Social media has officially taken over – an overwhelming majority (74 percent) of individuals who have access to the internet reportedly use social media sites, according to the Pew Research Center. Although many people fear how social media may be negatively impacting our society and communication, utilizing social media can also have profound benefits, specifically for prospective entrepreneurs.
For aspiring franchise owners, social media can be used as a tool to explore potential franchise opportunities while still in the research phase of exploring business ownership. Not sure where to begin your social media research? The Entrepreneur’s Source reviews three great ways to utilize these networks when conducting research of franchise opportunities.
Turn to your Social Circle
Before the days of social media sites and search engines, entrepreneurs’ first stop in researching a brand was commonly consulting with their friends, family, neighbors, colleagues etc. Even in today’s digital era, these same contacts can be a great first stop for entrepreneurs when researching a brand or business opportunity, and with social media this can be made much easier.
When browsing social media websites, you can easily access what your friends and family members are reading, viewing, sharing and talking about – all from the comfort of your own home and at your convenience. In today’s day and age, a “like” or “follow of a brand by an individual in your social network may basically serves as a virtual referral. Similarly, a “share” of a news story related to a specific brand on social media can give entrepreneurs inside access to trends in the industry and consumer behavior. These shares, likes and follows can have a word-of-mouth effect on the brand’s reputation, impacting whether or not you should explore that franchise opportunity further.
Cut through the Clutter
In a similar sense, social media has a “grass roots” effect in your social media circle, and entrepreneurs should take advantage of this feature. When beginning franchise research, start by asking your social media network how they feel about a specific brand. Asking for a reference or opinion can help you to further investigate a brand or franchise concept. This can allow entrepreneurs to break through the marketing and advertising of the actual brand and go deeper into the consumers’ mind, gauging if they have favorable reactions or experiences with the company.
Prospective entrepreneurs similarly should expose themselves to industry discussions. LinkedIn has thousands of existing groups dedicated to specific topics, such as entrepreneurship, business ownership and franchising. By joining these groups and entering into the discussions, entrepreneurs can gain better access to insider information in the industry they are looking to join as well as become knowledgeable of industry news and trends.
Connect with a Coach
Many people think of LinkedIn as a resource to use to connect with professionals that an individual has already met. However, in terms of the entrepreneurial world, many franchise coaches and professionals are enthusiastic about connecting and conversing with aspiring entrepreneurs without actually having met in person. For example, Mark Myette, area developer and business coach at The Entrepreneur’s Source, said that he has received a wide number of LinkedIn invitations from individuals in franchising looking to learn about specific opportunities.
“I will not only accept the invitation, but I will message that individual with an invitation to have a follow-up conversation to learn about them, what they do and what they’re hoping to accomplish,” Myette said. “I educate them about the services The Entrepreneur’s Source provides, like a free discovery experience, to help them figure out if business ownership is something that would make sense for them.”
Social media can be a powerful tool for aspiring franchise owners to take advantage of in the brand research process. For more information about how social media can enhance your franchise investigation method or on how a coach at The Entrepreneur’s Source can guide you through this process, visit our website today https://www.entrepreneurssource.com/.