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LSM Named Best of Industry Winner at 2018 WebAwards

The 2018 WebAwards recently named LSM the “Best Small Business Website” Winner! This award recognizes our website development work for our client, Pure Barre Chicago. Hosted by the Web Marketing Association, the WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for website developers and advertising agencies. At last year’s WebAwards, LSM won the “Small Business Standard of Excellence” Award, and we are even more ecstatic to be a winner this year.

Building an Effective Website

Our Pure Barre landing page stood out from other entries based on seven criteria: design, ease of use, copywriting, interactivity, use of technology, innovation, and content.

Cait Rechel, Pure Barre Franchisee and President of the Chicago co-op said, “It’s been so easy working with LSM, and we’ve really appreciated their willingness and ability to make changes on the fly, specifically with the website in terms of the design and, of course, the data we receive from it is really great as well.”

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your business, contact us at (615) 387-9153.

Understanding GDPR
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Understanding GDPR

Understanding GDPR
 
We’re sure you’ve been receiving privacy notices left and right about GDPR, but what is GDPR really? In 1995, the European Union (EU) adopted the Data Protection Directive – a mandate that regulated the way personal data was processed. Recently, the Data Protection Directive was replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR revamps the way organizations across the EU approach data privacy, making steeper restrictions and fines.

 

What’s Changing?

GDPR is the standard that protects personal data, requiring more transparency, rights, and enforcement than ever. Here are the ways GDPR is changing personal data regulations:

  1. Clearer Language: Rather than explaining privacy policies with lengthy, complicated conditions, businesses are now required to have clear, straightforward privacy policies.
  2. Consent From UsersBefore, businesses operated off of “implied consent” – if a user didn’t respond, they were considered to have given their consent. Now, users have to give affirmative consent before their data can be used by a business.
  3. Increased Transparency: Now, businesses have to clearly inform users about:
    (a) Any data transfers in which data is transferred outside of the EU
    (b) Whether an algorithm is used to make decisions about the customer
    (c) The purpose behind data collection and usage
  4. Stronger Rights For Users: Users will now have more agency over their data as they will be able to
    (a) Move their data from one social media platform to another
    (b) Access/have a copy of their data from a business

    (c) Have their data deleted

    (d) Know when they are the victim of a data breach
  5. Stronger Enforcement for BusinessesGDPR enables 28 data protection authorities to enforce the new laws – including charging fines up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s worldwide turnover.

 

Why Is This Important?

Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with an individual in the EU has to follow GDPR guidelines. Because of the global nature of business through the internet, many companies don’t realize that, if they have a consumer or potential consumer in the EU, they are bound to the GDPR guidelines.

 

How Do I Follow These Guidelines?

To ensure compliance with the GDPR, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Offer a Clear Privacy PolicyAvoid weedy, legalistic language.
  2. Obtain Consent From UsersIn instances like an email campaign, this may look like sending an opt-in consent form to all users included in your email marketing list.
  3. Be Transparent With Your CustomersWhen you send your customers a survey, make sure to tell them what you’re going to do with the results.
  4. Know Your Customers’ RightsIf you have a data breach, let your customers know about the breach within 72 hours in compliance with the GDPR.
  5. Understand Your LimitsBecause these regulations are new, it is still uncertain how strictly the GDPR is enforced. There is, however, an increase in data protection authorities. Businesses need to understand that there is a high penalty for noncompliance.

 

Check out LSM’s privacy policy today, and let us know if you have any questions regarding our policy or regarding how GDPR affects your business.

The Logo of FCMC 2016
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4 Things We Learned At The Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

IFA Wednesdaywise Webinar - Local Search Masters presents
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Using LinkedIn To Support Franchise Lead Generation Efforts: IFA WednesdayWise Webinar Series

Hosted by industry professionals and the International Franchise Association, WednesdayWise Webinars is a monthly series of informative, interactive seminars that helps franchises run their businesses better. This month’s session was presented by Matthew Job of Local Search Masters and focused on strategies that franchise systems can apply on LinkedIn to improve their ability to 1) generate more franchise leads and 2) nurture franchise leads into new franchise sales.

To view the recording you can click here. For a summary of the recording please view the below key takeaways.

 

Key Takeaways from IFA Presentation

1. LinkedIn can have a huge impact on your ability to generate franchise leads. Whether or not that impact is positive or negative however, is completely up to how you’re using it.

2. Review your competitors’ profiles to earn a better understanding of how they’re positioning themselves toward your target audience.

3. Develop a showcase page that revolves around your franchise opportunity.

4. Regularly post educational, informative content (good press) about your franchise system on your company’s LinkedIn profile page and your franchise opportunity showcase page.

5. Use sponsored updates to maximize post visibility. Example of when to use it: promoting your attendance at franchise expositions and promoting your expansion into a new market.

6. Engage with LinkedIn Groups related to your target audience in order to keep top of mind with people that may be good franchise lead opportunities in time.

7. Purchase one of LinkedIn’s premium packages.

8. Get your employees to share the updates that are posted on your company’s LinkedIn profile or your company’s franchise opportunity showcase page to maximize exposure.

9. Posting your good press on LinkedIn allows you to increase the longevity of the content, as well as get it in front of more quality eye-balls.

10. Use conversion goals in Google Analytics to help track the amount of web leads you receive that originated from LinkedIn.

11. Make your blog posts shareable via LinkedIn as well in case someone checks out one of your blog posts and decides to share it on their own newsfeed; you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find, read and share your content.

The next WednesdayWise Webinar session will be help March 5th. For more information, please click here.

UPDATED (8/29/2014): this webinar for the International Franchise Association prompted Entrepreneur to have an article written on the subject of using LinkedIn to boost franchise sales, which can be found here.

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Using Social Media to Generate Franchisee Opportunities

GOOOOOOGLE

Stories are Data with a Soul

People want to connect with businesses, but more importantly they want to connect with the people behind the logo in the business. Social media buzz words like “transparency,” “authentic,” and “engagement” may be overused but still apply. Before a connection is made IRL (in real life) it is very likely the first connection will take place in cyberspace first.

Have you put your best face forward?  Have you clearly articulated your story about the brand and everyone behind the brand? Today’s prospects are digitally savvy. They shop via the internet for products and services daily. Is what they see making the best first impression? If not, they WILL move on.

Utilizing Channels for Social Search

There are scores of social channels that lend themselves to generating qualified opportunities.

Before a brand can get on the radar of a customer, it is important to remember there is only one chance to make a good first impression. For each social channel used – it is essential to optimize the brand profile beginning with an eye popping cover image and/or avatar. The bio should humanize the brand; it should include contact/location information and a clear call to action.

Use each social channel to recruit customers. A few of the most popular social media channels include: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

It’s impossible for us to determine which channel is best suited for your brand. Conduct your own due diligence:

  • Who is your target market and where can you find them?
  • Will traffic increase to your website via the channel?
  • What resources are needed to build brand exposure?

Today we will focus on Google and one of the newest social platforms.

Google+

According to Business Insider: “The reasons behind Google Plus’s growth — it now can boast 359 million active users, up 33 percent from 269 million users at the end of June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex — are complex and tied to Google’s effort to build a connecting layer across all its services, including search, YouTube, maps and other products. Log into one, and you’ve logged into the lot.”

Get creative with the available space of 2120 pixels wide by 1192 pixels high and create a cover that represents your brand.

Use Google Hangouts to create real time commercials to launch a product/service, conduct training, introduce new employees, chat with customers, and interview raving fans. The ability to record the hangout and publish to YouTube and share does not require expensive equipment.

Create and join communities. Join the Franchising community and search for communities related to your specific industry. Become an active member that consistently shares valuable information, connecting with members and expanding your local reach. Take the leap and create a community that meets the needs of your customers.

Building your business organically is not as difficult as you may think. Keep it simple but start today!

 

Bio

Deb Evans is a Certified Franchise Executive. Evans spent 16+ years with Computer Explorers, the nation’s leader in technology education as an instructor, franchisee, and CEO. As a franchisee Evans was recognized as Top Producer, Mentor of the Year (two years) and Franchisee of the Year. Evans specializes in franchise operations, franchisee relations, and social technology strategies.  Evans love of all things social led her to establish a popular BlogTalkRadio show, Social Geek Radio where she discusses the use of today’s social technologies on the Web and in franchising. Evans was the IFA Task Force Chair for FranCamp, IFA Digital Marketing and Technology Best Practices Conference. Evans is Houston’s Franchise Business Network Chair and serves on the IFA Marketing and Technology Committee as well as the Women Franchise Network Committee. Evans is a regular presenter at the IFA convention, franchise brand conferences and regional meetings.

 

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