Category Archives: Social Media

Pick Your Social Media Platforms Wisely – Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship time management and social mediaMarketing today is much more involved than it has ever been. There are so many different social media platforms that are around that entrepreneurs can quickly become overwhelmed if they try to have an active presence on too many of them.

That is why smart entrepreneurs take stock of how much time they can devote to interacting with customers on social media. Entrepreneurs also get to know their customers very well and are able to determine what their most used social media platforms are and the entrepreneur takes care to focus their efforts on those platforms.

Marketing through social media doesn’t have to be hard if you go about it in a smart way.

Video edited by Bo Kim. Produced by Travis Lindsay


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Design Strategies for a more Profitable Business @ CSUF Startup Incubator

website-design-csuf-startup-incubatorLearn how to design your website so that you will increase customer engagement and quickly move them through the sales funnel at this event at the CSUF Startup Incubator. This event takes place tomorrow, Wednesday October 5 at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia. More details are below and to reserve your ticket now please go to the event page.


In a world where every industry is hyper-competitive, great design is the key to making your business stand out from the competition and have more meaningful interactions with customers. Great design helps your customers connect with product, and “Design Strategies for a more Profitable Business” will help you learn how to do exactly that.

After listening to this talk by User Interface (UI) designer and developer Adam Rasheed, you will learn the basic principles of design that will help you drastically improve your current branding, as well as advice for improving the usabilty and general experience of your product.

Talk will cover:

  • General Principles of Design
  • Figuring out your goals
  • Your Brand. How to create a great one that goes past your logo.
  • User Experience
  • User Interface
  • Online Marketing (tactics and strategy)
  • Designing with Empathy
  • Summary
  • Design Cheat Sheet

We hope to see you there!


More about Adam Rasheed: Adam is a UI designer and developer who creates conversion-based websites for small businesses and startups and helps them get more clients and customers.


#CSUFEntrepreneur #CSUFStartup

Sign up for the CSUF Startup Newsletter to keep up-to-date on all the events, news, and everything else we do: http://bit.ly/CSUFStartupSignup

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

What Startups Need to Know about Social @ CSUF Startup Incubator

Jessica Joy RevelesOn August 3 at the CSUF Startup Incubator, Jessica Joy Reveles knows social media and how harnessing its power can help drive your brand and sales. Most Americans see the news first, get recommendations on products, and communicate with each other through one of the many different social media platforms that are out there.

Has your business taken advantage of this communications revolution? How can your startup leverage this medium to jumpstart your path to success?

Jessica will reveal her strategies for social media success at this talk and help you learn the keys to successfully elevate your company’s social status above the fray!

More about Jessica:

Seasoned Editor and Writer with nearly 15 years of integrated marketing including social media, sales, advertising, management, instructional design and teaching experience across Health & Wellness, Fashion & Beauty and Lifestyle. Solution oriented and meticulous, I bring a solid foundation in digital communications and publishing with an emphasis on research and journalism, strategy, branding, blogging, analytics and more.


#CSUFEntrepreneur #CSUFStartup

Sign up for the CSUF Startup Newsletter to keep up-to-date on all the events, news, and everything else we do: http://bit.ly/CSUFStartupSignup

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

CSUF Campus Authors Recognized

150226 Socially Close - Book CoverAnd one of those authors was none other than Director John Bradley Jackson. Last year, Director Jackson published Socially Close: Social Media Marketing for Small Business, which is about how businesses should be using social media in their marketing campaigns.

Here’s a description of the book from Director Jackson’s website:

  • Frustrated with social media at your small business?
  • Confused by the stampede of new social networks and their ever-changing features?
  • Not getting the return on investment that you expected?

If that sounds familiar, then this is the book for you. For most small businesses, the promise of social media is to get found on the web, build brand awareness, create a dialog, nurture relationships, establish trust, and encourage people to buy your products and services. Making that promise a reality requires a vibrant social media strategy, an intimate knowledge of the brand, and a disciplined social media effort.

The title, “Socially Close”, describes the desired end-game of using social media. With so many choices on the web today, buyers are increasingly sophisticated and need more than a succinct description of your products and services. While it is true that the web provides some customers an auction like atmosphere with low price and quickest delivery, this type of customer relationship is short-lived since there is always a lower price or a quicker lead-time offered by a competitor.

It is my opinion that many customers prefer to establish a trust-based relationship with their providers. The customer who trusts your business is much more likely to do business with you again and to recommend you to others. This is the type of customer that you want to have a close relationship with and keep for the long term. This nurturing of relationships, whether they are new or sustained, is how social media can help the small business.

Unlike the large business which may have substantial resources for managing social media, the small firm may have few resources. Yet, the small firm may receive the best return on investment due to the scaling impact of social media. Thus, social media can greatly accelerate the relationship growth rate between customer and small firm which this book describes as being socially close.

For a full list of the authors honored at the event click HERE.

Yelp – The Ugly

141020 Yelp LogoIn previous posts (Yelp – The Good and Yelp – The Bad), my co-authors and I discussed the value and challenges of Yelp for business owners. However, due to Yelp’s immense popularity, it has effectively become the go-to source for all kinds of reviews. Businesses see significant declines in revenue if their Yelp ratings decrease. And with this dominance comes some serious problems.

Yelp has become a cesspool of fake comments – a far cry from their original marketing slogan of “real people, real reviews.” It has become common for people to post negative and false comments. For example, the Yelp page for a local middle eastern restaurant contained two posts by people who claimed that the cooks there were doing things that were extremely unsanitary. After digging a bit deeper, it was clear these reviews were fake, as both reviewers had fake photos and had only posted a single review using their Yelp accounts. Worse, the reviews had racist undertones. In another case, a number of Yelpers wrote negative reviews for a Florida restaurant after President Obama visited there. Continue reading

Yelp – The Bad

As discussed in our previous post titled Yelp – The Good, Yelp has proven itself to be a powerful marketing tool that can help businesses promote their products and services. While it would be great for any business to have a five-star average rating on Yelp, the reality is that getting negative reviews is unavoidable. No business can satisfy every customer every time.

Before getting into how to respond to negative Yelp reviews, it is worth considering briefly why people write reviews on Yelp and other sites in the first place. The conventional wisdom is that people write reviews primarily to share their experiences with others and provide useful information. However, Yelp is more than just a review site: it also has a large social-networking component. Users can add each other to “friend” lists, interact on chat boards, “compliment” each other, and rate each other’s reviews as being “useful”, “funny” or “cool”. Users may also be officially designated by Yelp as a Yelp Elite and receive a series of perks for a calendar year. Yelp offers these features for a reason: people often participate in sites like this to gain stature within a community, and these social components often motivate users to keep writing reviews.

On the other extreme, a growing number of Yelp reviews are written by consumers who have no intention of being part of a community or even writing more than one review, but rather wish to tell everyone about a (usually bad) experience. More often than not, these one-time rants are centered on a particular service and can be very personal.

The complicated nature of what motivates negative Yelp reviews is what makes responding to them a delicate balancing act. Here are some tips for how to address negative reviews:

1. Have the right attitude when responding.

Let the reviewer know that you appreciate the effort they put in to comment about their experience. Show that you take their comments seriously. Respond to what each person said, instead of offering generic comments in response.

While these ideas seem like common sense, consider the opposite of this approach: a hasty, impersonal, or incomplete response. Think about how such a response would make you feel if you were the person who wrote the review. Do you want your customers feeling that way – and telling others they feel that way?

2. Solicit more information.

If possible, ask questions to clarify their experience so you can better pinpoint what needs to be done to improve your product or service.

3. Focus on getting the reviewer to update the review, not retract the original one.

Given that a lot of reviewers on Yelp are trying to gain stature within the Yelp community, their instinct will be to write as much as they can and make their opinions heard. Trying to get someone to retract a negative review goes against this instinct and probably won’t get you very far. Instead, try to make that instinct work in your favor. Suggest they give your business another try and offer them a meaningful incentive to do so. If you have shown them that you have taken their concerns to heart and made a good faith effort to remedy them, they are much more likely to give your business another chance and update their original review.

For example, a pizza restaurant in the Bay Area sent an email to Yelp reviewers who had rated the restaurant unfavorably and offered them a $25 gift card to return. The offer was accompanied by the following note:

“I am reaching out to you to apologize for the subpar experience you had at Joe’s Pizza*. Since you wrote this review, we have made many positive changes and improvements in our operation. I want to invite you to return to Joe’s Pizza by offering you a $25 gift card. I am confident we will do much better this time. Please give us another chance to put a smile on your face.”

4. Know when to ignore a review.

Sometimes, a negative reviewer is just the type who will never be satisfied, so engaging them will likely lead to an escalation of their ranting rather than a fruitful conversation on how to improve your product or service. In extreme cases, this can result in negative and embarrassing publicity – as seen in the infamous Amy’s Baking Company incident last year – but even if it doesn’t get that far, a war of words takes away time and energy you could better spend elsewhere.

5. Know when NOT to ignore a review.

The option to ignore a negative comment or review is always yours, but be aware that not responding also sends a message to customers. Dave Kerpen, author of “Likeable Social Media”, proposes that sending this message too often can be dangerous – the equivalent of keeping a caller on hold and never responding. Kerpen proposes a middle ground between ignoring customers and getting pulled into a “comment war”: you can also respond very briefly in the public forum (e.g., Yelp), so that everyone sees you didn’t ignore the customer, but invite that customer to contact you to discuss his/her concerns in private.

* – name changed to protect identity

Written by Dr. Ravi Shanmugam  and Dr. Atul Teckchandani

Note: This is the second of a series of posts about the importance of Yelp and other review sites and how entrepreneurs can manage their presence on these sites in a manner that increases their firm’s reputation and sales. It was co-authored with Dr. Ravi Shanmugam, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Santa Clara University and Dr. Atul Teckchandani, Assistant Professor of Management at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, California State University, Fullerton.

Yelp Series:

Yelp – The Good

Yelp – The Bad

Yelp – The Ugly

Yelp – The Good

Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful force that business owners – especially small business owners – cannot afford to ignore. There is an increasing body of work suggesting that online mentions and discussions about a particular business can meaningfully affect the business’s revenues. For instance, studies have shown that chatter on Twitter about a movie can effectively predict its box-office revenue and that online activity can predict sales of books.

Arguably, the most important resource for consumers is the online review site Yelp. The popular site allows visitors to view and create reviews for almost any type of business. And Yelp allows anyone to create a listing for your business. Anyone who steps foot through your door, passes by you on the street, or reads your name in the paper can create a business listing. Given how easy it is for others to start posting reviews about a business and the significant economic consequences of these reviews, it is crucial for business owners to embrace Yelp.

Specifically, here are three reasons why Yelp matters:

1. It contains authentic reviews

While as many as one out of every four Yelp reviews are fake, the rest are authentic. In other words, the majority of Yelp reviews are from actual customers who are sharing their actual experience with your product or service. After reading through all the reviews you will be able to decipher what your customers like about your business and what are the areas of improvement. This information is extremely valuable and, best of all, is available to you at no cost or effort. While its most obvious use is to make adjustments that will improve customer satisfaction, it can also be used in other ways. For instance, it can help identify your outstanding employees so that they can be rewarded.

2. It strongly predicts intention to buy

According to data released in June of 2013 by Nielsen , 82% of users consult Yelp reviews when they are ready to make a purchase. This means that Yelp is the top searched site when it comes to product or service reviews. Greater than that, 93% of consumers always, frequently, or occasionally purchase from a local business after visiting it on Yelp and 89% make that purchase within a week.

3. Yelp users are, in many ways, the ideal customers

Yelp users are ideal candidates for many industries. 57% of Yelp users have a college degree and the mean household income for users is $68,000. This audience mix is an ideal target market in many regards. The consumer is educated and has disposable income to spend.

To harness the power of Yelp, entrepreneurs should frequently check their business’ reviews. These reviews are an opportunity to build customer engagement and show potential customers that your business strives to satisfy its customers. A good place to start is to reach out to customers that have written positive reviews about your business. A simple thank you note emailed to each customer is a wonderful way to show them that you value their business and the time they took to write a review about their experience.

(The next post in this series will discuss a more challenging issue: how to respond to negative reviews.)

Written by Katie Nino and Dr. Atul Teckchandani

Note: This is the first of a series of posts about the importance of Yelp and other review sites and how entrepreneurs can manage their presence on these sites in a manner that increases their firm’s reputation and sales. It was co-authored with Katie Nino, Social Media Adviser for the Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center and graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at CSUF (class of 2011) and Dr. Atul Teckchandani, Assistant Professor of Management at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, California State University, Fullerton.

[Image: Street Fight]

Yelp Series:

Yelp – The Good

Yelp – The Bad

Yelp – The Ugly