Creative Commons image by Sean MacEntee.

Creative Commons image by Sean MacEntee.

With over half of the adult population (58%) using Facebook, therea��s no doubt that this social media superstar is making a tremendous impact on not only the Internet, but our lives as a whole. More than just an online water cooler, Facebook has become an advertising platform, a place to get job leads and, now, with Facebook Professional Services, possibly a substitute for Yelp and Google Reviews.

With the new Facebook Professional Services, users can type in the type of service theya��re looking for, and Facebook will provide a list of the local companies in their local area that have reviews on the site. When you visit the services page, which is available only on the desktop version, your location will be automatically populated. Run a search for a�?pizza places,a�? a�?plumbersa�? or a�?podiatrists,a�? and youa��ll be able to see the recommended service providers in your neighborhood, complete with reviews from other Facebook users. You may also be interested in lord of the ocean slot 100% bonus + freispiele.

Like the Google algorithms, the Facebook algorithm for deciding which businesses are shown first is not precisely known. Ita��s likely that since Facebook knows about individual preferences, the order of businesses shown is slightly different from everyone. Still, reviews are taken into consideration, without a doubt.

What does this mean for you, as a small business owner? Ita��s important to make sure, first and foremost, that you have a Facebook page for your business. Also, you will want to garner not only likes, but also reviews. There are a few ways you can go about this:

  • Just ask. Customers who are happy with the service or product that you provide are likely to want to help you by leaving a review, but they might not go out of their way to do so on their own. If someone mentions that theya��re pleased with what youa��ve provided, ask them to leave a Facebook review. Chances are great that theya��ll say yes.
  • Make it easy. While asking is the key, ita��s just as important to make it simple. Leta��s face it: People are busy, and leaving a positive review for a service that theya��re happy with is probably not anyonea��s first priority. Leave a link to your businessa��s Facebook page on the bottom of your outgoing emails, or ask your clients and customers if you can text them the link, so they can leave a review right from their smartphones.
  • Make it quick. The day of or after you provide service is the right time to ask for a review. If you let too many days (or, worse, weeks!) pass, your customers will likely just put it out of their minds. Spending a few minutes emailing or texting each daya��s customers can pay off in the long run.
  • Make it worth their while. Mention that everyone who leaves a review will be entered in a monthly drawing for… well, thata��s up to you! A free service, a half-price service, a gift card to a local restaurant, or just about anything else.

Will the as-yet-unadvertised Facebook Professional Services become a leader in the reviews-and-recommendations industry? Only time will tell. Based on Facebooka��s overall successes, however, ita��s wise to act as though it will be a hard-hitter in this realm and get the reviews needed to boost your business toward the top of the results page in your local area.


How can you use the Foursquare partnership with Apple Maps to your advantage?

How can you use the Foursquare partnership with Apple Maps to your advantage?

With upwards of 94 million iPhones in use during the first quarter of 2015, ita��s safe to say that lots and lots of people are using the Apple Maps app while out and about. In fact, if youa��ve ever asked Siri how to get to the nearest coffeeshop, to a specific address or, feeling hopelessly lost, how to get home, youa��ve likely used Apple Maps yourself. (In 2012, Apple switched its default map program from Google Maps to Apple Maps.)

It was recently discovered and reported on SearchEngineLand that Foursquare is now playing a part in supplying Apple Maps with information, as evidenced as its appearance on Apple Mapsa��s acknowledgement and copyrights page. This means that when you ask Siri to give you directions to the best place to get a slice of pizza, she will no longer refer solely on the reviews and information on TripAdvisor or, but will also take Foursquarea��s information into consideration.

So, what does this mean for you? Your business might already have a listing on Foursquare; if it does, it might also have a star rating and some reviews. By claiming the listing as your own, you can add photos, list your hours of operation, add links to your website, and so on. You can also pay Foursquare to promote your listing, which can boost your overall visibility.

Some other ideas for promoting your Foursquare account are:

Asking your customers to leave you a review. Ask your happy customers to rate your business on Foursquare and, if they want to, to leave a review. The higher your star rating, the more likely iPhone and Apple Maps users will want to check you out when theya��re looking for the services that you provide. You can add an incentive, too; offer customers 10% off their next order or purchase if they leave you a review.

Using your Foursquare reviews in ads or testimonials. If youa��re placing ads, link a good testimonial to your Foursquare site. This will allow potential buyers to see all of your ratings.

Link your Foursquare account to your social media accounts and website. While your typical Siri-user might be driving or in a rush, others using Apple Maps and Foursquare will be looking for more information. Include your contact information, including your social media links, in your Foursquare listing to get more hits (and, hopefully, sales). It should go without saying that your social media accounts should be updated regularly if youa��re going to promote them.

With this recent partnership between Foursquare and Apple Maps, you now have a greater opportunity to reach new customers and clients who use these apps. Since the relationship between these two services seems to be somewhat new, it will take some time to see what impact it will have. Making sure that your listings are updated on all platforms is a wise move, no matter what the overall effect from this change turns out to be.

Creative Commons image courtesy of Nan Palmero.