Every day, there are 3.2 billion likes and comments on Facebook and 175 million tweets on Twitter. Social media has changed the name of the game for franchises and brands around the world by allowing brands to develop long-lasting, powerful relationships with their customers – the people that really matter.
Social media has put the consumer at the top of the list, instead of the other way around. It has given us, you and I, the voice. We are the interactors, the game-changers. Brands no longer talk at us, but with us.
“Social media has changed the way brands connect with the consumer,” said Nick Powills, publisher of 1851 Magazine. “Successful brands add value to the consumer’s experience by creating meaningful, content-driven interaction.”
Traditional advertising allows little room for a deep relationship to be built. Instead, it relies on one impression, one instant in time where someone glances up at a billboard, an ad on a train or flips a channel.
Social media is different because it’s where the people are. There are 901 million monthly active users on Facebook. Twitter is exceeding 465 million accounts. People are constantly utilizing social media sites which in turn increases the time they spend interacting with individual brands. Social media is now. This very second. Yesterday. And tomorrow. It is constantly moving, changing, interacting, and predicting.
According to Matthew Haller, the International Franchise Association’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff to the President and CEO, Social media is also vital for franchises trying to build brand awareness for potential franchisees.
“Social media has opened a world of opportunities for franchises to improve customer relations, connect with consumers at the local level, improve franchise relations and even in some cases support franchise development,” Haller said. “That being said, it is important to have a social media policy in place as part of the franchise system and set some ground rules for engagement and monitoring your brand and your franchisees.“
1851 Magazine has created the Social100 to demonstrate which brands’ social media campaigns are at the forefront of the industry. The Social100 is comprised of franchises and brands whose Social media efforts add value to the consumer through quality interaction, implement a quick response rate, and showcase consistent improvement with one-degree of separation fan/follower growth.
The 1851 Social100 list was developed based on several factors: Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 ranking, the volume of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, the quality and level of interaction between the brand and the consumer, and the number of unique social media sites the brand utilizes. All information was collected June 2012.
UPDATE: The votes are in and we have our Top 25! Due to the rankings being established not by overall community size but by votes, you may find some shockers in the rankings! Check out who came in where and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
See the list below and check back often for updates.