Google+ Local Bible for Small Business

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Guillaume Bouchard has written a must-read article in Search Engine Watch if you’re a small business owner. He is the co-founder and president of NVI, a Montreal-based company specialized in interactive strategies. Founded in 2004, NVI has quickly become the largest web agency specializing in SEO and Social Media in Canada with over 50 employees.

Here’s what he has to say:

If you’re a small local business, having a Google+ Local profile is imperative to putting your brand – quite literally – on the map. Google Places was recently replaced with Google+ Local – a merging of Places and Plus that serves up your Google+ Local listing in Search and Maps results on mobile devices and traditional browsers. Whereas Places was a static listing, Local is dynamic and social.

A well-optimized Google+ Local page can benefit your digital marketing strategy in the following ways:

Outrank your competitors in local search.
Build the authority of your brand through +1’s and user reviews.
Drive traffic to your website.
Convert more visitors into leads and clientele.

Quick stats about local mobile use:

* 50 percent of mobile search is local.
* 61 percent of local searches result in purchases.
* 50 percent of smartphone shoppers use a GPS/mapping app to find a retail location.
* Only 33 percent of advertisers have a mobile optimized website.

With more than 1 billion smartphone users around the world, a number expected to reach 2 billion by 2015, it’s no surprise that mobile search is quickly becoming the number one way users search. And, when people search with their smartphones, they’re looking for something local.

How do you unlock the full potential of +Local? Follow these six steps to learn the dance.

How To Manage Your Social Media: Free Webinar

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If you’re in charge of your social media presence for your business or your brand, you might want to make time to attend this free webinar: How To Manage Your Social Media: Outsource or In-House?

The panel is outstanding and it’s completely free.

April 16nd at 12pm EST / 9am PST
Register here

You know enough about social media to know that you need help managing it – Does your social marketing require full-time staff on your team, or can you assign your social network management to an outside agncy? There is no shortage of agencies that will tout their expertise, but you might question whether they will understand and commit to your brand as well as someone who works for you. On the other hand, does your own staff have the specialized knowledge to manage your campaigns in-house?

Depending on resources, size, and goals, the best solution to resourcing your social campaigns will vary widely from one company to the next. Join us as we discuss the formula that’s right for you, and just what you need to know when hiring your social media team

We’ll address issues like: –
-How much are you willing to invest in an in-house team?
-What’s most appropriate for social marketing, sales, or customer service?
-How do you find teams you trust?
-What do you look for in choosing them?

Register here

About the Panel:

Mikal E. Belicove is a magazine columnist, contributing writer and blogger who specializing in articles about entrepreneurship, marketing, emerging technologies, legal issues and more. The third edition of his co-authored book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, was published in Oct. 2012. Mikal writes the “Ask a Geek” column for Entrepreneur magazine, and The Business End blog for Forbes Magazine. In addition to his writing, Mikal works at the intersection of high-tech and integrated marketing communications, where he develops and manages handcrafted marketing campaigns while guiding businesses in their efforts toleverage new and earned media in support of their goals and objectives.

Chris Vaughn is the Director of Marketing at DigitalSherpa, a content and social media marketing company that builds products around the needs of small businesses. After graduating from Oglethorpe University in 2005, Chris worked as Managing Editor for Bluff Media LLC and even though he got his start in the print magazine world, he had always placed a special focus on digital content strategy and lead generation. At DigitalSherpa, he builds and manages the lead generation program that has been responsible for starting up over 3,000 marketing programs for small businesses nationwide.

Rob Key is Founder and CEO of Converseon, the award winning social consultancy founded in 2001. Rob is a recognized industry pioneer who has helped some of the world’s leading brands leverage the power of social within their organizations. He is a Director of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the iMedia “Top Digital People to Know” list, and named a Social Media Allstar by the Social Media Society.

Maggie Fox is the founder, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of Social Media Group, established in 2006 and one of the world’s most highly respected independent agencies helping business navigate the socially engaged Web. She was named one of the Top 100 Marketers in the 100th anniversary edition of Marketing Magazine and sits on the Boards of both GetElevate.com and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Follow her on Twitter @maggiefox