Of the dozens or so different business structures out there, few have more challenges when it comes to social media than the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Gavin Baker, the director of social media at Ruby Tuesday, sat down with us recently to talk about the national restaurant chain’s social media efforts and challenges therein.

Ruby Tuesday And Social Media For The Franchisor from Jason Falls on Vimeo.

Gavin literally did introduce me to everyone in the marketing department at Ruby Tuesday, sans I think two folks who were out of the office that day. Talking with executive chef Peter Glander, even for a few minutes, was fascinating. Chief Marketing Officer Mark Young, if I’m not mistaken, is the same Mark Young that quarterbacked Ole Miss in the mid-1980s as well. It was neat to meet him, along with the others, many of which took a few minutes to chat with me.

Ruby Tuesday is online at http://www.rubytuesday.com/. You can find them on Facebook. Peter Glander is on Twitter as well. And Gavin Baker can be found a lot of places, including Facebook, Twitter and his personal blog.


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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.ottawa.edu/ Annie

    This is a great interview. I can appreciate the challenge of social media with the franchisor-franchisee relationship. I face a similar challenge with the university I work for. We have several adult campuses and each want their own Facebook fan page. My research has shown that adult and online students want to feel a part of the traditional campus, because it instills pride(sports activities, etc). So we are using one fan page that we are building into a “super fan page” to include content from all campuses to reflect that feeling. However, if our adult campuses want their own fan pages, I ask they make me an admin and I just watch from a far.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Great perspective, Annie. Thanks for adding those thoughts. Hopefully,
      the big company franchises can help solve the parent-child property
      issues on social sites at some point and the educational institutions
      facing those challenges like yours can benefit. (Or perhaps you guys
      lead the way?)

  • http://www.iwritemarketing.com CarlPhelps

    I like what Gavin said about the company's decision to do all of the social media work in-house. It seems like in that business, especially with the franchiser-franchisee element, it is very important for the social media work to be done by people who are close to the brand and culture, both for strategy and implementation.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Agreed, Carl. They certainly are doing it well in Maryville! Thanks
      for the comment.

  • http://jeffhora.wordpress.com Jeff Hora

    Great interview.
    I appreciate the fact that they brought their social media work in-house. With some brands it is very high value to know that there is someone who is actually a member of the company listening and responding. I find that in our business, if you aren't an FTE, your voice is considered less authentic.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      I'd say you're right, Jeff. Though I think extensions through agency
      partners and consultants/contract employees can work well if
      integrated well.

      Appreciate you watching.

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  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Great interview guys. I am envious of Gavin's post at Ruby Tuesday. He is helping build a social media presence for a major company from scratch. Not to glamorize it. Because I know all that policy work and initial management are not the most creative, freedom filled tasks. But still, I imagine he is truly gaining an immense amount of experience.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      No doubt about that. Gavin's doing a nice job with a big brand. It was
      good to get to see it a bit.

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKing.com The Franchise King

    Thanks for posting this, Jason. Sometimes, franchisors can get away with doing their social media marketing in house. I do recommend that they get some help early on at least, and then slowly take it over themselves.

    Unless the in-house folks have been on Twitter awhile, have active FB and LinkedIn accounts that they've been using for a spell, they'll need a lotta-luck with their franchise social media efforts.

    Ruby Tuesday's folks seem to get it, so far..

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks for the comment, J. Gavin is tackling those problems every day. He's
      a smart cookie who I'd guess will wind up showing some case studies for
      other franchisees on how to do it.

      • http://www.TheFranchiseKing.com The Franchise King

        That's great to hear, Jason!

  • http://www.MomCentralConsulting.com Stacy DeBroff

    Jason- loved this post- I've found our team talking more and more to franchises/franchisees and this tension between who owns and sets social media policy. Loved your video and forward thinking around this-

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