What You Can Learn from This Restaurant’s Epic Facebook Meltdown
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What You Can Learn from This Restaurant’s Epic Facebook Meltdown

Posted on: July 5, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Anyone watching “Kitchen Nightmares” starring Gordon Ramsey a couple weeks ago in the episode featuring Amy and Samy Bouzaglo of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Ariz. must still be shaking their heads in amazement for the social media disaster that has ensued. It seems the owners didn’t think much of the advice proposed by the frequently outspoken Ramsey, then took to their Facebook page to start an all-out flame war with their critics, huge numbers of Reddit commenters that descended upon their page, and at last count have left some 45,000 comments. This turned into a classic lesson in how NOT to engage in social media. The always stubborn owner Amy, joined in by her husband, opened fire in an epic flaming match with all the commenters, complete with salty language in all caps, to boot. There is no doubt they’ll be dealing whith this for a while, as almost all of the comments were, how should we say, less than complimentary. This was an epic social media train wreck if there has ever been one.

What not to do on Facebook

In celebration of this event, we decided to reiterate a number of the basic rules regarding how to conduct yourself on a public social media platform.

  • Don’t shy away from complaints. Address them, but in a polite manner.
  • Be sure to NEVER get into a flaming match with anyone posting on your page. You will most certainly lose!
  • If something is incorrect or misstated, you have the right to, and should, correct it. Again, decorum is the word of the day here.
  • Keep a sense of humor if at all possible. Nothing feeds controversy like hurt feelings responded to negatively.
  • Be professional, generous, and watch controversy die on the vine.
  • Never be vulgar or confrontational. Calling people names, (deserved or otherwise) is a sure recipe for escalation.
  • Don’t share a lot of your own personal information, but do let your personality shine through!

Amy’s Baking Company is certainly not the first one to go off on  with their fans in precisely the wrong way, (see Nestle) however evidently this wasn’t their first foray into public mudslinging. They lit into a Yelp reviewer in 2010, and the negative reviews are still piling up!

Marketing: “Vanity” Metrics You Ought To Ignore

Posted on: July 2, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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The term “vanity metrics” has made its way into the marketing lexicon as of late, and for good reason. What many use to measure “results” can frequently be misleading and due to this, it’s worth looking at some of the marketing metrics you could (and probably should!) disregard.

Here are a few you can safely ignore:

  • Likes, Followers and Connections – The one with the most followers wins, right? If only it were that simple. The truth is, more followers translate to a better bottom line only if you are actively engaging them, and building a relationship which leads to conversions. Merely developing a massive number of likes or followers who don’t make the transition to customers is relatively pointless.
  • Comments – Again, with the goal being to improve conversion,  merely creating a blog post that titillates and produces a large number of comments, but generates no leads, is a waste of a blog post. Make the reason they comment have something related to leading them further down the path toward conversion, say for example topical question.
  • Impressions – Mainly an advertising metric, the number of ad impressions is also pointless for our purposes, as it does not reveal any measurable action. It tells you the number of times your ad displayed on a computer screen, not how it performs. Instead, look at click-thru rates and conversion rates.

A terrific piece about this is available at HubSpot.

Metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Shares of your content – While this is not a concrete statistic, having your content shared in whatever form is a step in the right direction. This means that that your content making an impression (the right kind!) and is being shared around.
  • Social mentions, citations – Especially now that Google is including social signals (mentions) into the search algorithm, these can be most informative. Not only will it help with search, but in addition authority as your content continually gets shared.
  • Conversions – The endgame. You need to make sure that your social media and sharable content is actually resulting in more conversions.

Read more about this at Mashable.

5 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing

Posted on: June 30, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Despite all of the ominous predictions on the demise of email marketing, what the evidence shows is the fact it’s still an important element of your online marketing, now and also for the foreseeable future. According to Sign-Up.to’s 2013 UK Email Marketing Benchmark Report, there has been a strong increase in average email open rates, rising from 18.35 percent to 21.47 percent in the last 12 months. Furthermore, the average return on your email marketing investment is now an impressive $44.25 for each dollar spent. (iContact)

So how do you to take advantage of this?

Here are 5 easy tips to get your email marketing efforts heading in the right direction!

  1. Create great subject lines – Headlines do matter, as your open rates will tank if you overlook this aspect. Invest time to craft a subject line that makes people want to open your email. This is usually a combination of curiosity, excitement, urgency, beneficial and spam compliant.
  2. Write engaging content – Make certain your emails are not only written to engage, but are also supplying great content unique to your brand. Over-deliver when it comes to handing out pearls of wisdom, as that is presumably why they’re subscribed to and following you in the first place, correct?
  3. Put in social media share buttons – very easy to do, and also easy to forget to do, this one is a great way to spread your emails around, especially those packed with your best content. Put these buttons in there and encourage your users to use them. You will often gain new opt-ins the easy way!
  4. Deliver mobile-friendly emails – Now that 64 percent of decision makers read their email on their mobile device,(TopRankBlog) and the average person checks their smartphone some 34 times a day, isn’t it time to make sure your emails are  mobile friendly?
  5. Mail more often – This one might be counter-intuitive. We don’t want to keep sending messages that people don’t want. True, if you’re selling every email, or worse, delivering spam. Rather, keep delivering amazing content that is building your brand. Copyblogger reports that your unsubscribes actually decrease if you’re mailing more frequently, with good content.

What About the Smaller Daily Deal Sites?

Posted on: June 25, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Many small business ownesr are asking not just if Groupon and LivingSocial able to remain afloat, but are they a viable option for smaller business such as theirs? Or would a smaller daily deal site be more likely to be the ticket to help with your hyperlocal marketing? There are a number of benefits to using a few of the smaller daily deal sites rather than the market beasts, Groupon, LivingSocial Facebook and Google. We’re going to look at why sites like Woot, Yelp, eLocal, Local Response, ZipLocal, Signpost, CityMaps, Yipit, and ShowMeLocal just might give you a far more agile and consumer-focused result.

So why is a smaller daily deal sites able to shine when the big dogs fail?

We’ve all heard and a few lived the horror stories of small business owners who’ve signed up with a daily deal site and ended up unable to provide the number of deals they were talked into or compelled to purchase. Not the case with the smaller companies, as they know that your satisfaction is the only way you’ll return as well as spread the word in your hyperlocal area. Also, even though they typically have smaller staffs, support from a smaller site is much easier to get, as you’re generally not being passed over for businesses spending a lot more money than yours.

How daily deals can work for hyperlocal marketing

Some of these niche sites have the flexibility to adapt and change to your hyperlocal marketing needs. If your campaign needs fine-tuning or adjustment quickly, it’s much easier to accomplish than with a larger company. They typically don’t have investors to answer to, and can often make adjustments and decisions that a Groupon couldn’t. They already know they need to come through for your small business, or your business will dry up. Also, in our social environment, and particularly with a hyperlocal marketing campaign, word of mouth can have both a positive and negative effect. Don’t make the mistake of discounting the smaller daily deal sites when you are searching for offers. They may be exactly what you need!

Smart Business These Days is Embracing Design!

Posted on: May 24, 2013 by in Web Design
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Okay, so take a guess: how much time do you think it takes the average person to form a first impression upon landing on your webpage? A study by researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2012 discovered that it takes all of two-tenths of a second to garner that impression. This makes your design ever so much more vital, as your visitors indeed have choices, and if they are less than bowled over by your design elements, you can be assured they will seek more appealing pastures. This is also a big trust factor with your visitors: a poor design will frequently lead to the inevitable feeling that there may be other parts of your business that are just as shoddy.

How can we promote good design?

The very first thing to do is to give this some thought. The competition has. Using a plan for presenting your brand and products to the world is largely accomplished by a carefully thought-out plan. Another significant finding in that study was that your logo gets the most attention, followed closely by images and social interaction. The visual elements matter a lot! Now that we have an understanding, there are essentially no excuses left, as now cost is not any longer a viable excuse for getting good design work done. The advent of crowdsourcing sites like 99Designs, CrowdSpring and others have made what used to be prohibitively expensive for small business, a very affordable item.

How are the benefits?

The advantages of good design in your business are many and sometimes intangible. While a visual overhaul of your website is fairly obvious, other items like product packaging, your print and web advertising, and even site graphics are now being shared, Pinned and ReTweeted from your webpages. We are observing each day just how much this can impact your site’s reach and customer base. What’s more, that special feeling that visitors get when viewing an excellent design may be hard to quantify, however when your site’s traffic increase and sales increase for no other apparent reason, you’ll be very glad you took a long look at your visual design elements today!