Let’s face it - Facebook has more than 500 million users and they’re spending 700 billion minutes every day engaging with friends, family, and the businesses they frequent. It’s time to use the tool to create brand loyalists.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how your franchise location makes its money, your customers are on Facebook. It’s time to get on the proverbial bandwagon.

Hey! I’m already on the bandwagon!

You’re already on the bandwagon? Great! Unless, you can’t figure out why no one is engaging with your Facebook page.

Just like anything else in your franchise system, having a strategy and measurable goals around your Facebook campaign are imperative. Decide why you want a Facebook page. Is it because everyone else has one? Is it because you feel like you have to in order to do business on the Web? Is it because you don’t have local sites for each of your franchisees? Is it because there are 500 million people using the tool? Or is it to understand the value in connecting with your customers and prospective customers online?

Once you figure out the way, write down five goals for your Facebook page. They could include: awareness of the brand, search engine optimization, drive same-store sales by one percent and make Facebook a top three referrer of traffic to your website.

After you have your goals, write down the tasks associated with each and create responsibilities internally. If you don’t have a community manager (or someone full-time to work on your online presence), divide the responsibilities among several people, including your franchisees.

Create a welcome tab that describes what people can expect from you once they “like” your page. A couple of franchise companies that do a nice job with their welcome pages are Data Doctors, Process Peak, and PostNet. The welcome tab can be anything you like, as long as you set expectations for what customers will get in return.

Examples: A 30-second welcome video from the “face” of your franchise, a map for people looking for local stores, or an offer for exclusive and free content, or first offers, to your Facebook community such as coupons and discounts.

Give them a reason to “like” your page and you just leapt your first hurdle.

People don’t care about how great you say you are; they care about what your company can do to help them. Using Facebook as a sales tool or a passive advertising medium will fail miserably.
Facebook is an engagement tool, not a sales tool. Please read that again.

And it doesn’t matter how your franchise makes money, you can ask your community for help in designing something new.

Try these tips for 90 days and record your results. I’d love to hear from you!

Gini Dietrich can be reached at gdietrich@armentdietrich.com or 312-787-7249.