How Franchises can benefit from Social Media
As the social media craze continues to spread, people from every industry need to realize that the importance social media carries is not going away and you must put your biases aside and embrace the good it can bring to your business. Franchise industry take notice! I was hesitant for a while, just like everyone else, but I decided to take the leap and have been very pleased with the results. I started out by setting up Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and doing the basics. On Twitter, I put a picture up and typed a few random thoughts because I didn't know where to go from there. On LinkedIn, I filled in my basic background information but really wasn't sure how to create business opportunities out of it. Eventually, I realized the keys to success with social media: listening, commenting, interacting and time.
I quickly found out that social media does nothing for you unless you fully entrench yourself in the various networks. In order to truly accomplish this, you must spend time and energy on it. Now, I spend a few hours a day tweeting, commenting on blogs and interacting in business communities under the handle @DougSchadle, trying to connect with people interested in owning a franchise and discussing the latest franchise trends with other franchise professionals around the country. On LinkedIn, I have met several people who have ended up owning franchises after connecting with me. LinkedIn has professionals around the country that discuss the latest trends in their industry, and put their online resume up for anyone to see and look for new opportunities.
Franchise professionals can, and should, use social media for exactly these purposes. I tweet about the different opportunities I have available, industry news that I come across, replying to interesting posts by other professionals, and connecting to anyone I think that I can benefit from or can benefit from me.
Believe me, social media is not a phase- it is a new way to do business. I encourage all other franchise professionals to start networking via online communities because it has become a great way to enhance your business presence and brand awareness. Plus, in this economy, it is a free way to discuss the opportunities you have and the reasons people should believe in what you are selling.