Think Big at IFA with Creative Social Media Campaigns

Think Big Social IFA Panel LogoYou’ve got a lot of decisions to make when you jump on a plane and head to the International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention.

In fact, you’re probably finicking over last-minute luggage right now. But just for a second, stop wrestling with that ever-important black versus blue shirt decision, and make an easier one. This is one you’re sure to be happy with for all of time to come: attending the Think Big: Creative Social Media Campaigns panel on Monday, February 16 from 2:45-4:15 p.m.

Quick poll: How many of you want to do social media better? Go ahead, raise your hands. Okay, anyone without their hand raised, we suppose we’ll allow you to head to the session next door, but just this once—and only because you’ll be able to follow our conversation remotely, using the Twitter hashtag #ThinkBigSocial.

Now that you’ve invariably made the decision to come, I can tell you (in a slightly biased manner) that you’re in store for lively conversation surrounding the creation, execution and results of several creative social media campaigns. You’ll learn from four franchise phenoms: Alissa Ramsay, Director of Marketing & Branding at MilliCare Carpet and Textile Care; Haley Hughes, Marketing Director at Pinot’s Palette; Deb Evans, President at Franchise Foundry; and me!

What’s to come on Monday? I had the chance to talk with the panelists about what you can expect:

What are you planning on talking about in your presentation?

  • Alissa: I have the unique opportunity to talk about social media for mature B2B businesses. Social media has never really been a part of our brand, so I’ve been able to help build the program from scratch.
  • Haley: I’ll be talking about using social media, along with contests, to boost engagement. (Spoiler Alert: She’ll be talking about the famous Pinot’s Palette micro pig!)
  • Taylor: I’ll be talking about the challenge of creating regular, ongoing social media content for a franchise brand, and how your customers can be the best place to start. Spoiler Alert: Puppies and kittens will be involved.

What is one thing you can guarantee members of our audience will walk away with?

  • Alissa: How to obtain social media buy-in from a franchise network, and how to utilize that network to develop content.
  • Haley: An understanding that social media success is kind of like laundry: your sense of accomplishment is very short-lived; then you have to start all over again.
  • Taylor: Empowerment, of course, and three examples of how to crowdsource customer content to support ongoing content development.

If you had one piece of advice to give to people managing social media for a franchise brand, what would it be?

  • Alissa: Create best practices, how-to guides, policies and procedures as early as possible in the development of the franchise. Don’t wait until you have more territories. It’s so much easier at the beginning.
  • Haley: You’ve got to think about what’s more important to you: your brand or yourself, because devoting time to your brand usually means you have to sacrifice time you would personally spend on social media sites.
  • Taylor: Think outside of the box. Risk failure by trying something new that has the potential to make your brand shine.
  • Deb: Use video! It can be so powerful to express yourself and your brand message. Consider using it to introduce yourself, your team or a new product. Send a video to say thank you. Consider it to deliver a proposal. These are just a few of many ideas!

For more, I look forward to seeing you at the #ThinkBigSocial panel, a part of the marketing and technology track, this Monday, February 16 at 2:45 p.m. in Room 310.

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