Franchisee Technology Wish List

Even the most technology resistant among us are coming to realize, through constant bombardment by its bombs of influence, that the explosion of technology has become one of the most important factors to success in business. Franchisees will benefit greatly from association with a franchisor who leverages technology to maximum effect.

Here’s are several franchise-crucial web and other technologies:

1. Training

The primary value to be gained from a franchise is access to the unique ideas and processes which constitute the core of the service or product that it sells. And the most direct and effective way of gaining access to and quick experience with that value is thorough, experience-based franchise training. Hands-on training gives franchisees what they need to “hit the ground running,” drastically reducing startup time and delays in earning first dollars.

Staff Training

2. Websites

An impressive web site sits at the core of franchisee online marketing efforts. Social media, email campaigns, pay-per-click campaigns, and paid advertising will likely be focused on getting people to visit the company web site where they can be monetized through sales channels. Prospective local customers need to be able to easily find local franchisees on the main corporate site.

 Franchise Locations

 

3.  Online knowledge platform

An information-packed private intranet is the go-to place for all franchisees, new and old. Technology how-to’s, operations manuals and more can be found on a system like this, saving lots of time for both franchisees and franchisors. Franchisees won’t need to call or email the franchise’s corporate office for every issue they’re experiencing, which can free up the franchisor’s support staff for the big stuff.

Intranet – Resource Center

4.  Social media marketing

It’s important that visitors to your web site have access to the remarkable phenomenon of social media through “share” buttons which allow them to easily post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.


Facebook Ad Targeting for Franchises

Franchises which draw their consumer base from specific demographics will get all the traditional benefits of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising with facebook ads while keeping costs low. You are able to choose the location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education of your target audience.

Since your ad will only be shown to users relevant to your target criteria, the number of clicks will be lower and the quality of users visiting your promotions will be much higher. Ask your franchise marketing team if they provide systems or guides to empower your social media advertising campaigns.

Interests Targeting

Interest targeting helps franchises target facebook users based on information they’ve added to their timeline and profile. This considers information such as the pages they like, apps they use and other information.

Facebook Interests Settings

Facebook Ad Interests Targeting

For example, High Touch High Tech franchisees specialize in fun and educational science programs for kids. So franchisees might display their ads to users who have shown an interest in general science topics, science education, parenting, and teaching. Interests targeting will help them reach those customers most likely to make a program reservation.

Intrigued? Meet our franchisees to see if investing in a Science Made FUN! franchise is right for you.

Age & Birthday Targeting

Birthday targeting lets you create ads that are targeted to people who have a birthday in the next week. This helps you create highly relevant ads or highlight special discounts, offers or promotions that are available to people on their birthdays.

Facebook Age & Birthday Settings

Facebook Ad Age & Birthday Targeting

Location Targeting

If your franchise business sells primarily to your local community, location targeting is right for you.

You can target by:

• Countries

• Specific radius from city

• Zip code Facebook Location Settings

Facebook Location Settings

Facebook Ad Location Settings

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

The Must of Social Marketing

Playing Along

Like it or not, the web is a world of appearance and trends wielding enormous and growing influence on what we consume, with social marketing riding the crest of this wave. The way to set your franchise business apart from competing interests is not to stay home. Join the pack and get in the game!

Skyrocket Web Visits with Viral Messaging and Imaging Channels

Though enigmatic in its routes of influence, communities of interconnected friends and business relations leverage the viral force of billions of followers, friends, and contacts. Blog articles, viral videos, compelling photo albums, and targeted messaging have an uncanny, if somewhat nebulously motivated, ability to generate thousands of visits every month to franchise sales vehicles. Each social media property becomes a spoke in an influential wheel of interconnected web traffic, each spoke amplifying the effectiveness of every other spoke and driving consumers to the hub of the wheel: a franchisee’s main web site.

Case Study: a handful of blog posts which have gone viral by being posted and shared on Pinterest have multiplied visits to ScienceMadeFun.net tenfold. This increase, startling in its initial explosion 8 months ago, has not dropped off since then.

Here’s an article which will help franchises develop viral messaging strategies by learning what types of content are most likely to be successful: Hard Thoughts About SEO & Link Bait.

To Search Is To Find

Since one of the largest factors determining your franchise site’s Google rank is the number of links from other sites, social media’s ability to automatically blanket the web with links is an invaluable tool helping your site to achieve placement on page 1 of search results. Every site has a Google rank—a relative number from 1 to 5 determining its importance. And the keywords on every web page have an aggregate content bias which, when linked to your pages, reinforces your content’s topical relevance. Since Google’s bread and butter is revealing the most relevant content for a given search, strong linking and strong content relevance mean higher listing position. To explore the reasons for this behavior, read How to Improve Site Credibility Through Search and Social Media.

Today in America there are nearly 1,000,000 franchises covering over 3,000 industries. A third of those markets, or 1,000, have appeared in the last ten years. That means new and successful franchises are being started in new industries every day. The ht2 business model has bred successful businesses since 1992 using novel concepts matching the trend of service-oriented franchise growth.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

How To Write Your Business’s Story

In a lot of ways, people don’t buy products anymore — they buy your story. That means companies must constantly refine and redefine their stories and present them in innovative ways.

A brand story envelops your mission as a company, your culture and your history: How did you get started? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going? Our story specifically shares the idea development, research of the idea and viability, and growth and success.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Our Story

Because shoppers are so connected through social networks, marketers should aim to present their stories in such a way that people will want to share them and their friends will want to connect with them. One advantage of social media is that we can have some control of our story. We can either passively hope people find our story appealing — or we can intentionally shape it to try to resonate with prospective customers. Either way it is a very important part of marketing your business.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Marketing

Here are a few suggestions on how to convey a more powerful story:
One of the best things a company can do is be transparent about why it is doing what it does.
Not quite sure how to go about brainstorming your “why”? Try these suggestions:

Ask your customers:
Put up a blog or Facebook post asking your customers why they stick with you?

Ask your employees: Your team is the closest to what you are doing and the why behind it, so ask employees why they work for you and what motivates them to come in every day?

Read your web mentions: Google your company’s name and see how people are talking about you out on the web.

 

Share your “why” in distinctive ways.
Make your story engaging and easy to share. Social media consumes one out of every five minutes spent online. That means your audience is most likely spending a significant amount of time online sharing content. Here are a few ideas for getting customers to share your content:

Put a video on your site. Rather than just telling your story in text or in the About Us section of your website, create a video as well. It could feature employees talking about why they work for you and how they hope the company’s products or services will help customers. Consider accumulating a number of videos and creating a YouTube channel. Be sure to make it personal.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: YouTube Channel

Post photos. One of the easiest ways to enhance your story is to add images to your site, social network, or facebook page. If you have a cool office or store, showcase it. Also, post photos of customers and your team to highlight the people behind your brand’s success.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Facebook

Add a few quotes. Many sites put up long testimonials from customers, but you should go further. Get quotes from your leadership, customers and especially business partners. This will help tell the “why” of your story. Then showcase only the words or sentences that really tell the story and give them a beautiful visual treatment.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Partnerships

Give your “why” more real estate.
Is your company’s story tucked away in the footer of your website with an “Our Story” link? If so, it’s time to give your story greater visibility. Ideally, your story should be laced throughout the text on your entire site, but that can be challenging. Instead, start with some of these baby steps toward giving your story more of the spotlight:

Put it on the home page. Rethink which content should get this prime real estate. What could be better than putting a video up on your home page that describes why your company exists and why you do what you do? Tell people something that encourages and inspires them to learn more about you.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Mission

Link to it from social profiles. Companies are investing heavily in social media and teams to manage those conversations. Make your story a critical part of that interaction. Link to videos or website pages that help your followers understand what makes you special.

Write about it on your company blog. Your blog can be a great place to call out your story. Transparency in business resonates with customers, so talk openly about both your company’s struggles and successes.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Blog

Marketers should rethink what exactly they are selling. With so many products and services out there and so much noise in the social sphere, it’s your story that can really differentiate you, and separate you from the competition. Careful attention to how you tell that story and how you showcase it can make all the difference.

If you want to check out what we’re doing, visit any of our social media outlets. We’d love to get your feedback!

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/HTHTWNC
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/@HTHTWNC
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/HighTouchCorp
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/hthtworldwide/
Blog:   http://sciencemadefun.net/blog/

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Smarter, not harder! Social Media

As a small business owner, you have to wear many different hats to keep your business running and growing. Between staffing, scheduling, purchasing, customer service, marketing, and all the other tasks, you’ll start to wish you could clone yourself just to get it all done! Well, any successful business person will tell you that success comes from working smarter, not harder!

With this in mind, today’s blog is about the use of social media. Now, our company currently has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube ChannelPinterest Pin Boards and a blog. In a small office like ours, it takes an army just to keep all of these mediums current and engaging. Now, you may notice, we’re missing on of the “biggies”, namely, Linked In.

Needless to say, we were ready to dive in head first when we got our hands on a step-by-step guide of how to use Linked In company pages for marketing. Our eyes lit up and our imaginations ran wild as we reviewed the guide, researched other company pages and quickly scheduled a meeting. However, we were somewhat underwhelmed by what we saw and began to realize that our initial thoughts and goals for launching a Linked In page might not align with what they have to offer. Our enthusiasm quickly began to deflate when we realized the amount of work necessary to set up the page, build the connections and maintain the page. It was at this juncture that we determined our investment (time & effort) might not yield the desired results.

In lieu of building a Linked In page, we took a step back, evaluated the benefits of our current social media outlets and asked how we could do better with what we’ve already got. Ultimately, we want to generate leads, so we asked ourselves how else can we drive traffic to our websites, increase our brand awareness and educate our customers about our products and services. The result: revised Pinterest Pin Board themes with brand specific pins and website link backs; SEO aligned descriptions on all YouTube videos with website link backs; new photo albums and engaging content on Facebook; and the list goes on and on.

So a meeting that started with the goal of introducing a new social medium to our arsenal, which would have added to our overall workload, ended with more than a dozen, actionable ideas for enhanced user experience and interaction on our existing social media outlets.

Efficiency is key and making the most of your time and resources is critical to your overall growth and success. Stick to your strengths and maintain social media efforts that can actually be maintained by your current resources. Don’t get in over your head! It’s easy to get sucked into the “social media machine” and jump onboard every opportunity in every medium, but sometimes, less is more! Social Media outlets that are out-dated or not maintained on a regular basis can be just as damaging as not being involved in social media at all.

If you want to check out what we’re doing, visit any of our social media outlets. We’d love to get your feedback!

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/HTHTWNC
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/@HTHTWNC
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/HighTouchCorp
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/hthtworldwide/
Blog:   http://sciencemadefun.net/blog/

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

5 Tips for Getting Started with Facebook

Tip 1: Engage Your Target Audience

The popularity of a franchisee’s page—and on Facebook it’s all about popularity—will depend on whether or not those who have liked your page are compelled to interact with it.

 

The level of interaction, or as Facebook terms it, “engagement”, will determine a franchisee’s placement on the news feeds of those who have liked the page. Top placement on news feeds will ensure that your posts are being read, and not lost in the veritable sea of messages channeled through Facebook every day. Engagement is determined by the frequency, quantity, and quality of Facebook users doing things such as posting comments and liking your posts.

The first step in engaging your target audience is to figure out who they are! It seems like common sense, but this vital step is so often overlooked. The better a franchisee has identified the demographic of their audience, the more they will be able to write posts that appeal to that audience. Almost without exception, your target audience will be your most likely customers, since the goal of most Facebook company pages is to sell a product or service. Let those reading your posts get a sense that they know who you are—it will be part of what compels them to make a decision to buy. Entertain them while providing information that establishes you as an expert in your industry.

Tip 2: Covers, Covers, Covers!

Facebook has added a new main image layout which allows franchisees with Facebook pages to upload a picture which will be displayed in HUGE format at 850 x 315 pixels. Since your covers are the first thing that visitors will see and most likely the last thing they will forget when they come to a your page, it is crucial that your cover be carefully considered. If your franchise’s corporate office does not provide you with branded cover images for Facebook, it’s a good idea to hire a professional designer. Upload 5 or more covers to your Facebook page’s photo library. That way, users visiting your page can browse through a thematically related series and you can easily select a different cover to “freshen up” your franchise page on periodically, showing visitors something memorable on their next visit.

A franchisee’s cover should epitomize the spirit of the product or service that a franchise sells and use elements from the franchise’s brand manual. If your franchise does not provide a brand manual that simplifies the process of creating your own branded materials, it’s probably time to renegotiate your deal or find another franchise.

3. Install Apps that Add Value to Your Page

The thing which will bring your followers back to your page again and again is value. What’s in it for them? Can your franchise location provide information or functionality to users that they they can’t get elsewhere? This is what we mean when we talk about value as it concerns the web. It’s the “why” in “why visit?” Apps can supply the “why”.

It could very well be that an app developer has already created something that you can use for free which will allow you to represent some of the value that your franchise is known for providing to consumers. These are the best apps to install. To search available apps on Facebook, go to your home page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner of the site and you’ll see “Applications” on the left navigation. Any app which feeds new information on an ongoing basis relating to a franchise’s product or service is an excellent choice since it will “refresh” a franchisee’s page’s content automatically. Apps are displayed prominently on the page just below the cover.

4. Derive Strategy from Usage Statistics

Facebook provides statistics about interaction with your page that are essential for determining which parts of your page are generating interest and which parts are not. Dubbed “Insights”, they are a crucial feedback loop for franchisees. The activity on a web site often seems invisible to the site owner; unlike a brick and mortar store, you cannot meet and talk with the people who are visiting your establishment. Insights makes a franchisee’s customers real, showing their habits and interests, and counting them as they come and go.

In Insights, you can see the date of each post, its title, its reach, the number of engaged users, the number of people talking about it, and its virality. Virality is the percentage of people who have created a story from your post out of the total number of people who have seen it. Use this information to coax new content into the same areas as successful content. Experiment with novel content to find what works. There’s a chance you’ll find your most effective approach this way.

5. Make Your Product or Service Visual with Photos

“Seeing is believing.” “A picture is worth a thousand words.” These sayings capture our tendency to understand and appreciate through visualization. While many people want to read about something to understand it, a great number of people prefer to see it. Seeing a picture is much quicker and more likely to forge the emotional connection that stimulates sales. Therefore, make sure you have populated your page with a handful of photo sets. Facebook makes it simple to upload and arrange photos into thematically related “Albums”. There’s a good chance that your franchise support system will have already provided photos for franchisees to use, so take advantage of this opportunity.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.