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. 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl The Who, You Better You Bet, 1981

26 Jan

You Better You Bet Single The Who

The Who
You Better You Bet
From the album Face Dances
Polydor Records (UK)
1981

Here’s The Who’s first hit post-Keith Moon. This is a Polydor Records version from the UK.

You Better You Bet Single The Who

You Better You Bet Single The Who

You Better You Bet Single The Who

Looks like I picked this up at Appletree Records, DeKalb, IL

What Happens In Vegas Stays On Facebook

25 Jan

#IFA2017 #qiiwords

 

A major theme for the International Franchise Association’s 2017 Convention is “Telling Your Franchise Story.”

I’ve been advocating and promoting ways to use social media at the IFA Convention each year since 2009. So, I am very excited about amount of content and programming dedicated to story-telling this year!

Here are five places where you can learn how other brands are telling their stories digitally during or before The IFA Convention:

1. Roundtable Discussion: “Digital Marketing for Franchise Development”

Monday, January 30, 9am
South Pacific Ballroom E – Mandalay Bay
(as part of the Digital Marketing and Tech Summit)

There are lots of great roundtables this year. If you’re interested in sharing your experiences and hearing some best practices from others, please join my table!

 

2. Panel: “Social Media: Today’s Secret Sauce for Telling Your Franchise Story”

Monday, January 30, 2:45 pm
Tradewinds E & F – Mandalay Bay

I am thrilled to be moderating this panel of marketing executives called “Social Media: Today’s Secret Sauce for Telling Your Franchise Story”

Here is IFA’s description:

Great brands rely on stories to define their brands. With the expansion of social media and consumers “24/7 mentality,” today’s brand journey must begin, build and extend onto social media. Whether you are looking to inspire, motivate or excite your customers and community, social media continues to play a key role. This session will include franchisors and franchisees who understand how to use this “secret sauce” effectively. We will also share how to use social media to tell the positive story of franchising because in today’s rapidly-moving market, we cannot simply raise awareness about our own brands, we need to seize the opportunity to educate consumers wherever and whenever we can about what franchising is and all the great contributions our businesses make. Come prepared to take away practical and tactical ideas from marketing pros that will make a real difference for your business.

Moderator: Jack Monson, Director of Digital Strategy, Qiigo

Alice O’Donnell, Vice President of Marketing, Massage Heights

Kathleen Kuhn, President, HouseMaster Home Inspection Services

Ali Rauch, Marketing Director, Chicken Salad Chick

 

3. Podcast: “Telling Your Franchise Story”

On last week’s episode of Social Geek Radio, we previewed the above session with panelist Ali Rauch of Chicken Salad Chick. Ali gave us the background on her brand’s “Every Chick Has a Story” social media marketing campaign.

http://socialgeekradio.com/2017/01/18/todays-secret-sauce-for-telling-your-franchise-story/

 

4. Podcast: “What’s Trending in Franchise Development”

This week on Social Geek Radio, we were joined by our good friend, Thomas Scott, for a preview of his IFA panel. Thomas shares ideas on how to tell your story and position your website to meet the needs of today’s franchise buyers.

http://socialgeekradio.com/2017/01/25/whats-trending-in-franchise-development/

 

5. Qiigo’s Contest: “What Happens in Vegas Stays on Facebook!”

My team at Qiigo is looking to have some fun sharing our cool new selfie sticks and giving away some cash and an Apple Watch! All you have to do is:

  • Grab a selfie stick at Qiigo’s booth and take a selfie
  • Post it on social media and tag it with #QiiWords
  • You’re automatically entered to win!

We’ll see you in the exhibit hall!

Qiigo #qiiqowords

 

Social Geek Radio in the 40 Best Small Business Podcasts

24 Jan

Best Small Business Blogs

 

Thanks Geeks!

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

All of you have helped Social Geek Radio get added to Proven’s list of the 40 Best Small Business Podcasts.

In addition, Social Geek Radio was just named to Emerge’s list of the 20 Best Business Podcasts for 2017.

We’ve received a few other awards before, but Deb Evans and I both have a real passion for entrepreneurship and growing small businesses, so both of these are real honors for us.

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl The Chicago Bears, Super Bowl Shuffle, 1985

19 Jan

Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle

The Super Bowl Shuffle
The Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew
Red Label Music
1985

 

This was the biggest single (at least in Chicago) this week in 1986 leading up to Super Bowl XX.

 

“Now we’re not doing this because we’re greedy,

The Bears are doing it to feed the needy.”

-Sweetness

 

Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle label

 

 

Deeper Political Divides in Social Media in 2017

18 Jan

facebook dislike

 

You think 2016 was rough? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Trump. Clinton. Bernie. Obamacare. Make America Great Again. Black Lives Matter. Email servers. Putin. Benghazi. Wikileaks. Fox News. CNN. Trumpists. Snowflakes.

If you’re paying attention on Facebook, you know your friends’ opinions on many of the above subjects.

Some may think that with the election behind us and the inauguration happening this week that the heated debates are done. I think it’s just warming up.

 

The New (Ab)Normal

Just a few years ago, the public sharing of so much political nastiness was simply not done. At least it was not done by adults and professionals. But after the past year of raw political argument, we have lost all filters.

The incoming President of the United States has forsaken all filters including media editors and his own spokespeople in favor of instant Facebook posts and real-time Tweets. Love him or hate him, we’re now all doing the same thing.

 

Swapping Positions 2009 to 2017

An interesting change between those on opposite ends of the political spectrum is happening in 2017, and I don’t mean the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There’s a role reversal happening in the poli-social space.

In the US and much of Europe, Liberals are now taking over the role of opposition to the Conservative’s new position as the establishment.

For the past 8 years, Conservatives have played the role of the rebel alliance fighting the big-government empire. Think of that timeframe: for most of the lifespan of social media, or at least the lifespan of marketing and massive use on Facebook, Republicans have been on the offense in social media messages while Democrats have had to play defense. When President Barack Obama took office in January of 2009, the Democrats also had control of the US House and the US Senate. The Republicans used social media to attack that establishment. Eventually the tide turned back in their favor.

Now with the GOP in the White House, retaining the Senate, holding the House, and growing their lead across most state governments, it’s the Democrats’ turn to go on offense. This may lead to a great frenzy of counter-culture activity on social. We could be seeing the dawn of a new of 1960s style protest movement, although it’s a sterilized digital version where you don’t actually have to leave your phone to participate.

 

More #FakeNews

How do some respond to news that they just don’t like? Call it Fake News. Be prepared to see about half of the content shared on social media to be called fake news by someone. Caution: the more that label is used, the less of an impact it has.

I personally plan to save the fake news moniker for so-called established news sources that publish false news and ignoring the phony sources that pop up.

 

More Unfriending = An Opportunity for Marketers

On my own personal Facebook account was unfriended by just one friend, but unfollowed or hidden by an untold many due during the 2016 election. Once some people start trimming their friend lists, it’s easy to continue. This could be the start for many Facebook users to scale down their list of friends to their real friends, or more likely, those who share many beliefs.

Here’s where my marketing friends (the real and the Facebook kind!) can find an opportunity in this mess —

Friends’ posts in the newsfeed rank higher than anything from brands or publishers since a June 2016 Facebook update. More unfriending means more prime real estate for your brand’s content on a fan’s newsfeed! Don’t give up on organic Facebook posts quite yet. After a divisive year, there may be a lot of holes to fill!

For more discussion on social media trends we’re spotting for 2017, check out this recent episode of Social Geek Radio with my co-host Deb Evans and special guest, my Qiigo colleague Liane Caruso!

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl Pearl Jam, Alive 1991

12 Jan

Pearl Jam Alive Vinyl

Pearl Jam
Alive (45 rpm single)
From the album TenEpic Records
1991

 

This rare 45 of Pearl Jam’s first release was a promo-only single with “Jeremy” on the flip-side.

Pearl Jam Jeremy vinyl

#TBT #Vinyl Chess Records Sampler, 1982

5 Jan

Chess Records

 

Chess Is Back
Various Artists
Chess Records / Sugar Hill Records
Compiled 1982

 

This promo-only LP for in-store play compiled 50’s and 60’s tracks from Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and other Chess artists.

 

Chess Records

Chess Records

Chess Records

Looks like it I got this in the used bin at Record Rev in DeKalb, IL!

Just Facebook and Nothing Else?

3 Jan

Facebook on iphone

 

In the distant future … like 18 months from now … we may look back fondly on this year as the time when we went to places on the internet other than Facebook.

We may also get a sense of nostalgia about other apps on our phones that are not Facebook or owned by Facebook.

Will we need anything else? Maybe not. And perhaps we’re already closer than you may think to a Just Facebook world:

Facebook Entity:                                           What It’s Replaced / Replacing:

Facebook Messenger                                  Texting

Facebook’s What’s App                              Texting

Facebook Ads                                                   Advertising anywhere else

Facebook’s Instagram                                 Snapchat

Facebook’s Workplace                                Slack, Instant Messaging, Your intranet

Facebook Marketplace                                eBay

Facebook Live                                                   Periscope, YouTube

and most importantly:

Posts from your Business Page                Website for your brand

Posts from your Locations’ Pages             All web pages for your entire organization

 

Website? What’s a Website?

If you serve up the right content to your customers in their own Facebook newsfeed, the need for them to click through to your website is minimized.

Are you trying to build traffic to your website or traffic into your business? Too many marketers have focused on web traffic for the sake of web traffic and sidestepped the obvious need to also make the cash register ring.

Some people will still click through to your site or landing page to confirm, but that’s fine. They are going to call / order / stop in / purchase anyway, so let them do so in the manner which makes them most comfortable.

 

The One Page That Will Still Matter: Google SERP

A similar argument may be made to grab those potential customers who search for the services you offer. If your phone number, hours, food menu, and map to your storefront are all on the Google search engine results page, do they really need to go to your website?
 
I’m not at all suggesting that you pull the plug on your website or ignore the need to keep it relevant. I suggest the opposite; good, fresh content on your site is more essential than ever to ensure that you show up on Google in the first place and have a full online experience for those who want more than Just Facebook.

 

 

 

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