June 2012 Archives

The G+ initiative has been accelerated with the merger of Google Place Pages and Google Plus.

This week Google started the migration from Google places and to a new platform called Google Plus Local. What does this mean for local search and retailers?

It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For us at Chatmeter, it means that the merger of local and social is continuing and that your brand visibility and reputation among the community is more important than ever. Some of the changes that are being made with this integration are: Google + local pages are indexed, "Search plus your world" is a factor in search results, and the star rating is replaced with the 30 point Zagat rating.

Not only are the G+ Local listing indexed, but people's engagement and reviews will have a factor in where G+ Local pages are ranked, which is called "search plus your world." For those unfamiliar with "search plus your world," "search plus your world" allows reviews and engagements from people in your Google + network to have an effect on your SERP(Search Engine Results Page).

For example, if you search for a Sushi restaurant in San Diego, places that people in your network have engaged in will rank higher in the search results page. How is this helpful? The more people that review and engage on a G+ Local page, the more people that page will reach and the higher it will rank on search results pages.

Like mentioned above G+ local is now indexed, and G+ pages can be used to create trusted back links. When a G+ URL is referenced, Google now sees that as a trusted backlink, which helps in rankings as well. This means SEO plays a factor in this social space.

Having a Google + page has been an important part of rankings for a while and now it's even more important. This is a great way for local businesses to compete with bigger companies. Local businesses can reference their G+ page in order to help their rankings on Google. This is where having a strong online presence and a community following can be very beneficial for local retailers.

Google has taken the benefits of having an engaging community to the next level with this merger. The importance for local businesses to manage their online presence and engage their communities is crucial and could be beneficial or harmful if not managed properly. Businesses will be rewarded in the form of higher rankings in friends' searches for the amount of engagement and reviews it has. Reviews will be more clear and easy to engage with by the 30 point Zagat system.

The challenge here is the Google is now requiring your customers to have a Google+ account to post a review. This is a big challenge for many businesses since adding another new account is always a barrier to engagement. If it's a simple process, then it has less impact, but setting up a Google+ account just to post a review is a big task.

With the integration of the Zagat review system, customers, potential customers, and businesses can now have a better understanding of what people think about a location. If you have over 10 reviews, the Zagat score will kick in. This scoring system breaks down certain aspects of a business, like food, d├ęcor, service and cost based on the customer's comments and scoring. By breaking it down into categories, it allows for better explanation of opinions and makes it easier to understand what is being said about a business.

This will allow businesses to get the most feedback out of what people are saying. Of course, if you have multiple locations, this can still be challenging. Here at chatmeter, we've designed our system to help you measure what people are saying at each location for your chain or franchise.

By merging Places with Google Plus, Google is certainly attempting to force adoption of Google+ among both business and consumers. This is a big challenge since the majority of people within these audiences are already using Facebook successfully to interact today.

However, with the influence it will have on Google Search results that could change. In addition, some are looking for the next big thing, so perhaps Google+ can get some of that audience. Ultimately, this is just making it that much harder to manage your online visibility and reputation with yet another site to create and interact with.

For more information on monitoring and improving your Google + page, please visit our review management page.
Google is certainly focusing more and more efforts in the local space. Here is an infographic of the projected product offerings for local in the near future.

We live in a digital world. . . I get that.   If I ever need a reminder of this all I need to do is look for my son and I will usually find him engrossed in his IPod Touch.

My question is, with all the time we spend on line viewing emails, websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook, Google + and texting, how much time are we spending really communicating?

How deep a thought can you ask and answer in 140 characters?

How meaningful a conversation can you have texting your BFF?

When you comment on a blog, does it lead to a two way dialogue  that further probes the question or better yet, are your comments even acknowledged?

I believe the true art of conversation and dialogue is becoming lost on society.    Very few people pick up a phone to find out what someone REALLY meant by a posted comment and because of that things are misinterpreted, perceptions are formed and acted upon that have little to do with the original intention of the initial discourse.

We answer a point quickly and move onto the next subject.   WHY?    Are we so inundated with information that we do not feel we have time to truly delve into the meaning of a query?     Do we focus on the trivial and not take the time to understand that which requires more thought and contemplation?    I would say YES, but how is this benefiting society?

We are not taking the time and the effort to properly communicate our wants, needs, desires, fears and aspirations and because of that we have been reduced a world of 30 second or less sound bites that mostly miss their mark.

As a marketer, how do we get people to care about what we are trying to communicate about?   How do we move people beyond the 140 character glib response and get them to delve into the value of the brand to them?    If we cannot get people to care and show them why whatever we are communicating has meaning in their life, they will quickly move to the next piece of data put before them.

It is our role as marketers to truly understand the brand, it’s value and how that value can best be presented to various groups of clients.    We cannot rely on a single marketing technique or a single medium to do so.    To truly get people involved on an emotional level requires appealing to all five of their senses.  We have to relearn to communicate to them in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them.   It is not about being tech savvy or not, it is about realizing that different people hear the same phrase differently depending on how it is presented to them.   By realizing this and catering your message to their needs, you will find them far more receptive to your messaging and call to action..

Let us work with you to find ways to help you communicate in a way that will get you heard and make you understood.

In the end, it is all about Getting YOU Noticed!   

 

First, and foremost, please understand that many, many business professionals approach the franchise industry each and every day attempting to sell them everything from insurance to office equipment to financial services. It’s an uphill battle that can be extremely rewarding if the trek is carefully and diligently navigated.

That being said, the best approach is directly at the franchise organizations. By going direct, you create the opportunity of gaining the parent company’s endorsement and ultimately, accessibility to the entire franchise base. If you attempt to market to individual franchisees initially, you will spin your wheels and burn out faster than you could ever imagine.

In dealing with franchisors, I recommend a subtle, subliminal approach. You will need to become a resource for them to consider introducing you to their franchisees. That’s your biggest challenge. To conquer it I recommend contacting as many franchise publications and blogs as you can, and submit articles and posts. Of course, end them with your contact info, etc. This positions you as an expert in your field and as a resource for the industry.

You can also achieve expert status by being proactive on LinkedIn. Join as many franchise groups as you can. Keep in mind that direct selling is frowned upon in social networking forums. However, by responding to and posting discussions, you can establish your niche. By doing so, the sales intent will be subtle and subliminal, and effective. In time, I recommend you develop a webinar and invite the franchise community to attend. This is a great way to develop a target list.

Consider developing powerpoint presentations to attach to your LinkedIn profile that people can view at their leisure. Maybe a video on You Tube and post on various blogs and social networks. Improve your Facebook presence. Explore groups you’re interested in targeting and consider forming your own group and establish a business page as well. Check Twitter and integrate your messages there as well. Be sure to cross-promote wherever possible.

Basically, I’ve just outlined for you a marketing strategy that is integrated with social technology. It’s cost-effective and it works. Though, I must remind you to be patient as results take time as you “earn” the right to do business with your target audience. But when the orders start coming in, momentum can build very quickly. It can also be plenty of fun and you will meet many exciting and interesting people along the way.

 

 

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2012 is the previous archive.

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