Facebook and Success for Local Businesses

Facebook and Bing Team Up

As you may have heard, Facebook and Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) announced a new partnership last fall. This new collaboration may change the face of search results by connecting Bing search results and info from Facebook. Now, in addition to displaying the most popular local results when you search for an item or service on Bing, you will also see any relevant information posted by your Facebook friends. Here’s an example: if you search for “local plumber” in Bing, the results will display the most popular webpages, but they will also show particular plumbers that your Facebook friends “Like” and any reviews they may have written about local plumbers. As you might guess, this new partnership makes customer service even more important! Just imagine: a new store opens up in your town, but their service is so poor that customers are not showing support on Facebook. From simply not liking the store’s page to posting negative reviews, these dissatisfied customers’ actions on Facebook will affect how the store performs in Bing searches. As a result of this new feature, the new store won’t be able to gain traction in the Bing search results pages.

Improve Your Facebook Page

However, this feature isn’t all bad! The good news is that Prospect Genius creates a Facebook page for each one of its customers—this puts you one step ahead of any business without a Facebook presence. Now, to capitalize on the new Bing search feature, all you need to do is get out there and have folks “Like” your page. Check out Aztec Solar Power’s Facebook page as a good example of this. If you’re a Prospect Genius customer, you already have a Facebook page for your business. You can contact PG for the link to your Facebook profile and start sharing it with local friends and happy customers—and they can start “liking” your business. Customers past and present can even use your Facebook page as a convenient place to write glowing reviews about your company and services! And to get the most value out of those reviews, the PG team can even repost them to various other locations across the web.

Get Your Customers Involved

Getting your customers involved can be the key to getting those coveted reviews and “Likes.” For a great example of how to get your customers involved on your Facebook page, visit Kenny’s Homework on Facebook. As you can see, one of Kenny’s customers wrote a rave review on his Facebook Wall. You can also encourage satisfied customers to write reviews in the “Reviews” section that you see on the right-hand side of the page. But what if you’re having trouble getting people to write reviews or “Like” your Facebook page? You’re not alone! Many local businesses struggle with this issue, but you don’t just have to let your business suffer because customers are reluctant to write reviews, etc. Instead, why not take a cue from Ace Appliance Service. This appliance repair company provides customers with a $10 Subway gift card if they post a review on the Ace Appliance Service Google Places page. Incentives like this can help your company in two ways:

  • First, it illustrates that you have great customer service.
  • Second, it can help your Google Places page gain extra traction in the search engines.

Why not try offering customers a $2 Dunkin Donuts gift card for writing a Facebook review or a Google Places review, and maybe a $5 card if they post reviews at both locations? Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement to get your customers to write online reviews, and by helping your company get a little extra traction in the search engines, it can really pay off.

What Google’s Been Up To…

Because it was reported widely in mainstream media, you may have heard about Google’s recent update. Google has reconfigured their algorithm to change the way in which they rank websites—and subsequently what you may see displayed on a search results page. Dubbed the “Farmer Update,” these changes are designed to eliminate low-quality webpages from Google search results. As soon as the Farmer Update rolled out, Prospect Genius started working on assessing the implications of the change and how it will impact you, our loyal customers. If you’ve recently noticed that your microsite is ranking higher, lower, or swinging back and forth, it’s likely a result of the tweaks we’re making because of the changes in Google’s algorithm. We’re working to compensate for the Farmer Update, and we’ll keep you posted as we gather more information. But don’t worry, we’re professionals: search engines update their algorithms all the time—it’s our job to work with the updated system to make sure your microsite is ranking the best it can! If you’re curious about more details of the Farmer Update, check out this article.

Don’t Forget Our Referral Program

Remember, Prospect Genius offers a discount for every additional client you send our way. You’ll get $10 per month (paid quarterly) off your bill for every referral that signs up with PG. Send your friends to 1-800-689-1273, and make sure they mention you!