Entrepreneur Magazine published an interesting piece on how local franchises are communicating amongst their region, specifically utilizing social media. The article provides clear examples how companies – like McDonalds, Hampton Hotels and Supercuts – are successfully utilizing these channels for their cost-effectiveness, as well as their reliability and outreach potential.
While the tips offered in the article are relatively standard, a great example was presented regarding an organization folding a social media training component into a franchise training program. As an agency specializing in brand management, we view this as a potential best practice.
A franchisor that provides more insight than oversight should expect to see better results. There are companies that are so fearful of giving up control of their brand that they refuse to allow their franchises to take the initiative of using something like social media. A primary reason is because these companies spend a great deal of time, energy and money on strategic communications plans for the overall brand, and the fewer people tasked with implementation of that plan, the lower the chance for miscommunication and brand corruption.
However, when thinking at 30,000 feet, what gets lost is that specific regions or communities may view the brand in different ways, which leads to lost opportunities and customers. This is the type of information that locals have better access to than those at the corporate level.
The solution is including a program into that strategic communications plan that incorporates tutorials on how to use social media as a marketing tool at the local level. This allows the franchisor to maintain a level of control over the brand, while giving the franchises a level of freedom to own the brand themselves.
Over the past several weeks, we have posted about the importance of overall brand uniformity and messaging; as well as how social media channels allow for access to a large number people that have similar interests as your organization. The idea of social media training for franchises demonstrates a collaboration of both these concepts, which should lead to stronger marketing potential.
Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation.
Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.