How To Setup A Social Media Strategy For Franchises

Figuring out a social media policy for corporately owned units can be a daunting task. It can seem like an insurmountable task when factoring in how to incorporate franchisees into fold. Read on to learn four different ways to structure your social media policies for franchises.

Social marketing can be a perplexing and possibly daunting task for a single unit. The challenges may even seem insurmountable when faced with multiple units or numerous franchisee locations. Assuming you have laid the groundwork for a steady marketing plan, a solid social marketing plan will work in concert with it.

The biggest question we are asked is how should franchisees be integrated with the brand’s social marketing program. Much like other elements of franchising, there isn’t one right answer but there are many different solutions. What is needed is a strong structure to base your social media policies upon. There are four structures that we endorse for franchising. Feel free to adapt one of these or blend them to fit your brand.

1. Centralized 

One centralized account that acts as the main voice and hub for the brand/

Pros

  • all content stays on brand
  • messaging does not get diluted

Cons

  • franchisees miss an opportunity to connect to local customers
  • content has to resonate across different cultures

2. Centralized Blend

Corporate manages all the social profiles but utilizes franchisees to provide a steady stream of content.

Pros

  • all content stays on brand
  • local customers feel involved

Cons

  • requires a very strong social media team
  • brand voice has to be more "safe"

3. Controlled

Franchisees manage their own profiles but are provided a majority of their content from corporate.

Pros

  • franchisees are more involved
  • franchisees have direct access to their customers

Cons

  • conflicts can arise with franchisees if content is not approved

  • consistency can suffer as not all franchisees have the same abilities

4. Monitored

Franchisees create and manage their own social media profiles using guidelines developed by corporate.

Pros

  • franchisees are more involved
  • local voice is established

Cons

  • compliance issues arise

  • need to have strong corporate team to monitor all profiles