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How Raintree Uses Social Media to Build Trust and Connections with Franchise Consultants

Social media allows the development agency Raintree to connect directly with franchise brokers, build relationships and raise awareness around their brands

By Emily ClouseStaff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 10/09/19

The franchise growth experts at Raintree utilize the power of newsletters, webinars, phone calls, Consultant Discovery Days, incentive programs and face-to-face meetings to help the brands they represent grow and attract new franchisees. This year, the Raintree team also began leveraging social media to connect with franchise brokers to get the word out about the great business opportunities their clients offer.

Lana Nuss, Raintree Senior Brand Manager and Broker Liaison, said that this new approach to social media is the result of months of strategic planning. The goal of the program is to create connections with franchise brokers to drive additional awareness to Raintree’s brands —and even attract franchise sales leads.

“We have a handful of referrals in our pipeline that have come from directly through connecting with consultants via social media,” commented Director of Brand Development, Ashly Loza.

This success is partly due to the fact that Raintree doesn’t just post into the online void—they actively connect with consultants’ social accounts. This outreach allows them to network on a person-to-person basis and directly invite consultants to check out what the company’s partnering brands are up to through their feeds.

“[Social media] is in real time, so if we publish an article, we don’t have to wait to put it into an email blast and hope for a good open rate. We can just post it on social media and get a wider reach and more engagement than what’s typically seen in franchising,” said Nuss.

Loza said that at its core, Raintree has always strived to be at the forefront and “brake the mold” of what has been working for years as the industry standards. They look at the status quo differently and then push it to the next level. Raintree already builds strategic personal relationships through consultant face-to-face at events, so social media—a place most people spend a lot of time—strengthens those relationships and keeps Raintree’s brands and its team top of mind.

“I actually just had an education call with a consultant I’ve been trying to connect with,” said Loza. “They saw my recent post on LinkedIn and they ended up reaching out to learn more.”

As a networking site, LinkedIn offers a valuable opportunity for Raintree to directly connect with professional franchise consultants. Their own profile page is a hub for visibility regarding what Raintree does on a day-to-day basis, from awarding franchises to in-house announcements they want to make public.

For lesser-known brands, social media is an efficient and low-cost way to jump on the radar of consultants helping potential clients find the right brand for them.

“Consultants have reached out about specific brands, saying they never took the time to look into them until we posted about them [on social media],” said Nuss. “We’re driving interest from consultants which allows them to match their clients with the right concept.”

Raintree’s social strategy is also tailored to each brand’s goals. In general, four team members post once per day, so each brand is represented. Nuss said that posting consistently has been the key—if brands don’t commit to pushing regular updates, people will lose touch.

“Posting several times every day reinforces trust in Raintree. We’re here, and we’re constantly working on how to build stronger relationships while representing our brands,” said Nuss.

That increased visibility truly builds trust with consultants too.

“They see the Raintree logo and know they’re going to be working with professionals,” said Loza, adding that the same goes for the franchises they represent. “If it wasn't for the trust we’ve built with our brands, they wouldn’t invest their time and budgets to take their development to the next level.”

A key aspect of Raintree’s strategy is maximizing opportunities for content based around any given topic. Social media is an ideal tool for cross-posting and exploring different story angles and visual interpretations.

“We make sure that when a placement is made with our brands we are maximizing the story to its fullest,” said Loza, adding that Raintree can generate five to seven pieces of content based on each awarded franchise.

Another essential aspect of Raintree’s social media strategy is to build awareness of its own brand. This propels the company to the forefront of the franchise development landscape and culture—and lets the team have a little fun, too. Nuss often shares photos of her dogs when they visit the office, adding a personal touch to their online presence—plus, who wouldn’t want to see photos of adorable pooches?

“It allows people to get to know who our brands are, but also get to know us, and the culture we’re building at Raintree on a personal level,” said Loza.

Social media is built around individuality, so that kind of unique personal touch helps Raintree develop deeper connections with brokers—and lets our brands know they’re in good hands.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.