Tag Archives: facebook

What Should YOU Promote on Instagram or Snapchat?

15 Nov

instagram

 

Just when brands got their arms wrapped around posting good content on Facebook and Twitter, some of their audience emigrated to Instagram and Snapchat. If your customer base fits the demographic of either of these channels, ignoring them is as irresponsible as not moving your brand into Facebook five years ago.

Although Instagram is looking more and more like Facebook, and Facebook is looking more and more like Snapchat, these channels are used very differently by consumers than Facebook.

 

Earned & Organic

Depending on your brand and strategy, you should explore spending on some Instagram ads. I’m less bullish on paid opportunities in Snapchat for most brands so far. So, let’s focus organic / earned content.

The good news is that 60% of 13 to 34 year-olds in the US use Snapchat. That’s approximately 50 million consumers.

The better news is they are not passive; they’re engaged!

The bad news is they’re engaged only with their friends and probably don’t want to engage with your brand.

So, let’s build on that. Get your current customers to post for you – in other words, be Snapworthy!

 

Be Snapworthy

Even the most prolific and obnoxious social sharers only have so many snaps or posts they can do in an hour. You have a limited opportunity for them to take a picture of something in your store or say something about your brand.

This goes well beyond social media marketing. This is a challenge for all store managers, franchisees / owners, and especially local staff. You must do something to make that customer feel compelled to pull out their phone and tell a story. This won’t be due to an offer, a discount, or a coupon. It will be due to the way you made them feel.

 

Using this tactic on Facebook too

If the customer posts a pic to Facebook, it’s even better. Even younger demos still have a much larger friend community there than anywhere else. And, with the algorithm changes Facebook made on June 30, a user’s friends’ posts now claim higher positions in his or her newsfeed than anything else — even from news publishers. That’s bad news for traditional media, but great news for you if your customers find you interesting enough to share something that includes you!

 

 

 

 

 

Reaching Franchise Candidates on LinkedIn

1 Nov

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More franchisors have asked me about using Social Media for franchise development in the past 6 weeks than in the previous 6 years.

At recent events including FranTech, Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, The Chicago Women’s Franchise Network, and Springboard, my conversations have focused on using Facebook for not only generating new leads from your consumer customer base, but also engaging with candidates further down your franchise development sales funnel using Facebook’s Custom Audience Targeting.

And often, the next question has been: “But what about LinkedIn?”

Franchisors at these events ask about improving their results in finding candidates on LinkedIn. Many tried LinkedIn early in their online marketing journey but got bad results and quickly moved on.

I suggest that LinkedIn may not be appropriate for engaging with some types of potential franchisees, just as Facebook or other channels may not work for other types of prospects.

Recommendation #1: Before jumping into any social media marketing for franchise development, look at who your candidates are and where they spend their time on social media.

 

Facebook LinkedIn Franchising

 

The Facebook Side

If your best franchise candidates are those folks who will be operating their own store or other franchise location day-to-day, Facebook is the best place to engage. They may be customers of a current franchisee who could visualize themselves running their own shop. They have an interest – and hopefully a passion – for your brand’s type of service, work, food, or culture!

At our FLDC panel discussion, Wild Birds Unlimited exemplified this type of brand. Chief Development Officer Paul Pickett shared how individuals on Facebook can engage with a brand that shares their passion and then picture themselves as owning their own store.  I would add that being a great storyteller and sharing appealing images and videos is key in developing these relationships! Facebook is the most important place to spend your development time as this is where such future owners are already spending their time.

 

The LinkedIn Side

If your best franchise candidates are looking for an investment or for their next franchise award, let’s look at LinkedIn. Those candidates are in “the business of business” and invest in a franchise based only on return. LinkedIn is an excellent place to share information about your franchise’s value.

On the same FLDC panel, LinkedIn success was represented by ZIPS Franchising. ZIPS Vice President Aaron Goldberg does a fantastic job communicating on LinkedIn with potential business partners who are multi-unit owners investing in franchises.

At my FranTech Roundtable on Social Media in October, many Franchisors shared with me that they burn through their LinkedIn ad budgets quickly. Unlike Facebook where your boosted posts are easy for the right prospects to consume, LinkedIn puts you in a very competitive position to get a franchise development ad viewed.

 

Recommendation #2: I’m currently recommending not initially buying ads on LinkedIn. Instead, use LinkedIn as the one-to-one communication tool that Twitter was meant to be. There’s no advertising cost to engage with a person as another person!

LinkedIn may not be a great place to generate a completely new lead, but it is the best place to communicate with potential business partners with whom you’re already engaged.

 

Recommendation #3: Use LinkedIn for franchise development via your personal profile, not your company LinkedIn page. People buy from people. The goldmine of LinkedIn for any brand is in its use by company representatives as individuals. Sure, your company page needs to be updated and appealing. But the heavy lifting needs to be done from you as a business leader.

 

Recommendation #4: Use these tactics every day to get to the next level with your franchise prospects on LinkedIn:

*Share relevant business articles and blog posts that would be of interest to your candidates.

*Reach out to them via LinkedIn messages and InMails. Both have a significantly higher response rate than emails.

And remember the most important thing when promoting a business to prospective buyers on social media: even when you’re not engaging with them, they’re watching you!

 

 

 

Post Every Day on All of Your Facebook Pages

6 Sep

Facebook log eyes

 

In the presentation titled 9 Social Media Best Practices for Franchisors, the practice that is most challenging for some marketers is also my favorite:
 
Post Every Day on All of Your Facebook Pages.

Few argue with the value of good, regular content flowing to their fans’ newsfeeds. And, in case consumers seek and discover your page on their own, my observation is that having a page with nothing new on it in the past two weeks looks like you’re out of business.

But some marketers are challenged by this daunting daily task looming over their content calendars. The reluctance may be caused by a feeling that daily posts are too much for their fans and that it’s just too hard to produce.

 

Too much? No.

With today’s painfully low organic reach, your risk of overserving content to a fan is nonexistent. When only 1% to 10% of your organic posts is actually seen by your fans, your daily posts will rarely hit their news feeds once each week.

Tell any fans who think you post too often the same thing I would tell radio listeners 20 years ago, when they would call my station and complain, “You played that same Pearl Jam song yesterday at 8am and then again at 10pm!” I would respond, “You’re right. THANKS for listening so much! Let me send you a t-shirt!” They may have been an irritated listener (or more likely, one who just wanted to show they caught a perceived flaw). But, to me we had someone who was engaged and listening for 14 straight hours! Now if only they had an Arbitron ratings diary…

 

Too hard? No.

Posting this much can be hard. It’s especially hard if it’s in addition to your current marketing workload or job description (whatever that is). But being too hard is no longer a reason to not do something. I frequently tell friends and groups with whom I speak that it’s now okay to ignore anyone who gives the excuse of not improving because it’s too hard. They will be soon gone from their current position and will no longer block you.

 

Exceptions? Yes.

Are there days when you shouldn’t post at least once? Yes, but it has less to do with the quantity of posts, and more about special occasions when your content is best throttled back. See these suggestions on days to skip posting.

How Your Brand Can Get 10X More Organic Reach on Facebook

26 Jul

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As Facebook organic reach continues to drop, some marketers are completely abandoning all hope of having fans see any unpaid posts.

On Social Geek Radio and on this blog, we’ve recently discussed how Facebook Live is like “old school Facebook reach” (thanks to Nick Powills for that phrase!). But what if you simply want to drive fans to your website, landing page, or blog?

The prevalence of Facebook Live videos is further hurting the organic reach of your shared link. It’s a zero sum game; that great organic reach attained by other brands’ Facebook Live videos will take away from your posts’ reach.

How can we get old-school reach numbers on old-school links?

 

Override the Link

While all organic reach is down, links to posts and pages appear to be doing far worse than photos. Using that to our advantage, we can share a link just as we would share a photo.

Here’s how:  Hold on to that copied link that you would normally paste in the posting area. Instead, select Photo first and upload an appropriate image for the post. You may want to first go to that blog or page and save an image from the page. After you’ve uploaded the photo, now you can paste the link. Add text before that link and you’re done.

I’ve been doing this consistently on pages I am managing over the past few months while also occasionally posting similar links as links on alternate days. My Photo + Link posts are all getting 20% to 45% reach each day! The Link posts are getting 2% to 10%.

The Photo + Link posts get 10 times more reach than the links alone. If you’re doing this now or will being trying it out, I’d love to hear about your results!

 

Days Not to Post on Facebook

18 Jul

Facebook Calendar

 

I am a big proponent of posting shareable content on all of your brand’s pages every day. A steady cadence of a daily organic posts (and now coordinated with ads) will help you stay top of mind and in the newsfeed to your customers. But as I discussed at my recent Southeast Franchise Forum presentation, there are days when no post may be better than a post.  

This is advice for any US brand’s national postings. If you’re a Franchise brand or have multiple locations in multiple markets, be aware of what’s happening in all of your local communities as well.  Local emergencies and weather issues may be reasons to hold off on posting for a day or two. Obviously you will need the help and input from your field team and perhaps alerts from news sources within your geographic footprint.

 

National tragedies and major International tragedies:

When terrorists (domestic or ISIS) struck in Baton Rouge, Nice, Dallas, Istanbul, Orlando, Paris, San Bernardino, and the growing list of places, people took to social media to learn, grieve, and show anger with their friends. Your brand’s marketing message would at best be lost in the outpouring or at worst stick out like a clueless, poorly timed, insensitive faux pas. Just wait a day or two to get back on schedule.

 

Celebrity deaths:

When icons like Prince, Muhammad Ali, or David Bowie died, many brands posted ill-advised images complete with marketing tagline and logo.  It works if you’re MTV or SiriusXM and you’re sharing an artist’s work for the day, but it doesn’t work if you’re selling fast food.

 

Political events:

Avoid posting after the first day / last day of the upcoming conventions. Also avoid the evening of and the morning after the Trump / Clinton debates and of course, Election Day. You will be buried in newsfeeds, so just wait a day. 

 

Holidays:

Take a break on MLK Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and September 11. Unless you have an inspirational and relevant message, please avoid it!

 

A Twitter Trend for Franchise Brands

10 May

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One or Many?

For several years most successful digital marketers with multiple locations or franchises have “gone local with social” and built a social media page or account for each location. This continues to be the winning strategy with Facebook.

But a trend I’m seeing from brand marketers is to merge multiple local Twitter accounts into one account for all brand awareness, news, and customer feedback for the entire brand. The areas where Twitter is currently most useful are increasingly being housed centrally instead of for each individual location.

What about all of the other platforms and channels? Which are best for a local presence versus a national brand voice?  Here’s my recommended number of pages your system should have:

Facebook: 1 brand page + 1 page per location

Google+: 1 brand page + 1 page per location

LinkedIn: 1 company page per brand

Instagram: 1 account per brand

Snapchat: 1 account per brand

YouTube: 1 channel per brand

Twitter: 1 account per brand

 

Why is there a difference for Facebook and Google+? Why should these two – and only these two – have multiple pages? It’s the local or regional presence that is resonating on Facebook with local engagement and converting search results on Google to local store traffic. Think of Facebook and Google+ pages in the same way you would think of websites for each individual location or franchisee. Even for service brands like cleaning and maintenance services without a storefront, conversations and conversions are happening locally through these two platforms. But, the other platforms are skewing to centralized, national brand engagement and conversations.

Multiple Departments?

What about multiple Twitter accounts for multiple departments or functions within a brand? No – not even a separate account for “customer service.” Your brand on Twitter is your entire brand. Customers don’t care about your fiefdoms!

The multiple Facebook and Google+ pages should only be location-specific and nothing else. From a national level there should only be one page. Far too many franchisors still employ separate Facebook pages for consumer marketing and franchise sales marketing. As discussed at this year’s IFA convention in the Facebook for Franchise Sales session, don’t have a separate page for Fran Dev!  Use targeted ads and boosted posts to hit candidates with specific messages about owning a franchise.

 

Prince Per Click

25 Apr

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It’s been 7 hours and several days since Prince’s passing took over the internet. Social newsfeeds turned purple with not only heartfelt tributes by fans, but also self-centered ads, clumsy branded content, and a lousy marriage of broadcast media and social. Here are some low-lights.

 

Prince Link Bait

If you’re already tired of the link-baiting teasers that suck the life out of your screen, then the fresh round of Prince headlines made your weekend even worse. We instantly saw garbage links like “9 songs you didn’t know Prince wrote,” “You won’t believe what will happen with Prince’s will,” and “What police found in Prince’s basement is shocking.”

These sites and their Facebook pages got a quick spike in traffic and a bunch of clicks. Congratulations. But they won’t get this kind of traffic again until someone as popular as Prince dies again. Good luck with that. Many of these sites are not even music, celebrity, or pop culture sites, but sadly are “news” sites that have exposed that they have no original content, only poorly curated links.

 

Brand Content

Tributes poured in from brands – some good, some bad. I generally don’t like posts surrounding a celebrity death or tragedy. There’s not much upside. Is anyone really going to say “Wow, General Mills is my kind of company. They think Prince dying is sad too! Quick, buy more Cheerios!”

And most of the brands’ postings are clumsy at best and overall lousy with a few exceptions. Adweek shared a good complete list here.

 

Celebrity Tweets = Lazy Journalism

Prince’s death has brought out the laziest aspects of TV News. Instead of delivering anything new or different, they just show what other celebrities have tweeted or posted about the celebrity who has died. Justin Timberlake and Mick Jagger are talented guys too, but the nice things they say about Prince are neither news nor interesting (unless someone says something terrible).

Also, thank God for CNN and The Today Show showing us what other people said on Twitter. I don’t know where else we would find such information! Glad they have massive global news operations to repeat what you could have seen on your phone instantly!

 

 

Stop Measuring Social Media

30 Mar

Einstein quote j

 

Stop Measuring Social Media

…unless you’re actively engaging!

You can spend all day measuring social media. But if you are not regularly publishing and engaging in social media, then all that measurement is a complete waste of time and money.

By regularly publishing, I mean multiple times per day, on all your pages with a good portion being original posts or links back to original content.  I’ve spoken with many marketing execs who ironically don’t have the resources to post this aggressively because they’re constantly monitoring and analyzing every word on social about their industry.   

Sure, monitoring and measuring the broad spectrum of social can give you some insights. The measurement industry people will tell you that you can make key business decisions with this information. Perhaps…but if you’re making important decisions about your organization based on what a few people may remark on social media, then perhaps you’re in the wrong seat.

 

Other Noise Versus Your Message

Look at the big QSRs – do they care? I hope not. Thousands of people say nasty things on social about chicken nuggets and $5 pizzas every week. But guess what? Millions of people still buy chicken nuggets and $5 pizzas every week. Those brands are actively putting out their own messages and not focusing on all the chatter.

 

What about the social channels you can’t monitor?

Those who over-measure have a particular fondness for Twitter. Why? Is it the most influential? No. Is it the biggest? No. But, it is the easiest to monitor and measure. Tweets are things that can easily be counted but might not necessarily count.  

Facebook and Instagram have real barricades to monitoring anything but your own content. They count, but can’t be counted. And Snapchat? No chance.

So most “share of voice” reports out there are only measuring a less important portion of a tiny fraction of what might be captured about of what’s being said about the brand! Please reread that last sentence in your most sarcastic voice possible.

 

Next: More Noise?!? 

As social and online conversations, chatter, and noise grow exponentially, each piece becomes less important. Where do you want to be a year from now…gathering more & more data that is becoming less & less relevant? Or, do you want to lead conversations and tell your story? Try these 4 tips:

1. Keep a finger on the pulse of social – not every inch of the body.

2. Of course be prepared to be alerted to any real crisis.

3. Focus all of your social listening on responses and engagements to your original content and your story. That’s all you can control anyway.

4. Focus the majority of your marketing resources on making news, not reading it.

 

Telling Your Business Story on Facebook

15 Mar

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Facebook released the news that it now has 3 Million advertisers and has 50 Million businesses using Facebook pages. Or, as Facebook might see this, 47 Million businesses who have pages but have not yet purchased an ad!

2 of the top 3 business verticals using Facebook pages are services and local commerce; both are common industry types using the franchise model. The third, ecommerce, applies to all models. We don’t know how many franchise brands are a part of that 3 Million advertisers. However, based on the boom in ads we discussed at the IFA Convention summit on Facebook and Franchising, it’s safe to assume that a large number of the million new advertisers in the past year are in franchising.

As part of this milestone, or as a good excuse to roll out something new, Facebook has launched a new tool called Your Business Story.  

 

Telling Your Business Story

This new format is video that Facebook has made very easy to use. In fact, it’s so simple, you don’t even have to make an actual video! All you have to do is select 8 photos that are already on your timeline, select a piece of music, add a little text, and you’re done!  Get started here.

You can create as many of these short videos as you want. You can share them with your fans and you can also boost them, bringing us full circle back to why Facebook has rolled out this cool tool.

We saw a bit of a preview of these business stories at FranTech 2015 last October in Dallas.  But now that I’m actually hands-on, here are 3 things that jump out at me:

1. Video: Everyone talks about how the only thing thing that matters in online marketing is video. But a large number of business owners have no experience or knowledge in how to make a video let alone how to distribute videos in an efficient way. Facebook just made it easy.

2. Content Marketing: The other thing everyone talks about is story telling to attract customers. Again, Facebook just made it easy.

3. A micro elevator pitch: The text that businesses can include answers the question: “What’s your story? We’re in the business of ____________.” This short answer forces business owners to think about they do for customers in simple terms. No one will have the space or opportunity to drone on about customer service, being people persons, finding solutions, or other corporate dribble.

 

Telling Franchising’s Story

One of the key takeaways for me at The 2016 IFA Convention was incoming IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim’s speech.  Not only did Aziz mention social media (a first for any IFA Chair or CEO’s speech), but he also compelled the members to tell franchising’s story.

I think Facebook just made it easy for all franchisors and franchisees to tell Franchising’s story!

Tweet about Aziz

 

 

Using Facebook for Sales

8 Mar

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We still hear business leaders and sales & marketing executives trying to convince us – or themselves – that they don’t need to engage potential customers on social media.  Here are a few responses to frequent Facebook objectives:

 

“You don’t understand my industry. These guys just aren’t on Facebook.”

I say: unless you’re marketing and selling to creatures other than human beings, many of your prospects are on Facebook.

 

“But we’re a B-to-B play. My business clients can’t be reached the same way those lucky dog Consumer Marketing people do it.”

I say: in every business to business transaction, people buy from people. You know where many people are right now? Facebook. Stop thinking of yourself pitching to XYZ Manufacturing Inc., and picture yourself engaging with your contact Jane.

 

“But one of the guys at my client really doesn’t use Facebook. I’m serious. He says it’s stupid.”

I say: Of course you can find some prospects and candidates who are not active on Facebook. You can also find some who don’t own a TV and a few who still don’t carry a mobile phone. In 2016, they are outliers.  I would also say that if they are that much of an outlier, then any conventional methods of reaching them will also fail.

 

Are you fighting against Facebook?

You’re not comfortable. I get that. It’s not what you used to do. That’s okay!

You’re going onto your 8th year of saying that social media is a fad. One of these years you may be right. But not this year. Go get ’em!

 

 

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