Franchisors, Have You Added Social Media Policies to Your OPS Manual? Part 1

Whether we like it or not, Social Media is here to stay and it will continue to grow and change every day. Social Media is a vehicle for grassroots marketing requiring relative little investment to implement and manage, yet having the potential for far reaching results. As a franchisor, you need to create and implement Social Media Policies that can guide your and your franchisees’ participation in these marketing vehicles. You also need to include these policies in your Operations Manual and train your franchisees on how to use this great marketing and brand building tool.

This is a multi-part blog entry. In this section, Part 1, I cover the first step of integrating Social Media in your overall marketing strategy. Part 2 includes pointers to consider for B2B and B2C franchises. Part 3 provides some specific suggestions for the types of policies you may want to include in your Manuals policies; and, Part 4 provides a list of resources you should be aware of, check out, and when appropriate, share with franchisees.

Your Social Media policies should reflect your Social Media Strategy including:

  • Your objectives,
  • The Social Media vehicles of your choice,
  • The frequency,
  • The message(s),
  • The participants, and
  • The measurements.

The first step in creating Social Media Policies is to answer the following questions which will assist you in developing your strategy.

  1. Is your business B2B or B2C? That is, are your customers other businesses or are they individuals?
  2. What are your objectives for using Social Media? For example, you may want to
    • Create or build brand awareness,
    • Increase demand for your products or services,
    • Improve communications with customers,
    • Market your franchise opportunity, or
    • Other.
  3. What are the most appropriate Social Media vehicles for your company?
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • Other (for more info. be in the look out for Part 4 of this topic).
  4. Who should be doing the actual posting on those sites: franchisor, franchisees or both?
  5. Do you want to spend the time and energy to participate on Social Media on behalf of all of your franchisees?
  6. Do you want to spend the time and energy to monitor the Social Media participation of your franchisees?

Once you have answered these questions, you will have defined a basic Social Media Strategy and not you need to draft a set of policies and include them in the Operations Manual.

If you decide to allow your franchisees to participate in Social Medial and to encourage such participation, provide them with specific guidelines and ensure they understand these policies. Include a session on Social Media in your training program and review your guidelines regularly.

Watch out for Part 2 of this topic. It will be coming soon and it will include pointers for the incorporation of Social Media in B2B and B2C franchises.


You are welcomed to use the information on this pos; all I ask is that you give credit and provide a link to Thank you!


  1. We recently added a social media policy to our operations manual for our franchisees to use. I cribbed together information from a variety of sources and would be willing to share if anyone wants to see our solution to a policy.

  2. Thanks for your kind offer Thomas… I am sure some people will take you on. I will soon have some suggested ones in this blog and would love to have your comments.