Marketing Tips For Franchises – Use Location Based Marketing
Internet marketing has revolutionized the way that people can find your franchise business. However, many owners of franchises aren’t aware that they can use their website as more than just a fancy brochure. In fact, the combination of social media, smart phones and your website can create a powerful system for getting more feet in your business’s door.
Here are five tips for using location-based online marketing in order to increase the success of your franchise business.
1. Learn the location based marketing platforms.
Although your website is an important piece of the puzzle, the main components of location-based marketing are going to be with a variety of third-party sites that allow smartphone users to learn about businesses around them. They range from service selection engines (that allow users to select a service in their area based on the location of their phone) to review sites (that aggregate reviews of a business for other users to read). Local customers can “check in” with these platforms when they are at your location or have used your business. By using these sites you can keep local customers updated on special deals and also make sure that there are good things being said about your business. The most popular location-based marketing platforms are FourSquare, Loopt, Brightkite and Google Latitude. Others are Yelp and Facebook.
2. Decide how you’re going to use these sites to market your franchise business.
Before you start plugging yourself into these networks you need to set some goals. Do you want more fit traffic in the store? Do you want more people at a particular time of day? Do you want to sell more of one item? By specifying your objectives you’ll be able to better approach these sites.
3. Register for each site to list your business.
Make sure that your business is listed with each of the major sites. If it’s already been listed by local customers and the information is incorrect, be sure to contact the site owner. They are normally happy to help you correct errors. If you have a physical location, place stickers or signs in your location in order to make sure that customers now that your business can be found on foursquare, Yelp etc.
4. Use fun and exciting promotions on the site.
Location based marketing sites can help you run promotions for your franchise business that can get people in the door or more people calling. For example, on foursquare you can run a special that allows users to get a free item if they check in with the site a certain number of times. This creates a lot of activity on your profile on a certain location-based marketing site, which can in turn encourage more people to patronize your business. You can run raffles, specials or when a customer first checks in or something like what is described above (a type of “digital punch card.”)
5. Get involved with the community.
A lot of franchise owners shy away from review style site because they think that the ability for customers to post to a bad review is a bad thing. However, social media is not a one-way megaphone. You need to interact with your audience. Thank customers for good reviews and try to respond to bad reviews as much as you possibly can.
With these tips you can make location-based marketing work for you. Visit any of the sites listed above to get started today.