5 Reasons Franchise Social Media Strategy Needs To Be Local

Distributed marketing in a franchise system can benefit from a localized social media strategy. Here are 4 reasons a franchise should leverage a local versus a corporate strategy when approaching social media.Creating connectivity between franchise, franchisee and customers through social media creates powerful brand opportunities.

You can download the Local Social Media For Franchising e-book mentioned in the slideshow here.

10 Tips To Maximize Reach Of Your Facebook Contest

This is a Guest post to the Four51 blog.

A simple Facebook contest can increase your fan base very rapidly and jump start your social media presence with minimal effort. This is a great way to get people to see your content constantly; they may not always be on your website or thinking about your brand, but when you post content to Facebook it will likely pop up in their News Feed.

There are several types of contests that you can run but one of the simplest contests is a “Like to Win” contest where the user has to like your page prior to entering, which is often referred to as a fan gate. This ensures that you are building your social presence with the contest. Yes, some users may unlike you after the contest period, but that’s okay.

There are several ways to go about contesting on Facebook, but here are ten tips to get the most out of running a contest:

1.) Be creative. Make the contest fun!

I recently ran a contest for the Minneapolis jewelry store that I work for and we bought a very rare pink diamond ring so we asked people to name it, the best name won a $500 gift certificate. There are so many types of contests you could run: photo competitions, sweepstakes, blog contests, and the list goes on. Have fun with it and your customers will have fun too.

2.) Give them something cool!

While setting up a contest you want to find a prize that is enticing, something that is going to make people sign up. It doesn’t have to be huge but the prize should be aligned with your company and desired by your client base.

3.) Let them know why they should like you on Facebook.

Don’t try and deceive them and pull the wool over their eyes—let them know that by entering in this contest that they must like your Facebook page. Tell them why it’s of benefit to them—do you post great tips, funny content, coupons, etc.? This will decrease the likelihood that they’ll unlike your page after the contest is over. In our latest contest I saw less than a 4% unlike rate.

4.) Promote the contest on your other social media platforms.

Not only do you want to have consistent branding with your marketing, this is a great way to ensure that your contest is known about. Tweet about it, post it to your G+ page and you can even pin it on your Pinterest boards, you never know how viral it could go.

5.) Use a photo and pin it to the top of your Facebook page.

With the visual age we’re in, we know that photos have increased engagement levels on social media sites, so use a photo to capture your audience’s attention. By pinning the photo to the top it makes it so that the post doesn’t creep down your Facebook timeline and that it is always at the top. Pins last seven days, so be sure to pin new content at least once a week.

6.) Cross promote on other company’s Facebook pages and websites.

Use connections that you’ve made to promote your contest through other companies. Not only will you reach more people, these are people you may not have reached otherwise. Be sure to return the favor when an opportunity presents itself.

7.) Use e-mail marketing to reach your current clients.

Yes, I said e-marketing and many marketers will disagree with me but e-mail isn’t dead yet. It is a great tool to reach your client base for a small fee, often producing a ROI higher than other marketing you’re doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.) Make your contest visible on your Facebook page.

Make sure that your contest is easy to find on your fan page, you don’t want to drive people to Facebook and then have them dig for it. They’re not going to stay around long if it’s not obvious where it is.

9.) Don’t run your contest forever.

Keep the contest term short so that you keep your fans engaged. I’d say run it for 4-6 weeks and then announce a winner and prepare for your next contest.

10.) Stay involved! Stay interesting!

The worst thing you could do is run a contest, increase your fan count and then stop posting on Facebook. You want to have a solid social media strategy in place so that your fans are constantly interacting with your brand.

— This is a guest post contributed to the Four51 blog.

Jayme Pretzloff is the Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, the leading retailer of men’s watches in Minnesota. He is in charge of all digital marketing initiatives including his passions: SEO and social media marketing.

Interested in contributing? Contact us with your idea.

Amp up your social media marketing by empowering your local channel

Connect the dots between enterprise marketing, planning, strategy and content with your local business’ reach, relationships and trust. Is your social media strategy local? It should be, this ebook explains why. Start empowering your local channel.

Local Social Media Strategy For The Enterprise

Enterprise social media planners in branch-based organizations can take advantage of significant multipliers by going local in a comprehensive social approach.  There are three key phases achieve results. This paper will lay out the steps, techniques and rewards of adopting a local social business initiative.

McKinsey reports that, social media is the “only form of marketing that can touch consumers at each and every stage, from when they’re pondering brands and products right through the period after a purchase, as their experience influences the brands they prefer and their potential advocacy influences others.”  McKinsey’s research also shows that a direct social media recommendation from a peer generates engagement rates some 30 times higher than traditional online advertising does.

Branch-based organizations are particularly well suited to capitalize on social media.  The question becomes, “how do we best implement social media?” If your organization has remote offices, dealers, franchise locations, or agents, you are considered a branch-based organization for the purpose of this paper.  We will refer to the branches as “local merchants.”  Branch-based organizations have decided to invest in local markets by placing people, products, inventory, services, and the brand closer to prospects and customers. Historically, local merchants have used word of mouth, advertising and PR to promote their businesses.  They were slow to embrace social media and did not know where or how to get started.  Many enterprises, eager to leverage the new social media capabilities, set up fan pages and begin to tally up “likes,” “check-ins” and “followers.”  Yet, the value of a corporate fan was extremely low.  Something was missing.

To answer this question, research firm Mainstay Salire recently conducted a study employing web crawlers and analytics to track and compare social media activities of corporate fans vs. local fans.  The study uncovered two interesting findings.  First, local fans had five times more reach than corporate fans.  Additionally, local fans were eight times more likely to engage with social media than corporate fans.  Combining the depth and breadth at the local level led them to conclude that a local fan was worth 40 times more than a corporate fan in value to the enterprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning A Localized Social Media Strategy

What can you expect in rolling out a localized social media strategy? Check out this free E-book on How To Roll Out a Localized Social Media Strategy and explore the phases in local/social media marketing.

Social Media Olympics | The event? Going Local.

It was inevitable. A social media topical blog themed in honor of the Olympics. Cheesy yes? Informative? Always.

It’s been over a year since Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions boldly announced that Facebook marketing success for business occurs with a localized marketing strategy. That strategy can be local on a lot of levels: store by store, region by region or country by country depending on the size of your organization.

It seems appropriate to check in with brands of all sizes to see how they’re doing with local social strategy and award their “Olympic Medals” in the category of “Local Social Marketing.” Believe me, social marketing can be a grueling “sport.”

Third Place

In third place, receiving the bronze medal, Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s has a country by country approach to their localization. What’s great about their approach is that the campaigns and overall strategy/policy remains the same from page to page dictated by corporate marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However the added touch, is that the guts or content of some of their campaigns get a local flavor added to them, so the same campaign can be running in the U.S. and the U.K. but be speaking to the local audience. Ben & Jerry’s get’s the bronze medal for rolling out their strategy country by country, but knowing to keep things relatively consistent for branding purposes. Check out more on the Ben & Jerry’s strategy at Simply Zesty.

Second Place

In second place, receiving the silver medal, REI. REI is a brand that evokes strong emotions from it’s customers. As a co-op sporting goods and outfitting store, REI knew that people were loyal to their local stores and that REI needed to keep in contact with them at a more local level than one central corporate page. They rolled their strategy out to geographical regions. Along with internal store training, REI set up a winning local strategy with 53 individual regions being represented.

Further, they made it easy for consumers by creating a central hub to find your local region to connect with on social media. You can read more about their strategy at Smart Blog.

First Place

In first place, receiving the gold medal, Wal-Mart. There are a lot of reasons that Wal-Mart wins the gold in the Local Social category. First, Wal-Mart rolled out a truly local strategy, establishing thousands of Facebook pages, one for each of it’s brick and mortar stores. Wal-Mart was also one of the earliest adopters of localized social media marketing for the enterprise. In the AdAge article detailing the strategy and reasoning behind the local/social strategy, Wal-Mart CMO Stephen Quinn says social media is enabling Walmart to “go back to the future” by providing an authentic local customer experience, but at scale.

Business is local. Marketing is local. Is your social strategy local?

Regardless of how you decide to localize your social media efforts, whether by country, region or store, a growing number of brands and organizations are embracing local social strategy. As the Wal-Mart AdAge article points out, “Long before the digital age, all business was local and social. Customer engagement was paramount. Shopkeepers, barbers and Avon ladies alike intuitively knew that their ability to connect with customers would often determine whether a purchase would be made. They understood that building long-standing relationships with customers would result in repeat visits and loyalty.” Sounds like good argument for bring your enterprise social strategy to the local level to me.

How about you? Do you know of any global, national or regional brands/organizations that are rolling out and have rolled out a localized social media strategy?

Facebook Timeline Tips and Tricks

The Facebook Timeline isn’t necessarily “new” anymore, but there is still life in sharing some of the latest ideas that I’ve seen socially savvy companies incorporate into their strategy.

But, before we get started, lets make sure to review Facebook’s regulations regarding Timeline cover photos and profile pictures.  Below is an abbreviated list from Social Media Examiner.

  • No promotions, coupons or advertisements
  • It shouldn’t be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright
  • No price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • No contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s About section
  • No references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • No calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Facebook draws a pretty clear line between what they consider appropriate or not.  At first glance it may look restricting, but it still leaves lots of room for creativity and messaging!  The cover photos have proved to be very strong statement pieces to grab attention, introduce products or ideas, and grow your fan base.  I’ve taken a few good examples of local Minneapolis brands and showcased below. Keep scrolling to see how these mavens are positioning their brand on Facebook.

A nice example of using their logo and company tag line while still showcasing their product line in an appetizing and clear manner.

Red Wing Shoes has an interesting photo showcasing their staple product, heavy duty work boots, with their use of photography.

The Minnesota Twins page caught my eye with their use of their website address in the top corner.  That is a forward way to encourage two way traffic, between their Facebook page and their website.

Surly, a local brewing company is using their cover photo to introduce and market a new brew.

There are many creative ways to display new products, company information and messages with the new Facebook Timeline profiles.  Make sure to get creative and utilize some of these eye-catching ideas for your brand!

Social Media Marketing | Taking The Confusion Out Of A Social Media Calendar

A quick Google search on social media marketing will leave even the novice social marketer with a very prominent and common theme across all the social media success stories: you need to have a plan.

In fact, there are lots of articles out there that help you navigate the scary world of developing a social media calendar, like here, here and here.

The FanTools team at Four51 had an epiphany a little while ago. We figured we should take the guesswork out of planning a social media marketing program, and that’s what we did.

In the latest version of FanTools, we take the guesswork out of social media marketing so you can get back to doing what you do best, which is running your business. With a little help from our friends at Epipheo Studios, we can now share our epiphany with you and the world! The best part is, FanTools is free to sign up!