The female panelists at last month’s Philadelphia IFA Women’s Franchise Network Meeting provided so many great tips on how they utilize social media online to drive franchise sales that we couldn’t fit them into one blog post! Feedback from the 40 women professionals in the audience was overwhelmingly positive. Below are some additional takeaways from the day:

  1. Use an Outside Agency to Fill in Knowledge Gaps. The most frequently asked questions during the panel related to the use of outside agencies.   As Jena Henderson, Vice-President of Growth at Saladworks explained, everyone is an expert on Instagram now and we need more than a camera phone and photograph of a salad to sell the brand.   Ashley Mitchell, VP of Marketing & Communications at Soccer Shots recommended systems outsource to experts where internal marketing does not maintain core competencies. For example, Ashley recognizes she is not a digital optimizer so she is trusting her outside agency to do that.
  2. Remember Customers Can Be Franchises Too. Consumer marketing is not typically looked at as a component of franchise development but Saladworks found success in leveraging its loyalty app to convert customers to franchisees. The loyalty app reminds customers that Saladworks is a franchise.   Recently, the brand was contacted by a professional NFL player who grew up in the Northeast where Saladworks were prevalent and the brand was his go-to lunch spot. He played football in the south and decided he wanted to ensure that his favorite place to eat lunch was around.  Customer to franchisee success story!
  3. Consider Engaging Franchisees in the Discussion. Veronica McKee, Vice-President of Marketing at Philly Pretzel, says that a lot of their best marketing ideas come from franchisees and recommends engaging your system’s advisory council in brainstorming.
  4. Use Yext and Webpunch to Enhance Franchisees Profiles. Most of the panelists use sites like Yext or Webpunch to ensure that franchisee contact information across all platforms is constantly up to date and consistent among websites.  Frankly, there is one area where all the panelists agreed that outside resources are necessary because it is almost impossible to catch and update every website where a franchised unit is referenced.    For example, one of the panelists found that one unit location was listed under two different mailing addresses (one interstate street number and one local street name) which depressed its online presence and confused its hits on Yelp and Google. However, when it comes to Yelp, panelists recommended warning its franchisees against signing up for enhanced packages that do not provide a lot of additional value.   In fact, our panelists found that Yelp has a habit of contacting its franchisees to sell them these unnecessary expensive subscriptions.

If you found this information useful and are a franchise system, franchisee, area developer or franchise industry supplier in the Philadelphia, New Jersey or Delaware area seeking to join the Women’s Franchise Network, then click here.