Blog

Understanding the Customer Journey

| January 28, 2015 | | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

From Search to Shopper: How to attract customers with local business listings

For every new customer who steps into your business, a unique journey has led him or her to that point. If you could rewind to gain some insight on what path they took to find your local business, then you would know exactly what you’re doing right.

The great news is, with the right tools and expertise, you have an opportunity to do just that! Today, there are more ways than ever for customers to find your business. You can follow the interactions that your customers have with your business online to better understand their wants and needs.

For example, it’s possible to connect with people nearby who are talking about things that are relevant to your business. You can see how this burger joint started a conversation with Jimmy who was tweeting about his recent #GreatBeer discovery to do just that.


In addition to starting conversations on Twitter, you can set up merchant pages with Groupon to help new customers discover your business by setting up deals and gathering the positive word of mouth and tips being shared about your business in one place.


In our upcoming webinar with Groupon we’ll be discussing how you can leverage online tools like these to fill your marketing funnel. Our goal is to help you develop a strategy that works for your business, regardless of what industry you work in. So, if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to RSVP and join the discussion on our FREE webinar coming up on February 4th. We hope to see you there!

The Gap Between Online and Offline. What Gap?

| January 23, 2015 | | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

A customer who reaches out online is no different from a customer who approaches you in your shop. Listen, respond, and be conversational. Today, people can interact with your brand from wherever they may be — and they do! The example that follows is, dare we say, “fan-freakin-tastic” proof.

To preface, Yelper, Mike M. stopped by The Babalu and wrote a five-star review about his meal. Read on for a sweet shout out from Mike that is a testament to the power of cross promoting your pages and engaging with customers on the platforms they use most often.

And there you have it. Mike said himself that posts like this

had his mouth watering and led him to the glorious discovery that is The Babalu’s Godfather Burger. Need we say more? Nah. We’ll let the pictures do the talking!

Visual Brand Language: Finding Your Voice Online

| January 15, 2015 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment »

By: Sarah Boutwell

Social media is heavy on the visuals. Even the text you type out on your screen is a visual that can trigger emotions in a customer. It’s called Visual Brand Language.

Let’s say you own a dive bar, and everyone who works there is friendly and laid back. You might be a bit more casual when talking to potential customers online. If you’re a dentist, you wouldn’t be so casual when talking to a potential customer about the condition of their teeth. A more professional tone would benefit your business.

A key point to keep in mind: The language you use depends on who your audience is. Likewise, the content you put on your Facebook business page or Twitter account will express the personality of your business.

Here are a few examples:

IF I TYPED A MESSAGE TO YOU LIKE THIS, would you feel SHOCKED or IRRITATED?

If I told you. . . the way you use punctuation. . .can change the way someone absorbs your sentence online. . . Would. You. Get. Really. Excited!!!!!???!!!!!

and if u read sum txt like this how srsly wuld u take it? b hnst.

It’s easy to forget that the words on the screen can be just as visually engaging to your customer as the pictures you use. Especially when you use emojis.

How do you know if you’re using the right voice for your audience? If it suits how you believe your business makes your customers feel, then it’s probably the right tone.

To see this in action, let’s take a look at some examples of text only posts from three very different industries: dental, pet, and pizza restaurant.

These business owners have carefully considered everything down to the style of their business name and how it displays when they post.

So, ask yourself: How would I greet a regular who walks into my shop? When a new customer stops by for the first time, what kind of feeling do they get? What kind of music is playing in the background? All of these things should be reflected in the voice you use on your website, reviews, and social media pages.

The Car Doctor: Fueling Word of Mouth

| January 7, 2015 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

“The success we’ve had with Main Street Hub over the past 4-5 years has been amazing.”

–Gary & Chris Schaller
The Car Doctor, Mountain View, CA

Back in 2009, brothers Gary and Chris Schaller wanted to show the automotive industry something different. The company started with no customers, and one goal — to give car owners the value that they deserved; education, hands on understanding and preventive maintenance. Within a year of starting The Car Doctor, The Mountain View Voice awarded Gary and Chris Runner Up in the Best New Business Category. Realizing that their approach was resonating with customers, Gary and Chris knew that the logical next step was to explore ways to get the word out. That’s where Main Street Hub entered the picture.

The Car Doctor began its partnership with Main Street Hub in March 2010. Immediately our team began working with Gary and Chris to learn more about their business goals and values. The next step was to make the most of The Car Doctor’s good reputation by connecting with its happy customers to spread the word.

In addition to setting up their Facebook Business page and creating engaging messages for their customers to interact with, Main Street Hub worked with Gary and Chris to craft responses to every review left on their Yelp and Google+ Local page to continue building lasting relationships with loyal customers. In order to reach as broad of an audience as possible, Main Street Hub also optimized The Car Doctor’s Twitter page and posted engaging content regularly to promote interaction.

Nearly 5 years later, The Car Doctor’s Facebook Page has gone from having a network reach of zero people to nearly 40,000. They also have a perfect 5-star Rating on Yelp with over 150 reviews, each having received a thoughtful and personal response, thanking them for their feedback.

Most importantly, current and potential customers are now interacting with The Car Doctor several times a week, instead of only a couple of times a year. This engagement keeps The Car Doctor top of mind and has made a significant impact on the bottom line. In fact, Gary and Chris attribute a 20-30% increase in revenue to the work Main Street Hub is doing.

Creating an online presence also distinguishes The Car Doctor from its surrounding competitors who do not manage their social media. A tweet from a (now loyal) customer pretty much sums it up:

“Wow, I love it! An auto mechanic with the times…you’ve got my business.”

 
As a result of their explosive growth, The Car Doctor has been able to expand. Originally starting with just 1,200 square feet, Gary and Chris have recently moved into a facility over 5x that size. With this growth will come increased investment in various marketing vehicles. As The Car Doctor adds radio and television to their marketing mix, Main Street Hub will be there right along with them to help integrate online marketing and maximize the return on all of their other marketing spend.

Yelp Stars and Feedback Go Hand in Hand

| December 17, 2014 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

For a local business owner, there’s nothing like waking up to see this notification on your Yelp page:

Do a happy dance and ask yourself, “What am I doing right?” Apparently, a number of things. Way to go!

The next thing you’ll probably wonder is, “Are there things I could be doing to get more positive reviews?” There are! To name a few, cross promote your pages, actively request and listen to feedback, and respond genuinely to everyone who takes the time to leave a review for your business.

Even if you’re doing all of those things consistently, the truth is, there’s no formula to get those coveted 5-star reviews on your Yelp business page. In fact, when a happy customer decides to leave a glowing review, it’s probably a number of things prompting that person to do so. So, are you losing sleep wondering what would have made that 4-star review a 5? Sometimes, you just have to ask.

Original Yelp Review

Review Response

Updated Yelp Review

When a Yelper’s star rating doesn’t reflect their praises, it never hurts to ask for more details. It gives that person a chance to consider what prompted them to leave that rating and often, the results are pretty sweet. Want to learn more about how our team at Main Street Hub can do this for you?

Delivering the Full Guest Experience

| December 11, 2014 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

Social media and review sites have a huge impact on every industry, and travel is no exception. We ask friends on Facebook for suggestions on what to see in a new city, search Trip Advisor to determine the best place to stay, tweet updates and check in at landmarks along the way, and share photos to capture our adventures on various social media networks. The technology embracing traveler leaves a digital trail of all that they do, including their opinions of the places they go. So, aside from the obvious reasons, why is it important for a business owner to engage on the most popular social media and review sites? Here are five compelling statistics that help answer that question:

From research to booking to checkout, the experience a guest has with your hotel is complex, with multiple touch points and opportunities delight your guests. As a hotel owner, how can you appeal to both the millennial traveler looking for a unique experience as well as the baby boomer looking for a great deal? Once your guests are on property, how do you customize the guest experience to please your diverse guests?

We recently got together with marketing experts at Revinate, a SaaS company focused on hospitality and restaurants, to discuss industry trends and innovative yet simple solutions for driving revenue through guest engagement. In case you missed our webinar, here’s a recording for your listening pleasure: How to Deliver the Perfect Guest Experience.

Did you find this webinar to be useful or have additional questions? We’d love to hear your feedback and start a conversation in the comments below.

Quick Tips to Package Your Social Media for the Holidays

| December 3, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

Our post-Thanksgiving food comas may be in the rearview mirror, but the holiday shopping season has only just begun! Small businesses across the country felt love from the 88 million consumers who shopped small over the weekend. This year, more than two-thirds of Americans were aware of the occasion and according to the National Federation of Independent Business, a reported $14.3 billion was spent with independent retailers and restaurants on that day.

The weeks leading up to Christmas and through the New Year are prime time for retail, restaurant and travel industries. Does your business have a game plan to reach more customers this year? We’d love to hear what’s working for you. Haven’t thought much about it yet? Don’t fret. We’ve put together some simple yet effective tips to work into your holiday social media strategy.

1. Help people find you.

Double check that your business information on social pages is up to date and accurate for holiday shoppers. While you’re updating your pages, spend some time getting in the holiday spirit by updating your profile photos and/or cover photos with a festive look. Your Facebook cover photo can even highlight some of your best products and help give shoppers ideas:

2. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search to connect locally.

You can search key phrases that are relevant to your business and start light hearted conversations with holiday shoppers. Make it fun! Don’t just talk about your business. Ask fans about their favorite holiday songs, music, or treats and share yours, too. When it seems natural to do so, loop the conversation back to your business. Invite the person in or mention a product you offer.

3. Change things up.

An active page is an interesting page. Posting varied content a few times per week will make you stand out to potential customers. Did you decorate? Help your fans and followers get in the holiday spirit by showing them how your business is celebrating the season.

4. Think beyond the holidays.

Cross promote your social pages by doing something as simple as including a link to ‘Like’ your Facebook page in any emails or private review responses that you write. Remember, it’s okay to be as straightforward as creating a post on your Facebook page that directs customers to your Twitter or Instagram handle, like so:

5. Say thanks.

Another way to cross promote your pages and encourage your fans to leave reviews, is by taking a moment to share a simple thanks for a positive review that someone has left for your business. Not only will your customers appreciate the recognition, but you will also open a door that fosters positive conversation and directs traffic to your reviews pages. It could look something like this:

The backbone of a town. Another name for family. A place you feel welcome.

| November 26, 2014 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers

At the core of everything we do is reverence for local business. With Small Business Saturday just around the corner (Nov. 29th), it seems like the perfect time to stop and think about some of our favorite reasons to love and support local. In no particular order, here they are. When you shop small, you:

What does local mean to you? Do you have a favorite independent business? If so, do you follow them on social media? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below!

The secret sauce? Social media, with a splash of soul.

| November 13, 2014 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers 

“It goes out to the masses and it goes out daily. What else can you ask for?”

–Barbara Burrell
Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, Los Angeles, CA

For over two decades, Sky’s Gourmet Tacos has satisfied the palates of their customers throughout Southern California by preparing the finest quality Mexican food, with a splash of soul. According to founder, Barbara Burrell, social media has taken her business to the top by continuing to build her brand by making memories, telling stories and maintaining relationships with customers. For her, social media is the “creme de la creme” because it adds value and takes her product out where everyone can be introduced to it.

With a plate of nachos that looks this good, chances are Tayon’s stomach would have led him back to Sky’s eventually, but why not give him a delicious reminder to speed up the process?

And the goodness doesn’t stop there

Since coming on board with Main Street Hub in May of 2013, a dedicated team of writers have connected Sky’s with over 385,000 people on Facebook, giving them exposure that they couldn’t get anywhere else and bringing more than 1,000 new ‘Likes’ to their business page. On her sign up date, the vision Barbra had for her social media presence was to get more people to know and love Sky’s. With a customer reach that is 12x greater than the industry average, we think it’s safe to say that Sky’s is doing a great job of exceeding that goal.

Things change, the ingredients stay the same

This year Sky’s celebrates 22 years of business and a lot has changed over the past two decades, but one thing has stayed the same: the ingredients that make up their famous Shrimp Tacos. Our focus is making sure that Sky’s Tacos is staying connected to customers online, so they can focus on running a successful business.

That means we’re constantly engaging their customers through customer review websites, social media, mobile and email to help spread word of mouth and keep them coming back. With the help of Main Street Hub, Barbara can give all of her attention to delighting her customers with the soul food they crave. And if you’ve watched her video, then you know — those tacos look too good to resist!

The Roadmap to New Customers

| November 5, 2014 | | Leave a comment »

by Erin Myers 

Meet the all-new Foursquare
In 2009 four square became much more than a game you used to play in your driveway. With more than 55 million users, the free mobile app, Foursquare, has hosted over 5 billion check-ins at businesses around the world. Those check-ins power the Foursquare Explore search engine, which provides personalized recommendations of places nearby based on your likes and interests.

Four square then:

four square old school.jpg

Foursquare now:

The new Foursquare.jpg

A focus on search and discovery
Recently, Foursquare split its main app into two separate experiences: Swarm for social location sharing, and Foursquare for personalized location recommendations. The main difference? Swarm allows customers to check-in at a business and share their current location with friends on social media. Its main purpose is to help you meet up and keep up with friends. On the other hand, the all-new Foursquare app is completely focused on learning what you like and leading you to places you love. It’s all about the search and discovery experience and leaves the check-in function up to Swarm. If you’ve never tried it out, it looks a little something like this:

 

What does it mean for your business?
New customers. With a revamped focus on local search and discovery, Foursquare helps friends of regulars and people with related interests find your business. Since 80% of consumers say that they’re more likely to try new things based on suggestions their friends make on social media, you have every reason to make sure your business is getting discovered by the customers who will love it most.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 2.28.45 PM.png

Claiming your business listing
To get started, you can visit http://business.foursquare.com/ to claim your business listing. Once your listing is claimed you will gain access to free tools that allow you to share tips that highlight what customers should know about your business and set up rewards to give both first time customers and regulars even more of an incentive to stop by. If you work with Main Street Hub, we will claim your business listing, update your information, and cross promote any Foursquare specials you decide to offer on Facebook and Twitter!

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.11.53 AM.png

Ready to start connecting with customers who have tastes and interests that align with your business? Click below for a free assessment and let us start optimizing your online presence today!

For a Free Assessment
Call: 888.900.0920