Archive for May, 2009
The Web Marketing Association gives an award every year for the top Restaurant Web site. The entries are due next week, and we figured it might be a good time to review the winners:
Year Winner Site Name 2008 Design Lab Four 2007 Avatar New York LLC Mr. Broadway Kosher Restaurant 2006 E-Site Marketing Montage Studio 2005 Apollo Interactive, Inc. Johnny Rockets 2004 NetSuccess Mercy Wine Bar 2003 Brann Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
Who would you nominate for this year’s awards? What makes a good Restaurant Web site?
A business contact of ours called in a few days ago with a problem — she got a complaint that her shopping cart was flagged as one that had a poor reputation, and that a potential customer was skittish about making a purchase.
As a Web site development firm, to be honest — we don’t get a lot of questions about this — but we should. Your Web site’s online Reputation is very important. Your rating with any of several services could make or break a purchase. First, let’s delve into why there are companies that track your reputation.
Back in the old days of the Internet, people would send email to other people and make purchases on Web sites. Sometimes, things wouldn’t go well — businesses would send unsolicited email to people, and there were allegations of fraud, identity theft or other bad things. Enter companies that track reputations — once several people complain about a site, the reputation tracking company tells others not to go there. Sounds great? It is.
Sometimes, a malicious user or a misunderstanding can lead to a complaint that isn’t proper. For example, a user could be upset with your product and let one of these companies that your products are unreliable. Or someone else can send out spam using your Web server and you could be tagged as an offender.
Next, we need to list out the major online reputation companies:
Stop Badware – This site is the least restrictive of the sites we reviewed. It just tracks to see if sites do really bad things — and if they do — it puts them on a list. That list is used by Google, so it will be important to make sure your site is not on this list.
SiteAdvisor – This is a service from McAfee (the anti-virus company). They test to see if your site serves malicious code, sends out spam, or does any number of other bad things. They also check to see if you link to other sites that are bad. They use a red-yellow-green system for tracking sites.
Web Of Trust – This one is similar to Site Advisor, though not used by as many people. This was the site our contact had called about.
Each of these sites allow you to evaluate your own site, and they give tips for improving your rankings. Most of the stuff is common sense, don’t spam — don’t serve malicious code. If you get on one of these lists, work with the vendor to get off the list — that way you’ll avoid spooking your Web site visitors.
We often use HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to get real world examples to use as part of our blog postings. Our request for help with our previous Twitter posting generated more than 50 responses, which is a far cry from the 3-4 we normally get. Here are a few more real world experiences we received:
Penny C. Sansevieri, Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
I’ve had *great* success with Twitter – here are a few things that have come from tweeting:
- A half a dozen speaking gig requests
- A dozen new client requests (in one month)
- Blog interviews, media interviews, guest blogging requests
I was very focused in on what my followers needed and providing them information that was helpful, relevant, and newsworthy. I would like to our blog and other blogs, as well as drop tidbits of information on breaking news, etc. I don’t believe in using this as a sales tool first, but a way to connect to my “Twitter tribe” and keep them informed. The sales always happen when you build credibility and trust. I am happy to share some of my posts with you if you’d like. My following on Twitter is super active, very engaged, and very grateful for the information I provide.
Sharina Richardson, Online Marketing Coordinator for Regal Lager
My Twitter success story is related to online reputation management and monitoring by utilizing a reporting system – Tweet Later. With this application you are allowed to input keywords that you would like to monitor across Twitter. In this particular example I monitored one of our brand names, “Diaper Dékor.”
I received a report one day that showed an old tweet expressing anger for our redesign of our diaper pails. The consumer was under the impression that her old diaper pail refills did not fit the new redesign. I clarified this misconception, and informed her, that it did in fact fit the new diaper pail.
So by doing this, we were able to clarify a misconception she had, and for those following our Twitter account they were able to see this answer as well , which is a common question asked among our consumers for Diaper Dékor.
I use Twitter to send out an LSAT explanation every weekday. Please see my detailed explanation on my blog here. You can see myTwitter page here. The answers are multiple choice (A/B/C/D/E) and appear at the end of each tweet. Because of copyright, I can’t post the text of the actual questions or answer choices. These are my explanations for each question, which I’ve written in text-speak to fit the 140-character limit.
LSAT Tweet has helped me get new LSAT students as well as new LSAT Blog readers. Many of my twitter readers publicly thank @LSATtweet, which leads to even more followers.
We have one more article coming with some real world tips on how to make Twitter work for you.
We’ve been bombarded with questions about Twitter in the past few months. Due to its rising media attention and popularity, everyone feels they need a Twitter account for enhancing their business.
Yet for every Twitter success story, there are many people who have spent hours learning it and have nothing to show for it. We solicited input from active Twitter user and have some success stories to share. Here are the first few responses that were worth sharing. We’ll be adding a few more posts with success stories in the coming weeks, as well as some guidelines on what business owners can learn from all of this.
“Our Tweets are exclusively related to health and wellness related content (the focus of CareFlash) and encompass out-of-the-mainstream topics. Each Tweet is linked to our CandyStriper blog and follows a Guy Kawasaki quote… “Create world class content and Google will find you.” Each post links-up pertinent 3-D animations related to the topic of that particular post… making these very rich Tweets. As we get new followers, we thank them and reply with a link to a lighthearted video that has proven very effective at driving viral follower growth and loyalty. I’ve picked well over 7,000 loyal fans on Twitter (while driving my business model), most notably on just over 200 Tweets.”
Suzanne Collier - Mercy House:
“In 2009, Mercy House (www.mercyhouse.net), non profit 501(c)3 organization that offers Continuum of Care to provide homeless prevention, emergency services, transitional housing and permanent housing with supportive services to homeless men, women and children living in Orange County, Calif. and the City of Ontario, Calif., began a fundraising program that includes a monthly Twitter TweetUp, held the first Monday of every month at Proof Bar (@proofbar or www.proofbar.com) in Santa Ana, Calif.
Followers of Mercy House and Proof Bar on Twitter will “Tweet” information on the TweetUp starting about two weeks prior to each TweetUp, invites are also sent out via Facebook. Cara Good and her team at WunderMarx|PR (@remarx), a public relations firm based in Tustin, Calif. help to execute this program by creating the Facebook invites, and “tweeting” the news of the TweetUps to Twitter followers. The hashtag for the TweetUp is #mhtweetup.
Thus far, four TweetUps for Mercy House have been held at Proof Bar. The first one, which took place in February, drew 30 guests and raised $600 for Mercy House. Attendance has grown to 45-60 guests per TweetUp with $600 to $800 raised. The next “Tweet-up” is scheduled for Monday, June 1 from 5pm to 8pm.”
Patrick Allmond – Focus Consulting:
“BatteryFuel (http://batteryfuel.com) is an online store (no retail locations) that sells new batteries and chargers for a large variety of laptops, cameras, cell phones and other home/portable electronics. Working with Focus Consulting, BatteryFuel has been able to leverage social media tools to provide live customer support. BatteryFuel continuously monitors real-time conversations via Twitter about dissatisfaction with the market it deals in – especially competitor products. They offer information (gratis) on how people can get better use of the products. It is also not uncommon for customers to be happy enough with BatteryFuel’s advice to ask for assistance making a purchase from their site. As a result the portion of the BatteryFuel revenue that comes from Social Media interactions is growing each month.”