Category Archives: Franchise Social Media Marketing

SEO

5 Steps for SEO Success for Franchises by Michelle Hummel

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.

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Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full service 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 to share her wisdom by providing keynotes and in-depth social media training. A current contributing editor to The Social Media Monthly Magazine and she has written 3 books in my series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares hers 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!

franchisees

Tips for Developing a Social Media Policy for Your Franchisees by Michelle Hummel

Social media is one of the best ways for franchises to market themselves in 2018. 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:

The Basic Objectives of a Social Media Policy

The three basic objectives of a social media policy are branding protection, legal protection and customer engagement. While many franchisors initially assume that their policy will take the form of a list of what not to do, that approach generally doesn’t lead to the best results. A better way to approach the development of a social media policy for franchisees is to give lots of examples of what they should do.

Best practices for desired content, recommended frequency of posts and similar guidelines can be extremely helpful. By empowering franchisees while also reminding them of what to avoid, you’ll be able to give them all the tools needed to make the most of social media as a marketing platform.

Additional Tips for Developing the Ideal Policy

It’s often useful to divide a social media policy into sections that are focused on the main areas of emphasis. This often begins with brand identity. You want franchisees to fully understand exactly what your brand is all about, as well as steps they can take to protect it online. A great policy will create a set of guidelines with clear expectations of how franchisees and their employees should act on social media so that they are great stewards of your brand.

Legal protection is a good choice for the next area of emphasis within your social media policy. You’ll want to explain why franchisees cannot make statements on social media that can be interpreted as misrepresentations, including misleading or over-promising a product or service. The same is true for not disclosing confidential information about the franchise system.

The last tip we want to cover is integrating customer engagement into your policy. Useful guidelines may include describing how franchise owners can comment on reviews, thank customers, answer questions and leverage public relations. These guidelines and examples will go a long way towards boosting the overall reputation of your franchise system.

If you want expert help crafting a highly effective social media policy for all your franchisees, be sure to take a look at how  Web Strategy Plus can help.

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Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full service 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 to share her wisdom by providing keynotes and in-depth social media training. A current contributing editor to The Social Media Monthly Magazine and she has written 3 books in my series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares hers 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!

Franchise Marketing Essentials

Franchise Marketing Essentials You Need to Know

 

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:

Drives Customers

For the franchise to be successful, the marketing program should attract lots of customers. If the franchise can consistently do this, all conflicts will be easily taken care of.

The Franchise Is Taken Into Consideration

The most successful franchise marketing programs give franchisees the opportunity to voice their opinions. While the franchiser will make the final decision, it’s important to give everyone a chance to add some input. Don’t forget that the franchisees are the people who frequently interact with customers.

Smart Allocation of Funds

Most franchises spend their marketing fund dollars on a few important things. They may cover any costs incurred during a specific marketing effort. This money can cover the costs of producing different types of marketing materials. Fund dollars are often also used to make media buys. It’s hard to spend enough money on all three areas, which is why there are often complaints about too much money being spent in one area, while neglecting others. That’s why it is important to maintain a good balance among all the areas.

Validation

Ask the franchisees how well the marketing program is working. You should receive honest and direct feedback. Ask how well the marketing plan is working in regards to attracting customers. Ask if they feel that they are getting good value for their contributions to the marketing fund. If the franchisees are happy about the marketing program, things will run smoothly and any potential problems may be avoided.

The Program Is Well Documented

Any strategic franchise marketing program should be documented by the franchiser. While you probably won’t have all of the marketing documentation, you should have some type of manual. This will help you look at the strategies to market effectively.

Marketing is a critical component of creating an appealing franchise opportunity, which is why you should dedicate a lot of time and energy towards it. A solid marketing program needs to have good materials, effective systems and easily attract new customers into the business. The more work you put into developing a great marketing program, the happier you will be with the results. And if you want to be sure you’re on the right track from the beginning, our franchise marketing services can help.

Using Social Media Effectively for Franchises

Using Social Media Effectively for Franchises

 

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.

With all that being said, the fact that social media can be a very effective marketing tool for franchises doesn’t mean it’s easy. Whether social media is being used with the intention of reaching consumers or potential owners, plenty of organizations struggle to make it work. Since competition for attention on social media platforms is only going to continue to increase, we want to share a few helpful tips for franchises to successfully use social media in 2017:

1. Try It All, Then Focus In

Franchises often wonder where they should start with their social media efforts. The best answer to that question is everywhere. Because there are multiple platforms with a large number of active users, it’s important to establish a presence on all of them. Then over time, you can see which platform(s) drive the most results and shift more resources accordingly.

2. Review and Adjust

There are a lot of different ways to execute a social media strategy. Although it can be helpful to have an initial idea when starting out, chances are some or all aspects of the strategy will change over time. The good news is social media platforms provide more analytics than ever to businesses, which means it’s easy to see which content is performing well and then focus on sharing more of the same kind.

3. Don’t Forget to Engage

While social media is a great way for a franchise to broadcast their message, it’s important to remember that this channel is a two-way street. So if you want to find real success with social media, making a point of engaging with customers or potential owners is a must.

4. Be Consistent

It takes a little time to really get the ball rolling with social media. Unfortunately, many franchises give up on social media too early. If you want to avoid this pitfall, having a little patience and being consistent with your posting activity is a must.

If you want to learn more about how to use social media effectively for franchise marketing, our social media magnet books are a great resource.

Franchise Social Media Marketing Tips for 2016

Franchise Social Media Marketing

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 in 2016 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.