November 2013 Archives

A brand name and tagline are among the most critical marketing mix elements for any small business, including franchises. They can go a long way to making up for a small budget, and they work forever once you get them right.

Finding the right tagline

Most of the time, the name is already set, but there is either no tagline or the old tagline simply isn't working as hard as it could, so the search for a new one begins in earnest.

What a smart marketer quickly realizes is that "cute and catchy" taglines are useless.

What you need is a tagline that, in conjunction with the name, tells your target audience what you do, what unique and important benefit you deliver, and how you're different from, and better than, competition. 

That big idea is what customers will remember.

Forget "cute and catchy."

The dynamic duo

The dynamic duo - name and tagline - are really just an expression of the Positioning Statement, and most small businesses don't have a Positioning Statement either.

What they need is a clear and direct statement of the core benefit they provide for their customers, and the basis for that promise (often called the "reason-why"). 

There is a set of seven positioning principles that have proven effective over time, and they serve as a kind of checklist for positioning projects.

These seven positioning principles can then be extended into 3 levels, or hierarchies of benefits for the target audience. The whole positioning process provides a strong and valuable foundation for not only the name/tagline, but for the entire marketing effort. It's remarkably practical that way. 

Positioning for small business

Small business owners who have been through the positioning process always remark that they don't understand why they waited so long to think through their core positioning benefit ... or why they didn't question their tagline sooner. We have a tagline positioning checklist too!

This gives us even more confidence that we can do for you what we've done for them. Just let us know when you're ready, and we'll help you come up with a tagline that will promote your business every time someone sees - or even thinks about - your company name.

Michael Goodman is a senior marketing and management consultant with experience that spans the spectrum from micro-businesses and start-ups to the Fortune 25. He learned marketing at corporate giants Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay and Playtex.

He has consulted with clients in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer; local, regional, national and international markets; and industries ranging from industrial chemicals and consumer packaged goods to financial services and healthcare.

Michael can be reached by email: [email protected]

When it comes to online brand management, franchises often have much more to consider than traditional businesses. Why? Because they must manage the brand online not only for the franchise as a whole but for each franchise location.

This can become a daunting task, and if it is not handled properly it can lead to disaster.

Managing your franchise brand successfully online will result in:

●Brand consistency in all local markets
●#1 Rankings in all markets
●Prompt and effective online customer care in all markets
●Prompt and consistent damage control in all local markets
●Consistent engagement and participation on social networks in all local markets

For some that may seem like a tall order, especially when considering the size of many franchise systems today.

How do you do this? The basic answer is relatively simple: you need a solid online strategy that works for both franchisor and franchisees.

There are essentially four primary components to creating a franchise-wide online strategy.

Part 1: Internet Marketing Model

This is the foundation of your online strategy and it answers three primary questions: How, Who and Where.

How?

●How will the Internet be used to ensure the franchise website lands on Page 1 for relevant searches in all of its local markets?
●How will the website be used? (Brand page vs. local pages, for example)
●How will social networking be utilized? (Will there be Brand pages and/or local pages, and which social networks will you use?)

Who?

●Who will ensure that the page 1 Google rankings are achieved...franchisor or franchisee?
●Who will manage the website?
●Who is responsible for setting up and maintaining social networks and delivering social care?

Where?

Where will funding come from to cover the cost of these initiatives?

Click here for more information about creating an effective Internet Marketing Model.

Part 2: Internet Usage Policy

This will define how and franchisees and their employees (as well as corporate employees) can use the Internet.

This is your protection. It outlines what can and cannot be done online, and it is absolutely crucial. Without this you leave yourself open to the potential of many negative outcomes, including lawsuits, breaches of confidentiality and more.

It is also an opportunity to empower your franchisees to engage online in the proper ways.

Consider these questions:

●What are your expectations for online communication?
●Are franchisees and/or employees allowed to comment on or answer questions about the company?
●How will you monitor franchisee and employee engagement?
●How will you enforce policies?

Click here to find out more about creating an effective internet usage policy.

Part 3: Social Care Policy

Good social care means good customer service delivered through online platforms. It's crucial today because more people are turning to places like Facebook and Twitter to get their customer service issues resolved than using the phone or web help forums.

For franchises, this means that you have to be there...not only for your franchises as a whole, but if anyone in any location has a customer service issue related to one of your franchises, you have to have a system in place to deal with this.

Delivering good social care is relatively simple. It is the process of the following three things:

●Monitor
●Listen
●Respond positively in each given situation

You need to have your policy in place so that you and your franchisees know exactly what to do and who is doing it.

Click here to find out more about developing a social care policy for your franchise.

Part 4: Communication and Engagement Plan

This is an ever-evolving plan for engaging with your audience online. Among other things, it will identify:

●the types of content you'll create
●where and how that content will be distributed
●how to engage proactively with your audience for online growth.

Of course...this is all just the beginning of successful online brand management. It requires consistency, dedication and adaptation in order to keep your franchise on top.

Connect with me on LinkedIn, when you need to know more about how to effectively manage your brand online.

Facebook use continues to rise, and many lawyers are using Facebook in their personal lives to connect with friends and family, but Facebook can be a valuable business building tool, and another way to communicate and engage with colleagues, law firm employees and even clients.

One way to do this is by creating a Company Page for your law firm and follow these six steps.

1. Define Administrator Roles

In the past, Facebook pages had only one level of administrator, but Facebook has recently created administrator roles, allowing firms to give different levels of permission to different people who have access to the firm's Page. This avoids the problem that arises if only one Page administrator has access to the Page, and that administrator leaves the firm.

It also will aid firms who have employees who are interested in contributing to the firm's Facebook presence, but who the firm may not want to have access to all aspects of the 'back end' of the firm's Page.

2. View insights

It is often difficult to determine whether your social media and other efforts are reaching the audience you would like them to reach, or if your are engaging your audience. Facebook administrators (depending on the Role they have been assigned) have the ability to see 'insights' that show how many people your Page is reaching on a weekly basis, and how many people are "talking about this" or engaging with your content by liking, commenting or sharing it with others.

In addition to these 'big picture' stats, page administrators can see how many people have been reached with an individual post. For each post, you can find out:

Reach: The number of people who have seen your post (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Engaged Users: The number of people who have actually clicked on your post (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Talking about this: The number of people who have liked, commented, shared, responded to an event or answered a question you posed in an update (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Virality: The percentage of people who have engaged with the post in any of the ways mentioned in 'talking about this' above, out of the number of people who have seen the post.

3. Schedule posts

Another relatively new feature of Facebook pages is the ability to schedule posts in advance. F irms can create a number of posts about newsworthy issues, happenings or events.  They can schedule the posts to be published in the  future.

Since batching or 'chunking' similar work together is one of the best ways to be productive, this can help firms to ensure that their message is getting seen by their connections and colleagues - or to their employees - without needing to constantly go back to update the Page.

Page administrators can concentrate on engaging with others by spending only a few minutes a day on Facebook, with one weekly time set aside for creating updates.

4. Offer Valuable Information to Your Audience

With Facebook's "apps" or "tabs," you can create calls to action. For example, if you offer free information or downloads from your website, such as a personal injury guide, FAQs on divorce in your state, a guide to the court system, etc., you can direct Facebook visitors to your website by creating a custom App.

Upload an appropriate image and a link that directs visitors to a landing page you designate.

5. Use Your Timeline Effectively:

Create Milestones, which are to Pages what Life Events are to personal Profiles. Milestones are designated with a flag icon and are the full width of the page (843 x 403 pixels), rather than the smaller size of regular posts (520 pixels wide).

A Milestone must include a title, but it can also include other details. Mergers, office moves, and the addition of a new partner are events you might want to include as Milestones.

6. Star stories to expand the post to widescreen and make it more prominent.

Pin a post to the top of your Timeline for up to a week--after that, it returns to its chronological place in the Timeline.

Backdate posts for special events in the life of your firm that occurred before you started your Page.

Want more tips on what lawyers can do with Facebook - both as individuals and with law firm Pages?

Take a look at Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, my latest book with co-author Dennis Kennedy, now available for pre-order, with a 15% discount.

I'd love to hear how you and your firm are using Facebook, too! Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know your ideas.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2013 is the previous archive.

December 2013 is the next archive.

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