Driverseat franchisees start as a home-based business. They hire a team of Chauffeurs to provide services in customer’s vehicles, eliminating the need for a fleet of vehicles. They then launch the shuttle service and build the fleet of mid-sized commercial vans as they build the business, sometimes needing only a few vehicles in the first year and at other times, a large fleet. Once they are securing their third shuttle vehicle, we have a requirement that they open an office with 24-hour access and parking for their Chauffeurs and vehicles.
As a result of not needing a retail footprint, the franchise owners use online tools to market and grow their business, and Driverseat has a strong recipe that they use to do exactly that. We consider the use of the four social platforms our “four walls” like a retail store would have. Just as you would notice a Home Depot or Walmart when you drive by because of the building, we want our customers to notice Driverseat because of our 4 social walls.
Each of our franchisees have thousands if not tens of thousands of connections. They use LinkedIn to educate their audience on road and transportation issues, share updates and engage with others to build meaningful relationships.
Again, the target is thousands or tens of thousands of connections from their communities. Using Instagram Reels, stories and posts allow them to draw attention to their brand. We use a combination of video, fun or innovative posts, real people updates and posts to support our customer’s businesses (check out one of Driverseat Kitchener’s #supportlocal campaign posts here) to build dialogue and support.
Similar to Instagram, there are many posts and videos, but with Facebook we are able to post articles, information about the community, blogs (you may have found this one on FB or LI) and many other informative or fun things. The use of video, Facebook Live, hashtags and tagging others are all part of our regular routine.
Wall #4 Google My Business (GMB)
We use more than just the GMB account, and in fact look at all Google Actions. Google reviews, Google Posts and our YouTube channel (for a laugh, check out Driverseat Inc on Youtube and don’t forget to subscribe) are all ways to build awareness online. Each week we track Google Actions to see if we are impacting online traffic.
Even when our franchisees move into offices, as they all eventually do, they aren’t the typical retail store front so these tools remain as important. Each day we drive traffic to our business through our social sites. The power of this is incredible and once mastered, takes very little time for each franchise owner.
This was an important part of our strategy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when our franchisees were out in the community, meeting with business owners and building relationships.