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Inside The IFA Convention – How Franchises Can Make Social Media Work For Their Brand

Last week, the International Franchise Association (IFA) hosted its 51st Annual Convention in Las Vegas for franchisors, franchisees and franchise suppliers to share industry insights and innovative solutions on some of the most important issues in franchising.

One of the hot topics was social media and ways that franchises can make these online opportunities work in their favor.

The goal for franchisers is to use social media strategies and policies to maintain their unique brand standards while communicating with customers, according to Ford Saeks, President and CEO of Prime Concepts Group, who spoke to attendees at the standing-room-only presentation “IFA Technology Summit: Social Media — Ignore it at Your Own Peril.”

Saeks believes that it’s ultimately the franchiser’s responsibility to monitor both brand mentions and related keyword mentions, as well as to establish a social media brand strategy and guidelines that help everyone know their respective roles.

To create a social media strategy, Saeks advises first examining your customers’ thoughts, actions, words and purchases. Then, it’s possible to decide how to standardize your online presence throughout your brand including user names, profiles, Facebook pages, custom Twitter backgrounds, blog design, avatars and biographies.

After you’ve created continuity for your communications, you can set objectives and make plans for measuring results. It’s essential for franchises to get everyone involved in this process, most importantly franchisees, because they may be more proficient in social media and have more innovative ideas than company executives. With a plan prepared, you can establish guidelines and provide training from the corporate level to the franchisees so the entire team is ready to take on the task.

Franchisors who get resistance from franchisees should explain to them that consistency is important in protecting the brand, as well as protecting the value of their investment in their franchise. That’s a message that should click with every franchisee.

MDG Advertising is a franchise marketing agency, with offices in Florida and New York, that specializes in developing targeted franchise marketing solutions, exceptional online executions, and solid branding, SEO and social media strategies that give franchises a real competitive advantage. MDG Advertising handles creative, media, and interactive marketing for Coverall, one of the world’s leading commercial-cleaning franchising companies, with a global network of more than 90 support centers and 9,000 franchisees. For more information, call 561-338-7797 or log on to www.mdgadvertising.com.

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