Today’s Franchise Prospect is Searching Anything and Everything to Make Sure They Are Comfortable with Their Decision to Buy a Franchise
Many franchisors have been figuring out a way to leverage Facebook for more franchise leads. Despite a proven understanding that believability in a consumer product and that many franchisees are fans of the brand, very few franchisors have mastered using social media for lead generation.
“We are certainly seeing Facebook and LinkedIn as effective tools for lead generation,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Chief Development Strategist 1851. “Many want to make it work, but they simply don’t know what to do.”
“Facebook will impact franchise sales only if you’re selling to human beings,” he joked.
“In short, social media is playing an increasing role. It validates a candidate’s decision to take action because they are able to see reviews and comments from other consumers. We know today that they trust these third-party reviews as much as a referral from their friends,” he said. “The next multi-million dollar business is one that can accurately do attribution modelling. In simple terms, how much impact did each item along the clickstream (watching a video of your franchisees, seeing your ranking in the top 500 franchises, clicking on the paid ad, seeing your FD site) have on the user that made them eventually fill in the lead request form? That knowledge will allow marketers to divide up their marketing budgets proportionally instead of just giving all the credit to the last item on the click stream.”
“It depends on the age and profile of their candidates,” he said. “Some candidates are disinterested in social media while other profiles use it to either build consensus in their decision making process or negate their path. Some Navigator profiles will use social media to create bragging rights about what they are contemplating. If the validation is not so good, it will kill future candidates that are a good fit for the franchise.”
Clearly, noted Fitzgerald, people are using social media, so franchise brands should have presence in some way.
“We know they are using social media -- when they are at work, when they are with their family, when they celebrate the purchase of a franchise,” he said. “If everyone, including myself, uses social on a minute-by-minute basis, then it cannot be ignored as a valuable tool for driving lead awareness and generation.”