Richard Dawson - Digital Marketing Co-ordinator for Caremark - tells us about the Caremark home care services franchise.
Tell us a little bit about Caremark and how the franchise came about
Caremark Ltd was established in 2005 by CEO Kevin Lewis and now is one of the UK’s leading privately owned home care franchises. The first Caremark franchisee was appointed in 2006, and since then we have grown to a network of over 80 offices across the UK, with offices in Ireland and Malta too.
The Caremark story actually started back in 1987, when owner Kevin Lewis set up a care home in in Brighton, East Sussex. In 1993, Kevin was invited by the local Government to diversify his business activities into domiciliary care; this new venture quickly became the market leader for home care franchising, growing to more than 180 franchises across the country. Following a change in direction in 2001, Kevin’s passion for care compelled him to launch a new care franchise, Caremark, providing quality care so that vulnerable people can carry on living in their own homes.
How does Caremark use digital? Is it more about promoting the brand to potential franchisees, supporting potential franchises, or providing instant customer support?
Caremark uses digital media in a number of ways, to attract both new franchisees and possible clients. We run a comprehensive social media campaign across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with each channel providing different content according to the target audience; Facebook is predominantly stories of care for clients to read and for carer recruitment, the Caremark Twitter account acts as a resource on relevant care industry topics and LinkedIn is for our existing network and prospective franchisees.
We are keen to share the news of our franchisees’ achievements and successes, not only posting to social media, but also reaching out for coverage on relevant websites. As well as brand awareness, this also helps with SEO.
More generally, how can franchise brands and their franchise owners benefit from using digital/social media in their communications?
By using Twitter effectively, franchise brands can establish themselves as experts in their sector. Rather than a constant barrage of promotional updates based around products and services, offering interesting, relevant content to your followers will increase the chances of your updates being noticed and shared.
For franchise owners, social media can be incorporated into their marketing, recruitment and promotional campaigns. The number one tip I would share is to remember that it is called social media for a reason, don’t treat it as a one-way conversation. Follow relevant profiles and engage with those in your industry and local area to build valuable online relationships.