Friday, December 24, 2010

Google Boost - Get On It Quick For More Customers

Google has recently launched a beta version of a product names Boost. Saavy internet marketers will plan ahead for this innovative enhancement to a Google Places listing. Getting on top of Google Boost early can mean more customers!

Presently, Google Boost beta is available in a limited number of cities and states. As with Google Tags we anticipate that a wide rollout will happen very soon. E-Platform Marketing and TigerSEO Marketing are already working with this product with clients in San Francisco.

Google's Boost ads display for locally targeted search queries. They appear in the Adwords results and can be identified by a blue ballon icon (similar to the bubble icon on Google Places maps).

The ads can contain basic business information including business name, phone number, address, and the typical local listing features such as customer reviews and ratings.

We are excited about this product based on the results our clients have experienced. For more information feel free to contact us directly or leave a comment below.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Foursquare For Business, For Profits

Foursquare - learn it.

Foursquare is a social media site that is rapidly becoming a serious contender to Twitter . . . and rightly so. Foursquare has the lightning info distribution of Twitter but also incorporates personal interactivity similar to Facebook. We are very high on Foursquare.

Foursquare has the potential to be an excellent Local Search channel for small business owners and franchise operators. It is easy to "add a venue", claim it and then leverage the ability to get great visibility and promotion opportunities.

You can connect Foursquare to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to further accelerate your content delivery. We strongly suggest that you get your business on Foursquare and reach more customers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Online Reputation Management - An Essential Game Changer

If your business relies on customers that would be considered "local" you should familiarize yourself with online reputation management. People who need a local service (or store) are increasingly on websites that allow user ratings and consumer reviews. Anyone who has been in business for very long knows that there will always be customers that cannot be satisified and complain unreasonably. Unfortunately these people can now post online reviews and do lasting harm to your reputation. The remedy is to engage in active online reputation management.

Your choices here, as with most things in life, are to do it yourself or get someone else to do the work. If you are extremely busy, have a lot of negative press to clear up, or simply don't want to be bothered you can hire an experienced Online Reputation Management Company. If you choose the Do It Yourself route here is a quick roadmap for better results.

First, identify the most visible directory websites for your type of business. Check to see if these sites allow consumer reviews and, if so, take time to thoroughly read every review and identify problem content.

Second, use automated methods (manual checks are VERY time consuming) to monitor the web for new content about your company. This will provide you with a heads-up on any new negative content to add to your cleaning list.

Third, begin to address each instance of negative reviews. Prioritize the order of sites to manage and do them one at a time for easier management. Every site presents its own challenges, opportunites and restrictions for managing comments and reviews. This is where the do-it-yourselfer can find the process too complicated. Typical options include direct contact to ask the site managers to remove the offending or inaccurate posts, create counter content to present "your side of the story", or use various methods to displace the negative content. Providing a counter opinion shows that you are taking ownership, and most people understand that there are two sides to every story.

Choosing to ignore the active management of online content and reviews is asking for disaster. While you may recognize the customer who posts bad comments, and know why it happened, there are hundreds of potential customers who will poorly judge your business based on the negative comments.

The cost for a online reputation mangement service varies depending on the service provider, however it is almost always far less than the cost of years of lost business.