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Keys to the Mobile Kingdom

28 May

 

Mobile Kingdom

 

I’m looking forward to moderating a great panel at the upcoming Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta. In the session, Mobile – New Ideas to Drive In-store Visits, I’ll speak with a panel of marketing executives from the franchise sector to discover how they are using new innovations in mobile to drive traffic into their retail and restaurant establishments.

Do you have questions about mobile marketing best practices that you would like to ask these execs?  Are you struggling with getting new customers in the doors? Are your older strategies and tactics not working? Are you looking for ways to get your franchisees involved?

Please share any questions you would like to include in the session either in the comments section below or privately via LinkedIn Messaging or email at Jack@Qiigo.com. I’ll share your questions at the June 20 session and mention you (unless you would prefer to remain anonymous).

We will announce the final line-up of panelists next week! And if you’re thinking of attending FCMC this year, check out the fantastic agenda and details.

 

Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

 

 

 

Storytelling and Franchising: Keeping It Simple.

15 May

Multi-Unit Franchising

 

Franchise Update Media hosted another spectacular Multi-Unit Franchising Conference recently in Las Vegas. This is one of my favorite annual business conferences due the diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and interests of the attendees.

The final day included a fantastic session discussing issues impacting small business owners. The International Franchise Association’s Matt Haller moderated the panel which included Catherine Monson of FASTSIGNS, Matthew Patinkin of Double P Corp, Ron Feldman of ApplePie Capital, and IFA Chair Shelly Sun of BrightStar Care. This “A-Team” of business leaders offered their candid insights on many subjects, but the prevailing topic was the National Labor Relations Board and its 2015 ruling on the joint employer standard.

It occurs to me that such non-elected policy makers, as well as some elected officials, journalists, and activists are dreadfully uneducated about the ownership of a franchised business. This leads to the general public being uninformed and in many cases purposefully misinformed.

If we want to correct this, we need tell the story of franchising in simple terms —  so simple, in fact, that a politician and maybe even a journalist could understand.

Here are my two suggestions to properly and simply communicate the role of a franchisee:

1. The Franchisee Is a Customer of the Franchisor

There’s no clearer argument than showing that a franchisee is a customer of the franchisors and not an employee or middle-manager. There are many things small business owners must purchase in order to open their doors. The purchase from the franchisor is just one of those things.

As an example, let’s use a home services franchise brand such as a plumbing, landscaping, or cleaning franchise. There are several things you need to buy If you want to own one of these businesses including:

A) The Franchise.
B) A Truck.

If you buy a Ford F150 for your business, does this mean The Ford Motor Company is a joint employer of your staff?

Of course not. The car brand from whom you purchased your truck is not in charge of your employees.  Also, the plumbing brand from whom you purchased your franchise is not in charge of your employees.

 

2. Not Franchisees. Owners.

While some franchise systems may have specific language that they can or can’t use in some agreements, in general discussions we should refer to owners as owners.

If we, as an industry, had used this terminology more often in recent years, the anti-business Washington bureaucrats, lobbyists, and activists may have targeted a different industry. They would have perpetrated their schemes on a business sector without owners.

 

 

Marketing Trends on Social Geek Radio

26 Apr

 

Social Geek Radio

 

We’ve got a great lineup of marketing experts coming up on Social Geek Radio!

Laura Ries

 

 

This week Laura Ries, President of Ries & Ries, joins us to discuss trends in branding. Laura is the best-selling author of Battlecry, Visual Hammer, and my favorite marketing book of all time: The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR.

 

 

 

Mitch Joel

 

 

And next week we’re thrilled to have Mitch Joel, President of Mirum, on the show to talk tech trends. Mitch is the best-selling author of Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete.

 

 

 

 

Find us at SocialGeekRadio.com or download from iTunes!

Jobs on Facebook

27 Mar

hiring

Who is your company’s best recruiter? Who finds the most talented team members capable of adding to your growth and culture? It could be your HR director, sales manager, or operations chief. Or it could be Mark Zuckerberg.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Last month saw a nice improvement in US employment numbers. 235,000 new jobs were added and they appear to be higher-paying as well as more likely full-time and permanent compared to those added in recent months and years. Some are calling it the Trump Bump. Another month like this and we’ll call it a trend. When we get to 500,000+ jobs, we’ll call it a boom.

A boom is great. A boom is welcome. But a boom will mean that exceptional candidates will be harder to find for your brand, offices, stores, service centers, franchisees, and locations. How will you bring them in?

The answer, as with many things in business in 2017, is Facebook.

 

Facebook Jobs

The Facebook Jobs app is slowly rolling out to business pages. If your page has the functionality now, you’ll see the Jobs tab in the recently-cleaned up apps list on the lower left side of the desktop version of your page. Desktop users will see your page’s jobs tab also on the left. Mobile users may find it in the horizontal scrolling apps on the mobile version of your page. But most users will find your job posting not by going to page (because who does that anymore!?) but by hitting the Jobs section in the mobile app where they will see compiled jobs based on their location.

So far most of the jobs I am seeing when I look at my personal Facebook app are for bartenders and food truck operators. This is supposedly only based on geography, but perhaps Facebook is targeting based on my recent posts!

Posting Your Job

If you already have the jobs function, posting is simpler than any job post you’ve even created in your life. First click that Jobs tab on the left to get started. Then click on the green Create Job box.

Jobs on Facebook

Jobs on Facebook

This takes us to a very simple “Publish a Job Post” area. Calling this “a post” is very smart and enticing; it’s fast, easy, and everyone has created a Facebook post. Like any post, give it a headline, add a photo (or default to your cover photo), put in the basics on the job and you’re done. This is so easy and fun that I think employers will create more jobs just to post more. We’ll call that the Zuck Bump

Jobs on Facebook

 

But What About LinkedIn?

The Jobs on Facebook section is so easy to use for employers and job seekers that some have questioned the future of LinkedIn. While I support the position that Facebook is steadily replacing everything online, I think there’s plenty of opportunity for LinkedIn users for a long time to come. Some jobs – perhaps those on the higher end of the economic scale – may never appear on Facebook. And if we hit the jobs boom, employers will need to find candidates in multiple places and channels.

#TBT #Vinyl Mad Season, Above, 1995

1 Mar

Mad Season Above

Mad Season
Above
Columbia Records
1995

An underrated record from the end of the Grunge era was the only album by Mad Season called Above. This was a side project by members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Screaming Trees. This vinyl version was produced as a double album and featured a minor radio hit, “River of Deceit.”

Mad Season Above

Mad Season Above

Mad Season Above

 

What Should You Do with Rogue Facebook Pages?

28 Feb

duplicate facebook

 

Most Franchises, retail chains, or multi-unit restaurant systems have multiple Facebook pages that are not under the control of the brand or the local operator.

Maybe that former night manager set one up a few years ago. It could be that a customer wanted to check in, but that location wasn’t on Facebook yet so she just created her own location page…complete with a logo from 1982. Perhaps a dismissed employee took revenge by creating a phony page with nasty images.

It’s typically not as malicious as that last example; we usually find pages that were set up then innocently forgotten when the staff member left and now no one remaining can access the page.

We also find, at some point, the CMO who is suddenly haunted by these ghost pages. He or she is terrified by the thought of a customer or stakeholder discovering this abandoned page and thinking poorly of the brand.

 

Have No Fear

My advice lately to such marketers has been simply: have no fear. Don’t worry about it. In some cases, you may be able convince to Facebook to take down some pages, but for most of these, you will hit a dead end.

The good news is that no one is looking at those pages! What many people still don’t realize is that unless someone is driving traffic to a page, no one really sees it anymore. Very few Facebook users look up pages just to see what’s new on them. If there’s no new content being posted, there’s no new content showing up on anyone’s newsfeed. And, let’s face it, our own newsfeed is all any of us notice!

That rogue page is not really a haunted house that a customer may see as they walk down your brand’s street. It’s more of a junk drawer in a house that no one will see from the sidewalk.

 

Focus on What You Can Control

Spend your resources – your time and ad dollars – on driving traffic to the pages or places that you want to people to see. Frequent posting of quality content and purchasing of ads coming from your “real” page will far outweigh any ugly, off-message, or duplicate page.

 

 

Social Geek Radio Episode 300

20 Feb

social geek radio snap

This week on Social Geek Radio we celebrate our 300th Episode! Thanks to all of our guests over the past 7 years for so many great conversations about their innovative marketing and technology.

For this milestone show, we have an inspiring tech entrepreneur joining us to share her fantastic story. Ludwina Dautovic will join us live from Melbourne, Australia to tell us about her latest venture, The Room Xchange!

 

Please join us each Wednesday night at 8pm ET or download immediately after the show:

Website: http://socialgeekradio.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/social-geek-radio/id372755526

 

 

 

 

One Thing to NEVER Do When Relaunching Your Website

13 Feb

launching website

In the long checklist of critical items to execute when relaunching an organization’s website, there’s one that all CMOs and CIOs need to skip:  Do not make an announcement about the new website.

Relaunching your website is not news. It’s not a story. Don’t send out a press release or even write a Facebook or LinkedIn post. I’m sure building the new site was hard work and cost a great deal of money. You’re right to be proud of your new site. But I must tell you: no one else cares.
  
Your website is the place where you tell your story; it’s not a story that you have made changes to that place.

How Did We Get Here?

The traditional old media set a bad precedent. Newspapers regularly made big announcements to their readers about their own changes in format or style. Television is even worse. Every redesigned set on a morning show means a “behind-the-scenes-hey-aren’t-we-happening” moment for programs like the Today Show.

That’s fine if you have 5 hours of fluff to fill every morning on NBC. But your brand has only few seconds to grab a consumer’s attention online. Tell your story and don’t waste your shot by talking about the way you tell stories.

Take a Shakedown Cruise

Before you shine a spotlight on that new website, let your current customers and team take it on a shakedown cruise. If issues pop up, or some content is found to be inaccurate, you would rather work on a fix before too many eyeballs hit the site. Too many companies have wasted time, money, and credibility by driving consumers to a website that wasn’t ready for large numbers of visitors.

What Could You Announce?

Put your customers’ interests first. What does your news mean to them?

  • If you have new functionality on your website that a consumer might find compelling such as ecommerce, then it’s newsworthy.
  • If you have new video content or written articles that are relevant to your customers, then share it.
  • If you have news that affects your clients such as changing executives / contacts or new initiatives, then announce it.

What Teachers in Vegas Taught Me About Leadership

8 Feb

franchising gives back

 

Last week members of the International Franchise Association went to Richard J. Rundle Elementary School in Las Vegas for a day of painting, landscaping, and building. The Franchising Gives Back event is an annual day of service when IFA members help communities in the host city of their annual convention.

While our group has worked alongside many terrific organizations in many cities across the USA, we had never been taught lessons in leadership by teachers and students.

Here are a few ways the leaders from Rundle Elementary inspired us to share in their vision:

 

1. Make Others Feel Appreciated

As we approached the school, it was clear that a large crowd was waiting in front of the building. The cynic in me hoped we weren’t being picketed or protested. When the bus doors opened, I heard the applause. Over 100 students, parents, and teachers cheered as we exited the bus and made us feel like the Beatles touching down in America.

Paul Pickett of Wild Birds Unlimited has participated in the event for several years, but said, “being greeted by the teachers, students, and families at Richard J. Rundle Elementary School is a memory that I will never forget!”

I was a first-timer this year and had been unsure what the whole day was going to be like. But the warm welcome made me want to get to work.

franchising gives back

 

2. Share the Story and the Vision

Had we arrived to an empty school, we would have still done a sufficient amount of painting, planting, and building. But the school’s leaders told us about the school’s challenges, history, and even about the heroic child for whom the school was named. We became invested in the outcome.

Just as we were leaving at the end of the afternoon, I noticed part of a wall that needed one more coat of paint and went back to do it right. Without being engaged in the school’s story and needs, I would have ignored it. A little story telling gets a great deal of buy-in from your troops!

franchising gives back

 

3. Give Credit to Others While You Roll Up Your Own Sleeves

The school leaders made us feel like what we were doing was a single effort that made all the difference in the world.  But we were there for only one Saturday afternoon. Though we completed many projects, our efforts were nothing compared to the daily improvements the school’s staff and students are constantly doing.

And while we received all the credit, there were many parents who joined in as well. Desirae Franco of The Dwyer Group told me, “My favorite part was working with a father and son to help paint their team logo on the wall. The boy was so excited and it was contagious!”

Emphasizing – and perhaps over-emphasizing – our contribution made us take ownership of the improvements.

franchising gives back

 

4. Set Up Your Partners to Succeed

The projects were laid-out in a dummy-proof manner, so even a bunch of CEOs, marketing people, and sales people could dive in and make a dent. The instructions were clear and the tools were ready!

Having a project well-organized is critical when dealing with a group of non-specialists. Without specifics on how many people were needed on each task and directions on where to start, confusion would have derailed us early in the day.

 

5. A Hand-Written Note

In a world of email blasts and texts, I’m a big fan of standing out via the old style hand-written note. The students of Rundle Elementary wrote enough illustrated thank you notes for each of us and handed them to us as we boarded the bus to head back to our convention.

Deb Evans of Social Geek Radio and Deb Evans Consulting said, “We know we make a difference each year, but this year we were thanked with cheers, hugs, and handwritten notes!”

I received a lot of free giveaways and tchotchkes at the IFA Convention this year, but a student’s note was the thing I kept!

fullsizerender-note

Social Geek Radio in Top 20 Best Business Podcasts

6 Feb

social geek radio

 

Thanks Geeks!

Thanks to the Digital Marketing Geeks and the Social Media Geeks. And thanks to our guests from the business and franchise community…

Due to you, Social Geek Radio has been named to Emerge’s list of the 20 Best Business Podcasts for 2017!

Special thanks to Qiigo, Deb Evans Consulting, and The International Franchise Association for their continued support. 

 

 

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