Articles written in January, 2013

January 29 2013

Google+ Allows Businesses to Reach Outside of Their Circles

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Google+ Circles allow businesses to group Google+ users into different Circles, so they can share certain things with particular groups. Once a G+ user has added a business’ page to their own Circle, they will start to see that business’ posts in their stream. Then that business will be able to add them back, group them into a Circle, and post comments on that G+ user’s page.

Recently, however, the rules of engagement in Google+ have changed. Businesses can now interact with G+ users who haven’t circled them on Google+ yet. What does this mean for companies? Well, from a marketing perspective, it means they can now cast a wider net to reach potential customers. For example, if a G+ user writes a post on their personal page raving about a local restaurant, that restaurant can then respond to that comment and it will show up live in the stream.

Conversely, if someone writes a negative comment about a business, that business has the opportunity to respond. While it opens the door for businesses to engage with potential or current customers — whether they like it or not – it also opens the door for spam. But if businesses use it wisely, it could help brands increase their following on Google+ — along with their customer base.

Posted in: Google+

January 16 2013

Facebook to “Nearby” to enter the mobile search arena

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Facebook launches a new local business tool that allows a user to search for local businesses with their mobile application.  The biggest difference with this new app is that it features their “Friends” recommendations.

The new feature is only available on mobile applications and the goal is to focus on reviews, check-ins, and ratings by user’s “Friends” list.  This allows for a much more unique customer experience as the searcher will know exactly who gave the reviews and what their “Friends” thought of the experience at the local establishment.  This application is only available on Facebook’s mobile platform and not the desktop version.

This is a huge opportunity for local businesses to establish their brands within a community.  By receiving reviews from customers that will directly influence other customers, it will help them gain maximum exposure.  The only thing required to be able to use the Nearby feature is to have a Facebook page, as the feature does not openly use data on the web.

Here are some tips from Facebook on how to promote your business within Nearby:

  1. Update your page’s basic information, including address, hours of business, phone number, and details about your product/service.
  2. Update your Category – Example:  If you’re a restaurant, make sure you select the appropriate category in order for Nearby to allow your business to be found appropriately.
  3. Encourage Friends/Fans to “like”, “check-in”, ratings, and recommendations

At this time, the Nearby feature is completely free and automatically indexes all business that have pages on Facebook.

January 8 2013

Targeting Influencers with Google+ Communities

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Google recently added a very Facebook-like feature to its burgeoning social network – Google+ Communities. Almost immediately, small, intensely-focused communities starting sprouting up across the network. Because these communities are full of highly-engaged early adopters, there’s a huge opportunity to use them to connect with influencers in your niche.

The best way to go about this is to join the communities that are relevant to your field, and take an active role in them – creating community-specific content just as you would for your social media profile.

Posts that work best are those that take an active, sincere interest in what you’re audience has to say. You can poll your audience, asking advice based on their experience and perspectives, or propose hangouts and plan events with community members.

This can be especially useful as part of a larger campaign designed to build relationships with social media influencers in your niche.

But make sure not to come on too strong. Because these communities are relatively small, you want to make sure not to overwhelm the feed. The appearance of spamming will not only turn current members off to your brand, it will inhibit the growth of the community.

The best way to behave within Google+ Communities is how you would in real life, with earnest sincerity and interest for what your target audience has to say.

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