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Here are 10 ways social media management tools can save you time.

t’s amazing how many organizations and businesses still don’t use a Social Media Dashboard. When I say that it’s amazing, I really mean that. Any organization that does not already understand that social media is the key to their future success has essentially hung out the “closed for business” sign and is waiting for someone to tell them. With the myriad of networks out there that need to be worked and monitored, there are only two viable options: have a large staff devoted to social media or get software to take care of your social media tracking. Here are 10 ways social media management tools can save you time.

 

1. Track your Competition
You not only need to know what’s going on with your own business, you need to know where you stand with your competition in the space. You can just as easily track them as you do yourself with the right searches set up.

2. Time Management
This is key. Productivity is all important to be efficient, and having a staff to take care of your social exploits is just too expensive for most. As one business owner pointed out recently, he used to spend 10 minutes per client per day just responding to and checking on their engagement in the social space. That’s all day long. With the help of a social media dashboard, he now spends 20 minutes per month instead.

3. Brand Management
Using the dashboard allows you to set up keyword searches that will track what people are saying about you and you product or service. Being able to find these quickly and engage the commenters can prevent trying to put out forest fires of bad sentiment later, or encourage good sentiment now.

4. Schedule and Auto-Respond
This is also time management. If you want to post several times a day to different networks, they need to be spread out. The scheduler feature of a dashboard lets you spend some time once a week or a month setting up what you want to send and when, and then let it do its thing. The auto-responder also let’s you be engaged with your audience without having to stare at the screen all day. Setting up simple Thank You messages for comments or similar things can make sure that they don’t feel like they are wasting their time posting, then later you can get back to them in a more detailed fashion if warranted.

5. Find New Customers
When you can track what people are talking about, you can narrow in on those who seem to have an interest in what you have to offer, so that you can engage them and win them over.

6. See How Effective Each Post Is
Each message or post that you throw up on the screen can be tracked to see if anyone is responding to it. Knowing this is important, because it allows you to find out what is effective and what is a flop.

7. Collaboration
Most dashboards give you collaborative power so that coworkers across the building or across the world can work together on your social media campaign, increasing both productivity and effectiveness.

8. Track More Than Just Social Sites
With a good social media dashboard, you can also track what’s being said about you on blogs and RSS feeds, as well as other various sources. Not everything is said on Facebook and twitter, and this can often give you even more insight since when someone bothers to comment on a blog post, they usually have something to say that you should be listening to.

9. Find Out if Your Traffic is Coming From Social Sources
The visits to your website – where are they coming from? Knowing whether they came from a Google search or a social click-through lets you know where you need to focus your energy.

10. It Makes You Look Smart
Oh, they may tell you that you’re a geek to your face, but secretly they know that you are a genius for having the business savvy to use one.

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We are excited to announce the launch of several new features ideal for franchise businesses wanting to leverage the power of social media across all of their locations. When developing these new features, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for large chains to manage social media for each of their stores.  Learn how Franchisors can manage Multiple Locations with Send Social Media:

1. How to write the same post once and insert custom content for each location

Send Social Media now makes it possible for users to define custom tags that can be assigned at a store/location level or at a social media account level. These custom tags act as placeholders at the time messages/posts are composed and are replaced with actual values at the time the message is actually sent. To define custom merge tags for social media accounts, follow the steps below…

a) Sign into your Send Social Media  account and click on My Users.
b) Click “Tags”
c) Create a new custom field/merge tag, by clicking New Field.
d) A new dialog will open up and you’ll be able to enter custom capture information.
e) Select the Category – this is the type of merge tag you will be creating. Options are “Contact”, “User” or “Account” and dictate where these merge tags can be used. For this example, use “Account”.
f) Click Save to add your first merge tag. To add more, repeat the process from c above.

e) Now that you’ve added a few custom tags, you can populate the fields. Since we’ve added Account tags, we can add tags at the account level.
f) To do this, go to Add/Edit Services > My Services. For each of your social network accounts, click the “Tag” button and fill in the relevant information.

g) Now that you’ve added information for each account, you can compose a message and insert merge tags to be replaced with the relevant content at the time your message is sent.
h) Go to the Message Box tab and click “Merge Tags”. You’ll see a dialog window with multiple tags, grouped by category.

i) You can insert tags into your message by clicking on the relevant item from the list.
j) When you’re ready, you can select as many social media services as you like and the merge tags will be replaced with the appropriate content at the time of sending.

2. How to sign off content at the head office before a location publishes content

Head office is often required to approve content before it gets published to a franchise’s social network accounts. Send Social Media’s workflow features make it possible for you to define approval workflows, assign tasks and make sure content is approved and signed off before it gets published to the social web. To create a workflow, follow the steps below:

a) Go to My Users.
b) Click on the user/location in your list who needs approval before content can be published.

c) Under “Approval Workflow”, click “Edit” to be able to define which user needs to approve posts before they get published.

3. How can head office publish content on behalf of a location

Send Social Media’s powerful social media dashboard makes it possible for usrs to share their social network accounts with other users. In the franchise scenario, the head office has the ability to create each of their locations, setup each of their social network profiles and then share these accounts with team members who need to be able to publish to these accounts. The way to set this up using Send Social Media  is as follows:

a) After creating your location instances within My Users, switch to each location’s account and setup their social media profiles for them.
b) Once you’ve done this, go to Add/Edit Services > My Services and use the Sharing button to share these services with the head office user.
c) This will allow head office to post updates on behalf of the location from within their Message Box.


4. How can head office access reports across all of their stores/locations

Send Social Media’s social media analytics features provide you with aggregated reports across each of the franchise’s locations. To access printable reports for individual locations or across the entire franchise, you can do this as follows:

a) Go to My Users.
b) Click the Reports button.
c) You’ll see a new dialog window that you can use to print reports.

What is Foursquare?

If you’re not familiar with Foursquare, here’s a brief description from BusinessInsider.com

“Foursquare is primarily for letting your friends know where you are and figuring out where they are.” Learn how to market your Local Business using Foursquare and Send Social Media:

Secondarily, it’s for collecting points, prize “badges,” and eventually, coupons, for going about your everyday business.

Why Foursquare is great for marketing your business?

Users of Foursquare are made up of two groups – (1) consumers going about their everyday business and (2) local businesses. Consumers love Foursquare for two reasons:

  1. They get to check in at different places and accumulate points as they striving to become “Mayor” of a particular venue. The mayor of a venue is someone who has visited that place most often.
  2. When they check in at a new place, they’re instantly notified of tips and special about the place they’re visiting.

Businesses love Foursquare because they can attract visitors to their venues by offering promotions and specials for people who check in at their venue.

Below is a screen shot, showing local information:

  1. How to get your business on Foursquare

    It’s easy to get your local business or venue added to Foursquare. Here’s how:

    1. Register for an account at Foursquare.com.
    2. Click Add Things in the menu at the top right.
    3. Click Add a new venue and enter your venue details.

    Now what?

    Now that your business has been added to the Foursquare database, you can gain exposure in the following ways:

    1. When Foursquare users visit your venue and check in on their phones, they’ll see a list of tips and specials added by other visitors or your business itself.
    2. They’ll be able to see what other visitors to your bar/restaurant/shop have purchased before or recommended and could follow suit.
    3. Friends of these visitors will see that their friend has just visited your business and may be prompted to pay your venue a visit too.
    4. Other people seeking to become the mayor of your venue and accumulate badges will pay your venue a visit just to accumulate the status.

    Using Foursquare with Send Social Media

    The easiest way to promote your business on Foursquare is with Send Social Media. You can use Send Social Media in 2 ways:

    • To add tips about your venue to Foursquare (Send Social Media is great for schedule your Foursquare tips on a one-off or recurring basis).
    • Read and respond to what visitors to your venue/business are saying.

    Linking Send Social Media to Foursquare

    To link up your Send Social Media and Foursquare accounts, do the following:

    1. Sign in to Send Social Media and open up Add/Edit Services.
    2. You’ll find a new category called “Location-based Services”. Click “Add” next to the “Foursquare Venue tip” service.
    3. Enter your business’s address and select it from the drop down list. If it’s not in the list, make sure you’ve added your business as a venue in Foursquare.
    4. Save settings.Posting Tips to Foursquare from Send Social Media

      After linking up your Foursquare account and your venue, you can now post tips about your venue to Foursquare. You can do this from the Message Box by selecting your Foursquare account from the services list. Type your tip into the text area below and click Send to post it. Tips can also be scheduled using Send Social Media’s scheduling functionality.

      Reading and responding to posts about your venue

      You can read and respond what people are saying about your venue from the Feeds tab in the Message Box page. If you find a post you’d like to respond to, simply click on it and it will open up the Compose tab of the Message Box, ready for you to respond.

To get the most out of your LinkedIn Company Page, here are three proven strategies for boosting engagement:

Don’t Be Afraid to Consistently Post Updates

The simplest way to keep your company page active is by posting status updates. However, many businesses are hesitant to post updates on a regular basis because they’re afraid of annoying their followers. While a constant stream of self-promotion is likely to have a negative impact, if you focus on posting updates that deliver real value, you’ll find that your followers will respond in a positive way. And if you’re wondering when you should share updates, research has found that mornings are the best time for maximizing engagement.

Promote Your Page from Your Blog or Website

Keep in mind that your LinkedIn company page doesn’t need to exist in a vacuum. Instead, you can use a badge on your blog or website to promote it. You may also consider adding a link to your email signature. Taking those steps will make it easy for people who connect with you through other channels to stay in touch with you and your business.

Use Groups to Find the Best Types of Content

One of the really great things about LinkedIn groups is they make it so easy to see exactly what types of content your audience likes. Although it probably doesn’t make sense to share the same pieces of content that are already posted in a group, once you know what your audience likes, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for similar types of content and then share those pieces through your page.

LinkedIn groups are one of the most powerful and frequently used features of LinkedIn. Now, you can use Send Social Media’s powerful social media dashboard to create and respond to discussions on your LinkedIn Groups as they happen. The following steps will walk you through setting up your LinkedIn Group with Send Social Media.