What customers want (and don’t want) to see on their social media feed

Social media is a very dynamic place to establish a relationship with your customers and nowadays there is no way how to talk about building your brand without this type of interaction. However, there are some points to take in consideration before sharing anything. What you post on your feed will be directly related to your brand personality, thus a step in vain can be damaging lead it to an image that actually is not the goal You wouldn’t do something that is not according to how/ who you are, would you? It’s the same about your brand.

From funny to political posts, a very interesting survey conducted by Sproutsocial interviewed 1000 consumers and revealed some data about what customers want and don’t want to see on their social media feed. We reviewed some of them, so check them out with us:

Customers value honest, friendly and helpful posts

Right, we have passed the phase which we know that only selling posts don’t work, and saying that your product or service is “the most incredible one” most probably won’t help either – even if you think it is. According to the consumers surveyed, 86% care about brand honesty, followed by 83% regarding friendly posts and 76% about helpful posts. Consumers appreciate when brands answer their questions online, give feedback, join engaging conversation our talk about events.

Funny yes, snarky no

On the other hand, consumers consider there is a thin line between bringing funny and snarky posts. While 72% of them welcome sense of humour, only 33% like the unkind ones, which include making fun of competitors (33%), using slang (31%), talking politics (29%) and making fun of customers (12%).

The right balance on playing cool

Everything shall have balance. Although ¾ of the consumers appreciate humour on social media, only 36% will purchase from funny brands. So what would be the solution? Not sharing funny posts at all to not risk? Of course not; it is a matter of bringing it in the right proportion and keeping the content fresh and relevant, otherwise it can just be annoying and cause people to unfollow you – 51% of consumers said they would unfollow the brand and 23% said that they would never buy from it again. So, limits – as everything in life.

How to stimulate consumers' purchase?

No one likes to be ignored. Period. So why would you do it with your customers? Just don’t, even if they leave a negative feedback on the feed: 26% replied they don’t like it and 27% will mark your content as spam or block it, and you don’t want this. However, you can resolve it with a simple attitude and see the power of communication: being responsive corresponds to 48% of consumers to purchase, followed by 46% when offering promotions. Thus, you guarantee at least near half of consumers' purchase.

 

 

And you? What do you think? Share your thoughts with us on Instagram or Facebook!


What is Franchise and when it’s the time to turn your business into one

What is Franchise and when it’s the time to turn your business into one

If you have a business or are thinking about opening one, most probably you have had many questions, some about building your own brand or choosing an existing one - and if expanding it or not in the case of an already established one. In this blog post we aim to give you some basic insights on franchising and on what you should take in consideration before opening one.

Source: Shutterstock

According to IFA (International Franchise Association),

Franchising is simply a method for expanding a business and distributing goods and services through a licensing relationship.  In franchising, franchisors (a person or company that grants the license to a third party for the conducting of a business under their marks) not only specify the products and services that will be offered by the franchisees (a person or company who is granted the license to do business under the trademark and trade name by the franchisor), but also provide them with an operating system, brand and support. 

Even before getting deeper into the topic, it is important to underline that the business success also relies on administration and on having a well-established budget. It seems obvious to say that, but a lot of people fail in the beginning of the business because they rely on the franchise itself, thinking that the brand will do the big work. So, before taking this step, it is highly recommended to talk with other franchisees about their cost, earnings and the support they get. Basically, do a lot of research.

Money

Source: Pexels

After that, think about how much you are willing to invest. In a franchise you will have extra costs and a high investment at the beginning (it’s when you should pay the franchise fee, a single payment only for the entry). So, if you are looking for fast initial income, forget it. Making money will always involve spending money - and franchisees know that. Have this in mind.

You will also have to pay royalties. This means that every month you will have to pay a percentage of your gross income. This varies, but it is something you will have to commit with. Up to the royalties you will also have to pay for marketing fees. This one can be tricky, since it depends on the franchise you are opening. Is it a very well-established brand or is it a new one? Go on the every detail of their marketing plan.

 

 Support

Source: Pexels

Now, a franchise is a good option for some reasons related to support, especially on technology, marketing and training because your franchisor usually really cares about keeping the same standards. For the technology you can benefit a lot from it since it has been used every day for years and it is most expected to be up to date. And the marketing plans plus the brand’s name can really help to boost your business quickly when done correctly. And remember: you are paying for having this, so make use of it and get in touch with your franchisor if you need anything; most of them have a good communication system and will make you visits to best support you.

 

Rules

Source: Pixabay

As you might imagine, franchises work for some specific reasons too, and rules are one of them. If you are thinking about acquiring an existing brand, answer yourself if you are willing to follow their rules; they exist for a reason and a good one - why do you think that a McDonalds’ burger tastes the same in the USA and in Egypt? But with rules comes less freedom. Be prepared to have to purchase products directly from your franchisor or authorized suppliers and having limited creativity/ flexibility due strict contracts.

Final thoughts

A franchise is a business, so if that’s what you want after reading the information above, so it is for you. But if you are an entrepreneur, maybe this type of business won’t best meet your needs. In both cases, be ready to develop a business plan. Last but not least, ask yourself how much of your time you are willing to invest on it, because you will have to be very present; having your own business will consume a good part of your time and you will most probably forget what weekends and holidays mean sometimes. As someone wisely said once, the real boss actually is the one who works the most!

 


Social enterprise: another type of organization

Social enterprise: another type of organization

Meet The Orenda Tribe, the enterprise that’s changing children’s reality through art

The Orenda Tribe | Photo courtesy of Zaid Souqi

In a world where competition and profit are always on the top of discussions for many business corporations, another type of organization is gaining space and is being considered the fourth sector split - after the already existing ones (governmental, profit and non-profit).

We are talking about social enterprise, which mixes philanthropic and cooperative meanings and can be found in different categories. A social enterprise organization will look for generating sales of goods or providing services, but having social impact as its primary goal. Therefore, it is different from a company which has indirect involvement with social causes – in this case the social impact is a consequence and not a cause for their business, whereas, in a social enterprise, the collective and community will be part of their mission and vision.

Important factors

Although the idea is not necessarily new, some factors have allowed the concept finding fertile soil nowadays. Internet is one of them, which has definitely a huge impact on how we communicate with others and respond to situations; internet is responsible for giving a total new meaning to social interaction.

A second impact is higher unemployment rates, especially among young people. A survey conducted in 2013 by the RBS group in the UK - which by the way was announced in 2016 as one of the three best countries for social enterprises (just behind the US and Canada) -, was already giving some data about what could be expected for the next years. For example, in the report it was observed that young people among the economically active population was more enthusiast to start a social enterprise (54% compared to 36% of the general population). Five years after, some turned the plan into reality and the 2017 State of Social Enterprise Report confirmed this, as “25% of social enterprises are under 3 years old, three times the proportion of start-ups compared to SMEs (8%). Almost four in ten social enterprises are five years old or less, showing that the start-up wave continues.” And this can be seen in other not so obvious places. In the MENA region, for example, there are some good initiatives changing the landscape and creating opportunities, such as The Orenda Tribe, which’s empowering children through art.

The Orenda Tribe: social responsibility to build a better future

Kids drawing at The Orenda Tribe | Photo courtesy of Zaid Souqi

In 2015, Zaid Souqi was in South Africa serving at an NGO that helps orphans & vulnerable children in rural communities. Around the same time, he was finishing his MBA and was introduced to social entrepreneurship’ ideas. Both would be the core basis for The Orenda Tribe - and only nine months passed from its conceptualization until its launch in the market. Their product? A T-shirt, but one with an interesting concept behind.

The Orenda Tribe’s projects include Art Education, Art Therapy and School Beautification in partnership with communities, and it is the art created by children in refugee camps and deprived communities that stamps the shirts. The idea serves different purposes: linking people from advantaged and disadvantaged parts of the world while raising awareness about those children and their community realities, plus allowing art related activities in those places - since part of the generated revenue is reverted to the projects. But why Art? According to Zaid, “We realised that art is a great tool to break barriers between different communities, therefore we added that aspect to our mission. Today our mission is to both empower children and break barriers between communities through art”. Not less important is talking about their environmental responsibility, as the shirts are 100% organic cotton and packaged with recycled materials.

Naturally, as a new business and as a social enterprise, they still face a lot of challenges, such as learning about design and fashion; there is a constant learning and taking customer’s feedback is important. Offering a top quality and fashionable product is crucial and directly correlated to what represents their cause: “We also have customers from more than 18 different nationalities. I guess this is the beauty of art. Art is a universal language that doesn't know age, country or social group. Everyone speaks art”, adds Zaid. Simultaneously followed by their customers, come the children’s impact: until now 1,796 children have been beneficiated through 17 projects in six different communities.

Zaid Souqi | Photo courtesy
Kids wearing The Orenda Tribe's shirts | Photo courtesy of Zaid Souqi

 

The Orenda Tribe's shirts | Photo courtesy of Zaid Souqi

 

Participation at E4SC

The Orenda Tribe’s philosophy is not a lonely echo and its voice has started to produce some good initiatives. Imagine receiving an exclusive and intensive week training and having the opportunity to exchange experience with entrepreneurs from around the world? This plus a 12 months mentoring is what the E4SC (Entrepreneurs for Social Change), which took place in Turin in November 2017, offered to twenty-five young entrepreneurs aged from 18 to 35 years old. The project, funded by Fondazione CRT, received more than 500 applications from 26 countries in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and the 25 entrepreneurs selected came from 17 countries. The Orenda Tribe had the opportunity to be selected, as Alep Studio.

The aim was to support the social changes these young professionals want to achieve by focusing on “sharing an in-depth experience with their peers, presenting their projects to potential investors, become role-models for future entrepreneurs”, according to Massimo Lapucci, Secretary General of Fondazione CRT. It definitely is an opportunity for those who have been bold until here and are continuously seeking for how to take the next step. “Being around like-minded people and in a program created by two huge institutions who believe in the power of social entrepreneurship is such an empowering experience that fuelled me to put more effort into The Orenda Tribe and hopefully have a bigger impact” concluded Zaid.

Why to invest in a social entrepreneurship project?

In 2012, Time magazine had already written that companies can no long afford to ignore their social responsibility:

“Ten years ago, for instance, only about a dozen Fortune 500 companies issued a CSR (corporate social responsibility) or sustainability report. Now the majority does. More than 8,000 businesses around the world have signed the UN Global Compact pledging to show good global citizenship in the areas of human rights, labor standards and environmental protection. The next generation of business leaders is even more likely to prioritize CSR.”

This only confirms what we already know: the world is in constant change and humanity keeps in its cycle of creating problems, finding solutions, creating new problems, finding new solutions. Social entrepreneurship is a reality and a consequence of what we have caused/created: overpopulation, wars, climate change, poverty, lack of resources etc. All these reasons are a call for taking action and those who can see the bigger picture have already started it.

Investors and customers are getting more involved with companies, not limiting themselves only by a shareholder or purchaser role; they want to be part of a community and are aware of the social and environment impacts that companies are making or not. Likewise, this type of organization has some new business advantages compared to the other three, as bigger impacts will be linked to bigger financial gains.

Candidates looking for jobs are following the same thought of investors and customers; money is not everything anymore and working in an environment where they can add value and feel their work has impact make social organizations the perfect fit. In the long scale, they will be the ones able to retain the best talents and stimulate diversity. Continuing what the last Social Enterprise Survey in the UK showed, “social enterprises also had more inclusive and diverse leadership with 40% of social enterprises led by women; 31% reporting Black Asian Minority Ethnic directors and 40% having a director with a disability. Meanwhile, 41% of social enterprises created jobs in the past 12 months, compared to 22% of SMEs, and 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market”.

What this new type of company has been showing is that their involvement with the future is in every single part of their values, thinking about impacting now and in the next years: workers, customers, society, the planet. Although Zaid reminds us that there still is a lot of stigma and that many people still don’t understand the concept behind it and automatically relates it to non-profit, he’s optimist about the potential and the impact they can make: “For a social enterprise to be sustainable and succeed, other businesses have to treat it as a business. (…) ORENDA means a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives. We all have one. Find your ORENDA and start making change”.

Want to know more about the Orenda Tribe? Follow them on Instagram The Orenda Tribe or access their website: www.theorendatribe.com