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Social Media: For Franchisors the Future is Now

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Various social media analysts confirm the strength and continued growth of social media. Franchisors need to embrace social media in order to maintain their market presence and grow their brand.

I recently attended a presentation by Constant Contact that served to confirm my belief that franchisors ought to hop on the social media bandwagon. This doesn’t mean that every franchisor should devote significant resources to social media activities but rather that even franchisors that are just starting out or are at an early stage of their development need to get involved. When I speak with franchisors especially those in the early stages of their development and I ask them about social media, the response is often: “Yes, we are going to get involved with that in the future.”  My response; as the late great football coach George Allen said: ‘The future is now.”

Here is a quick snapshot of social media.

There are a number of social media sites, however, the three most prominent are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Here are some interesting statistics:

Facebook:

  • 800 million active users ( Facebook Statistics,2011)
  • 50% of users log on any given day ( Facebook Statistics,2011)
  • U.S. users spend 1/3 of online time on Facebook ( Morpace ‘Omnibus Report” 2010)
 

Twitter

  • 160 million registered users (mashable.com,2011)
  • 100 million active users (mashable.com,2011)
  • 60% of users follow companies, brands and products (mediabistro.com,2011)

Linkedin

  • 86% of B2B marketers use Linkedin (Chief Marketer Survey,2011)
  • There are over 75,000 non-profit groups using LinkedIn (nonprofit LinkedIn Learning Center,2011)

Clearly, the popularity and use of social media continues to grow.

Here is how small business users responded to a survey by Constant Contact:

Top three tools used to market my business

  • Facebook 96%
  • Twitter 76%
  • LinkedIn 62%

Most effective social media tool:

  • Facebook 86%
  • Video sharing 71%
  • Twitter 60%
  • LinkedIn 55%

As this data shows, more and more small businesses continue to embrace the use of social media as a business tool. Franchisors and franchisees should recognize the implications that social media has for businesses. In terms of small businesses especially franchises, social media can be a cost-effective and productive way for increasing sales and brand recognition.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the author of The Franchise Buyers Manual and President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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