How to Use Twitter for Local Businesses

Twitter has an average of 88 million US visitors every month, but what you need to know is how to get in front of the half million who are within driving distance of your business. When people want to know what is going on right now, they turn to Twitter. They know it is the best way to get and share information instantly and connect with people and businesses, both locally and around the world.

With over 500 million tweets sent every day, there are ways for your business to stand out locally and reach an audience of new and existing customers. You can create meaningful connections with a relevant audience while generating leads and building a loyal customer base.

twitter for local businesses

Use these links to the many resources Twitter has for your business:

How to Use Twitter

Creating a Twitter Profile for Your Business

Building a Content Strategy for Twitter

Growing and Engaging Your Followers

Tracking Your Results with Twitter Analytics

Tips for Using Twitter for Local Businesses

Get Personal

One of the biggest advantageous of Twitter for local business is that unlike some other social networks, you don’t have to have someone as a follower to get your message in front of them. If there is someone you want to engage on Twitter you can simple send a Tweet mentioning the person you want to get your message to. Example: @JJWatt Stop by @HoustonDonuts for the best bear claws in town. #Tasty

Tweet Breakdown

Optimize Your Twitter Bio

This is where your audience looks once you’ve caught their attention with a tweet or they found your profile on Twitter so make it attractive and fill it out correctly. Show your personality and make it clear what you do for your customers. Choose a cover photo that is a clear visual representation of your business and consider your smiling face instead of a logo for your profile photo (people like doing business with people). Remember that your profile photo will appear as a little icon next to every one of your tweets. Create a concise 160 character bio that shows why you are unique and leave out the hashtags. Most importantly, include a trackable URL so customers have an easy-to-use link to your website.

Designate Your Geographic Location and Enable it in Tweets

When using Twitter for local businesses it is vital to fill out your location on your profile because this is searchable on Twitter. Plus, if you are on Twitter and you can click on it and you will see tweets going on locally and join relevant conversations. Your location is disable by default to turn it on open a new tweet and click on the “Location” icon and turn on your location.

enable location twitterUse Pinned Tweets

Twitter gives you the ability to “pin” a tweet of your choice to the top of your twitter feed on your profile page. This gives maximum exposure to your best tweets and it is easy to do. Simply click the “more” option on your tweet and select “pin to your profile page” and it will stick to the top of your timeline until you change it.

Use Images A LOT

Tweets with images stand out and get more engagement on Twitter. In fact, according to Buffer (a leader in the social media industry) tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without images. Make sure your images are sized correctly so they are not cropped in the tweet, and use JPG or PNG for images and GIF or PNG for vector or line art images.

images in tweetsPut Videos in Your Tweets

Did you know you can shoot a 30 second video from inside Twitter mobile app? Crazy, right? Think of all the opportunities your local business has to post a quick customer testimonial, show what’s going on in your store, or events you are participating in. You can also add videos from your files. Just open a new tweet and click on the media button (or camera icon if you are on a small screen) and record or add your video.

Give the People What They Want and then Promote Your Business

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule and on Twitter, depending on how many times a day you tweet, it’s a better practice to use a 90/10 rule. This means that 90% of the time you are providing your audience with helpful, valuable, or entertaining information in your tweets and only then are you doing any direct promotion of your products or services. People on won’t follow you on Twitter to see the same coupon in their Twitter feed five times a day so show your personality and give them a reason to follow you so you can market your business to an engaged audience.

LEADS – Use Hashtag Search to Find Your Audience

You are doing all this to grow your business so if you aren’t building your brand, reaching a larger audience, and generating leads Twitter can be a waste of time. A good way to find local customer on Twitter is to use tools like the search feature on Twitter or Hashtagify to search your #location to see who is tweeting about your area and see related hashtags that will help you reach your local audience. While you are looking at tweets make sure to note any big influencers in your market that you can engage with and possibly get a retweet of your best stuff.

Now, before you go searching for new customers make sure you have a profile and Twitter presence that people want to stay connected to by creating a killer profile, using photos and videos, and giving your audience something of value so often they don’t mind the little bit of self-promotion you do.

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post How to Use Twitter for Local Businesses appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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How to Own & Earn a Customer Winning Online Reputation

Your business’s online reputation is made up by all the things said about you online. These “conversations” are often one-sided, but still powerful in how they shape potential customers’ trust and perception of the quality of your product and reliability of your service. You can control how you appear online and win more customers by learning how to own and earn a positive online reputation.

Reputation Winning CustomersOwning and Earning a Customer Winning Online Reputation

When you search the internet for your business or name, what shows up? A large part of reputation management is owning, and thus controlling, the information that shows up in online searches. The power to create an attractive online reputation is literally at your fingertips. If you have a website and a blog, you should be consistently creating and publishing quality content and media (images, videos, and infographics) that are optimized for internet search.

Earn positive reviews from customers to show consumers that what they see on your website, read in your ads, and find in their online research is true. According to a recent BrightLocal survey, over 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Additionally, your business profiles and pages with customer ratings and reviews on popular sites like Yelp and Google rank high in search results. While you can’t control every review, you can successfully manage this process to show consistent high ratings.

Own Your Domain Name(s)

Even if you aren’t ready to build a website or start a blog, purchase domains that should belong to your business and keep them current so someone else doesn’t use it in a way that will hurt your online reputation or force you to pay a ridiculously high price to get it back.

Earn Positive Ratings and Reviews

Start with a great product and exceptional customer service, and you’ll have a smoother journey to creating a stellar online reputation. But even the best businesses need to nurture the feedback process and proactively promote their customer reviews to ensure that the best reviews are making it to the review sites that matter most. Effective reputation management involves using a system that includes:

  • Continuous gathering of feedback from customers
  • A process to address customer issues before they become negative reviews
  • A way to make it easy for customers to post positive reviews to the review websites your potential customers use the most when making their buying decisions
  • Consistent monitoring of customer reviews across the main review sites

RepLoop-FeedbackTagOL-white_pageClick the logo to check out how Reputation Loop’s software automates reputation management to effortlessly build a five-star reputation.

 

Put Out Fresh, Valuable, and Search Engine Optimized Content

You have a better chance of controlling the online conversation about your company if you are talking the most and the loudest. Learn how to get or create quality content first and then brush up on your search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure it gets found online. Read “SEO in 2016 – What You Need to Know” for a refresher on how you can rank higher in search engine results.

Own Earn Online ReputationCreate and Manage Your Online Business Listings

Statistics show that over half of local searches are for a business’ location and hours. Search engines pull this information from dozens of sources, most of which are business listings – some you’ve created and some which were automatically created in the process of just being online. Don’t underestimate the importance of business listing management and the damage of having inaccurate or missing information about your business online. Not managing your business listings is how many businesses end up with conflicting information online, and search engines don’t like to give inaccurate results so your business will end up lower in search results. Read “The What Why and How of Business Listings and Citations” to get a better understanding on owning and leveraging your business listings.

Claim Your Social Media Profiles

Again, even if you aren’t ready to use them, grab up your business name and obvious variations before someone else does. But with so many consumers on social media and social media post now showing up in search results, learning how to engage your audience and promote your business gives you even more online content to control and leverage.

You’re In Control – Own and Earn Your Online Reputation

When you consider the importance of your online presence and how hard it is to rebuild a tarnished online reputation, it clear that creating and maintaining a positive online reputation for your business should be a top priority. Building on the foundation of a strong foundation of a search engine optimized website and fresh content, managing your online reputation to a five-star level is a little bit of work with a HUGE return on investment.

 

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post How to Own & Earn a Customer Winning Online Reputation appeared first on Reputation Loop.

from Reputation Loop http://ift.tt/1U9FmKm
via IFTTT From Our Associates at Reputation Loop

New Email Marketing – Higher Conversion Rates and Customer Retention

Email continues to be the workhorse of eCommerce as new email marketing techniques bring higher conversion rates and greater customer retention. Email marketing is also one of the best ways to distribute and promote both your content and your product.

As consumers become more and more dependent on their mobile devices, smartphone email conversion rates continue to grow. Reading email is the #1 activity on smartphones and it is time to take advantage of this opportunity to reach your audience with engaging content that increases customer retention, drives more customers to your website, delivers more phone calls to your business, and sends more traffic to your location.

New Email Marketing Techniques for Higher Conversion Rates and Greater Customer Retention

email marketing customer retention

Warm Up Your List with Social Media Pre-Targeting

Pre-targeting involves warming up your list with retargeted social media ads before you send a major campaign. You’ll segment your email list to target subscribers who meet the criteria for this specific campaign. Then you export those email addresses into a spreadsheet or text file that you import into an ad platform that allows retargeting such as Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Twitter Tailored Audiences (note: if your most of your audience use AdBlock this might not be worth the effort)

The ads you create for these social media campaigns are to raise your brand awareness. Think along the lines of “Countdown to…” or “Coming to Your Inbox”. Give a little tease of what’s to come if you want, but the goal is to get your business top-of- mind with your customers. Make sure any clicks lead to a good landing page, but remember the point here is to build awareness. After a week or so of ads you will have created a high level of exposure that will prep your subscribers for the major email campaign that is coming to their inbox.

Mobile Optimization is Key

Two-thirds of emails are now read on mobile devices according to the US Consumer Device Preference Report from Movable Ink. With bigger screens you have a little more room you can use responsive designs to create emails that use smartphone friendly fonts and keep your call-to-actions front and center. Mobile friendly emails are a must as your users expect to quick loading emails that get to the good stuff fast. Keep emails short and concise and optimize graphics and videos so they don’t slow down the load time.

These are some tools you can use to test how your email will appear on smaller smartphone screens:

Mail Chimp Inbox Inspector – Automatically selects your readers 10 most used email clients – Starting at $15 per month

Preview My Email – Get real screenshots of your email on applications and devices – Starting at $49 per month

Email on Acid – Preview email in 45 email clients and mobile devices – Starting at $45 per month

Litmus – Instant previews for email testing among other features – Starting at $69 per month

mobile email turnoffsPersonalization Beyond Dear <First Name>

We all know that you didn’t personally write each individual email sent to your 4,000+ email list so you start with “Dear Zach”. You didn’t trick anyone into thinking you know them personally. Personalization is important for delivering emails people want to open. But putting their name in a salutation isn’t what marketers mean by personalization. The downside to this one tactic is you are using up valuable preview space with this salutation and separating blank line on smaller screens. What would be really cool is if you fit their name APPROPRIATELY inside the email. That would be unique and still personal. Plus, their name would pop out in a sea of text, making them read deeper into the email.

Your customers are overloaded with messages from everywhere, all day, every day. They are only going to focus on the things that mean the most to them, so clearly some personalization is important. Beyond providing true value, you will want to send emails that are engaging, timely and above all relevant. Email automation allows you to craft and send personalized messages to your customers based on their behavior.

Trigger based campaigns let you send completely customized targeted messages to your list subscribers based on details like how long ago they opted in, cart abandonment or if they have ever clicked through to your website. These behavior-triggered emails mean the right person, gets the right message, at the right time.

Provide Valuable & Relevant Content

When an email from your business shows up in an inbox people you want the reader’s reaction to be “Yeah. What do they have for me today?” If people are not opening your emails, clicking on your links, or even worse opting out then they are probably having less happy thoughts about what you are sending.

A mistake a lot of business owners make when sending emails is deciding what they want to sell or promote and then composing the email or creating a campaign. Your business won’t survive without sales, so it’s a logical starting point. But if you want high-converting and successful email campaigns you need to start with one idea: What does the customer want? If you do not have a very detailed answer to this question you are wasting time building an email list.

When you know what your audience wants, you can give it to them while finding a way to position your offer or call-to-action as a way to give them even more of what they want. Your content should stay focused on providing value to the customer first, and highlight the benefits of your working with your business second (if at all). One clear call-to-action is all you need to let them know what they should do next. Link to quality content if you have a lot to say or sell, and use the body of the email to give the reader something that makes their life better.

As online marketing changes, so will you how you reach your customers with new email marketing techniques.  If you are doing the same thing you were doing five years ago modernize your email marketing for you and for your customer. They will open your emails more, click your links and you’ll see more visits your website.

RepLoop-GrowTagOL

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post New Email Marketing – Higher Conversion Rates and Customer Retention appeared first on Reputation Loop.

from Reputation Loop http://ift.tt/1V5BtEM
via IFTTT From Our Associates at Reputation Loop

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Knowing that Google is Master of the Universe when it comes to search engine use and new customers finding your business, it is important you understand how important your Google My Business listing is to ranking in Google search results. Complete listings also influence search engine user behavior as one study shoes that users who view more complete listings are about 30% more likely to report an intention to visit a store or purchase from it (Gybo 2014).

Google likes to keep things in-house as much as possible so it favors its own accurate and current business listings when giving local search results to its users. Additionally, if you want any chance of showing up in the life-altering Local 3-Pack which prominently displays the top three most relevant results for local search, you have to verify and optimize your Google My Business listing (preferably with dozens of five-star reviews).

7 Ways to Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Ensure Business Name, Address and Phone is Correct

Google wants your name on Google My Business to reflect your business’ real-world name as it is used on your storefront and is known by your customers. Take note that they do not permit you to add extra information to your name, such as location (Great Smiles Dentistry – North Dallas), taglines, special characters or URLs. Additionally, you can’t use P.O. Boxes for your address and you should use your local phone number for each location as opposed to a call center toll-free number.

Remember that it is very important that your NAP not only be correct on Google My Business, but consistent across the Web, so make sure you are monitoring and managing your business listings.

Get More and More Reviews

Encourage customer to review your business by clicking “Write a Review” on your Google My Business page. This is a simple and factual statement: The more reviews on your Google business page and the better the rating of those reviews, the higher you are going to rank in local search results. Customer Review Management is a real thing, it is vital to the success of your business, and you need to be doing it yesterday. Have a plan and process in place to ask customers for reviews and make it easy for them to post the best of your reviews on Google.

complete-google-my-business-profile

You need to make time to be an active presence on Google and respond appropriately to reviews to show future customers that high value you place on your customers’ experiences with your business. You can only respond to reviews on “verified” Google My Business pages, so if you haven’t done this yet, go now to Verify a Local Business on Google.

Update Your Business Hours with Every Change

Many businesses change their hours seasonally or year to year. Look at the hours on your listing and make sure they are up-to-date. Navigating with Google Maps, and selecting a business that Google believes is closed or closing soon, you will be asked if you still want to go to this location even though it is closed or closing within the hour. Don’t lose customers because you have the wrong hours listed. While you are at it, update your payment options if they have changed to avoid disappointing paying customers.

Pay Attention to the Map

You’ve verified your address is correct. Now take a look at your location on the map and make sure the marker is in the right place. If the marker placement doesn’t make sense or it is on the wrong side of the road, you can drag the marker on that map to your exact business location.

Pick ALL the Best Categories for Your Business

Categories on Google My Business is one of those instances where “more is more”. Select all the categories from their list that apply for your business, and don’t be afraid to get specific. “Sports Bar” is more relevant than “Bar” in search results. This helps Google consider your business as a relevant result for local searches in that category. Don’t over-reach or misrepresent your business. Google is sure to notice and won’t be happy. But choose all the categories that represent the services or products your business provides.

google-my-business-categoriesYou can find a complete listing of Google My Business categories by clicking this link and selecting the “en” (for English) tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet: Google My Business Locations Categories

Optimizing Individual Practitioners Listings

You know who you are:

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Lawyers
  • Financial Planners
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Insurance Agents

If you are a public facing professional, with your own customer base your name is your business name for Google My Business. If you work with clients and customers and they are able to directly contact you at the verified location during business hours then that is good enough for Google. For individual practitioners, Google wants you to create your own page, and you can include title and degree designations such as Dr., MD, JD, CFA, or Esq.

Photos, Photos, and More Photos

The right photo can go a long way in selling your business, but no photo is speaking volumes as well.

optimized-google-my-businessOne survey shows that photos, reviews, and opening hours all have a large, positive relationship with consumer engagement. Showing photos of your business location (interior and exterior) not only help customers find your business, it helps build the trust customers need to overcome the fear of the unknown and try a new business. With photos, customer reviews, and accurate location and contact information consumers are more likely to take a chance on your business.

Complete, Accurate, and Verified Google My Business Listings Benefit Your Business

By optimizing your Google My Business listing you can expect higher ranking in local search, an increased click-through-rate to your business website, and a better search (and find) experience for the user. A search user, if you can rank high, is likely to become your next customer.

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.


What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing appeared first on Reputation Loop.

from Reputation Loop http://ift.tt/1UMPbMp
via IFTTT From Our Associates at Reputation Loop