Social Media tools are improving marketing and sales efforts for small businesses every day. Nowhere is the impact greater than within franchise systems.
Not only are smart franchisors driving traffic into outlets’ locations and onto websites, but they are also driving recruitment of new franchisees using social media channels.
Here are two simple ways we can engage prospective franchisees: sharing our story in order to attract new interest and exploring the social web for new leads with whom we should connect.
I. Speak and Share – Tell Your Stories
As one client recently stated, “I want potential franchisees to experience what my current franchisees are experiencing.”
Prospective franchisees are searching for information well before they pick up the phone or take your call. Be found! More blogs, Fan Pages, and other platforms populated with your content means more candidates will find your brand and your story. Showhomes has had an amazing increasing in franchise sales this year partially due aggressive social media efforts.
In the below example, I am marketing and developing new business for the “Java121” Coffee Franchise Company. I’m using the Engage121 app to share these stories across all platforms (Facebook Fan Page, our blog, Twitter, and any other platforms I choose). As the same time, I’m cross-pollenating that same content for all of my current franchisees’ platforms as well!
I compose a bit of content and perhaps share a link to an article. Note that with Engage121’s merge fields, the content will be customized for each franchisee.
Next I choose all or any franchisees on whose behalf this message will be sent. Also, I choose all or any platforms to which I’m posting:Done! We have just shared that content, with a link to more information about our coffee to all of my corporate brand pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts as well as all of those pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts belonging to every franchisee in the system. This message about our product, brand, and system is out there! If I had 250 franchisees, this content would have posted to over 1,000 individual sites instantly.
Smart marketers and franchise development pro’s are not limiting these stories to only focus on products and services. They are sharing the success stories about franchisees’ booming businesses to attract candidates who wish to be a part of that opportunity.
II. Explore and Find New Connections
You must seek out discussions held by potential candidates. This is something impossible to do just a couple of years ago! Using Engage121, I am searching not only Twitter, but also virtually all social media platforms, hundreds of thousands of blogs and traditional media (newspapers, TV, magazine, etc.).
I ran a quick search of the phrase “start my own business” and found 34 people tweeting that phrase just the past 24 hours! These are leads I need to engage! Note, you may also filter your results by state, county, or city for targeted exploration. I can engage this person in conversation immediately. Introduce yourself and start the conversation!
I can “tag” anyone if find, so here I’m tagging someone as “candidate”. This is useful for keeping up with large groups of individuals and listening to what they’re saying later on.
Also note that any leads from traditional sources that you’re managing via a CRM system or other means should be imported into this application so you can listen to and engage via their social media hot spots as well!