Social Media: How Much Do You Actually Know?

Social Media: How Much Do You Actually Know?

Social media marketing can be transformative for a business’ bottom line, but doing it well takes time, perseverance and skill. Sometimes a growing business gets caught off guard when it’s time to hand over the reins and get some assistance with social media.

Answer the following 10 questions in our latest social media quiz and by the end, you’ll know if you’re up to speed in social media or a little agency help is in order.


 
Questions about any of the information in the quiz? Contact us.
online reviews

10 Reasons Why Your Business Must Manage Its Online Reviews

Social proof is not just a marketing buzzword.

Before buying a new product, visiting a store or even choosing a doctor, today’s consumer goes in search of online reviews. It’s become an integral part of the buying process and an important contributor to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), the instance when a person has decided to buy – often well before actually purchasing online or visiting a store. The ZMOT makes the active management of online reviews essential and one of the most impactful forms of marketing a business can do.

Customer reviews are also a numbers game. Consumers have caught on to the power of reviews and no longer hesitate to assign a 1-star rating to a business after a negative experience; chances are they will add a comment too. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to collect, manage, answer, and leverage your company’s online reviews.

Let’s look at the data and 10 reasons why your business must manage its online reviews – plus the key takeaways:

1. Online reviews establish credibility.

85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 1

2. Consumers want timely information about your business.

44% of consumers say a review must be written within one month to be relevant. 2

3. The number of online reviews matters.

88% of consumers form an opinion by reading up to ten reviews vs. 84% in 2014. 3

4. Online reviews need to be consistent.

Overall rating/score is the most important factor when a consumer is looking at online reviews. 4

5. Consumers look for businesses with 4-star and 5-star reviews.  

49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business. 5

It’s more important than ever to collect, manage, answer, and leverage your company’s online reviews.

6. Positive online reviews on third-party sites can help your search ranking.

Google uses structured data to include extra information in the search results…. Potential customers will get a good idea of the quality of your business, right in the search engine. 6

7. The top 5 review sites see almost 400 million unique visitors monthly.

The top five online review sites measured by average monthly U.S. traffic (unique visitors) are Google My Business (158 million), Facebook (86 million), Amazon (85 million), Yelp (40 million), and TripAdvisor (28 million). 7

8. Consumers seek out product reviews.  

In 2017, 74% of consumers consulted review sites like Amazon, Bestbuy, Wayfair, Target, and Walmart. 8

negative online customer reviews9. Negative reviews turn potential customers away.

A business can lose 70% of potential customers if four or more negative articles about the company or product appear in Google search results. 9 

10. Millennials and Gen-Xers actively rely on online reviews.

Reading online reviews is common across a wide range of demographic groups, but those under 50 are especially likely to incorporate them into their shopping experiences. 10

Because there are so many facets to leveraging customer reviews – from maintaining consistency and quality to giving timely responses – don’t leave your company’s reputation to chance.

For a quick snapshot of your online reviews and a reputation report, use our free online review scanning tool, and if you’re ready to get your online reviews under control, contact us.

digital marketing trifecta

A Digital Marketing Trifecta That Will Turbocharge Reach

Sometimes 1 + 1 = 3.

In digital marketing, the connectivity afforded across platforms can sometimes have a domino effect on customer reach and engagement. When you find these synergies, the impact is powerful. With that in mind, here’s one of our favorite digital marketing combinations for consumer-facing businesses of any size. It’s a digital trifecta and a must-do for your marketing strategy.

1. Add all company events to Facebook Events

Every business should have a Facebook company page, even if it’s a solopreneur. There are a number of features available on Facebook company pages that are not offered on an individual profile page.

One of these essential features is Facebook Events, and you will see the Events tab on the left side of a company page. In general, why is adding an event to Facebook Events so important?

With Facebook Events, you can:

  • Add the event location so page visitors can find it or get directions via an interactive map
  • Link a registration page where people can purchase tickets
  • Establish recurring events–especially handy for classes
  • Tag the event with keywords
  • Post about the event leading up to the date or afterward; the post can link to the Event page
  • Boost the event reach with a paid social media ad

Less well-known is a new feature that makes posting in Facebook Events essential for businesses. Now, the Facebook Local app is pushing the Facebook Events feed into Facebook user notifications. If an event is in the area and the Facebook algorithm decides that it may be of interest, a person may see a notification of the event in his or her personal Notifications stream. The Notifications stream is where you typically track page likes, comments, and activity. An example of an Events notification in a person’s feed is, “[Business Name] has added a new event near you,” and when a person clicks on the notification, it goes straight to the Facebook Events page of the business.  

community calendar2. Create a community calendar for your business in Burbio

Burbio is a digital, local event aggregation platform that pulls event feeds from the community at large. Burbio users can follow calendars created by local businesses, schools, the public library, recreation sports teams or the chamber of commerce. These community calendars showcase all types of events like classes, lunch and learn meetups, or town sports, and people can register for them if website links are provided.

As a business owner, once you set up a business Burbio account, your Burbio calendar can integrate with your Facebook Events feed, so Facebook Events will push to the calendar automatically. If you use a personal calendar for events, Burbio can also integrate with iCal or a Google calendar. All of the events businesses are adding to their Facebook Events, iCal or Google calendars can flow straight through to the local Burbio community calendar. Burbio.com will promote your events in their weekly digests that go out to the community and will also allow users to “follow” your calendar for twice-weekly email updates, integrating your business into the community experience of residents.  

Amazon Ask Alexa

3. The Freebie: events are accessible in Ask Alexa voice search

One of the most interesting features of Burbio is that there is a Burbio Alexa Skill for users of Amazon’s Ask Alexa. The integration with the voice platform means that events on a Burbio calendar can be accessed via voice search using Alexa-enabled Amazon devices.

If a person prompts Alexa with, “Alexa, ask Burbio what’s happening in [town, state],” the Ask Alexa app will come back with, “Here’s what’s happening in [town, state]” and proceed to rattle off the events. As long as you configure your Facebook Event titles in the exact way you want Alexa to say them, your event is now available to anyone using Ask Alexa who has downloaded the Burbio skill.

So, now you have an easy, digital marketing trifecta. With two simple steps, you can have your business events pushed to customer notification streams via Facebook Events, integrated into a rapidly growing community calendar application and then get the added bonus of having your events available in voice search.

It’s the payoff of a trifecta without the cost – surely a bet worth making.

Hispanic customers

The Essential Customer You May Not Be Reaching

According to the United States Census Bureau, Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States comprising 17.6% of the population. By some estimates, in 2060, this demographic is projected to grow to 119 million people in the US, 28% of the population.

Today:

  • four states have populations that are more than 30% Hispanic
  • Spanish is second to English as the most-used language in the US, and
  • the US bilingual population is estimated at 11 million Spanish speakers

In digital marketing, Hispanics are an essential target audience hiding in plain sight. Hiding because they are often not considered in English ad campaigns, and marketing campaigns that target people who primarily speak English may not be accessing the Hispanic population living in the United States.

There are simple ways to broaden your marketing campaigns to include this influential and growing customer demographic. Here are three campaign tweaks that can bring this essential target audience within reach:

1. Include the Spanish language in Google AdWords campaign settings

If your business uses Google AdWords campaigns, within Google AdWords, one of the settings is Languages. It’s defined as the language of the sites where you want your ads to appear. When deciding where to show your ad, Google looks at a person’s recently viewed pages, his or her language setting and the language of recent search queries. Therefore, even if you are running an English Google AdWords campaign, it makes sense to add Spanish to your Languages settings; otherwise customers who have their Google Search Settings configured to show search results in Spanish may never see your ad. This audience is looking at and reading ads with the primary copy in English every day.

2. Target the Hispanic demographic using Facebook ads

There is an easy way to target the Hispanic demographic while configuring your Facebook ads. When creating an audience, under Interests > Additional Interests, you will see several options under Multicultural Affinity.

You can target the Hispanic audience and specify whether the household is bilingual, has the dominant language of English or Spanish, or you can simply choose Hispanic (US-All) for a broad sweep. The Hispanic (US-All) segment currently targets over 35 million people.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager

3. Add Spanish posts to your social media

Especially for location-based businesses, create occasional social media posts for Spanish-speaking consumers. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have a user-friendly TRANSLATE feature for posts. You can keep Spanish messaging straightforward, and reflect copy from your English posts. The trick is to keep the copy simple but remain true to your brand voice. Services such as Google Translate and Bing Translator work pretty well with simple sentences, and using them avoids the need for a human translator.

The Hispanic population in the United States is an essential, influential audience for business. With a few minor changes or additions, your marketing campaigns can start to engage with this demographic in a more consistent, mindful way. That’s a win-win for marketers and customers alike, or perhaps we should say, ¡ eso es ganar-ganar!

Online Reviews and the New Buyer's Journey

Online Reviews and the New Buyer’s Journey

40,000 every second,

3.5 billion each day,

1.2 trillion per year.

According to Internet Live Stats, these figures reflect the number of online searches being processed by Google. For today’s business owner, the sheer number of search queries underpins the critical importance of a company’s online reputation because customers in search of product information begin online.

Most business owners know the concept of the buyer’s journey. Typically, it is thought of as a three-step process that includes awareness, consideration, and decision. But, what if the digital age has ushered in a new buyer’s journey–one with four steps. One step behaves as a gatekeeper to the final decision, and the traditional journey may never get to the last step because the buyer chooses not to go through the gate.  

In fact, online reviews might just be that gatekeeper. In an article by the Moz team, they found that four or more negative articles about a company or product appearing in Google search results could make a company lose 70% of potential customers. That’s a lot of customers.

The new buyer’s journey

The growth of the internet is propelling online search, and rich snippet review stars below the business name are the first item potential customers check when skimming the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Any business that displays three stars or less is often ignored.

Rich snippet stars in search engine results

In this new digital scenario, the buyer’s journey is a four-step process:

STEP ONE: Awareness – I have a problem.

It could be a minor issue–you’re thirsty–or a more serious one such as you are injured and need to see a doctor.

STEP TWO: Consideration – I think about options to solve my problem.

If you’re the thirsty person above, you might consider whether you should visit the neighborhood coffee shop, or do you swing by the local convenience store and pick up a cold drink on the go? Let’s say you choose the coffee route. You instinctively think about all kinds of parameters:

  • How much time do I have?
  • Is there a parking lot or do I need quarters for the meter?
  • Do I need cash or can I use my coffee shop loyalty card?
  • Do I really want to pay for a latte, or shall I just use my single serve coffee maker at home?
  • Where is the closest coffee shop?
  • Is the place popular? Do people like going there and will it be crowded?  

STEP THREE: Search – I do an online search and compare my options

You Google, “Where is the best coffee in [your town]?” A SERP gives you a list of alternatives even populating the top of the page with coffee shops that are geographically closest to you. You skim down the page, and your eye is drawn to the rich snippet stars.

You’ve arrived at the new gatekeeper in the buyer’s journey–online reviews. You filter out any businesses with three or fewer stars and never click the search result to learn more about the business or visit their website. They’re out.

STEP FOUR: Decision – I fix my problem.

You have time, a few dollars in your pocket and you want the fancy latte. You go out the door and visit the local coffee shop, which by the way, had 5-stars below their name in the search engine results. You never knew that the coffee place around the corner had a special on pumpkin spice lattes (your favorite) because they had 3-stars below their name, and you never clicked through to the website.

Four or more negative articles about a company or product appearing in Google search results could make a company lose 70% of potential customers. –Moz

Online reviews

In the digital age, the buyer’s journey looks different than the traditional model.

Online reviews can upend the buyer’s journey completely, and although some would argue that perusing online reviews could be lumped into the traditional Consideration phase, maybe they shouldn’t be. Why? Because checking online reviews is no longer an action people do occasionally. It has become a fundamental step in the buying process, and with just a glance, can dissuade potential customers from buying your product, service or even bothering to contact you.

How Online Reviews Can Upend the Buying Process

[Download the Infographic]

Reputation management is now a necessity

No matter the size of your organization, an online review management strategy is no longer nice-to-have, but a must-have. Reputation management technology can help, but at the very least and even if it’s a manual process, ensure that your management team monitors, responds to and actively engages with customers that are writing online reviews about your company.

Good reviews are “social proof” that your business is worth visiting, your product or service worth buying. Negative reviews end the buyer’s journey that should be bringing customers to your door.

Supermetrics Data Studio Connectors

Data Studio Connectors: 4 Easy Steps to More Insightful Analytics

Data visualization matters – a lot.

By some estimates, 65% of people are visual learners and process information best by seeing it. To a certain degree, however, we may all be visual learners when it comes to complex data because a well-designed visual can condense lots of numbers into a more readily apparent outcome or trend. Not surprisingly, when it comes to business, data visualization is a critical tool. Timely, transparent analytics in graphic, bite-sized formats can help managers understand their companies better, identify potential customers, and hone in on effective growth strategies.

If you’re a digital marketer, chances are you work with data all the time. But, in reality, your clients may not. Even with mounds of fascinating metrics available in their marketing reports, managers often come back to us and ask, “OK…now what?” The problem is compounded by the fact that marketing data is everywhere – different platforms, different formats, different reporting options, different reference points.

In April of this year, I wrote about Google Data Studio, a tool that pulls data from the Google ecosystem and can be used to populate configurable, visual dashboards. It’s become an absolute mainstay in our client reporting toolkit allowing us to give performance snapshots across a broad range of digital marketing metrics. However, beyond the data you can mine from Google, there are many other important performance metrics to consider – social media ad engagement, email campaign click-through rates, video views – to name a few. Now, with Data Studio Connectors, you can pull all types of data into your Data Studio (DS) dashboard from platforms that are outside Google.

marketing analytics

I decided to take Data Studio Connectors for a spin. These Connectors were launched by Supermetrics on September 7, 2017. Now there is no need to first pull all the marketing data into Google Sheets and then into Google Data Studio – you can use the Connectors to pull the data directly. I set myself a challenge – I wanted to layer some social media metrics onto a client report we had already created in Data Studio that included Google Analytics and Google AdWords data.

It worked! My new, improved dashboard report consolidated, streamlined, and visually standardized social media metrics into our current Data Studio report. 

Here’s a step by step:

Supermetrics Data Studio Connectors

Step 1: Pick a Data Studio Connector

Go to the Data Studio Connectors homepage, scroll through the available Connectors and choose which one you would like. I picked Facebook Insights and clicked the Try now button. On the next screen in the top left where it says Untitled Data Source, I named my Connector data source (Agency Tip: Put your client name in there too, so you know which client) and then click Authorize.

connect outside data source for Data Studio Connectors

Step 2: Connect your outside data source

I was prompted to choose a Google account, and I did. Once the Community Connector was authorized, I then had to Authorize Facebook Insights, my chosen Connector. I followed a prompt allowing Supermetrics to authenticate and connect to my Facebook Insights, and to be on the safe side, I decided to ensure I was both logged into my Facebook account and had the correct client Facebook business page opened in a tab too.

DS Connectors Facebook Insights

Step 3: Choose the correct Facebook page

This step is mission critical if you’re a digital marketer as you’ll no doubt manage and be an admin to many client Facebook pages. You are given the option to see all the pages you manage and then you choose the page you want. Once you choose the Facebook page from the drop-down list and CONNECT, the Data Connector will pull data specific to that page.

choosing the data source in Data Studio Connectors

On the next page which shows all of your data sources, you can edit them (I didn’t) and CREATE REPORT. You’ll notice the portal looks pretty familiar now as you are in Data Studio.

ADD TO REPORT the data source that is being pulled into your Data Studio portal via the Connector.

Supermetrics Data Source for Clients
Supermetrics Data Source for Clients

 

Step 4: Build Out Your Google Data Studio Report

In the final report building stage, there’s good news, bad news and then some more good news.

The first bit of good news is that all of your data is now being pulled in by the chosen DS Connector and is accessible in a list of metrics. The bad news is that there are a lot of metrics – I counted 123 in total for the Facebook Insights Connector.

If you don’t correctly align the:

  • Data Source
  • Dimension
  • Metric

you will not get meaningful metrics in the dashboard. When you have to choose from People Clicking Your Content, Content Clicks, Post Unique Link Clicks, or Post Other Clicks, it can be a challenge. I toggled back and forth to the Facebook portal to confirm I was choosing the exact metric I wanted and built out the report. If you’ve never built a Data Studio report, read about how to build one in our blog, Google Data Studio: 3 Easy Steps to Your Website Analytics.

The additional piece of good news is Supermetrics is in the process of developing a Facebook Insights Template for Data Studio. The metrics will be pre-selected and split by correct dimension thereby simplifying a currently complex process.

All in all, I thought the Supermetrics DS Connector I used to build Facebook Insights data into our Google Data Studio report was excellent. Prompts guide you through the authorization process and once the outside data source of choice is connected, you can utilize the powerful drag and drop report building functionality and customization capability of Data Studio. And although it’s fun to build reports, in the end, it comes down to data visualization.

If, as marketers, we can present data-driven insights to our clients in a holistic, transparent way, they will run better, more profitable businesses.

 

In-store foot traffic

How Growing Your Website Traffic Can Drive In-Store Foot Traffic

For a business owner, it’s pretty simple, really.

Marketing dollars need to drive foot traffic and sales, otherwise, those dollars are not worth spending. Most managers can actively engage in conversations about growing in-store sales or revenue, but discussions about website traffic don’t come quite as easy. While they certainly recognize there is an interdependence – it can be difficult to connect the dots. The importance of the relationship is not lost on companies like Facebook who only recently rolled out a Store Visits campaign option which attempts to track whether someone visits your store after clicking a Facebook ad.

The reality is that growing your website traffic does drive in-store foot traffic and sales. Websites are powerful digital marketing tools, and aligning what consumers experience on the Internet has become an integral part of the bricks and mortar buying experience.

Here are 5 ways growing your website traffic drives your in-store foot traffic too:

1. Websites inform and underpin purchase decisions

Websites drive product awareness, and a rich online consumer experience can include graphics, animated GIFs, photos, video, and tiers of product information. Not surprisingly, the tremendous growth of video is due in large part to the fact that according to Animoto, seventy-three percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video about it first. For consumers, websites offer 360-degree product views and the ability to zoom in and look at product detailing. User-friendly websites inform consumers, offer video clips that engage the imagination and ultimately underpin the buying decision.

geo-targeting2. Online maps provide location information

If consumers are in search of a restaurant, retailer or other business, smartphones are a go-to resource for location information. With an integrated Google map on your website, customers can bring up directions, get a view of the surrounding area or locate parking. If you have location tracking activated on your smartphone, search queries will prioritize locations that are physically closest to you when you search. You can use the Internet to check business hours, find the correct address, phone number, and the closest store if there are multiple locations. Restaurants can further integrate the value of their online presence with reservation-booking apps like OpenTable that will provide directions and calendar reminders.

3. Websites push real-time information and propel foot traffic

An L2 Daily article noted, …73 percent of respondents said they would be likely to go into a store if relevant products were shown as available online — versus just 18 percent who said they would head to a store if a website had no information on inventory availability.” Whether it is inventory levels, holiday, weekly or limited time offers, websites provide a platform to deliver real-time information. Marketing campaigns can utilize push notifications, email campaigns that link back to the online store or eye-catching graphics to get timely, pertinent information to the consumer. If the information is contextualized by consumer interest or location, it can give in-store traffic and sales an added boost.

4. Internet drives search queries

The first step in the process of buying something from a business is finding it, either physically or online, and the number of search queries done on Google alone is stunning. There are approximately 3.5 billion search queries on Google daily, an average of 40,000 queries each second, according to Internet Live Stats. With free business listings on Google My Business, companies provide important location information, photos and even collect online reviews from consumers. Now, there is a new messaging feature, so you can activate chat via the Google My Business portal and allow customers to send you a text. This type of easily accessible, relevant information will continue to propel Internet search queries.  

foot traffic5. Website traffic can grow your mailing list

There is nothing quite as valuable as a potential customer that wants to be on your mailing list. If website visitors opt into your email list via a contact form on your site, they want to hear from you. If you have an e-commerce site, your website will also capture purchase history and contact information. Using this customer information collected by your website, you can grow your mailing list. Email list in hand, a business can target subscribers with timely information about their products or services and drive customer foot traffic back to the store.

From providing timely, contextual information to consumers to facilitating search queries, email lists, and online reviews, marketing savvy websites are no longer nice-to-have, but rather a must-have. Leveraging them will grow your website traffic and drive in-store foot traffic too.

____________

Not sure if your website is driving foot traffic to your business? Contact us for a site audit; we’d love to help.

how to market your business with facebook

How to Market Your Business With Facebook

Facebook is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. When a company has a strong core business and then layers on well-executed Facebook marketing, it’s transformative. Sort of like the expression “building strong communities one child at a time,” Facebook marketing can be a game changer for businesses with high impact results built one campaign at a time.

Surprisingly, many companies, both large and small, neither prioritize social media nor feel like they have the time to commit to it. To the extent that there is a social strategy in place, results are neither tracked nor measured. Many people perceive Facebook as a social network rather than a powerful marketing platform. But, if you’re a business owner and you are not actively using Facebook to market your products and services, you are missing a huge opportunity to find, reach and connect with your customers.

Here are 10 ways to market your business with Facebook:

1. Boost your Facebook posts

The numbers are grim. According to an article by Social@Ogilvy, organic reach, people who see your Facebook post without any paid advertising boost, amounts to approximately 6% of your followers. For Facebook pages, the primary tool for business, it is closer to 2%. Social@Ogilvy’s prediction based on their interactions with Facebook is even more bleak,”Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.” So, if your social media strategy includes posting to Facebook without a paid social strategy, you are not reaching the vast majority of people that follow your page.

Facebook Tip #1: Create an audience in Facebook Ads Manager, and boost your posts. If your business is small, even a dollar or two spent per post will dramatically broaden your audience reach.

2. Add images to every Facebook post

Facebook posts with a picture outperform ones without – dramatically. According to BuzzSumo, “…updates with images had an amazing 2.3x more engagement than those without.” Every Facebook post should have an image, and the abundance of high-quality free stock photo sites makes this task an easy one. Instead of having a Facebook page that looks like a mishmash of posts plus the occasional image, represent your business with great pictures and thoughtful copy every time you post.

Facebook Tip #2: Add images to each and every Facebook post. Use free stock photo sites like Pixabay, Pexels, or Stock Up to find them. WhoIsHostingThis also has a list of close to 100 free stock photo sites. If you are curating the post content and you don’t like the attached image, you can still upload your own graphic and make it the primary image for the post.

Facebook location filter3. Use demographic and location filters when setting up Facebook ads

Facebook has an incredible array of audience targeting options. You might be surprised just how granular the targeting can be. When setting up Facebook ads, filters help you zero in on the audience you are trying to reach. In addition to age, gender and location, one filter that is often overlooked is net worth. If a business sells high-end homes, luxury cars or exclusive experiences, for example, it’s not a bad strategy to use the net worth income filter. Another important filter in the suite of audience targeting tools offered by Facebook is location – the ability to target a certain radius around a city or even a certain zip code.

Facebook Tip #3: Identify and then target your ads towards potential customers by using relevant demographic or location Facebook audience filters.

4. Consider trying the new Store Visits Facebook campaign

Location based businesses want to know whether social media campaigns drive foot traffic into their stores. Facebook has introduced a Store Visits campaign option. The idea is that if you have a bricks and mortar business, you can create an ad and Facebook will show the ad to people most likely to be in that area. Apparently, Google plans to roll out something similar for display network ads.

The Facebook Store Visits campaign has limited metrics. We recently compared the results for an established Google remarketing campaign against a Facebook Store Visits campaign over a one month period. We had the same marketing dollars applied to each and it was the same client – one month we tried Facebook Store Visits and one we kept the original Google remarketing campaign. Website traffic and Facebook referral traffic to the website were markedly down using the Store Visits campaign, so our conclusion is there’s still lots of work to do on this front, but it’s the right idea for sure.

Facebook Tip #4: Use the new Facebook Store Visits campaign option in addition to, not in lieu of your current marketing strategy. The idea of in-store foot traffic as a measure of social media conversion is here to stay.

Facebook pages to watch5. Set up Pages to Watch in Facebook Insights

This Facebook feature is really useful. In Facebook Insights, there is a section called Pages to Watch. You can add Facebook pages for your competitors and look at comparative metrics such as Total Page Likes, Posts This Week and Engagement This Week. If the engagement for one of your competitors’ Facebook pages spikes or is consistently strong, Pages to Watch serves as a reminder to see what they are doing.

Facebook Tip #5: Use Pages to Watch in Facebook Insights and track 5 competitor Facebook pages. Set a goal to surpass their metrics and be cognizant of what they are doing, and see if your page can climb to the top of your Pages to Watch list.  

6. Post videos on your Facebook page

According to TechCrunch, over 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook every day. It’s equivalent to 100 million hours of time that people are watching video on Facebook. Even more important, Facebook is rated as the most impactful social channel for video — 8.4X higher than any other social channel, according to Animoto.

Currently, a Facebook video can be up to 45 minutes in length while Instagram, by comparison, only permits video uploads of between 3 and 60 seconds. The ability to upload lengthier videos on Facebook makes it a versatile, robust video platform.

Facebook Tip #6: Build video into your marketing strategy and post videos on Facebook. As of June 2017, you can use a video for your Facebook cover too.

negative online reviews7. Collect customer reviews on Facebook

A steady stream of online reviews has become the new normal for business. In a list of top 10 review sites, Facebook ranks #2. With an estimated 214 million Facebook users in the US and 1.94 billion monthly active users worldwide, it is an ideal platform to collect online reviews and respond to customer feedback. Positive reviews on 3rd party platforms such as Facebook are credible social proof for your business and drive revenue, foot traffic, and consumer purchasing decisions.

Facebook Tip #7: Activate the Reviews Tab on your Facebook business page so that you can collect online reviews and engage with your customers. Answer your reviews promptly and professionally.

8. Encourage Facebook check-ins

When customers visit your business, they can “check-in” on Facebook, an option which tells others via the news feed that the customer is at your business. Depending upon what audience the customer chooses, either the public or just friends can see (s)he is at your business. Could there be a better endorsement? In addition, the person checking in at your business can tag friends, upload photos and write a post. As a business owner, you should LIKE the check-in post as a way to say – we’re glad you’re here!

Facebook Tip #8: Take advantage of Facebook check-ins by reminding your customers to check-in while they are at your business. If you’re a retailer with free samples, put some in a basket on your counter and let customers choose one if they check-in. Check-ins are an easy and effective way to get the word out about your business to people who may not otherwise know about you.

Facebook Wi-Fi

9. Connect to more customers with Facebook Wi-Fi

If your business offers guest Wi-Fi, Facebook Wi-Fi is an interesting way to advertise your business, reinforce your brand and build engagement with your Facebook page. Once you set it up, the way it works is that when customers want to access your guest Wi-Fi, they are presented with two options. If they check-in on Facebook, they get immediate Wi-Fi access. If they don’t want to check-in, they can still input your guest Wi-Fi password as normal and skip the Facebook check-in. As mentioned in #8 above, check-ins are broadcast on other people’s Facebook news feeds, so it’s great advertising for you.

Facebook Tip #9: Set up Facebook Wi-Fi and actively add your promotions on your Facebook page. When people check-in to access your Wi-Fi, they can see business specials, events or announcements that you have posted.

10. Give an insider’s view with Facebook Live

Facebook Live gives you the opportunity to live-stream broadcasts to potential customers and see their reactions and comments. You can give an insider’s view of what you do behind the scenes or offer a longer how-to instructional video. As you build a following, people can choose to get notifications when you are streaming, and there is even a Facebook Live Map so people that may not know about you can find Facebook Live videos currently in progress.

Facebook Tip #10: Interact with your audience using Facebook Live. Give them a glimpse of an event on location, a walking tour of your store or even share your desktop screen and offer a tutorial.

Every company, no matter the size, can use Facebook to market their business. It’s one of the most versatile, impactful marketing platforms available, and much of what you can use is free. What’s not to LIKE about that?

If you need help with your Facebook marketing or don’t know how to get started, contact us.

 

negative review

If Your Business Gets a Negative Review, What Should You Do?

It’s bound to happen.

Unhappy customers in a mobile world are a tough combination for business. Dissatisfied patrons seem almost determined to post a negative review and even worse, review sites permit customers to upload pictures too. So, if your coffee house has an overflowing trash can or the floor needs sweeping, a customer can snap a photo and upload it to a review site for all to see. Negative reviews have become the digital version of calling someone out, and they can wreak havoc on your business.

On a 5-star rating scale, everything that is 3-stars, 2-stars or 1-star is within the realm of a negative review. Why? 3-stars mean the customer is not exactly endorsing your business, plus often there are no comments with a 3-star review. 3-stars certainly won’t compel anyone to visit your establishment; potential customers will continue searching the Internet for the 5-star one instead. With 2-stars and 1-star reviews, there is usually a comment alongside the rating, and more often than not, the commentary will painstakingly describe every aspect of the issue.

So, if your business gets a negative online review, what should you do?

1. Answer the negative customer review

No business wants an unfavorable review; but on the bright side, in giving your business a review, a customer is talking to you and telling you something. Customer conversations are always helpful, and if you take the time to address the issue, sometimes customers will even go back and amend the number of review stars as well as their comments. Acknowledge the bad experience the customer had and respond to the review promptly and politely suggesting something that may help if (s)he visits in future. For example, put in your response, “Please don’t ever hesitate to get the manager on duty involved because the quality of your experience is very important to us.”

Negative reviews are the digital version of calling someone out, and they can wreak havoc on your business.

2. Avoid putting your company name in the online review response

Online review comments can come up when customers search the Internet. An important rule of thumb is to keep your company name out of a response to negative online reviews. Instead of, “We are sorry you had a bad experience at Joe’s Coffee House,” say, “We are sorry you had a bad experience at our coffee house.” On the flip side, for positive reviews, do add your company name in the response as well as a positive aspect about your business.

3. Look for patterns in online customer feedback

It’s easy to brush off a negative review as the result of an unreasonable customer, but there are often patterns in reviews. If one of your locations consistently has complaints about the reception staff, for example, chances are you have a problem. Businesses mistakenly believe they will be able to leave positive reviews on the Internet, and they can hire a reputation management company to remove the negative ones from 3rd party sites. Not so. Customer reviews cannot be taken down just because they are negative, so it’s wise to look for patterns in the feedback and see if there is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed in your business.  

4. Know your review sites

The top review sites are household names: Google My Business, Facebook, Amazon and Yelp. Less well known is the fact that you can have an unclaimed or unofficial page about your business collecting reviews, and no one in your business either set it up or is actively monitoring it. Many times we will ask a new reputation management client if they know where their reviews are and in one recent case, they told us, “Yes, of course, we have reviews on Yelp and Facebook!” A quick scan found they had multiple reviews on Google My Business as well.

In another recent example, a patron of one of our reputation management clients had a negative experience and posted a 1-star review on Facebook. He then proceeded to post the same negative review on YP (the online yellow pages) and Google My Business. The lesson is that your customers are pretty savvy, and your reputation management strategy must be too.

5. Use reputation management technology

You must proactively monitor and respond to your online customer reviews. Luckily, there are reputation management software solutions that provide dedicated portals, monitoring services and the ability to answer reviews directly from the portal. You can even use reputation management technology to stream positive reviews into a company website review page while filtering out negative reviews from the stream. This technology allows a business to leverage their positive reviews while actively addressing the negative ones.

Online Reviews: 10 Compelling Reasons to Manage Your Reputation

The Resourceful Business team recently put together an infographic: Online Reviews: 10 Compelling Reasons to Manage Your Reputation. Download the print version here. And if you’re ready to take control of your online reviews, we would love to help. Contact us to get started.  

Google Data Studio for website analytics

Google Data Studio: 3 Easy Steps To Your Website Analytics

Have you ever wondered what percentage of your website visitors are returning, how long they stay on your website or what pages they look at while they are there? Google Analytics (GA) tracks a multitude of statistics like these, yet according to BuiltWith, only 7.8 percent of the 370 million websites on the Internet use Google Analytics. Given what Google Analytics can do, the percentage is shockingly low, but understandable too. Although GA has long provided a treasure trove of information about a website and its traffic, for business owners, it’s not been an intuitive interface to tackle. Now, there’s the incredibly user-friendly Google Data Studio.

Google Data Studio, still in beta, is a new tool that pulls data from your Google ecosystem, Google Analytics or AdWords as examples, into visual dashboards. We took a spin with Google Data Studio to see if we could put together a quick, informative, visual report pulling key information from website data in GA. It was a breeze.

Now you can create a remarkable, easy to understand snapshot of your website traffic using Google Data Studio. You’ll quickly see the value of the data as you grow your business and marketing efforts. You’ll need to connect Google Analytics to your website first, and then you’re ready to begin.  

Step 1: Sign up for Google Data Studio

Go to Google Data Studio and signup for free using your Google account. Use the same Google account linked to your website Google Analytics because Google Data Studio does not replace GA, but rather provides more user-friendly dashboards for viewing the data. Once you login to Data Studio, you will see a dashboard, and there are several pre-built templates which are set up to help you visualize data from many different sources including Google Analytics. You can completely customize and create your own report, but we grabbed the Google Analytics template for Acme Marketing – [Sample] Acme Marketing Website – as a starting point.

Google Data Studio sample AdWords report

Step 2. Select your data source for the Google Data Studio report

When you click on the Acme Marketing Google Analytics template, a turquoise and gray sample report pops up. In the top right of the screen, there is an icon which gives you the option to “Make a copy of this report.” Copy it and you will see a pop-up screen “Create new report.”

Connect data source in Google Data Studio

The Acme Marketing report uses sample data. To populate your report with your own website data, you will need to connect the Google Analytics data for your website.

In the pop-up window, look to the right where it says New Data Source, then:

  • Click on [Sample] Google Analytics Data
  • Click the blue CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE
  • In the left sidebar menu entitled Connectors, choose Google Analytics
  • Pick the relevant Account, (website) Property and View
  • Click the CONNECT button in the top right-hand corner
  • Click the ADD TO REPORT button in the top right-hand corner
  • Under the New Data Source section, your website Property is now listed, so you can CREATE REPORT

You’re connected!

Only 7.8 percent of the 370 million websites on the Internet use Google Analytics. – BuiltWith

Step 3. Customize the Google Data Studio report layout, theme, and elements

  • First things first – name your report in the top left of the screen near the Data Studio icon by typing over the words Copy of [Sample] Acme Marketing Website
  • Pick your date range by clicking the calendar dates in the top right of the report and select date range in the right sidebar
  • Click and delete sample elements such as the Acme Marketing logo on the top left and the note centered at the top, “SAMPLE REPORT – MAKE A COPY TO EDIT.”
  • Add your own graphic or text elements. Here are two examples. Add a logo by clicking the image icon in the top menu (a square with a mountain) and drag out a square or rectangular space with your cursor. Click Select a file in the right sidebar under DATA and choose your logo from your computer files. The logo will be sized and put in the outlined space. To add text, click the text icon in the top menu (a box with a “T”), draw out a square or rectangle with the cursor and type in your text. Customize your Text Properties in the right sidebar.

If you want to add more data views, you can either delete and replace what is in the sample report, or:

  • Add a blank page to the report with the “+Add a page” option on the top left of the menu.
  • Add custom elements

Here’s another quick example:

  1. Choose the Table icon on the top menu
  2. Drag out a rectangular or square shape with your cursor
  3. Immediately the table is populated with default source data, so in the right sidebar menu, click the green Source button under Dimensions
  4. Choose whichever data dimension you want to see
  5. Need a shorter table? Drag the lower border up and fewer entries will show.
  6. Prefer a different visualization? Repeat these steps choosing a different option besides Table or change your data source.

You can continue to add pages or visual dashboards that are useful to you. All of the elements of the report can be stylized to match your brand colors by clicking on them and using the STYLE options in the right sidebar. Your report is automatically saved because you are in the Google cloud ecosystem. Plus, all of the features you are used to with Google Docs such as sharing and download as PDF are either available or coming soon.

The best part? Once you create the report you want, you can change the date range each month and refresh the report for an updated view.

We’re loving the new Google Data Studio as an intuitive, interactive interface to view essential Google Analytics data for a website. Give it a try and tell us your thoughts in the comments!