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Publication

Social Media in Franchise Networks: Reducing the Risks and Reaping the Rewards

23/04/2014

Locations

United Kingdom

There are now over 1 billion members of Facebook and internet enabled devices are tipped to outnumber the global population this year.

There are now over 1 billion members of Facebook and internet enabled devices are tipped to outnumber the global population this year. The relatively recent explosion in the use of mobile technology, tablets and increased access to the internet has disrupted the traditional one-way marketing approach of "control, command and influence" and lengthened the buying cycle of consumers. 

Brand owners now need to engage in a genuine two-way conversation with their target customer by finding, following, engaging, creating relevant content and building trust with their target online customer – all in the name of ultimately making a sale.

Social media is a powerful tool for any business, but there are a number of legal risks which can arise if it is misused and social media has the potential to create more harm than good for a brand.

For businesses which use third party structures such as franchising, there is an additional layer of risk and opportunity. Franchisors therefore need to develop a clear online strategy and look to harness the resources of their employees and franchisees to drive brand participation, awareness and sales, whilst at the same time retaining ultimate ownership over the brand, its presentation and the key brand messages.

Our briefing paper on this topic considers:

  • the key commercial opportunities and legal risks;
  • the ability of franchisors to prohibit franchisees from participating in social media;
  • the potential for misuse; and
  • top tips for reducing and managing the risks of misuse.

To read our full briefing paper, please download our PDF here

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact your usual franchise team member or Gordon Drakes (Senior Associate) or David Bond (Partner).

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