Welcome DealOn to the ReachLocal Family

Last updated 3 hours 25 minutes ago

Today we’re excited to announce the latest addition to the ReachLocal family: DealOn Media LLC, a local deals company. Founded in 2009, DealOn currently sources and manages deals for theDealOn.com site and several online media properties. And because DealOn already operates in nearly 20 markets across the U.S., they have plenty of knowledge and experience in the local deals space which we’re looking forward to delivering to new and existing clients. As the press release puts it, this acquisition gives ReachLocal:

  • a comprehensive product suite including the DealOn.com destination site
  • a full white-label and co-branded deals platform allowing online publishers to offer deals to their customers
  • the recently launched OfferEx deal exchange which enables other deal sites and publishers the ability to supply and/or resell deals through a standardized exchange

We’ve written about the growing trend of local deals before, and now we are proud of the opportunity that deals will offer our customers and small and large publishers alike.

To read more about this news, read the press release here.

 

New Facebook Fan Page for business owners

From facebook:

“By choosing to upgrade your page, visitors to your page will begin to see the new layout, and you will not be able to revert back to the previous layout. All pages on Facebook will appear in the new layout beginning March 1, 2011.

We encourage you to alert any other admins of your page before upgrading. After upgrading, Facebook will send your other page admins an email alerting them of this change”

Make sure your business page has at least 5 photos to showcase up top. (the new layout is similar to the personal pages)

What’s changed? many stlye changes and more analytic are available. know where your fans are and thier demographics.

 

15 Tips to Increase Twitter Followers for your Local Business

When it comes to increasing followers on Twitter, there is a big debate in the social media space aboutquality versus quantity. But it is a near universal goal for businesses to increase their fan and follower count on social media. So, how can you balance the need to increase followers while making sure you’re connecting with real, authentic, and targeted consumers? Try these 15 tips for increasing your number of quality followers.

Be Worth Following

On Twitter, in addition to people who share interesting, insightful information, there are many spammers and aggressive marketers that the typical consumer avoids following. To be a figure worth following, you don’t want get labeled as a spammer. So the first step in increasing your followers on the site is to make sure your account is worth following!  Here’s how to do it:

1) Make sure your Twitter profile is optimized with an original picture, bio, and links. Don’t make these newbie mistakes that keep people from following you.

2) Post interesting content often. Balance unique content (authored by you) and shared content (authored by others). Many experts say for each self-promotional tweet, you should share 5-10 tweets about something else.

3) Time your tweets so people see content during peak hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can use an automatic scheduling tool like su.pr, Hootsuite, or ReachCast to time your tweets throughout the day.

4) When someone follows you, follow them back. You can do this manually or use a service like Social Oomph to automate it. Since Twitter won’t let you follow an unlimited number of users, keep your following/follower ratio in check by using a tool like ManageFlitter.com to unfollow users who don’t follow you back.

5) Be social. Use the site as a way to connect  with others, not just to promote yourself. Unmarketingauthor Scott Stratten, who has built a successful blog and business from growing a large, dedicated Twitter following, says that over 75% of his tweets are @replies to other users.

 

Find and Follow Interesting Users

The next step to increasing followers is to find and follow people yourself. How will people know if you’re out there to follow unless you tell them?

6) Connect with connections first. Put your Twitter URL on business cards and in-store signage toencourage consumers to follow you online. See if people you’re already connected to are on by looking up contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL email accounts and linking your account to your LinkedIn profile under the “Find Friends” section of the “Find People” function on your account. Connect with those you’re already connected to first, because those are the people most likely to follow you online.

7) Connect with local consumers. You can find local tweeps to follow on Localtweeps.com andTrendsmap.com, or use Twitaholic.com or TwitterGrader.com to gr

ade your Twitter profile and find local users with top scores in your market.

8) Follow people in your industry, niche, and topic area.  Who you follow may influence the content you will retweet and @reply to. Find topical users to follow on Wefollow.com, listorious.com, andtwellow.com.

9) Follow From Users’ Twitter Lists and “Following” Links. Find people or organizations on Twitter with similar interests, and click the link labeled “following” from their profile page to see who they find worth following. Better yet, look at Twitter lists they may have created on certain topics to find hand-cultivated lists of people worth following. Just make sure to follow the individual users on a list and not just the list itself!

10) Tap into influential local circles. Who is influential in your market? Aside from grades on Twitter tools, which may or may not reflect true influence, it may be difficult to determine this at first. One tip is to find and follow local media outlets, businesses, and organizations. Then, look at lists they have created to find more important local figures to follow.

 

Invest in the Twitter Community

Twitter is more than a marketing tool. It’s a community you cultivate for yourself. So, give back and invest in the community to build follow karma and increase not only the number of followers you have, but the number of lists you are mentioned in as well.

11) Particiapte in #FollowFriday. Promote other people worth following by recommending followers on the popular #FollowFriday hashtag meme. Every Friday, just select someone you follow, write a short explanation of why, and tag it with #FollowFriday or the succinct #FF.

12) Create Twitter lists of interesting users, such as local and topical users and those you’ve met in different social circles. Adding users to lists not only allows you to watch a cultivated, topical stream of their tweets, it’s also a form of virtual endorsement, which may encourage the users on your lists to follow you back.

13)  Participate in Twitter chats. There are numerous special interest chats that anyone can chime in to to network, learn, and share. This is one of the best places to find like-minded Twitter users. So, find a chat for your industry, niche, or market, and join in! Use a tool like TweetGrid or TweetChat to help you keep up with the conversation on the chat’s hashtag, and follow users you meet there.

14) Answer questions and offer advice. In addition to sharing links to interesting content, you can use Twitter as a place to answer questions or offer advice in 140 characters, building your industry expertise and cultivating trust with consumers. You can find hashtags on topics of interesting usingwthashtag.com and use that as a way to find questions and tag answers you provide to extend your expertise outside your existing Twitter social circle.

15)  Take time to respond an engage with fans and followers through @replies and retweets. Make sure that you’re using Twitter as the powerful, two-way communication tool it is, and engage to increase your fan and follower base.

Do you have favorite tips, tools, or ideas for increasing your fanbase on Twitter? Share them in the comments!

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About the Author
Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.

 

ReachCast Named Best Social Media Service for Small Business in Mashable Awards

We are excited to announce that ReachCast™ received the Mashable Award for Best Social Media Service for Small Business! As the top source for interactive marketing news and information,Mashable is a valued resource in the social media arena, and we are honored and excited to accept this award. To be selected as one of the year’s top tech and innovation advancements by these awards, which this year received over 1.3 million nominations and votes, is truly a privilege.

This recognition affirms our mission to bring an effective, affordable social media and web presence management solution to small business owners. We are passionate about helping small businesses evolve from having just a static web site to building a dynamic web presence that helps them get found and engage with customers where they are spending time online.

The ReachCast Story

The reality is, in today’s digital environment, consumers are now talking, listening, and engaging onlinemore than any other activity. That means businesses who want to connect with these consumers need to be talking, listening, and engaging online too.

They need a dynamic web presence that goes where consumers are, provides a fresh stream of engaging content, and enables them to listen to and engage with consumers who are talking about them online. And, beyond connecting with consumers directly, all that social activity is valuable contentthat search engines love, helping boost your online search discovery, too.

We built ReachCast because in talking with many of our existing small business customers, we realized that many didn’t have the time, tools or expertise to build and manage a dynamic web presence.

With ReachCast, the unique combination of our proprietary technology platform with an expert service team helps SMBs build and optimize their Web presence for the purpose of driving online search discovery, powering reputation management, and managing social media marketing.

 

How to claim your local business on foursquare

Foursquare recently upgraded its local business pages to help businesses better market themselves to local consumers. With the popularity of social media and 24/7 mobile connectivity, Foursquare has reached over 6 million users in the last year. And now it’s even easier and more rewarding for local businesses to join a location based service to connect with more local consumers.

Creating a Foursquare page for your business is simple. If you don’t already have an account on Foursquare, you can create a new one, or sign up using your existing Facebook account. Then, follow these three simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to driving more visits, engagement, and word of mouth from social and mobile consumers in your local area.

1. Claim Your Business

To claim your business on Foursquare, search for it by typing in your business name and city in the provided search field at the top of the page. If your business does not show up in the search results, scroll to the bottom of the results page and click “Add a New Venue to Foursquare,” then fill out the required information to get your company listed.

 

Conversely, if your business does appear in the search results, click the link to view your business page. Then, click the “Claim my Business” button located in the top right-hand corner, shown in the above image (1).  Once you’ve added or claimed your venue, you can update it by editing key business information like your physical address, phone number, and business hours (2), as well as by adding links to your website and Twitter account (3), which gives consumers even more venues for engaging with you online.

2. Create a Superb Special

One unique feature that makes Foursquare popular with businesses and customers alike is the ability to offer specials or discounts to fans. To entice people to check in, you can create a special that is automatically displayed to your Foursquare customers, like “20% off your meal when you check in 5 times.” Offering discounts for first-time or multiple check-ins is a great way to get new customers to your venue and to encourage loyal customers to visit more often and bring their friends.  You should also create a special offer for the “mayor,” or most frequent visitor, such as a free drink or 50% off their next in-store purchase. Need some inventive ideas? Consider offering one of these creative Foursquare specials, like a reserved parking spot for the mayor.

3. Measure Your Results

Last, use the built-in analytics tool to collect and use data about your Foursquare customers. The site’s Venue Stats tool offers real-time data about the customers who check in to your business, like their demographics, frequency of visits, time of day breakdown, and more. This lets you see how your presence on the site is impacting actual customer visits and use your results to tweak your marketing efforts.

You Joined Foursquare – Now What?

Now that your business is active on Foursquare, follow some of these best practices to get more customers through your door.

 

  • Promote your business. Use other marketing methods – like your website, social media pages, emails, and in-store signage (like a poster or window decal) – to tell customers to check in.  
  • Change your specials frequently to entice new customers to try your business and keep existing customers coming back

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  • Educate your staff on how to redeem specials and provide great customer service. This will drive repeat visits and encourage customers to share great tips about your business with other users.
  • Combine marketing tactics. Ask customers who check in to also leave you a review on Yelp, follow your other social accounts, or to share their check-ins on Facebook or Twitter, driving more positive reviews and word of mouth.
  • Track and target customers. Use data from the site’s analytics to create targeted specials and reach out to more local consumers.

 

Get More from Foursquare

One of the draws for customers to check in to local businesses is to collect badges. Take advantage of this competitive aspect of this application and host a swarm badge party, like AJ Bombers burger joint in Milwaukee did.  Get 50 or more people to check in to your venue – your customers will earn their badges and you’ll benefit from a whole swarm of new and existing customers.

There you have it – the simple way to claim your local business on Foursquare to connect with local online and mobile consumers. If you have any questions or want to learn more about getting started, visit foursquare.com/business/venues or read the Foursquare for Business FAQs.

Have you claimed your business on Foursquare? Let us know how it is helping your local business in the comments section.

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About the Author
Tamara Farley helps equip local business owners with information about local online advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.