Social Media – Driving Revenue and Online Presence
QUESTION: To what degree do you utilize social media to market your locations and how has it changed over the past three years?
ARMSTED: “Social media is an amazing marketing tool. Initially, we had no idea how powerful it could be, but Synergy HomeCare’s Founder and CEO Peter Tourian is a proponent of social media through all of our franchises, and we’ve come to agree with him that it’s an integral part of our marketing. Social media is the most effective avenue through which we can reach the maximum number of potential customers in such a large service area.
“The best change we have made in how we use social media is the way we target and utilize each type of media venue. Be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or even our own website, each one gives us a unique way to communicate to different audiences. For instance, LinkedIn is a great way to communicate with many professional referral sources such as physicians or social workers. With Facebook, we reach out to friends and family, our employees and even current clients and their families. Our blog is perfect for sharing ideas and having conversations with people who are searching for information on senior care and senior services.
“Learning how people use social media is what has helped grow our online presence, and we can attribute several wonderful clients to finding us online. We will definitely continue to improve our social media efforts and have great ideas for the future.”
Jennifer and Dan Armsted own two Synergy HomeCare of North Georgia locations with offices in Cartersville and Dacula, Ga. Their service area covers more than 8,000 square miles. Find her at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.
BARRETT: “When I purchased my first Fetch! Pet Care franchise in late 2008, I had no idea how much social media websites would drive my revenue. Over the past five years, we have grown aggressively to 12 locations in five states plus the District of Columbia. A robust social media presence has been key to ensuring we are ahead of our competition and innovative in our messaging to prospective clients. Three years ago we barely had a Facebook presence. Today each location has a very active Facebook page, Twitter handle, Google+ business page, a Foursquare check in, a Yelp account and many other directory listings. Recently we hired companies to help us manage our online presence and more importantly monitor our online reputation.
“Another lesson I learned is to know your target audience. People in Manhattan use social media much differently than people in Birmingham. Our social media “voice” speaks differently in each market. All that is to say, we try to utilize social media to communicate with our clients, our clients’ friends and potential clients in a way that will engage them. Our goal is to put the brand in front of them, find out what they like, what they don’t like and how we can do a better job with our services.
“We manage our online reputation by promoting positive reviews, addressing negative ones and always asking clients for feedback. A bad reputation in the pet-sitting business can sink you in a hurry. Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare and other online review websites give a prospective client confidence in the hiring process and that equates to more long-term business for our team.”
Jay Barrett owns 12 Fetch! Pet Care franchise locations in Birmingham, Ala., multiple locations in Florida, New York City, Philadelphia, Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C. Find him at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.