Facebook Leads to Franchisee Leads

According to Eric Norstrom, MDG’s director of digital operations, “Facebook offers global reach, instant communication and customer interactivity. As companies begin to apply creativity and ingenuity to their Facebook pages, they are able to mine these social media resources to develop business leads and long-term relationships. And now, as part of its franchise development strategy, Häagen-Dazs Shops has gone even further by using Facebook as a tool for franchisee recruitment.”

As reported by Sam Oches in QuickServe magazine:

While most quick serves are taking advantage of Facebook’s potential with their marketing efforts, one brand is going a step further by using the social media giant as a franchisee recruitment tool. Christie Wells, customer experience and communications manager for Häagen-Dazs Shops, says the brand is using Facebook for its recruitment efforts because of the size of audience it believes it can reach there. “We knew that there are [Häagen-Dazs] fans out there, and we wanted to find a way to capture them,” Wells says. “We also wanted to use it as a development tool to increase awareness of our franchise opportunities, and at the same time provide a fun way for fans of the brand to learn about Häagen-Dazs Shops and franchising in general.” The Häagen-Dazs Facebook page, which is unaffiliated with Häagen-Dazs Shops, has more than 560,000 fans.

Ice Cream Boss, the franchisee recruitment tool that Häagen-Dazs Shops rolled out, was given its own Facebook page. Fans of the page, which is open to everybody, interact with the game, which offers situations that occur in a Shop and asks the player how they would respond. “There’ll be a question about anything from employee relations to what the franchisee fee is,” Wells says. “The fan has the opportunity to either answer the question or to see what other people have answered, and then to vote, or agree or disagree, on what someone else has said.” Franchising representatives from Häagen-Dazs Shops then offer feedback on the players’ answers. Wells says players can inquire about the franchising process at any time, but that company representatives will also keep their eyes peeled for strong potential suitors. ”If there’s somebody that’s been playing the game for a couple weeks and they really have the right-on answers, those are the people that we’re going to reach out to with an e-mail and say, ‘Hey, you really seem to enjoy the game, are you interested in learning some more?’” Wells says. “We’ll take it out of the virtual world, into the real world.”

Wells says the interactivity that Facebook offers is one of the best advantages to a franchisee recruitment tool on the social media hub. “We’re definitely always looking for new ways to find good leads and find where the right leads are for us,” she says.

Tim Alexander is director of digital operations for MDG in Boca Raton, Florida. MDG’s digital division provides digital brand development, research, website architecture design, site development, CMS, intranets, social media initiatives, and blog development. MDG’s SEO services include site audits, keyword research and content development, competitive analysis and direct link building. A full-service South Florida advertising agency with offices in Florida and New York, MDG handles creative, media, and interactive marketing for Coverall, one of the world’s leading commercial-cleaning franchising companies, with a global network of more than 90 support centers and 9,000 franchisees. For more information, call 561-338-7797 or log on to www.mdgsolutions.com.