How To Do Social Media For Franchise?
|September 21, 2021||Posted by Prasant under Social Media|
I am a self-proclaimed social media believer and whenever I see a SME or startup not using social media, I want to tell them that even businesses governed by regulatory bodies have embraced social media, then why not you? Anyways, that is a topic to be discussed some other day. A few months ago I had visited a new Kwality Walls store that had opened recently. While having my ice cream I made up my mind that I need to talk to the owner and make him aware of social media and its benefits. We had a quick chat but later on I realized that it is a franchise outlet and not a Kwality Walls brand outlet. I had a big question for the next few days that how I am supposed to do social media marketing campaign for a franchise. The big questions in front of me were:
- Who is the campaign addressed to, is it the owner or Kwality walls?
- Obviously I can’t do for Kwality Walls but if I do for the owner, then will it not create problems for the Kwality Walls brand?
So with all these problems looming large in front of me, I never went again to that shop. However I kept thinking - “How to do a social media campaign for a Franchise”?
Thanks to Twitter, today I am connected to helpful and knowledgeable twitteraties. One of them is Nimesh Shah, the chief maven of Windchimes, a social media agency located in Mumbai. I thought that it would be a great idea to ask this question to Nimesh. Not because he is running the show in a social media agency but he was ready to share too. Twitter is not only a conversational network but it also tells a lot about an individual. I know 140 characters are a killer.
Nimesh spoke with me at length over the phone and the discussion is summed up in two main sections that I am listing below:
- Why Indian franchises in the SME sector are keeping a distance from social media: Nimesh very early in the conversation pointed that many franchise’s in India are keeping a distance and SME’s are also doing the same. He shared two reasons for this behavior. One is businesses don’t want to get into the hassles of guidelines that are highlighted by the main brand. And the second thing that he shared was lack of knowledge. I agree that the first point that Nimesh shared is valid. I had the same response from Traci Long when I shared the same question on LinkedIn Answers. Traci pointed that if a franchise wishes to do social media then it should thoroughly go through the FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document) and any other operational manual. These documents give the franchise a road map of what is and is not permitted. This will also help the franchise to build their social media plans. The second point of lack of knowledge actually holds true and in such cases one needs to look for either enhancement of the knowledge or outsourcing to an agency.
- What Windchimes did when they handled a Franchise: Nimesh also had the chance to manage the social media marketing campaign for the Indian franchise of Tommy Highlfier. Since it was an all Indian franchise the problems were less in terms of regulations. Nimesh and his mavens created an Indian brand image for Tommy Highlfier. Blogs were a big lifesaver for Nimesh in this campaign along with other tools. Same thoughts of incorporating a blog were also shared by Johan Horak. Johan did an awesome job by sharing a small social media plan for franchise on LinkedIn Answers.
Nimesh also added that there are some other cool ways that are being used by some night clubs or lounge bars of Mumbai. One of the nightclubs is using the BBM feature, creating groups and spreading the word whenever they have any special promotions or events. Must say that is innovative and definitely reaching out to prospective customers. Even if ten turn up for the event, it’s worth the effort and also there’s no monetary investment at all!
To sum it all up, if you are a franchise then embrace social media with open hands and do keep these points in mind:
- Read the FDD or any other document very carefully and be fully aware what you can do and what you can’t. When in doubt, get it clarified with the brand.
- Try to find out if there has been any PR work that could be a great way to start with.
- Make sure you create a brand for yourself.
- Start with a blog and attach a monthly newsletter with it.
- Select your social networks, engage and review them.
- And finally address locally. For e.g. the ice-cream vendor who was a franchise of Kwality walls should address to the local area and build promotions for that area if he wants to start using social media someday.
We would be glad to learn if you have any experience in handling social media campaign for a franchise. Do you want to add to the list?