Consumers today are posting potent messages everyday about companies on social media and other sites.  Reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, Twitter, etc. can help business’s boost revenue as well as improve their products or services.  But in order to capitalize on these posts both good and bad business operators need to pay attention to what is being said about them.

Monitoring on line posts is important today in order to gauge what others are saying about your business.  But simply monitoring is not enough.  Owners need to engage their customers with feedback.  You need to leverage on line reviews to help optimize your business.

Owners should respond to all reviews. Say thanks to those who offer positive reviews and respond to others who have something negative to say. Apologize, but at the same time don’t admit fault.  Set the record straight when something untrue is being said about the business. Doing this will not only impact those leaving the reviews, but it shows potential customers the business’ efforts to provide excellent customer service. Constructive feedback can be very useful for a local business owner.  Owners should take the time to read customers’ reviews and consider what they can do better to grow their business.

Utilize the free tools on Google + and other sites to make your profile look great.  Add images and great descriptions as well as special offers and promotions.                       

Paying attention to consumer posts can help a business to stand out and assist in increasing ranking in search results.  With this, increased business and better user experience is sure to follow.

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It is no secret that the mobile market is growing.  The shift away from desktop to mobile is steadily increasing.  Therefore it follows and makes sense that when it comes to social media sharing of content more and more are doing it via mobile devices.  There have been numerous studies that document this.  In fact, mobile users exchange content almost twice as often as those using desktops.  With this in mind and as the social advertising market grows, it would be wise for smart marketers to target mobile social media users as an important part of their promotional strategy.

According to ShareThis, when it comes to sharing on mobile, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest are dominant. Facebook accounts for 60 percent of sharing on mobile, and Pinterest is nearly three times more represented on mobile than on desktop. Facebook is the number one social channel on iPhones, but Pinterest is the number one social channel on iPads. Consumers share to Facebook 66.4 percent of the time on iPhones compared to other channels, while Pinterest is the dominating social channel on iPads with almost 50 percent of social activity.

It is important that businesses and marketers realize how to optimize their content for mobile devices. Make the share options prominent on your site. Include links, rich media and strong calls to action. Be direct: reminders like “Like This?” or “Please Retweet” should be used. Be sure to make your content share-worthy.  Pictures and links are great ways to do this. Keep it short – remember the character limits of sites.

Savvy marketers have already begun to take advantage of mobile’s reach.  Mobile advertising already makes up 41 percent of Facebook’s revenue. One shouldn’t forget about desktops, but it would be wise given the uptrend in mobile to take advantage of it.

Pinterest

As mobile and e-commerce on mobile continues to grow, the availability and importance of accepting mobile payments is increasing as well for all businesses. Whether it is accepting credit cards in the field, paying with smartphones or the transfer of cash – all businesses need to consider this option to keep up with the times. The market for mobile payments continues to grow and today there are a myriad of  options to consider.  Below are a look at some the options available.

PayPass from Mastercard lets your business accept fast payments through an

NFC-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Customers can tap their NFC-enabled credit card or smartphone over the terminal to make a payment. Having a PayPass terminal in place at your register will allow your business to accept many forms of contactless payments, not just those made with MasterCard. Google Wallet and ISIS Mobile Wallet both can be used with PayPass readers. MasterCard does not charge vendors additional usage or transaction fees for the PayPass system.

Square: From Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square is a good solution for those who only occasionally need mobile payment processing.  Square links directly with your bank account and accepts payments from all major credit card companies. Its transaction fee is 2.75%, but with no additional monthly fees, you could end up saving money with Square if you don’t use it regularly.

PayPal Here allows business owners much more flexibility. With this app and accompanying hardware, your customers can pay using their debit cards or even their mobile PayPal account. Card-free transactions are simple. Customers check in with your business on their mobile PayPal app and then transfer funds to your account to settle their bill. The cost per transaction is 2.7% of the final sale, and there are no additional setup costs or monthly fees. PayPal Here accepts all major credit cards and is a good choice for businesses that want to offer their customers different ways to pay.

Google Wallet allows businesses to accept payments both online and in-store. If your business already uses a payment-processing service online, Google Wallet can be integrated with the service for no extra cost. Or, you can use Google as your new payment processor, with transaction fees starting at 1.9%. This payment option is good  for businesses looking to cut back on in store wait time or those wanting to grow their online customer base.

Visa’s PayWave allows customers to make contactless payments at a business’ POS terminal. To start accepting contactless payments, businesses can either purchase a new, NFC-enabled POS terminal from Visa, or buy a peripheral NFC reader to add to their existing terminal. Business do not need to purchase multiple NFC readers from different credit card companies. Visa, MasterCard and American Express all issue NFC-enabled cards and devices that use the same radio-frequency technology.Visa also offers a digital wallet —V.me —that allows customers to store all of their credit card information online for safe and simple checkouts.

Other options include: LevelUp, ROAMpay, ISIS, mPowa, PayToo, globalVcard,  Go Payment and MCX.

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