Google Places, Google's local business directory, which is tightly integrated with Google Maps, is now accepting applications from businesses in selected U.S. markets to have Google photographers take professional photographs of their premises, including interior shots. Markets served right now are Orange County, Calif., the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, San Antonio, and St. Petersburg, Fla. Business owners can upload their own photos to Google Places, too. What's the point? "...to help users who are looking for more information about a business." Google Places gets a lot of traffic from mobile users who are searching for goods and services on smartphones and other mobile devices. Have you registered your business in Google Places yet? If you are in one of the target areas, learn more here.
Social Media Examiner interviews Ramon DeLeon, managing partner of six Domino's franchises in Chicago. Subjects discussed include what to do about a social media crisis, what not to forget on Foursquare, how to use Twitter for real-time monitoring (and why you would want to), and how to encourage customers to come to your local business. One example from DeLeon, who says he has "been using the tools of social media since before that word existed": he prints customer messages and tweets on 65,000 menus a month so customers to see what others are saying about his stores. See the interview here.
Listening to online conversations about your business, your market, and your competition may be the true "killer app" in social media. Learning to monitor social media helps businesses learn about their strengths and weaknesses, identify unmet needs in their markets, and better understand their customers and competitors. For business owners already pressed for time to manage an online presence, a social media monitoring dashboard is an essential tool. Bring together all the information available from the Internet about your company for free by following the steps in this article. Monitoring buzz, dealing with negative comments quickly, and learning who the influencers are in your market provides your business with the information you need to maximize your online presence and reputation.
Did you know that 10 percent of all photos on Facebook are profile pictures? That women typically upload a new profile photo every two weeks? (Guys only upload new ones every three weeks.) That's according to a survey of more than 500,000 photos conducted by Pixable. And profile photos get attention. The bottom line for Facebook Fan Pages is that they should update their profile photos regularly. Don't put up random images; know what your photo is communicating to your Fans, and treat them as part of the brand interaction happening on your Page. Learn more here.
Every business should have a plan to deal with a crisis. Are you ready for dealing with social media in a crisis? Here are some things to think about:
Many business owners worry about finding enough content to keep their social media updates timely and interesting. They recognize that providing relevant, quality material to their Fans and connections is essential to keeping their network engaged. Learn some new ways to get content and keep your social media presence timely and relevant to the people you're looking to engage with.
Facebook has added the ability to tag Pages in photos. Until now, only people could be tagged. Now Pages for businesses can also be tagged, allowing them "...to share richer stories with friends about the things they interact with in the real world..." Tagged photos will appear on the Photos tab of the Page, not on the Wall. Also, since Pages are public, anyone can tag them in photos, not only people who "like" them.
Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to.") Based in Shelburn, Mass., Lieberman helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques.
A targeted, quarterly magazine that takes CEO's, VPs and Sales Executives to the cutting edge of franchise development.