Thanks to everyone who attended our Facebook for Franchise Development panel at the International Franchise Association annual convention last week. It was just 500 or so friends getting together on a Sunday in San Antonio to chat about Facebook. Fellow panelists Paul Pickett, Ashley Pollard Sawyer, Lorne Fisher, and I were thrilled with level of engagement and enthusiasm from the crowd.
Facebook Ads, Not Just Posts
I should note that when I say Facebook for Franchise Development, I’m talking about Facebook Ads. Your consumer marketing counterparts can and should rely heavily on organic / unpaid content and updates. But when trying to reach potential franchisees, it’s all about the paid posts where you can target specific messages to certain groups of people based on demographics, interests, and location.
Surprise Audience Engagement
Three things from the audience have really stuck with me. First, an amazing crowd of 500+ came to hear about best practices in using Facebook for Franchise Sales. The overflow crowd was spilling out into the hallways by the time we started. 15 to 20% of the entire IFA Convention was attending this session on a Sunday morning!
Second, I was shocked and impressed that a majority of the CEOs and Franchise Development executives in the room answered affirmative when I asked if they were at least starting to use Facebook ads for franchise lead generation. One year ago it would have been under 20%. Five years ago I would have been laughed at for asking that question. When I first attended IFA in 2009 to discuss “emerging media” in franchising, suggesting spending money on Facebook would have gotten me kicked out of the convention.
Third, a great question from the audience allowed our panelists to drill down into a deeper discussion of what to do if you’re not getting results. A franchisor had tried some Facebook ads, got a lot impressions or clicks, but no real prospects and no deals. Many see this as Facebook advertising not working; I see it as working well, just with the wrong content. She had touched many people but didn’t tell the story she wanted to tell the first time out.
If you’re not getting the results you require from Facebook ads, you have only three options:
1. Step on the gas and get that content in front of more people
2. Change your content & try again
(And #3 is not an option)