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Controlling Franchisee Marketing

Posted by Elizabeth Gore-Jones on 6 April 2016

I had an interesting meeting with Tina Hay of Direct Marketing Solutions yesterday.

Franchisees using various social media platforms and creating a lot of content promoting the brand and franchise system can be an incredibly powerful tool for franchisors, franchisee systems and franchisees as a whole.  However, as many of you would be aware, the control of a franchisee's use of social media can be somewhat of a headache for franchisors.

We discussed different alternatives available to utilise this valuable tool but to minimise the potential risks involved with negative publicity that may arise through mis-use or ill-thought content.  The alternatives can include  the engagement of one social media consultant across the franchise network with some variations:

1. the franchisor retaining administration rights to each franchisee's social media page;

2. the social media consultant being engaged by the franchisor, as part of the marketing strategy and paid out of the marketing fund, however working directly with franchisees on each of their social media pages.  The consultant would report to the franchisor and take ultimate direction from the franchisor but give the franchisee buy in on the content and its individual marketing strategy (reflecting that of the franchisor and the franchise system); and

3. franchisees engaging and paying for the consultant directly however the consultant also being engaged by the franchisor and thus with an understanding of the strategy and the policies and requirements of the franchise system and network.

It is imperative that a franchise agreement and operations manual document the policy and franchisee requirements.  They should be drafted with as much flexibility as possible to enable the franchisor to maneuver in a changing environment and to meet challenges.

Do you have any novel social media strategies or ideas you are willing to share.

Disclaimer:  you should seek legal advice specific to your circumstances.  Do not rely upon this content as legal advice.

Author:Elizabeth Gore-Jones
About: Elizabeth specialises in franchising law. She lectures at Bond University PLA in franchising, she sits on the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee, she is a past member of the Women in Franchising committee and a past member of the Franchise Council of Australia.
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