Q.

Will a franchisor train me to use social media to promote my business?

Author: Shelley Nadler

answered by Shelley Nadler

Legal director at Bird & Bird

Shelley Nadler writes:

Franchisors will be all too aware of the risks and liabilities associated with improper social media management, including engaging with customers, executing promotions and dealing with negative feedback.

There’s plenty that can go wrong and reflect poorly on the brand owner and therefore it’s essential franchisees are properly trained to be an online brand ambassador. All good franchisors should provide training to their franchisees on the use of social media and have a social media policy in the operations manual.

Franchisor support can be in the form of training, content guidance and provision, templates and brand guidelines, plus regular social media audits to ensure quality and consistency.

It’s particularly important that franchisees are trained how to deal with complaints and negative comments on a local franchisee’s page, including the need for regular monitoring and acknowledgement of complaints and when to involve the franchisor.

Some franchisors set up a Facebook page for each franchisee and act as administrator. New franchisees are shown how to add a post on their own and given guidance as to content. The benefit of allowing franchisees to have individual social media accounts is that they can individualise and create targeted content.

Social media is such an important part of marketing strategy for businesses today that all franchisees should question a potential franchisor on its social media strategy for the franchise network.

Shelley Nadler is a legal director in Bird & Bird’s international franchising team and has many years’ experience of advising on all aspects of franchising.

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