Small Business Owners Can Now Target By Zip Code With Facebook Advertising

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Small business owners wishing to target potential Facebook customers can now target customers in specific Zip Codes. The new targeting option will be available to via Facebook’s Power Editor and Ads Manager self-service tools.

Originally reported by Politico, Facebook has since acknowledged the new feature.

Previously only able to target potential customers by country, state or province, can now direct ads and sponsored stories to users in more localized areas.  This new feature will allow small business owners a much better way to target their trade area than previously on Facebook.  You will now be able to select certain neighborhoods instead of having to serve ads to the entire town or city, making your advertising campaign that much more efficient.

Small Business owners can now target by zip code on Facebook

“With the addition of zip code targeting, local advertisers have more reason than ever to spend on Facebook.,” Inside Facebook reports.

Is your small business advertising on Facebook?  Now that small business owners have the ability to target ads to select Zip Codes in their area, Facebook advertising has become much more appealing for them.  By doing some customer demographic research for their area, business owners can really take advantage of this new feature and target potential customers in their area.

 

Yelp, Your Online Customer Service Department

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Increase Your Customer Base With Yelp Online

As a small business owner, you are always looking for new and cost efficient ways to market your business and bring in new customers. One of the best ways for new customers to find you is to hang out where they hang out. The internet has become the new Yellow Pages and it’s your responsibility as a small business owner to start creating a presence there for your business. When looking for ways to market your small business online, Yelp is an easy and free customer review site that can help drive new customers to your business.

Online Review Sites Can Draw In New Customers

Online review sites are fast becoming the de facto way for customers to find great products and services.  Amazon.com has built a multi-billion dollar business off of customer reviews. Everyone loves to express their opinion when they have a great, or an awful experience at a business.  In the past they would tell their friends and family about their experience, but the internet has opened up a whole new ball game where one disgruntled customer can influence thousands of customers with a single review.  Talk about a powerful platform for voicing your opinions.

Online review sites like Yelp are built off of Word of Mouth marketing.  Just a few well written reviews on your business, good or bad, can make a huge impact on your business.  If you are not part of the online community, how do you know what it being said about you?  By not being online and part of the conversation, you may be missing important opportunities to thank customers who leave a great review, or to apologize for a customer who had a disappointing experience.  It’s you responsibility to know how your business is being represented online by your customers.   Since the business owner does not have to be the one to create the business profile on Yelp, you may find your business is already listed and people are leaving reviews.  If you have never been to Yelp.com before, maybe you should stop now for a minute and check.

Yelp business dashboard for small business

Yelp Can Help

Yelp is an online service that was created in 2004 to get businesses and people connected. It provides a platform for people to write customer reviews on the businesses they frequent in their local area. Yelp was designed to make the regular customer the expert reviewer and to provide a way for people to tell other people about businesses that they like, and don’t like. Some examples of businesses on Yelp are restaurants, dentists, doctors, mechanics, spas, hair stylists, clothing stores and just about everything else.

How Yelp Works

Yelp can be accessed via computer or through smart phones such as the iPhone and Android via it’s mobile app. When people visit a business, they can go on Yelp and create a review, positive or negative. When other people are looking for that type of business, they can search on Yelp, read the reviews, and when they find a business with good ratings, they may just become a customer. Customers now have the ability to read reviews about your business while they stand outside of it trying to decide where to eat or to shop.

Customers use mobile apps to find your business

Marketing Your Business on Yelp

How to market your small business online with Yelp is easy. Go to biz.yelp.com and set up your business profile. Your business may already be listed, so in that case all you have to do is “claim it” by verifying that you are the owner of the business.  Once you are logged in, you can post photographs, videos, menus, or price lists. You can also set up deals for people to view and purchase, send them out to Yelp users and entice them to visit your business.

What Yelp Provides

When you set up your business account with Yelp, they help you track the progress of your business, providing invaluable customer information that will help you market your business more effectively. Within the business dashboard you can:

  • View charts and statistics measuring the performance of your page.
  • Track the number of people who view your business page.
  • Communicate with customers either publicly or privately.
  • Add photographs, video, description of your business and specialty.
  • Create deals to draw customers to your business.
  • Connect with other businesses.
  • Recommend other businesses.

Get customer data from Yelp

Yelp makes their money through the businesses advertising on the site and they have very affordable options for small businesses. You also have the ability to set up deals that cost nothing to create, and you only pay a percentage of each customer purchase.

Why Yelp is Good for Small Business

According to the most recent information, ‘Yelpers’ have submitted over 20 million reviews. Eighty-three percent of those reviews are positive. That could be 83% of your current customers providing good reviews about your business. Good reviews are going to bring new people through your doors.

Through Yelp, people get to see businesses they never knew existed, offering them the chance to try something new.  The Social Proof of the online reviews helps to make the decision to try new businesses a little easier. The opportunity to share a good experience with others also gives people a feeling of community. When you and your business become part of that community, it will ultimately reflect in a positive way on your business.

Go to Yelp today and see what you customers are saying about you.

 

Create an Online Presence For Your Small Business In Under Five Minutes With Google Places

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Creating a great website is usually on the list for every small business owner, though we all know that those pesky things like time, money and resources can sometime get in the way of our ever increasing list of projects.  What if you could have an online presence for your small business that ranks at the top of Google search results up and running in under five minutes?  What if it was free? I’m talking about Google Places, a Google product aimed specifically at the small business owner.

Google places (formerly Google Local Business Center) is an advanced online marketing tool for small business owners. It integrates with Google Maps and it allows business owners to update and manage information about their business on a customizable business page. Business owners can place and update information about their business including location, hours of operation, street address, product-photos and even post images of your store front so visitors know what to look for when they come visit you.

Google Places Integrates with Google Maps

Google map is searched by millions of people for their daily needs. Google realized the demand of the public and thus introduced Google Places in September 2009. Google places allow small business owners to create a free listing for their business, regardless if they have their own website or not. You can add information regarding your business for free and then Google will show a marker for your business on Google maps when people search for your type of business in their area.  There are also listings alongside the map giving consumers a choice of clicking on your listing to find out more about your business.

small business listing google places

By creating your business listing, you will be able to make your small business visible to millions of people who conduct searches online and you can get a visual marker on Google maps in Google search results.

If you are new to the internet and are new to marketing your small business online then Google places is a great tool for you. It is simple, easy to use and manage, can be up and running in minutes and you don’t need to be a marketing expert to use it.

One of the exceptional features of this service is that it allows people to place their reviews and their experiences about your business. These reviews can prove priceless for your business. Positive reviews will help to create that social proof that you are running a quality business.

Some of the newly introduced and exciting features of this service are as follows:

Update important upcoming events:-

As a business owner you can update upcoming events in real time. It can be a sale or any other important event that your business wants to get out immediately to potential customers.

Geographical Area of your service:-

Some businesses may only offer services at their location and others may deliver or offer in home services to customers, as a small business owner you can show the geographical area in which your services are available.

Free online marketing for small business

Optimized for mobile searches:-

People are now increasingly using the mobile phones to search for their local needs. Google Places is optimized for mobile phone searches as well. This service is key as more and more people are conducting ‘on the fly searches’ for products and services using their smart phones.

Google Places Mobile

Advertise your small business:- 

In some particular cities,  Google Places has an optional paid service where for just $25 per month, you can have a yellow tag placed next to your listing to help it stand out from other listings.  There has not been a lot of feedback yet on the effectiveness of these enhanced listings but I’m sure Google is conducting lots of research as to it’s effectiveness.

QR Codes:-

Business owners in U.S. can download a QR code from the dashboard page which is unique to their business. You can place these QR codes on your daily newsletters, business cards or on other advertising material. Consumers can scan these QR codes and can get direct access to the mobile version of your business place page.

Having a Google Places is also important because they appear towards the top of organic search results and allows you to compete directly with much bigger companies in your market.  A well designed Google Places page can defiantly help equalize the playing field for a small business owner.

Traditional marketing venues for small business owners like the Yellow Pages, newspaper advertisements and even direct mail for certain areas and industries, seem to be out of favor with consumers.  Online marketing allows you to reach a large, targeted consumer base at a manageable, and sometimes free, budget.  If you haven’t set up your free Google Places page yet, what are you waiting for?