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CREATING A BUZZ
Doing what comes naturally is the key to success for this entrepreneurial marketer
Michelle Hummel is ubiquitous on social media. Fans can count on seeing her regular posts and blogs, offering advice on web strategy and social media marketing. Her growing company, Web Strategy Plus, serves local businesses and franchise networks nationwide with a “one-stop shop” full-service digital marketing agency. She has a team of 20 experts and is growing fast. Here, she shares her insights on social media marketing and gives us the story behind her growing business.
Please give a little history about how you started your business. In 2010 I found myself working a corporate job selling banner advertising for a local television station. Every time I would go on a sales call, customers asked if we offered services for managing Facebook and Twitter. At the time, I wasn’t sure what “social media” was about. So I decided to read every book I could find about social media. I created a WordPress website, where I blogged a quote each day called, “365 Ways to Become a Millionaire.” I created a Facebook page, posted the blog, and started to grow a following.
Then I went to Mexico for my best friend’s wedding and stopped posting. When I returned I had an inbox full of messages asking “where were their daily posts?” It was then I realized the power of social media. I left my job to start a social media marketing agency. Since then, I’ve evolved Web Strategy Plus to become a full-service agency offering Web Design, SEO, PPC, Mobile App Development while also specializing in Franchise Marketing. Along the way, I developed 22 Social Media Enthusiasts chapters Nationwide in every major city where I travel and teach the latest techniques in digital marketing. I’ve since written three books on social media and founded Web Media University where I offer Social Media Training and Certification. I was also lucky enough to be recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year!
What does Web Strategy Plus do for franchisees and franchisors? Our business is to grow your business and we do so in a variety of ways. For franchisees and franchisors, we have two services to help them stay ahead of the game.
Franchisor Lead Development: Bringing new franchise owners into your organization begins with identifying the right prospects. Even though you may know exactly what your ideal owner looks like, connecting with them can be a significant challenge. Using social media, search engine optimization and advertising strategies, Web Strategy Plus can help increase the number of targeted leads your operation receives in a cost-effective manner.
Franchisee Local Marketing: In addition to helping franchisors build a strong national brand, we also provide our marketing services to individual local franchise locations. By analyzing a franchisee’s exact market, we help local owners figure out the most effective ways to get in front of the right audiences. We help local companies launch social media campaigns, create websites that target their areas, write blogs that target customers, and build search engine strategies so customers find them before their competitors online.
How important is social media for any business today? Very important. Word of mouth is becoming, “word of thumb.” Companies that understand the power of social media and start building brand advocates now will outperform their competition.
What do you view as the most influential social media platform? The most influential platform would really depend on your business needs. We put together custom social media strategies to help you reach your target audience on various social media platforms. Our process is to dig deep and understand your unique business with our customer profile process. Once we understand who you are trying to reach, we create a custom social media posting and engagement plan to drive the right customers to your business.
How important is it to post consistently? This is extremely important as the life of a Facebook post is four to six hours and a tweet only an hour. Another concern: If your last post was six months ago, customers might think you are out of business! Social media content is “right place, right time” and so, you have to be active to catch people as they are surfing. We often say, “Make me think, make me laugh, inspire me, teach me something new, and I will remember you when the time comes to buy.” Remember your customer might not need your product or service right now, but with consistent social media posts he will remember you and recommend you to friends.