How To Be Proactive with Bad Online Reviews

Written by Carlos Morales on . Posted in Blog, Marketing, Online Reviews - How To Deal With Negative Online ReviewsBad Reviews – How to Deal with Them Quickly and Effectively

Everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately as a business owner some of these opinions could cause your business a great deal of trouble. Managing your online reputation has become a must-do item on your daily checklist. Fail to do it, and you might find people deserting you in droves. Bad reviews are a fact of online life. They are very easy to post, and will often influence large segments of the target audience in your favor or not. The key is having much more of the positive to outweigh the inevitable negative.

What to do with a negative review

Here are three steps to proactively deal with the sporadic negative review.

  1. Customer service ought to be a top priority – Many times the reason companies are working with a especially nasty online review is that they neglected to attend to business when the problem first appeared. Oftentimes the customer attempted to reach out, but received no response, and felt as if they had no choice but to air their problems online at a review site. A great deal of this can be avoided by having a proactive process with respect to monitoring your onsite and social media channels, so you’ll know when a problem appears.
  2. Deal professionally with people – Whatever you do, don’t inflame the problem by turning to vitriolic he said, she said types of scenarios online. This will NEVER work in your favor, even if you are right. Remain professional, generous, and don’t forget you are trying to keep a customer, or at worst not lose more of them! The truly problem customers are few, and not worth the possible damage they could do should you get in it with them!
  3. Encourage good reviews – One of the better ways for you to actively really make a difference is by encouraging and even rewarding positive reviews of your services or products. Get an ample amount of these on a regular basis, and the infrequent negative review won’t stand a chance of remaining high in the search results. On the contrary, they will most likely provide you with even more customers!

The bottom line in dealing with negative reviews is to be aware when they occur, handle customers with respect and professionalism, and make managing your online reputation a top priority! In this day of instant communication, you virtually have no choice!

Great Ways to Use Humor in Your Marketing

Written by Carlos Morales on . Posted in Blog, Humor, Marketing

HumorMarketingA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

The great 19th Century Irish playwright and humorist Oscar Wilde uttered these last words: “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.” Why some adventerous wallpaper company hasn’t used this is beyond me, but it does go to demonstrate the reality that humor sells. Humor essentially disarms people, often by getting them to see your point in a way they hadn’t looked at before, and initiates a connection that you might have had a hard time creating some with your latest PowerPoint filed with facts. Art Linkletter told us that laughter is the best medicine, and he was spot on. It might be the cure for what ails your company as well! Let’s take a look at 4 ways to use humor in your small business marketing.

4 easy ways to use humor in your small business marketing!

Use pop culture to your advantage – Jon Stewart and the rest of the late night crowd made careers around this, so don’t be afraid to use current events to spice up you offerings. It’s not necessary to be totally relevant to your products or services, (but the ones that tie it in well are rock stars!) but simply to get your reader/watcher smiling and in a good frame of mind from the get go. Sharing events in a humorous way will get your posts shared faster than Lindsay Lohan skipping rehab.

Make humorous videos – It only takes a few moments on YouTube for sufficient evidence to persuade anyone that a funny video gets loads of eyeballs! Even the lamest concept, presented in a quirky way will get views and get shared widely. It doesn’t require a degree in cinema to accomplish it either. Many simply shoot them using their phone, o if you want to go whole hog, use an app like GoAnimate or Xtranormal to make quick and visually interesting animated videos.

Create a visual mashup – One way to make the most of both humor and the wicked hot photo-sharing world is to create a humorous meme. These are almost required on Facebook, and can be a great ice breaker and are also capable of being shared far and wide though Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and other sites.

Connect with humor in your content – Don’t be afraid to be a bit unique or scandalous in your content. People relate to humor as it is a shared experience. We’ve all been through it, and humor is an excellent way to engage on a level deeper than your average marketing message!

Confused About Google+?

Written by Carlos Morales on . Posted in Blog, Google+, Marketing - google-plus-adds-new-local-listings-page-for-businessesIs Google+ Worth the Time and Effort?

Has Google+ turned into an afterthought in your social media marketing plan? When was the last time you took a look over there? You may also be wondering if Google+ is now or ever will be a viable tool for your business. You’re not alone as many are still divided as to whether to even spend any time or effort on Google+.

Why we think it’s worthwhile now and in the future!

It’s being shared that Google+ is now outpacing Twitter. Although this in no way “feels” true, it probably is. Just the proliferation of Gmail and the convenience of having Google’s entire suite of web services displayed the same time has probably sealed the deal. Not just that, but since Google Plus Local Listings already features such small business services as Zagat, StreetView and Google+ User ratings, it has effectively replaced Yelp.

The development of Google Hangouts, for example, has a direct effect on where Google+ is headed as well. The cabability to use a Hangout, as an alternative to say Skype, to do any sort of video conferencing, is a tremendous advantage. While it’s true that in its beginnings Hangouts is a little clunky and difficult to grasp, once you do, it’s miles ahead of the competition. Merely the ability to have your Hangout automatically recorded and uploaded to YouTube is enough to swing the scales in their favor.

So how are businesses using Google+?

There are scads of ways to apply Google+ in your small business. A few would include:

  • Build networks of like-minded people with Google+ Circles
  • Use #hashtags to help posts appear in Google search
  • Be sure and Link Google+ to your blog or site, and obtain the Google Authorship benefit in the search pages
  • Use Google Hangouts for webinars, meetings, launches, interviews or you name it!
  • Use tags to reach out to people directly

To check out a wonderfully comprehensive selection of strategies and infographic for Google+, see this informative article on Copyblogger. Google+ might not seem like it’s worthy of effort just yet, but we feel as though it is both in the present and long-term!

Marketing with Instagram – Let Your Imagination Go a Little Wild!

Written by Carlos Morales on . Posted in Blog, Image Marketing, Marketing, Mobile Marketing

Marketing with InstagramMarketing with Instagram – Take a Page from the Kuwaitis!

We’ve all watched as Instagram is the latest web property to soar to stratospheric heights, and with their acquisition by Facebook, it looks as if that’s not going to slow anytime soon. What’s been fascinating to notice however is just how innovative marketers are beginning to use the platform in many ways you might not have imagined.

Let’s hear it for Kuwaiti ingenuity!

According to, Kuwaitis have taken to using Instagram as a visually oriented mobile store, selling nearly anything they wish. Examples of the offerings you can find are Manga, clothing and fashion accessories, makeup services, and surprisingly, sheep! While selling sheep on Instagram is probably not your thing, you can understand the ingenuity of these people adapting Instagram for their own marketing purposes in uniquely innovative way. They’ve got products they would like to sell, so they take a picture, upload it into their Instagram account, give a price and ask them to contact for more information or to purchase. Marketing at its most basic, on a world-wide scale!

What lesson can we learn here?

The key lesson to learn here is that there’s always opportunity for those prepared to think outside the box and explore the possibilities. You may not be ready to sell directly off of Instagram, but some marketers already are using it to direct to CPA offers, send people to squeeze pages for list building plus more. With a base so large and growing daily, Instagram provides a unique opportunity to connect with people who are interested, (at least in the images you uploaded) and it’s your job to find a way to connect the dots in your marketing efforts. Let your imagination go a little wild!

You might want to get into it now, however, as seeing as this is now a Facebook property, it’s more than likely change is going to be part of its future, so strike now!

Is Your Small Business Mobile?

Written by Carlos Morales on . Posted in Blog, Marketing, Mobile Marketing

FoursquarePicIs Your Small Business a Candidate for the New Foursquare Ads?

Mashable is confirming that location based social networking company Foursquare is now testing a new advertising platform geared towards small business, by permitting large advertisers like Burger King, Gap and Starwood Hotels to test promote themselves on the platform. These listings show up in Foursquare when a customer gets close to a business’ geographic location. Small businesses already had the capability to offer discounts when a user checked in to a location, but this time Foursquare is providing them with a way to attract geographically close customers by showing an image ad and/or review by a previous Foursquare user.

What’s in it for Foursquare?

Foursquare is a location-based social networking site for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Its users “check in” wherever they happen to be using a mobile website, with a text message or a device-specific app. Foursquare locates them from the GPS in their mobile device. While Foursquare has so far been a way for consumers to share their hangouts, favorite places and eateries, now they are allowing these places the opportunity to promote themselves directly to consumers. Foursquare, while seemingly successful with over 25 million registered users, they’ve been singularly unspectacular when it comes to earning money. They made a modest $2 million last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, and are looking for ways to increase the revenue.

How the new ads work

The way this works is the ad platform targets Foursquare users determined by their locations and check-in histories. Merchants will and do have a chance to target nearby consumers with particular tastes – a predilection for fine dining, for instance, or customers who had previously checked-in to their store. Merchants in this program have the capability to turn off and on their Foursquare promotions any time they want, and are charged similar to a pay per click model, that is, they are going to be charged only on a “per action” basis (when a user actually taps on a promoted listing rather than merely viewing it). So far, Foursquare is charging $0.50 to $3 per action, but that is subject to change when it is released to the masses. Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt said, “Small businesses are willing to pay for local advertising if it makes sense.”