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Watch These Blogs and Help Your Business Grow and Thrive

This infographic contains a list of 50 small business blogs that will help you and your contacts learn strategies from content marketing and effective copywriting to data analysis and social media. These blogs cover many different industries and have something unique to offer all readers.
Share this infographic of a blog list with your contacts and connections to help their businesses thrive as well

50 small business blogs infographic infusionsoft 50 Small Business Blogs to Watch

50 Small Business Blogs to Watch by Infusionsoft

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.

 

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.

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!

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

 

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.

Add your listings to Facebook Marketplace – from Tech Savvy Agent

Another great article from Tech Savvy Agent: When it comes to Facebook and real estate ads, do you think you should be advertising your listings on your Facebook PROFILE? No, me neither. But, at the same time, you have all these friends that you want to be able to promote what you do as much as possible without being obnoxious, right? How can this be accomplished? Facebook’s Marketplace. Click here to read the entire article on Tech Savvy Agent

Facebook

Google to Integrate Google Voice With Gmail?

Google is testing a new feature in Gmail: as you can see in this image obtained by Google OS, a phone icon opens a special Gmail chat window, which consists of a dialpad, contact search, credit balance and a call button. The feature is not yet publicly available. Read the full article on Mashable.com

Mashable - Social Media Guide

Add Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Info to Your Gmail Contacts

Mashable.com has an article on a new Google Apps gadget, just installed it, worked great! Relationship manager Gist has just launched the Gist Gadget for the Google Apps Marketplace. The Gist Gadget basically lets you find out way more about the people in your inbox, directly from Gmail. Read the rest at mashable.com

Mashable - Social Media Guide