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Franchise Conference Calendar

25 Sep

Tis the season for conferences in the franchise space! Here are some excellent opportunities in the coming months for CEOs, marketing & sales executives, and others to learn about innovations and network with peers:

  

Springboard
FisherZucker / Fishman PR / Entrepreneur
Philadelphia
September 25-27

 

Franchise Leadership and Development Conference
Franchise Update Media
Atlanta
October 11-13

 

Franchise Innovation Conference (aka FranTech)
International Franchise Association
San Diego
October 18-20

 

Franchise Expo West
MFV Expositions
Los Angeles
November 2-4

 

Emerging Franchisor Conference
International Franchise Association
Phoenix
November 6-8

 

Please let me know if you’ll be at any of these great conferences.

I would love to connect!

Jack@Qiigo.com

 

 

Save Local Business

5 Sep

Franchise Action Network

 

I’m looking forward to heading to Capitol Hill next week to join some old friends and new ones in speaking with legislators about issues affecting local businesses.

One of the topics will be the Save Local Business Act which seeks to protect workers and small business owners from recent government overreach and confusion. Here are some links to information about the event and background on the topics:

 

Please let me know if you’re attending – let’s connect!

 

 

Tips for Using LinkedIn Video

13 Aug

LinkedIn Video

 

Many LinkedIn users can now post native video directly from the LinkedIn mobile app. Grab your phone and check it now. If the posting area now shows a video icon, then access has rolled out to you.

Like a Facebook Live video, it’s easy to fire up your camera and share a video instantly or share a video already saved in your camera roll. But unlike Facebook, these videos will have business-focused content…I HOPE…

You can post this video from your personal profile as a representative of your brand (or your personal brand) instead of your company page. This is a great feature; your personal profile is much more powerful than your company page. You probably have more connections than your company page has followers. Besides, who really follows company pages and engages with them? I’ll tell you who: people who want to sell the company something or get a job there!

LinkedIn will share with you the company names and titles of those who viewed your video. While this will be good to know, perhaps someday the viewer data will become targeting data. But for now, this video you’re about to upload will be seen be your connections and anyone else with whom they share it.

As you’re trying it out, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Sales folks: don’t use the video to only push your latest sales promotion. Tell a story! Tell stories about your customers, some best practices, industry issues, and anything that would make someone want to have a conversation with you.
  • Marketing pros: Again, tell a story, and leave out all corporate-speak about comprehensive global solutions and enterprise services yadda yadda yadda…
  • It can be ten minutes long, but don’t make it ten minutes long. Start with 30 seconds. When your 30 second videos are so good that your connections want more, increase to one minute.

Christmas In July: Planning Q4 Digital Marketing Now

12 Jul

Christmas in July

 

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of 4th Quarter sales for retailers, restaurants, and many other small businesses or multi-location businesses. While operations and other parts of your organization have had the rest of the year mapped out since last year, your digital marketing activities may not even be finalized for back-to-school promotions, let alone holiday shopping.

In the past, too many marketers have waited until the summer was over to gear up for the holidays. But now that’s too late. It’s now Christmas in July or at least planning your digital marketing tactics for Christmas during July.

Also, is 2018 the year your big idea explodes? If next year is your “hockey stick year,” then Q4 better be solid. To get started, here are three questions to ask yourself during July:

 

1. What are you going to do now to have a great Q4?

What will compel customers to pay you a visit and make a purchase? Do you have a killer promotion ready to roll?

 

2. How are you getting people into your stores or onto your website?

Facebook (organic) posts? Forget it. Tweets? Unless your name is Donald, forget it.

You’ve got to hit large numbers of people or smaller numbers of the right people using:

  • Facebook ads
  • Pay Per Click ads
  • Display ads

Blog posts and other forms of content marketing are great for awareness and long term branding, but you need to guarantee traffic soon.  Find what advertising and promotions work now and pour some fuel on it. And when I say fuel, I mean ad dollars.

 

3. Are the customers you had last year coming back, or are they buying from Amazon?

This one is very important for retailers – all boutique shops, specialty stores, chains, or franchises. We think we have a loyal base, so why would they not come back in this year

I’ll tell you why … there are an estimated 80 million Amazon Prime customers. Many of your customers are part of that. Use digital ads to reach them and give them a reason to get off their big fat lazy Amazon and come into your store!

 

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.

 

 

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