Write positive reviews, not just negative

Do you take the time to write positive reviews? Or do you just review a place when they don’t meet your standards?

Today peer recommendations seem to be what 90% of people rely on to make a purchase or visit an establishment (Watch this). How do they make the best of a situation when a friend doesn’t suggest an option? People look to reviews.Facebook reviews

Reviews tell readers the good and the bad. If the majority of reviews are positive and there is one lonely negative review, people will often discount the validity of the negative review. My suggestion would be to launch a campaign to increase your reviews on sites where people go to look for your business. Yelp is a huge player in this arena. Google+ for all of it’s faults is a major platform to make sure you have good reviews associated with your location on the map. Bing and Yahoo both have similar functions with their mapping programs. What if you are a restaurant? Sites like Urbanspoon and others will help people make a decision about whether they choose your establishment or the one down the street. Are you in the home improvement business? Angie’s List is huge. Medical practitioners have similar sites as well.

When I worked retail, years ago before computers and the internet, the adage was that if you provided great service a customer would tell 2 people. If it was poor, they would tell 10 people. Today with social media, that 10 people turns into millions in some cases. You cannot afford that.

Negative reviews can be detrimental to your business. If they are not responded to in a timely manner they could be devastating. Make sure you are asking for your clients to provide positive reviews. The best time to do that is right after they express how satisfied they are with something you have just completed for them. Maybe you could even hold a contest to reward those who take the time to write a review for your business.

Need to talk more about this opportunity? Give me a call!

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Social Media and Recruiting

Do you use social media for your recruiting and hiring efforts?

I recently helped Illinois workNet create a series of recordings and a webinar focusing on recruiting what works for youpractices using social media.  Check out all of the resources on the Social Media Guide.

Here are a few of the tips:

  1. Create a job posting on your website.
  2. Share the job posting link on your social media platforms.
  3. Ask your employees to share it to their network.
  4. Create a discussion in groups about your job posting.
  5. Participate on social media to build your company brand.
  6. Post items that will provide job seekers an idea of your corporate values and culture.
  7. Use social media to “check” applicants work history.

So frequently, we are reticent to implement change. Just one of the platforms could help you find the right person. It may even save you money.

Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the social media tool of choice when it comes to looking for jobs and looking for new employees. The resources I created help you with a few tips for blogging, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. Also on LinkedIn, if you aren’t making use of the groups including the Illinois Virtual Job Club Network, you may be missing a valuable resource. If you aren’t already using these tools, investigate how you can. If you need more help than the brief tutorials offer, give me a call and I will help you establish a recruiting strategy.

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Using a Boolean Search

How can you take advantage of a Boolean Search?

All of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing let you enter keywords you select to find the topics you are researching. This works the same way in LinkedIn and many other platforms. If someone doesn’t know your name, but enters the words for things you provide, will they find you?

I do a great deal of work with job seekers. Since LinkedIn is my passion, it is only natural to spend time teaching job seekers how to make the most of their profile. One of the suggestions is to make sure that their profile is able to be found when the right string of keywords is entered into the search parameters.What are your keywords?

When teaching hands-on LinkedIn classes, I demonstrate how recruiters may enter six or seven keywords to limit the number of search results they obtain when seeking candidates. The goal the recruiter is seeking is 3-6 people who have all of recruiters keywords entered in their profile. You can use this same technique searching for a recruiter or a potential client.

I recently found this article from Beyond.com about using the various Boolean search patterns. While this article was written for job seekers, it is transferable to business owners to understand how someone may find them when doing a search. I don’t want to start an entire discussion on SEO, but understanding how Boolean search works will help you make sure that the right keywords are listed on your various webpages and social media profiles.

Please contact me if I can assist you with your LinkedIn personal or company profile. I am happy to consult with you in-person or through a webinar to help you optimize your LinkedIn or social media presence.

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B2B vs B2C – Location Sites

B2B vs B2C – Location Sites

As we near the end of this series of articles, our topic of this post is B2B vs B2C – Location Sites.  This area of social marketing may not be 100% social media, but it is something that can play an important role in how our business is viewed and found!

The platforms that I consider is this category include Yelp, Foursquare, Google Places (now Google+ with a Local business designation), directory listings, and all of the map sites – Bing, Google, Yahoo, and Mapquest (yes it is still in existence).B2BvsB2C location sites

Another consideration that may be included in this category is local or industry related sites. In construction for example, sites like Angie’s List, Houzz and Hometalk may be great sites for you. Do they have mini-web pages or business listings that could drive people through your door or to your website?  One good example is my page on the Elgin Area Chamber website.

B2B

While you may not have a storefront location that is open to the public, you still want to put your location on the maps. Grab your real estate! Add any links that go back to your website or social media.  If you offer promotions, add them to your profile. If images are included in the platform, upload your limit. Make sure that all sections of a profile are complete using as many keywords as you can. You may not want to pay for an upgraded listing in the directories like Yellow pages or Dex, but at least make sure that your listing is correct. AND check frequently in case someone has written a review on your business. Since you don’t deal directly with consumers, this will be unlikely, but an unanswered review can be bad for business.

B2C

Location sites are great for consumer based businesses. Reward people who “check-in” to your business. Use a contest format for people who write a review. Offer coupons and post images. Google Maps now offers an option of a 360 view of your establishment. Here is a link done by my friend and Google Certified photographer – Keith French. If you need one of these done for your Google Maps listing, tell Keith I sent you!!

The advantage in this situation goes to the B2C business.  That does not mean you should not take advantage of the listings even if you don’t entertain customers at your offices.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

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B2B vs B2C – Images

B2B vs B2C – Images

Continuing our B2B vs B2C discussion, our topic in this post is Image sites. The biggest names include Instagram, Flickr, Picasa and Pinterest.  Pinterest is big enough to warrant it’s own post, it will be next.

People are very visual. When I read the paper or a magazine, I scan the headlines, look for B2B vs B2C - imagesimages and if either of those things grab my attention, then I might read into the article a bit further or the whole thing. A picture draws the attention of a reader – that could be why picture books are so popular with small children.  They can’t read the words yet, but bright colors and imagery draw their attention.

Image sites all  you to have images posted, sometimes into photo albums that may (or should) include backlinks to your website.  According to an article from MediaPost, 70% of all interactions on social media sites now involve pictures.

How can that help your business?

B2B – Many vendors will post images of their products so that businesses that purchase will see the item. Consider showing the item in “action”. Share images of company events, participation at trade shows, or internal employee recognition occasions. Include links to images in your white papers and definitely in blog articles. Use images to announce new products, especially in press releases.

B2C – Image sites are much more suited to consumer sites. Take for example a restaurant or a bakery.  How many people post photos of themselves in a new outfit and take the store in an Instagram post. That is one of the reasons why Instagram now has 200 million users who have posted 60 million photos a day. Once you have found your platform of choice, encourage customers to share their photos and tag your business in them. While we didn’t mention Facebook as a photo platform, it is a huge player in images and probably one of the main reasons Instagram was snapped up. Share product images, people enjoying your products or services and participation at community events.

In my opinion, the clear winner in this category is B2C.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

 

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