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

 

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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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. 

The Blueprint for Successful Event Marketing

The Blueprint for Successful Event Marketing

Here at Geelong Social Media we recently experienced one of the most perfectly run events down to the finest details. We were lucky enough to be a finalist at the Geelong Small Business Awards (GSBA), in the Social Media Influencer category and the event organiser thought of absolutely everything. It was so impressive, we were inspired to blog about it!

Samantha Krajina, a member of the Geelong Women in Business, the event organiser, reminded attendees that having a small business can be extremely difficult highlighting that owners of the business can be the Managing Director, HR, Marketing as well as the sales person and sometimes you may feel that your skills are not up to scratch in a particular area. Realistically it’s all about learning on the job.

If you have decided to hold an event for your business there are a few key things that you must remember to make the night a success. We have broken it down into crucial categories that MUST be covered:

Strategy

A complete strategy is needed for a successful event, who do you want to attend? What is your intention and goal for the outcome? Who do you want to attract? Delegation is also an important factor, get your team members that are best suited to each area on the job. It is also important to know which systems you will use and create a workflow with a checklist, a whiteboard with lots of coloured markers is a great starting point!

Ticket Sales

Make the purchase of tickets easy to do, there is nothing worse than wanting to attend an event with no idea how to buy a ticket! An online solution that we like to use at GSM is Eventbrite. Choose an automatic and easy to use platform that provides copy and paste links you can include in your Social Media posts and your website, as well as your mail-outs.

Social Media

We like to think of ourselves as social media gurus, so this is a really important device for us and something we can say was thoroughly covered by the Geelong Small Business Awards. Keep your channels active in the lead up to the event. This will give you free coverage and help to communicate casually with your clientele. Your clients will love seeing updates, right down to the creation of the show bags. GSBA utilised the Instagram story function to showcase their sponsors and businesses attending. This technique really helps build up the excitement and you might also consider posting sneak peaks of the gift bags or favours that will be handed out on the night making your attendees feel special and appreciated. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 07, 2014: A Google search home

Use Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to announce dates, venues, ticket sale links and of course make sure to create a countdown. We recommend picking a colour scheme and designing your posts around that to ensure consistency and recognition– your posts will stand out in a sea of other posts and people are more likely to engage. Don’t forget to Tweet! Twitter  is great for short snappy updates.

Gift Bags

The gift bags are a crucial part of the event and can take a lot of thought, consideration and planning. Who doesn’t like getting a present? It gives your guests a lasting reminder after the event as well, and can give contributors an opportunity to promote their services or products. 

Firstly you will need to plan how many things you will like to include in the bag and if they accurately represent your brand or the cause you’re advocating for. The GSBA bags featured mementos donated from each of the small businesses attending the event, some were items like candles and USBs corresponding with the business theme but others were vouchers for business services.

Next you will need to choose the perfect bag to showcase the items. This could be inline with your business colours or an eye catching pattern that will photograph well… remember you want to leverage these on social media making it effortless for your attendees get a flawless post for their social channels.

Your clients will be more inclined to attend the event if you offer added value, this can be in the form of exclusive offers or VIP packages. Of course if it is an event for an inspiring cause then you won’t have trouble-finding people to attend.

Press Release

If you have never written a press release before, don’t be alarmed when broken down they can be super easy. You need to remember to keep press releases to the point highlighting all key points about the event and a point of difference to make the journalist say ‘Hey this has a great angle!’ Basically take out the hard work for them and give them a catchy title and subheading, intriguing quotes from key individuals and don’t forget a short company bio at the end.

You can never win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, in the same way that you can never expect to get publicity if you don’t put your story out there. Bloggers and print journalists are always on the hunt for the next new thing and can often find it hard to come up with content so you need to fulfil their hunger for a good story.

Key Note Speakers

If you are holding an event- an absolute fundamental to success is having a keynote speaker that is well known, interesting and relevant to the cause at hand. The GSBA chose the perfect speakers/ entertainers for night that could relate to the owners of small businesses and they were Andy and Ben from the Block as well as local radio star Lee Stamps aka ‘Stampsy’. Close up of microphone in concert hall or conference room

Make sure that you leverage the key individuals for your event and come up with a mutual agreement to promote each other. You should make a social media plan stipulating how many times a week they should post, the type of content you would like and make it simple for them by providing them with a pre set list of @handles and #hashtags—this way they a more likely to post content that is beneficial to you.

Check your calendar

I guess this goes without saying but before you start anything check your personal calendar, local calendar and key note speaker calendar. In doing this you will ensure your event can gain the most reach and attendance with the right people and  avoids clashes with other events that would have the same audience.

Additionally you can check with local Facebook community pages and ask if they can share your event details on their pages. Provide them with eye-catching graphics and details of the event and they will be happy to promote your content.

Email Marketing

You may think that email marketing is out-dated but this is immensely untrue as email-marketing tools have grown and transformed in recent years.

EDM programs such as Infusionsoft can assist with automating campaigns for your event such as ‘Send email notification for ticket bought’ following with the sequence ‘Follow up with event details’. You can then take it a step further adding ‘Send email for dietary requirements’ giving attendees the option of filling out a web form with types of dietary requirements, don’t forget the ‘other’ option.

Of course if your business is smaller and you have fewer than 20 attendees you can organise your own emails in a regular email program.

Advertising on social channels

Lastly, you’re doing all of this hard work to get your event out there so remember to make use of the promotion tools within Instagram and Facebook. You pay a little amount and reach a large audience. Don’t forget to get HEAPS of photos during the event that are funny and tell a story, this is great after-fodder for your social media. Show everyone how great the night was and how much fun everyone had- because this will attract more for the next event and it’s a fun way to showcase the hard work you have put in. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - OCTOBER 03, 2014: All of popular social m

Handy tip: Promote the post on Instagram and share to Facebook as well, that way you only need to pay for the ad once.

Final note- if you don’t have time to get your online Event Marketing done, you can click below to find out how we can do it all for you!

Event Package Facebook Post