Tag Archives: franchise marketing

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.

 

DIFF: Do It For Franchisees

5 Apr

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What’s The DIFF?

One of the best things a Franchisor can offer Franchisees has been good content for marketing and social media engagement. And now this includes leading the franchisees’ content publishing efforts.

Creating content for your entire organization is great. But if that content never gets in front of consumers, it’s worth nothing.

 

DIY Doesn’t Work in Social Media for Franchisees

I spent several years creating social media marketing models where franchisees would “get with the program” and engage daily in social. Do It Yourself social media is a great idea in theory for franchisees, but not all practical. Getting 10% of franchisees in any system to engage was considered success.

We’re now in a Do It For Franchisees world of social marketing.

Local business owners know that marketing is one of the disciplines that they need to tackle. But that’s the problem: it’s just one of things they need to tackle! And when the hours in a day get tight, marketing gets dropped every time.

 

Don’t Be Overhead. Be Air Cover.

Operators, owners, and Franchisees need to focus on running their business, managing their employees, serving customers, and making product, but not becoming a digital marketing expert.

That’s where you come as the expert to figure out the best social approach for your brand and the microcosm of the brand that is the local franchisee’s Facebook page.

You not only can create the appropriate content for that page, but also you can decide the suitable number of daily postings, choose the right timing, and replicate for all franchisees in your system.

That’s where you come in as marketing air cover.

    

It’s good for them. It’s even better for your brand!

As mentioned earlier, if you can get 10% of franchisees from any system to log in and use a social media platform, you’re doing great. But that’s a horrible number! You can’t accomplish much with only 10% of your system.

Doing It For Franchisees (or at least the inactive 90%) means no more worry about policing the messages for consistency. You manage the message and empower the franchisees to run their business.

 

 

 

Facebook for Franchise Development

1 Mar

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Thanks to everyone who attended our Facebook for Franchise Development panel at the International Franchise Association annual convention last week. It was just 500 or so friends getting together on a Sunday in San Antonio to chat about Facebook. Fellow panelists Paul Pickett, Ashley Pollard Sawyer, Lorne Fisher, and I were thrilled with level of engagement and enthusiasm from the crowd.

 

Facebook Ads, Not Just Posts

I should note that when I say Facebook for Franchise Development, I’m talking about Facebook Ads. Your consumer marketing counterparts can and should rely heavily on organic / unpaid content and updates. But when trying to reach potential franchisees, it’s all about the paid posts where you can target specific messages to certain groups of people based on demographics, interests, and location.

 

Surprise Audience Engagement

Three things from the audience have really stuck with me. First, an amazing crowd of 500+ came to hear about best practices in using Facebook for Franchise Sales. The overflow crowd was spilling out into the hallways by the time we started. 15 to 20% of the entire IFA Convention was attending this session on a Sunday morning!

Second, I was shocked and impressed that a majority of the CEOs and Franchise Development executives in the room answered affirmative when I asked if they were at least starting to use Facebook ads for franchise lead generation. One year ago it would have been under 20%. Five years ago I would have been laughed at for asking that question. When I first attended IFA in 2009 to discuss “emerging media” in franchising, suggesting spending money on Facebook would have gotten me kicked out of the convention.

Third, a great question from the audience allowed our panelists to drill down into a deeper discussion of what to do if you’re not getting results.  A franchisor had tried some Facebook ads, got a lot impressions or clicks, but no real prospects and no deals. Many see this as Facebook advertising not working; I see it as working well, just with the wrong content. She had touched many people but didn’t tell the story she wanted to tell the first time out. 

If you’re not getting the results you require from Facebook ads, you have only three options:

  1. Step on the gas and get that content in front of more people
  2. Change your content & try again
  3. Quit!

(And #3 is not an option)

 

 

 

Franchise Sales Using Facebook

5 Oct

fRANCHISING

How much of your brand’s Facebook activity should be devoted to franchise sales efforts versus consumer marketing and engagement?
 
Many franchise systems with whom I’ve spoken in the past several years have struggled with balancing their social media communication for consumers and their engagement with potential franchisees. Some designate a certain amount of content on the page for consumer marketing and an amount for franchise development. Others create completely separate Facebook pages for their franchise sales messages.

I don’t recommend either of these practices; all goals of marketing a franchise on Facebook can be achieved in a more holistic approach.

 

Your Page Versus Their Feed

First, let’s stop thinking of Facebook pages like websites with certain amount of real estate devoted to various parts of your organization. A Facebook page is really just your starting point.

The true power of Facebook communication lies in users seeing your brand and your news on his or her news feed, not on your Facebook page.

It doesn’t really matter what’s on your page. Very few people are ever going to seek out your page and view it the way people once did with websites. Typical consumers won’t be confused by your franchise sales messages because they don’t see them.

 

Organic Versus Paid Target

Your messages may be seen as organic (free) posts, which will reach 2% to 20% of your fans, depending on your fanbase size. But more likely, your messages will be seen in the form of boosted posts or other types of paid advertising. The reach or size of audience depends how many dollars you want to spend.

Target your paid content by the demographics of your franchise sales candidates. This goes beyond just age and gender; target according to your typical candidates’ interests, industries, and more.

Even within your group of franchise sales posts, you may want to change up content or demographics based on location. Messages promoted to Texas candidates might need to be different than those promoted to Florida candidates.

Your brand’s fans and your franchisees’ customers won’t see that content. With a few exceptions, I typically don’t see anything wrong with showing consumers some franchise sales-specific social media content. But when paying to boost and target Facebook posts, it is cost prohibitive to show all messages to all people.

 

 

Why You Don’t Want 1 Million Likes on Facebook

10 Aug

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You DON’T want 1 Million Likes on Facebook.

You want 100 pages with 10,000 likes. Or 1,000 pages with 1,000 likes!

 

Many digital marketers have spent the past year spreading the news that Facebook posts are organically reaching a mere 1% or 2% of their fans’ newsfeeds.

While this may be the case for huge brands with millions of fans, there’s good news for midsize brands. Earlier this year Locowise reported the following average organic post reach for Facebook pages of these sizes:

1 Million+ Likes                     2.27%

500,000 Likes                       7.47%

50,000 Likes                         9.62%

Under 1,000 Likes              14.21%

 

Sure, you would rather reach 2% of One Million people than 14% of One Thousand people. But what if you could repeat that 14% over another 1,000 pages? 

Who has that potential and could benefit in this current situation? Franchises!  Why? Because they don’t just have one small page with 1,000 likes, but multiple.

 

It isn’t the number of Likes you have that matters; it’s the number of pages you have and the number of Likes on all those pages.

 

This has been the case for the past couple of years. In 2013, franchise and restaurant chain brands I consulted reported higher reach levels than brands with a single page. This local page gap is widening and those who have all Facebook eggs in one basket are losing out.

Example using the current organic reach rates – 
Brand A: company with 1 Million Likes on one page reaches 2,270 people.
Brand B: a Franchise brand with 1,000 Likes on 1,000 pages reaches 142,100 people.

Both brands have a total of 1 Million fans, but the Franchise system reaches far more fans with every post shared on all pages. Franchises are indeed greater than the sum of their franchisees.

Act now while the window is open! Fortune 500 companies should be looking for a way to divide their giant page into 1,000 pages. Their organic reach would skyrocket.

 

 

 

Facebook Content Marketing in 4 Steps

9 Jul

fRANCHISING

The most important place for your brand’s content marketing is likely Facebook. For franchise brands, here are the four steps to effectively tell your story to customers.

Three of these are controlled by the franchisor; the fourth and final step is in the hands of each franchisee.

  
Steps 1, 2, & 3 by the Franchisor:

1. The Franchisor Takes Control of brand on all social pages
Don’t drive consumers to your franchisees’ pages until they’re ready. Be confident that they are all up to date with current logos, images, names, and proper content.

2. The Franchisor Publishes organic content, curated news, great stories
Share valuable content to all franchisee pages for their local fans to consume.

3. The Franchisor Sets up Franchisees to Engage
This may be empowerment for some systems that set up franchisees to dive in.  Or this may be more controlled for some systems that want to approve content from franchisees before it goes out live.

 

Step 4 by the Franchisee:

4. The Franchisee Boosts Some of the Above Posts on Facebook
This will maximize local audience exposure at the local unit’s discretion and depending on its means. Instead of spending resources on creating content, the franchisee can efficiently choose some of the posts the franchisor published (in Step 2) and boost with local ad dollars. Boosting will vary based on the franchisee’s budget.

Need more info publishing to franchisees’ pages? Connect with my colleagues at Manalto to learn more.

 

Set up Your Future Facebook Pages Now!

16 Jun

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Is part of your business plan for 2016 to expand into Canada? Is your Franchise Development team focused on Texas? Are there big empty spots on your map with no pins in it?

Create Facebook pages now for those future locations, markets, or franchisees.

  • Share the same great content you’re putting on your brand’s corporate page as well as any of your current locations’  or franchisees’ pages. No need to worry about localized special content yet.  
  • Generate some local interest in the brand … and who knows, maybe some local franchise sales leads!
  • You own the page from day one. When a store opens in that market, you can update the name, address, and details.
  • You’re adding value to the sale. Part of what the new franchisee is buying is a pre-made Facebook page with great content already living there and a built in fan base!

The 3 Best Things I Heard at Google

11 May
SGR at Google

Social Geek Radio on the Wall at Google HQ!

Thanks to Google’s franchise team for hosting several Franchise brands, Google partners, and other marketers at last week’s Google International Franchise Assembly Summit.

We saw many fantastic presentations from Google at GIFA. Here are my 3 favorite speakers, along with a favorite quote:

  1. Monica Plaza, Consumer Surveys Head of Sales:
    “You Are Not Your Target Market.”
     .
  2. Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing: 
    “Don’t be afraid to experiment in digital marketing!”
     .
  3. Todd Rowe, Director, Global Head of Channel Partnerships:
    “Are your industry’s emerging experts promoting YOUR brand? Or your competitor’s?”

For more on GIFA, tune in to Social Geek Radio Wednesday 5/20 at 8pm ET as Deb Evans and I welcome back Brandi Kloostra and Leah Stewart of Service Brands International to review everything GIFA!

New Social Media Management Functions from Manalto

28 Apr

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I am pleased to be working on the top-shelf Social Media Management Software Manalto and thrilled about a new set of functions added by client request. These new features are key for any brand with multiple locations, franchisees, local outlets, or business units.

The brand and marketing executives I speak with daily need advanced functionality to manage hundreds or thousands of social media pages. Here is a look at these updated functions:

 Manalto V4 Functions x

 

 

Franchisors: Don’t Do Facebook Promoted Posts from Your Brand Page.

22 Mar

 

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You need Facebook ads and promoted posts not from your brand’s Facebook page, but from all of your franchisees’ Facebook pages.

By pushing out ads from your franchisees’ local pages, you’re ensuring that 100% of this investment is going toward potential customers near your local units. If you only boost posts from a brand page, you will be spending many dollars on advertising to people who are 500 miles from your nearest franchisee, even when using demographic targeting on your brand page.

And those people who are far away miles from your nearest franchisee? Target those folks with your Franchise Development story in promoted posts from your brand page or special Fran Dev pages!

 

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