It’s been terrific to get back out to in-person franchise events over the past few months. Organizations like National Event Management and MFV Expo have done a fantastic job of getting franchise brands and entrepreneurs together again to discuss opportunities face-to-face in great cities like Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Nashville, and many more. By Jack Monson
It’s been terrific to get back out to in-person franchise events over the past few months. Organizations like National Event Management and MFV Expo have done a fantastic job of getting franchise brands and entrepreneurs together again to discuss opportunities face-to-face in great cities like Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Nashville, and many more.
As I chat with small-business owners and future business owners across the country, one issue weighs on their minds more than any other: staffing. Local owners of all types of franchise brands, including restaurants, senior care, and cleaning services are struggling to fill positions. In extreme cases, franchisees cannot take on more jobs or expand hours of operation, because they don’t have enough employees to serve the customers.
As a solution, many say they are using local advertising dollars to find employees. Some are spending their entire ad budget on “help wanted” ads. While I understand that a small-business owner must do what he or she must do in the time of a crisis; this will create more challenges when trying to grow the business down the road.
We don’t know how long this labor shortage will last. Will it end after current stimulus payments and increased unemployment benefits stop? This could be an even longer-term problem. If small-business owners are still spending all local ad funds on help wanted ads six months from now, their brand in their local market will suffer. Another half year without branding messages and without touching customers about their services and offerings will hinder growth.
Social media and content marketing may help alleviate your current staffing and lack of branding issues. Here are a few suggestions:
Double up the amount of valuable organic content you’re sharing on Facebook and especially on Instagram. Create two separate plans: one for branding and marketing your services, and one for sharing your job openings and positioning your business as a great place to work.
Enlist your current staff to share this content from their own personal accounts. Your team members probably have more local followers than your business does. Create a “social media referral bonus” for any employee whose social post results in the hiring of their friend or follower.
Create new valuable content on your own local blog or podcast. While this longer form content may not be helpful for immediate hiring, it will help set you up as a local expert and may fill the marketing gap while you’re spending more budget on hiring ads.
Designate one-third of your social-media ad spending for branding ads. You’re in this for the long haul and must continue to plant seeds for the new customers you’ll need in the fall and winter.
– Jack Monson
Jack Monson is the host of the Social Geek Radio Network, home of the Number One podcasts in franchising, including The Franchise News Podcast and The Facebook Franchise Podcast. Monson is also the chief revenue officer at Social Joey and has been working with franchisees and small businesses in social media marketing for 13 years. For more information, visit socialgeekradio.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.