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Facebook Groups, Events, Photos & Geo Make #HootSuite Even Friendlier

HootSuite is now even Facebookier

Enjoy updated Facebook functionality within HootSuite’s social media management system – now with support for Facebook Groups and Events, exclusive search streams, plus photo uploading direct to Facebook. We also refreshed the process for posting to Pages and Profiles, added a Profile Picker, and included more ways to monitor walls, news, events and comments in HootSuite streams.

Along with Facebook Insights analytics reports already available the social media management system, HootSuite users can now manage all campaign tasks – including scheduling and assignments – from within the dashboard. Also, Enterprise customers can geo-target campaigns by region or by language.

The new tools are ready to go next time you login to HootSuite. Thanks for sharing the news with your friends and fans ~ we look forward to hearing how the tools help your social media campaigns. 

More for Friends, Photos and Fans

Monitor Everything

Track content from Profiles, Pages and Groups from within HootSuite Facebook streams and customize your tabs with: news feeds, photos, videos, events, status updates, and wall posts. Become even more efficient by filtering Facebook Streams to view only selected users or posts.

HootSuite has Facebook streams

Public Search

Over 20% of content on Facebook is public and now you can search it all in a HootSuite exclusive feature which is not available on Facebook.com. Track instances of your brand name, industry terms, executives etc. and then turn any comment into a stream to track conversations, even assign follow-ups, plus “Like” and comment directly in-stream.

HootSuite Facebook functionality

Picture Posting

Images are a key part of any post and now your images are uploaded directly to Facebook (rather than linked) allowing you to add and schedule pictures to Profiles, Pages and Groups using the enhanced compose box functionality.

HootSuite Facebook photos

Geo-Campaigning

Enterprise customers can target messaging based on the language and location of their audience with new geo-targeting tools. Combined with scheduling, this feature will optimize campaign messaging so it reaches the most relevant audiences at the ideal times.

Other Like-able Additions

Upload photos, schedule and more in HootSuite

Facebook isn’t the only upgrade you’ll notice in the dashboard when you login. We’ve also included some polishes to existing features:

Compose box – Refreshed design makes adding photos, links and scheduling even more intuitive – plus add geo-location co-ordinates to Tweets on the go.

Profile Picker – Designed for users with dozens of profiles, use this auto-completing tool to set favorites and defaults for faster, more accurate selections. Note: you can choose to stay with the original-style if preferred.

Helpful Hoots

Questions about new or existing features? The answers you seek are just a short flight away. Visit the HootSuite Help Desk to find articles to address any query about using Facebook — and other social networks — in the dashboard.

HootSuite

For advanced education, sign up for HootSuite University. This social media certification program is revamped with new videos, content and a weekly #HSUchat to increase your industry knowledge and professional network. Sign up.

Now, get ready for full-fledged Facebook fun within your dashboard where you can now manage all your campaign activities within HootSuite. Tell your friends!

Yelp Scales Back Deal Service as Competition Rises for Internet Coupons

YelpYelp Inc., a website that collects local business reviews, is scaling back its year-old deal service, following Facebook Inc.’s retreat from a market where consumers and merchants say they’re becoming inundated.

Yelp will cut its sales staff dedicated to Yelp Deals by half, the company said yesterday. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, said on Aug. 26 it would shut down its Deals local-discount feature, decamping from a business it entered in April. Both services were started to compete with Groupon Inc.Groupon

As hundreds of companies jump into the online-coupon market, consumers and merchants may have begun to grow weary of offers. At the same time, increasing competition among websites threatens to squeeze margins, making it harder for them to earn a profit from the deals.

“The big players are exiting because the business is not making a dent in their revenue numbers,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research Inc. “The space is not as large as everyone thought it was.”

In July, 38 daily-deal sites closed — more than the 36 that opened — while the industry experienced a 7 percent drop in revenue from the prior month in top North American markets, according to research firm Yipit Inc. Groupon and LivingSocial are the top two deal sites, which offer discounts on restaurants, hotels, events, and other goods and services.
‘Declining Quality’

At San Francisco-based Yelp, about 15 salespeople will be reassigned to other areas of the business, and the number of deals e-mailed to users is unlikely to grow, Vince Sollitto, vice president of corporate communications, said in an interview yesterday.

“Rather than offer more and more deals of inherently declining quality to more and more folks over time, we want to make sure we’re only providing good, quality opportunities,” Sollitto said. “While we think the deals business is a good one, it has never been a core focus of our offering.”

In August, Yelp has offered fewer than 30 deals, down from more than 60 per month in June and July, according to Yipit. Yelp has recently made about $10,000 per deal, compared with more than $30,000 at the beginning of the year.
‘Paring Down’

“Yelp has been paring down its deal frequency steadily over July and August,” Jim Moran, co-founder of Yipit, said in an e-mail.

More than half, or 52 percent, of U.S. consumers who use daily-deal services say they feel “overwhelmed” by the number of e-mails they receive about deals on a daily basis, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by PriceGrabber, a division of Experian Plc. About 60 percent of people surveyed said they feel the daily-deal industry is too crowded.

“While Groupon had first-mover advantage, many competitors followed suit, driving down prices and commoditizing the market,” said Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst at Altimeter Group in San Mateo, California.

Groupon Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason said last week that Yelp hadn’t made major inroads into its business.

“Yelp is small and not growing,” he said in a memo to employees that was obtained by Bloomberg News. “In the 15 markets where we compete, our daily deals are 500 percent of their size.”
Full Inboxes

Facebook may have withdrawn from the market because the competition was too intense, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research Inc. in San Francisco.

“There’s just too much competition out there,” Sterling said. “That manifests in too many e-mails in the inbox and too many salespeople calling merchants. There’s so much noise in the market that it’s hard for merchants and consumers to make sense of it all.”

Yelp began offering discounts from local merchants in San Diego in August 2010 and expanded to 20 cities this year. In June, it incorporated the service into its mobile applications for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software.

The startup plans to double its sales staff to 700 in the next 18 months, including a new office in New York and the expansion of a Scottsdale, Arizona, site it opened in 2010. All salespeople are able to sell Yelp Deals, and vendors can sign up for the service on Yelp’s website, Sollitto said.

Merchants say that participating in the deals often leads to unsolicited calls from other coupon sites. After Kiebpoli Calnek ran a Yelp Deal advertising 50 percent off an aerial performance class in July, she began receiving calls from representatives of Groupon, LivingSocial and other deal sites every day.

“They send me e-mails, they call me, they call me again,” said Calnek, who is based in Brooklyn, New York. “I told them, ‘I’m burnt out from this deal. I have 500 new clients. Why would I want to do another one?’”

Founded in 2004, Yelp has raised more than $130 million in funding from Elevation Partners LP and other backers. Last month, the company hired a new chief financial officer, Rob Krolik, citing his experience at publicly held companies.

Facebook Allows More Descriptive Page Tab App Names by Extending Character Limit to 100

MacWin Local Mobile Marketing on FacebookFacebook has greatly extended the length of names permitted for Page tab applications. While before names could only be 16 characters or less, they can now be up to 100 characters, though long names will cause fewer different tabs to be displayed above the fold.

The change will allow admins to more accurately and descriptively name their tabs, and use long names to draw attention to certain tabs. For instance, rather than naming a sweepstakes tab “Enter Contest”, it could be named “Enter to Win a 10-Day Vacation in Hawaii”.

When Facebook released the February 2011 Page redesign, Page tab apps moved from atop the wall to the navigation menu beneath the profile picture. While no longer front and center, this extended the permitted character length for tab app names to 16 and allowed more app to be displayed before a fold. Later Facebook increased the number of tabs visible above the fold and allowed reordering of apps.

However, even 16 characters wasn’t always enough to accurately describe a tab. Short, confusing names may have prevented users from knowing what they were missing by not clicking through to the tab app. For instance, MTV had to call one of its tabs “JS Game” instead of the more compelling “Jersey Shore Game” because of the character limit.

Now, with a maximum length of 100 characters, Page admins have much more flexibility with how they can use the navigation menu. They can list prizes or entry mechanism within the names of contest apps, for example “Subscribe to Emails to Win $10,000″. They can explain the function of utility apps for coupons or discounts, such as “Coupon Codes For Our Online Store”.

Admins could also get more creative, adding urgency to a tab name by listing an expiration date, such as “Only 10 More Hours To Enter Our Contest”. Or they could fill most of their navigation menu with a single tab name rather than try to drive clicks to several different tabs.

To edit Page tab app names, admins can click the Edit Page button on their own Page, then visit the Apps tab, then click “Edit Settings” on the tab they want to rename. To reorder tabs, visit the Page, and click the “Edit” link beneath the tab app navigation menu, or click “More” and then “Edit” button to drag-and-drop the tab apps.

Short, easy to read names are usually best, but when those don’t properly convey an app’s function, Page admins can rewrite them. We’ll watch and see what creative and effective uses are made of this newfound freedom, so check back for more ideas.

Social media helps restaurant get off ground – from AZCentral.com

by Georgann Yara – Apr. 30, 2011 06:02 AM

Social Media



When Dean Slover and his business partners were preparing to open RnR Restaurant and Bar, they debated over whether to hire someone to manage the business’ social-media aspect.

Nearly 14 months after the doors opened last March, the continued buzz and steady stream of patrons let Slover know the investment is paying off for his Scottsdale restaurant.

RnR has more than 600 Twitter followers and more than 3,700 fans on its Facebook page. Slover uses the page to post passwords that inform followers of specials, which has helped increase the restaurant’s visibility as customers share these deals with friends.

The restaurant’s social-media presence also helped create a buzz before RnR actually opened. In this struggling lagging economy, it proved to be a bonus.

The password element was a direct response to customers who suggested RnR come up with some kind of reward system for regulars. Social media also keeps the lines of communication open and allows Slover and his partners to track the level of service a patron received, how diners liked a new menu item or how any other strategy is going.

“With social media, it’s immediate and trackable. It serves as another venue to determine the level of satisfaction. People can give (feedback) online because they are comfortable doing that,” Slover said. “It’s such an integral part of what goes on here.”

Establishing a social-media presence has become just as or, in some cases, more important to drumming up business as print ads. The immediacy of the medium keeps users engaged and gets people talking about a restaurant or bar before day one.

Word about RnR spread about two months before opening day, social-media manager Uzra Vo-Cortazar said. She implemented Facebook ads, conducted polls about what prospective patrons wanted to experience and offered short teases about what was to come. Before March 2010, RnR’s Facebook page had more than 1,000 fans.

“I feel like it’s one of the best promotional and marketing techniques we use because it’s so direct with our clientele,” Vo-Cortazar said. “It’s like a close group of friends or extended family.”

Vo-Cortazar said the immediate feedback is most helpful in determining what, if any, changes should be made. Scottsdale resident Barbara Garganta has been a regular at RnR since it opened.

She and her friends keep up with the promotions and specials via Facebook, even following the restaurant’s community involvement with various charities.

“It’s one of the best and most reasonable,” she said. “The atmosphere has really great energy. It’s just a fun place.”

Slover calls the restaurant he owns with Les and Diane Coleri a “gastrobar,” which reflects the themes each of the owners originally envisioned: a comfort-food restaurant, a sports bar and a wine bar.

The kitchen serves up three meals and every snack in the between from 7:30 to 2 a.m. daily. The more than 30 items that comprise the breakfast menu reflects Slover’s personal passion for the first meal of the day. There are also dishes that give the menu a cosmopolitan flair, like the Dirty Chips inspired by a recipe Slover encountered in Boston and the Chicken Schnitzel, which is a nod to Austria.

The two-story, 4,000-square-foot building was built in 2009 and made to look like it had been there for decades.

Slover said he gets many comments from out-of-towners who think the structure is much older or resembles restaurants in older cities such as Chicago.

Slover said opening a restaurant in a lagging economy did not worry him.

“I should’ve been more concerned, but I had a huge amount of faith in the Old Town Scottsdale area,” he said. “With the location we had, it was the right time to do something like this.”

Get Found. Get More Customers. Keep them coming back. Grow Your Business. Call Me @ 623-252-9355 or visit www.areyouonthemap.com

 

4 Real Reasons to Care About Google Place Pages

From Small Business Trends | Mar. 16, 2011

Google PlacesSpend any real time in the small business marketing world and you’ll quickly be inundated with new services, new tools, new updates, new features and new things everyone thinks you should be aware of. As a result, it’s not always easy to decide what truly demands your attention and what can be written off as background noise. For that reason it’s possible that when Google Place Pages was first released a few months ago, you ignored it. And if that’s the case, it’s time to reconsider your position.Last week I had the privilege of attending SMX West in California and one hot topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue was the importance of Google Place Pages and their effect on SMBs. Why should you worry about Google Place Pages? Below are four good reasons.

  1. Your customers are looking for you online: While at SMX West last week, Gregg Stewart of 15 Miles noted that 20 percent of all searches on Google now have a local intent, and that number is even higher when you look at searches performed on mobile devices. SEO expert Bruce Clay later predicted that in two years 70-80 percent of queries will have a local result on the page (!). That’s pretty significant and offers a good indication of where things are going. Searchers are headed online to find local businesses and, thanks to personalization, Google is showing local results even when a user doesn’t specifically ask for them. Users are looking for your business online and one of the best ways to help them find you is to claim, optimize and enhance your Google Place Page. By ignoring it, you make it harder for customers to do business with you. Why do that?
  2. Google Places acts as a one-stop-shop for your brand: One reason some small business owners aren’t too friendly to Place Pages is that they resent Google decentralizing their information and pulling people from their core site. Unfortunately, that’s exactly why users like these aggregate pages. They like being able to check out one page and see all your vital information. Embrace it and give users what they’re looking for. Because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how a user finds your address and phone number…just that they do and that you’ve excited them enough to use it.
  3. Google loves (to rank) Place Pages: Thanks to some Google algorithm changes, Place Pages have been given significant search prominence. That means whether you like them or not, they’re showing up, and potential customers are stumbling upon them. As a savvy business owner, you must do your part and help those searchers find you by completely filling out your Google Place Page. I know it’s a little monotonous to always be filling out those little boxes all over the Web, but you’re being asked for a reason – Google is using that information to rank you. Fill out everything, be careful when selecting your business category, and include as much information and (keyword-rich) details as you can. The more complete (and keyword-rich) your profile, the better.
  4. Google Places connects third-party sites: You know the information being posted about you all over the Web? Much of it is being aggregated and displayed in your Google Place page. That means what’s out there about you for your business – all the reviews, the associated images, the business information, etc. – is getting more attention than ever before. If you don’t know what’s out there about your brand, Google Place Pages provides more incentive for you to find out. Take this time to make sure it’s all accurate and consistent.Above are just a few reasons why Google Place Pages are becoming synonymous with local search engine optimization. If you haven’t invested serious time in claiming your Google Place Page listing and optimizing it, run (don’t walk) to go do that right now. This is not an area that you can put on the back burner until you “have time” to tackle it. Google is serious about local search, and your Place Page just may be the glue that brings it all together.

80% of all business comes from people who live and work within 5 miles of your location.

Were on the map20% of all Google searches now relate to location. Have you claimed your Google Places listing?

Would You Like to be on the First Page of Google? Get Found. Get More Customers. Grow Your Business. In 2011, More People Will Search for Local Businesses on SmartPhones than on Computers. Will Your Business Show Up at the Top of the Local Listings?!

Would You Like to:

▪ Be on the first page of Google?
▪ Have more business than you can handle?
▪ Gain the advantage of having more positive reviews of your business?
▪ Have your business show up on iPhones, Smartphones, and GPS devices?
▪ Work smarter while your competition works harder?

Are You Taking Advantage of:

▪ Google and Facebook Places
▪ Yelp and Foursquare
▪ Text Marketing and Coupons
▪ Mobile Coupons and Mobile-ready sites
▪ Local Business Listings
▪ Positive Reviews on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List

The most successful businesses in 2011 will be utilizing these tools and applications. Don’t get stuck waiting for your phone to ring…Contact us today! www.areyouonthemap.com 623-252-9355

Soon You Can Port Your Phone Number to Google Voice for $20

Mashable.comJust saw this on Mashable.com, going to make Google Voice even better! Google Voice users, this is big: You might already be able to port your own phone number into the service. Google just unleashed a test program a few hours ago.

According to Google, this ability to port your own inbound phone number is currently in a test phase that’s available to certain users (such as us — we were lucky enough to be among the chosen few).

With a few clicks, you can have people call the regular phone number that you’ve been using all these years, without having to teach them to call a different number just so you can use Google Voice and all its Gmail-like features. Simply go to Phone, Settings, and if you see “change/port” next to your phone number, you’re in luck. Click that and you’ll soon be done.

Easy enough, except for that $20 charge you’ll have to pay to make it happen. Keep in mind that if you do select that option and pay your $20, whichever landline or cellphone provider you were paying to use that phone number before might want to charge you an early termination fee. Buyer beware.

On the other hand, this long-awaited feature will make it a lot easier for new users of Google Voice to adapt to the service. It’ll be simple to just drop your old service automatically by paying the $20 and importing that number to Google Voice.

Too bad this capability was not available a couple of years ago when I first started using the free Google Voice service, and told everyone in my address book about my new phone number. Now, I like that my chosen Google Voice number so much, there’s not an old number I’d rather port.

Gmail Now Lets You Save Attachments to the Desktop via Drag-and-Drop

From Mashable.com
Mashable.com

Saving dozens of e-mail file attachments to your computer just became a hell of a lot easier.

Google has added a new feature to Gmail: the ability to save file attachments by simply dragging-and-dropping them onto the desktop. If you hover over the file icon or the “Download” link for any attachment, you’ll notice the new text prompting you to drag the file to your desktop to save.

We just tried out the new feature, and we have to tell you: It’s really as simple as it sounds. There is one caveat to saving file attachments via drag-and-drop, though: The feature is only available in Google Chrome.

Google Waves Goodbye

Google WaveThe news is out, Google has decided to stop developing Google Wave as a standalone product.
From the official Google Blog:
We have always pursued innovative projects because we want to drive breakthroughs in computer science that dramatically improve our users’ lives. Last year at Google I/O, when we launched our developer preview of Google Wave, a web app for real time communication and collaboration, it set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser. We showed character-by-character live typing, and the ability to drag-and-drop files from the desktop, even “playback” the history of changes—all within a browser. Developers in the audience stood and cheered. Some even waved their laptops.

We were equally jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication. The use cases we’ve seen show the power of this technology: sharing images and other media in real time; improving spell-checking by understanding not just an individual word, but also the context of each word; and enabling third-party developers to build new tools like consumer gadgets for travel, or robots to check code.

But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began. In addition, we will work on tools so that users can easily “liberate” their content from Wave.

Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science. We are excited about what they will develop next as we continue to create innovations with the potential to advance technology and the wider web.

Finally! Coming Soon: Sign in to Multiple Google Accounts in the Same Browser

I know this will help me. I administer multiple Google Apps domains for different clients and during testing and configuration of each I am constantly logging out of one account and then back in to another.

Mashable - Social Media GuideFrom Mashable.com:

Now, according to Google Operating System, Google is testing a feature that will let users log in to multiple Google accounts in the same web browser. Personally, I have at least four different Gmail accounts open at all times, and this feature is very high on my wish list.

Google services that are currently being tested include Gmail, Reader, Sites, Calendar, Code and Docs. There is one limitation: if you turn on multiple sign-in, you cannot access Gmail in offline mode.