20 May 2011

6 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Local Search Results

6 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Local Search Results

Marketers are no longer asking if they should be active in social media. They understand that user-generated content such as ratings and reviews are required elements of a comprehensive location-based search program.

These days, it’s a question of how to get the most impact out of a social media program.

With the right social media strategy, you can communicate directly with your customers, create engaging discussion topics, and help your marketing go viral.

Social media can also boost the prominence of your online brand-awareness and organically propel your business locations to the top of local search results.

The fast-evolving social media landscape can be a confusing place for marketers these days, however, as the array of choices grows almost daily: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Groupon, Flickr and Foursquare, just to name a few, and recently Facebook Deals and other new social networking ventures have joined the frenzy for local businesses’ marketing dollars.

As interactive marketing options become increasingly complex, so do the criteria requirements for search engine optimization. Due to recent changes in Google algorithms, SEO is now aimed at delivering more relevant and personalized information to searchers.


Many marketers aren't exactly sure how and where to focus their online efforts. To achieve the highest ROI, they must keep up with a rapidly changing environment.

If you’re responsible for marketing a national brand, you know how important it is to have your locations rank prominently in geo-specific searches. This is especially true for multi-location businesses such as restaurants, retail and hotel chains.

An active social media program will make your business locations more prominent in sources across the web, and prominence is a primary factor used by Google in local search rankings. Here are six tips that will help you achieve that goal:

  1. Build a fan base on Facebook. Forty percent of Facebook users also follow a brand. More than half of these Facebook users will move on to purchase that brand. Facebook 'likes' are a speed-marketing tool that virally spread brand awareness by delivering information to the news feeds of everyone befriended by your brand fans.
  2. Use Twitter to keep in touch with customers. One in four Twitter users follows a brand, and 67 percent of those brand-followers will end up purchasing that specific brand. Your Tweets should engage consumers by providing them with helpful information about your business and services. Special offers are a great way to grab the attention of Twitter followers.
  3. Encourage customers to rate and review your business. Yelp users wrote 6 million reviews in 2010, and the local search site is on track for 9 million in 2011, according to a Mashable report. Consumers love online reviews because they can see what others really think about a product or service before making a decision to buy. Reviews on socially interactive sites such as Yelp improve your search engine rankings and drive free web traffic.
  4. Leverage the power of YouTube in local search results. Embedded videos in Google Place Pages, websites, and social profile pages can showcase your products and services while putting a human face on your business.
  5. Use group-buying sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial. During hard economic times, subscription to coupon sites such as these have never been more prevalent. Promoting deals to these huge subscriber bases can be a fast and easy way to create buzz and spread the word about your business without advertising.
  6. Give customers promotional incentives to share information online. Branded “Share for Rewards” programs can encourage consumers to share offers with their friends via Facebook, IM, and other web channels in exchange for discounts on products or services.

By creating an engaging social media program, you can make it easy for your customers to find your local business and more importantly, talk about it online. The result will be incredible ROI that will amplify your web marketing, generate calls and appointments and boost long-term brand awareness. What are you waiting for?

5 May 2011

Video Keynote – Jose Filipe Torres on country branding

Video Keynote – Jose Filipe Torres on country branding:

"Portuguese country branding expert Jose Filipe Torres (whom we interviewed back in June 2009), speaking about nation branding at the Berlin International Economics Congress:"

Some thoughts on the future of NewMR.org

Some thoughts on the future of NewMR.org: "

This post is quick update on various things happening at NewMR.org and our plans for the immediate future.

We are looking to have an online event most months, with sessions for different time-zones, these allow topics to be covered in depth and to achieve subject focus. This means at any one moment we tend to be involved in two events, the planning of one and the implementation of the other. At the moment the two current events are:

Ethnography, an online event that will take place on May 25th, you can find out more and register at the NewMR.org website.

New Approaches to Presenting Data – Calls for synopses still open! This event will be held on June 23rd and will look for the best thinking in how to present data and is likely to produce some contentious recommendations, you can find out more and register at the NewMR.org Website.

Future Events, we are looking for suggestions for future subject events and we are looking forward to releasing more information about this year’s Festival of NewMR shortly.

NewMR has been playing with a number of innovations with respect to covering its costs. The two most interesting ones are the donate model for events and the Dutch Auction for sponsorship – both have proved to be useful and interesting.

The donate model is organized so that attendees to the Virtual Events are asked to pay what they think it is worth. This has resulted in a very wide range of payments. Some people have attended for free, but hopefully they will soon start to see the value, whilst others have been happy to pay, with some being very generous.

The Dutch Auction is used to arrive at a price for the sponsorship of an event. The initial price is announced and after a period of time, if the package has not been bought, the price starts to reduce by £100 a day. We have run this system twice and twice Brian Singh at Zinc Research has bought the package at a point presumably felt was optimum. We will continue to experiment with this for the topic events.

Funding and the Festival of NewMR
The Festival is much more expensive to produce than the events, so the funding arrangements will be more complex, and we will be looking for sponsors and a slightly more structured way of charging for tickets.


Tech Driven Market Research Ends

Tech Driven Market Research Ends: "

Video Synopsis from Ben Smithee Coming

Great networking with fellow Next Gen Researchers this week at TMRE’s Tech Driven Market Research Event. Too much to mention, but Merrill Dubrow really woke us up today with a really inspiring presentation on Social Media.

Understand Ben Smithee of Spych Market Analytics will be sharing interviews from Technology Driven Market Research Event. Quick synopsis of what’s to come:

Thanks Ben! Great seeing you at the event, look forward to seeing more of these soon. Very disappointed I had to leave before Bill MacElroy’s presentation. Love to hear how it went for those who were there for the last presentation.


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Next Week, Next Conference!

Next Week, Next Conference!: "

Yale SOM Customer Insights Conference 2011

I’ve started choosing which business conferences invitations to accept a lot more carefully, and plan to attend far fewer directly related to market research in the coming year. One new conference I was just invited to which I’m gladly making an exception for is the Yale School of Management’s, Center for Consumer Insights’ 2011 Customer Insight Conference.

Not only is this conference conveniently located halfway between NYC and Boston, where a considerable number of client side researchers and supplier side firms including Anderson Analytics are located (an area underserved by trade org chapters). But even more importantly, as I’ve said here on the blog before, networking with academia is a critical part of innovating while staying grounded in proper methodology. Importantly, it’s also one of the best ways to source truly exceptional talent.

While I expect this event to be very business school/market research focused, (I’ve often found networking with academics in psychology and computer science fields even more rewarding), I am still very much looking forward to this event. Not many conferences out there, including those sponsored by trade associations, do a good of including academia. I expect it will be refreshing to see presentations 100% of which will not contain sales pitches, and all which will be given by true experts in their field!

I’ll let you know my thoughts afterwards if you’re interested ;)


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Special issue in European Planning Studies Spatial planning and place branding: rethinking relations and synergies

Introduction:  Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira  Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction . https:...