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Social Media, Local SEO, Pokemon & You

Adobe Spark (9)

A virtual phenomenon swept the country last year aiming to get “gamers” who stereotypically live in their parents basements, wear sweatpants, and subsist on hot pockets out into the real world, interacting with the elements. You may have heard of it – “Pokemon Go.”

While I have to admit that I tried it out and enjoyed it for a while, it became a waste of time. HOWEVER, my son has recently taken it up and since he’s only 8, I have to go around with him.

Essentially, the game consists of walking around your neighborhood or city hunting and “catching” virtual and fictitious animals with ridiculous names that you can then use to battle against other players’ collections.

But part of the game is “checking in” at various places of interest to collect supplies. They’re called “Poke-Stop’s.” Walking around with him got me thinking, “This is what Chem-Dry owners should be doing!”

You Want Me to WHAT?!…

Okay, so I don’t literally want you to go out playing a video game. You have more important things to do. But I want you look at it this way:

As a service-area business, you want to be local. SUPER local. A great way to do that is to tie your business to local places of interest. What does that mean?

Here are a few ideas:

  • When your technician gets lunch, does he/she go to a popular local diner? Have him/her snap a quick picture of their plate along with your business card.
  • Cleaning for a business? Take a picture of your team out front of the establishment before you begin. Encourage people to come by the next day to see what a great job you did.
  • Participating in a town parade? Share your parade position and what you’ll be handing out.

Ideally, you should pair a picture every time you do this (it improves engagement). But the biggest thing is that you “check in” when doing so. It’s easy.

How Do I Do That?

On Facebook (Desktop):

Click to start writing a post from your business page. Then “Check In” to a local place. If you’re not actually nearby, you can search for it and select the location.

 

Facebook Mobile:

pencil

Just touch the “Publish” icon to start typing a post (the pencil & paper one like you see over to the right).

Then, from the next screen, touch the “Check In” icon at the bottom right of your screen. Again, if you’re nearby, the place should come up automatically. If you’re not, simply search for the business and tag the listing.

It’s that easy. Now, not only will your post show up on your own Facebook page, tying you to the noteworthy location, but the place/business’s page will get a notification that you checked in there and THEIR followers will see your post as well.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

Instagram (Mobile Only):

If your company is doing Instagram (which I highly recommend, in this webinar), you can kill two Pidgey’s (or birds) with one stone.

After you selected your picture and typed your caption (using the appropriate Chem-Dry hash-tags), you can flip the Facebook switch (and Twitter if you like) for your own page and then use a locale that’s recommended under “Add Location”. When you do that, you’ve accomplished the Facebook Check-In AND the Instagram one.

Big Takeaway:

Social Media and location tagging is a great, easy way for you to connect your business to the community. It doesn’t take much. A few pictures/posts each month will go a LONG way.
  1. Check in at local places of interest.
  2. Find a way to tie your business to the place.
  3. Invite customers to check out the other business to see how you did. Their customers will see your activity as well.
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Tweaking Your Facebook Page for Better Local Results

FB-IG Tweaks Blog Header

Facebook is an awesome place to maintain a relationship with past customers and even connect with new ones. But a challenging thing about Facebook is making it more relevant to your local service area business. Let’s talk about a couple quick tweaks you can make to your business page to get better results on a local level.

Tweak #1: Your Preferred Audience

The first quick tweak I would have you make is this: get a list of the zip codes you cover (talk to your Franchise Administration Rep, or I can even help you get it). Use that list to refine your location and the audience you’re trying to cater to.

Facebook uses your location and preferred page audience settings to make recommendations to other potential customers (usually whose friends have liked your page). While it’s nice to get page likes and followers from outside your area, you can’t service them! It’s far better to focus in on customers you can work for.

I would recommend having your vendor go in and change the settings on your page’s “Preferred Page Audience” to emphasize the “local” nature of your business. Keep it fairly high-level by not narrowing down too much with age, gender, etc., but definitely tell Facebook where you’re most interested in being found.

You can find a step-by-step tutorial here.

Tweak #2: Location and Instagram

Instagram is a growing social media platform that’s actually owned by Facebook. In fact, it’s growing so much, that in some markets and demographics, it’s actually overtaking Facebook in growth!

If you don’t have a company Instagram account, you can create one with your Facebook account. You can even have a business account AND a personal account. The nice thing about Instagram is that if you post a picture or video there, you can have it automatically share over to your Facebook page.

BUT, that’s not even the best part! When you take pictures and tag the location where you took them, you add even more local value to your post. Are you cleaning for a local restaurant or sports team? Check in at that location with your post and get your post shared on that organization’s Facebook page too!

There are a few technical things you need to work out to do this, but that’s why I’ve created this tutorial for your or your vendor.

Big Takeaway:

Social Media can be a confusing marketing practice, but it doesn’t have to be if you use tools to pair up different systems. These are just a couple examples.

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Being “Findable” – on Facebook

If you feel like I spend all these blog posts yammering about how much you should be doing with social media, prepare for another one. I’ll keep it short this time, I promise.

Your Business Facebook Page 

A while back, I did a webinar about setting up a Facebook page for your business. It’s an essential part of your online business. Facebook is a fantastic place to inexpensively build customer relationships and nurture a following. You should post regularly, and invite customers to review your business.

Another thing you should absolutely do is make sure you have a custom Facebook URL. So, instead of having a randomly assigned one, which will look something like “www.facebook.com/123456789123456”, you should have an address that looks like “www.facebook.com/ScottsChem-Dry”.

Why? 

Now, you may be sitting there scratching your head wondering why it makes a difference. I’ll tell you.

When it comes to search dominance and SEO, having an actual name or search term in a web address (URL) adds a TON of strength. Ideally, your Facebook page should immediately show up as a top result if and when anyone types the name of your business into Google.

It also makes it much easier to find you when you leave a card behind at a customer’s house and ask them to give you a review.

How? 

If you’ve created a Facebook Page, you should be able to change the URL for it pretty easily. Here’s how:

1) If you’re logged in and looking at your Facebook Page, click on the  “About” section on the left-hand side of the page.

 

 

2) You’re now looking at the “Page Info” section. Where you see “Username”, hover
your mouse over the “Edit” icon, which will bring up a prompt screen to let you change the username for your business (which changes the URL).

 

 

 

3) Type in the username you want. You can only use letters, numbers, and/or periods.

 

 

 

What Should I Change it To?

I recommend making your username/URL something that’s easy to type in, and as simple to remember as possible. So, like I showed above, if the name of my business were “Scott’s Chem-Dry”, I would make it something like “ScottsChemDry” (notice the lack of a “-” because I can’t use one) or “ScottsCD”.

You may also consider doing something that has more to do with the area you service. For instance, you could make your username “ChicagoCarpetCleaning” if it’s available. While there’s a benefit to having a name like that, you have to remember that you can only choose your username/URL once. After you’ve assigned it, Facebook won’t let you change it without starting up an entirely new page.

In the long run, I’d recommend simply making it your business name, but it’s your business.

Big Takeaway:

Giving your Facebook page a custom URL doesn’t sound like it would do that much, but it can significantly affect the way people find you. And it’s so quick it just makes sense to change it. Do it TODAY!
Also, don’t forget to register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.