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How one startup got the attention, and business of a franchisee

Social media is here to stay, but how does a business use it to attract and engage customers to boost its bottom line? Many try campaigns on various social media websites such as Facebook, however one such campaign by the Aurora, Colorado, Chik-Fil-A franchise restaurant caught the ire of a startup entrepreneur and self-proclaimed social media expert who slammed the campaign online.

In a post titled "a terrible Facebook Like-Us promotion," the entrepreneur complained about deficiencies in the franchise's campaign. His criticisms caught the attention of the franchise owner and the two are now working together on a new campaign. Just using a social media website to articulate your knowledge of a certain subject or skill can indeed boost your bottom line, as this story demonstrates.

What the social media guru found wrong in Chik-Fila-A's campaign, which offered the first 50 people to "like" them on the social media site a free meal, was the lack of a vanity URL, and a flyer announcing the campaign didn't include a link to their Facebook page. Basically that means customers, or potential customers simply could not locate their Facebook page let alone "like" it. Plus, the company did not have a way to track these first 50 people to like the restaurant's page.

ReturnMore spent a few months developing an application that works with Facebook and allows the restaurant to match new likes with their offer of a free meal. A quick response code, which allows customers to more easily find the restaurants Facebook page, was also incorporated into the campaign. Once the franchise owner and new startup called ReturnMore, which assists businesses who provide special offers via their Facebook pages, got together, the likes started rolling in. ReturnMore's goal is to have this particular Aurora franchise be the most liked Chik-Fil-A in Colorado.

Starting a new business can be a challenge in today's tough economic environment. If you have a great creative idea but are unsure of how to get your idea off the ground, consult with an attorney experienced in business formation and planning who can get you started on the right track. The right attorney can help you with everything from finding startup cash and venture capital to forming your business with the right legal entity to minimize tax issues as well as develop the right business plan for the future success of your business.

Like the franchise owner in this story, it can be helpful to consult with someone who can assist you in the areas of your business you may not already be an expert in.

Source: The Denver Post, "Startup Spotlight: social media expert helps "return more" to Chick Fil-A," Andy Vuong, April 27, 2012

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