Over the past few years, social media has evolved from something that franchises viewed as helpful to an essential part of marketing. This is true for franchise owners who want to reach more customers. It’s also true for franchisors looking for potential franchisees. There are several reasons why social media has grown into such a powerful marketing channel. Not only can social media deliver an impressive ROI when managed correctly, but it also offers a level of targeting that’s simply not possible through other channels. Add to that just how much time people from all walks of life spend on social media platforms, and it’s easy to understand why social media as a marketing channel is here to stay. Continue reading
Social media is one of the best ways for franchisees to market themselves. While social media is a very powerful option for connecting with customers, plenty of franchisors have concerns related to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Given the immediate and widespread nature of social media, these concerns are completely valid.
Fortunately, there is a way for franchises to fully harness the power of social media and simultaneously protect their brand. The key to striking this balance is to create a social media policy for franchisees. Here are some of the most important elements to keep in mind as you work on creating this policy:
SEO stands for search engine optimization. At its core, this practice is simply a way to ensure that a business website shows up in the top group of results when someone searches for a relevant keyword phrase. Because Google is always evolving, the best practices for SEO in 2018 look quite different than even a few years ago.
To help ensure that you’re on the right track with SEO, we want to cover the 5 steps for franchise SEO success during the upcoming year:
1. Start with Key Pages
Franchisors often get overwhelmed by the prospect of diving into all of their SEO needs. That’s why we recommend starting with your most important pages. Good starting points include your homepage, About Us, main blog page and product/service pages. Investing time and resources to get these pages right can then be leveraged as a template for all other pages and online properties.
2. Create a Strong Online Footprint
The best rankings come from having a balanced and widespread online footprint. Instead of falling into the trap of chasing shortcuts, focus on ways to spread the word about your franchise online. More people knowing about your franchise will result in more people talking about it, which in turn will naturally generate the types of links that are so vital for ranking well in Google.
3. Optimize Location Pages
Some franchises have sub-pages for different locations. Others use individual websites for each location. And plenty of franchises take a hybrid approach. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you’ll want to be sure that customers in each target market are able to easily find local franchises online.
4. Understand Local
This ties directly into the above point. The way that Google ranks and displays local search results differs from general queries. As more people do searches from their mobile phones, fully understanding local has become even more important. One of the main things to keep in mind is that Google wants to verify that businesses have a local presence. NAP (name, address and phone number) citations are a key way they measure this. Ensuring NAP consistency across all major directories will help local rankings a lot.
5. Grab the Long Tail
The long tail refers to keyword phrases that are highly targeted but don’t get a ton of search volume. What makes the long tail so appealing is there’s less competition to rank in the first few spots. These highly targeted keyword phrases also have clear intent, which makes them great for converting searchers into actual customers. Integrating long tail content into your SEO strategy is a very smart choice for 2018.
If you want expert help creating the right SEO plan and putting it into practice during 2018, be sure to take a look at how Web Strategy Plus can help.
Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day.
She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location and more. Just let her know how she can help!
Successful social media marketing can be a challenge for any type of business. But this task can be especially challenging for franchises. One of the reasons is that it can be difficult for a franchise to strike the right balance between maintaining a consistent brand identity and giving individual locations their own personality.
Although franchise social media marketing can be quite challenging, there are ways to make it work. Proven social media marketing tips for franchises that work and will continue to be effective include:
1. Creating Content Guidelines
Franchisees get a lot of value out of being part of a larger brand. Since there is value in that association, most franchisees don’t have any problem following guidelines that help them stay in line with the brand. At the same time, it’s helpful for franchisees to have a way to showcase the personality of their location. Doing so helps to create connections with both existing and potential customers. The best way to achieve both objectives is to create and issue content guidelines. By creating a type of map or blueprint for franchisees to follow, they can add their own flair to the brand’s existing identity.
2. Make Consistency a Priority
Consistency is something that will improve any type of franchise marketing services. It can be possible to build some momentum on social without much consistency. That being said, social media efforts are almost always going to be more successful when they’re done on a consistent basis. Consistency helps to create a type of snowball that increases both the reach and engagement franchisees are able to achieve through social.
3. Give Franchisees the Ability to Measure Their Efforts
Testing is an integral part of online marketing for a franchise. That’s just as true of social as it is for other channels, which is why it’s very important to give franchisees the ability to test different things and easily see the results. One interesting thing about the nature of social media is what works great for one franchise location may not be ideal for another. By creating a culture that encourages testing, you can empower individual franchise owners to be proactive about figuring out what works best for them on social. Not only can this information then help make social media marketing stronger across an entire organization, but it will also provide starting points that other franchisees can refine through their own testing efforts.
Whether your franchise is already doing social media marketing or you’re trying to get this initiative off the ground if you want expert guidance to help ensure that all your efforts are as effective as possible, learn more about how Franchise Success Team can help your organization.
Michelle has been a franchise advisor for 15+ years. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree – however, with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day. Michelle can help you develop marketing, sales, and lead generation strategies that produce real results.
Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience.
She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location, and more. Just let her know how she can help!
Marketing programs are an important part of franchising. Collecting funds from the different franchisees in a system can lead to greater marketing power. On the other hand, this type of policy can cause tension if some people feel that the money is not being spent the way it should be. That is why you need to make sure that your company’s marketing system is rock solid. Here are some key qualities of a great franchise marketing program: Continue reading