The value of social media for prospective franchisees

What is the true value of social media in the world of franchising and how can prospective franchisees use it to make an informed decision

The value of social media for prospective franchisees

There are few things shaping the modern world like social media. From giving a platform to the stars of tomorrow to bringing the whole globe into easy contact to having the power to make and break a brand, social media is undeniably influential. But, what is the true value of social media in the world of franchising and how can prospective franchisees use social media to make an informed decision about a franchising opportunity?

Social can help you find your dream franchise

In social media marketing, there is a lot of rhetoric about social media acting as a shop front to potential customers. But, as a prospective franchisee, that goes for you as well. You can work out a lot about a brand from their social media presence. 

Firstly, are they active on social media? If they are active this is a good indicator that this is a brand that is investing in marketing. From a potential franchisee’s perspective, if the franchisor’s ‘head office’ accounts are active with regular posting, this shows a level of support for franchisee businesses on a national or even global level. You can even use features such as the Facebook Ad Library to see if the franchisor is running ads for all territories which could benefit your business. 

Secondly, what are they posting? Reviewing the content of both the franchisor and individual franchisee accounts can give you a clearer idea of what you would be investing in. This is especially true when it comes to the trend for social media content to be more authentic and native to the platforms which means you’re more likely to see more of the realness of being a franchisee and less of the shiny, high production value content of the website or new franchisee supporting materials. 

Reviewing a franchisor’s content can also help you work out if the brand aligns with your interests. For example, is this a brand that engages with themes that you care about as an individual and as a business owner? Does it make you feel more connected to the franchise you would be buying or does the content make you feel more distant from it?

Guide Your Own Marketing Activities

It cannot be understated how important having a social media presence for your franchise is in this day and age. However, if you’ve never run a business social media account before or have no previous marketing experience, this can feel quite overwhelming. Doing your research on the franchisor and existing franchisee accounts can help you get a good idea of what kind of social content you could be producing and can inspire your future content calendars. 

It’s also important to talk with your potential franchisor about social media if it’s an area you don’t feel confident about. Their response will be quite telling in how they train and support new franchisees as they should be able to offer training and/or resources to you to help you feel more equipped in this area.

Digitally Connect with the Local Area

The shift from the term ‘social networking’ to ‘social media’ is both very telling of what customers are looking for from you as a social media marketer and somewhat misleading at the same time. 

Social media users, for the most part, are looking for content, or media, to entertain, inspire, teach or move them. When you step into the role of social media marketer, it’s important to remember what your followers are wanting from you. It’s an exchange like any other. They are exchanging a follow and potentially their engagement for content they want to see. If they don’t receive this, they will unfollow. 

However, that’s not the only reason people engage with social media as a lot of users are still using the networking features as well. Social networking allows people to connect with their friends and with their local community. This creates a great opportunity for you to utilise this to market to people in your territory. Before investing in your franchise, you can check what local Facebook groups and pages there are and if there are any local influencers that you could use to your advantage. This can help you plan ahead with your social marketing and also give you an idea about your potential customer base. 

Social media is incredibly value when considering whether to invest in a franchise. You can learn a lot about the franchisor and existing franchisees and gather ideas about your customers and potential marketing plans. Choosing to become a franchisee is a huge life decision and researching your desired franchise brands is key to helping you make this choice. Add checking social media into your research mix to get a fuller understanding of the commitment you’d be making and the future you could have in your new franchise business. 

This article comes courtesy of Stagecoach Performing Arts who provide part-time performing arts classes to children and young people aged 4-18. Find out more about how to become a Stagecoach franchisee here.

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