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Most local businesses now have a pretty decent understanding of how to use Facebook and Twitter to promote their content. Reddit is now slowly becoming part of the non-redditor consciousness. It is quite a different animal, and if not handled properly, reddit can easily backfire on your marketing efforts. Before you get started on this guide to local business best practices on reddit, make sure you’ve read through our reddit basics guide.

[fve]http://youtu.be/tlI022aUWQQ[/fve]

Reddit is a community of smaller communities (called subreddits). Earlier this year, it was getting 112 MILLON unique monthly visitors who submitted and commented on videos, blog posts, news sites and more. Although Reddit is a site where you are encouraged to share; unlike Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, broadcasting is NOT encouraged.

As a local business, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not being on reddit. It is a great place to keep up with your industry, find out what your competitors (and customers) are up to, and to find out what is going on in your geographical area.

THINGS YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT

Reddit Mods or Moderators are not employees of Reddit




1. Modsreddit’s communities (subreddits) have moderators who set the rules of the subreddit. They are also in charge of keeping up the quality of the community. This means mods can ban and shadowban (ban people without their knowledge) users from reddit. Mods are not employees. They do this task for free. This should give you an idea as to their passion for the community. Don’t mess with them.

2. Redditors: They are quick to call bs and are liberal with their downvotes. They are also quick to react in the real world – it is not uncommon for redditors to band together against someone who they are unhappy with. They’re also tech savvy – so take heed.

BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESSES USING REDDIT

1. Be Respectful: The most important thing is to have respect for the reddit community. Don’t think that you can spam them or trick them into liking, engaging, sharing, or clicking through to your content.

2. Be Honest: Create an account on reddit and when posting something about your local business, be transparent that you are either the business owner or community manager. When posting, start off by saying who you are, and why you’re posting. The community manager for a bar in Hoboken, NJ posted their anniversary party in the city’s subreddit. They were vigilant, answered questions, and the bar was packed that night.

3. Be Clear: If you are unclear whether you are being too promotional, message a mod directly to ask.  Be honest about who you are, what content you want to push and ask if it is ok. Keep in mind they may tell you no. If they tell you know, take it gently. This could help you build a relationship of trust with this mod who may allow you to post content later.

4. Be of Service: Reddit is not a platform for self promotion. It is a community of communities. As such you should be pushing out content to help the community, not just trying to promote yourself. Say, for example that you are a local business owner in Hoboken who has joined the r/Hoboken community. Post useful articles about parking changes, community events that are not related to your business. Build your reputation as a trusted member of the community and engage in conversation. This will make it so that when you do post that special event at your place, people will already know who you are AND that you are not there just to spam them with your deals.

5. Offer reddit exclusives: One of my favorite businesses in the r/NYC subreddit is Professor Thoms (a sportsbar in NYC). Somehow, their specials always end up in the subreddit and the place is constantly packed full of redditors. You could set up a redditor night and offer a special discount.

6. Read the Rules: Each subreddit has its own rules. Read them carefully before posting anything to make sure you aren’t violating any of them.

7. Keep a Private Account: reddit is awesome. You’ll probably want to spend lots of time there and you will probably end up commenting on things that strike a personal chord. Your reddit history is public. This means that anyone can go back into your history and see everything you’ve posted, commented on, upvoted/downvoted. It would be smart to keep a business account and a personal so as not to offend your potential customer base.

8. Join the right communities: Start off by joining the subreddit for your city/neighborhood/state. Own a restaurant in San Francisco – join r/sanfrancisco. Have an airbnb to rent out during sxsw? Join r/austin. Then start looking for other subs that could work for you – in the case of the airbnb owner – you could join r/sxsw. Say you are a local children’s apparel shop that offers shipping…join r/parenting. It’s up to you to figure out which subreddits will work best for your local business. You’ll figure out the right subs as you truly become a part of the community. You can also create your own sub – but we recommend you wait on that until you’ve gotten a feel for the community.

[fve]http://youtu.be/EfAloC3bGhM[/fve]

HOW TO POST ON REDDIT

1. Use effective titles: The title of your reddit post can make or break you. Make your title funny, engaging, or a little weird to encourage people to click thru.

2. 9:1 Posting: In order to ascertain that you are not being spammy, only 1/10 posts should be your own content – I’d be even more conservative still.

3. Pick the right subreddit: A local business may be tempted to only post to their city/neighborhood subreddit. This may not always yield you the best results (and it may appear to be super spammy).

4. Share quality content: Think outside the box, don’t just share a page to your website with boring text to your special deal. Create a funny youtube video, or maybe  a podcast. If the content is not shareable, reddit will most likely ignore it. You could even do an IAMA…but that deserves its own blog post.

The Takeaway

Reddit takes work, I’d say more so than any other social network out there. Don’t expect your content to resonate if you are not a part of the community. As part of the community, make sure to follow the rules and provide quality content that is not all yours and not all promotional.

Many local businesses are not aware or not taking advantage of a nifty little feature offered by Facebook: Facebook Wi-Fi Check-ins. Restaurants that opt into Facebook Wi-Fi can offer free Wi-Fi internet access to customers who check in. They get internet access and you get a check-in. On top of that, you can then offer them deals and announcements. Facebook Wi-Fi Check-ins is a tool you should not be without.

Advantages of Facebook Wi-Fi Check-Ins

Get New Clients

Sure, your local business has its core set of customers. However, as people become more and more dependent on their internet connection, you have an opportunity to attract mobile workers to your business. As of 2016, the Freelancer’s Union found that there are more than 55 million Americans freelancing. They tend to work outside of their home in cafes, restaurants, and even while getting an oil change. They like to get out of the house in order to stay sane.

If your business is in a heavy area for international tourists, it makes sense to offer Wi-Fi. They often have to purchase international SIM cards which can get expensive. This feature makes it easy to win their business.

If your business can offer them free, reliable and secure Wi-Fi, you may be able to lure these people into coming in, staying longer, and spending more.




Encourage Business Meetings

Most of the biggest deals in the world are not conducted in an office. If you can provide the right environment and the right tools, your business can become a place where business meetings take place. Business meetings mean expense accounts, and this means money for your biz.

Get More Online Reviews and Social Shares

If you offer Facebook Wi-Fi, you’ll make it easier for your customers to Instagram your location, products, and services…and leave reviews on Facebook as well as other review sites.

Build Offers Around Facebook Wi-Fi Check-ins

With Facebook Wi-Fi you are able to push out offers to people who check in. It really does not get better than that!

Get Data on Your Customers

Facebook gives you demographic data including age, gender, and interests of customers. This data is ridiculously valuable when it comes to understanding your audience and planning your marketing efforts.

Guests Can Opt Out of Check-ins

People who are uncomfortable with the check-in are given a simple opt-out, so no weird icky factor or fear of violation of privacy.

Capture New Fans

People may even like your page so that you can market to them again. It’s a fantastic tool!

How Facebook Wi-Fi Check-ins Work

Free WiFi using Facebook Check In

How to set up Facebook Wi-Fi Check-ins for my local business?

You need a Facebook page admin to set this up for you. The page must also be a “Local Business”. Once they are set up, there are no Wi-Fi codes or accounts for your customers to create.

Get Your Router:

Make sure your router is Facebook Wi-Fi compatible. Facebook Wi-Fi currently works with the routers below. If you don’t have one of them, you may need to purchase them, below is a list of Facebook Wi-Fi Check-in compatible routers (ours was updated on 10/11/17):

Log on to Facebook

Splash Screen from Wireless Router for Facebook WiFi

Enable “Sign-On with Facebook”

This will differ according to which of the above routers you use, here are a few examples for a few of the routers.

  • Meraki: Launch your wireless router’s admin console and select Sign on with Facebook in the Splash Page. 
  • Cisco: Log into your Connect & Engage dashboard from the Cisco Mobility Service Engine 8.0 and select Facebook Wi-Fi on the menu.
  • NETGEAR: Visit www.routerlogin.net and click the Advanced tab. Then, click Facebook Wi-Fi > Configure.
  • D-Link: Visit D-Link and click the Setup tab > Guest Zone. Check the boxes Enable Guest Zones and Enable Facebook Wi-Fi.
  • Open-Mesh: Log into your network at CloudTrax.com and select Facebook Wi-Fi in the SSID #1 Splash Page section.
  • Aruba: Select Facebook Wi-Fi for sign-on, then set the session length and terms of service.
  • Intelbras: Visit the IP address provided in your manual, then start the install wizard and select Facebook for Wi-Fi access.
  • Ruckus Wireless: Log into ZoneDirector. Click Configure > WLANs > Create WLAN > for WLAN Type, select Social Media > for Social Media Login, select Facebook.
  • ASUS: Log into the web GUI. Select Guest Network > Facebook Wi-Fi and enable Wi-Fi.
  • AirPo: Log into the web GUI. Select Network > Facebook Wi-Fi and enable Wi-Fi.

Wireless Router Configuration for Facebook WiFi

Set up Facebooks Wi-Fi Configuration Panel

  • Opens in a new window
  • Click the drop-down menu
  • Select the Facebook Page for your local business
  • Click the drop-down menu
  • Bypass Mode section:  choose if customers can use a Wi-Fi code that you give them or click on a link to skip checking in
  • Click save settings

Pinterest is an incredible resource for businesses. It drives a huge amount of traffic to websites, it allows your audience to market your brand (for free) and is a great way to market your brand online. However, it’s not as simple as randomly pinning to your boards.  Before you start strategizing on the type of content that is best to promote your business, we’re going to give you a few tips in this Pinterest guide so you can make sure that your pins get seen, shared, and loved. The idea here is that your pins actually drive an ROI (return on investment).

Pinterest Guide to Effective Pinning

Unlike Twitter & Facebook, Pinterest image posts have a much longer lifetime. Tweets live for about 20-30 seconds. Facebook posts live for around an hour (and who knows if that is even the case with Facebook’s algorithm changes and focus on advertising). Pins get shared and re-shared working for you much, much longer. You may see web traffic coming to your website from your pins for well over a year. But, with the following knowledge, you can optimize your pins to get the most out of them.

Best Image Size for Pinterest: 735px x 1102-ish

Pinterest pins perform best at 735x1102 px sizing

 

The best-performing pins on Pinterest are taller images. They are more easily seen and take up much more real estate in the feed. They are also perfect for mobile. Your blog’s layout may not work with this image, so you’ll have to create a custom image to pin to Pinterest. This is super easy to do with apps like Canva (which is free).

Test out different Pin sizes to see what works best for you and your brands. Most effective pins are somewhere between 735×1102 to 736×1128 pixels high.

You’re probably saying “But…then the image won’t link to my website or blog???” Not true. There’s an easy way around that:

How to Customize the Image Pin

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k-oOOsE5yY[/fve]

1. Create your custom image on Photoshop, Photoscape, Canva or any other image making service.

2. Craft your write up – remember to use relevant key words (example – if you’re a restaurant in NYC’s Lower East Side – use “NYC” “Lower East Side” in your description. The write up should be around 200 words long).

4. Edit the pin to add the link source so the pin points back to your site.

Always Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Add a call to action for best pinterest results

 

 

Sounds cheezy, but CTA’s (calls-to-action) are incredibly effective. Facebook recently announced that they’ll be penalizing CTA posts, but Pinterest has no such plans. When you add a CTA to your pin, you can increase engagement by up to 80 PERCENT!!! Need some ideas on calls to action? Here are a few:

1. Pin me!

2. Click through to learn more

3. RSVP Now

4. Sign Up Here

5. Share now

Keep Branding in Mind

Branded Pins to build brand recognition

 

 

 

While you are creating these great images, give yourself credit & brand yourself. Don’t miss out on opportunities to embed yourself in people’s minds. Simply add your logo to all your pins. There are lots of free or cheap apps to help you add your branding to your social media images.

Keep SEO in Mind

Google loves Pinterest. On top of this, you should be thinking of Pinterest as its own mini search engine. When you are pinning images, give them google friendly names. If you’re uploading a picture of say a burger you serve in your restaurant located in New York, don’t be lazy and name it “pic1.jpg”.  Name it “BurgerNYC.jpg” or “BurgerUWS.jpg”. Do this on the image write ups as well. All these tiny changes have a HUGE impact on how your brand is found online.

Use Socialdraft to Schedule Your Pinterest Pins

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJVAQ84Z_Ew[/fve]

The nice thing about Socialdraft is that you can use it not only on Pinterest but on lots of other social networks. It also does tons of things, so instead of paying for 5 different dashboards, you pay for only one. What can Socialdraft do?

  • Schedule to Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Pull reports
  • Download content calendars as PDF
  • Categorize your posts
  • Give access to team members while giving your account safe
  • Engage on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • All while using our easy to use drag & drop calendar
  • And tons more.

Want to take Socialdraft for a spin? We offer a risk-free trial. Sign up today.

 

Most people think that Pinterest is only good for online retailers who have a product to sell to women. This is not entirely correct. In the hands of a savvy business owner, Pinterest can yield an ROI, regardless of the type of business you are. Today, we will discuss Pinterest marketing for local business including how to find content, how to optimize your pins and how to figure out if your efforts are working.

Pinterest Marketing for Local Business

1. Pinterest is still dominated by women. According to Pew, of all US online adults, 45% of women use Pinterest as opposed to 17% of men.

2. A Millward Brown’s study found that the above were probably planning an event (weddings or vacations) within the next six months.

3. 96% of people who are active on Pinterest use it to plan for the above events.

4. Pinterest is a network for all ages, millennial, Gen Xers, and Boomers are all pinning. What’s the breakdown?

  • 36% – 18 to 29
  • 34% – 30-50
  • 18%  – 51-69

Pinterest is also investing into the local space with their release of Place Pins and Guided Search. This means that if you are a local business, you need to start thinking about your pinning strategy (and we have a few tips to help you optimize your pins for visibility). If you are a local business, you may also want to check out these tips on how to market your business on Pinterest.

The question now is how do you find your local targets, how do you make it easier for them to find you, what do you post, and how do you measure success.  Let’s get to it.

How to Find An Audience for Your Local Business on Pinterest

Before you do anything, you need to have a full understanding of who your customer is. If you are a dentist in a suburb and most of your customers are kids getting braces, then you need to target their moms. If you are a pool hall, your audience may be males between 30-45. Once you have figured out who your audience is, you need to research who they follow and what they pin. How do you do this? We recommend the following techniques:

Category Search

How to use categories on Pinterest to get content ideas

  • Check categories on Pinterest
  • Click on the main category you think your audience may be interested
  • Click on some of the options that come up and explore the content there

Keyword Search

How to get ideas for Pinterest content

For this technique, you can do a few different things. First, start by checking out your location: state, city, neighborhood. Get ideas from the content that is being created there. For example, if you are a local business in Kentucky, you can search ‘Kentucky’, ‘ Kentucky + type of local business’ (Kentucky + hair salon)  or ‘Kentucky + another industry keyword’ (Kentucky + ombre). From here you can get plenty of content ideas, see if influencers are pinning about your industry in your city and much more.

Create Boards to Capture Your Audience

How to decide the types of Pinterest boards for your local business

Once you have done this research, take the topics and keywords found to create boards. Take Bin 36 restaurant in Chicago. They have strategically come up with topics that are relevant to and connect their audience. Some of their boards:

  • Wine (wines for sale, wine tips)
  • Events (Chicago events & restaurant specific events)
  • People (their staff & customers)

These boards are all relevant and speak to a local audience that can convert.

Optimize Your Profile for SEO

Use keywords on Pinterest to be found

When you create your Pinterest profile, start off by making sure all of your information is filled out properly. Then, make sure that you add keywords so that when people search for you, they can easily do so. Add these keywords to your profile name, profile description, board titles, and board descriptions.

Use Vertical Pins That are Easy to ‘Read’

How to create images for your local business on Pinterest

Vertical images take up more space on Pinterest, and are easier to see on mobile. When you create pins, don’t be tempted to push out images with small writing. Text-heavy images are hard to read on Pinterest on search and even harder to see on mobile. Instead of trying to get everything out in one image, focus on one thing so you can truly entice your audience. The example above shows exactly what we mean, but we encourage you to do a similar search on mobile. If you see things that don’t make sense, make a note of them so you don’t do them later.

Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins will drive more engagement for your local business on Pinterest.

Article Pins: If you have a blog, use article pins when pinning this type of content. It will pull in the headline, author, and description to make your life easier.

Product Pins: If you sell anything on your website, these pins will bring in the name and price of the product.

Place Pins: These will include a map, address, and phone number. You should absolutely be using these for your local business.

Note: You will have to reach out to your webmaster so they can add the code for rich pins to your website.

Engage on Pinterest

Set aside 15-30 minutes per day to engage your audience. If someone repins you, thank them. If someone pins about your city, leave a comment on their pin. If someone comments on your pin, comment back. These little actions have a huge impact on your building relationships and getting them to come to your business.

Use the Right Tool for Pinterest Marketing for Local Business

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJVAQ84Z_Ew[/fve]

Socialdraft is an affordable and easy to use tool that can help you manage not just Pinterest, but all the major social networks for your local business. With Socialdraft you can:

  • Schedule to Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  • Pull reports
  • Download content calendars as PDF
  • Categorize posts
  • Give access to team members while giving your account safe
  • Engage on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • All while using our easy to use drag & drop calendar

Want to take Socialdraft for a spin? We offer a risk-free trial. Sign up today.

We’re not at all surprised that Yelp recently announced they’ll be launching video reviews. As the world gets more and more used to the mobile web, it only makes sense that Yelp would encourage this type of content.

Yelp Video Reviews

When video reviews launch, users can add them to Yelp via its mobile app (much like pictures). This means that customers can leave feedback in real time for local businesses and places. The feature will launch next month to Yelp Elites. The feature will be released to all users in the future, but Yelp has not announced when.

About Yelp Video Reviews

  • Only available to Yelp Elites (for now)
  • 12 seconds max
  • User can select a cover photo for the review
  • Yelpers can add caption to reviews
  • At first, Yelp’s video reviews will show up with the photos but we expect they will be integrated into the review area soon.

 

What This Could Mean to Your business

Video reviews could turn out to be a blessing in disguise by preventing multiple negative reviews by the same person (or a competitor’s business). They could also deter people from posting fraudulent reviews by making them re-think just how much they want their face involved with a permanent online review.

It also means that businesses will need to step up their game now that everything can be uploaded to social media in seconds. We expect to see competitors follow suit.

There’s not much on the video reviews on the Yelp Blog yet…but we’ll keep you posted.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

 Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

 

Early this year, Google changed things up to allow businesses to add a “single descriptor” to their Google Places page.

What is a Google Places “single descriptor”? According to Google (as of 4/29/14):

1. The “Single Descriptor” helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.

2. The “Single Descriptor” is not a marketing tagline, phone number, store code, or URL

Website of Google Places of Businesses

Some examples of acceptable titles with “Single Descriptors”

1. Business Name + Location (Sushi Samba – Downtown)

2. Business Name + Descriptor (Jeanne & Gaston – French Restaurant)

Single Descriptors on Google Places

Some examples of forbidden titles with “Single Descriptors”

1. #1 Location + Type of Business (#1 New York Plastic Surgeon)

2. Name of Business + Superlative (Mike’s Pizza Best Delivery)

3. Name of Business + SEO term + City (Mike’s Pizza Restaurant New York)

As usual, you need to be very careful when dealing with Google. Making changes to your places page could have both positive or negative effects on your business.

Best Practices for Google Places Single Descriptors

At least for now…

The first step to setting up your single descriptors is to verify your business' Google Listing

1. Verify your Google listing (even if you are not going to play with “single descriptors” you should do this).

1. Don’t try to trick Google to rank higher for SEO purposes. It seems that this tool would work well for businesses with multiple locations. For example, a local business like Jacques Torres which has 6 NYC locations seems like a good candidate for “Single Descriptors”, not a single location local business. We’d recommend testing out one location and seeing how this affects that location before moving forward with all your properties.

2. Keep it short and sweet. Google has not defined what a “Single Descriptor” really is or how long it should be, so it is better to err in the side of caution.

3. Don’t update all your citations. We don’t know where Google is going with this…so again, it is better to wait and see what happens.

4. Don’t make changes daily. It sometimes takes Google some time to register changes, so making changes to your descriptors on a weekly or monthly basis could negatively affect the listing.

5. The descriptor should be at the end of your name. You want the page to rank for your business name if someone is searching for it.

6. Pick either a “keyword” or a “location” – not both.

7. Monitor changes. If you see a negative change – revert.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

With this post, you should have a strong basis to build a sky hashtag strategy for your brand. If you couple this with a strong Instagram tool, you can really save time and see an ROI from your Instagram efforts.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Instagram management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?