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Twitter and franchising

It’s hard to pick up a magazine or turn on the TV or radio these days without coming across a story about Twitter, the microblogging phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. Just as many entrepreneurs have been scratching their heads to try to find a way to make social networking applications like Facebook work for their business, they are now turning to Twitter for a business edge. And some are finding one.

Mobile franchisees looking to increase their visibility should take a page out of the book of Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles. The Wall Street Journal recently blogged about Kogi and their exceedingly popular food fusion: Korean tacos. Given the demographics of Southern California, they have access to a potentially massive market, but like every small business in LA, they have to find better ways to reach customers. Kogi BBQ turned to Twitter, as you'll see here. Having built up a small cult following, Kogi began to ‘tweet’ its locations, and soon found two hour lines forming outside its vans, as 400 people a night enjoyed a Korean taco.

As Jeffiner Steinhauer of the New York Times writes:

The truck capitalizes on emerging technology by sending out Twitter alerts so fans know where to find it at any given time.

Franchisees are getting in the act, such as this Subway franchise in Preston in the UK. But it’s not only business people on the ground level using Twitter effectively. In this editorial for Forbes, Mike Schaffner, who directs IT for the Valve and Measurement Group of Cameron in Houston, talks about how Twitter has helped him cement better connections in the business world.

He says:

Twitter is like a party with old friends and new acquaintances where the conversations drift between the serious and the trivial, and back again.

The frustrating thing about social media applications like Twitter is that soon as enough of the population have mastered it, some new technology always seems to come around and take it place. In the short term, and possibly the long term, Twitter has proven to be very effective for a number of businesses and it’s the kind of thing franchisees should be experimenting with to raise their profile.

How about you? Are you finding Twitter to be an effective way to reach customers or promote your business or merely a distraction?

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