Social Media: A Bridge Between Digital and Real Worlds

Businesses are under pressure to crack the social media code. There’s all those tools and platforms to harness, and all those best practices to adopt. Staying on top of it is exhausting. Staying ahead of it is almost impossible.

This was the lead-in to an interesting interview I recently read with Facebook’s, Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager. Adams explains how a simple commitment to value can unravel the complications of social media. He says the key is to understand and serve basic human behavior.

Will we get to a point where “social media” is not an online thing, but a bridge between the digital and real worlds?

Paul Adams: “I think we’re already seeing it happening. We see Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps stickers on business windows all over town. I do think this is where it’s headed. As I mentioned earlier, social media should be like electricity. It’s there, powering everything, but we don’t really think about it.

Our phone, or whatever we carry around with us, will probably be our primary source and producer of social media data, so it’s important that when we use it, we’re not burdened by its place in the ecosystem — for example, by seeing constant privacy controls or too many invasive alerts.

Fundamentally, the phone collects a number of datasets that other devices don’t. It knows who we communicate with the most, who we care about the most — because it knows who we call and text most often — and it also knows where we are, where we’ve been, and probably where we’re going. And in the near future, it will know the things we buy.

Mobile is going to be a very disruptive space, and I’m not sure how it will evolve. Rather than try and predict which technologies will be dominant, I think the safer bet for businesses is to understand how these technologies will support human behavior and how they will help people do things they are struggling to do today.”

I don’t know why, but I immediately thought of the great Simon & Garfunkel song, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Read the full interview HERE.

*This post was originally published on this site March 2011.

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Local Business Listing, Search Engine Rankings and Mobile Devices

The following article has been submitted by Guest Author, Melih (“may-lee”) Oztalay. Melih is CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing, an internet marketing company known for developing very creative marketing strategies. Before starting SmartFinds, Melih ran one of the Detroit Metropolitan area’s premiere Internet Service Providers (ISP), SpeedLink, from the early 1990’s where he served for nearly a decade as President and CEO. In the new century he has pursued taking the creative and marketing services from his experience in the 1990’s to businesses via SmartFinds Internet Marketing. franchisEssentials is honored to have Melih as one of its Guest Authors.

local-listingLocal Business Listing, Search Engine Rankings and Mobile Devices
by Melih Oztalay, CEO at SmartFinds Internet Marketing

There has been an ongoing difficulty for small local businesses to benefit from the Internet. Particularly if they are completely dependent upon the local market. Yes, those businesses still do exist and will continue to exist. As technology has been developing, there is an answer for the local business. It comes in the form of the major search engines having free local listings.

What Are Business Local Listings? In summary this is your free yellow page listings by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Do you still need to advertise with the Yellow Pages? This need is definitely dwindling. The upcoming generations are using the Internet and their mobile phones. Most probably are not familiar with the hard copy yellow pages. Baby-Boomers are a growing group of mobile device users…and certainly EVERYONE is using the Internet.

Why Use the Local Business Listings? There are a number of reasons why the Internet local business listings are important to the local business.

1. Listings can show up in search results
2. Helps advertise business for free
3. Helps promote any discounts, offers, promotions
4. Displays on Mobile maps (e.g. iPhone)

The benefits help to increase your exposure through the Internet with this free listing. It can help you reduce your yellow page costs and makes sure you can get in front of your customers when they need you through the Internet or their mobile devices as they are around town.

Additionally these local listings help give you the opportunity to get more information in front of your customers than the yellow pages can ever offer. This would include your menus, your products, services, photos, videos, coupons, offers, promotions to mention a few.

Did we mention this was a free listing? Did we also mention you can update this listing anytime you want? And, lastly, you get statistics about your statistics. Now we’re confident the yellow pages cannot provide statistics. The benefits far outweigh the costs from the hard copy yellow pages.

Do you need your own website? No. Would it benefit you? Possibly, but dependent upon your business. Your free local business listing could be your website. The reason for having your own website would be because the free local business listing is not allowing you to add everything a customer may wish to see.

Like everything else on the Internet, it is best to work with a professional firm that can help get this setup for you. You have to be sure to have the right keywords for your business, along with knowing how to get the listing up to date so it benefits with immediately. Once the local business listing has been updated you can either maintain the information yourself or continue having a low cost monthly fee to have it maintained and monitored for you.

Monitoring your listing is very important as customers have the ability to post reviews about your products, services and business. Of course their ability to review you are not limited to the local business listing and include everything from Angie’s List to Complaint Boards on the web. While this may sound like a negative, you can turn customers with problems and complaints to long term relationship. You have to address their concerns and have them reach out to you instead of the Internet with their emotional frustrations.

Whether you are a single store, have multiple locations, are a franchise or a bank with multiple branches, you will want to learn more about local business listings. Learn more about Local Business Listings and submitting them to the search engines and other local related business websites and directories at SmartFinds Local Business Listings.

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