Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 7

DIGITAL PUBLICITY

ing your franchise to potential franchisees, you are dead wrong. There
used to be a saying in business deals,
"my word is my bond," which loosely
meant "you can believe/trust what I
say." It used to carry a lot of weight,
but in the online world of constant
and immediate information dissemination, your business is only as good
as its most recent reviews.

What Can You Do about
those RevieWs?
As a franchise public relations professional, my recommendation to
all franchise organizations is to do a
search online on your own franchise.
Rather than wait to hear the difficult
questions from potential franchisees
at your next discovery days or franchisee event, be prepared beforehand.
Do your own research. Find out
what people are saying in reviews,
chat rooms, on the comment sections
of articles posted in trade magazine
and business journal websites and on
general searches for the franchise - so
you are aware of what might come up
in a Q&A session.

Reviews are especially concerning
because the majority of those considering
buying a franchise do online research.

	

		Use social media to your advantage. A recent article posted on socialmediaweek.com explained how
social media is also influencing
purchasing decisions. Reviews on
review sites are always a concern
and need to be watched diligently,

IF REPUTATION MANAGEMENT SEEMS
LIKE A LOT OF WORK, IT IS.
	

You should also:
		Research ways to manage online
reviews and your reputation. This
is easier said than done, as a negative review can occur at any time.
And one negative review can hurt
your franchise review ranking
even if there are more positive
than negative ones. And one thing
to remember, according to a variety of studies published online,
is that unhappy people are more
likely to write a review than happy ones!

but did you know that your social
media channels can affect your
reputation as well? If you don't
already, you need to have someone monitor all your social channels for comments and reviews.
Google My Business is a channel
you should also watch carefully
as those reviews show up on the
maps area on a Google search for
verified businesses.
If this all seems like a lot of work, it
is. Reputation management is a huge

concern for franchise businesses, and
reviews are especially concerning because the majority of those considering buying a franchise most likely do
research online. While exact figures
are not available, an Entrepreneur.com
article noted an Accenture study that
revealed 94 percent of B2B buyers
performed their own research online
before a purchase.
The bottom line for franchisors is
to be aware of your reputation online
and take measures to boost your positive reviews through constant monitoring, commenting and asking for
good reviews from happy customers.
PR firms specializing in this can take
the burden off by creating great social
content, actively pursuing reviews
and keeping franchisees and potential
franchisees happy through social interactions and conversations.
Heather Ripley is the founder and CEO of
Tennessee-based Ripley PR, a global public relations agency specializing in franchising. She is
also a guest contributor to Entrepreneur.com.
WINTER 2017

franchising-today.com	

7


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Winter 2017

Contents
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Contents
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 3
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 4
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 5
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Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 7
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Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover3
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover4
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