Facebook Testing The Local Online Marketing Waters?

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising, Social Media | Posted on 30-01-2012

I opened up my email this morning and found a very interesting email from Facebook.  At first I thought it was a phishing email but it looked legit to me after taking a look at it.

So this is pretty interesting.  Facebook is willing to give me a $500 Facebook Ads credit on one of my accounts if I change the phone number on my Facebook Page to a call tracking number that they provide.

This test apparently has nothing to do with the Facebook Ads platform because they aren’t asking you to send any Facebook Ads traffic to your Facebook Page in order to qualify.  They just want to know how many phone calls are being derived off of Facebook Business Pages.  So what’s Facebook up to here?  Some Ideas I Have:

  • They just want market research and it’s worth it to give away a $500 coupon which essentially costs Facebook nothing in order to get a glimpse inside whether Facebook is making a businesses phone ring or not.
  • They want to test if what businesses are doing on their pages has any effect on making the phones ring.  For instance does a business who updates daily get more calls then one who updates monthly?  Does the amount of fans have an effect on the quantity of calls that a business receives?
  • They are considering a pay-per-call program where if you want phone calls from Facebook you have to pay for them…
  • They are considering charging a fee for Facebook Business Pages (or upgrades to pages) and want this data to justify it.

Facebook’s IPO is around the corner and they want a piece of the local online advertising pie.  Is this the ticket to the data they need?

Why do you think Facebook is offering this?

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9% Unemployment For a Reason

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Doing Business | Posted on 27-01-2012

I posted an ad for a job we are hiring for which said “To apply please send an email explaining why you would be good for the job + your resume”

Applicant: hi, I am intersting in applying for this ad how can I go about it

Me: Sorry, we are looking for people who can read directions. You wouldn’t be a good fit.

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Google Places Reviews Are Impossible To Get

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 25-01-2012

As we all know reviews go a long way online.  Social proof is a huge influencing factor in buying decisions made online.  If you’re a local business and Google Places is attached to your Google listing, you reputation on Google Places means everything.  The problem is that most local businesses don’t have many Google Places reviews and the ones they do have, tend to be bad because people put forth a lot more effort to complain then they do to praise.

We do reputation management for some of the clients we handle.  Getting our clients legitimate positive reviews from their customers is no easy task but we consider ourselves to be pretty good at it.  As part of our process we ask the client for their customer database and then send out an email requesting reviews.  We separate their list by people who have gmail accounts from people who don’t.  The gmail users are asked to leave a review on Google Places whereas the non gmail users are asked to leave a review on an industry specific website. The reason we do this is that you can’t leave a review on Google Places without a google account.  We assume that if someone has gmail then they are already logged into their Google account and hence it should be incredibly easy to leave a review.

What we find is that far more people will leave a review on another review site then they will on Google.  I’ve pondered why that would be and here are some reasons I can come up with:

  • People want to feel anonymous when they leave a review online and by leaving a review tied to their Gmail account they don’t feel anonymous.
  • They don’t think of Google as a place to leave reviews.
  • The interface is confusing.

I opt for reason #3 being the interface is confusing.  Let’s take a look at Googles review area vs an industry specific review site that we use a lot.

Google Places:

Industry Specific Review Site:

As you can see the Google Places interface for leaving a review leaves a lot to be desired.  It doesn’t break anything down.  It just asks for a star rating and a comment.  Then when you select a star rating it pops up with some annoying message that makes no sense to the user.  They aren’t joining a social network.  They just want to leave a freakin’ review.

When you look at the industry specific review site you see that they break down the review into categories like customer service, price etc etc.  In my experience this review site gets way more completions then Google Places does.

We’ve made it to the end of my ramblings but without a real solution.  How do you get customers to leave more Google Places reviews? (and don’t say give them something free)

Let’s hear your take in the comments.

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Affiliate Summit West 2012 Observations Day 3 #ASW12

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Doing Business, Meetin' Mad Peeps | Posted on 11-01-2012

  • The crowd for day 3 seemed light compared to other days.
  • SolarVPS was telling me about some pretty awesome things they are going to be releasing that are going to make them a major player in this space. You’ll hear it here first.
  • You want what I have but don’t want to do what I do ~Eric Thomas
  • If you stop here, you will definetly fail…perservere! ~Eric Thomas
  • Information changes situations. ~Eric Thomas
  • “My greatest accomplishment is being married to my wife for 21 years and never once cheating on her” ~Eric Thomas – It really has nothing to do with marketing but it’s a great outlook on life. You have to value the things that are truley important.
  • Have a mental picture of where you want to be and dedicate at least 5 minutes each day to picturing your dreams as reliality. ~Eric Thomas
  • A funny thing about Eric Thomas is that he kept saying crap like you can make it to anywhere you want in this company. I think he was a little confused as to what Affiliate Summit is.
  • Recognize the opportunity and be willing to do what others are not ~Shoemoney
  • I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 things that did not work ~Thomas Edison
  • I love when the gloves come off and you REALLY hear what people think of other people in this industry.
  • Everyone wants to know who the smelly chick is….but i’m not going to tell you. So….let’s consider this “Operation BO” and going forward please sniff around and find the culperate. This will encourage people to take showers and use this newfangled invention called deodorant.
  • Shoemoney’s closing keynote revolved around the message that there are a lot of opportunities out there and you need to act on them in order to be successful. The presentation was so simple and amusing that it was brilliant. I actually laughed out loud at his story telling.

That’s a wrap on Affiliate Summit. I want to send a huge thanks to Shawn Collins and Missy Ward for having me again. These two put on a show unlike any others. This is a community that they’ve built and they value the community more then just making a buck. Affiliate Summit is an experience and i’m glad I got to be a part of it.

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Affiliate Summit West 2012 Observations Day 2

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Big Pimpin', Doing Business, Meetin' Mad Peeps | Posted on 10-01-2012

  • Affiliate Ball always throws the best Affiliate Summit parties. It’s been a total game changer since Darren & his crew came on the scene.
  • If you are going to speak at 2 consecutive Affiliate Summit’s how about you don’t do almost the exact same session twice?
  • Be cool with everyone and don’t act like your better than anyone because if you make someone feel small, they won’t forget and will be talking about you.
  • Live “New” as a way of life because if you don’t do new you’ll die in the marketplace ~Jon Spoelstra
  • When running marketing for the New Jersey Nets Jon Spoelstra knew how bad the team was and knew that local companies wanted nothing to do with the Nets. He decided to call on companies in Japan to buy the in stadium sponsorships and they did! So much so that you might think the arena was located in Japan. It’s an example of overcoming obstacles and making things happen despite advercity.
  • When everyone in basketball was doing trifolds to sell season tickets Jon Spoelstra decided to try doing catalogs. He sent 70,000 catalogs and got back $10 for every $1 spent. He even sent it again to the same list minus people who already bought and got the same return. The next season he ended up doing this profitably 6 times pre-season
  • The typical minor leagues back outfield wall is their biggest source of sponsorship money and consists of $450,000 worth of ads on average. ~Jon Spoelstra
  • When you ask people in an organization what’s holding their department back from being better they usually say money. By asking how much you make them put a figure on it and often times its less then you think, ~Jon Spoelstra
  • Retargeting standards are 15-20 impressions per person per month and a click through rate of 0.3%-1%
  • People don’t get the hint when I gently tell them i’m uninterested so they force me to be ruder.
  • The MGM Sky Suites are absolutely sick.
  • I’ve met some of the most socially awkward people ever this Affiliate Summit. They are raising it to a new bar.
  • That chick hugged me again and she still smells. I though i’d be smart and hold my breath when I saw that the situation was inevitable but then she asked me something and I had to breathe and smell her stink.

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