The Importance of Google Reviews and How to Get Them

Google Reviews and How to Get Them

Want to know how to invite your guests and clients to give you a great Google Review?

Google Reviews are a powerful way to promote your business. So we have created this step by step guide to show you how to create a specific link you can send your clients to write a review.

If you’re like the 2,065,523 small businesses in Australia, you know the importance of standing out as a local business to earn a reputation and referrals.   While social media plays an important role in branding, it is only a fraction of the entire picture.

According to Internet Live Stats, the number of daily searches on Google are 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

This is the leading resource for those looking to invest in products and services near them.  So, how does a consumer stand out in such a high-traffic space? The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local Search Engine Optimisation- in simple terms- imagine Google is a librarian and everyone has told her the new best seller is amazingly resourceful. This is going to be the go to book she shows people asking at the counter what to read. That said, it is crucial for your brand or business to have a presence there.

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To put it simply, customer reviews provide all those social keys we talk about in our workshops- it provides social proof, credibility, authority, likeability and trust- the best bit? It can result in a higher conversion rate.

For that reason, we are showing you an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to get your business onboard, by creating a direct link to your Google reviews page, making the process much easier for your customers to review and share.

STEPS TO CREATE A LINK FOR CUSTOMERS TO WRITE GOOGLE REVIEWS

STEP 1: VISIT GOOGLE’S PLACE ID FINDER

Google’s Place ID Finder lets you annotate a location specific to your business.  This way, Google can discern your business from others in the area, as well as, populate reviews unique to your business.

STEP 2: ENTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME

Enter your business name into the designated field. Make sure you enter in whatever your Google My Business name has listed so it automatically populates and ensures brand consistency.

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STEP 3: COPY YOUR PLACE ID

Once your business is displayed, your place ID will be listed under your business name. It will appear as a string of letters and numbers, about 25 characters long. Copy this code and paste it somewhere safe, like a word or pages document.

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STEP 4: ENTER YOUR ID INTO THE FOLLOWING URL

Next, paste the following URL in a new browser, with your Place ID where written below.

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=PASTE PLACE ID HERE

When using the above link, the url with the place ID should end up looking like this example:

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJjRUVZNU91GoRXr8XrFZixIM

Note:  This may not be the most appealing URL to give to customers, so consider using Bitly’s URL shortening option which allows you to make a smaller and even customizable option!

STEP 5: SEND THE REVIEW LINK TO CUSTOMERS

Use the link you created to send to customers! Once they type it in and hit enter, a window will appear in their browser that instantly prompts them to leave a review from their Google account.

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Keep in mind that it is against Google’s policy to solicit reviews from customers by offering incentives.  Make sure that your request for reviews is just that –a respectful request sharing their experience with your products and services.

Let us know how you go! Remember we have our one on one workshops now happening in the Geelong CBD! Contact us for more info. 

Make a Coffee and watch this: one of our faves from the legendary Seth Godin

 

How The Digital Space Provides Storytelling We Crave.

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It’s been a good 30,000+ years since the cave paintings in France were used to depict the lifestyles of bull fighters back in their time.

Mythological, oral and archeological recordings date back as early as 5,000 years ago, with the oldest discovered form of coherent writing beginning with Sumerian script.

For as long as we can recall, we’ve been using every means we could to share experiences and educate others in various topics.  In fact, storytelling is the key to understanding and learning.  While our enthusiasm to tell stories hasn’t changed, our resources allowing us to do so have expanded significantly.  We’ve evolved from tribal cave paintings to social media posts and video blogs.

Communication is sharing ideas and interests.

Communication in marketing has been said to be the transfer of enthusiasm and passion of a product or service to the consumer directly.  That said, all businesses seeking to use the digital space to market should strive to tell a story in a way that quickly and effectively shifts the consumer from interest to investment. Curiosity to conversation and then conversation to conversion.

The subconscious, anthropological mind craves the need for “the story” and the digital space provides this, amidst a Western World that has substituted real-time relations with digital dialogue. Storytelling closes the “digital divide” and invites back in the emotion that prompts conviction and connection. Digital communication and social media really tick those “story telling” boxes we yearn for.

As Quantified Communication states, “research shows that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts.”

Small businesses effectively using storytelling know that our brains often don’t distinguish between fiction and reality, therefore, we immerse ourselves in stories as if we were a part of them.  At Geelong Social Media, we practice this also and wish to share with you how easy it is for you and your small business to do the same:

3 Steps to Easy Story-Telling via Social Media

1.Make it easy on yourself and your team. Identify the problem that your customer is facing in the industry.  What service or product is lacking?  Use an avatar that is your niche demographic, this way the reader immediately can identify that they, too, are your ideal target audience.

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2. Then, briefly share a story that either identifies an avatar dealing with this struggle (and the emotions that accompany such) or share a story about how you learned of the issue and began to research the problem more. What did you discover? This shows credibility of your business values and entices them to continue reading for anticipated resolve.

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3. Lastly, share what you created or tailored your products and services to do to counter or correct this issue and the fruits of such labor. How did it directly benefit the customer or consumer with original concern?

The most successful small businesses are using digital media to engage with their audience on a personal level, inviting them to hear their story while also being a part of the story as they encourage opinions, questions and requests.  Master this storytelling strategy and your small business will be well on its way to becoming an effective communicator on digital media.

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Would you like to book a one on one workshop for your business? Perhaps you would like to develop your story and communications strategy? Contact our team today and find out how we can wordsmith for you and help you discover your key messages and unique edge. Contact kirsten@geelongsocialmedia.com

Can You See The Future?

By Kirsten Macdonald – wordsmith and digital yoda at GSM.

Intuition- how relevant is it to the business world? A crystal ball would be handy sometimes!

Many years ago, my business partner and I met a lovely entrepreneur who sought our services. She was engaging, passionate about her new venture and used the words integrity and honesty a lot. The first time we spoke on the telephone, she told us had been to another company ( a well known and regarded one.) According to her, they were too expensive, and when we offered to meet at a local cafe for an informal introduction, she insisted on meeting at a free business center 20 minutes away because they had “free coffee.” Something very small inside me thought this was a little left of center. But I then discarded it. I did an internal trade-off because we can’t judge someone on two little sentences, can we? What if are wrong?

Six months in, and boy did I wish we had both trusted that internal squirm.

Was she lovely? Absolutely. Did the business have potential? Without a doubt! But underneath her surface, there was a storm of issues that held the exports operation back from being successful. One was a lack of reasonable capital, a whole lot of unreasonable expectation and a whole lot of “free.” Everyone else was wrong, all of the successful PR companies, the SEO specialists, even the accountant. In retrospect, someone driving 20 minutes for a free coffee- using $10 worth of fuel, $10 in parking and 40 minutes of time, might tell you something.

What did it cost us?

The uncomfortable yet gentle act of business uncoupling and a LOT of energy, stress and time- which equals money. It was a good lesson albeit a hard one.

So what did we learn?

It is all about being still, paying attention to the feelings that arise and then reading the feedback. Intuition is spending time with your instincts and learning to read them and rely on them.  I learned to trust my intuition.

Intuition isn’t guessing. It’s sophisticated pattern matching, honed over time.” Seth Godin-2

So how else can we be intuitive?

We can utilize the array of digital tools at our fingertips. Social Media for example. People think they have to be on social media to create pretty pictures and get likes, which might convert into sales when they get it right. But how do they get it right? Some people have convinced themselves it doesn’t work and is all a big ploy by social media magnates to make money. Ouch!

What do we know?

We know 80% of the country is using the computer to find out information and we know that close to that amount are using social media and it’s growing. So how does this help your intuition and decision making?

Let’s dig down another layer. Behind the front of social media and computer use, there is analytics. Digital platforms are observing and collecting habits, responses, and reactions from every user. So here is a prime opportunity to be intuitive with our clients, our audiences. We can observe their interaction with us, their likes and dislikes so we can better deliver content to them that makes us

Useful

Valuable

Likable

Remarkable

Remember if something is remarkable it is because someone thought it was worthy of making a remark (able.) about it.

Intuition isn’t guessing. It’s sophisticated pattern matching, honed over time.” Seth Godin-3

Data mining (ethically of course) is another way you can be intuitive with the help of digital tools. Data mining is the ability to extract insightful information about internet users. I am not talking about names and addresses or personal details based on identity, I am talking about their user habits, interests and the words they use to search for information online.

Google is the genie of answers to questions.

“I’ll google it” is often the catch cry. In fact, reports show that people google flu symptoms before they go to a doctor. This information alone has helped medical industries pre-empt flu season and track the influenza progression. I know right? Google analyses everything that is searched online by humanity. That information is available, and it can be used intuitively to future plan, test and succeed.

Intuition isn’t guessing. It’s sophisticated pattern matching, honed over time.” Seth Godin

So how can we use this in the digital space?

Remember other people are intuitive too, are you real? Are you conveying passion and integrity? Trust your gut and infuse that into your digital content. What do you want people to know about what you do? Why did you start this business? How can you solve a problem for people? What are they searching for online around what you have to offer? What are the correlated words? Where are they located? Are you selling meditation classes to stressed-out people? Go to the corporates! Where do they live? What are they reading? You see where I am going?

Get right down into your emotional honesty about why you do what you do, then convey that in content that is of outstanding quality. If you get the smallest feeling and it triggers that squirm- pay attention to it. Spend a little time turning it over in your hand before agreeing to anything, or doing anything. When in doubt- hang about and sit with it.

It could be fear or it could be intuition, either one is worthy of your time and consideration.

If it is fear… well, that’s a whole other article! Stay tuned.

If you would like to know about our Digital Data Mining service- email kirsten@geelongsocialmedia.com

For more information about our upcoming Blog Masterclass- click the image!

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10 Tips for Instagram for 2018

by Geelong Social Media resident Wordsmith, Journo, and Marketing extraordinaire Renae Failla.

Instagram.

Many of you may have experienced the array of touchpoints with this progressive platform but are you using Instagram in your business to its fullest potential? With the shifts in algorithms and the migration of brands to Instagram, the importance of infusing the full functionalities of the platform into your strategy is becoming imperative! This is why we have collated 10 bite-sized tips for the year!

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Follow hashtags

Businesses can remain at the forefront of their industry and discover like-minded people by following hashtags. All you need to do is search the relevant hashtag and click follow. Posts with these hashtags will appear in your feed allowing you to expand your feed beyond the profiles you follow. For example, if you are a Naturopath, you may start following the hashtag #nutrition or #healthexpert.

Include hashtags in your profile description

This feature has only been introduced a couple of months ago. It’s a way to put forward your interests and niches to new users so they can discover your profile and mutual interests.

Insta stories

Insta stories are ideal for the content that is not good enough for a post but that you would like to highlight. Insta stories can be viewed as disappearing ads providing a new touchpoint from business to consumer. Instagram saw an opportunity to jump on this temporary digital tool and the take up of this feature took over the use of Snapchat for many. Instagram stories are important for brands as Snapchat stories were not an effective marketing tool and they allow brands to provide real-time updates (think Twitter) but in a visual manner.

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GIF stickers work to add a level of excitement in the digital age. Taking a page out of the meme culture handbook, businesses can use these stickers to connect on a deeper and less sterile level. Simply put, Millennials and Gen Z are accustomed to seeing these iconic moving images in their feed and by employing these as a business you are able to reach that audience.

The silent frame of advertising

It’s time to appeal to the audiences who can’t hear the message. Ad Espresso, Hootsuite reports that in 2017 only about 15% of Facebook and Instagram users chose to watch videos with the sound on. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the description includes a call to action and that your image is empowering enough to stop the feed. Bright colours in the design such as orange or yellow are a great way to do this.

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Hootsuite

Instagram scheduling was always wishful thinking for many. Previously, many scheduling platforms would allow scheduling of Facebook and not Instagram. Some platforms would employ push notification alerts which can be likened to a calendar reminder on your phone. This posed great difficulty for many brands to stay active on both channels, yet in 2018, Hootsuite has addressed the need for Instagram scheduling, thus increasing productivity, planning, and engagement of audiences.

Legend

Take your stories or posts that step further with easy text animation to engage the audience. Their tagline is ‘Legends speak louder than words’, instead of your regular text on image post, there is a range of animations. This particularly comes in handy when you are promoting an event or aspect of a product on your Insta story. Combining videos and photos helps break up the content with slides of stunning text animations such as ‘To find out more head to our website…”. 

iPhone new additions ios 11

Did you know that you can easily create animated posts on your iPhone with the swipe of your finger? The iPhone now facilitates the advancements of social media allowing you the option of a Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure on live images. Features like these foster creativity and user engagement.

For more information about how Geelong Social Media can help you achieve an outstanding Digital Footprint Click Here 

Digital Citizenship for Business- The Big Why

Digital Citizenship

The importance of having an online presence is undeniable for businesses. Digital citizenship is no longer about encouraging extra business but about being identifiable and easy to spot from the start. It’s about being recognised in your industry of choice and keeping in touch with your customer base (potential or current) in new and exciting ways.pretty-joyful-girl-in-dress-talking-on-mobile-PRJDPXW.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a potential customer types your industry, your product, or your message into the search engine, you want them to see you, know who you are, and what you are about—whether in results found under News, in Images, and or even more importantly; social media.

Once thought of being a fad or something only young people engaged in, millions of people now use social media daily. According to Social Media Statistics Australia, “Facebook’s recent data shows there are now 17 million active Australians on Facebook. Therefore approximately 70% of the total Australian population is an active Facebook user. This is a huge number.”

Furthermore, LinkedIn has over 8 million users based in Australia, and Twitter is increasing with over 3 million monthly active Australian users. The potential for reaching an audience and expanding your brand is endless. We urge business owners to have a presence on LinkedIn, it is the professional Facebook for industry. 

Being a digital citizen in business is important because:

Humans are visual creatures. Photos, videos, GIFs, etc. grab attention and get a better response. Most social media algorithms are geared to preferring visual content organically, meaning these are more apt to be seen without having to pay for advertising. However if you do wish to amplify your presence, outsourcing a team who knows how to leverage your platform is crucial. A good team should be able to provide you with an ROI also, not just a huge expense for little outcome. It needs to be AFFORDABLE! If you are a doctor, you need to focus on being a doctor, not a social media specialist! It can sometimes be easier to get someone else with the know-how to handle this end of your business for you. However it needs to be an expense that can fit into your cash flow healthily. Spending thousands of dollars with a small return is not healthy for any business, particularly in the current Australian Economic climate. Social Media can be used to stimulate more business- and more business is the name of the game 🙂 Rustic%20Desk%20Set.H03.2k.png

Social media is a platform perfect for networking, interaction, business and community growth, and engagement-fostering more brand loyalty. If you have a passion for wellness, or beauty, you can very easily tap into that audience and demographic. This can create an amazing bridge of communication between the two of you, P2P and B2B.

Content marketing influences an audience and drives sales. Digital media often gives quicker turnaround results than traditional media. And as many of us in business know: more sales means more revenue. For example, social media is like sending out a letter  to 3000 houses that fit your perfect demographic. This is possible with Facebook, for under $10. If you know how. 

You also have the ability to make an emotional connection with your audience. We have seen first hand with clients how exciting it is for them when they find themselves interacting and sharing the knowledge they feel born to share with people, helping them, and assisting in a way they only dreamed about. Connecting with your ideal client is a really joyful experience. It really does have the ability to take potential possibilities and turn them into enjoyable realities. So, being a Digital Citizen isn’t just about filling your pockets peeps! It is also about filling hearts and promoting value, trust and connection. isolated-open-mail-box-with-mail-PL63X8Y.jpg

Online visibility leads businesses to insights on their customers, which are valuable in growing a business. Customers will often seek assistance or contact on social media first, they may check you out, see what you are about. So it is important that what they see is professional, interesting and representative.

Expanding your business to have an online presence also allows you to monitor what your competitors are doing. Remember, if you aren’t on there, your competitors will be. So be a Digital Citizen, you might just amaze yourself and grow in ways unexpected.