February 2015 Archives

Recently a potential client asked "How much for your company to re-do my website?"

A question so simple carried with it such ambiguity.

Before determining the answer we had to know specifics.

Starting with history, we asked when was the last time the website was worked on. The answer came back ..."oh, I dunno, maybe 5 to 10 years ago."

When we asked what functionalities would be needed, the eyes glazed over.

When asked what were the business goals..... a long discussion followed about tactics but no real strategic plan emerged. Desperate for some kind of feedback we asked.... "why do you think you need your website re-done?"

The answer.... "Folks tell us it looks a bit outdated and we think when people go there, after seeing the same thing over and over, they may not want to come back."

Saying one needs a website today is like saying one needs a religion. Would you like that by the cup or by the pound?

A simple style sheet change or choosing a "new template" in today's business world is not going to offer any more relevant content than what was offered before.

Taking that tact will do more harm than good. Yet that is what this potential client was fishing around for. They later openly stated they had a relationship who could "freshen" up their site for $500 and wanted to know if we could be competitive.

What they had failed to realize was.... websites no longer exist... driven from existence by technology much like the typewriter.

What has taken their place is a myriad of online business solutions. These solutions are predicated on facilitating specific business goals. Some help drive service businesses and others drive companies who sell products. Their was a good solution waiting for these folks that would have elevated their business. Eventually their competition will drive them to this realization.

The upside to this evolution is businesses now have the potential to be a global offerings. But maybe you do not need that. Maybe you just want to be local.... and that's OK. Regardless of your ideal market size, the first thing people will do when they become aware of your offering, is validate you. That is done online. And all of the tenets that drive good marketing today should be in place when they pull up your online presence.

A comparative from what one did yesterday to market to what is being done today might help illustrate my point:

Why someone should buy your product or service over your competitor. In yesterday's world, you sent out a direct mail piece and bought newspaper and trade ads containing customer testimonials. In today's world, your "website" has the ability for your customers to "like me" on Facebook, write a review and share through email and other electronic venues. Now your customers spread the good word, or bad word, about your service or product.

Want to know why customers buy your product and/or service and what else you could offer them?

It is much easier to do that today if your online presence has the functionalities in place to acquire that data.

To get this kind of information in yesterday's marketing world, focus groups were pulled together matching your target demographic. They were or weren't buying your product and as you sat sequestered behind "the glass" in an adjacent room you listened to these folks talk about your offering.

Led by a moderator they talked about what and what was not appealing to them. One would pay tens of thousands of dollars for that information.

Now, you post a form on your website with the same questions or have the form as part of an email that is generated automatically when someone has inquired or purchased from your "website."

And maybe you add to that form a trial offer or a discount on their next purchase to stimulate response and increase repeat business... a reward for their valued opinion. It's a lot less expensive than focus groups and you will be amazed what you will learn all the while increasing your sales. Your online presence should be a core function of your business and marketing efforts.

Do that and offer relevant meaningful content to your current and potential customers and you have a way finder to future success.

The basic paradigm of marketing your company and getting awareness has not changed over time. What has changed is how your customers come to know your offerings and your value proposition. It's not by way of a newspaper or a magazine. In fact, buy a commercial during the Superbowl, the holy grail of awareness, and prepare yourself to be vetted out by way of mobile phones, note pads, laptops and desktop computers.

A $500 CSS template change for your website is like throwing an Earl Scheib $99.95 paint job on a rusted out 10 year old car and asking customers to get in for a test drive.

It's the last thing you should ever want your customers to experience.

Today your current and prospect customers are not going to your website. They are going to your business. What you offer and the experience they have while there will be critical to your prosperity.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

Boosting website traffic is essential for local businesses: all the visitors to your website are potential customers.

However, actually driving traffic and increasing visitors to your site is a challenge - especially for businesses with new websites.

Many businesses are hesitant to invest in advanced traffic strategies until they see a correlation between in-store sales and website visitors.

However, without website traffic, a business' local online marketing strategy will suffer (a perfect example of the chicken and the egg cycle caused by inaction). To get out of the chicken/egg rut, you should learn and master a few local business website traffic strategies and start using them in your marketing mix.

You can drive local business website traffic by learning how to use the right tools and mastering how traffic methods work.

There are three main ways to get more website traffic:

  1. Paid media: PPC and display ads, ad words, sponsored posts, etc.
  2. Owned media: websites, blogs and social media pages
  3. Earned media: free publicity, word of mouth, social media mentions/shares/reposts, positive reviews and organic SEO

Read on for a website traffic overview and then decide which method works best for your local business -- without spending a large portion of your marketing budget.

1. Paid media

Covering the ins and outs of paid media is beyond the scope of this article (there are entire courses dedicated to this topic), but with a few basic guidelines you will be able to decide if it is a good marketing strategy for your local business.

a. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

PPC advertising (or banner ads) are ads you place on targeted websites to drive traffic back to yours. PPC ads are effective in driving traffic quickly, but if you don't carefully manage them, they could end up costing you a lot of money (and have nothing to show for it).

There are many reasons why businesses choose to use PPC advertising, including:

  • It is a way to drive traffic to your website while you up your SEO game
  • For companies that don't have great rankings, it can help make up for lost time
  • They have the ability to geo-target ads by city, state or zip code

If you are interested in using PPC advertising as a part of your strategy (and aren't familiar with things such as programmatic ad buying and using data science to buy ads) it is best to find an expert that can guide you.

b. Ad words

Ad words is when you bid auction-style on a particular keyword in a search engine (such as Google or Bing). The higher the bid, the better placement your ad will receive on the search engine results landing page. The marketplace determines price of keywords: high-demand keywords are very expensive (i.e.: "buy car insurance online" or "cheapest homeowner loans") while keywords that aren't as popular are relatively cheap. The actual cost of keywords can fluctuate from a few pennies for obscure, long-tail keywords to hundreds of dollars for the most competitive words.

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If you choose to use ad words, keep in mind that you will be competing against your large national counterparts, who most-likely will have a higher bidding price than you. The good news for local businesses is that bids are affected by how well a bidder's website ranks and the relevance of the landing page, often giving you an edge over those with unlimited budgets.

c. Social paid media

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and soon Pinterest) all offer businesses opportunity to pay for media that will reach a targeted audience. Paid media on social are usually called "sponsored/promoted posts/tweets" and blend seamlessly into the network.

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There are many ways to have an effective social media strategy and not pay for posts. Check out this free resource for strategies that will drive traffic to your website, but not cost you a fortune.

2. Owned media

Owned media includes assets that could be considered an "extension" of your business and that are fully controlled by you. Examples include your website, blogs and social media pages.

Regularly updating and posting to your owned media assets is crucial to boosting their ranking on search engines (and thus driving traffic to your website).

  • Add more content: Website content includes blog and social media posts, how-to guides, ebooks, etc. And one new blog post won't help -- if you can't regularly commit to posting, it is best to hire someone to do it for you. According to researchers, it takes about 20 quality blog posts to start seeing traffic growth.
  • Write valuable content: The quality of published content is more important than quantity. The headlines of your posts should draw readers in and your content should highlight your areas of expertise.
  • Include videos and photos: Not only do videos and photos receive 5x the engagement vs. posts without, they are a great way for your business to stand out from the crowd and personalize your website. Some ideas for videos include employee interviews, product descriptions and customer testimonials. Create a YouTube channel and start posting videos to drive additional traffic.

3. Earned media

Earned media is free promotion your business receives. Examples include unpaid publicity, word of mouth, mentions/shares/reports on social media and reviews on sites, such as Yelp. While you can't directly control your earned media, you can encourage it by keeping your customers happy (who will, in turn, provide you with positive reviews, recommend you to friends, share your social media posts, etc.) and building your owned media platforms correctly.

a. Organic SEO

Increasing organic traffic to your website is something any business can accomplish -- at a reasonable price (usually, your time). However, unlike PPC advertising which is immediate, building your organic SEO takes time. A good place to start is to ensure your website, blog and social media pages all incorporate the keywords you would like to rank for.

Local businesses have a leg-up in the organic SEO game, due to the rise of mobile, simply because of how search engines classify their business. For example, Google gives priority to local businesses when a searcher is on a mobile device because they assume they are looking for a business nearby to visit. Make sure your website includes a phone number (with a local area code) and local address to rise even higher in the SEO rankings.

b. Review sites

Mention the word "Yelp" in a room full of local businesses and you'll get strong opinions (both positive and negative). Why? Because review sites, and the reviews left on them, have a powerful impact on local businesses.

If you aren't familiar with Yelp, check out this free guide on getting set up.

Search engine algorithms are heavily influenced by review sites -- in some cases, your Yelp page will appear higher than your website.

c. Social media

In the past few years, social media exploded and is now an essential part of any online marketing strategy. When you update your website (with a deal, new product, etc.), you should also be sharing that information on your social media pages so your audience knows where to go for more information (your website).

d. Directories

Directory optimization is a critical part of any online marketing strategy and every local business should submit their information to the major directories:

If you are curious about how your local business appears on major directories, run a free report today.

While every directory has a different set of guidelines for listings, your submissions should all be consistent and identical in order to up your organic SEO.

Most local businesses use a combination of paid, owned and earned media to drive traffic to their website (and therefore, in-store). We would love to hear the mix that works best for your business and how you made the decisions -- please share your stories in the comments section below.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

The post Strategies to Boost Local Business Website Traffic appeared first on LocalVox.

Networking can be awfully tedious. Especially if you are in the wrong group.

Networking on LinkedIn can be just as dull - you have to pick the right LinkedIn group to join. How do you pick the right group?

Well, in the previous post, I showed you a neat trick - How to invite the right people to connect with you. (The people who had just been looking at your profile are very likely to connect with you, if you just ask them. No need for a fancy invite.)

Now, you could invite everyone who had just viewed your profile to connect with you. But, I don't recommend this. Even when you use this technique, you have to have a purpose or reason to invite someone to connect or join your network.

Remember, the trick was that they were the "right" people because they were interested in you right now.

So, how do you get into the right group? Simple, you invite the "right" people. Probably have something to say to them, don't you?

And I am going to show you how to invite the "right" people to a LinkedIn group.

Now, what Joe and I do is to invite our new 1st connections to 3 or 4 of the franchise groups we own or manage.

For example, we would invite an New York attorney whose practice involved commercial transactions to the Franchise Attorney Group, the Finance Group, and to the New York Franchise Association Group.

Joe and I can easily do this because we are owners/managers of these three groups, and many others. LinkedIn makes it easy for owners/managers to invite their connections to join a group.

But, how can you do the same thing? When you are not a manager or owner?

LinkedIn doesn't make it obvious anymore how you can invite your first connections to join the group or groups you are in.

So, here is one way you can invite your first connections to your favorite group.

I am going to use the example of inviting a first connection to join the Franchise Owner/Franchisee Group.

Step 1 - Go to the Group and Look in the Top Right Hand Corner.

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See the funny arrow? It's a share button. Now, make sure you are sharing from the front page, where the discussions are.

Step 2. Click on the funny arrow and you will be presented with this box.

invite 3.png

Step 3. You can do several things at this stage.

1. If you click on the blue button, you will be asking everyone who is viewing your feed right now to join the Franchise Owner/Franchisee group. You could safely do that.

2. But, to invite select individuals, you have to:

a) uncheck "Share an update" and;

b) check "Send to individuals", and then click on the blue share button.

Make sure to:

a) have a good reason in the headline for them to open the email and;

b) have a good reason for them to join the group.

Don't go with the standard LinkedIn default, even if you are really pressed for time.

invite 4.png

There you go.

Now, your group will be filled with the right sort of people. People who want to talk with you.

Advanced networking strategies and so much more ....

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on what our Franchise-Info Business Directory can do for you, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

There seems to be a general lack of understanding around why social media is important and how it actually generates a return that leads to business growth.

Businesses seem to "do social media" because they are supposed to without really understanding why.

The truth is that the ROI of social media is much greater and more powerful than simply the impact it has on your bottom line.

1. Understand Your Investment

In order to understand what ROI you can expect from social media, first you must understand the investment itself. What is the investment required to produce a return on social media? There are many variables at play; however, at the most general level every organization will need to invest:

  • Time to develop relationships with online audiences
  • Time to create and deliver consistent content that is focused on bringing value to your audience
  • Time to actively engage with audiences and provide superior customer service
  • A dedicated person/team to manage social media
  • Possible promotions to support organic conversations
  • Funding to support the above initiatives

2. Understand the Deeper Return

When time and resources are invested consistently to develop audience-focused social media communication, the ROI can be very powerful. You can expect:

  • Increased brand recognition and credibility in all your markets
  • Increased audience loyalty and trust
  • Engaging conversations with social media audiences
  • Consistently superior customer service
  • Consistent and engaging communication
  • Viral marketing...your audience begins spreading your message for you
  • Bringing true value to your audience

3. Understand the Impact on Your Bottom Line

While the deeper return is all well and good, if ultimately all of that doesn't lead to actual business growth, then what's the point, right?

When a social media campaign achieves the above returns, the revenue returns follow. Specifically, the ROI is evident through:

  • Increased fans/followers (more people know about your product/service)
  • Increased engagement activity (more people talk about your product/service)
  • Increased website traffic due specifically to social media communication
  • Increased customer leads produced through social channels
  • Increased customers (who were first introduced to you through social media)
  • Increased sales from these new customers
  • Increased repeat business due to deepened audience loyalty
  • Increased revenue due to all of the above

Social media communication does not produce an overnight return on investment. The investments in social media must be made consistently over time, and over time they produce a valuable and long-standing return. The beauty is that as long as your communication remains consistent and focused on your audience, the ROI continues to increase over time.

The more you are committed to consistent social conversation that brings true value to your audience, the greater your ROI will be.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

What is the New PR?

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New Business. We just love it. It's the cause for much excitement in any marketing or PR firm, ad agency, law office. Pretty much everyone likes to win new business.

But after 30 years as a franchise PR specialist, I have learned to ask myself "Is all new business worth the 'high' you get from winning it?" And moreover, are all clients worth keeping because you can't part with that fee?

The answer, I promise you is NO.

Here are some reasons to turn down a possible new client and/or fire an old one.

  • At the first meeting they already know more about your business than you do. Or they think they do.
  • As happened to me recently, they are horribly rude to one of your references.
  • You see them treating other vendors, employees or franchisees badly. They will do the same to you.
  • They try to get your price down once you have set a reasonable fee for what they need.
  • An existing client is always going around you to one of your staffers for "extras".
  • They are extremely demanding and their expectations are out of control, yet they have no idea how you do what you do.
  • They are never available and blame you for not delivering.
  • They are consistently rude and nasty to you or your staff.
  • They are consistently late with payment.
  • You have a gut feeling they are just "sketchy".

I feel I have touched on all major reasons but if you have other bullet points or perhaps a different point of view please do share.

We all have to deal with difficulty in life.

But I have found that sometimes the drain on your energy and emotions can be much more damaging than having to cut out a couple of expenses here and there.

Then again, 30 years in one demanding business like PR can be akin to being repeatedly pelted with hail!

When you need someone for your Franchising PR who has been through the hail storms, connect with me on LinkedIn and let's chat.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

If there's one "secret" to social media, this is it. There's no ROI without engagement.

You can post content like crazy, and it won't make a difference unless you are actually engaging with your audience.

Why? Because social media is a conversation, not a lecture. Conversations convert. Lectures do not.

While many companies throw around the word engagement, when it comes to social media it seems that many, in fact, do not understand what it is or how to do it.

Here are some tips to help you engage with your audience in order to increase your ROI.

1. Listen

Engagement begins with listening. It is impossible to participate in a conversation if you are the only one talking and you are not listening to what your audiences is saying. Watch social posts to see what your audience is talking about, especially as it relates to your brand. Listen for times when your audience speaks to or about you. Monitor notifications so you don't miss anything, and don't just listen...HEAR! Take it to heart.

2. Respond

Listening is all well and good. However, if you do not take action to respond to your audience, then the conversation stops. Listening tells the audience you are there. Responding shows the audience that you care. Address the concerns that are voiced online. Deliver prompt customer care. Answer questions when asked; say thank you when you get a pat on the back. Make sure your organization has a clear policy describing how to respond to audience comments online and who is responsible for doing so.

3. Be Proactive

Engagement is not a passive activity. Instead of waiting to respond to what your audience has to say, reach out and start conversations. Connect with clients, business associates, partners and every organization that could become an advocate for your company online. Follow them, like their pages and start monitoring what they post. Find ways to share their content and celebrate their success. Use social media to build and strengthen relationships, and your social connections will soon become a powerful marketing army.

4. Be Consistent

Engagement isn't a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. You can't fake it. You actually have to participate in the conversation: show up and be authentic so your audience knows you are really there for them. Skip the lecture and ignite an ongoing conversation with your audience, a conversation that inspires a meaningful return.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

(Originally published in Progress Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 8 2014, by Frances Leary)

With the number of people owning smartphones growing and the market pretty much split between Apple and Android, your website needs to look good on any smartphone.

There are five very important things you need to do to make your website accessible to mobile smartphones.

1. Mobile Web Page: Make sure your website is organized to display on a mobile web page. Your site should have Mobile CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) which is HTML code in your header section of your website. It should look similar to this:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://domain.tld/mobile.css" type="text/css" media="handheld" />

(Since this is not a technical "How-To" blog so if you are not familiar with CSS and HTML don't put this code in your header and expect everything to be ok! Instead, check source code of your website, by right clicking on the page and choose "view page source".)

Check with your webmaster if

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://domain.tld/mobile.css" type="text/css" media="handheld" />

is not shown in the source code.

If you use a platform such as HubSpot (affiliate notification) then this is taken care of as a default function. Many WordPress themes now come with Mobile CSS and if yours does not there are plenty of plug-ins available. And, if you like to get under the hood and do your own coding check out Mobile CSS by Sea Breeze Computers and the The 5-Minute CSS Mobile Makeover by Perishable Press.

2. Meta Viewport Tag: This is a simple code that tells the mobile device how to orient your mobile web page. This is what makes it possible to turn your smart phone at any angle and see the page and it usually looks like this:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1,user-scalable=no" />

Again, this code should be in your Header HTML but check this function on your smart phone and make sure that it works.


3. Apple Icons: With nearly 45% of new smartphone buyers choosing iPhones this is a necessary step. This is an icon that allows iPhone and iPad users to add a quick link to your site on their device.

If you don't have an Apple Icon it is a pretty straightforward procedure.

First, design a 57x57 pixel icon for your web page or business.

Make it in the .png format.

Second, upload it to your website's file manager then add the following link to your Header HTML:

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/filename.png" />

Be sure that "/filename.png" is the file name of your new Apple Icon. That is all there is to do.


4. E-Mail Optimized for Mobile Smart Phones: Along with the rise of mobile and smart phone use is the practice of reading e-mails on a mobile device. If you send e-mails as part of your business' marketing efforts or if you send e-mail newsletters, make sure that that they can be read on smart phones.

The easiest thing to do is to just send text e-mails. If you just need to have a bit of color or some images in your e-mails be sure they are optimized for mobile.

The Email.grader.com is a great tool that will show you how your e-mail looks on different devices.

Most e-mail programs like MailChimp and Constant Contact now give you the tools and options to optimize your e-mail for mobile devices.


5. QR Code Marketing: This really has nothing to do with how your website looks on a mobile phone but if you have gone through the work of optimizing your website for mobile phones you might as well encourage people to connect with your site buy using QR Codes.

If you are interested Image Media Partners provides a free and a professional QRCode Generator and Mobile Web Marketing Platform. You may also find the QR Code Checklist handy.


(Remember; if you are not familiar with HTML do not try to change the code without any help. It is best to work with an experienced web designer. The HubSpot platform is already optimized for mobile devices and as a Certified HubSpot partner we highly recommend this platform for any website whose inbound marketing goals are greater web traffic, higher conversions and mobile optimization. Let us know if you would be interested in a free inbound marketing and website analysis.)

Most LinkedIn 'experts' either don't have an active company page or recommend against using a company page. I have read one 'expert' claim how that it was too hard to get people to both follow him & his company page.

However, there are advantages and disadvantages in creating, maintaining and distributing content using your company page. We have had an active company page for a little under a year and are very pleased with the results. But, you may have a different experience.

So, here are the two primary considerations to help you decide between publishing long form on Pulse versus using your company page to distribute content to LinkedIn members.

#1. What type of analytics do you need?

You can either share articles, create long form posts on Pulse, or publish on your company page. But, you won't get equally good analytics from each method.

a. Sharing

LinkedIn is phasing out one of our favorite widgets -- "Who has Viewed your Updates?"

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In the latest LinkedIn interface, you will only get occasional notices of how many people have viewed your updates.

The reach of organic sharing has been steadily diminishing over the last 18 months.

Look, even though Joe has over 10,000 connections, his sharing of this article had only 45 views. Sharing is nice, but because of the limited organic reach it is no substitute for serious marketing.

b. Long Form Publishing on Pulse

Now, if you are publishing long form posts using Pulse you can get better analytics.

Here are the numbers from my last 6 Pulse posts.

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These are average numbers, 150 -250 views with 1-4 comments. But, at least you get the analytics for each of you posts.

c. Publishing on Company Pages

Now, if you want even more analytics, then you need to be posting your content with your company page.

The analytics are considerably more in depth, and LinkedIn has just added a new feature: Notifications.

You can get trends, daily, weekly and monthly views.

You cannot, however, get reports.

Here are what some of these analytics look like, from our company page.

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Note, that the articles we are publishing are now getting over 1,000 views on a daily basis. More than a 20x increase over just sharing. That's worthwhile, if you want a larger audience.

Conclusion: If you need detailed analytics on per post basis, you will have to create a company page and publish your content on it. On the other hand, if you are content to simply share and don't really care about your limited reach, then you should not create a company page. It will be too much work for you.

#2. Getting An Audience for Your Company

It is much easier to get people to connect with you in comparison to task them to follow your company.

The reason for this is simple. You and I connect because we see something interesting in each other's profile.

It is not so obvious why would want to follow a company, though.

For example, over the last 8 years my first connections have grown from 0 to over 6,000.

But, during the last year from March 2014, we have only grown our company followers from 114 to 516.

Conclusion: Unless you have a compelling offer, it will be hard to get LinkedIn members to follow your company.

Now for us, the advantages of better analytics out-weigh the difficulty of getting followers. And that is why we have a company page on LinkedIn.

For more on publishing and advertising and much more ....

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

Franchises, at their core, are simply businesses. While many franchise activities can seem confusing because they are split between franchisors and franchisees, franchise marketing should be a united effort with a goal of driving positive business growth.

Not only do franchises need to worry about overall national brand messaging, franchisors also need to be aware of how their message breaks down at the local franchisee level. Avoid these five marketing mistakes and your franchise will present a consistent and positive image to customers.

Mistake #1: Not defining your marketing message

Whether you are building a franchise or have already established your business, your marketing message should speak to your original core values. Brand consistency is a defining feature of great franchise marketing and is reliant on a strong core marketing message.

Defining your marketing message early will set your brand identity and provide customers with a baseline for expectations.

Key areas you should focus on include customer service, operations, logo usage, advertising campaigns and quality control checks. While some of these areas are not traditionally thought of as "marketing," you need to remember that marketing is everything a business does -- from the name tag design that an employee wears to the promotional posters displayed in stores -- that impact the franchise's brand image.

Mistake #2: No guidelines

After you have defined your marketing message, you need to decide who will do the actual marketing -- the franchisor or the franchisee?

Establish guidelines of how the marketing materials and messages can and should be used, as well as what the franchisee is responsible for. For any area the franchisee is responsible, make sure you give clear directions on how to accomplish each task.

For example, if your franchisees implement their own social media marketing, you should provide them with directions on how to set-up social profiles on networks, best practices and sample posts. When giving marketing freedoms to franchisees, highlight locations that are doing an exemplary job and share their success (and how they did it) with everyone.

The next three mistakes are problems that could easily be mitigated by providing marketing guidelines to franchisees.

Mistake #3: Micro sites

Local franchisees should have an online space available to them to share local activities and news, but separate micro sites are not the answer. In addition to weakening overall franchise SEO, separate franchisee micro sites can be confusing to customers.

Franchises should have a main website that allows franchisees to have sub-domain pages. Sub-domain pages keep the SEO juice flowing to one website, while giving customers the opportunity to find the specific location they are searching for. The sub-domain page can contain local contact information for each franchisee, deals/promotions or social activity.

Sub-domain pages are an area where it is a good idea to give your franchisees some creative freedom so that they can spark some fantastic local marketing ideas.

Mistake #4: Not having local listings

Just like you want all your franchisees to be discoverable on your main website, you also want each individual location to be easily found by customers in online searches.

Being listed on Google, Yelp and other local directories will help your franchisees be more visible online and drive more SEO back to your main website.

An example of good franchisee differentiation is Panera Bread. Panera Bread calls their St. Louis locations "Saint Louis Bread Co.," in order to give these locations a local characteristic that differentiates them from other locations.

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Mistake #5: Ignoring reviews

Not responding to reviews, whether a franchise or franchisee, leaves you at risk of losing business. 79% of people trust online ratings and reviews as much as personal recommendations, so a negative review can turn quite a bit of business away. However, responding to reviews can change the reviewers mind.

A negative or moderate review is often left soon after a visit, when emotions are running high. By listening and apologizing to a customer, you mellow emotions and give your reviewer time to change their mind about your business (and in turn, their review).

Don't let review sites be one-way -- respond and have conversations with your customers.

The best place to optimize local franchise marketing is with a local marketing platform. LocalVox gives your franchise the ability to monitor ratings and reviews, share local deals, news and manage local listings (to name a few) -- all with the touch of a button.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

The post 5 Local Franchise Marketing Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on LocalVox.

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to gain exposure for you and your brand, and has quickly become the powerhouse for social selling. The site has gained traction and its value has become evident.

From lead generation to employment opportunities, people have used the site to meet their personal business goals.

Now, as company pages emerged, similar articles were developed on how to make the most of your company page on LinkedIn.

Among the burning questions is engagement - how do we make the most of our LinkedIn page to engage with others, and develop relationships that are key to growing our business?

Below is a great infographic that depicts the key factors in creating a great LinkedIn status update for a company page:

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Some of the more obvious tips include creating a call to action (driving people to your website, blog, or other key site), using images with descriptions (images are appealing and draw attention to your update), and make sure the content is relevant.

Posting an article and asking for questions and opinions is another more obvious method of getting your status update to be seen by more people.

1. Target your updates: as you can see below, at the bottom of your status update box, you have the option to share the update with all followers or targeted people within your network.

Most of the time you'll want to share with the entire group, but there may be times when you want to send an update to only specific people within your network.

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2. Encourage franchise owners to share the company page content: as status updates are created, encourage franchise owners to engage with the content, whether it's liking an update, sharing it with a group they belong to, or commenting.

Of course you don't want all of your franchise owners doing this with every single update, but selective engagement can keep your company page visible.

When engaging,franchise owners should include their own call to action, which includes encouragement for others to follow the company page.

3. Use analytics and page insights: find out which updates were best received, and which had the most engagement. Conversely, which updates were hardly looked at or given a second thought? This information can be helpful when creating content for your company page.

LinkedIn is ever changing and becoming increasingly more impactful in the way people connect for business.

Making sure your company page is the best it can be, providing relevant, useful content that will be shared by others, and looking for new and innovative ways to increase visibility will be the key to a successful company page.

What tips and tricks has your company used?

What's been most beneficial?

Anything you've tried been a complete flop?

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LinkedIn is a Big Trade Show

Remember, when we first talked about LinkedIn being a big, but disorganized trade show?

I promised to tell you How to Connect with the Right People.

Now, many 'experts' will tell you to craft some personal invitations & carefully select your connections requests.

Maybe they are right?

I don't really know. What I do know is that I got my 6,000 connections in a much easier manner.

And, I am going to tell you how I did it.

So, how do you know who the right people are to connect with?

It's a trick question.

It isn't whether they are the right people -surely you can figure that out from their profile.

The question is different. Is this the right time to connect with them, offer them an invitation? Timing is what is important.

Ok, how do you know if it is the right time to ask for a connection?

Well, think about being at a trade show, again.

If you are at a trade show manning your booth and someone comes over, what do you do? That's easy. You introduce yourself, engage in some small talk and possibly exchange business cards.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your trade booth. And people who view your profile as the same as someone visiting your booth in a trade show.

So, how do you invite some of those people who have viewed your profile to connect?

Let me show you a neat trick -one the 'experts' frown on. Probably because it works so well.

4 Easy Steps

(As long as you have Premium LinkedIn membership. Previously, we had recommended that you start with the most inexpensive memberhsip - Personal Plus. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.)

Step 1. Who Has Viewed Your Profile.

On the black toolbar, hover on "Profile" and then click on "Who has Viewed Your Profile".

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Step 2. Check Out Who is Checking You Out.

You will be taken to this page. We can talk about the analytics another time. Just scroll down the page.

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You will find a number of rows like this:

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Step 3. The Tricky Bit

Say I wanted to connect with Chris Hess because he is a franchise owner in one of our groups.

What happens if I click on the "connect" button? I will be prompted for Chris's email.

I can then personalize my invitation, if I have the his email. That might be a bother to get.

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Step 4. Don't Connect from the Profile Page. Search Instead.

Suppose, instead, I simply search for "Chris Hess".

In search, I am also prompted to connect with Chris.

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But, if I ask for a connection from this search results page, then LinkedIn automatically sends an invitation, a generic one, albeit.

Here is the thing.

Chris was just looking at my profile. I'll bet he will be tickled to get even a standard invite from me & he will accept.

Do this once a week, and you will be connecting with right people in a friendly, easy and simple manner.

Connecting to the right people and much, much more ....

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on what our Franchise-Info Business Directory can do for you, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

You're on the franchise trade show circuit.

You get articles in franchising trade publications.

And, you do radio podcasts.

1. Speaking

Speaking at franchise trade shows and events is great way get in front of an audience 50, 75 or more people to talk about franchising.

You're there to speak to people and market yourself to franchise buyers and franchisors. This is a pretty darn good way to develop new business.

If you can capture the names of the attendees and follow up with them on a consistent basis, you are doing even better than most of your competitors.

2. Writing

Writing topical articles on franchising in trade publications is a terrific technique to get in front of franchising readers and have them learn about your point-of-view on important franchise issues and how to solve problems. However it's very hard to convert these readers unless you've included a call-to-action that motivates them to do something to contact you.

3. Radio

Radio is one of the oldest and most effective ways to market.

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You capture people's attention with an interesting topic with lively give and take between the on-air personalities.

Radio podcasts on franchising are popular.

However is anyone listening?

I don't know of any franchise podcasts that have a verified audience or a way to distribute their episodes.

You could be having a lively radio show with no listeners. And who wants that?

Franchise-Info has programs that can get your content like articles, presentations and even those podcasts in front of franchise readers.

You don't need virgin content since we can use what you've already created.

We can even use those radio show podcasts that had no listeners and distribute them to our franchising audience.

What we can guarantee is that you'll reach people who can do business with you.

Message me at [email protected] or call 443.502.2636 and we'll pick the program that bests fits your marketing objectives.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

As a franchise business, you are tied to numerous employees and owners who directly impact your overall brand message. Whether a crisis strikes your company as a whole or an individual franchisee, your entire brand can see negative effects.

However, with the proper franchise public relations strategies set in place, your franchise system can safeguard itself from potential crises that may arise.

We've outlined four ways to avoid a crisis through different PR strategies:

1. Reputation management - With a comprehensive public relations strategy put into place, your business can benefit from multiple forms of reputation management. This includes monitoring your franchise online presence, regularly earning positive media coverage, and establishing your system as credible to potential leads.

2. Crisis plan - When your company has a professionally-prepared plan on hand, it can help prepare your business for a potential crisis before it arises. A well-thought out crisis plan will define possible scenarios that could impact your franchise, establish a crisis spokesperson, and outline the best courses of action to take during media scrutiny.

3. Media policy - Having a public relations professional develop a media policy for your company can help maintain positive media relations, and relay accurate information to your brand's audience. These policies are designed to designate a company spokesperson, and outline procedures for speaking to press regarding your franchise business.

4. Social media policy - In the franchise realm, most companies will have localized social media pages for each franchisee. With so many voices managing your brand's social networking presence, it's vital to develop a franchise social media policy to outline rules and regulations for representing your company online. Having a policy set in place will help to avoid brand confusion and varying messages to consumers.

Your reputation as a franchise is an invaluable source for generating sales leads. Don't let a crisis cause a chain reaction that negatively impacts your company, your brand, and your franchisees. At Ripley PR, we have extensive experience developing B2B public relations and franchise communications strategies for our clients. Contact us today for more information.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

When creating a social media marketing plan, one of your first and foremost goals is to increase the number of "followers" (or "fans" as they are called on Facebook) you have.

While you always want to grow the number of local prospects your business reaches, how do you know how many social media followers are enough?

We can tell you.

Rapid growth of followers should not be a long-term goal for local social media marketing because there will come a point where any new followers gained are not your target audience. You are wasting valuable resources (time and money) if your goal is to generate a large quantity of followers because they most-likely will not be your target customers.

Large national brands often use social media as a branding vehicle, growing their social media followers into the tens and hundreds of thousands. However, as a local business, you aren't using social media for the same branding purposes as your larger counterparts -- your goal is to keep current customers loyal and convert prospective customers into paying ones.

Recently, Copyblogger announced they were leaving Facebook entirely; while many people in the social media marketing world obviously think this is a mistake, the company put a lot of thought into the decision. Those critical of Copyblogger's strategy understand that a large portion of the company's content views originated from Facebook -- content views and an audience that the company clearly felt it could walk away from.

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However, what those critical of Copyblogger did not realize was that the company's fans had a serious engagement problem. After Copyblogger measured the engagement (or lack of) of its fans, the company decided its Facebook efforts weren't providing enough ROI and therefore abandoned the platform.

While I don't recommend leaving a network entirely (a lot of work and trial/error went into the decision at Copyblogger), it does remind us that social media should be a vehicle you use to meet your overall marketing goals and you shouldn't use it simply because "everyone else is doing it."

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Your business is unique and you should never be a sheep that gets lost in the crowd of what every other business is doing. Instead, your focus should be on doing what is right for your business, which might mean standing out from the flock. The three steps outlined below will help you be a pink flamingo in a sea of sheep and help you determine how many social media followers is enough for your business.

1. Determine your social media goals

Your social media goals will define how you actually use the networks and you should routinely check back on these goals to see if your efforts are aligning correctly.

Before you decide whether a network has reached its current potential, you should determine your social media mission, goals and tactics.

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2. Work to increase engagement

Disclaimer: out of all three steps, this should take you the most time and effort. Please don't let this discourage you!

You should have already laid out your social media strategy based off your overall marketing plan. However, the individual tactics you use to increase engagement will often be based on trial and error (and that's normal!).

For example,one of your goals may be to understand and incorporate best practices for posting on each social network. To reach this goal, you could measure the amount of engagement you receive on multiple different types of posts. Once you determine what elements of a post made it successful (whether is was posting during a certain time, being written in a certain format or on a certain topic), you can incorporate those features into future posts in order to reach your overall goal.

Not only will you reach your goal, but you will also begin to understand the characteristics of your audience, based on what they like to see from you on social media.

3. Reassess

By working toward your goals, you will also begin to understand what resonates most with your audience -- and also what doesn't work. Going back to the Copyblogger example, this is the step where the company decided to call it quits after reassessing its efforts.

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Not only will you be able to determine if your followers are interacting with you, but you can determine if you are seeing too much success from your marketing efforts (yes, that exists!).

For example, if you are a chiropractor and have created a Twitter profile and Facebook page in order to raise awareness of your practice and bring new clients through your door (using the advanced search feature). You can see the impact of your social media marketing efforts because you ask when clients where they were referred from, they answer "Twitter" and "Facebook." Your once slow schedule is now booked solid for the next two months with new clients.

While it made sense to grow your social media followers initially, you are now running into problems because you are incredibly busy and your existing clients are having trouble making appointments to see you (a potential loss of business from loyal customers).

At this point, you should sit down and measure the impact social is having on your business. For Copyblogger, they determined Facebook was not worth the time; however, for you it may mean that you should ramp up your efforts to bring in new/repeat business OR scale back to focus on other business efforts that provide you with more ROI.

The key is understanding your goals and when you have reached them, surpassed them or they simply aren't feasible for your business anymore.

Everything your business does should regularly to be measured and assessed to make sure you are spending your valuable resources on the right things. Social media should be something you do because "everyone else is doing it" -- it should bring value to your business.

A good place to start with social media is learning the basics about social posts and the best practices for each network. Our eBook, 9 Ways to Crush it on Social Media, will help you create a strategy that uses the unique characteristics of each network to help you reach your goals.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

The post How Many Social Media Followers Are Enough? appeared first on LocalVox.

In 1991 a client of mine appeared in both Entrepreneur and INC. magazine in the same month and with a fabulous photo. The photo was also the same and both editors hit me pretty hard.

I knew the rules but one editor ran it a month ahead of the planned date.

So in that October issue both magazines featured this great young company, Juice Club with the young management team lying in a pile of oranges.

That company became Jamba Juice within six months, but it took me that same amount of time to mend my relationships with those editors. As a PR pro I needed those editors more than that client!

Relationships were what it was all about between us and the media. That editor, reporter, producer had to trust you and know you. I had the industry by the tail because I had great relationships and my clients knew my policy.

I would never lie or exaggerate for them because I couldn't ever lose my media contact.

Fast forward a couple of decades. Many think it's all about the hashtag.

But PR is so much more than that.

Everyone thinks all you need to do is tweet a reporter and the job is done. I have clients who say "just call the reporter and ask them to do a bigger story". What?

I had one young and brand new marketing person tell me a week ago "there are tons of papers looking for news". Really? Not only are there no longer tons of papers, but the ones still around and even those from the past do not consider a franchise convention in the area as news.

I don't expect my clients or those who do not work with the media to know exactly what is going on out there. But here are some frightening facts.

  • In August, the Cleveland Plain Dealer lay off put one-third of its staff out of work and Gannett also began laying off hundreds of reporters/staff members at paper's such as Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Cincinnati Enquirer, Kentucky, Enquirer, Green Bay Press Gazette, Des Moines Register, Tennessean.

  • Major metro dailies that have cut frequency or adopted online-only models: Ann Arbor News, Capital Times, Catskill Daily Mail & Hudson Register-Star, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, East Valley Tribune, Flint Journal, Bay City Times, Saginaw News, Harrisburg Patriot-News, Syracuse Post-Standard, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Birmingham News, Huntsville Times, Mobile Press-Register, Portland Oregonian, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Daily Press, Mesabi Daily News, Red Wing Republican Eagle, Journal Register, Tonawanda News, Portsmouth Daily Times, Nevada Appeal, Clarksdale Press Register, Rushville Republican, Eden Daily News, Reidsville Review, Frederick News-Post, Kane County Chronicle, Sidney Daily News, Piqua Daily Call, Troy Daily News, Pittsburg Morning Sun, Marion Daily Republican, Kewanee Star Courier, Daily Review Atlas, McPherson Sentinel, Standard Journal, Daily Californian, Daily Orange, Las Vegas Optic, Burlington County Times, Bucks County Courier Times, California Aggie, Mt. Airy Messenger, Hernando Today, Superior Telegram, Capital Times, Minnesota Daily, Kansas City Kansan, Elgin Courier News, Klamath Falls Herald and News, Columbia Missourian, and the Washington Times.

  • U.S. metro dailies that have closed since the start of the recession: Tucson Citizen, Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Examiner, Kentucky Post, Cincinnati Post, King County Journal, Union City Register-Tribune, Halifax Daily News, Albuquerque Tribune, South Idaho Press, San Juan Star, Honolulu Advertiser

  • Since 2008, more than 166 newspapers in the United States have closed down or stopped publishing a print edition, according to Paper Cuts, a website dedicated to tracking the US press industry downturn. More than 39 print titles shut down in 2008, and 109 did so in 2009. So far in 2010, more than 18 papers have vanished. Since March 2007, there have been nearly 35,000 job losses or redundancies.

  • The following newspapers and newspaper chains have filed for bankruptcy reorganization: Tribune Company, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Philadelphia Newspapers company, the Chicago Sun Times, who last year fired their entire photo department, the Journal Register Co., American Community Newspapers, Freedom Communications, Heartland Publications, Creative Loafing and the Columbian newspaper in Vancouver. Others, such as Morris Publishing and Affiliated Media (the parent company of MediaNews Group), did bankruptcy reorganization filings prearranged with creditors.

  • It's not just newspapers! Major newsweeklies such as U.S. News & World Report, Time, The Economist, and Newsweek have majorly cut back on spending and space. Time, the only major print newsweekly left standing, cut 5% of its staff in early 2013.

  • A growing list of media outlets, including Forbes magazine, use technology to produce content by way of algorithm, no human reporter necessary.

  • Local TV affiliates across the country are operating with skeleton staffs. Anchors are not only doing their own reporting, but their own videotaping as well. Sports, weather and traffic now account on average for 40% of the content produced on the newscasts and story lengths have shrunk.

  • Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1987.

Fortunately it was my job to see this coming a long time ago and we evolved over this time to perfect what works today.

But even as I did see "the cheese moving" I don't think any of us in the business expected to have a literal wipeout of the hundreds of respected titles and major dailies that occurred and in a very short period of time.

The battle for print space is a big one.

Now, more than ever you need an expert to position your company and control the messaging.

It is a mistake to think that just because you are good on social media you have a real public relations program. The new buzz term is "content marketing". But that constitutes a whole other article.

Rhonda Sanderson is president/founder of Sanderson & Associates PR, a public relations firm that has been specializing in franchising since 1986. www.sandersonpr.com

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on the Franchise-Info Business Directory, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

1. Your Website is a Grocery Store with Shelves Full of Links

When you go to the grocery store, you walk down the aisles. Most of the time, you reach only those items within your reach.

You don't spend a lot of time searching high and low.

Imagine, however, that you are the owner of the grocery stores. You notice that the items on the middle shelves are not moving. You would rotate new stock onto these shelves. Because you hope that the new stock sells.

Something similar happens on your website. People browsing will click on links that are the most convenient.

We know that the links with the most clicks are usually above the fold.

"Elements above the fold were seen more than elements below the fold: the 100 pixels just above the fold were viewed 102% more than the 100 pixels just below the fold."

But, just as the stock on your grocery shelves might need restock or rotating, so might your links -- from below the fold to above the fold.

Some of your links to your best content might need to be moved to a more convenient place.

2. How to Tell at a Glance What Links are Most Read

Here is a "heatmap" of our front page from a couple days ago.

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Ok, red is best, and green is worst -- in terms of readers.

At a glance, you can see that on the right hand column some of our best links, those in red, are lower down the page. On our front page, the most read link is "Prices for Franchise-Info Business Directory", but it is past the fold. It would make sense to move it up. There are some links above them are less valuable. Indeed there is one link near the top, our past newsletter archive, that is largely wasting space.

It would like having a whole shelf full of canned spam --which nobody is buying. Why bother? They aren't interested.

So, this heatmap shows us how to rotate or move upwards above the fold -where we hope that they will get even more attention. And to move less worthy links below the fold.

And, I made the changes, and here is what the heat map now looks like this.

And this small change, over time, will reap big dividends!

3. And, How Do You Get A Heat Map Like This?

There are a number of heat map technologies out there.

But, this one just uses Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a powerful program. Incredibly it is free. Google, some years ago, bought out Urchin software. Urchin was selling its analytics solutions for over $10,000 a month. Yet, we get it for free & much more.

But, managing all that analytic power is overwhelming for many people.

Here is a short-cut. Use the page analytics chrome extension.

The Page Analytics Chrome Extension allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages.

The Page Analytics Chrome Extension allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages, including what they click and don't click.

Use these insights to optimize your website layout, improve user experience, and increase conversions.

Sign up for a free Google Analytics account, sign in.

Then on any page in which you have your google analytics tags on, you will be able to create a heat map. Following these two steps.

1. Go to the page you want the heap map for. And turn on the page analytics extension. The orange button should go from "off" to "on".

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2. Next go to the bottom right of the analytics that are now showing and look for these symbols.

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Just click on the red/orange/green color icon. And you will have created your heat map. (If you want the percentages to show, then click on the icon directly to the right, also.) I have found that you must toggle the heatmap on and off as you move to different pages in your website.

Very simple and yet powerful insights.

If you liked this, you should sign up for the LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising Tips from Franchise-Info newsletter.

Or, for more information on what our Franchise-Info Business Directory can do for you, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

So you are an avid LinkedIn member who markets products and services.

And you are posting in LinkedIn Groups articles you have authored and content curated from other sources to get target group member attention.

Since you are marketing you want people to notice you & the products, services and solutions you offer.

This Attract Attention strategy is central to content marketing and especially fits Linkedin.

However it is not foolproof and there are essential things you should do and tragic pitfalls you should avoid.

Here is how you can make your group posting work best.

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Ten Quick Marketing Tactics for Linkedin Groups

  1. Connect with the LinkedIn Group Owner, Managers and Moderators since you may need their help in their LinkedIn Group.
  2. Read the group rules, description and statistics to see how your marketing will fit and be received.
  3. Ensure your post's Auto-Title & Description & Photo are right and the way you want them to look.
  4. Write and Include an Optional Title & Description - be authentic and interesting.
  5. Never use Auto-Posting services like Hoostuite since the Ow.ly short link says you're not really there and don't care to engage.
  6. Carpet Bombing LinkedIn Groups with your posts is a quick way to ensure that you annoy people, get put in Moderation or the nuclear option Blocked & Deleted (SWAMed) - Don't do it.
  7. Audit your LinkedIn Group posts - go back and see if your posts are making it through Moderation, going to Promotions or just getting Deleted. You're connected to the Group Owner ask for help and instructions on what they want from you.
  8. Appending your Discussion posts - you can always add a comment to your own post to attract positive attention to the article.
  9. When you join a new group always begin by commenting on existing Discussions to gain LinkedIn Group credibility
  10. Again Be Interesting. Have a real point of view.. Be generous in your LinkedIn Groups by Commenting, Liking and Following other people's Discussion posts.

For more information on the Franchise-Info Paid Social Programs, call Joe at 1-443-502-2636 or email Joe direct [email protected]

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