Learn more about how to use LinkedIn as part of your franchise social media strategy.
If you're a franchisor, you know that your franchisees have an incredible skill set, including business acumen, work ethic, leadership and so much more. If you're a franchisee, I've probably only scratched the surface in that description, but I'm sure you can identify. With all that any franchise business owner has to do in the run of a day it's hard to imagine finding the motivation to engage on LinkedIn, but the truth is leveraging this networking site can lead to exceptional growth, if done right. In fact, all who are involved in the sales process for your franchise organization can be making LinkedIn work for them, and you.
Here are some tips that will help you help your franchisees and/or sales team get the most out of their LinkedIn presence.
- Develop your franchises online marketing model
It is the responsibility of the franchisor or business leader to create clear guidelines. Often overlooked, a franchise Internet marketing model is crucial for every franchise business as it clearly defines how the Internet will be used for marketing and who will be responsible for which tasks. Decide whether or not franchise social media participation will be mandatory for each location, and then decide what role head office will play in that process. Consider how much time the activity is expected to take and what costs will be associated. Having a comprehensive Internet marketing model will lay the groundwork for all of your online efforts.
- Provide a franchise social media usage policy
Having a franchise social media usage policy is crucial for every business. Not only will such a policy outline the expectations of your team's behaviours online, but it will also work to empower them with the understanding they need to be excellent brand ambassadors.
- Provide training and help them get started
Make the process of learning about all that LinkedIn has to offer much less daunting by providing your team with some form or comprehensive training. Whether you bring the group together or organize an online meeting for a formal presentation hosted by an expert in the field, training is a great first step that will help to give your team the tools they need, and perhaps the motivation, to get started. Once training is complete, work with your team to help them to set goals. Ensure that these goals are measurable and achievable, but not too easy. Once the goals are set, schedule a time to discuss progress with them. You can also support your team as they get started by offering suggestions on who they might want to consider connecting with, or groups they should follow.
- Endorse them appropriately
Of course, everyone on your team will likely be connected to each other on LinkedIn. Who better to endorse each other than team members? Here at Wired Flare, we always caution against recommending or endorsing someone on LinkedIn without firsthand experience with the skills you are endorsing them for. But it's also important to endorse someone when you know they are skilled at something, to share it with others who may be in need of such a skill. Also, it feels good to be appreciated, right? Acknowledge your team members' skills; it's a win/win.
- Set the example
Don't be a hypocrite... Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is a great way to show your team members that you are serious about maximizing your franchises LinkedIn potential. Set an example with your team by having a fully optimized profile, one that they may even turn to for reference when improving their own profiles.
Good luck and have fun!