Hotel Fans Are Marketers In A September 14 Franchise News Roundup

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Once a week, PointBlank brings you what’s new and what’s important in the world of franchise.

Turn Social Media Fans Into Marketers

Justin Holmerud of Starwood Hotels has an intriguing idea for driving sales. It involves turning customers into advocates for your brand, which is brilliant no matter how you slice it. The question, of course, is how.

At a recent conference, Holmerud said that 36 percent of those who use social media buy more from hotels, which isn’t a huge figure but is a significant one. He believes it could be a lot higher if hotels could take advantage of consumers by converting them into evangelists.

How can you do that? Engagement, in a word. If you blow your customers away with quality service and follow up with them after they stay, you can turn them into word-of-mouth bards, singing the virtues of your company all over the land and having them create new customers for you. Don’t miss the chance to do that.

Doubts About White House Job Bill

It’s not surprising that President Barack Obama’s proposed jobs bill isn’t exactly sweeping the nation. While there are worthwhile initiatives in there, it’s still relatively modest in scope, and Washington in general isn’t the most popular place amongst small businesses right now.

The head of the International Franchise Association liked the speech, but has some doubts:

(Jack) Earle said the speech didn’t address serious issues that concern his members.

“First and foremost, access to credit,” said the business leader who has owned McDonald’s franchises for 28 years. “We have franchisees who can’t access credit to grow their brand.”

The uncertainty about health care reform and tax rates are also issues, he said.

“Costs with the employer-mandate provision in the health care law … uncertainty regarding the future of tax rates beyond 2012 … are crippling the ability for franchised small-business owners like myself to create jobs.” Earle said.

The article goes on to note that there’s justifiable doubts about how the bill will proceed, given recent gridlock on Capitol Hill. That faint sound you hear is my optimism evaporating.

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