5 Easy Social Media Hacks To Better Engage Your Audience

Social media is a frequently overlooked realm of digital marketing. It tends to be an afterthought in business, with leads and immediate results as a priority. The truth is that your presence on social media is essential in modern marketing.

Your social accounts are like your digital business card. They represent what you want to reflect as a brand. They may not produce instant results or sales, but they are part of a larger concept of creating brand awareness. Social media is a company’s key to promoting their personal image and interacting with organic traffic.

They are a front-line for interacting with existing customers and potential leads. Your social accounts have the role of welcoming new users in, as well as pleasing and entertaining existing customers. The role of social media in marketing cannot be overlooked. It is a powerful tool for advertisement.

With that said, social posts, especially when there are multiple companies involved, can be very time-consuming. When you incorporate things like paid search, it becomes a full-time job to monitor social accounts, to be sure they are growing and doing well. Here are some easy hacks to quickly and efficiently jumpstart your social media campaign.

1. Schedule Social Posts In Advance

Scheduling your social posts is necessary. Especially if you are running more than one social account. The key to staying organized and on top of your accounts is proper planning in advance.

Keep a spreadsheet or document where you can plan out your social posts for the upcoming week. Designate specific roles such as content creation and copywriting. There are a variety of different tools that can help you schedule your posts:

HubSpot 

HubSpot, the inbound marketing tool for small to large businesses makes it easy to organize and schedule your posts on all social media platforms. HubSpot also notifies you when you receive comments or messages on your social platforms, so you won’t miss a thing.

Buffer

Buffer is another social media management tool. It allows you to schedule content, link to analytics and sync with multiple accounts, so you can ensure your posts are coordinated. Buffer can be used for all social media platforms.

Grum

Grum is a scheduling tool used specifically for Instagram. It allows you to switch between multiple Instagram accounts and schedule posts and captions.

These tools and many like them help to organize and align your social media plan. They give you a tangible way to control the timing and consistency of posts. They also give you insight on optimal posting times.

2. Adopt A Theme For Your Social Media Accounts

The highest ranking social accounts in marketing these days all have a certain theme. This theme accurately represents the brand and the content they want to be associated with.

Look at RedBull for example – the energy drink is associated with more than simply staying awake. They sponsor athletes and extreme sports competitions around the world. This commitment to action is reflected in their social accounts. They display the idea that drinking RedBull does more than energizing, it promotes individuals to go that extra mile and live an active life. Their social accounts attract younger target audiences with photos that all follow the brands’ theme. The social accounts play a large role in creating this consistent image for the company.

Just like this example, it is very important to have a specific audience that you tailor your content towards. This helps you determine what themes you would like to use. Arrange your posts in a theme that accurately reflects your brand. You can analyze your target market to gain insight on what they like to see. You can also do competitor research in order to set your brand apart.

Helpful Tools For Social Themes

Some great editing and planning tools that help to quickly and visually improve your social accounts include:

Canva

Canva is a very straightforward design app. It lets you quickly create beautiful images and promotions. You can also pick from pre-made templates and stock images for inspiration and practical use.

VSCO

VSCO is a mobile photography app that lets you design custom filters for your images. It is an interactive platform where you also have the opportunity to share a gallery and interact with a community of photographers. This app is useful if you are looking to create a unique or signature filter for your images across social media platforms.

Unum

Unum is one of the most straightforward planning tools for Instagram. It allows users to upload images to a mock gallery to see how they fit with your Instagram’s theme. The app connects to your account and displays your existing gallery, as well as blank spaces where you can upload images to see how they fit with your gallery visually. Unum also has a scheduling feature, so you can plan and schedule your gallery to post consistently.

A themed social media account is becoming less of a stylistic preference and more of a necessity. You want your accounts to reflect your professional abilities and your brand. You need to tailor your accounts and adopt a theme that’s consistent throughout for easy brand recognition and association.

If you are not sure what type of theme to adopt, check your competitor’s accounts. Look at other successful pages and draw inspiration from that. Chances are, you have a similar buyer persona, that will be attracted to the same style. Pay attention to what your followers post, and post things that would be relevant, attractive, and useful to them.

3. Be Consistent – Manage Brand Reputation

In the vein of creating a consistent image, ensuring external factors don’t negatively affect that image is also important. Have your brand guidelines in mind when you create social posts. Use specific colors or logos so that your viewers are able to associate your posts with your brand easily.

Manage your digital reputation carefully. Unfollow or block unsavory accounts. You want your followers to be organic and interested in your profile because they are interested in your brand.

Delete unwanted comments and block spam users. No matter what kind of business you are, there will always be a time when you encounter negative feedback. Take the time to create a plan for reputation management on all social accounts.

Clearly outline content that you want to be posting, sharing and associated with, as well as users and content that you want to stay away from. It is also important to note that you should have complex passwords for all of your company social accounts and change them frequently.

The biggest part of social media brand reputation management is ensuring your image stays far away from negative associations. You want to connect with buyer persona’s, people interested in your brand and filter out internet trolls and spam accounts.

These accounts can tarnish your online image. You can add a watermark to your content or your logo, to ensure it isn’t being used by others on the web. Having a clean and positive digital image promotes credibility towards your brand, and builds trust in your potential clients and customers.

4. Be Interactive Online

One of social media’s core benefits is that it’s inherently interactive. It is easy to connect with people when they have inviting images and a theme that projects your interests. Be approachable online, and know that social is a great place to generate leads. People connect with your image and message you.

Use Automated Messages

It is very common, especially if a user really likes one of your social accounts, for them to message you as a business. This is done directly through social channels via comments or private messages. If you notice this happening frequently, and you have a lot of private messages on multiple social media accounts, it is a good idea to employ an automated system.

This automatic reply can be pre-written and it assures the person interested in your brand that their message has been received and they will have a chance to connect with a human soon. This saves you time so you can prioritize responses for those who are messaging. Facebook has this feature built in and you can choose to enable it in your messaging system.

Facebook has an automated reply option on the platform, but you can also generate your own through external apps.

Hold Contests and Secret Sales

A great way to reward your dedicated followers on social accounts is by hosting secret sales, only accessible by social media. It is also a great way to get noticed and get your name shared with others.

Depending on what you are looking for, you can have followers share a photo and tag your company, or use a company hashtag to indicate everyone participating in the secret sale or benefits. Contests create a sense of community while promoting interest and excitement about your brand.

Run Polls

Polls allow you to gain greater insight into what your users like. They are also much more direct than simply observing user behavior. With polls you can ask your users what they like, fun questions to get them involved, or simply inspire conversation amongst your followers.

Respond And Interact With Your Users

Interact with your users directly on social media platforms. Test your knowledge of your buyer personas and use what your followers are posting and saying to help add insight into what they like and what they are interested in.

Your followers will identify with you more as a brand if you are always on their minds (or phones). When you personally reach out to connect, be it through liking other photos, commenting or responding to comments, you promote direct interaction with your brand. You make your followers feel welcome and heard, they will look at you more as a friend than as a brand.

5. Track Change And Monitor What Does Well

It can be difficult to know exactly how to manage your social accounts right off the bat. It is best to monitor your progress over time.

Base new posts on posts that have done well in the past. Use the process of trial and error to experiment with your posts, theme and subject matter and see what content does well. Get feedback from your viewers both directly and indirectly.

Hold a poll to determine a new online theme, or simply observe which posts perform best and why. Perform competitor research and look at what is trending, as well as ways to stand out.

The best way to perform well online is to be observant. If a particular one of your posts is doing well consider investing in ads and promoted posts. These boost your reach to viewers who may be interested in your business.

Social media mastery isn’t learned overnight. Due to its ever-evolving nature, some might argue that constant change and experimentation is the key to getting ahead with social media marketing. Use the platforms to your advantage and get your brand involved in social media.

An Undisputed Method to Grow Your Email List

Everyone is inundated with emails every single day. You get emails from clients, colleagues, superiors, friends and family members.

There are emails you read and let’s face it – there are emails you don’t read. Too many companies are barking for your attention and you don’t have attention to spare.

Marketers need to understand this. Even more importantly, we need to understand the very people we send email campaigns to so we can deliver information they want and desire. We need to understand their roles, lives and interests.

I contend that understanding your own email inbox habits are essential to understanding what makes for great email marketing.

If you think an email, maybe from a digest you subscribed to years ago is so repugnant that you wouldn’t want it showing up in your inbox, isn’t this something you should (re)consider sending out to your own contacts and clients? Would they want equally repulsive content?

I suppose it’s a classic case of “treat people the way you want to be treated” or “treat your list the way you want to be treated.”

A better question is: Do you know what they want and what they consider repulsive? Understanding who is on the other end of your email marketing initiatives is vital. They have needs, wants and interests and it’s up to you to serve them the right content.

In this blog post, I’ll talk about a method that few business owners or marketers employ in their email marketing campaigns: Serving content their audience actually wants to consume. I’ll also talk about the process to determine what that content can be.

A Tactic To Help You Understand Your Contacts

To properly understand what your contacts do and don’t want to consume, do a role reversal. What information would you NOT like to consume if it was sent to your inbox one week? What if it was sent to your inbox in consecutive weeks or months? How would you feel?

Now, think about this. What if a business you bought a product from, now with consent to send you emails, sent you an email with special promotions? Depending on a number of factors, you may like it or you may not.

Now, what if you received a similar email every single week advertising a particular sale at this business? How would you feel? If you’d be leaning towards that ‘Subscribe’ button, I’d like to welcome you to the ‘Rest of Us’ club.

This was just a basic exercise. There are methods of doing more formal exercises to properly understand the people you’re sending emails to.

Fully Understanding Your Contacts – Using Buyer Personas

The best way to understand your contacts while streamlining your marketing efforts is to understand your organization’s buyer personas.

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal buyers. These are created based on qualitative data you’ve collected about your customers.

A business could have one buyer persona or several. It all depends on your business. A buyer persona is based off a person and not a business.

What I mean is that a business, let’s say an agency like us at ElementIQ – we are a B2B business. Our clients are businesses. However, the people we want to attract are decision-makers on digital marketing campaigns.

This could be:

  1. The owner of the company
  2. The marketing manager, in the case of a mid-size company

To create these personas, you’ll have to take several of your clients aside and ask them a set of questions. HubSpot has a nice list of buyer persona questions you can ask.

Since we’re talking about email marketing campaigns, it may be useful to ask more email-centric questions, like what they currently subscribe to and what their criterion are for deleting emails and unsubscribing from email lists.

The next step is taking the responses to the buyer persona questions and forming personas from them. HubSpot has some neat persona templates you can download to assist with this process.

Once you’ve created your personas, you’ll know more than enough about your ideal buyers to understand what interests and engages them. From this, you can determine the subject matter of what is in your emails.

Content Marketing + Email Marketing = Success

So much of successful email marketing depends on the content in the actual email and how it can help the reader.

If you bought tires from Michelin, would you need more tires the next week or the week after that? Unless, you are a poor driver, probably not.

However, what if Michelin sent you emails on how to take care of your tires so that they last longer? That might be pretty appetizing! That’s helpful information that could literally save you money down the road.

You might be thinking – “Why would Michelin do this? They’re pushing money away!”

It’s about the relationship they’re building with their customer. They know that helping the customer in some way will build a stronger bond through increased trust. This is a major benefit of investing in content marketing – and this can help your email campaigns succeed.

The Michelin Guide To Cars – Content Marketing At Its Finest

Michelin actually did this, way back in 1900. Andre and Edouard Michelin were saddled with a problem. More cars needed to be sold in order for more of their tires to be sold. So they published the Michelin Guide. It educated car owners on their cars. It talked about latest news and how to take better care of their cars.

More cars mean more tires. That means more money for Michelin. It worked.

The guide is still published today, over a century later.

As I’ve illustrated, it can be applied to email marketing too. The lesson is to provide the best possible information in whatever method of delivery – in this case, your emails.

An Example Of An Email Campaign Delivering Great Content

One email digest I subscribe to is Vega, a company that sells plant-based nutritional products. In my humble opinion, I think they do a fantastic job of providing great value in the form of information, discounts, and specials in their emails.

They give you a 15% off discount simply for subscribing to their list – a nice incentive. Their emails are filled with recipes, how-to information, and more.

They often use themes. Here’s an ice-cream-themed email:

This one is full of recipes. I’ve received other emails where they’ll have recipes and near the end of the email is a call-to-action for buying ingredients for that recipe in their store.

One email for National Smoothie Day entails a section of the email to purchase smoothie supplies, followed by consecutive sections containing a Raspberry Biscotti Smoothie recipe, the 7 Day Smoothie Challenge and a blog post on How to Build the Best Smoothie.

The folks at Vega have identified who their buyer personas are and what their ideal buyers like. They know that their subscriber base cares about health – otherwise, why would they be interested in a company selling plant-based products? They include in plant-based recipes that have nothing to do with their brand, recipes that could include a Vega product and other pieces of relevant, valuable health information.

Also note the layout of their emails, as depicted in the above screenshot. It’s picture, text and call-to-action. Always in that order. The layout is simple and clean – how marketing emails ought to look.

How We Layout Content In Our Email Marketing Campaigns

At ElementIQ, we use a very similar approach to Vega, with respect to content. We go through a process to understand and create buyer personas for the business we’re working on. We want to understand their subscriber list so we know what content they’ll want to consume. This means the agency you’re working with must have not only email marketing experts but content marketing experts.

For each email, there are 3 components:

  1. About the Business. This section is some piece of relevant, new information about the business. Could be an open house, something your business is doing in the community or what your office is like.
  2. Evergreen Content. You’ll need to understand the term ‘evergreen’ – it’s a piece of content that is not time-relevant. It could be useful to the reader at any point in time. This section would include a link to an evergreen blog post on your website, for example.
  3. An Offer. There must always be a call-to-action in every email. Give them an action to take and make it enticing. This can be a sale or discount, for example.

Vega’s emails are more like this:

  1. The Evergreen Content #1
  2. Evergreen Content #2
  3. Evergreen Content #3
  4. Offer

Again, how you structure your emails does depend on what your list looks like and what they want to hear. For the average local small business, their customers are local and are interested in local activities. So the structure we’ve set out above would work for them.

However, a larger company, like Vega, may want more evergreen pieces because their ultimate goal is to educate and inform (while still selling in a very subtle manner).

Reviewing The ‘Undisputed Method’

I’ve given you a lot of information here and there’s quite a bit of work for you to do.

To summarize, you’ll need to:

  1. Survey your clients with a buyer persona questionnaire.
  2. Create buyer personas.
  3. Identify what kinds of content and the topics each persona would be interested in and engaged by.
  4. Plan out your emails to have a balance of information that your buyer personas would actually be excited to read.
  5. Send away!

If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

How To Write Copy For The Web

How to write copy for the web

The internet is filled with every different type of writing you can think of. So how do you make your words stand out? Good copy attracts people, it motivates them and inspires action! It is useful in sales, marketing, educating and even simply entertaining.

Without copy, there would be no content on the web. Copy is essential, to the internet. Be sure that your writing stands out, gets your point across and sticks with the reader.

There are certain guidelines and techniques that you can use in order to write effective copy for the internet. Whether it is for your personal blog or a web page for a Fortune 500 company, there are unifying factors to all good writing. So let’s get started!

1) Make Your Writing Easy To Digest

Unless you are writing in a technical setting, for other professionals, it is best to avoid language that is too complex. Take a conversational approach.

Visitors are scanning your copy for valuable content that stands out to them. They’re not reading for quality. They aren’t your English professor marking your Hamlet essay.

It can be difficult, but you will need to unlearn the tactics of written English that were taught in school. When you write for the web, you can break certain rules of written English in order to better relate to your audience.

Tips To Break The Rules Of Written English:

  • Use conjunctions: don’t, can’t, won’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to start sentences with “but” or “and”
  • Ask questions in your copy
  • Use one-word sentences
  • Write in the style of the target audience
  • Appeal to emotion, use “you” and “we”

It is a good idea to have a target audience in mind when you are planning your copy. However, your writing should be so easy to comprehend, that someone without former knowledge of the topic can have a basic understanding of what is being said.

Write in short paragraphs. No longer than three sentences. The best way to create fast and visually pleasing content is by using lists. Numbered lists are both beneficial for Google and for your readers. You can scan information quickly in bulleted format.

When in doubt, pretend you are writing to a close friend or family member. Begin all of your copy with “Dear Mom” and proceed to write in a way you’d speak. Definitely, delete your greetings before your publish your post!

2) Pick The Right Tone

Writing for the web is a very human experience. You want to connect with the people who are passionate about reading your writing. Let your personality shine through!

Whether you are writing for a corporate audience, a nonprofit, potential sponsors, a small business or a personal blog, keep in mind that you are writing for humans. Web optimization is important, but it doesn’t matter if you rank #1 online if no one can read your site pages.

Write for a positive user experience. The most disappointing thing in copy is arriving at a site, only to find repetitive keyword stuffing with thin, uninformative content.

Appeal to readers’ emotions and use the language that they use! Be quick and direct, don’t waste time with long words. Your goal in whichever tone you pick is to relay the essentials. Your reader should easily understand and connect with the copy on a more personal level.

3) Add Photos And Visual Aids To Your Work

It is difficult to read large chunks of texts, without any whitespace or photos. People are visual creatures. (Look at popular apps: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.)

They favor web content that is supplemented with plenty of images.

Readers will often scan pictures to determine whether or not they want to read the related content. So photos are vital in attracting readers.

Your pictures should be condensed and optimized with the appropriate alt text so that Google knows that you have images on the page as well.

Search engines don’t “see” photos like people do, they read them instead.

Always keep in mind that your viewers are your priority. Visuals are important to them. They should be there to help visually guide your readers. Use related images as much as possible, not awkward or unrelated stock photos.

Use screenshots when appropriate. You can even add videos to your copy if they are related and available. Always remember to cite your photos. Give credit to photographers and get permission before you use images that aren’t your own.

Stock photos are a great option, as long as you don’t go overboard. The images should pair well with the content at hand.

4) Format Your Writing For The Web

It is always a good idea to keep in mind that if your writing isn’t optimized for the web, it is less likely to be seen, and attract the readers you want.

When Google crawls your web pages, it follows a certain set of algorithms. It needs to organize and compile every piece of content on the web. It wants to deliver the most relevant search results for a given search.

In order to get your content to the top of search results, optimization is key. Write copy first with your audience in mind. Compose content that you know your viewers will engage with and love.

But at the same time, keep in mind that search engines don’t read like humans do. Optimize your content after it is written.

Write content within their guidelines so that Google can also “read” what you’ve written, and sort it as helpful, reliable information. There is a great article on how to rank first on Google here.

Google looks for keywords, formatting, and tags. It checks to be sure that the title of your work is related to the content.

It also monitors what sites you hyperlink to, in order to ensure that the information is related to what you’re writing about.

Be sure to organize your writing so that both readers and search engines can benefit. Have headings, numbered lists and titles, metadata and alt text on images. Brainstorm your copy beforehand and set up an outline so that you write in a coherent structure.

5) Add Hyperlinks To Your Copy

One of the best things about writing for the web is that there’s information everywhere. Make it easy for your readers to access related content by providing them with links to similar information in your copy. You can also link to your older posts that are relevant or helpful for your readers.

Hyperlinks make your writing interesting and interactive. They are a good way to keep your readers engaged while they are reading. Hyperlinks are a great way for you to write focused content with additional, informative links.

You can use hyperlinks to inform your readers on things that may take too much time to explain in your copy. For example, you can link readers to a “how-to” article. It saves you time and space in your copy, and it keeps your readers informed.  

6) Close With A Call To Action

What was the reason for writing this post, page or whitepaper? There is always a reason for why you’re writing online, even if it’s simply to gain awareness on your personal blog. End all of your writing with a type of conclusion that motivates your reader.

Your reader found your copy because they were looking for specific information. Whatever you’ve written has been beneficial for them in some way and has ideally given them the answer to what they were looking for.

If you have written about a new recipe, it is likely that your reader is going to go start cooking after reading. Motivate them and get them to share your recipe with others.

Likewise, if you are writing about a product, let the reader know that you not only know about this product. You also know where to buy it and provide them with a link to a sale.

7) Edit, Rework And Revise Your Writing

Editing is essential to all copy, online or otherwise. Read your writing out loud to check for flow and consistency. Have someone edit what you have written, and provide comments and suggestions. There are several excellent apps to help with editing and content writing.

Hemingway, for example, is an app helps you determine the readability of your writing. It indicates when sentences are simple or complex. It also checks for common grammatical mistakes.

Grammarly is an automated proofreading tool that can be used as a chrome extension. It actively corrects your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It also sends you fun weekly updates, highlighting your most common grammatical mistakes.

Proofreadbot is an application that has both paid and free options. It is useful for editing shorter snippets of writing. Simply copy and paste your work into the “check your writing” box and it will scan your work for errors.

Read your copy in the mindset of your readers and ask yourself: Is this writing helpful? Does it answer my readers’ questions? If your copy seems like it needs more work, add to it and change things until you are satisfied with it.

A great part about writing for the web is that there is always new information emerging and evolving. It is vital to continually update your old copy with new information when it is available.

Key Takeaways

  • Write like you speak
  • Keep it simple
  • Do keyword research
  • Optimize for the web as well as the reader
  • Metadata and a clean title
  • Add photos and visual aids
  • Short sentences

Great web content takes time, and the best way to learn how to write effectively is through experience! Copy is always changing and it can always be improved.

You should now have a better understanding of how to write copy online. There are plenty of other tips on web content writing if you are interested. Test out what you have learned and leave comments on your own personal tips as well!

How To Claim And Optimize A Yelp Business Page

Image credit: Fortune

When you think of Yelp, do you first think of foodies posting restaurant reviews?  

Yelp is indeed an important factor for restaurants digital strategies. But overall, Yelp is much more than a website for people to rate their favorite meals.

In fact, according to Yelp’s statistics, only 20% of total reviews are for restaurants.

Whether you’re a dentist or candy store owner, Yelp can help increase web traffic to your site and foot traffic to your front door. 

With a quick look at the US demographics, you can see how Yelp is used by a wide range of age and income groups.

Join me below, and I’ll share –

  1. Why your business should have a Yelp business page,
  2. Some impressive stats, and
  3. How to optimize your Yelp listing for maximum traffic.

Why Your Business Should Be On Yelp

When Yelp first started in 2004, it was an email service for exchanging local business recommendations in San Francisco.  It would evolve into a business review website with social networking features, discounts, and mobile applications being used by consumers throughout the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe.

Yelp receives 120 million monthly visitors and has over 53 million user reviews. Judging by the curve of the graph below, this doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon…

The future of search is moving towards mobile screens and social networks. Just recently, a global survey reported that smartphones have surpassed TV’s in the amount of user viewing time per day. With this in mind, a well-constructed Yelp business page could improve your online marketing by leaps and bounds with very little time/money invested.

Creating A Yelp Business Page

An obvious first step to optimizing your Yelp business page is to create one if you haven’t done so already.

To get started, go to the Yelp for Business Owners page and click “claim my business.” You will then be redirected to a page that asks you to find your business.

You will then have one of three cases occur –

  1. No Business Listed: Your business hasn’t been listed on the site, click “Add your business to Yelp” on the bottom of the page.
  2. Already Unlocked: If your business is already unlocked that means someone else has already claimed your business. Yelp has a review process, so it is unlikely that it was unlocked by someone outside your organization.
  3. Unlock Your Business: You can unlock your Yelp business page by clicking the “unlock” button and filling in the required information.

With your Yelp business page now created, the next step is to fill your business profile with useful and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly information.

Optimizing Your Yelp Business Page

Yelp will essentially guide you through this process once you have created a business page. They even have a friendly alert to remind you, in case you forget.

Before you start filling out the content on your Yelp business page, make a list of keywords you want to rank for. Keep these in mind for every section of your Yelp business profile and use them wherever appropriate.

Below are the different parts of a Yelp business profile that you should fill out. Filling out these sections well will help you increase your organic traffic and search rankings within Yelp.

Do you want to lose out on potential business? Not many people do, so make sure your Yelp Business page has all of these things complete:

1. Business Information

Basic Information: In this section, you will be filling out the basic information for your business. For SEO, and customer satisfaction, you must have consistent and correct information for your business hours and address.

Specialties: Give customers an overview of the services your business performs. Keep valuable keywords in mind and use them wherever appropriate.

Only use keywords where appropriate and to not engage in “keyword stuffing” or simply listing your keywords. Yelp will penalize you for doing so and it will hurt your chances of ranking highly.

Here is an example of a well-done business information section:

History: You can use this space to tell you business’s story with your most valuable keywords in mind.

Meet the Business Owner: People may like to know more details about the business so fill out this section to tell them about the owner and their personal story. You can include things such as motivation for starting the business, education background and any other relevant information.

It is important to fill out every section on this page. Not only for the customers, but your page is more likely to rank highly in search results if it has a complete profile with correct spelling, capitalization, and correct use of keywords.  

Yelp will penalize you for putting sales requests or incorrect information in the basic information session. Things to watch out for:

  • Calls to action: Do not put phone numbers, email addresses, website addresses, etc. in the business information section
  • Correct sections: Make sure the content matches the sections you are filling out.

2. Reviews

Timely Responses to reviews, both positive and negative, establishes legitimacy and can help strengthen your overall reputation. Post responses within 24 hours of the review being published.

There are Two Ways to Respond to User Reviews on Yelp

  1. Send a private message. This is much like sending the customer a direct email, and
  2. Post a public message below the consumer’s review for everyone to see.

Both ways should be used to respond to ALL negative reviews. Seeing responses to positive and negative reviews indicates you are engaged with your customers and concerned with their satisfaction.

The key to responding to negative reviews is to keep the BIG picture in mind. Don’t get defensive. Consumers are smart and know that an isolated bad review isn’t indicative of a bad business. A good way to respond to negative reviews is to acknowledge that you are concerned about the customers’ experience, state the business’ philosophy of excellent service, and have them contact a specific decision maker to discuss any grievance so that things can be made right.

For positive reviews, an authentic thank you is appropriate. That can be as simple as saying, “Thank you again, Bob, for staying with us and being so polite to the hotel staff. You are always welcome back!” simply saying thank you for the positive review is adequate but it is better to also respond in detail.

3. Photos And Videos

Quality photos on Yelp make a huge difference.

According to Yelp, people stay two and a half times longer on a business page when it has photos. That doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer, but having high-quality photos should be a priority. 

4. Inbox

Yelp shows your response time and response rate so it is important to respond to messages in a timely fashion.

There are 3 ways to respond to messages: on the Yelp for Business Owners website, on the Yelp for Business Owners mobile app, or you can also set up email notifications to respond to reviews directly through email.

5. Questions & Answers

Responding to questions is a way to get more relevant information to your customers. Doing so will also hopefully reduce the number of direct messages you have to respond to.

6. Check-In Offers

Check-ins are another ranking factor for Yelp. So if you want your business page to show up at the top of the results list, it is important to have this offer complete.

The check-in feature is a way for business owners to reward customers through for checking in at their location using the Yelp app. It can be a discount price, percentage off, or some other incentive. By checking in at your business, customers social networks are notified, which increases your business’s visibility.

With all of your business page information now complete, the next step is to promote engagement on your site to get more customer reviews.

Generating Engagement

Social proofing works.

People trust Yelp because of the millions of customer reviews. There are many ways that you can promote these positive reviews reaching your business page, but be sure to never offer incentives. Yelp has a filter to block fake reviews and they can even penalize your listing for foul play.

The best way to garner positive reviews is the old fashioned way, excellent customer service, and a few of these tips.

  1. Have a Yelp Link on your website: The more exposure your Yelp business page gets the higher chance you will receive customer reviews.
  2. Including a Yelp Link in your email signature: For the same reason explained above.
  3. Reach Out to Existing Customers:  Ask your loyal customers if they would visit your Yelp Business profile and ask them what they think of it. (It’s against Yelp policy to directly solicit customer reviews)
  4. Promoting Deals on Yelp: Deals are a great way to grab attention and get new customers in the door!

The more Yelp reviews you have, the more likely you are to rank highly. Don’t forget to respond to those reviews!

With the nature of a business, sometimes you will receive negative reviews from a customer you weren’t able to satisfy. To reiterate our message in the Reviews section above, the best way to deal with these situations is to respond in a positive way.

A Yelp Optimization Overview

Does your page have quality photos and a keyword rich summary of your business? Optimizing your Yelp business page is about filling your page with useful information. It can be done in one sitting, but the key for a successful business page is responding to reviews to further engage with customers.

Keep the big picture in mind when responding to reviews, and continuously look for new ways to drive potential customers to your site. If you do all these things, while showcasing the personality behind your brand, you will be positioning your company for delicious online marketing success.

ElementIQ is one of a small handful of Yelp Ads Certified Partners, and we work with Yelp profiles every day! If you require further assistance with setup of a Yelp profile and/or advertising on Yelp, we can Help!

Digital Nomads: The Ability To Work From Anywhere

You see them in coffee shops, scattered around the power outlets, working away on a laptop. They’re in hostels, or local diners, networking with everyone around. They work from the sky, on airplane wifi. This unique group of people are unified by one thing, freedom.

The rise of technology in the 21st century has expanded and improved our ability to do pretty much everything. It is most noticeable, however, in the ever-shifting landscape of job opportunities.

Digital Nomads are individuals who use technology to their favor in order to live a nomadic lifestyle, free of traditional constraints.

Digital nomads are not tied to a specific working location. They travel freely, or simply work from home, earning a living completely online.

What Are Digital Nomads?

20 years ago, the thought of working alone, tanning with a view of the beach and an acai berry smoothie bowl in your lap was unheard of. But it is becoming an ever growing norm as Millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce.

These tech savvy generations are liberated by the technology they’ve grown up with. Generation Z is actually said to be the first generation that has grown up without knowing life outside of modern technology.

These generations have a sense of global awareness generated from a lifetime of access to the internet.

As a result, they are waving goodbye to cramped offices and cubicles, exchanging them for a lifestyle that incorporates a cohesive blend of work and travel.

You may have heard the term before. Digital nomads are people who work from wherever they please. Their jobs are often cultivated and modified to accommodate the ability to travel freely.

Traditionally, in the past, this style of living was exclusive to niche careers by influencers or travel writers. It was not a common way of living.

Whereas now, most jobs that simply require a computer can effectively allow for a nomadic style of work.

Common Jobs For Digital Nomads Include:

  • Influencers/ Brand Reps
  • Digital Marketers,
  • Jobs in Social Media, YouTubers
  • Vloggers, Professional Bloggers, Writers
  • Global Tourism
  • Developers
  • CEO’s
  • Freelance work
  • Language Teachers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Artists, Craftworkers, Photographers and Graphic Designers.
  • (And Spies obviously)

Many of these careers didn’t exist two decades ago. There are also countless careers that aren’t listed here. These jobs allow you to travel and go where you please, no longer limited by the toil of 9-5. You are not expected to show up in an office every day. You can pick the hours that you work.

Is Digital Nomad-Hood A Sustainable And Viable Career Choice?

Do you have to enter an office in a suit and tie every day in order to pay the bills? In short, the answer is no. However, your grandparents may continually ask you what exactly it is you do for work.

Be prepared for disapproving looks at family get together’s. But the truth of the matter is that people can make a considerable amount of money from these positions.

Many digital nomads have experience working in a traditional workspace. They either felt that the structured environment wasn’t for them and changed careers paths.

Or discovered a means of doing what they do in the office, entirely from their computers, remotely.

In essence, you can become wealthy as a digital nomad, but it is very dependant on the individual circumstances. It requires a keen ability to budget and utilize the resources available.

In general, the key to living a high travel lifestyle when you are not exactly jet set is finding patrons, crowd funding, and sponsorships through companies.

There are some key cost benefits to a nomadic lifestyle. In general, the career move comes naturally with living a more minimalistic life.

You do not need to budget for a car or a mortgage when you travel constantly. This enables you to save money, where most people spend the majority of their earnings.

However, you need to plan ahead before you can confidently live off the grid. It is best to keep emergency savings at all times during your travels.

Definitely have a budget and savings plan in place beforehand. Being free of the office space does not mean that you are free from monetary responsibility.

Just as you would budget your life living 9-5, it will likely take even more planning to properly budget in order to live a nomadic lifestyle.

Benefits Of Travel And Work

Digital nomads have the unique ability to experience a life of travel and independence that generations before them did not.

They are liberated by technology and have an excellent opportunity to see the world. If you work in a field that gives you this option, it is always something to try. Even if it is something you simply do for a month or a year.

If a full career as a digital nomad sounds slightly daunting, you can still gain an international perspective and try working a year abroad.

An international work environment increases perspective in so many ways. You have the ability to connect with a global community of like-minded individuals.

It gives you insight into other cultures and languages that you likely would not have found entering the same office every day.

Resources For Nomads

There are many excellent resources online for those who are looking into this style of work. A core component of living a nomadic lifestyle is finding a place to live and work temporarily, from country to country.

Get To Know A City

Sites like Nomadlist are very helpful for getting the “feel” of a potential city. The site gives short descriptions of everything from the access to wifi, to the best local places to eat and visit.

Find A Place To Stay

Airbnb is another easy way to quickly find reliable housing, from people all over the world. It is now more affordable than ever to find places to stay.

Airbnb is unique in the sense that you stay with local people. They can share unique, local knowledge that you would not learn in a hotel.

Additional Resources For Digital Nomads

There are plenty of resources and blogs that offer advice about managing your finances while you are traveling.

There are many apps that actually let you find temporary work opportunities, based on the country you are visiting.

Hubstaff Talent is an excellent resource for freelancers and businesses of all sizes. You can build and utilize a remote team or work remotely with companies world wide. It’s also completely free.

Living A Nomadic Lifestyle? Share Your Thoughts!

Be sure to comment about your own personal experiences living a life free from the office. Share resources and opinions that you have on the topic!

At ElementIQ, working in digital marketing, it is possible to work remotely. It is certainly an experience that we encourage others to try!