Have you been following all the news about franchise rankings and wondering why they are such a big deal? Two words: social proof.
In marketing, social proof is the use of reviews and recommendations to decide whether to buy something – or in the case of franchise development, to sign on the dotted line. Franchise rankings serve as endorsements for franchises. They provide third-party validation that your franchise is as awesome as you say it is.
Whether your brand is featured on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, Franchise Business Review’s Top 200 or Franchise Times’ Top 400, it’s an achievement to be proud of. It’s also an excellent opportunity to leverage social proof.
Industry accolades like rankings are considered valuable franchise development tools. Why? Because serious prospects scour them when they are weighing which franchise systems they might want to join.
How Can You Leverage Rankings?
Candidates are doing more research than ever into the franchises they are most interested in, which makes opportunities for third-party validation like rankings even more important. One of the best ways to keep your brand top-of-mind as candidates consider the franchise opportunities available to them is to ensure that trusted media outlets are talking about you.
A strategic public relations campaign can help. Whether you want to increase awareness of your brand or your franchise opportunity, there are a number of ways to get the kind of coverage you want through PR.
Regular media outreach can help to create a steady stream of coverage, generate buzz and raise brand awareness. The rankings present great opportunities to share good news through news releases, social media posts, blogs and more. Don’t be shy; it’s OK to toot your own horn sometimes. The rankings are prestigious and competitive. Leverage rankings by including badges, if they’re available, on your website, in email signatures and on ads. Your prospects will notice.
How Do Rankings Help Attract Your Ideal Franchisee?
A more targeted approach can boost recruitment efforts in a desired demographic. To reach your ideal franchise candidates, you can seek to be included on a specific ranking or in a niche publication. The key is to have your information in outlets that your ideal candidates are already reading, looking at or listening to.
For example, if your corporate goal is to recruit more veterans to be franchise owners, you might work toward being ranked among Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises for Veterans or on a list published by a publication written for veterans.
Leverage those rankings by mentioning them when your PR agency writes stories about successful franchisees who are also military veterans, or when you share testimonials from veteran franchisees on your website or with franchise trade publications. Pitch articles on veteran franchisees to their local media outlets and include the rankings in the pitch. Recommend your veteran franchisees as guests on podcasts for veterans, and include the rankings in your talking points. Put your money where your mouth is by supporting veterans’ organizations, then share information about the organizations – and your ranking – on your blog and social media. Being ranked by an industry or trade publication is a big deal. You worked hard for the rankings, so work just as hard to share your good news with the franchise candidates you want to attract.