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You can now search attachments in Google Apps email

Outlook and Yahoo users have been able to do it for years but now Google Apps and Gmail users can search not only email but email attachments. Previously, the popular email client only allowed search within the text of the email itself, but now users can search within files from programs such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office files and more.

To try this out for yourself, simply add “has:attachment” to the beginning of any keyword query. Limiting the search to a specific file type involves adding “filename:(file type)” to the search term.

Facebook is rolling out a new feature – “Facebook Offers”

MacWin Consulting on FacebookFacebook is rolling out a new feature called “Facebook Offers”. It is still in beta now and a very limited number of Facebook Pages have access to it, but I think this is going to be BIG! Take a look at the video and just think of the potential for small, local businesses.

With Facebook Offers businesses will be able to:

  • Set up an offer, discount, or promotion
  • Specify when the expires
  • Control the number of people who can claim and redeem your Facebook Offer
  • Facebook users will be able to claim the offer and ave it either emailed to them or can use their mobile phones to redeem in the store

If you’re business doesn’t have a Facebook Page or know how to effectively configure, use and promote an existing Facebook Page then MacWin Consulting can help! Give us a call at 623-252-9355 and let us show you how to attract new customers, interact and stay in touch with your current ones and keep them coming back.

 

Survey: 85% of Consumers Use the Internet to Find Local Businesses

Posted by Darnell, Business Outreach

Search Engine Land’s recent Local Consumer Review Survey looked at the way consumer behavior has changed since 2010. Interestingly, one of the key findings was that most people surveyed were just as likely to turn to the internet, as they were to ask for personal recommendations about local businesses. For business owners, this is a good indication that now more than ever, it’s important to have a strong online presence. We’ve highlighted a few key takeaways from the survey below:

  • “There has been a significant jump in the number of consumers using the Internet to find local businesses, and the regularity of their ‘searches’ has also increased.” In fact, only 15% of consumers surveyed have not used the internet to find a local business in the past 12 months. This number is down from 21% in 2010.
  • The majority of consumers surveyed use online reviews to make spending decisions. 27% of consumers are regularly reading online reviews, while another 49% are occasional readers.
  • A single review isn’t likely to make or break you. In fact, 65% of consumers (vs. 58% in 2010) are reading between 2-10 reviews when researching local businesses.
  • “Appreciation and value of online reviews is growing as more consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” According to the survey, 72% of consumers give the same weight to online reviews as they do to personal recommendations.

With that in mind, are you putting your best foot forward when it comes to Yelp? The keys to a strong Yelp presence include adding great content to the “About This Business” section of your listing, and diplomatically responding to your reviewers. If you need inspiration, Pretty Parlor of Seattle, High Tech Auto Serviceof Santa Monica, and Tecolote Cafe of Santa Fe, are all examples of businesses that are actively taking the aforementioned steps. Beyond that, a solid rating on Yelp begins with providing great customer service in the offline world, and then allowing reviews to build organically over time. For more tips and best practices, check out the support center at http://biz.yelp.com.

So how do you fix a WordPress website that uses Jotform?

I’m sure some of you have heard and seen the news, Jotform is down. I use Jotform extesnively throught many of the WordPress websites I have created and administer. So what do you do if you have a JotformWordPress website and you use Jotform? Jotform sent out a message that explains that all you need to do is change the url listed in your various Jotforms from jotform.com to jotform.us

This may seem pretty easy but I found that there are so many places I had put a form in, both pages and posts on my WordPress sites that it was going to take me a hours and hours to fix them all!

But there is a much easier way to fix your WordPress sites that use Jotform. Install the WordPress plugin “Search and Replace” and then you can do a “search and replace” on all the jotform.com references on the site with one click!

For those of you who have not installed a plugin or used the “Search and Replace” plugin (by the way there are many more plugins that have the same functionality of “Search and Replace”, this is just my preferred plugin) here are some screen shots to help guide you and the steps to take are:

  • Log into your WordPress Dashboard, yourdomain.com/wp-admin
  • Go “Plugins” and  then “Add New”
  • Do a search in the plugins directory for “Search and Replace”
  • Next install the “Search and Replace” plugin
  • Now go to “Tools” on your dashboard and there will be a new entry “Search and Replace”
  • In your “Search and Replace” plugin you can search for the field “jotform.com” and replace it with “jotform.us”

That’s it! Your forms will start working again and your site will be fully functional.

Google+ Pages for Local Businesses

Google+ Pages are brand new, so should Local Businesses create a Google+ Page now or wait? Considering Google.com has over 1 billion unique visitors per month and they are the undisputed “king of search” the answer is YES!Google+ Logo

Google+ has finally launched Google+ Pages, an extension of the Google+ Social Platform Google is hoping will beat Facebook at it’s own game. “So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people,” Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra wrote in a blog post today. “But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about–from local businesses to global brands–so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.”

On Google+ Pages, businesses can start sharing information about themselves, and invite customers to chat with them over the service’s and products they provide or sell, create “hangouts” that incorporate videoconferencing technology or begin conversations by simply asking questions seeking feedback. There are already many internet “heavyweights” that have deployed Google+ Pages such as Macy’s, Pepsi, Toyota, CNET and H&M. What’s more, Google is integrating Google+ Pages into its search results and if you are logged into your Google account those results will display across the top of the Google Search under “Google Personal Search”.

The first is step Google is taking is simply displaying Google+ Pages in search queries. Google is also adding a feature it calls Direct Connect that lets searchers quickly call up a Google+ page by adding a “+” before their query. So if car shoppers are interested in learning more about Toyota models from the company’s Google+ page, they can search “+Toyota” and be directed to the car maker’s Google+ page.

Can you customize your Google+ Business Pages as extensively as you can a Facebook Page? The answer is not yet. In the “coming days,” Google said it will introduce a Google+ badge that will let people add a company’s Google+ page to their circles, without having to leave the company’s site. Rumors and rumblings from around the internet have been mixed, some saying that Google+ and the Google Personal Search is eventually going to replaces Google Places! Do I see that coming? Not anytime in the very near future but why not start building your Google+ Page now?

Check out the Google+ Page for MacWin Local Mobile Marketing and you will see that there is a lot you can currently do with your Google+ Page like adding photos, links, videos and general information about your business. If the Google is the “king of search” and Local Small Businesses depend on Google for Local Marketing, don’t you think it would be a good idea to have a page on the Social Media Platform that Google owns and will more than likely index first?

If you are a local small business owner in the Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Avondale or Buckeye area and want to get started with a Google+ Page for your Business, gives MacWin Local Mobile Marketing a call and let us help you set it up the right way from the start!

MacWin Local Mobile Marketing specializes in using Local Mobile Marketing to help small businesses in the cities of Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Avondale and Buckeye gain more customers and keep them coming back! To find out more about how MacWin Local Mobile Marketing can help you and your small business, please fill out the form below and someone will contact you as soon as possible!

New Facebook Places Features Could Give Local Business Pages a Viral Boost, Help Complete Listings

Today Laura Betterly from Mobile Local Fusion passed on some interesting news for Small Business owners. Facebook is trying to promote local business as well as complete the data of their listings with two new features on Places Pages: Recommend This Place and Community Edits.

The Recommend This Place sidebar module on the Pages of local businesses lets users write a short recommendations which are published to the news feed and shown on the Page to friends. Meanwhile, Cities now display a native tab called Community Edits that asks users to fill information such as address and category of popular Places in that city. These new features open an important new viral channel for local businesses and franchises, and allow Facebook to crowd source improvements to its Places database.

For background, Facebook introduced Places and check-ins in August 2010, originally sourcing its local business database from Localeze. Changes to Localeze profiles are not necessarily synced with Places, though, leaving listings of new and evolving business out of date. After some scrapped attempts at allowing merges of Places and Pages for the same location, Facebook appears to have settled on adding Places functionality in the form of check-ins and maps to Pages listing a street address.

Recommend This Place

The site recently changed the Suggest to Friends feature for Pages so that only a Page’s admins could use it, and so the recommendations would appear in a sidebar module instead of the more prominent Requests channel. While fighting Page spam, it may have reduced the virality of Pages. But now with the launch of Recommend This Place, Pages with Places functionality have been given powerful new viral channel.

Appearing in the top right corner of Pages with a street address to users who live nearby, the module reads “Help your friends discover great places to visit by recommending [Page Name]” above a text field. Users can write a short recommendation, set its new feed visibility privacy setting, and submit it. The recommendation is then published to the news feed and displayed to friends browsing that Page in a “Recommendations From Friends” module in the right sidebar.

Recommend This Place will draw users to the Pages their friends prefer, and give users a social recommendation to Like the Page once they’re there. If Pages push their fans to complete the recommendations via Page updates and their info section, they could get viral exposure and grow their Like count for free.

Community Edits

In March Facebook began showing a small link on Places allowing users to “Suggest Edits”, or fill out missing data fields and submit them for approval. Now Facebook is looking to ensure that the most frequently checked in to locations provide useful information and are properly categorized. To do this, it has added a Community Edits tab the the left navigation menu of Pages for cities.

When clicked, the tab displays incomplete listing for five Places that receive a lot of check-ins in that city, and a header explains that “The Community Edits tab lets you share your knowledge about places in [city] and makes Facebook Places more useful. Add details about places, report duplicates, and more”. Users can then complete empty data fields such as ‘website’ and choose the proper category from a typeahead.

If users need help finding the data, a “Find on Bing” link beneath each entry brings up a Bing Maps search for the location, which sometimes includes the missing zip code or street address. It appears that Facebook’s maps deal with Bing does not cover automatically importing this data, so the social network is using this tab to task users with the chore. Unceremoniously, users are simply presented a new set of Places listings to complete when they finish a first, with no ‘thank you’ or ‘edits received’ message to inspire further assistance.

Users who explore the Community Edits tab and feel a deep loyalty to their city or to Facebook may be willing to perform data entry on their behalf. However, the feature doesn’t offer a clear reward such as authorship for a user’s contribution, nor does it properly applaud them. Facebook could improve the design and messaging of the feature to increase the potential volume of user generated edits the tab could drive.

Free Virality For Now

Recommend This Place and Community Edits may be a sign that Facebook knows helping small businesses get their Pages off the ground is in its own interest. As it did with games developers, offering early free viral exposure for Places could make return on investment cheap enough to lure businesses to market on the social network. Then by weening them off free virality, it could earn money switching them onto Facebook Ads to grow their fan base.

I use Google Chrome and looks like other’s do as well!

Mashable.comFrom Mashable.com: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is still the world’s most popular browser, but it and Mozilla’s Firefox lost a lot of market share to Google’s Chrome in 2011, which is now firmly in second place.

According to StatCounter’s 2011 data, Internet Explorer currently has a 39% market share, Chrome is at 27%, while Firefox holds 25% of the market.

Safari and Opera follow with 6% and 2% market share, respectively.

These numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, however. Internet Explorer started 2011 with a 46% share of the market, and Firefox was over 30%. Both browsers steadily lost their share throughout the year, and almost all of it went to Chrome, which is clearly the year’s biggest gainer.

 

 
 

 

Net Applications’ numbers for 2011 are very different, with Internet Explorer having a much bigger lead (52%), but the trends are similar: Chrome was the only clear winner in 2011, having jumped from 10% to 19% market share.

Interestingly, Net Applications sees Firefox’ current market share almost exactly where it started 2011: at 22%.

Regardless of whose number you believe, it seems that Chrome is on a roll, and its steep upward trajectory shows that other browser makers should take notice. Otherwise, we may have a new king of the browser market in a year or two.

Kindle Fire and Real Estate – Using Google Apps with the Kindle Fire

The Kindle FireSo were you one of the millions of people who got a Kindle Fire for Christmas? Want to use it as more than just an ebook reader? Cinda RoseThe West Valley Home Team and MacWin Local Mobile Marketing are going to spend the next month or so testing the Fire out and specifically using it for “Mobile Real Estate”. I am not suggesting that the Kindle Fire is an iPad replacement or “iPad killer” but at $199 for the Kindle Fire vs. $499 for the iPad2 I think we need to give it a shot! (Just a side note, I am an Apple guy, both The West Valley Home Team and MacWin Local Mobile Marketing are both run completely on Mac’s and “Once you go Mac you never go back!”)

Touchdown for the Kindle Fire

The West Valley Home Team uses Google Apps for their email and calendaring (we are not using Google Docs as our sole document platform yet) and unfortunately eventhough the Kindle Fire is an Android OS device, strangely enough it does not support Google Sync out of the box. The Fire’s email app supports Google Apps Gmail accounts via IMAP/POP but if you’re looking for push notifications and Calendar/Contacts sync, you’ll need something more. There is a work around though! The  Amazon Appstore allows you to install a third-party app called Touchdown for sync. The apps free for 30 days in demo mode, but then costs $9.99 which is still acceptable to me.Google Apps

Once Touchdown is installed it’s easy enough to setup sync. Just Tap Next to bypass the “Try Autodiscover” screen, enter your Google Apps email address as the User ID, your password, and then specify m.google.com as the server. On the next screen choose yes to SSL and leave everything else at the defaults. Now your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts will sync. One big problem I have with Touchdown is it only syncs your main Personal Google Calendar (or whatever you have renamed your main Google Calendar to). We have multiple Shared Calendars at The West Valley Home Team and not being able to see each other’s is a big drawback. I also seperate my Personal events from my West Valley Home Team events and my MacWin Local Mobile Marketing events by using different calendars for each. I have contacted NitroDesk and searched through their Google Group to see if there are any fixes for this or maybe a future feature but haven’t found anything.

If you want Google Talk, (which I don’t see us needing, this device will be more for showing and researching MLS listings in Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale on the go, collecting email and signing documents) search the AppStore for IM+ or IMO for two good choices. Like the iPad, there’s no native Google Docs client for the Fire but you can login to docs.google.com with the Silk web browser for basic viewing and editing.

The next challenge and my next post is going to be finding an app that allows the Kindle Fire to accept signature on PDF files. More to come…

Do QR Codes really work and how can I tell if they do?

You’ve seen them, maybe you know what they are and maybe you have no idea. In a recent poll, 58% of users said they weren’t Infographic QR Codes Statistics familiar with them, so why should we care about using them? In the same way that websites, then MySpace URLs, and more recently Facebook pages started appearing in TV, magazine and newspapers ads, we’re starting to see more QR codes appear in traditional advertisements. Start now and get ahead of your competition!

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a 2-D barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone’s camera and transfer information. Based on the type of code it is, it might direct the viewer to a website, make a phone call, deliver a vCard or more.

Tracking QR Code Responses Using Google Analytics

If you have Google Analytics tracking set up on your website, using Google Analytics for tracking your QR Code visits will keep all of your data in one location, and allow you to track the online behaviors and conversion rates of your QR Code visitors.

Here’s how to set up QR Code tracking using Google Analytics:

  • The first step is to add tracking code to the URL of your target response page. The target response page is simply the website or page on your website you are trying to get users to visit.
    • Go to Google’s URL-Builder tool and load the target URL for your QR Code, your campaign Source, Medium, and Name. For example, let’s create a code with tracking for this post. I’ll use “facebook” as the Source, “status update” as the Medium and “trackable-qrcodes-post” as the Name.
    • Click “Generate URL” and you’ll get a url with tracking code.
    • With your new link in hand (or in your clipboard), it’s time to create your QR Code. Kaywa’s QR code generator is the simplest way to generate a QR code for a URL, text, phone number or SMS. Simply select your preference, enter the content, specify size and click “Generate.” Then, save the code to use elsewhere or grab the HTML to embed it online.

  • You now have a QR Code; download it and apply it to your direct mail piece, business card, billboard, t-shirt, or whatever else. When someone scans the code and visits your site, Google Analytics will track the visit and the associated source, medium and name.
  • After you’ve tested the QR Code,  go into Google Analytics and navigate to Traffic Sources > Campaigns. You can sort by “Medium” and search for “qrcode” to see your test visit (see below).

Tracking QR Codes using Google Analytics

Using Bit.ly for Creating and Tracking QR Code

If you aren’t using Google Analytics, don’t know how to use Google Analytics or just need a simpler process, the url shortening application Bit.ly is another great tool for tracking web traffic it redirects to your QR Code landing pages.

Here’s how to create a trackable QR Code using Bit.ly:

bitly qrcode

Bit.ly QR Code

  • Create an account at http://bit.ly/.
  • Insert the target url into their url shortener. You’ll get a shortened url that looks something like: http://bit.ly/8AjVUt
  • In your list of shortened urls, you’ll see the target url, with a link beside it for the “Info Page” for the url. Click on it, and you’ll see tracking information and a QR Code for the shortened url.
  • Right click on the QR Code image to save it; you’re now ready to use it on whatever marketing piece you’d like.
  • Now, whenever someone scans the generated QR Code, they’ll be directed to bit.ly, which will count the visit and automatically redirect the visitor to the target url. This will happen fast enough that users won’t even notice the redirect.
  • You can then use the reporting tool on your Bit.ly account to track scans/visits via your QR Code
Bit.ly QR Code

Bit.ly QR Code

  • Here are a few ways that you can use QR codes to spruce up your small business marketing strategies.
  • On business cards: A fast and simple way to use QR codes for your own professional purposes is to place them on business cards. Generate a barcode that directs scanners to your online resume, small business Facebook Page or your website to help new contacts find you or your business faster.
  • On marketing materials: You’ve got fliers, brochures, programs, handouts, white papers and a myriad of other materials in your media kit. Add QR codes to direct viewers to a particular how-to video, send them to a Flickr photo set, get them to follow you on Twitter, or point them to a mobile-friendly landing page that promotes a new campaign. For inspiration, check out what the Detroid Red Wings did with QR codes in their arena programs.
  • In storefront windows: Google is sending out QR code window decals to top local businesses with Google Place Pages. If they don’t send you one, steal the idea and generate your own QR code to place in your window. You can use this code to encourage Fousquare checkins, point scanners to your Yelp profile, or simply invite customers to share memories in photo, video or text form via Stickybits.
  • For freebies: If you really want people to pay attention to your QR codes, make them good for something fun. Say you’ve placed a QR code decal in your storefront window, why not reward those who scan it with 10% off their purchase or a free pastry? Give them something small to thank them for their patronage. Simply create a custom QR code for the freebie you want to offer. You could even get creative and hide the QR code offers online, like on your Facebook page or website, or somewhere inside your store.

Things to Remember

  • If you’re going to use QR codes for small business marketing, you’ll want to keep in mind that QR codes — and the apps that scan them — are still foreign to most people.
  • Yes, more and more people are starting to associate the codes with action, but never assume your customers will know what to do. Make it a point to spell out how to scan the QR code, and help instruct customers on where they can grab scanner apps.
  • Also, remember that QR codes should provide some kind of value to the scanner. It may be easiest to direct QR code scanners to your website, but that’s likely not the most engaging place to send people. Instead of having the QR Code directed to just http://macwin.wpengine.com, try focusing the QR Code to one specific page within your site, one promotion/coupon or one service you offer.

Does your business or have you ever used QR Codes? Please take a moment to fill out the survey below and let us know:

Click here to take survey

Does your business have a Facbeook Page? If not see what you’re missing!

Mashable.com

Americans Spend 23% of Internet Time on Social Networks [STUDY]

Americans spend almost a quarter of their time online on social networking sites, says a Nielsen report released Monday.

According to the report — which combines data from Nielsen mobile and online meters, buzz data and a survey — Internet users spend more than twice as much time on social networks (including blogs) as they do on online games, the next top web destination by time.

The most popular social network as measured by Nielsen online meters is Facebook, followed by Blogger,Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 
 

 

Nine of the 10 most popular social networks were dominated by women. Only LinkedIn had a percentage of men visiting the site that exceeds the percentage of men who are active Internet users. Women also watch more video content than men, although men watch longer videos.

Both genders are increasingly accessing social networks using mobile apps. Social networking app usage is up 30% from the same time last year. Social networking apps are the third most downloaded type of smartphone apps behind only games and weather apps. App growth has not affected the percentage of people who access social networks using mobile browsers. Mobile Internet users account for 47% more unique visits to social networks than they did last year.

 

Mobile is just one of the many ways Nielsen found social media use becoming universal.

“It’s the first time we looked at the data comprehensively,” says Nielsen’s SVP of Media & Advertising Insights and Analytics Radha Subramanyam. “[What is most surprising to us] is the rapid adoption, the measurable reach of social media. Four out of five Internet users. One of five minutes spent online. When you have those numbers and see their scale, it’s staggering.”