On “Switched on IT,” the PowerTV Australia show that co-hosted by Doug Endersbee of OZ Hosting and W3 Consulting’s Ray Sidney-Smith, Episode 4, Doug interviews Ray about Social Media marketing, starting with the use of Facebook, Instagram and som…
Find the original archive of the video here: Social Media Content Done Right | Web and Beyond. We can’t create content all the time. We’re business owners and we have a business to run, that’s likely not creating content for
In this episode (3) of “Switched on IT,” the PowerTV Australia show that I co-host with Doug Endersbee of OZ Hosting, we cover some of the high-level areas that you need to understand about Search Engine Optimization for Small Business.
Happy World Backup Day, Small Business! Are you saving your business (data)? Our company experienced our own unfortunate circumstance with a fire that affected our entire office building. I had a business continuity plan for a wide variety of possible
You’re a business owner and you have a business to run. However, creating content for Social Media is important, if you have the right sales infrastructure in place! It’s sometimes a distraction to focus solely on content creation when other
While the first phase of Google review traffic success is getting them, taking your Google review strategy to the next level is most certainly responding to Google reviews. Setting and managing buyers’ expectations is tough when you control little abou…
Google commands nearly 80% of Web and 90% of mobile search traffic on the planet. With global search leaders such as Yahoo, Bing (Microsoft), and Baidu (in China) still commanding between 5 and 15 percent each, they are forces not
Google commands nearly 80% of Web and 90% of mobile search traffic on the planet. With global search leaders such as Yahoo, Bing (Microsoft), and Baidu (in China) still commanding between 5 and 15 percent each, they are forces not to be ignored, but we know the clear winner of this battle in the war for consumers’ attention. People google things. And, they’re googling your business’ products or services to see Google reviews.
So Google has decided that these local reviews of your products or services are important to the decision-making process for consumers. And, if the search juggernaut thinks this is important, it’s best to take advantage of the opportunity that Google’s review platform provides (which is built within Google Maps and is managed with the Google My Business dashboard).
Often, local businesses don’t understand how to gain traction with Google reviews. Or, they don’t understand Google’s review policy. So, here I’d like to outline how to take your business to the next level with getting (mostly good) Google reviews.
Note: If you have a bad product, service, location, staff or customer service, this methodology won’t help you, unless you decide to fix these management/operations issues. I can’t also help you remove Google reviews. If the problem is deeper than that and not working, I’d head over to the Google My Business community to learn how to handle spam, fraudulent, and other wrongful review issues.
Get Your Google My Business Listing Completed Fully | Getting Google Reviews
To start, get your business listing claimed and verified. Not everyone can have a business listing on Google My Business; I don’t make the rules, but you do need to follow them. You will need a Google account (or G Suite account), so create one or sign in using yours to Google My Business, then follow the “get your business listing claimed and verified” support article. While you can do this on a mobile device, I recommend doing so from your desktop Web browser so you have all functionality available to you.
Set Your Review Capture System Up | Getting Google Reviews
Now that you have your business listing claimed and verified, you can watching the Google reviews pour in, right? Uhm, no. Sorry. There’s still quite a bit of work ahead. But, that’s an important milestone on your way to getting (mostly good) Google reviews! To really start getting the reviews flowing, follow my three-step process for soliciting and capturing customers’ reviews on Google.
Get your Google Review link. I don’t know them, but (for creating such a great tool and being Canadian, I can’t help but think they’re good and nice people) the folks over at White Spark agency have provided the free Google Review Link Generator.
Create a special customer service email address that is handled by someone dedicated to handling negative feedback, preferably you or someone high enough to make substantive, timely decisions and actions to turn unsatisfied customers into raving brand advocates.
A happy customer who buys and leaves your business and says nothing about you to anyone is of no really value in the world of reviews. An unhappy customer that you’ve helped fix their issue is one that will tell many more people about his or her experience and has a great value to you for review purposes! Seize opportunities of unhappy customers turned happy ones, and the meat of how to do this is in Step Three.
Send your customers either upon purchase, delivery or at their highest satisfaction peak in your relationship, a review request. Turn this into a system that is executed precisely and consistently throughout your business operations.
This review request communication will read something like this:
Hi, [Customer’s Name],
We appreciate your business! As part of our process to continually make good on our [product/service] and our customer service promises, we would really appreciate your feedback. This also helps new customers evaluate our [product/service/business] and helps us grow our business to continue living up to our standards. Could you take a few minutes to review us?
Yes, I love our [product/service]! No, I had a bad experience.
Now, the “Yes, I love your [product/service]!” is hyperlinked to your Google Review link that you generated in Step One. And, your “No, I had a bad experience.” link is to your special customer service email address. Mostly good reviews go to Google, while bad feedback primarily gets sent to someone who can deal with it.
Your responsibility is now to handle the negative feedback with “white glove” treatment. That’s a topic we cover in our next blog post. But, it is imperative to solicit these Google reviews well and consistently. Train your staff (and yourself ) to identify appropriate times and places for asking for Google reviews from your clients, including but not limited to:
- by email,
- printed on receipts,
- by phone,
- In-person, or
- on your website after purchase.
Once you’ve managed to get this three-step process in place and tweaked it so that you can see it working consistently in your business, you will start to reap the rewards of mostly good Google reviews while having a pipeline of new reviews coming in regular. And, in doing so, hopefully that will start to bring meaningful, profitable traffic to your Google My business listing and to your business.
The Facebook Dislike button has been debated for years, requested by many users, and confused Small Business owners on what they should do about it all. As any changes are tested, here is how you should approach your marketing. Let’s
The Facebook Dislike button has been debated for years, requested by many users, and confused Small Business owners on what they should do about it all. As any changes are tested, here is how you should approach your marketing.
Let’s start with the facts:
- Facebook is not testing a Dislike button. As reported, they’re testing to a very select few users the ability to downvote a comment in order to report to Facebook that a particular comment is counter to Facebook’s Community Standards, including “encouraging respectful behavior.”
- In 2016, Facebook did add Reactions, which is a way for people to react via emoji to posts and comments. This is a prosocial way to respond to posts and comments, including like, love, laugh, shock, sadness, and anger.
- And, again, no Facebook Dislike button is planned.
So, what’s a business owner to do about marketing in light of these changes? As I noted in my last article, Is Facebook Really Implementing a Dislike Button?, back in September 2015, about the Facebook Dislike button:
One thing I am sure about and that I’ve counseled all my Small Business clients about is, do not use the feature as a business. This is for a couple of reasons:
1. you don’t know yet how people will come to like or dislike (pun intended) the new feature;
2. unless you really are in a business where showing empathy and invading someone’s personal life makes sense, it’s likely inappropriate for your business (and just plain creepy) to be offering condolences about, say, a family’s loved one passing away; and,
3. if you (again) really are in a business where you have that kind of relationship with your customers or clients, you should be writing a comment to show genuine concern or sending a personalized, private message to your customers or clients. If you’ve lost a loved one or something powerful has negatively impacted your life, how dismissed would you feel to get a click-of-a-button response from your favorite business? I thought so.
A community’s culture changes slowly and any release of a major feature can become an animal of its own kind. There’s no sense in getting caught up in a feature that the media will likely report on only the salacious, shocking and negative. Of course, if there’s a legitimate argument for using these tools (see nos. 2 and 3 above, or if reporting spam/abuse), go for it.
My general recommendation is to do nothing with any Dislike features. Ignore the hype and focus on creating positive, useful content with a coordinated sales strategy.