The process of recruiting franchisees can be grueling. Half the battle is deciding where and when to reach your audience. What if there were a recruitment strategy that eliminated the need to search high and low for franchisees, and instead turned them right to you?
Social networking may be the best way to attract and interest prospective franchisees. But which social outlet is best? The little bird known as Twitter may send new business. Twitter is undoubtedly a resourceful tool for communicating quick, relevant, and timely news--and it's also tremendous for engaging and recruiting franchisees. So how can establishing your franchise on Twitter bring in potential franchisees?
Just being on Twitter gives your franchise a youthful, up-to-date feel. Create a custom background and include your franchise logo, value proposition, and contact information.
Using Twitter is an easy way to spruce up the image of your franchise. If you have frequent and informative tweets each day, you're guaranteed to present a healthy, thriving, and promising business--letting prospective franchisees know that your franchise is well worth investing in.
Twitter gives you the opportunity to make personal connections with prospective franchise owners, so be sure to take advantage of it! Studies show that people enjoy reading updates from an actual person, rather than a company name. While it's suggested that you create and manage a Twitter account for your franchise that displays your brand prominently, you also should have someone more personable be the "face" of the account. Create a Twitter handle with a person's actual name and include a photograph (rather than a franchise logo) as the profile image.
Positive word of mouth is every brand's most powerful asset. According to Forrester Research, about 500 billion people engage in word-of-mouth marketing by influencing one another about products and services every year.
Having others commend your company and show their loyalty is far more effective than selling your franchise with only your voice. Think of Twitter as a testimonial source--use it to collect messages of appreciation, review, and recommendations from your franchise owners.
With thousands of followers supporting your account and tweeting about your products and services, prospective franchisees will feel an honest image of your franchise, and they'll realize the popularity of your company. No, Twitter is not a popularity contest, but it's definitely to your benefit to increase your followers. Franchisees will look at your big following as a big consumer audience, which translates to big money. When franchisees see great revenue, they'll become involved with your business in no time.
It's been a few months now since Twitter launched its People Recommendation Engine. This feature recommends people to those who aren't currently following them. Recommendations are based on interests and social connections, linking individuals with others who are similar.
If you have an individual interested in your franchise, it's likely that a portion of their followers will be seeking a similar business venture. Hence your follower count will dramatically increase, providing you with a larger recruiting audience.
Twitter allows for real-time communication with your prospective franchisees and supporters. Your Twitter account should act as a resource for franchisees. Include relevant articles, quick tips, and company news and events (promotions, anniversaries, new business, etc.).
Create a hub where franchisees feel welcomed, informed, and motivated. Building camaraderie will increase franchisee participation and eventually establish a strong loyalty among you and franchisees (current and future).
Prospective franchisees will be able to look at your Twitter account as an example of how to successfully operate, advertise, and expand the business. When people are given a "how to" example, they're more likely to attempt the task: opening one of your franchises.
Show people the fun and creativity of promoting your franchise on Twitter. By executing ad campaigns such as sweepstakes, coupons, and limited deals, not only are you attractive to customers, you're also setting examples for your franchisees. In theory, Twitter acts as a projector--franchisees will look to your tweets for ideas on how to manage their businesses and keep them thriving.
You also can use Twitter to teach the importance of customer service. Your followers (including prospective franchisees) will be able to see how you interact with consumers. Make sure you answer people's questions on Twitter. This will keep consumers happy and also demonstrate to franchisees the value of being courteous. Use Twitter for public relations to solve complaints publicly, to show you care for consumers' opinions, and that your company is ethical. And most important, show franchisees the importance of engaging people, by asking for their feedback, suggestions, and ideas.
What are you waiting for? Sign onto Twitter and start having franchisees flock to your branch (or brand).
Lisa Wehr is CEO and founder of Oneupweb, a leading digital marketing agency. Are you all hyped for Twitter? Send her a tweet @LisaWehr. You can also contact her by visiting oneupweb.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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