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    Resolutions for Your Business Web Presence

    Last updated 2 years ago

    As we kick off 2012, now’s a great time to think about your plans, goals, and objectives for your business web presence this year. So, our ReachCast Web Presence Professionals share their top resolutions for local business web presence. 

    1) Focus on Customer Service to Improve Online Reputation.
    Monitoring and improving your online reputation is important for any local business, and building a positive reputation full of glowing reviews of your business all starts with focusing on customer service.

    "Improve your online reputation by stopping bad reviews before they happen! Let your employees know customer service is a top priority, and inform them that reviews are monitored and negative reviews will be addressed. Encourage good customer service by rewarding employees who are mentioned in positive reviews and by teaching every employee how to ask happy customers to post reviews. Employees need to know that your online reputation is important for your business and that sometimes, all it takes to get a great review is to ask!”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Emily Bright, @RCEmilyBright

    2) Post More Photos of Your Business Online.
    Photos are a powerful way to engage local consumers with your business, and these days it’s fairly easy to upload them regularly.  

    “Sharing photos all over your social media outlets is a great resolution for boosting local business web presence in 2012. Photos are great, because they give your online audience an inside look at the wonderful things going on daily at your business. Plus, photos posted to Facebook and Twitter usually receive the most activity and engagements of any content type. And, photo sharing is a hot trend right now, with many businesses creating accounts on niche photo sharing and curating sites like Instagram and Pinterest – some of the fastest-growing social media sites this year.”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Sam Unell, @samunell

    3) Share the Personal Side of Your Brand.
    Turn up the volume on your business web presence this year by sharing more about what goes on day in and day out at your business.

    “Customers want a chance to really get to know you and your business! So, post on Facebook or Twitter about the things that make you and your business unique, like your support of a certain sports team or your involvement in the community. Invoking an emotion or feeling of camaraderie when a potential customer sees your name on their computer screen can help kick-start a long and profitable relationship.”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Lindsay Prince, @lindsp123

    4) Get Involved in Real-Time Conversations and Trends.
    Another great resolution for local businesses is to get more involved in conversations by sharing and posting about questions, topics, pop culture, and trends that people are talking about online right now.

    “Timely information is more relevant to both people and the search engines. There are several places where you can find what people are talking about now: the Yahoo "Trending Now" section, Twitter trends (which you can now filter down to major cities or go as broad as nationwide), and the questions and comments found within your customer interactions (both online and offline). So, this year, make it a goal to share timely information and join in on the social conversation!”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Brian Collins, @BrianTheCollins

    5) Promote Your Social Presence on Your Website.
    Setting up a Twitter or Facebook account is a great way to get involved in social media, but it’s also important to make sure your business web presence is connected to get the most out of your efforts.

    “A lot of businesses spend time creating social profiles but neglect to connect the dots between their website and their social media presence. When someone comes to a business website, one of the first things they should look for is how to contact, connect, and engage with you business – including social media profiles. That’s why you want your social icons present above the fold and at the top of your businesses' website – where you also need to include a phone number and email contact. This is important, because you interact, engage, and get more personal with your consumer on social sites, which humanizes your business and helps set you apart from the competition.”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Nick Marino Jr., @revolving_mind

    6) Bring Your Physical and Digital Presence Together.
    This year is also a great time to focus on bringing your physical presence together with your digital presence. Make sure that you have signs posted in your business that list your business social media accounts, and ask your current customers to become a fan or follower on Facebook and Twitter.

    “You can make it as easy as possible for customers to connect with you by setting up a designated space or computer in your lobby just for that purpose. For example, one business I work with created a ‘Like us on Facebook’ booth in the corner of their waiting room, which displayed call-to-action posters with QR codes that customers could scan to easily connect with the business online, as well as a poster about a social media contest for the business. Making it as easy as possible for customers in your business to see that the company has a social media presence and incentivizing them to connect with you is a great tactic any local business should try this year.”

    – ReachCast Web Presence Professional Justin Snasel, @jsnasel

    What are your goals, objectives, or resolutions for your business web presence this year? Please share your ideas in a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

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    About the Author
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights about reaching consumers across the web. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

    How Consumers Search For Local Business: 5 Tips for Being Found Online

    Last updated 2 years ago

    According to a new study from PEW Research, consumers looking for local restaurants and other local businesses go to the Internet, specifically search engines, as their primary source of information. Other sources of online information include specialty websites and social media. The study also revealed:

    • 55% of adults get news and information about local restaurants, bars, and clubs
    • 60% of adults get news and information about other types of local businesses

    As online search and social networking on the Web and mobile devices continues to rise among adults looking for local businesses like yours, here are a few tips from the past year we recommend:

    Claim and Optimize your Business Profile on Google Places. Google Places is one of the most highly indexed local listing site on the Web. Once you’ve claimed your Google Place Page, what can you do to make sure it’s found in local search results? This post explains the basics to optimizing your Place Page for local search, so can you get the most out of this powerful site.

    How to: Optimize your Google Places Page for SEO & Search Discovery

    Use Local SEO Content in your Posts. Local search is all about having the right keywords for your local business. This post shows you how to optimize your website, blog and social media posts around a local keyword so you can be found by consumers searching locally for your products or services.

    Your Guide to Local SEO Content Basics

    Capture Mobile Searchers with a Mobile-Friendly Site Because consumers are now searching for information and businesses on their mobile devices like smartphones and tablets like the iPad, it’s imperative your local business doesn’t miss out on capturing this local audience. Having a mobile-friendly site not only helps you get found in mobile search, but also strengthens consumer engagement and brand visibility with mobile consumers. Here’s a deeper look into the benefits of mobile-friendly sites.

    Three Ways A Mobile-Ready Site Can Help Your Business

    Regularly Post Fresh Content. Content marketing is a great way to promote your local business online because it helps build your presence across the entire Web. But, maintaining an optimized web presence requires you to post regular, fresh content that attracts both search engines and consumers to your blog or social media pages. So, here are a few ideas you can use to get your creative juices flowing.

    Content Marketing For Local Business: 5 Resources for Ideas

    Use Paid Search to Boost SEO. You already know the basics of getting found via organic search, but that takes time and effort – both of which are precious for local business owners. So, to boost your presence on the search results pages, you can run search engine advertising, also known as PPC advertising, to quickly capture more leads from online searches. Here are a few tips for choosing the right search engine advertising firm for your local business.

    How To: Choose a Search Engine Advertising Partner for Your Business

    How are you leveraging content marketing, search engine advertising, and local listings to get your local business found by local consumers searching online?

    Tamara Weintraub helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.

    Top Social Media and SEO Tips from 2011

    Last updated 2 years ago

    The last year has brought a lot of big changes to the social media and search landscape, from Internet giant Google launching its social media platform Google Plus to Facebook making major changes to its business pages. While there are many new things to keep in mind when it comes to marketing your local business online through social media, there are also many best practices that form the foundation for building your business web presence. So, we put together a list of some of our top social media and web presence optimization tips from this year based on our most popular posts!

    1) Engage Social Fans & Followers by Asking Questions. Using questions in your content marketing and social media programs is a great way to get people talking with your business online. You can use questions to write interesting headlines, create surveys and polls for your blog, and start conversations on social media sites like Facebook, to get people talking and engaging with your business. We shared five types of questions you can ask along with some tips to make your questions more engaging in this post: 
    How To: Ask Questions that Get People Talking Online

    2) Showcase The Life of Your Business with Online Video. Creating and posting online videos on your website, blog, social media profiles, and video sites is a great way to show what your business is all about and drive engagement with consumers. You can create videos that feature employees or customers, product tutorials, expert interviews, customer testimonials and more. We created this list of 10 types of online videos small businesses can create and share– with a real life example of each video type from one of our ReachCast clients!
    10 Online Video Ideas You Can Use to Promote Your Small Business

    3) Fuel Your Web Presence with Quality Content. Content is an important part of using social media to market your business – but it can be daunting to start! Check out this post with 35 customizable blog post headlines you can use to start blogging about your business: 
    Steal These Headlines: 35 Blog Post Ideas for Your Local Business

    4) Optimize Content for Local Keywords to Drive Local Search Discovery.A critical component of building an effective web presence is search engine optimization. To make sure local searchers find your content on search engines, it’s important to use local keywords in your blog and social media posts. We put together this primer on local SEO keyword and content tips:
    Your Guide to Local SEO Content Basics

    5) Use Google Plus to Promote Your Business Online. Google Plus is a new social media platform that offers the ability to share public posts, which can be indexed and discovered on Google’s search engine. So, claiming and using both a personal profile and a business page to promote your business can help you build your web presence and get found in organic search results. Check out these articles on how to use both types of Google Plus pages to promote your business online:
    Google Plus for Business: How to Use Your Personal Profile
    How to Set Up & Optimize Google Plus Local Business Pages

    6) Claim and Optimize Your Google Place Page. Google Place pages got somemajor overhauls this year, and having a search-optimized Google Place page is even more important to your web presence strategy for  getting seen by local consumers online. We shared this popular post on how to optimize your Google Places page for search engine optimization:
    HOW TO: Optimize Your Google Places Page for SEO & Search Discovery

    7) Make the Most of Your Facebook Business Page. This year, Facebook launched an update to both personal profiles and business pages that featured more images and interaction. So, check out these tips for getting more engagement and likes for  business Facebook page to drive even more engagement on social media:
    The New Facebook Pages: 10 Things You Need to Know
    5 Ways to Use New Facebook Page Features to Get More Likes

    8) Understand the Rules for Contests on Social Sites. Contests and promotions are a popular way to drive engagement and interaction on social media sites. But, did you know that Facebook has its own guidelines for running contests and promotions? As a local business, it’s important to follow these guidelines to remain compliant with Facebook as you roll out contests to your potential and existing customers. We outlined their new policy earlier this year: 
    Facebook Contest Rules: New Guidelines You Need to Know

    9) Reward your Fans and Followers Creatively. You can reward and recognize consumers who follow your business on social media sites to thank your current customers – and help convert new ones! It can be challenging to think of creative ways to reward your fans and followers, so we thought of seven ideas you can use in this post:
    7 Ways to Reward Your Facebook & Twitter Followers

    10) Follow Twitter Best Practices to Grow Followers and Boost Engagement. Twitter has become a prominent social media site for brands and individuals alike. So, we shared several best practices to make sure you know the ins and outs of this platform as well as tips for growing your followers on the site:
    15 Tips to Increase Twitter Followers for your Local Business
    Do You Make these Newbie Twitter Mistakes?

    11) Deal with Negative Social Media Comments Effectively. The nature of social media makes it difficult to control the conversation about your brand online. Whether or not your business is participating in , consumers can post reviews, write blog posts, or share status updates and tweets on social media sites about your business any time. So it’s important to know how to address and respond to negative comments, mentions, and more  about your brand, especially on social sites like Twitter. 
    How To: Respond to a Negative Twitter Reply or Complaint

    12) Claim Your Business on Foursquare. Over the year, location-based services have come and gone, but Foursquare is still leading the pack in with the largest user base for standalone location-based apps. Claiming your business listing on Foursquare is a great way to connect with customers who already love your brand and share special offers to get more customers.
    How to Claim your Local Business on Foursquare
    HOW TO: Create a Foursquare Special for Your Local Business

    13) Create a Company Profile for your Business on LinkedIn. As one of the top sites for professional social networking, LinkedIn is growing and offering more opportunities for businesses to use the site and connect with consumers. One way to do this is to set up a company profile for your business, which we outlined in this post:
    LinkedIn Tips: Using a Company Profile for Your Business

    14) Understand Web Presence Optimization. What does all of this add up to? By claiming your business across social media profiles and local listings, creating and sharing interesting, search-optimized content about your business online, and engaging with local consumers on social media, you can optimize your web presence to build your brand online.. Learn more about web presence optimization in this post:
    What is Web Presence Optimization?

    Enjoy these posts? Please share this article on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus, and feel free to add your thoughts in a comment!

    About the Author
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights about reputation management, social media marketing, and building your business web presence. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

    Celebrating the Holidays Social Media Style

    Last updated 2 years ago

    During the holidays, there are many ways you can celebrate the season and connect with local shoppers – and using social media is a great, flexible way to share. But, with so many options, where should you start? Here are a few quick ideas – and an infographic sharing what other businesses are doing to reflect their holiday spirit this year.

    Decorate your pages and profiles. According to research from ShortStack, 68.6% of Facebook page administrators are “decorating” their pages for the holidays. Here are some ideas you can use to spread the seasonal cheer!

    • Create a holiday themed profile image on Facebook or Twitter
    • Upload seasonal photos of your business, customers, or products to your blog and Facebook wall
    • Create a virtual holiday card and share it with your fans and followers across your social networks

    Share special holiday offers. Creating special offers is always a great way to reward your social media fans and followers, but it’s especially popular during the holiday season. In fact, over 51% of Facebook administrators surveyed by ShortStack said they’re sharing coupons and special offers with their fans. Here are some seasonal offer ideas you could consider:

    • Gift certificates for a themed bundle of discounted services, like a spa day or an auto-tune up
    • Special packages of products for gift baskets or theme gifts
    • Year-end specials on product closeouts or overstocked items

    Support a worthy cause. Another great way to celebrate the holidays is to show your support for charities and community causes via your social media presence. If your company sponsors an organization, event, or fundraiser during the holidays, you can share photos or posts about your contribution and encourage fans and followers to join in the cause. Here are a few ideas you could try:

    • Show photos of your team volunteering their time at a local charity or community organization
    • Instead of giving thank-you gifts to clients or customers, let your fans and followers cast a vote for their favorite organization or cause that your business will donate to on their behalf
    • Help raise awareness for a local cause or organization by posting about their holiday programs or fundraising efforts

    How are you using social media to celebrate the holidays? Share your creative ideas in a comment. And, check out this infographic from ShortStack to learn how some businesses are using Facebook to spread the holiday cheer.

    About the Author
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights about reputation management, social media marketing, and building your business web presence. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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    ReachCast Client & Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Last updated 2 years ago

    We’re excited to help share the news that a patient of one of our ReachCast clients, Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, will be featured this week on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition !

    On Friday, Dec. 9, at 8/7c on ABC, the show will share the story of Wyzhir Johnson. This remarkable 16-year old lost his left hand while working on a home improvement project but has faced the challenges of this loss by helping others, establishing Wyzhir’s Dream Fund, a charity which provides funding for artificial limbs to those in need.

    To learn more about Wyzhir’s story, read the full announcement from Ability Prosthetics & Orthodics below, read more on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition website, and tune in to watch this Friday night!

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