BLOG

Google, and its expansive product offerings, can often intimidate small businesses; leaving them missing out on things that can truly help them improve their sales and reputation management.

 

It hurts my eyes every time I see it when I search for a prospective or new client’s business on Google.

“Own this business?”

It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard to me, for so many reasons.

Claiming, verifying and completing your Google MyBusiness profile is one of the most important tasks/mini-projects that you can do to help your business look better online. With Google currently owning nearly 90% of the online search traffic, it’s not that difficult to see why having your ducks in a row with Google MyBusiness is important, but let’s break down the top 4 reasons why I personally think that having a super-spiffy Google MyBusiness profile is important to the success of your business.

 

Reviews & reputation management

 

Unless you have gone completely off the grid, it’s likely that you have used online reviews to influence or at least help you make a decision. In fact, 91% of consumers aged 18-34 trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family. That’s a number that is too big to be ignored. If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google MyBusiness profile, you could be missing out on a treasure trove of positive feedback that you could be using to help your business succeed! Or, you could be neglecting people that have had negative experiences and it looks like you’re ignoring them. These negative reviews could keep you from acquiring new customers, just because one person had a less than stellar experience.

 

Who, what, when, where & how?

 

Google MyBusiness lets you complete and edit all of your business’ information in an easy-to-use and attractive interface. It’s changed and evolved over the years, but you can essentially turn your entire profile into a small website of sorts where you can include you opening hours, where you’re located, who works for you, how to contact your business, what services you offer and more. When you consider that so many potential customers and clients are finding you for the first time through your Google MyBusiness listing, it’s increasingly easy to see why having this information completed –and up to date!– is important.

 

Analyzing who has found you and from where

 

Love it or hate it, Google has somewhat forcefully carved its way into our every day lives, one way or another. If you have an Android device, you’ve likely been prompted to review places that you have been at — or places that you have even been close to. Anytime anyone accesses your business profile on Google, it uses your location information to show the business owner where you are and what actions you have taken; whether that be looking for directions, visiting your website or calling your business.

This information can be incredibly important to your business’ marketing efforts and can help you to emphasize areas of your business that are already interesting your customers. If you see that people from a certain zip code are finding you more than from another, a Google Adwords campaign could help you to further expand your operations in that geographical area, as well as familiarize others with who you are and what you are doing. The more people that know about you, the better your chances are at growing your customer base and increasing sales!

 

It’s all about being social

 

I would feel great remorse if I didn’t mention Google’s failed social network, Google+. What seemed like a great idea at the time, Google never really was able to establish the network in a way that it could compete with Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter. Although Google is a powerhouse, they still have had their fair share of failures and duds, but with Google MyBusiness they have taken the remnants of Google+ and made them incredibly functional and practical.

Posts made through your MyBusiness account are visible for a week and then they kind of “disappear”. This is good for a few reasons. First, it requires businesses to be more active and engaging with their customers, which is exactly what the modern customer wants. Second, your MyBusiness account allows you to see what your competitors are posting and talking about too. Is a competing tour provider running a promotion for a day-tour? Do you have something similar or even better than what they have? Throw it into a post, create a call-to-action and see how it performs.

Like all social media, it’s a process of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to play around and get creative. This is an extremely handy feature that allows you to create a dialog with your customers that allows you to build trust and a solid reputation with the public.

 

Do you have questions about Google MyBusiness and how it can benefit your business? Do you need help getting your business claimed, verified and looking pretty on Google? Give me a call or drop me an email today, and let’s talk!

As a whole, digital marketing is still very young and under-utilized in Finnish businesses. Chances are that if you are one of the people that is working in this field, then you’ve likely had co-workers and family members ask you,”what exactly is it that you do?”

Don’t take it personally – I was that ‘social media guy’ at the place I worked before I started Nutmegger PR in August 2014, and I’m pretty sure that most of my friends and family think that all I do is play around on Facebook all day. Suffice it to say, and believe me when I say, “I hear you and I feel your pain.”

Misconceptions and misunderstandings aside, business is changing and with that change comes the need for professionals that know how to adapt and grow in an ever-evolving business landscape. Change can yield both positive and negative results, but in most cases it comes down to the strategy and how that plan is implemented as to whether or not your efforts will succeed or fail.

Here’s the good news.

Something great is happening in Finland right now. Businesses that have been around for years – many of them even several decades – are starting to invest resources and educate themselves in digital marketing in an effort to reach new generations of consumers; primarily millennials and teens. Making the changes and taking the steps to do so is great, but the old adage of, “a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”, doesn’t always apply- especially in this instance. Just wanting to change and hiring a bunch of hot-shot, hipster-esqe  recent-grads isn’t going to do it, and just because your new-hires have 500+ followers on Instagram doesn’t mean they know how to professionally manage your business’ corporate social media presences. In fact, if you want to really use any saying to characterize the direction of digital marketing and business operations, “it takes a village,” would probably be the most accurate.

“It takes a village?” Yes, and it’s really easy to understand why when you think about it. Although usually attributed to the raising of children by a community, “it takes a village” can also be used to illustrate that true success in a digital marketing is dependent upon many factors and parts within a business working in unison to best achieve the goals and expectations that are being laid down as you enter this brave new endeavor that is digital marketing. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and successful digital teams and plans weren’t put together overnight.

Educating your staff, bringing in consultants, and working with freelancers can be a great way to introduce yourselves to this new sphere of operations. Luckily, there were some early-adopters -yours truly, included- that are determined to help businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries succeed in the evolving, Finnish economy.

Bottom line – if you’re going to wade into the digital marketing waters, make sure that you have a lifeguard there to teach you how to swim. A lifeguard like Nutmegger PR!

Did you know that October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month? During this month, women all over the world take proactive steps to help prevent breast cancer by attending their annual mammogram. For Wake Radiology – one of our wonderful clients – this is also one of their busiest times of the year.

Although we had been primarily helping Wake Radiology with their social media optimization over the past year; they asked us to flex our design and creative muscles for their Breast Cancer Awareness Month across all of their social media channels. To help them with this we decided to create three, Wake Radiology-branded infographics to help illustrate three important themes: providing breast cancer statistics, highlighting the importance of early detection and the often-overlooked topic of male breast cancer.

Here are all three of those infographics; in that exact order.

BCAM-infographic
EarlyDetection-purple800px

MaleBCAW-infographic800px

 

 

2015 has been a very busy year for Nutmegger PR. From developing social strategies and digital communications plans to translating texts for businesses entering the Finnish market and delving into more graphic design work; we’ve absolutely kept ourselves busy. The remainder of 2015 promises a busy schedule with plenty to do, but before we get into too much of that, we’d like to first talk about some work that we’ve been doing with a very exciting client: Amcham Finland.

Amcham Finland is a dynamic and fast-paced non-profit organization that is completely member-funded. They’re led by their inspiring CEO, Kristiina Helenius, who took the Amcham Finland reigns in 2007 and has expertly led this Northern European business hub and its staff of about 20 to new heights and continues to grow their member-network  while boasting a 90% retention rate. Some of their most recognizable members include Stora Enso, Kone, Fiskars, Wärtsilä, & Nokia – some serious heavy hitters not only within Finland, but on a global scale too. It’s not all about the ‘big boys’ with Amcham though. In fact, with members spread out across more than 20 different industries of business; Amcham is one of the most diversified and international organizations for business growth and development that has yet to even reach its full potential.

Recently, Amcham Finland struck a deal with Nutmegger PR to help develop and implement a communications strategy to focus on their US operations that began in Autumn 2014. This broad project has taken the first steps in promoting Amcham Finland’s American members, with the goal of growing their US member-base and to encourage more North American companies to test the Nordic business waters. That brings us to purpose of this post – to brag up our client (Who, BTW, is awesome. In case you hadn’t figured that out yet.), and to show off the first of what will probably be four infographics that we will be creating and releasing between now and the end of 2015. It may not look like much, but it’s brief, to the point and helps to provide a little bit of insight as to why Finland is an excellent ‘Business Destination’.

BizDes-Finland

3 Things People Want From Your Brand On Social Media

So you’ve built your strategy and laid out your expectations for your brand’s social media presence. You’ve read and studied about the intricacies of how to win in social media, but you’re still a little foggy as to how you’ll be able to really succeed in this new and challenging endeavor. You recite the same sentence over and over in your meetings; “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” You realize that in order to win, you first have to play. It’s a risky wager, but quite possibly a very rewarding one; especially if you know how to interact and communicate with your online community to effectively represent your brand.

Recent studies have taken a whole new look at customer feedback and what your community is most likely to desire from their interactions with you and your brand via social media. Social media and digital marketers consistently find themselves in situations where they have to defend the value and opportunities that social media provides. Thankfully, these reports have gathered and presented the information necessary to be able to provide those of us in the industry – or those looking to establish themselves within the social media sphere of operations – the hard facts and supporting numbers to help us succeed in this battle against the naysayers!

1) It’s called Social Media for a reason.

It always blows me away when brands and community managers wonder why they haven’t seen the results that they want from social media, but they don’t make the effort to really interact with their community on multiple channels. According to a study conducted by Hubspot, online consumers and social media users expect their favorite brands to be actively participating with their communities on at least three different social networks. So wait, you mean to tell me that people actually want to communicate with us on more than just Facebook and Twitter? Yes, and not only that, but they want you to be actively engaging them! Don’t sit back and wait for everyone to come to you. Reach out and put your arm around your audience’s shoulder and talk to them. Stop agoraphobic behaviors and start communicating with your community!

In addition to Facebook and Twitter (the top vote getters for social networks in this category), consumers listed Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ as the next five most-desired places for brands to have a social presence.

2)We’re here to listen and help, not just post memes.

Many new ventures in to social media lack the content plan that is necessary to succeed and meet company expectations. If you think sharing memes and posting photos of office antics will give you a mark in the win column, then you’d better reevaluate your plans and goals for social media. A large part of managing communities is listening to and working to resolve issues that are brought forth and voiced by you community members. Going back to the whole idea of being social in social media; people will expect your brand to provide added value by utilizing social media to manage customer service and relationships. An excellent study, recently released by Parature, provided solid insight and figures into how communities expect to interact with and receive customer service via social media. Here’s a few highlights from their findings:

  • 35% of consumers have sought out customer service help through social media.
  • 35% have used social media to complain about a brand or its customer service.
  • 52% have used social media to praise or compliment a brand or its customer service.
  • 59% said that the brand responded to their interaction and that by doing so, 51% of those said that the acknowledgement and interaction with the brand provided them either a somewhat more or much more favorable opinion of the company.

It’s easy to see the positive correlation in the figures above, but does the amount of time needed to respond impact a community’s view of a brand’s level of service? You bet it does. The same survey and study found the following to be true of users seeking out customer service help via social media:

  • 38% of customers expect a response within one hour of posting their feedback. That 38% is further broken down like so: 8% within five minutes, 16% in less than 30 minutes, and 14% in less than an hour.
  • 29% expect a response within 24 hours of their initial contact.
  • 8% expect their feedback to be addressed within 48 hours.
  • 24% don’t expect a response at all.

The most glaring figure, of those listed above, should be the last one listed. 24% of users do not expect their voice to be heard or acknowledged by the brand that they are trying to communicate with. Not only is that figure entirely too high, but it’s an easy one to improve upon. The power and importance of social customer service and social CRMs will only increase over time as the spread of digital services only continues to grow day by day.

3) Hey man, can you do be a favor? Umm, no.

We’ve all had someone like this in our lives. The friend that you’ve known for years and you get along with just fine, but they seem to always be asking for favors. It’s not that they’re difficult or make you feel as though you don’t want to be friends with them anymore, but it’s the constant asking without the possibility of returning the favor that bugs you. Whatever form it’s taken in your life, you know who we’re talking about, and as a word of caution and advice: don’t be that person with your brand on social media. Social media is a place where people go to interact with friends, talk about their lives with others and find entertainment in the forms of funny photos or amazing videos. The quickest way to get a bad reputation and lose members of your community is to go sales-heavy with your content. Constantly pitching products and services, bragging about your own achievements, and neglecting your community are sure-fire ways to fail at social media and alienate your consumers. People don’t use social media to buy products. That’s why search engines like Google and Bing have spent so much time and development on making it easier to find what you want when you want it.

The best way to establish and integrate a sales strategy through social media is to utilize the total social experience to engage your target customers. By providing value and useful knowledge to your community, you’re able to increase the position and power of your brand through a more natural and organic interaction. A 2014 Gallup study revealed that 35% of consumers stated that their interactions within social media had an influence on their purchasing decisions. This figure may not seem that impressive, but take into account the vast amount of personal opinion and feedback that is available to consumers via social media in the form of reviews and complaints, then it’s rather difficult to deny the far-reaching power a brand’s reputation can have over a consumer’s decision making process. Whether directly or indirectly, it’s safe to say that social media can make or break a sale for many companies and brands.

The most important things to take away from this, are that you manage your brand well on social media by being social and engaging, listening to and servicing your communities, and by being patient and strategic with your sales tactics. If you can do these well, then you’re on the right track to succeeding with social media.