Franchisors: Have You Added Social Media Policies to Your OPS Manual? Part 2

If you have a B2B franchise, LinkedIn is one of the best Social Media vehicles for you. However, depending on the type of services you offer, Twitter can also produce good results; and, if you offer a product to small businesses, it can be an excellent choice.

Facebook is not a good medium for a B2B type of business and YouTube can be useful depending on the product or service you offer. On the other hand a blog added to your website will not only improve your SEO ranking but also provide useful information to your targeted customers.

Following are some pointers to consider if you have a B2B franchise.


  1. As the franchisor you should create a company profile.
  2. Franchisees should also create their individual profiles if they do not have one already.
  3. Franchisees should choose the current experience with the company as listed in the company profile you established.
  4. Franchisees need to choose a proper title such as “Franchise Owner” or “Consultant” or other similar pre-approved title.
  5. Franchisees should describe their position following the franchisor guidelines for such description. You should provide these guidelines in your Operations Manual.
  6. Franchisees should be encouraged to fully participate in building a network of connections of their past relationships as well as potential customers. Participating in face-to-face networking events provides the opportunity to grow LinkedIn contacts. Further, participation in relevant LinkedIn groups such as the franchisees’ city LinkedIn group will also allow them to grow their connections.
  7. Franchisees should be encouraged to seek LinkedIn recommendations (endorsements) from current and past clients and to fully complete their profiles.
  8. Franchisees should update their status on a weekly basis by sharing short insights about the business and any events in which they have participated. Examples include:
  • Has started working with a new client.
  • Has finished a major project on…..
  • Has attended the national conference.
  • Was a speaker at _____
  • Was recognized as _____
  • Just finished reading _________ a great about _____ (keep it business)


This very popular Social Media vehicle can be quite an effective brand builder. It can also have great results for B2B franchises offering products to small business owners. The rule of thumb is that the more general the use of the product or service you offer, the better results you will get from Twitter. The time and effort that Twitter requires may make it impractical if the services or products offered by your franchisees are targeted to a small focused market.

As mentioned before, Twitter is also a great tool for building brand awareness and this is one of the main jobs of a Franchisor, so you should use Twitter regularly even if it is not practical for your franchisees to participate. Building brand recognition is always important. You can also us this vehicle to market the franchise opportunity; again, depending on your offering Twitter can be quite productive.

On the other hand, if your franchise is a B2C type of business, most social media vehicles will work well. Social media is designed to relate to individuals so it is a perfect addition to the traditional marketing strategy of franchisees and franchisors whose customers are individuals. B2C franchisors have to decide how to handle this participation. Essentially there are three choices:

  • The franchisor is responsible for ALL participation
  • Franchisee is responsible for ALL participation
  • Franchisor and Franchisee both participate in Social Media

Like with anything in life, each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

The franchisor is responsible for ALL participation


  • Total control over what and how the message is conveyed
  • Consistency of communication and message
  • Control over frequency
  • Better ability to track results
  • Saves the franchisee time and effort


  • Requires the time and effort of the franchisor
  • It may require a part time and eventually a full time position to handle all Social Media efforts
  • Requires coordination with franchisees to get local flavor
  • Limits personal interaction with customers at franchisee level
  • Franchisees are unable to personally connect with and respond to customers in a timely basis

Suggested Policies: When you do not allow the participation of franchisees in Social Media your policies are simple and basically state the fact that you are not allowing them to participate. For example:

(1)     Franchisees are not to participate in any social media (Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube, blogs etc.) using the name of the franchisor or their businesses.

(2)     Franchisees cannot open a Social Media account using the name of the franchisor or names similar to the franchise business.

Franchisees are responsible for ALL participation


  • Social Media provides a great vehicle for personal interaction and relationship building with customers at franchisee level
  • Franchisees are able to connect with and respond to customers in a timely manner
  • Franchisees can measure results directly


  • Franchisor loses control over what it is said and how it is said
  • May lead to a lack of consistency of message
  • Franchisees may not participate frequently enough to produce results
  • Franchisors have to monitor franchisees’ participation to ensure they are following guidelines

Franchisor and Franchisees both participate in Social Media


  • It allows personal interaction and relationship building with customers at franchisee level while still providing a level of control to the franchisor as long as guidelines are implemented.
  • It may lessen the time spent by both parties as duties are shared.
  • Franchisees are able to personally connect with and respond to customers in a timely basis.


  • It requires coordination between franchisees and franchisors.

In my opinion, both franchisor and franchisees should participate in Social Media. Not doing so leaves them behind the times as more and more consumers expect the businesses they frequent to have a strong Social Media presence. Part 3 of this topic will provide specific suggestions of policies to be included when both franchisee and franchisor participate in Social Media.


You are welcome to use the information on this post; all I ask is that you give credit and provide a link to this post or the blog front page. Thank you.