social media marketing

7 Blogging Habits You Need to Start

In order to achieve blog success you need to incorporate healthy blogging habits into your daily lifestyle. Don’t worry – they aren’t complicated! In fact they are simple and straightforward. You wouldn’t think these seven blogging habits would be habits at all really, rather they are guidelines you need to be reminded of.

The 7 Blogging Habits:

1. Be True to Yourself.

Don’t let your voice get lost in the vast sea of blogs! Answer this question: Why did you start blogging in the first place? Was it to join in on the conversation? Or to be a leader in your industry? Maybe it was to have a place to publish your writing as a portfolio of sorts. Whatever the reason, remember why you joined the blogging community in the first place. Be sure that all of your posts relate back to why you became a blogger.

2. Write Quality Content.

The key word here is quality. Writing quality content adds to your blog (or your business’s!) credibility. This means you should back up all your claims with evidence. Take your time writing your blog posts to achieve high-quality content. It’s better to take your time writing something that will drive readers to your site than to draft copy with “fluff” that won’t get you or your business any leads.

3. Write Concisely.

“Fluff” is a term used to describe superficial writing, and it should not be present in any of your blog posts. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a blog to find that there’s no useful information available. Readers today have been skimming through writing since middle school and high school. The best way to make sure your readers are actually reading your content is to write concisely. Get your point across and get it across quickly. Avoid fluffy sentences at all costs. Click here to learn how to create a great blog outline.

4. Be Consistent.

In order to increase a following you need to be consistent in these three areas: posts, topics, and brand. You need to post fresh content on a regular basis, and you need to stay on-brand and on-topic in your posts. This means you are always relating back to your niche and you are maintaining consistent voice throughout.

5. Have a Plan.

Life gets busy and when that happens, the blog usually falls behind. Create a schedule or an editorial calendar to stay consistent. Plan out the topics of your posts based on the time of year (i.e. holidays/celebrations) or weekly/monthly features (highlight of employee of the month or DIY Thursday).

6. Engage with your Audience.

All successful bloggers know how important it is to engage with fellow bloggers and readers. Cultivate a relationship with them. They are more likely to share your blog and help increase your following if they see you are trying to put in effort.

7. Join in on the Conversation and Be a Leader.

Join in on the conversation, but don’t regurgitate information.  Be a leader in the industry!

 

Good luck establishing these blogging habits! If you need help with your blog, call Divvy! Divvy provides marketing consulting, SEO, social media, AND blogging counsel. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

An online presence is essential in your business succeeding in today’s world. What worked 10 years ago is not going to work now. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local business on the world wide web. That’s right – your customers are Googling you (or your product/service) and if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a potential conversion.

Having on online presence shows that your business is changing with the times and you aren’t afraid. Instead, you are ready. It shows customers that you are adaptable and more importantly, modern. Today’s consumers are using the internet to ask questions and find answers. If you’re not online then your potential customers are turning to your competitors for solutions. That means you are losing out on business and money. Are you convinced of your need for an online presence yet?

Accessibility

The internet never sleeps. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People are now using Google to find out things like “how to smoke salmon” to “how to vote”. Eighty-nine percent of consumers use search engines to research a product or service before making a decision.

The key to being a top result and getting clicked on is to fully utilize your site’s SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO allows your site to be seen by search engines, and thus by consumers. This type of accessibility can’t be replaced by a billboard or brochure.

Ask yourself this: What would consumers ask Google that your business, product, or service would solve?

In addition to SEO, an online presence allows for you to adopt a greater audience. People from all over the world will be able to see your product or service and some of them may even buy it.

Credibility

Today’s consumer relies on word-of-mouth and online reviews now more than ever before. When was the last time you saw a movie without hearing or asking if it was worth going to see?

Establishing an online presence on social media, such as Facebook, and Google, Yelp and other virtual rating websites builds your business’s credibility. These sites allow previous customers to provide a rating out of 5-stars and a summary of their experience with your business.

Why is that important? It goes back to the movie theory; consumers nowadays check social media sites and rating platforms before hiring a company or buying a product. Many consumers are wary of business’s lacking an online presence. Afraid of getting a negative review? That’s a rational fear, but you have the ability to monitor your business’s rating and respond to false or fake reviews, establishing and accrediting your online presence even more.

Reliability

That leads us to reliability. The frequency of your posts on social media, the interactions between your consumers and your business online, and the quality of your content all leads up to one thing: the impression your business has on current, previous and potential consumers.

If you are frequent and professional on your social media, website/blog, and review sites, you are going to leave a lasting positive impression with your followers.

Interactions + Frequency + Quality = Impression

Having an online presence is more than a simple website and Google+ page. It requires brand consistency, frequent postings, quality content, and professional interactions. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is well worth it. Don’t ignore this marketing technique; it is the modern way to built and maintain a successful business.

 

Do you need help with your social media strategy or SEO? Divvy offers marketing consulting for both singular businesses and multiple franchisees. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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Blog Basics | 5 Small Steps to Make a Big Impact

A blog is a great medium to share information and generate discussions. If you don’t know the basics of blogging you’re going to be in trouble! Make these 5 small steps with your next blog post to make a big impact on your audience. Listed in no particular order, these steps are sure to equip you with the information you need to help your blog succeed.

Words per Blog Post

The number of words per each post depends on a number factors, including the purpose, frequency, audience and substance of the blog content. There is no one right answer to how many words per post you should include, so you have to find that out on your own. A number of expert bloggers recommend writing no more than 600 words per post, claiming that readers have short attention spans. While this may be true regarding some topics, it is not true for all. Doctor offices, for example, may benefit from writing frequent short 250 word posts answering questions regarding health and nutrition, but someone in the life coaching industry may benefit from writing one 1,200 word post weekly regarding personal development.

While there is no golden rule to the number of words per post, it is important to recognize the influence word count has on your blog. Shorter blogs, 250-300 words may be best for generating discussions and 300-600 word posts give your blog an SEO advantage. Longer blog posts, those 1000+ words are most likely to rank well on search engines, but run the risk of content being skipped over.

The standard blogging length is 300-600 words.

Content Image Size and Quality

In the world wide web, visuals are everything. You will lose readers if your site is attractive and unfocused. This goes for images, too.

Make sure your images are clear quality, and don’t alter the size proportioning. That means you need to avoid blurring your photos when you adjust the height and width of your content images.

The layout of your blog determines the height and width of your content images. Divvy’s content images are always adjusted to be 680 pixels wide, and the height changes accordingly. This allows the content images to take up the same width as the words, making it fall in line and measure perfectly.

Featured Image | Get Creative

Content images are important to keep your reader’s attention after clicking the link, but featured images are what draw and hook your blogger in. This means you need to get creative and make your featured image. Using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop works best, but there are tons of awesome free online tools you can use if you don’t have access to Adobe Creative Cloud. At Alexander’s, we like to use Canva and Pablo by Buffer if we are in a rush to publish a post. They are simple and easy to use and completely FREE.

SEO and Tags

SEO is important in the increasing viewership and traffic to your blog. There are a number of great WordPress Plugins that can help with your blog’s SEO. One of our favorites at Alexander’s is Yoast SEO. It provides you with the necessary guidelines and information to producing a good SEO. Try it out!

Tags help your post be found through browsing and searching. This post, for example, will be tagged with blogging and business tips to name just a few. The idea is to pick words that sum up what your post is about and words that someone might use that would find your content and information useful.

 

If you need help or have questions regarding your business blog, call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in social media marketing and blogging. We would love to help you!

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Likes vs. Reach: Social Media Engagement

In today’s world of Web 2.0, social media engagement is essential to successfully developing and cultivating an online presence. With the vast change of technological improvements, however, truly understanding social media engagement is ever changing. With that said, there is a huge difference between “Likes” and “Reach”.

 

With the addition of Page Insights to Facebook, users can now analyze their business’s page activity better than ever. However, Facebook uses jargon that the typical Facebook admin doesn’t know. Divvy knows how important social media engagement is to your business and we’re here to help you understand the hard stuff.

Reach & Impressions

According to the Facebook help page, reach and impressions are two very different analytic measurements.

 

Reach refers to how many unique people have seen your post in their newsfeeds – this is why paid support can increase your reach dramatically. Reach tells you the exact number of people that viewed that specific content.

Impressions refers to how many times a post from your page is displayed in people’s newsfeeds. The catch? One person may see the same content two different times. Impressions tells you the total number of times that content was in people’s newsfeeds.

Engagement (Likes)

Engagement refers to the interactions beyond reach and impressions, meaning the clicks, comments, likes and shares. As such, high reach doesn’t mean there is high engagement. You can reach more than 100 people and only have 10 likes. With that said, it is possible to have low reach (15 unique users) and high engagement (8 likes, 3 shares).

In sum, engagement measures how compelling your content is to your target audience.

Social Media Engagement Applied

It is important to recognize how to use these analytical measuring tools. Remember these 3 things:

  1. Reach measures how well you are getting your content, product, or business name into people’s newsfeeds. If you have a high reach, you are doing a good job of being seen. If you don’t, you should measure your impressions.
  2. Impressions help you determine what content is catchy and interesting enough to be viewed by the most people the most times. Like the example above, those with low reach can use impressions to determine what posts are interesting to their audience. From there, you can increase your reach and your impressions, too.
  3. Engagement measures how well you’re connecting with your target audience. The more people that engage with your posts, the more likely your post will appear in your engaged user’s friend’s newsfeed. Aim for engagement, not for reach.

 

Bottom line: Likes are better than Reach/Impressions. Next time you’re analyzing your social media, focus on your post engagement rather than your post reach. If you need help with social media marketing or engagement, Divvy can help! Call our office or fill out the contact form below. Otherwise, happy analyzing!

 

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How to Connect with Your Target Audience Online

Unlike popular belief, your social media presence is pointless if you aren’t connecting with the right audience. Your target audience, in particular, is the public you need to reach in order for your message to be acted upon – or for sales to increase. Without your target audience, the content you are putting out there will be ignored. In order to have the right impact on social media, you need to know who your target audience is and connect with them in a way they understand.

Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience

Determine both a general audience, such as “Moms”, and a specific audience(s), such as “mommybloggers, ages 30-45”. This is the most important step because it influences how you will connect with them, so get as specific as you can. Include age, income, education level, religion, etc until you feel you’ve identified who your ‘ideal’ client, or customer, is.

Step 2: Match Your Tone to Theirs

Does your target audience respond to humor? Or do you need to be more serious?

This is dependent upon the product you are selling and the type of industry your business is in. If you’re a charity such as as the A.S.P.C.A, you would want to have a concerned, serious tone rather than a humorous one.

It can get complicated here. Starbucks, for example, may target to both college students and moms. Students are more likely to respond to something humorous or sarcastic than moms are. You can see that your tone needs to match the audience you are specifically targeting for a particular post.

Step 3: Market Through Their ‘Ideal’ Channel

Once you have determined your target audience(s) and crafted your message to an appealing tone, you now need to market your product through the appropriate social media channel(s). Facebook, for example, is used by 87% of adults between ages 18-29, and registered users are 55% men, 45% women. Twitter, on the other hand, is used by 37% of adults between ages 18-29 and 25% between 30-49. If you’re marketing to young adults, Instagram may be the channel you should connect with because 53% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram.

For more social media demographics, click here.

Step 4: Do More Than Post

Social media is a two-way interaction, so you need to engage with your audience. Create an online personality and use it to your advantage. There are so many ways you can engage with social media users, and connecting with your target audience can provide you with constructive feedback. Hold Q&A sessions, answer FAQs, conduct polls and surveys, etc., and you can gain insight into improving your business or product.

Step 5: Analyze and Evaluate

Use each social media channel’s measurement tools, such as Facebook’s Page Insights and Twitter’s Analytics, to understand how well you are connecting with your audience and your target audience. Measure your reach, impressions and engagement and determine if your target audience is the right audience for your business. Refine your audience as necessary and repeat the process.

 

Remember that your online presence is only valuable if you are presenting yourself to the people who will act on your message. If you need help with your social media marketing, contact us! Divvy specializes in social media strategy and marketing. Call us or fill out the contact form below.

 

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What are Hashtags? Do’s and Don’ts

Hashtags are a key player in today’s social media on the world wide web. The dreaded and often misunderstood hashtag is used to organize, find, and unite specific topics. It is a way of grouping messages, topics and keywords together. Doing so correctly increases social media engagement and brand or company visibility. In order to fully utilize the power of the hashtag, you need to understand it. Follow these Do’s and Don’ts before your Tweet, Facebook post, Pinterest pin, or Instagram.

The Hashtag Explained

The hashtag symbol is the pound (#) sign. You decide what word goes after it, whether it be a keyword, message, or topic. You pick the word and place a hashtag (#) at the beginning, and you have created a hashtag.

A word is not hashtagged unless it begins with the hashtag symbol (#). Hashtags relate to social media users and invite them to join in on conversations, such as the hashtags #MotivationMonday and #MustRead. Essentially, the hashtag is a way of categorizing your content to be found more easily. Pinterest users, for example, will search for specific hashtags, such as #DIY or #swimsuit to discover content related to those words and phrases.

Why Use The Hashtag

As stated above, the hashtag makes your content discoverable. It helps users find “trending,” or popular, content relevant to specific interests or keywords. The key to use hashtags correctly is to hashtag keywords that you image others would use when looking for content related to your message.

Hashtags: Do’s

  1. DO Hashtag Relevant and Unbranded Keywords. Don’t hashtag your company name. Instead, hashtag a keyword or phrase relevant to your company and let that add to your brand. Coca-Cola for example used the hashtag #MakeItHappy for a social media campaign.
  2. DO Follow Relevant Hashtags. This is great to learn of other companies or people who may be opinion leaders in your field. On Instagram, you can search for a hashtag and the app brings up related hashtags. This a great source to turn to if you aren’t sure what you or your business should be hashtagging.
  3. DO Hashtag Words Together. If a user is searching for a blue rug, they will search the hashtag #bluerug, not #blue and #rug. Be specific with your hashtags in order to reach the right audience.

Hashtags: Don’ts

  1. DON’T Go Too Long or Clever.  #NoOneCanReadAnythingThatGoesThisLongPleaseStopIt. Enough said, right? It is recommended to clump no more than three to four words per hashtag together. One and two word hashtags are the most user-friendly. The longer the hashtag is the harder it is to read and in today’s fast paced world, users will scroll right past you if it is too much or too hard to understand – so don’t hashtag sarcasm or jokes. Keep it short and simple!
  2. DON’T Have More Hashtags than Words.  We’ve all seen the posts with way too many hashtags. Having too many hashtags in your post can come off as spammy and unimportant. Don’t have more hashtags than words in your post and you’re on the road to successful hashtagging.
  3. DON’T Hashtag the Same Word Repeatedly. Because hashtags are meant for categorizing keywords, hashtagging the same word more than once in the same post is a waste of time. Example: Laying out in the #sun and soaking up the #sun rays is the BEST way to enjoy the #sun today! Okay… you like the sun. We get it already!

 

If you need help with social media content and strategy, Divvy can help! Call our office or fill out the contact form below. We look forward to working with you!

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Powerful PR Tools For Your Business

Businesses and franchises face all sorts of communication challenges, and the art of public relations is new and rapidly changing with society. Keeping your business up to date with public relations is important is successfully promoting your business. The following tactics can be used for your business PR tools:

1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a digital media monitoring tool that tracks when certain keywords are written about in the media. Set up Google Alerts for your business name and industry and you will receive email alerts when there are discussions, news or debates on those topics. Remember that good PR is more than gaining publicity, but it is joining a conversation. Google Alerts will help you join in and be the first to comment!

2. Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media as a PR tool. You can use social media channels to both activate, inform, or educate users on business and industry related trends. Use social media to become an opinion leader by sharing relevant news, product updates, and other relevant topics that will interest your customers.

You can also use social media channels to connect with journalists who will help your business gain publicity. Twitter and LinkedIn can help you connect with the journalists that are interested in your industry. Create those connections and make a list of media contacts. As you send out pitches, keep track of those who are reporting on your company, your competitors and your industry.

PR Tools - Social Media

3. Press Releases

Reaching out to journalists and tracking media lists is pointless if you don’t have a plan in mind of where you want your business to go and what you want the public to see. Once you have crafted a well written press release and reached out to your list of media contacts, use PR Web or PR Newswire to further your reach. Both publish press releases across the web on websites, media outlets and journalists.

4. Survey Monkey

Public relations is more than sending messages to the public. It is improving upon your business based on the conversation and interaction your business has with the public. Use Survey Monkey to gain insight into the public’s opinions, attitudes, and beliefs regarding your business. Use the online survey software to craft a questionnaire, send it to the public and then analyze the results in digital graphs.

 

Public relations is easy if you are monitoring your business’s online presence, interacting with your customers, creating news about your business, and reaching out to journalists you have built a relationship with. These four tools can be used to strengthen your company’s PR.

 

If you need more help with your company’s public relations, contact us by filling out the contact form below. We specialize in branded marketing collateral, marketing consulting, and social media. We would love to help!

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How to Write A Good Blog Outline

Just like writing a great paper, writing a great blog post starts with a solid outline. Outlines are the vehicles that drive the writing process. It is essential to have a working outline before writing a blog post to avoid confusion and disorganization. Follow these 6 simple steps to write a good blog outline:

What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea of a blog post is similar to the thesis of a paper. It is the central point and unique angle to the post. You need to determine what it is that you are trying to do for your audience. Remember this when determining your big idea: you want to either motivate, educate or inform your audience. Deciding which of these you will do will guide your outlining and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for the blog post? Did you feel inspired on the topic or did you read an article online or in print? Whichever it is, make sure you back up your points with a solid understanding of the information you are presenting. Make yourself credible by adding in statistics, quotes, or other related information.

Title it.

Next you need to create a working title. The most important rule with creating a great title is to be as specific as possible. You can always come back and reword the title, but for now you need to have a good idea of what you will be writing about specifically. For more information on writing a blog title your viewers will love, click here.

Write it Out.

This is where you are creating a basic understanding for the body of the post. This can be done in sentences, bullets, or headings and subheadings. Try one of each until you figure out which is most comfortable for you. Either way, you need to create main points, and then sub points (and if necessary, points for sub points). Always check to make sure each point is supporting the big idea, and change accordingly.

You can also add in any specific details you want to address in your post when you’re completing this step. Make a not of where it will fit, and you can work it in when you’re officially writing your post.

Revise and Reorganize.

Now that you’ve written the main ideas down for your post, you need to step back and make sure it flows coherently. Rearrange as necessary, and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes as you go.

Links, Links, Links.Links, links, links

If you can, look for links that relate to other posts you’ve written. You can also link to other sources with similar topics that may help your audience gain a better understanding of the topic you are writing about.

Fill in the Blanks.

Now that you’ve created the body of your outline, it’s time to go fill in the blanks. This is where you will write your main ideas in one word for both the introduction and conclusion of your post. You can also think about ways to transition between main points, if necessary. Lastly, remember to include a call to action in your conclusion.

 

If you follow these 6 simple steps when writing a blog outline, you are sure to write a smooth and straightforward blog post. If you need help with social media management and blogging, Divvy can help! We provide personalized service and help in these areas, as well as other areas of digital and print marketing. Find more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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Franchise Marketing Ideas

Local Business Listings

Before we go to far into this series, let’s ask ourselves a question:”What’s the first thing you do when you are looking for a business?” If you are anything like 93% of America, you use some sort of a search engine. There should at least be a Google+ page for your location but we suggest you investigate a few other postings like Facebook (which you probably already have) Yelp, Foursquare and any other geo-local-listings.

Hint: The more you add to these platforms (services, products, etc.) the more your business will feel the effects.

Email Marketing and SMS Marketing

This is not as hard as it sounds. Simply incentivize your customers to sign up for your text and/or email marketing programs by offering electronic or printable coupons, preferred customer specials and discounts, and notices of this-day-only deals they can only receive by signing up. This strategy allows you to do two things (1) Gather more information about your customer base and (2) facilitate remarketing through thank-you emails and texts.

Hint: Help grow your franchise’s email and SMS marketing by training employees on the program, include it in your signage or talk about it on social media.

Social Media

It’s hard to say which should come first but without question, your business should have a social media presence. Franchisees should consult with their corporate brand when it comes to what channels to use and how to best use them for local franchise marketing. If the corporate marketing department wants each location to have a more local content, it will be harder to fix a strategy but they will most likely see better results.

Whatever the situation may be for your organization, the key to social media is consistency. If you pick two social media platforms to publish content from, do so EVERY day (if it’s Twitter, several times a day). Once you feel you can manage that, go ahead and branch out onto other platforms.

Hint: Create a calendar that allows you to publish out a week or even a month in advance.

Direct Mail

I hope you haven’t glanced over this section because the idea of a direct mail campaign is boring or somehow old fashioned. 76 percent of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy includes a combination of both print and digital communication. The key here is to take this traditional style of marketing and make it more targeted. Take direct mail and blend it with whatever current social media or community outreach campaigns you might be running.

Hint: Direct mail campaigns are slowly becoming THE solution for targeting millenials.

Community Outreach

The best way to find a loyal new customer is by word-of-mouth. Our final tip this evening is to be involved in the community. Find out what businesses you could team up with to put on a really spectacular event. Whether you a running a cross-promotion campaign with another business or sponsoring a local sports team, working with the community is a great way to spread goodwill.

Hint: Answer the question: “How could my location be an asset to the community”

Franchise Marketing Ideas by Divvy

Sometimes the issue with new marketing campaigns is finding new inspiration. Once you know your target market, call us up at Divvy. We have helped a number of companies with their direct mail campaigns. The benefit from calling us, we can see the project through from concept to completion. We also assist a number of organizations with email campaigns and social media brand management. Give us a call if you are ready for some truly unique ideas.

 

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Franchise Social Media Marketing

If you’re a franchisor, responsible for the franchise brand across a number of storefronts, chances are you’ve thought and stressed about how to handle your brand’s social media.

You’ve got to consider how corporate uses social media, and then how to encourage the local touch at the franchisee level.

Franchise social media marketing considerations include:

  • Social channel set-up and how you name each channel, both for corporate and franchisees
  • Social media publishing and engagement guidelines for franchisees
  • Establishing an editorial calendar to guide social publishing, especially for corporate, and perhaps also for franchisees
  • Setting up brand and keyword searches to know what others are saying about you (an online reputation effort)
  • What tools to use to manage listening, publishing and reporting for the brand and for individual franchisees

One of the biggest mistakes brands make in social media is to always push out their own content without engaging with others. It’s a good idea to spend at least as much time listening and responding and participating in others’ conversations as you do creating and posting your own content.

Another good strategy is to empower your customer; to solicit consumer generated content. Many brands have experimented here, with varying degrees of success.

Ford socialCapitalizing on consumer generated content can include tactics like making your home page a Twitter feed that includes a specific brand hashtag (or set of hashtags), inviting brand champions to represent you in an online community like Ford has done with its Ford Social website, or letting consumers post to your corporate Instagram account.

At Divvy by Alexander’s we manage the social publishing for a handful of franchise brands. We use tools like Bridg, Sprout Social and NUVI to manage publishing, listening and reporting. And we work with franchisors to develop comprehensive editorial calendars that ensure we’re sharing the right content at the right time.

Maintaining a consistent voice and tone is also an important consideration for franchise companies. That’s why our social media marketing service is so useful for many franchise companies — we take care of the day-to-day publishing to keep them active on social platforms while corporate marketing team members focus on more strategic, long-term initiatives.

Social Media Marketing Case Study

Here’s an example from our Re-Bath case study.

At Divvy, we understand the franchise space from both the print collateral and marketing perspectives.

If you’d like to hear how our team can work with your franchise marketing team, please get in touch.

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