Email: Still A Huge Opportunity for Your Business

November 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Most of the time these days, people are emphasizing Twitter & Facebook, “Social Media”, Gowalla, Foursquare, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube, Flickr, etc, etc. It gets a little complicated and it’s always about the ‘newest thing’. Email is under rated, in my opinion. It’s the ultimate in ‘social media’ – you most likely got the email from a hand to hand, face to face interaction, either in your place of business, a drop off in a business card repository, or in a meeting of some sort. You are then following up and communicating with them via a very personal medium: someone’s email in-box! It can pay dividends for your business if done right.

Local is getting HUGE!

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Local Internet, Local SEO, Search

You need to pay attention!  Google is.  They just re-assigned Marissa Mayer, who used to lead the ‘search’ group at Google i.e 98% of Google’s revenue.  Was this a demotion?  Some speculate yes, others speculate that in fact local search is on Google’s radar as ‘thee’ next big thing, along with ‘mobile’.  Which is like saying “sauce and cheese” are becoming really big…and so is ‘crust’.  It’s gonna be bigger than pizza!  It’ll take  a lot of innovation to intelligently put together all the moving pieces of location based local search (think Foursquare & Gowalla), Twitter, Facebook, check in’s, “Groupons”, Yelp, user reviews, more search, social media, make your head, etc.  And with more and more of this ‘local’ stuff involving not only search and mobile, you – the small business owner – should really get on the ball and start managing and paying attention to this.  It’ll pay dividends in the future, if not now!

Chipotle Launching New Concept

November 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I LOVE Chipotle - I love what they are doing for the ‘environment’, their zeal at sourcing local food in their various markets, their direction in ascertaining a more high quality, higher % organic menu year in and year out and I like their attention to detail, the speed of their line, customer service, design, music and of course, their prices and their food.

They are developing a new Asian Fast Casual concept, to be rolled out in about 30 markets nation wide around mid 2011. Check out the article if you’re interested.

Highlights from the article:

“Using the Chipotle service model for an Asian concept and having Chipotle do it will give them incredible credibility”

“They have always been open to the idea that their Food with Integrity model is not specific to Mexican cuisine,” she said. “And Asian in general is one of the fastest-growing categories in the U.S., though it’s very fragmented.”

Read more:

Just do it!

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Photos & Video, Social Media

Get on with your ‘social media’ interaction and get ‘your message’ out there! One of the #1 impediments to doing just that is getting hung up on the questions of ‘what medium should I use’ – ‘do I have the right camera’ – ‘is that picture “good enough”, etc.  Just getting your message out there is far more important than getting caught in the weeds of having just the right format ‘to start’.  Start now and all that stuff will work itself out along the way.

It’s July: Is Your Traffic Down?

July 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Maybe your business is down as well, just a bit.  All of our client traffic, mostly restaurants, is down on average between 8-10% the week of June 27 – 4th of July.

Haven’t Been Here in Awhile

July 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

You know, you’re not supposed to write something like that on your “business blog”.  It’s supposed to be “snappy”, “smart” and “business-ee”.  But I’ve been telling my clients for two years to be themselves on their blogs, yet I find it hard to do here myself.  So to that end, I’m back.

It’s finally summer here in Seattle!  I have a lot of work to do, so instead of vacation on my mind, I have work.

If completed, I believe we have the best system to de-leverage our clients from traditional advertising and into a new realm of a solid and healthy presence online – comments responded to, articles and user reviews engaged and ‘optimized’, profiles not only established where most aren’t, but optimized as well.  Additional advertising is great where it works, but the first thing a local business should do is take the bull by the horns and manage and “own” their current state of affairs and presence online with a stern and honest hand.  That’s what we do in the case that you or a client doesn’t have the time and / or expertise.  I say if my mother had a restaurant and I was giving her advice for her online management, this is absolutely the first thing I would do – what Buzz Online Media does – and I still believe that.  It’s absolutely true – 100%.

More thoughts later.

Details, details, details…

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Buzz Online Media is currently looking for a Web Copy Writer.  This person has, what we think is the fun job of ghost writing Twitter accounts, helping formulate user review responses, manually track, monitor and respond to client content online (Citations, citations, citations!!!) and to generally interact with our clients content online in a way that gives our clients an edge over their competitors.

So we put an ad on Craigslist looking for a few copy writers.  It’s AMAZING the things that come across ones desk…

We are looking for someone who is grounded, together, consitent, hard working, critical with details, hard working, on top of it…works hard, etc.  And our ad says so.  And we get the following, which can be used, inversely, as a list of things NOT to do when responding to job posts online:

1.  Email addresses addressed as, for example:  “tillman, j”

What’s wrong with this?  One, it’s not a full name.  Two, it’s lower cased.  It’s like “Ah, I’m too lazy to capitalize my own name”.  Now, for a personal account, do what you may, but for a “professional” account or an email account you’re going to respond to job postings for, do the following:  “John Doe”

2.  This was hilarious and irritating at the same time.  Is there a word that combines those two emotions?  Email header:  “holfentein, jack”. “Jack” writes me a nice intro email with some “pop” and I get to the bottom and it’s signed “Simon Holfentein”

What’s wrong?  Again, not capitalized.  But more hilaritating is the fact that this person either has deeper issues that we shouldn’t go into here, or they are sending a professional response from another account, or in this particular case, have two names.  I actually responded “Who is this, Jack or Simon”.  “Oh, I have two names…yeah, sorry about that, people get confused.”  Um…yeah they do!  I mean, really?  So no, SimonJack, we will not be interviewing you.  You need to pick a name…pick ONE.  It’s one thing if the email was “James Raymond” and they signed their email “Jamie” (NO experience doing this:)  But…Simon and Jack isn’t even CLOSE!

3.  No response to the email other than an attached document / resume.  No, don’t do this.  It’s borderline hostile.  I know your busy and I figure your’re responding to a lot of job postings, but at least indicate you’ve read the job description and that you have an onus of interest in actually capturing the opportunity.

4.  This is a copy writer position.  You wouldn’t believe the misspellings and grammatical errors I’m getting.  People, it pretty much comes down to correcting the red lines in Word…it’s just too simple to get it right to not get it right these days.  (Accept when you’re ‘blogging’:)

That’s about it from this round of emails…I’m sure there will be more to report.

Increase in Seattle Parking Meters Bad for Small Business

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

The more hassle imposed for people to park and pay money for services via small business = bad. More hassle = bad for small business. More hassle imposed by city = bad…for small business…in my opinion. This article agrees:

King 5 Seattle Killing Me With Their Login / Website

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I love King 5. I’d love nothing more than to see them succeed. In representing my clients, I try and help them generate the most qualified traffic to their small businesses around the Puget Sound.

Recently a few customers have pointed out that The Best of King 5 “Western Washington” is now up and going at:

In trying to sign up to vote for your favorite restaurant they have you:
1. Put in your full name, email, personal information, password and your phone number.
2. Then you have to go to your email address and verify the account.
3. Then you have to write a review as to why you like the business your voting for.

The owner of the restaurant I was working with got so exacerbated at the process that he gave up, laughing when he got to the point where they actually asked him for his phone number (required field). And he really wants to win! He’s motivated – but not that motivated.

I’m wondering how many passive users were willing to go through this tedious sign up process? How many users is King 5 missing out on? And considering how much of a footprint King 5 has in the marketplace on Television with both content and reporting why have they chosen to have such a lack luster website? It has a 6/10 Google Page Rank – so the website is getting some traffic, but something tells me someone at King 5 or Belo is missing a huge opportunity…

What am I not getting? Is it easy for you to vote for your favorite business at Best of King 5? Can you find Best of King 5 online? Let me know what you think

New Google Local Stats

June 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Wow.  Google Local / Google Maps just launched some AMAZING new stats for their local businesses.  It encapsulates far more activity consistent with what is actually going on, so now istead of seeing two numbers, and two numbers only we see graphs, historical data and other data points that although VERY easy to read and understand, give us far more nuance and understanding of what is actually going on with your local listing on Google Maps / Google Local.

Old Google Local:  two numbers:  Impressions and Views.

New Google Local:

1.  Impressions:
2.  Actions
a.  clicks
b.  click for driving directions
c.  clicks to your website
3.  Top search queries
4.  Where driving directions requests came from

This is just beautiful.  Pure and simple.

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