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How Does Your Franchise Use Facebook?

We all have heard and read about the enormous marketing capacity of Facebook. Some readers may even have found franchisees or new clients through Facebook. But many in the industry are still struggling to come up with a coherent strategy for mastering the page.

Facebook poses a particular challenge for franchises. Should your franchise speak from the same hymn sheet or should franchisees be in control of their own social media voice? It seems like an innocent enough question, but it actually gets to the heart of the question of 'independence' at the heart of franchising.

The Wall-Street Journal has published a story that states the franchises are beginning to push a single, cohesive franchise voice on Facebook.

There's clearly a huge appetite for Facebook among franchises: "According to a survey from the International Franchise Association, 27% of 549 franchisers polled said they use Facebook multiple times a day, followed by 22% who use it daily and 20% who use it weekly," the WSJ reports. They also report that Naked Pizza "gives area developers and owners social-media instructions during their training, and watches their online efforts".

As far as franchisors are concerned, a lack of coherent Facebook strategy opens for any kind of voice on the social media page, and after PR disasters like the one struck Domino's in 2009, that's a risk they can't sanction.

"If you have no policy, [franchisees] will do whatever they think they should do," said Mr. Carpenter, founder of Wild Birds Unlimited Inc told the paper. "It may be wonderful, but it may be not."

How does your franchise use Facebook? It can be an outstanding way to interact with customers on a local level. As with everything in franchising, a national vision and local mentality must go hand in hand when launching a Facebook page.

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