Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Lead generation isn’t a new way of getting new customers and business. However, in today’s technology-driven world, it now has  new advances. Yes, you could spend hours setting up a business display hoping that customers will come to you and complete a form. You could also spend thousands of dollars at a trade show. Or you can have leads generated and sent to your business using the wide variety of internet technology that is available.

When starting your own business, one of the most important revenue bringing items are leads, leads and more leads!  But those leads don’t just come out of thin air, they come from people looking at your website, Googling your business, PPC ads and so on. Think about walking into your office on an early Monday morning. The weekend is over, you’re tired from not being able to sleep in and just have a case of those Monday blues. You turn on your computer, check your email and then BAM! You find 15 hot, new leads in your inbox! Suddenly your Monday just got a whole lot better!

I bet you’re thinking “How does this lead generation thing work?” There are companies that are committed to providing qualified leads to your business. They can work with you personally to develop a business website, and create a partnership with other websites that can promote and advertise your service. These companies can also do other services such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization- Designed  to drive traffic to your website and ultimately increase the leads you receive.
  • Local Business Listing- Shares your business on local maps and Google places. Some companies provide a complete setup and maintenance of your Google Places listing.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)- With PPC, your local business will show up as a sponsored search result in major search engines online.

If you are noticing your business calendar is a little empty, lead generation is a powerful way to grow your business quickly, increase your ROI and ultimately get you more customers.

Not all marketing is created equal. As CEO of a franchising company, I oversee a variety of businesses, each of which has different marketing needs. One cannot use the same tools to market a product verses a service. This is particularly true for online marketing and social media. Here is a rundown of the kinds of social media we use and which styles of company we use it for:

Facebook:

FacebookFacebook is the perfect venue to market a product. Our Sub Zero Ice Cream Facebook account is a great way to interact with customers. Because Sub Zero is such a cool product (who can argue with the awesomeness of cryogenically frozen ice cream?) the page grows with little effort on our part. Customers come to our page to connect with us, to support us, to tell us how much they love the product or even tell us about a sub-standard experience they had.  We can quickly and personally answer questions and remedy complaints.

Updating regularly allows us to stay in the minds of our customers. It really is free advertising to a self-selected audience. We have also chosen to utilize paid Facebook advertising. This works great for a product like Sub Zero, but it is not as effective for a service-related business like Five Star Painting. Unlike Google, where users search for a product when they are ready to buy, Facebook users are looking to be entertained and maybe learn more information. The more information you can lead a customer to while allowing them to stay within Facebook, the better.

Service-related companies find less success on Facebook. However, as Facebook is the #1 social networking site, it is important for every business to be represented there. According to a Clickz study, “69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information on a social networking site.” If your company is service-based like Five Star Painting is, you simply need to be more patient with your Facebook page. Don’t expect the high numbers a product might get, don’t overload your users with content, but do keep your page updated. (Click here for more Facebook Tips for your Business)

Twitter:

Drawing twitterTwitter is best described as micro-blogging. It is difficult to describe the appeal of twitter to a non-twitterer, but Twitter’s impact on the world — and business — is undeniable.

“Twitter is a communication platform that helps businesses stay connected with their customers. As a business, you can use it quickly to share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company.” [Source]

For any type of company, twitter can be a great way to connect with customers. You can share news, promotions, pictures, links and more.

Search Twitter for the name of your company to listen in on the conversations happening right now. There are many free Twitter account managers available for easy access to knowing what is being said to and about your company. (We use Hootsuite.)

LinkedIn:

LinkedInLinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn is not the best place to be promoting your product and probably not a great place to be promoting your service either. LinkedIn is kind of like an online resume – you can include your education and work experience, and your connections can write “recommendations” for you. Here is a great article about why you can’t ignore LinkedIn.

While we do have a LinkedIn account for Five Star Painting, we don’t anticipate it bringing us any painting jobs. However, we do hope that it will help us to make connections with potential franchisees – people who want to be their own boss and run their own business. We utilize LinkedIn advertising for that reason.

If you have any questions about social media, marketing your business, or franchising, send them to info@fivestarfranchising.com.


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