Social Media And The Franchise: An Interview with Ruby Tuesday's Gavin Baker
The Franchise And Social Media: SME-TV With Ruby Tuesday
The Franchise And Social Media: SME-TV With Ruby Tuesday
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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 the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • 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-

  • 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..

    • 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.

  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

    • 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?)