Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

17
Mar
14

Friend or Foe? Techie Insights from IFA

Living up to host city New Orleans’s reputation for revelry and rapture, this year’s annual IFA Convention was nothing less than mardi gras worthy. Having spent the last couple weeks recovering and catching up after franchising’s annual hoorah, the Weise team has sorted through the swag to find our most memorable takeaways. Among these, franchisors’ lingering hesitation towards technology stands out. 

In February 2014, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary, hardly qualifying it as groundbreaking. Social media’s rapid expansion and continuing evolution of the digital sector leaves few hard and firm rules. Although social media is the go-to reference for digital marketing, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Buzz words including SEO, PPC, and CRMs are all a part of the marketing and sales mix. With so much going on in today’s race to ‘be found,’ it’s little wonder the technological world is a maze of anxiety for many.

Yet, the key many franchisor’s have yet to discover is the positive impact adopting these trends can have from both a marketing and operational standpoint, ultimately increasing their bottom line. According to David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz, “Brands are how you sort out the cess pool of the Internet.”

With that in mind, here are some nuggets of know-how, common confusion and other common threads we gleaned from the conference:

Google + Still one of the lesser used and understood social media platforms, Google + directly impacts your brand’s SEO. Major areas to make sure are updated and complete include business info, link to your website and location information. This info will appear higher in search results because of the link to SEO, content should be largely business focused.

Location Pages Another tidbit we kept hearing repeated was the importance of location pages. This is the easiest way for search engines to validate a company’s authenticity so make sure your info is on several different ones (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp). Also, make sure it’s accurate! This is an easy first step for promoting online presence.

Facebook- Franchise sales vs. Consumer Sales Whether Facebook should be used for both consumer and franchise sales—and whether these should be separate pages—was a hotly debated topic. Although a “one size fits all” answer may never exist, it is important to remember any potential franchisee will interact with your brand several times before revealing themselves as a prospect, making high quality content more important than ever.

Content Development Discussions revealed many brands are struggling with content development. Whether intended for social media, blogs, newsletters or websites, this directly impacts SEO. In today’s world of content overload, quality and variety is key to moving up in search results. Another important nugget to mull over: hiring an outside agency to manage content development is often more effective than relying solely on in house talent. This is, after all, what these agencies do best.

A fitting sequel to IFA, FranTech—a conference exclusively devoted to the technological sector of franchising—is coming to Denver next month. These two days offer another chance for marketing managers to learn best practices, confer with other franchisors and find vendors. I guess we’ll see many of you in Denver.

 

06
Jan
14

Kmart’s Holiday Ad: Below the Belt or Missed the Boat?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara for contributing this article to The Side Note.

In a 2012 article, Advertising Age discussed Kmart’s shrinking presence in the low-cost retail field (http://bit.ly/1gc3yWF). Annual sales were down, causing Ad Age to suggest the brand had lost relevance with discount shoppers. In the realm of discount stores, Wal-Mart dominates the low-price segment and Target holds the throne for hip, so where does this leave Kmart?

Over the holidays, Kmart and parent company Sears Holdings Corp. (http://www.searsholdings.com) made a big jingle in the viral world with the release of the holiday “Show Your Joe” commercial.

Show Your Joe

Following last year’s “Ship My Pants” spot and “Big Gas Savings,” all created by agency DraftFCB, this indicates a major brand shift for the retail chain. Kmart’s Facebook page received many complaints from angry viewers, calling the ad “disgusting and not fit for family consumption” and “inappropriate for kids!!!” (https://www.facebook.com/kmart). Many customers also accused Kmart of sacrificing family values and decency in exchange for cheap laughs.
Departure from their traditional ‘baby boomer’ demographic in pursuit of younger shoppers may be exactly Kmart’s intention. According to a Forbes article from last February, Kmart is focusing on improving sales within the 18-34 year old group (http://onforb.es/1gc32bp).

However, Time reported humor is not an effective tactic for converting sales (http://ti.me/1cTMyET). Although funny spots succeed at being memorable for consumers, they do not distinguish why the brand is better or what problem the product solves. “Ship my Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” have more than 30 million views combined views on YouTube, but Forbes reported 3rd quarter sales for Kmart were still down (http://onforb.es/1cTN7hT).

The Joe Boxer commercial may be the perfect example of funny, but ineffective. With more than 17 million views on YouTube, the ad has unquestionably garnered attention. However, the spot highlights only one product line available in Kmart stores rather than the Kmart brand as a whole. Plus, it lacks differentiation—what about these specific boxers make them so great? Why are they better than others? Why should I shop at Kmart for underwear? The ad does not answer any of these questions to make the brand or product relatable to the consumer. Both earlier ads by DraftFCB mentioned above do speak to benefits Kmart offers its customers, but the most effective ads connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Due to holiday shopping, fourth quarter sales can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales for retailers (http://bit.ly/1hrxzFG). With that in mind, Kmart needed a stellar season to climb out of the hole after six years of continually declining sales (http://aol.it/19XT3oU). Numbers for 2013’s fourth quarter have not been released yet, but if third quarter sales are any indication, this ad will not be enough to sway shoppers away from other discount stores.

Kmart may have some big…er, bells, but that might not have been enough to fulfill this retailer’s Christmas wishes.

Do you shop at Kmart? Tell us what you think of the Joe Boxer ad here. Is your brand in need of an overhaul? The Weise team can identify problem areas and create a strategy to give your brand a boost in our Navigator session. Contact us. 

11
Sep
13

Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.

08
Aug
13

Social Media Marketing: American Eagle’s Skinny Skinny Jeans Touches Millennials

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, brand engagement is at an all time high.  Some brands have dormant accounts, rarely posting anything, while others have been able to turn their brands into personal, interactive and dynamic engagement tools.  The latter has been able to increase revenues and sales, while also building a positive brand image.  These lively accounts also provide a unique opportunity for followers, giving them exclusive information on the company, sales promotions and contests, as well as first looks at new products on the horizon.skinny-skinny-jeans

American Eagle Outfitters, a clothing store for the millennial market, was able to leverage their social media followers into customers when they brilliantly pulled off a hip, funny April Fools practical joke.  On April 1st, American Eagle made the announcement that they were producing the next big thing in fashion; spray on skinny jeans.  The “skinny skinny” jeans came in a spray can, and were going to be the tightest jeans in the market, following the trend in the millennial fashion world of skinny pant-cuts.  American Eagle produced photos of models, male and female, sporting the new jeans, as well as videos of the jeans in action.  The lighthearted joke received significant press coverage, increasing their exposure, and was a great success to their established brand image of a hip, young company with a fun side.

old_spice_internetOther brands, like Old Spice, have also been able to turn their brands into exciting sources of brand engagement.  Old Spice used their famous “Smell Like A Man” campaign model, Isaiah Mustafa, for an interactive Q&A with Twitter followers.  Followers would tweet their questions, and within minutes would receive a YouTube video response from Isaiah Mustafa and the Old Spice team.  Old Spice’s interactive accounts have made them the leader in body wash and deodorant sales.

It is clear that when used for its purpose, social media networks of brands can produce increased revenue and brand perception.  Social media is able to bring brands closer to their consumers and reinforce a continued brand experience.

What do you think of American Eagle’s April Fool’s gag?  Was it a positive use of brand engagement like Old Spice’s?  Let us know in the comments section, as well as on Twitter at @weise_ideas and Facebook!

01
May
13

HootSuite: SEO Killer or a Hotel for Owls?

HootSuiteWe are fans of HootSuite, the convenient, social media aggregation tool. We use HootSuite to scheduled posts in advance for the agency and for clients. HootSuite saves time publishing content to Twitter and Facebook. It keeps all social media streams in one location. HootSuite enables us to map out a tweet schedule, collaborate and edit future tweets.

However, we have been asked a very interesting question: Does using a third party social media pre-scheduling tool negatively affect our SEO ranking?

For this to be true search engines would not only be scanning and evaluating content, but focus on the posting methodology. We cannot find evidence that search engines are penalizing third party application programming interfaces (API). It is important to note that HootSuite makes is easy to post redundant content and commit other SEO errors.

However, we have found a HootSuite opponent – Facebook. According to a HubSpot study, content shared by third party API services received fewer likes on Facebook and fewer clicks. Facebook sees tools like HootSuite as possible vehicles for spam, and punishes Facebook pages that rely on these tools for the majority of their postings.

Our recommendation for marketers:

1. Use HootSuite to schedule non-time sensitive social media.

2. Do not use HootSuite as the exclusive method to post content.

Social Media is about engagement and if all the content provided is automated, is there much engagement? Also, it is critical to be timely and relevant. If there is a new story that has captured the collective attention of the country and you are posting a video that shows a behind the scenes look at an event, nobody is going to pay attention. Worse yet, you look like you are out of touch.

Tell us if you have used HootSuite successfully and if you agree that third party API doesn’t affect your SEO.  Share your stories with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

15
Aug
12

MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media

Image

We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

13
Jul
12

You ‘Like’ Us! But does that mean you’ll be a customer

Three tips to turn a Facebook like into a real paying customer

According to the Adobe Global digital advertising Q1 2012 update, there was a 176 percent increase year over year in brand engagement on Facebook. The increased engagement can be traced back to the release of Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages.

More than 600 million users regularly interact with Facebook. As more brands convert their fan page to the Timeline format, engagement should continue to grow. But that raises a big question, how does a marketer turn someone who clicked a Like button into someone that will pay for products and services? Here are three easy to implement tips to convert likes:

1. Contests

Facebook is a place where people commonly go to play games: Farmville, Words With Friends, etc. Leverage the gamification aspect of Facebook with your own game. Recently, PostNet held an ‘I Love My PostNet” contest, where customers were encouraged to post videos to Facebook explaining how much they love PostNet. The winner of a trip to San Francisco was announced on the Facebook and people were driven to the PostNet website to see the winning video.

2. Drive opt-in emails

Less than 10 percent of companies are leveraging Facebook to increase subscribers to email. But, the new Facebook Timeline provides the perfect opportunity to turn fans into customers. Use the Tab feature (pictured inside the red circle) in Facebook Timeline to create an opt-in form where someone can sign up to receive emails without leaving Facebook.  Call the tab ‘Special Offers’ and describe your email program. It’s special because, as a Facebook fan, they will receive email notification of events, sales, coupons, etc. before the general public.

3. Share News

It is really important to avoid being too product focused on your Facebook wall, but according to the CMO Council, 55 percent of consumers connect through social media channels for new product information, Facebook is a viable news sharing platform. The tip here is to offer Facebook fans a behind the scenes look, or a preview at what’s new. Something they can’t get elsewhere and host drive traffic to the website for that Facebook special sneak peek.  Make it easy to share and watch the loyalty build.

Have you seen any other great tips to turning a Facebook fan into a paying customer? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications.

18
Apr
12

How franchisors capitalize on social media – help your baby prosper

Its free, its accessible, and it reaches billions of people.  Social media is providing three key factors that should be putting dollar signs in the eyes of franchisors.

Being active in your marketing efforts while maintaining control over how your brand is portrayed is a key for franchise success. Creating awareness, engaging customers, building customer loyalty, and boosting sales are all goals for franchisors, and social media doesn’t just accomplish these things; it does it with a smile.

Smashburger, a fast-casual, gourmet burger franchise is a prime example of how a small business can catapult into the big leagues via social media. Birthing from three Denver locations, this restaurant became a smash hit with its expansion to 150 locations nationwide. With more than 77,000 followers on Facebook, reaching out to bloggers and their tweeting prowess, they have solidified the social media tools for expanding a franchise.

Just how did they do it?  Here are a few suggestions they have for your franchise success:

  • Get on the same page as your customers

People like to talk about themselves and what they want and like.  Give your customers the chance to feel like they are a part of how your product or service is expanding. Use queries relating to feedback on a new product or answer their questions and complaints. If your franchisee is going to prosper, they have to listen to the desires of their target market. Take these examples from Smashburger’s Facebook and Twitter:

 

  • Make your interaction enticing

Posting information about a new product or service can be effective, but allowing the customer to be a part of the decision is even better.  Trivia contests, voting pools and giveaways allow the customer to feel like their opinions are creating your brand.  Interactive coupons also keep customers engaged and coming back to your page to check out what is being offered today; keeping your business in the forefront of their mind.  Smashburger called out for votes and shared a link where they could vote to help their burger make it to the final round of the Dallas Morning News Burger Madness bracket:

 

  • Keep it interesting

Consistency in updating your social media profile will keep people interested.  That said, humor and playfulness should not be overlooked. Simply creating a chuckle from your customer will improve their retention of the message you are conveying.  Check out how Smashburger used humor to reach their customers:

 

Moral of the story, if you aren’t using social media you aren’t gaining the best exposure for your businesses. It is an opportunity to engage customers and that engagement can lead to loyal customers. Be sure to allocate enough resources to effectively manage your social media presence. Your franchisee will thank you. And even more importantly, they won’t go rogue.

A big thank you to Bre Wolta for her research and help uncovering Smashburger’s social media success.

26
Mar
12

I’ll have a burger please, with a side of social networking

If social networking hasn’t become the craving of the century, I don’t know what has.

Not only are people fascinated with how communication has turned into an interactive dialog, but whether they are finding friends on Facebook, tweeting their every move on Twitter, or now marketing their own customized burgers in the new frenzy that 4food has created, they are finding every excuse to play on the social media playground.

The restaurant, 4Food, in midtown Manhattan has brilliantly introduced a way to make creating your own burger an interactive experience.  Like some other build your own burger joints, the patty comes in a variety of meats (even veggie) and you can chose every aspect of your meal, from bun to sauces.  The donut shape of the patty is eye catching, however, leaving a hole in the middle of the patty for you to fill with a variety of “scoops” ranging from mac and cheese to Thai eggplant curry.

What sets 4Food apart is the marketing privilege the consumer acquires after their creation (from the 140 million combination possibilities) is complete.  Through 4Food’s accounts on FacebookTwitter  and their blog, you can name and market your personalized burger.

After you have marketed your creation, you earn a royalty every time that burger is ordered at 4Food.  The $.25 payment is credited to your account on 4food.com.

The learning curve is small, but fun for customers who currently use the provided iPads to order at the restaurant, and will be able to order on their smartphones in the near future.

The exposure that this new burger joint is experiencing purely at the fingertips of their customers is remarkable.  Social networking has driven itself to virtually take the legwork out of marketing for you, purely for free…how is your business using the power of social media to expand?

 

20
Mar
12

And it Has Changed…Again.

Just when we all have gotten used to the “new” look of Facebook, the beast has evolved once again.

It seems that Facebook is trying to keep people on their toes with the endless face-lifts, and while most of us struggle to figure out how to simply maneuver to view photos, businesses are using the new Timeline to their full advantage.

How you ask? Here are a few perks of the new Timeline that will get your company ready for the switch:

  • Cover photo and profile image

Instead of just one small image to represent your brand, you can now also use another image as your cover photo. This photo spans the top of your page and is the background for your smaller profile image.

  • Large pinned posts

 Timeline will not allow you to create a default-landing page, however you can manage the posts that appear on your wall.  By moving a pinned post to the top of your wall, you can keep the most important and intriguing information and images in the forefront.

  • Ability to set company milestones

 The Milestone section of your Timeline can update your fans about big events in the life of your company.  People can visually see the history of your company and relate past experiences to themselves and other companies similar to you.

  • Facebook Offers

 Similar to the Facebook Deals seen on the old Facebook format, the Facebook Offers are sent out to your fans via the news feeds.  Not only is this more visible, but it is more personable when they click to claim the offer and it is sent directly to their email.

Whether you are a new company or a mature one, the new Timeline can help to increase awareness of your brand and expand your network.

Give it a go, and let us know how the re-facing of Facebook is working for you, or if you need help adjusting- give us a call!




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