Brands need visibility in order to succeed and rise to the top. One of the greatest tools a company can use to get in front of prospective clients is to create business listings. Sometimes franchises and businesses with multiple locations allow each location to create their own business listings. Like Donald Trump’s hair or a New Kids on the Block reunion tour, this is a bad idea. Here are 5 reasons why managing business listings should be in the hands of corporate.
1. Sell, sell, sell! Don’t delete those franchise listings that have gone belly up. Instead, corporate should modify these listings and advertise them as being available for new ownership. Rope in new franchisees by having the phone numbers on these listings go directly to the rainmaker of franchise sales. Trust us, this works!
2. Be consistent- Arguably, what makes a brand a brand is continuity. The Denver Broncos are the Denver Broncos because they all have the same uniforms, helmets and super bowl rings; yes our team rocks! Obviously each man has his own unique qualities but each player’s branding message is identical and identifiable. The same should be true for franchise businesses. When corporate controls listings, they can ensure that the public is shown the same story for each franchise location. Having business listings that deliver matching messages and have the same images will help with ranking on Google. This in turn reinforces brand recognition and awareness.
3. Manage your vendors-As they begin to understand the heaping mountain of difficulty that is the task of managing their listings, many franchisees look for professional help. Having multiple vendors that create listings can be a Freddy Krueger nightmare because they may not understand the goals of the brand as a whole. These well meaning vendors may not optimize the right keywords or input inadequate and erroneous business descriptions and images. We shudder at the thought of a multi vendor approach but if you do go down that dodgy road, it would be a good idea to establish brand guidelines that each vendor would use as a template to create business listings. Again people, it’s all about consistency.
4. Inactive locations-Sometimes locations close. It happens. We like to utilize the strategy outlined in reason #1 (see above) but we do understand the need to simply delete or show a location’s listing as closed. This task is so much easier to accomplish if corporate is in control of these listings. We like easy. Easy is good.
5. Stay updated-Have you ever sped through the dark night in order to get your late night donut fix only to be greeted with a vacant building and a for sale sign in lieu of your precious calorie bombs? Well I have and I was angered! Don’t frustrate your customers by failing to update inactive location’s listings. When no one calls you back or the information on the listing is wrong, you don’t demonstrate to the public that you are managing your brand well. If corporate is managing the listings they can take the reins and make sure the listings are updated or marked as closed. If no one is managing the overall picture, efforts like this often fall through the cracks.