In many discussions of franchise sales strategy, social media continues to pose a challenge. On one hand, you have a huge potential audience with sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for franchise development. According to Statista, Facebook has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2015. And from this figure, a significant percentage access the social platform on their mobile devices.
Meanwhile, Facebook users are some of the most dedicated social media junkies. A recent infographic published on HubSpot found that the average Facebook user spends 40 minutes per day on the site. That means the 30 million businesses that have created dedicated fan pages are putting themselves in a strong position to get their message out to a huge audience.
In spite of these impressive numbers, Facebook still has a stigma as a largely B2C platform where companies jockey for position in consumers’ news feeds. In reality, Facebook is a social channel that is remarkably egalitarian. Everyone and their mother has a Facebook profile. So, in the grand scheme of franchise sales, you have the chance to reach the right audience when you understand how to best take advantage of social media for your specific goals.
Don’t Expect to Sell Franchises on Facebook
According to the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report, 76 percent of franchise brands use Facebook for franchise recruitment. However, fewer than 30 percent have a page dedicated to the franchise opportunity. What’s worse, less than 2 in 10 brands have a lead generation form to capture critical data about prospective franchisees.
Why are these statistics important? With Facebook for franchise development, you’ll be extraordinarily lucky to get people to sign a franchise agreement through this channel alone. Facebook and other social networks help your brand build an online footprint that you can leverage to engage with prospects throughout the buyer’s journey. So, you’ll need other contact data captured through lead generation forms to help vet leads and know where to allocate your time and resources.
Track What Works—and What Doesn’t
Facebook is a great tool to distribute high-quality content and subsequently get a clear understanding of audience engagement. There are built-in analytics tools that show you:
- Page likes
- Post reach
- Engagement metrics, including post clicks, likes, shares and comments
- Page views
- External referrers (what external site led a user to your page)
For the individuals who engage with the content you post on your Facebook page, you have the chance to see if they’re a high-quality lead and follow up directly—whether you respond to comments, send private messages or look through their profile to see they’d be the right fit for your franchise opportunity. From that point, you can nurture the relationship as the prospect considers investing in your brand.
What’s Your Next Step for Using Facebook for Franchise Development?
The very first step your franchise brand should take is to create a separate franchise opportunity page. As you do so, ensure all the information you include is consistent across all channels—for instance, information that prospective franchisees would find on your franchise sales website, including:
- Reasons to invest
- Types of franchise agreements
- Market availability
- Franchisee profiles
- Investment details
- Details about the system
As a rule, you want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for potential franchisees to find information about your opportunity – and, in this case, you have the opportunity to guide the conversation while still making the experience interactive.
For more information about how we can help you improve franchise development with digital marketing, connect with us here…