Franchise Marketing: Social Media Policies to Avoid Creepy Behavior

An account coordinator in our office experienced a highly questionable encounter with an individual at a franchised barbershop. I am not going to mention the specific name of the company, I think it will be sufficient to say it’s a franchise. It’s a barbershop. There are locations in Denver. That only leaves four or five options. Any of them could be a culprit.

The issue at hand concerns an employee using social media to directly contact customers. Here is how the situation unfolded:

“Yesterday I went to [name deleted] to get a “fresh cut.” Upon entering the store I was asked for my first and last name. I gave it to the girl without objection, but wondered why she needed both. I understand needing a name to call you when they are ready and occasionally people have the same first name, but there were only three other people in the shop and I was the only one waiting. I got my haircut, said goodbye to the receptionist and walked out.

“Last night I received a Facebook message from the receptionist asking if this was the same person that was at the shop. She wanted to connect on Facebook and get to know me.”

Creepy. Stalker-like.

This incident raises a lot of questions about the ethics of employees using social media to connect with customers. How does a Franchisor dictate the appropriate social media behavior of employees in stores that are “individually owned and operated?” Even if social media guidelines are in place, are they available and known by all of the employees in all of the stores nationally and internationally? Are the rules enforceable and do they address this type of behavior?

These are issues for franchisors to consider when developing social media policies. Protection the brand is more than just making sure tweets are appropriate and the right logos are used. The BRAND is seen in every detail of employee interactions with customers. Allowing one employee to go rogue with the use of social media can create a huge issue for any company that could destroy even the most well-established brand.

What do you think? Was this behavior appropriate in a world of blurred social boundaries? What does your franchise system say about social media interactions with customers? Tell us here.

To find out more Weise Communications and how we handle social media, follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook account.

7 Responses to “Franchise Marketing: Social Media Policies to Avoid Creepy Behavior”

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