Social Media: How does it apply to franchising?

When I discovered the power of Twitter and decided to delve deeper into LinkedIn and Facebook a few months ago, I felt as if I just had woken up from a coma. I was confused and almost dizzy with all the information I had to sort out. My mind was flooded with questions such as: Is it worth my time to learn about all of this? Will it stay; or, is this just a fad? How does all of this apply to franchising? How will social media help our clients? How can our company benefit from it? How do I learn to become proficient and to help our clients take advantage of Social Media?

Well, I am still learning every single day; and, like what I had to do with yoga, I have accepted that this is a long term project, one which requires my daily effort and focus; and one that every day shows me that perseverance pays off.  In this post I want to share with you the answers to these questions.

Is it worth my time to learn about social media? Will it stay; or, is this just a fad?

Gini Dietrich is the queen of Twitter and Social Media, a fireball entrepreneur PR expert, from whom I have learned tremendous amount of information during her webminars as well as from her blog and the daily example of how she uses these tools. Gini believes that one of the reasons why Social Media is here to stay is simply because humans, by nature, are social beings; we have an intrinsic and potent need to communicate and share information. Today we seem to be more and more isolated; more professionals are working from home, more businesses are encouraging employees to do the same and this trend has been driving us deeper into our own worlds. Social media allows us to come out and play, to “go to the water cooler” to exchange information, to satisfy our intrinsic need for social interaction. It will change, today the leaders are Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; tomorrow there will be others but there is no doubt that social media is here to stay. Gini also quotes a 2008 survey from Cone Business which found that 60% of Americans use Social Media and that of those 93% expect companies to have a Social Media presence. Now, that was in September of 2008, I know I was not using Social Media then; I wonder what the percentages are today. I decided to pay attention! Social Media is here to stay.

How does all of this apply to franchising?

When I set out to answer this question, it was immediately obvious to me that Social Media allows us to build a brand quickly (see separate post). And, it can also be used to greatly damage a brand, so companies must be mindful of the dual power of Social Media.  Further, it was also pretty easy for me to see how professionals can use LinkedIn, for example, and retail franchises can use Twitter and Facebook to drive sales; so franchisors should train franchisees on how to use social media as part of their marketing efforts. Networking is no longer just going to that one weekly or monthly networking event; it’s about getting active and engaged every single day. Moreover, Social Media can also be successful in creating new franchise prospect leads; and, using the proper channel like LinkedIn Groups, it can become a great communication tool with all levels of the franchise organization. Paul Segreto of FranchiseEssentials has a lot of good information on his site. He, too, has been instrumental in my learning more about how to use social media in franchising.  

This week I attended a webminar hosted by Eric Stites, President and CEO of Franchise Review. During the webminar (which you can listen to at he shared some impressive statistics. This was a survey of 80 franchise professionals; out of these 80 people:

93% were using social media for personal reasons

72% said that the franchisor was using social media, and

70% said that their franchisees were using social media

The survey also revealed the use of the following media by the participating franchise companies:

91% use Facebook

87% use Twitter

57% use You Tube

54% use LinkedIn

48% of the companies had a blog

Further, the franchise companies using social media have observed the following results:

95% increased brand awareness

50% gained new customers

21% recruited new franchisees

These results answer my question — how does social media apply to franchising? If you want to increase brand awareness, gain new customers for your locations and your franchisees’ locations, and recruit new franchisees, as Gini says: “you have to get on the band wagon.”

How will social media help our clients?

International Expansion Expert’s clients are emerging franchisors, companies that are expanding via franchising and franchisors and franchisees seeking better results. For them, Social Media is a must because they are all searching for more brand awareness, more customers and more franchisees.

 How can our company benefit from it?

Personally, I am thrilled with the learning opportunities available to me every day through Twitter and LinkedIn. I have met some incredible people with a wealth of knowledge; people who share my values of caring, sharing information, and giving… people of character and ethics. I am learning more skills that can benefit our clients now and in the future; and, eventually I know my efforts will lead to more business. But, for now, I am grateful for each person who shares freely; and, my hope is that I can enrich their lives or the lives of others as they are enriching mine. It is all about relationships!

How do I learn to become proficient and to help our clients take advantage of Social Media?

There are many sources of information about Social Media.

  1. Contact us and we’ll share with you what we’ve learned. (International Expansion Experts).
  2. Attend Webminars on the subject. (Besides the one I mentioned before you can go to to listen to a two part webminar by Gini Dietrich.)
  3. Come back to this Blog as I will continue to post more information as I learn it. (I will soon post Tips for Twitter and other Social Media for Franchisors).
  4. Visit the websites I shared here.
  5. Open accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube and start learning slowly. Observe what others are doing and learn.


  1. Great post. A very interesting and enjoyable read.