. Its impact has touched nearly every corner of the globe, and effected every size and type of organization. If you’re new to social media & networking, here’s a quick snapshot of how predominant it’s become: • 1+ billion tweets per month on Twitter Twitter is the most popular micro-blogging platform • 400+ million active users on Facebook Facebook is the most widely used social network Leveraging your social media • 55 million registered users on LinkedIn presence is a powerful way for LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform on the web franchises to engage with a much broader audience – right where • 5+ billion video streams every month on YouTube they congregate most. YouTube is the most expansive video sharing social media portal What some franchise experts are saying: • By developing a presence [in social media], your franchise will be able to capture the audience that your competitors are ignoring. – Gwen Moran (Entrepreneur Magazine) • To compete effectively and communicate their brand message quickly and cost- effectively while maintaining real-time communication, a franchise brand must embrace social media. It’s not just happening, it’s here. – Sally Facinelli, CFE (Franchising World) • Ultimately, social media can improve the bottom line for franchisors and franchisees, alike. – Paul Segreto (franchisEssentials) • 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 (Franchise Selection Specialists)
  • 3. Empowering your organization on the web Leveraging your social media presence is a powerful way for We’ve compiled a report to show how the top 10 service-based franchises to engage with a much broader audience – right franchises* – those that don't require customers to visit a physical where they congregate most. Effective social networking also location – are leveraging social media, offer our unbiased assessment offers the platforms upon which to accomplish real results for and feedback, and provide some expert tips on how you can jumpstart (or revive) your franchise’s presence on the social web. We chose this your key business objectives, and analytics tools are becoming franchise segment because service-based franchises are particularly more and more sophisticated to accurately measure the impact. well positioned to benefit from the massive reach of social media, You now have the opportunity to show the helpful, appreciative as they don’t generally have a bricks-and-mortar presence to drive and human side of your franchise, and customers can more inbound sales and visibility. easily ask questions, voice feedback and spread the word about your products and services. We’ve looked at each of these franchises to see how involved they are in social media & networking, and how franchisee adoption has fared. More to the point, countless discussions are happening all the We have ranked these franchises accordingly below, based on their time about your franchise, both good and bad, on social media overall presence and activity on the top social media networks. It’s networks – you can take part in the conversations and exert a impossible to comprehensively evaluate any company’s social media level of control and awareness over your brand on the social presence without knowing their behind-the-scenes business plans and web, or stand by and do nothing. But knowing the importance of objectives, however this review should give you a good understanding social media is only half the battle – where do you begin, who of how some of the top performing service franchises are utilizing the should be involved, and how do you avoid the risky pitfalls? social web to better inform your next step. FACEBOOK TWITTER LINKEDIN YOUTUBE 1st Spherion Corporation 2nd Home Instead Senior Care 3rd Roto-Rooter 4th Interiors by Decorating Den 5th Express Employment Professionals 6th ServiceMaster Clean 7th Paul Davis Restoration 8th SERVPRO -- 9th Jani-King -- -- 10th Linc Network -- -- On the right track Building momentum Falling behind Not applicable
  • 4. Empowering your organization on the web 1st Spherion Corporation Staffing services & recruiting 504 US Units Spherion has made a definite push to expand its presence in social media from the corporate level, however the momentum and effectiveness of its efforts could really increase by including franchisees more in the system-wide initiative, which appears to be centered around promoting its job opportunities and building brand reputation. Spherion has done a great job developing a viral marketing vehicle through its “The Temp Life” campaign, which has a lot of potential to increase brand awareness and customer interest. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 8,378 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 14 • Average Number of Updates: 2 per day Franchisor Performance**: • Influence: 45.1 • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 8 • Popularity: 49.5 - Average Number of Updates: 2 to 3 per month • Engagement: 8.3 • Trust: 38.1 • Number of Franchisee Groups: 33 • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 500+ LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 500+ • Spheriontheweb Channel: • Average Number of Profile Connections: 250 46,664 channel views, 374 subscribers Features an alternative marketing campaign called “The Temp LinkedIn Groups: Life”, which also was launched recently as an iPhone app. • Spherion Alumni: 1187 members • Spherion Staffing Network: 565 members • Spherion: 74 members Sample Tweets: Spherion has 24 new positions available see them here: http:// tinyurl.com/df6vo4 #jobs @Spherion CEO: I am pleased w/ the uptick in worker confidence (Jan); it aligns w/ encouraging signs from our customers http://ow.ly/155sr ***Introducing the New Temp Life iPhone App*** Not only can you catch up on the latest episodes, read our blog... http://fb.me/5V4dhe6
  • 5. Empowering your organization on the web 2nd Home Instead Senior Care Nonmedical senior-care services 572 US Units Home Instead Senior Care has become fairly active in social media, and has made some great strides in the right direction with a particularly strong presence on LinkedIn and YouTube. The main area that could be improved is having better uniformity in the way franchisees are communicating the brand, and more frequency and better engagement with its audiences. Building on the efforts of franchisees that are currently active in social media, Home Instead has a great opportunity to tighten up its strategy and really push broader franchisee adoption. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 476 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 19 • Average Number of Updates: 6-8 per month • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 90 * Twitter Tips -Track Your Metrics: Make sure you closely track conversations about your franchise, - Average Number of Updates: 2-4 per month click-through rates of your posted links, conversions, and other success metrics you've • Number of Franchisee Groups: 14 established. By tracking and measuring your metrics, you'll be able to identify ways to tweak your strategy to see improved results. • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 500+ LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 500+ • Home Instead Inc Channel: 8,821 channel views, 95 subscribers • Average Number of Profile Connections: 87 Features customer and franchisee testimonials, exemplary employees (CAREGivers), and promotes Home Instead services. LinkedIn Groups: • Home Instead Senior Care – Fairfax County Channel: 339 channel views, 3 subscribers • Internet Marketing for Carebuzz Clients: 27 members Features event coverage, client stories, and narratives from the • Home Instead Senior Care Mountain View: 20 members franchisee about its services. • Home Instead Senior Care Ireland: 13 members • Home Instead Senior Care – Portugal Channel: 29 channel views, 1 subscriber • Home Instead Senior Care San Francisco: 9 members Features photo montage videos and a Home Instead • Home Instead Senior Care- Concord/Salisbury, NC: 9 members commercial. • CSR Home Instead: 6 members • Stages of Senior Care Channel: 897 channel views, 6 subscribers • Home Instead Senior Care Northern Colorado: 4 members This channel features the authors of “Stages of Senior Care”, a • Home Instead Senior Care North Wilkesboro NC: 3 members book published by the founders of Home Instead Senior Care, • Home Instead Senior Care of Birmingham, MI: 1 member discussing the content and value of the book. • Home Instead Senior Care – WI: 1 member Sample Tweets: Volunteering helps fight frailty, study shows. http://seniorhomecareadvisor.blogsp We’re in the News! http://www.homeinstead.com/701/mediaroom/default.aspx Frequent Mental Lapses May Precede Alzheimer’s http://bit.ly/a8gq6L
  • 6. Empowering your organization on the web 3rd Roto-Rooter Residential and commercial plumbing and drain cleaning 548 US Units Roto-Rooter has built a great brand where humor plays a key roll in exposing its strong customer service, and the types of plumbing expertise offered by franchisees. They seem to understand that the brand can really be leveraged across the social web to accomplish meaningful results, however they need more momentum behind their efforts to realize the true benefits. The main elements Roto-Rooter is lacking in is higher frequency in its communications, better inclusion of franchisees, and more engagement with its audiences – by focussing on improving these areas in refining its strategy, Roto-Rooter would very likely see some dramatic improvements in the results of its social media initiatives. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 653 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 2 • Average Number of Updates: 2 per week Franchisor Performance**: • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 8 • Influence: 22.3 - Average Number of Updates: 1 per week • Popularity: 40.5 • Engagement: 5.7 • Number of Franchisee Groups: 1 • Trust: 14.8 • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 314 LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 172 • Roto-Rooter TV Channel: 660 channel views, 6 subscribers • Average Number of Profile Connections: 86 This channel appears to be managed by the franchisor, and features Roto-Rooter commercials, media coverage, customer testimonials, and educational videos about its services. LinkedIn Groups: • Roto-Rooter Franchisee Association: 11 members • Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah Channel: • Fans of the Roto-Rooter Bathroom Reader: 2 members 356 channel views, 5 subscribers Features educational and entertaining videos, along with media coverage, about the franchisee’s services. Sample Tweets: Ever wonder what your sewer pipe looks like on the inside? http://www.rotorooter.com/residential/videocameralineinspection.php Teachers Ordered To Monitor Cleaning Of Hands In Morning, Before And After Lunch And After Every Restroom Visit http://bit.ly/SMYKU Install flood alarms in your home. These small inexpensive devices sound an alarm when they come in contact with water.
  • 7. Empowering your organization on the web 4th Interiors by Decorating Den Interior decorating services & products 425 US Units The social media strategy for Interiors by Decorating Den that appears to be in place focuses almost exclusively on distributing information about recent projects completed by its designers to followers, fans, and group members. Although they are doing fairly well in terms of being active across the key platforms, their social media marketing would be much more effective if they spent more time interacting with their audiences. Encouraging interaction on Facebook fan pages and on Twitter would help by giving customers a place to ask questions, give praise and feedback, and share ideas, not to mention provide a much more fertile environment for sending out sales and marketing messages. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 194 Franchisor Performance**: • Influence: 21.5 • Average Number of Updates: 2-3 times per week • Popularity: 37.1 • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 16 • Engagement: 23.1 - Average Number of Updates: 1 per month • Trust: 13.6 • Number of Franchisee Groups: 5 * Facebook Tips -Welcome Discussion: Make sure you're encouraging discussions on your fan page by posing questions to your fans, holding contests, and responding to comments. LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 249 • DecoratingDen Channel: 3,517 channel views, 94 subscribers • Average Number of Profile Connections: 71 Features a series of “how-to” decorating videos with host Sue Pelley. LinkedIn Groups: • Decorating Den: 72 members • Interiors by Decorating Den: 32 members • Decorating Den_JR: 1 member • Eastlake Woodlands [Decorating Den]: 1 member Sample Tweets: We’re so excited to introduce you to our Decorating Den Interiors Canadian $ 10,000 Dream Bedroom Makeover Contest... http://bit.ly/922Fn9 We love our franchise owners. Happy Valentines Day! http://bit.ly/bOzXMR Beautiful Condo in Atlanta by Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Woods fo Decorating Den http://bit.ly/aKTrpe
  • 8. Empowering your organization on the web 5th Express Employment Professionals Staffing services & recruiting 527 US Units Express Employment Professionals has a lot of potential to leverage social media, because its consumer audience is constantly hunting for job opportunities online. The problem they face is developing and executing a unified strategy – right now there are a number of fragmented efforts, which lack consistency and the engagement of its audiences. Leveraging Twitter more in particular is highly recommended, where they can tweet out new job opportunities and engage with job seekers by answering questions and offering tips. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 1,598 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 7 • Average Number of Updates: 2-3 per month • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 75 - Average Number of Updates: Less than 1 per month • Number of Franchisee Groups: 24 • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 500+ LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 500+ • Expressep Channel: 301 channel views, 1 subscriber • Average Number of Profile Connections: 275 Features testimonial videos of people who Express has helped find job opportunities for, along with general branding videos. LinkedIn Groups: • Express Employment Professionals Employees: 151 members • ExpressProsSeattle Channel: 26 channel views, 2 subscribers • Job Connection with Express Employment Professionals: 152 members Features general company branding and consumer education about Express’s services. • HR and Hiring with Express Employment Professionals: 136 members • ExpressSRG Networking Group: 56 members • Express Employment Professionals Franchisees: 33 members • Express Employment Professionals: 8 members • Express Employment Professionals Seattle: 4 members Sample Tweets: • Express Employment Professionals Orem, UT: 1 member • Portland ME and Dover NH Employment Opportunities: 3 members Looking for a Computer Tech. with 5 years experience with working on servers. = Health Insurance available! Call 409.898.1168 if interested. • Express Professional Staffing Division Networking Group: 3 members Production and manufacturing positions on 2nd and 3rd shift. Starting @ $10.50/hr. Temp to hire jobs. Park 100 call 297-2341. #jobs Our first webinar is the Thursday, February 11th. Request your spot now! The topic is Social Media, it will be a... http://bit.ly/bnIQ9q
  • 9. Empowering your organization on the web 6th ServiceMaster Clean Commercial & residential cleaning & disaster restoration 3020 US Units ServiceMaster Clean has a fairly good presence on LinkedIn, but could really use some more energy put towards strengthening its other social media efforts. The franchisor, in this case, needs to have more control and participation in the discussions happening around its brand and services, because currently we have observed a number of questions and comments from consumers that have gone unanswered. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 191 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 8 • Average Number of Updates: 4-6 per month • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 4 * Twitter Tips -Gain Credibility and Brand Equity: Tweeting out your blog posts and press releases - Average Number of Updates: 1-2 per month is great, but don't limit your Twitter usage to one-way sales and marketing messages. By sharing industry news stories, responding to relevant questions, and tweeting out • Number of Franchisee Groups: 2 advice and tips, you'll become viewed as a valuable source to your followers and you'll gain credibility. The more you can engage in conversations and provide value to the community, the more your brand will benefit. • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 103 LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 500+ Franchisee Channels: • Average Number of Profile Connections: 95 • Portland Unit: 14 channel views; 0 subscribers • Wichita Unit: 13 channel views; 0 subscribers LinkedIn Groups: • Unknown Location: 268 channel views; 1 subscriber • ServiceMaster Alumni: 314 members • Maryland Unit: 269 channel views; 1 subscriber • ServiceMaster QRV Marketing Professionals: 259 members • ServiceMaster Alumni Group: 23 members * LinkedIn Tips -Continuously Build your Network: The value of LinkedIn depends heavily on the • ServiceMaster Franchises pursuing growth and success: 20 members number of meaningful connections you have. To start, add all of your existing • ServiceMaster Clean: 16 members contacts as connections. You should then make it a habit to always add new contacts you make as connections, and add an "opt-in" option on your mailing lists gaining • ServiceMaster Clean of Traverse City Area: 15 members permission to connect with people on LinkedIn who sign-up. • ServiceMaster Clean of Grand Traverse: 5 members Sample Tweets: Not all carpet cleaning solutions and equipment clean equally well. So to find out which ones are best go to http://ow.ly/15d0I Water damage claims increase substantially if prompt action is not taken to contain the damage. WeCleanYourStuff.com 719-471-8313 We do the best service in cleaning due to smoke, water, mold and disaster related losses. We’re available 24/7 888-333-4488
  • 10. Empowering your organization on the web 7th Paul Davis Restoration Insurance restoration services 217 US Units Paul Davis Restoration clearly is trying to build a stronger social media presence, but like many other franchises, they would see greatly improved results through initiating better audience engagement in conversations and increased franchisee adoption of a cohesive strategy. We see an opportunity to really showcase Paul Davis Restoration’s technical expertise, as they appear to be innovating in the renovation services industry. Content around this expertise could be leveraged through the YouTube channel and LinkedIn Groups to educate consumers and build even greater brand awareness and credibility. Facebook Twitter • Number of Fans: 214 • Number of Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 17 • Average Number of Updates: 2 per day Franchisor Performance**: • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 77 • Influence: 20.5 - Average Number of Updates: 2 per week • Popularity: 27.2 • Engagement: 17.5 • Number of Franchisee Groups: 4 • Trust: 11.8 • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 500+ * Facebook Tips -Publishing Schedule: Create a manageable publishing schedule on your official fan page, and try to vary the types of content you publish. Try to work in photo and video updates whenever you can, share helpful links, and update your fans on news about your franchise. LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 370 • Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. Channel: 547 channel views, 19 subscribers • Average Number of Profile Connections: 41 Feature Paul Davis Restoration commercials. LinkedIn Groups: • Paul Davis Restoration: 9 group members Sample Tweets: PDR Northeast Wisconsin completes fire restoration project for Univ. Wisconsin: http://bit.ly/azBBKi Got mold in your bathroom? Spraying bleach makes mold spores go airborne. Moisture control & keeping the surface dry is the key. Paul Davis Restoration reveals the best ways to avoid accidents from electric space heaters http://bit.ly/bEyikK
  • 11. Empowering your organization on the web 8th SERVPRO Insurance/disaster restoration & cleaning 1459 US Units We have found an overall lack of brand and message continuity in SERVPRO’s social media efforts, and there’s a clear opportunity for the franchisor to get involved, take back some control, and provide its franchisees with the guidance and training they need to succeed with their independent efforts. Introducing video content through a YouTube channel would be a great way for SERVPRO to showcase its franchisees, services, and customers, whereby it could increase brand awareness, drive customer leads, and work to accomplish any number of additional objectives SERVPRO has. Facebook Twitter • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 96 • Number of Staff & - Average Number of Updates: 1 per month Franchisee Profiles: 30 • Number of Franchisee Groups: 4 * Twitter Tips • Number of Staff and Franchisee Profiles: 500+ -Be Authentic: Don't be afraid to show the personal side of your brand, and always be as transparent as possible. Sharing information that's humorous, unexpected, or "personal" about your franchise helps humanize your brand and show your authenticity. LinkedIn • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 193 • Average Number of Profile Connections: 42 LinkedIn Groups: • SERVPRO: 69 members • SERVPRO marketing group of Tennessee: 27 members • SERVPRO of Lima Fire, Water and Mold Restoration: 5 members * LinkedIn Tips -Participate in Groups: Group discussions are where the majority of interactions take place on LinkedIn, and participating regularly is a great way to expose your credibility, promote your brand, and build your network. Join as many relevant groups as possible, and consider how starting one or more groups of your own can support your overall social media strategy and add value back to the community. Groups are also a great opportunity to expand your franchisee recruitment efforts, but be cautious not to use hard sales tactics that will turn off group members. Sample Tweets: Thanks to everyone who attended our Water Restoration Continuing Education classes in Sonora and Jackson and for... http://fb.me/4WnhoSS Just finished inspecting a denied claim. Keep a close eye on your home’s plumbing and don’t neglect any leaks. Just posted on ActiveRain: Electrical Hazards Associated with Water Damage http://activerain.com/t/1481704
  • 12. Empowering your organization on the web 9th Jani-King Commercial cleaning 10,663 US Units Jani-King does not appear to have taken any steps towards building a social media presence, and with well over 10,000 franchisees, there’s great potential to leverage that network to really promote and strengthen its brand through. There is a particularly good opportunity for Jani-King on LinkedIn, where there is a large pool of prospective customers that can be reached, as well as a place where franchisee recruitment can be promoted. Facebook Twitter • Number of Franchisee Fan Pages: 1 No presence on Twitter -Average Number of Updates: No updates since December 2009 * Facebook Tips -Ensure Brand Continuity: Make sure the profile image you use is clear and doesn't crop out any parts of your logo or name. Provide the most optimal image file to your franchisees, and request they use it on their franchise fan pages and groups. Also establish a consistent naming convention for franchisees to use for fan pages and groups they may start, so that you don't end up with dozens of pages and groups with the same name and no visible differentiation. LinkedIn YouTube • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 206 • Jani-King Australia Channel: 54 channel views; 0 subscribers • Average Number of Profile Connections: 64 The one video on this channel promotes Jani-King’s history and industry credibility, and is geared towards attracting new franchisees. * LinkedIn Tips - Optimize your Profile: Having a complete profile with keyword-rich content will help improve your SEO. Make sure to include relevant hyperlinks to news stories and other relevant content about your franchise on the web.
  • 13. Empowering your organization on the web 10th Linc Network Commercial HVAC service and energy solutions 129 US Units Linc Network has practically no presence in social media, which is surprising for a franchise of its size. Depending on its current business objectives and strategy, Linc Network could benefit greatly from building its activity on LinkedIn particularly, where it could engage potential customers through distributing information about its services, discussing industry best practices, and opening up conversations about potential customers’ projects. LinkedIn could also be a great platform for franchisee recruitment efforts, as well as better engaging its current community of franchisees through discussing customer successes, challenges, and new ideas in a closed group environment. Facebook Twitter No presence on Facebook Franchisor Performance**: • Influence: 4.9 • Popularity: 16.1 • Engagement: 3 • Trust: 4.5 LinkedIn • Number of Current Staff & Franchisee Profiles: 46 • Average Number of Profile Connections: 40 * LinkedIn Tips -Post Status Updates Regularly: The status update is a great way to remain active on LinkedIn, attract visitors to your profile, and promote news about your franchise. You can now also sync up your Twitter profile, so that status updates publish to both LinkedIn and Twitter. -Give Recommendations, Seek Recommendations: The more positive recommendations you have the better. Recommendations showcase your credibility, and give people an outside perspective on how you are to work with. By giving recommendations to others, you'll find that many will return the favor by posting a recommendation for you. Sample Tweets: Linc Network continues to provide energy solutions to commercial business owners!
  • 14. Empowering your organization on the web Tips & Take-Aways Our research has shown that most of the franchises profiled 1. Devise Your Plan of Action are making a definite effort to become active in social media Before you start tweeting and adding Facebook friends, it’s & networking. Several of them have built a strong presence imperative to have a sound social media strategy in place with across the largest social platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, defined success metrics, so you can evaluate results as you go. and YouTube – and have leveraged their efforts to generate Metrics should not solely focus on quantitative measures (i.e. discussions about the franchise, franchisees, products and website traffic stats and conversions, new leads, etc.), but should services. also give weight to qualitative results such as sentiment value in the conversations that emerge. Your social media strategy should The problem across the board, however, is two-fold. For one, most coincide with your broader marketing and operational initiatives, franchises lack a clearly defined strategy to drive their social media not exist in a silo, and be laser-focused on hitting your business efforts. This is a very common issue that companies of all sizes and objectives, which may include: from every industry are facing, and the solution can be complex and multi-faceted. Most franchises have realized that social media • Strengthening branding & networking is a powerful phenomenon that holds great potential, • Expanding sales promotions and that it’s here to stay. But with new trends and platforms constantly emerging, and the established ones changing regularly, • Building a competitive advantage it can be extremely daunting to invest in devising and executing a • Fuellng franchisee recruitment concerted strategy. • Gaining new market insights The second issue is franchisee adoption. It is difficult to know • Bolstering customer support and loyalty whether or not, for the franchises we’ve profiled, the franchisor has communicated to franchisees the value and expectations of • Or all of the above being active in social media & networking, or if they’ve taken it on through their own initiative. Regardless, it’s clear that only a After your strategy is established, it’s important to maintain small percentage of franchisees have started to use social media flexibility and tweak your efforts and guidelines based on new platforms for the franchises we’ve reviewed. More importantly, and emerging trends in social media, consumer and stakeholder there is a significant lack of brand and messaging continuity among feedback, and the ideas and responses you receive from your staff franchisees that have started to embrace the social web and make and franchisees. their voices heard. The negative implications of this type of broad discord among the collective presence of franchisees are brand 2. Determine Where, When & How to be Active dilution, muddled search findings, and inconsistencies in how Once you’ve established a clear strategy, the next step is customer communications are handled, to name a few. determining your tactics. Here you want to first take a step back and really look at what the people in your franchise are interested These problems are common among almost all franchises, so here in, good at, and enjoy sharing and discussing. For example, your are some tips for franchisors on how to get your social media & staff and franchisees may be particularly good writers, or love networking program on the right track: to take and share photos or videos, or are already very active in
  • 15. Empowering your organization on the web Tips & Take-Aways certain online communities. Once you look at your franchise’s Multi-Platform Management: collective strengths and interests, you should try to match them • Hootsuite with your business objectives outlined in your strategy, and look into which social platforms are the best fit. For example, if your (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn supported) staff and franchisees love sharing photos and videos, and this • TweetDeck content can support your business goals, it would probably make a lot of sense to see how you can leverage Flickr, YouTube, and (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn supported) Facebook. You should also look beyond the top social networks and dig deeper into some of the more niche communities, forums, and blogs where your target audiences may be more concentrated. Reputation Management and Social Media Monitoring: Once you determine the primary platforms where your social media • Radian6 strategy will be rooted, set some general guidelines and objectives for the types of content your staff and franchisees should be • Trackur publishing (i.e. customer testimonials, industry-related news, • Google Alerts helpful tips, media coverage, special promotions and contests, etc.); the ways in which you plan to engage in conversations (i.e. responding to complaints and praise, initiating and joining 4. Create Your Policy, Guidelines and Training Program discussions, how to represent the franchise, etc.); and the frequency Since it’s inevitable that your staff and franchisees have some of your activity (average number of updates, comments, and/or posts per day, week, or month). It’s very important to be realistic presence in social media already, and they likely include their about these guidelines, and to start with manageable goals that you place of work in their profiles and conversations, it’s critical to can hit and grow from. establish a social media policy to set the proper expectations and help manage your brand. Without clear guidelines in place, 3. Select Your Tools it is hard to maintain your brand’s image and consistency in As the social web has matured, a plethora of applications have communications through logo conformity, sales promotion emerged to help individuals and companies manage and track their social media & networking activities. Some tools are platform- style, conversational tone, and even naming conventions (i.e. specific while others allow for multi-platform management, and BrandNYC vs. NYC-Brand). It’s also important to not dictate too there are several great social media monitoring applications to help many arbitrary rules that will lead to the need for excessive you track all of the conversations about your franchise and enforce management oversight and discontent among your team. You first your policies. The tools you select should directly meet the needs want to clearly explain the purpose and value of social media to established by the platforms you’ve decided to focus on and the the franchise so everyone understands the reasoning behind the success metrics you’ve set. Here are some of our recommended tools to consider: efforts in the first place.
  • 16. Empowering your organization on the web Tips & Take-Aways Here are some general tips for what to include in your policy: • Maintain professionalism and be mindful of what you publish • Express your individuality without getting too personal • Always keep in mind your audience, and the franchise’s key objectives • Respond to questions, complaints, and praise quickly and courteously • Offer true value in everything you publish • Avoid hindering your productivity – set some time limits and a schedule • Mind your franchise agreement and copyright laws Having a policy is a great start, but training is really what will help spread adoption of your policy and overall social media strategy. To minimize expending too much precious resources on this, we recommend producing informative webinars that you can conduct with your franchise executives, staff, and groups of franchisees at a time to educate everyone about your plans and expectations. 5. Get Everyone On-Board Most of all you need to secure buy-in from everyone in the franchise system – including franchisees. It’s a good idea to involve your regional franchisee representatives in your initial *Based on worldwide sales in 2009 (source: 2009 Franchise plans, to gain their feedback and instil a sense of ownership over Times Top 200 Franchise Systems) **Data available through tweetlevel.edelman.com the initiative right off the bat. Answer your staff and franchisees' Data Accuracy Disclaimer: The data findings in this report are questions and concerns, be transparent, and always reinforce the based on secondary research conducted by Freshout Media LLC value and goals of your collective efforts. One of the best ways to and are believed to be reliable and accurate as of the date upon which such research was concluded. However, no warranty, guide your staff and franchisees in the right direction is to have a expressed or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, delegated community manager internally, who is there to set the completeness, legality, reliability, or usefulness of any information, either isolated or in the aggregate, contained in this report. example for everyone else, offer day-to-day support and feedback, Information that was either unavailable and/or could not be and jump in when someone is veering away from the strategy. accessed prior to the completion of this report was omitted.
  • 17. Empowering your organization on the web About the Author Chris Anderson is the General Manager and Principal at Freshout, the firm behind Empowerkit and a San Francisco-based full service web agency providing services in online marketing, strategy, design and development. With broad experience in social media & networking, ranging from leveraging social media for product launches, About Empowerkit to developing and implementing new social media applications, to consulting with clients on social media Empowerkit is the strategy and return on investment analysis, Anderson ultimate toolkit offers a fresh and pragmatic viewpoint on how franchises for you and your can properly leverage the evolving social web. Through franchisees to succeed research conducted while authoring this ebook, Anderson on the web. Allowing your franchisees to easily evaluated dozens of top-performing franchises to assess customize and manage their own web presence their social media presence, and interviewed several using a powerful web-based platform, Empowerkit franchisors and franchise consultants to gain additional provides you control over your brand, and your insights about the franchising industry’s understanding franchisees get control over content, functionality, and utilization of social media. and daily maintenance tasks for their website. Empowerkit offers a library of all the latest and As the General Manager at Freshout, Anderson plays greatest applications all under one roof, enabling several roles in overseeing day to day operations. your franchisees to successfully run their businesses From finalizing proposals and contracts, to forging new online. And the best part, there’s no installation, not partnerships, to carrying out team building programs and setup, and no waiting. Visit http://Empowerkit.com implementing organizational standards, Anderson works today to learn more. closely with other team leaders to ensure innovation, productivity, and morale are optimized across the Call 877.803.4213 | info@empowerkit.com organization. Anderson also recently lead the planning and successful launch of SavvyFranchises.com. Empowerkit is a product of