Reaching Franchise Candidates on Facebook

Facebook Reach


Are you using Facebook to sell Franchises?

For nearly all Franchise Development executives with whom I’ve spoken this year, the answer is “Sure!”  Less than 2 two years ago, the answer was, “Why?”

I have recently spoken to several groups about Social Media and Franchising including the International Franchise Association Convention 2016 FLDC in Atlanta, and IFA’s Women’s Franchise Network in Chicago.  At these events, the subject that attendees keep coming back to is Facebook Custom Audience Targeting for franchise development.

Custom Audience Targeting allows you to upload a database of email addresses and then serve up Facebook ads to only those people. While Facebook won’t open the floodgate of targeting your prospects by name, it will match the person’s email address from your list to a Facebook user profile.

Here are step-by-step instructions on uploading your email list to Facebook Custom Audience Targeting.


An Easy Touchpoint for Your Prospects

While consumer marketers have been taking advantage of this capability for nearly as long as there have been ads on Facebook, many franchise marketers have not yet discovered it. Most franchisors are focused on creating awareness with larger audiences based on demographics. They’re missing an easy touchpoint with their leads and candidates who could be engaged in a place where they are easy to reach.

And REACHING them is what it’s really all about! This isn’t about finding people who you never knew existed. It’s about not discovering a whole new species of humanoid who wants to be a franchisee. This is about getting in front of your candidates where they already live.

The average American adult spends nearly 7 hours per week on Facebook. Insert yourself and your brand into those hours among the political memes, game highlights, family photos, and cat videos.


Multiple Stages, Multiple Messages

If your email database is updated and well-managed, you can serve messages appropriate for every stage in your sales funnel. One message may be great for an old lead that faded away a while back. A very different message may fit a candidate further along in the pipeline. The more narrowed-down your target audience, the more relevant your message, and the more efficient your ad spend!


A Unique Marketing Opportunity for Franchising

Franchise Development is different than other Business-To-Business sales types in that prospects and leads use their home or personal email addresses on whatever submission forms brought those email addresses into your database. This is perfect for Facebook Customer Audience Targeting, as most people sign up with Facebook using their personal email address.  Selling other business services can be challenging using this method, as most B2B sales pros have prospects’ work email addresses, not the ones that match Facebook’s database. In this way, as in many other ways, Fran Dev is much more like B2C selling in the digital world.

Facebook Custom Audience Targeting with Your Emails


It’s been said over and over that Content Is King. Sure. But if the content is never read, viewed, or heard by anyone, then it’s not very royal.

If content drops but no one sees it, does it make any impact?

You must spend some dollars on advertising to promote your content or no one will ever see it.  But what’s the best way to throw some money at this problem? Advertise to only to targeted demographics or geography? No.

Take one step back – do you have email addresses of your current or recent clients? Let’s start there. Facebook’s Custom Audience Targeting allows you to serve up that ad to a specific group of people for whom you already have an email address.

Facebook won’t let you pick and choose specific people by name to whom an ad will be served but we can serve up ads to people whose email addresses match! In Facebook’s view, if you’ve already got an email address, then there’s a reason to speak to these people in specific voices.


Here’s for whom it works:

Business to Consumer – Create targets ads for:

  • Your current customers
  • Specific customers part of your loyalty program
  • Potential customers who have signed up for specials or info

Business to Business – Create targeted ads for:

  • Prospects and candidates


Here’s how it works:

FB1 cat

1. Go to Manage Ads on Facebook and click Create Audience button (far left)


FB2 cat

2. Choose Customer List


3. Click Upload File and select your spreadsheet with your email database


One issue to watch is the percentage of your email database that matches with Facebook users. One large franchise system with whom I spoke at FranTech 2015 has seen a match of between 60 – 70%. And an even larger global brand client of mine saw only about 50% match. Why the discrepancy? Consumers are signing up for your offerings with a different email address than what they used to sign up for Facebook.

But still, specifically targeting half or more of the people in your email database is a fantastic and economical way to reach your customers.