Starting your social media program with the “Big Three”

Once your social media strategy has been developed, the resources have been committed and everyone is on board, it’s time to put the plan into action. Just like when you first started to read and count, you began with the “Big Three” of A-B-C and 1-2-3. Well, in social media, we’ll start with the Big Three of L-F-T, otherwise known as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Here are some very simple activity highlights that should help you along:


Develop company LinkedIn profile
Each LinkedIn group has a discussion feature
Start out responding & answering questions
Earn the right to post questions / discussions
Be proactive in LinkedIn Q & A forum


Create Facebook page for your brand
Frequently post items of interest & links
Routinely post information about your concept
Utilize photos, videos & blogs


Post links that “touch” your franchise concept
Post links to your concept’s website and blogs
Post links to press releases, events and appearances
Search and follow celebrities for causes to align with
Research followers’ profile and follow significant individuals
Search and follow individuals and companies within ideal franchise profile
Post general items of interest and importance to your concept and franchise customers

As you progress in your social media efforts, follow the list below to enhance the foundation you’ve established with your activity:

Develop and promote a company blog
Develop and promote webinars
Post photos on Flickr
Post videos on YouTube
Explore niche social networks
Explore internet radio
Tag, Tag, Tag, wherever possible
Link to social networking sites
Integrate efforts with traditional strategies

Simple enough, right?

I look forward to your questions and comments…

*This post was originally published on this site March 2011

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Real-Time Search Results: Another Compelling Reason for Franchise Companies to Embrace Social Media

Social Media Blueprint – Making the Most of Social Search (as posted on SmartBrief on Social Media)

If social media was not on your company’s marketing radar three months ago, recent developments in search have most likely changed that. Social media is now intertwined with search like never before, providing a uniquely tangible business case to marketers deliberating on the benefits of social-marketing efforts.

This special report is designed to help you keep up with those changes and learn how others are successfully adapting to cutting-edge technology.

The future of social search with AOL’s Simon Heseltine

Simon Heseltine is the senior marketing manager at AOL. He is responsible for all SEO efforts across AOL’s FanHouse (sports) and News properties. Here’s an abridged version of his conversation with SmartBrief’s Rob Birgfled on the effects social search is having on SEO efforts.

How would you define social search? How does it differ from algorithmic search? What are the benefits of human qualities in search engine input?

The basic difference is that with social search, you’re using humans and human behavior, through tagging, re-tweeting, voting, etc., to assist with the order of the search results. As for whether pure algorithmic search is better than socially adjusted search, look at what Google’s been doing for a while now: For a video to be ranked, they look at views, comments and rankings (among other factors). That is socially adjusted search.

What has happened over the last six months that changes the search equation? What should businesses do to keep pace?

In December, you started to see real-time news streams and Twitter streams for breaking news stories showing up in the search results. In my opinion, they can be a bit distracting, but if they’re improving click-through rates, they’re going to stay, and if they’re not, the search engine will move them out for the next big idea to be trialed.

Where is search going, in your opinion? Given these developments, is search becoming more important to businesses?

I had the pleasure of moderating the “Future of Search” panel at SES Chicago, and what I got from that panel is that there’s a lot of opportunity in mobile, especially with all of the functionality that’s available in today’s smartphones (I just upgraded to a Droid last week, and I’m quite frankly amazed at what can now be done, and the possibilities). I think there’s also going to be a lot more integration of social factors within search, so if your business isn’t looking beyond the “10 blue links,” you should, because your customers are.

Read the full interview on SmartBlog on Social Media.

Recent poll results regarding real-time search results and social media activity…

Now that search engines are including real-time results from Twitter, Facebook, etc., are you paying more attention to what you are sharing/saying?

Not at all. 37.97%
Definitely. 29.11%
Does it even matter? 16.88%
Taking a little more time. 16.03%

Has the integration of social media into traditional search changed your online-marketing strategy in the past six months?

Yes. 44.22%
Still trying to figure out what the changes mean. 27.21%
No. 24.49%
What’s social search? 4.08%