Most businesses today have a social media presence and Facebook is at the forefront with more than 40 million active small businesses pages. But how much effort are you devoting to optimising your Facebook page and engaging your followers and friends? If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your page or even posted something, this could mean major lost opportunities for your small business. Here are six quick tips to help you improve your small business’s Facebook presence. Continue reading
Most every company has realised the value of social media as a business tool. There are many benefits to using social media platforms for your business: it’s free, got a wide reach, and relatively easy to learn. However, many organisations still aren’t taking full advantage of this opportunity – social media can be much more than just posting to promote your company! Here are all the ways social media can support your business: Continue reading
Last year, user experience became the main priority for online businesses even more so than before. Among them were online giants Facebook and Google, who took major steps to improve the user experience of their websites. For Facebook this meant taking steps to prevent or penalise misleading ‘click-bait’ headlines and for Google it meant a crack down on ‘black-hat’ or misleading search engine optimisations (SEO). Continue reading
The Small Business Saturday campaign promotes the support of local small businesses in the UK, particularly on the first Saturday of December. This year it happened last Saturday and was hugely successful in promoting spending with independently owned SMEs over larger corporations.
In today’s business environment, using social media is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity. Social media is a great way of communicating with your customers whilst promoting your brand and products, which is why it’s so widely used by small and large companies everywhere. The use of social media can promote awareness, which is especially important for small businesses, but must be done strategically to be effective; here are 6 tips to help you along the way: Continue reading
Stop for a moment to consider this – a Facebook ‘Like’ for a business or brand is now estimated to be worth approximately £110 in cold, hard cash – or to be ‘exact’ $174.17USD. The days of passing off Facebook as ‘one for the kids to play with’ or ‘just an endless feed of cute (or weird) cat pictures are long gone and consumer-facing businesses which aren’t harnessing its power are now, at best missing a large opportunity and, at worst, at risk of being completely left behind.
In just a few short years, Twitter has grown from the indulgent preserve of ego-maniacal celebrities, into a core means of communication with customers and clients at the heart of a business. It allows interaction and feedback in a similar way that Facebook does but with a more casual, free-flowing method in a more openly public way. Continue reading
Towards the end of last year Google launched a ‘recommendation engine’ called ‘Hotpot’.
Hotpot collects ratings and reviews about places, and ties them to your social circle. When you search for a local business such as a restaurant, Hotpot surfaces those results that have been recommended by your friends. The idea is that if they liked a place, then you’ll probably like it too.
Hotpot is integrated with Google Maps for Mobile. Users can leave ratings and reviews using their phone. And if they’re on an Android device then opinions can be expressed using a widget, with just a few taps of the screen.
Each time you give a rating, that rating is used to judge what you or your friends might like in the future.
This is an exciting development for local businesses looking to boost custom. The idea is that if you look after your customers, they’ll leave you positive feedback, which their friends will take into account when buying your type of service.
We’ve spoken previously about getting good reviews and Hotpot takes this to a whole new level.
Have you tried Hotpot? Leave us a comment below.
Last year we brought you news of Google’s plans in Social Search. Take a look at that post to see Google’s Matt Cutts talk all about what it actually is.
Finding out what your friends think
For example, lets says you’re searching for an ‘Italian Restaurant in Reading’. It might be that recently a friend of yours has visited an Italian Restaurant in Reading and has made a comment about it on Facebook. Social Search would return a set of results that included the comments made by your friend, since they are relevant to the search results.
All of us are more likely to follow the recommendation of a friend than someone we don’t know, so social search is also about making search more relevant to each one of us.
Facebook and Bing in on the act
Now its the turn of Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing to socialise search. In the US they have just completed a tie up to make search “more social”,
What they plan is that when a user searches for something on Bing or using the web results in Facebook, if any friends have ‘liked’ an item related to that search that person’s image will appear alongside the search results.
Bing has added more depth to its people search too, by making the results based on the user’s Facebook contacts. So when a user searches for an individual, friends or mutual friends get shown higher in the search results.
In a blog post Facebook commented “Everyday most of us make decisions with the input from people we trust and this is a way to bring friends’ recommendations to online search.”
At the moment the change is just in the US – we’re yet to see plans for the UK.
Try it out!
Try switching your settings on Bing to US and trying out social search. Do you think there’s a future in it, something genuinely useful to people? Or is this just another search gimmick? Leave us a comment below.