Simple Online Business Development

How to Turn Fans into Brand Ambassadors

brand ambassadors

Did You Know Brand Ambassadors are important to your business? 

The truth is, highly engaged customers buy 90% more often and 60% more per transaction and that 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends and family?

brand ambassadors

In a perfect world, everyone who buys your products would talk about them to everyone they meet and be your best brand ambassadors for your business.

The reality is, we don’t live in a perfect world. And while some of your customers might be raving fans, others might need a little bit of coaxing and nurturing to get to brand ambassador status.

The good news?

In just four easy steps, you can turn customers into enthusiastic brand ambassadors for your business today. 

  1. Model The Behavior You Want To See

For example, you can do things like creating branded hashtags and use them in your social media posts. Another option is to seek out some influencers and have them post images of themselves with your products using your branded hashtags. People who follow your brand on social media will see the posts and hashtags and you increase the likelihood of growing some brand ambassadors.

  1. Request The Behavior You Want

After modeling the behavior you want, the next step is to ask your followers to do the thing that you’ve modeled for them. For example, if you wanted customers to post pictures of themselves using your product, you could ask them to post them with a special, branded, hashtag.

  1. Incentivize Your Fans

Some people share photos of themselves simply because you asked. But, many more people will do it if you give them a reason to do it. Running a contest where you’ve away a product (or a year’s supply of a product) is a great way to create new brand ambassadors. If you choose to do a contest, make sure to post a clear set of rules for entry!

Brand Ambassadors

  1. Deliver Rewards

Contest Winners will get a reward, but you should also reward others who enter with some recognition and love. This is another great way to create brand ambassadors.  Liking their posts, commenting on them, or even sharing them with your followers can make your fans feel special and appreciated.

Brand ambassadors are more than just enthusiastic fans. When brand ambassadorship is at its best, customers identify heavily with the brands they love!

brand ambassadors

Not Sure Where To Start?

Try asking on social media! Your fans who are already engaged will be eager to tell you what they want – and you can use their advice as guidance to get things started. 

Sooner than you know, you’ll have an army of brand ambassadors happily helping you promote and grow your business. 

Leave us a comment if you have some other ideas you’d like to share with other. You can also contact us with any questions you may have. 

Regina Floyd

To Your Success, 

Digital Marketing Consultant
808 400-1460
FB @SimpleOBD
IG @SimpleOBD

Google knows that “Mum” knows best!

Google Mum

 Google Mum Knows Best!

Have you heard about Google Mum already?  I just found out about it and thought I’d share what I found when I did a quick search about it. 

The following is a snippet of a great article that explains exactly what Google Mum is about. Take a minute to read it when you can. Instead of rewriting the whole thing, I figured I’d just share a snippet and link you to the original 

What Is Google MUM? 

Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is a new technology used to answer complex questions that do not have a direct answer. Google MUM is an artificial intelligence tool designed to simplify the way people search online. This new Google algorithm update is designed to understand the comparisons implicit in search queries (the example Google gave in the keynote is how to prepare for a hike in two different mountains) and provide the most appropriate answers. 

What is Google MUM for? 

Google MUM helps solve a common challenge that search engine users face: “having to type a lot of queries and do a lot of searches to get the answers you need.” 

As Senior Vice – President Prabhakar Raghavan noted, Google’s mission is to “make information more accessible and useful to everyone,” and advances in artificial intelligence “push the boundaries of what Google products can do.” In the past two decades, our goal has been “not only to better understand information on the Internet but also to better understand the world, because when we understand information, we can make it more useful.  ” SOURCE

The one constant thing in marketing online, is that something is always changing.  If like me, you hadn’t heard about this yet,  I highly recommend you read the rest of the article quoted above. It’s pretty informative. 

Leave me a comment below if you already knew about Google Mum. 

Regina Floyd

Have questions? Reach out and contact me!  

Regina Floyd
Digital Marketing Consultant
808 400 1460 
Facebook: @SimpleOBD

Need some help with your marketing needs? Book at time to chat! 

5 Useful Hacks For Building An Email List

Building A Local Email List

Email List Building

99% of consumers check their email every day!…

80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention…

87% of marketers use email campaigns to nurture their audiences…

List-building gets a lot of attention – and that should not be any surprise. It probably sounds like a lot of work to build an email list!

 Building A Local Email List

It can be exhausting to think about adding another chore to your never-ending to-do list when you’re already wearing multiple hats every day in your business!

Guess what?

Good News: It doesn’t have to be difficult to build a list.

Building a Local Email List

Email List: Useful Hacks

The Following are some quick and easy hacks to try.

  1. If you have a storefront, train your cashiers to ask for email addresses during checkout. This is such an easy method it’s surprising when a business doesn’t use this simple method.  Let customers know they’ll get early access to sales or special coupon codes if they subscribe.
  2. Post about your list on social media and include a link to your opt-in form. This is a great tip if your social media following is outstepping your subscribers. It only takes a minute to do and your business can build an email list very quickly this way.
  3. If you have email addresses that you’ve collected from your loyalty program or other sources, you should add them to your main email list! Provided that you include an opt-out option at the bottom of the email, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  4. Partner with other local businesses and see if they are willing to plug you in to their email list to help you attract more customers – and vice versa of course!
  5. Put opt-in forms on every page of your website(s), including your home page. You may want to experiment with static opt-in forms on the margin of the page as well as pop-ups and light boxes to see what gets the biggest response.

Building a Local Email List

BONUS TIP: Email List

In an email series, I like to add an enticing ‘P.S.’ at the bottom to text my next email and build anticipation.

The bottom line is that email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing technique and I recommend it to all of my clients. These local email marketing tips here will help you build a robust list, create content your subscribers will love, and grow your business!

Regina Floyd

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have questions, contact me   Be sure to stop by Facebook and follow my page: @SimpleOBD

Regina L Floyd
Online Business Development LLC

Have You Seen Our Google My Business Free Video Course

4 Tips For Creating Content For Business

4 Tips Creating Local Content For Your Business

Creating content is critical for local business so it’s always a good time to focus on content creation for your business. That means more than simply putting your local keywords into general content. You’ll need to show casual visitors to your site that you are a part of your local community!

content creation for business

The following are some points to get you started…

Creating Content for Business About Local Events In Your Area

Every community, from small rural towns to huge cities, have local events that are a big deal to the community!

As a business owner, you should be aware of these events and find a way to write and create content about these events and tie them back into your business!

An easy way to do that if you’re planning to attend the local event or street fair is to sponsor a booth. Local charity events and holiday celebrations offer the opportunity for you to talk about your community and why you love it!

Talk about Local News

Did your local little league team make the playoffs? Did a high school student win a contest? Is there a new business coming to town? These are all great ideas for creating content for your business purposes. 

Any of these things could be turned into blog posts and they’re especially effective if you can find an organic way to relate the story to your business.

Develop Case Studies That Are Relevant To Local Prospects

Your business may serve a variety of neighborhoods or more than one city in your area. If that’s the case, it’s your opportunity to show that you care about all the cities in your service area.

One way to do that is to develop ‘case studies’ that demonstrate your knowledge of the area and any special circumstances that might be unique to where you are.

For example, a Kaua’i landscaper might talk about the risk of weather changes or how to get rid of certain pests.

content creation for business

Find out what your audience is interested in and then write about it

Of course, you don’t want to stray too far from your business, but there is nothing wrong with getting excited about the things your audience cares about. Creating content that appeals to your audience can be beneficial. 

For example, you might write about an upcoming holiday or the year’s first big storm, or something else that appeals to your audience.

A great way to get ideas for creating content for local business is to stay plugged in to your local community online. Many communities have Facebook groups you can join for example.

You might follow your local Chamber of Commerce on Facebook or subscribe to your local paper and stop into your local library to see what new flyers have been added to the bulletin board.

The key is to make creating content relevant to your business and to your target audience. You can still share general content too, but local content creation is a must if you want your business to grow!

content creation for business

Regina Floyd

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips about creating content for your business. If you have questions, feel free to reach out and contact us.
808 400 1460 

Customer Complaints | How To Handle For Your Local Business

Local Business reviews

How to Handle Customer Complaints About Your Local Business

Customer complaints are a reality of running any business. While receiving negative feedback can be unpleasant, it can be helpful for making improvements to your company practice and ability to hold onto customers. 

customer complaints

Is there a way you can lessen the sting of negative reviews by people who take time out of their day to complain about your product or services? 

Yes. Acknowledge them! 

When a customer feels heard, they will more than likely go away happy- even if not satisfied with what was done in response. The whole point is to respond. 

Best-case scenario, your customer may even have a more positive view of your business after a complaint is resolved simply because you acknowledged it. 

What Are Customer Complaints?

In business, there is always a chance that a customer will be disappointed with the product or service delivered. This alone can lead to customer complaints and negative reviews overall. 

Customer complaints demonstrate that there may be a possible mismatch between the product or service delivered and the customer’s initial expectations. Although you can’t manage expectations, you can acknowledge complaints.

When complaints are one-off occurrences or mistakes, they can be interpreted as negative feedback and the relationship between the business and customer can usually be salvaged. If there truly was a mistake or error, apologize, and if possible, make amends. If the errors (complaints) are consistent trends in your business, you must  address them at a more fundamental level.

This conflict in expectations and results can be due to a variety of reasons: 

  • Unreasonable expectations that are hard to meet.

    Occasionally customers have a long list of demands that are difficult for any business to meet. They may have unreasonable expectations regarding pricing, the level of service, or they may have misunderstood the product’s purpose. 
  • Situations that are outside your control. Sometimes things go wrong and they have nothing to do with your business or its offering. 
  • Misleading marketing around the businesss offering. Sometimes businesses misrepresent their products or services through their marketing and social media campaigns, and customers may feel that they’ve invested in an offer that didn’t meet their expectation
  • Administrative failures. Sometimes businesses may have a great product or service but fall down when it comes to the fulfillment. This can happen when businesses that don’t fully train employees.

Where Are Customers Most Likely to Complain About Your Business? 

Depending on your business model and location, customers may have multiple ways to file a complaint.  Customer reviews and feedback can appear publicly and/or privately. 

If you are providing channels for private negative feedback you’re more likely to be able to handle these issues outside of the public eye. 

Here are some of the top ways customers usually choose to complain: 

  • Frontline staff. If you own a store-front business, your customers may be more likely to complain in-person to a staff member who happens to be on duty.
  • Surveys. If you send out regular customer satisfaction surveys, they may use it as an opportunity to share complaints about your business or offers.
  • Online reviews. Sometimes dissatisfied customers will use 3rd party review sites like Google, Bing, etc.  for complaining about your business. If you do receive online negative reviews, remember it is really important to acknowledge the feedback, be empathetic, and if possible, remedy the situation.
  • By phone or email. Businesses that provide a more personalized service to a smaller group of customers, may receive more complaints directly to their phone lines or through email. Again, it’s important to acknowledge them.
  • Social Media. It’s increasingly common for customers to leave comments and reviews on social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, etc. It is critical to have a policy in place because social media is so public.

What Do Customers Typically Complain About? 

Regardless of what industry they represent, businesses will be met with some form of customer complaint at one point or another. It is just a part of doing business. Whether it is as a result of an error you made or due to something they felt was impossible for your customers to overcome, there are certain scenarios that tend provoke customer complaints the most.

Having an awareness of what your customers typically complain about will not only help you improve your business’s offering but also help you and your staff prepare for handling common complaints.

If you want to save time and make your customers happy, perhaps before they file a negative review, then don’t hesitate to collect feedback from them in advance. It takes just a little bit of work every day for both the customer and business owner alike in order to avoid confusion or conflict.

Here are some of the most common areas that customers typically complain about and plausible solutions to those complaints.

Slow Customer Service 

Whether you run a restaurant or plumbing business, customers appreciate efficient customer service. Customers like to feel that their time is respected and they don’t want to waste any of it on waiting in line while talking on the phone with your company’s team.

Long wait times mean that your business does not prioritize customer experience and may be unable to deal with customers efficiently.

Heres what to do: 

  • Training! Helping your staff understand how to communicate with customers when wait times exceed expectations can decrease complaints.
  • Improve the way your business operates! Things like adjusting processes, adding staff, being aware of inventory or signage are also good ways to pre-emptively address potential bottlenecks

Out of Stock Inventory or Unavailable Services

In the world of business marketing, an out-of-stock product or fully booked service is better than a sold one. Your business must be doing something right if customers are willing to wait for you without being able to purchase what they want from your store. 

However, outdated inventory and no available services can make potential clients lose interest in your company quickly so it’s important that these items stay on hand at all times.

Customers may keep calling and emailing your business for updates about these unavailable services and products. 

Ultimately they may leave you negative feedback either online or in-person. 

Heres what to do: 

  • Train your staff to communicate empathetically with customers for the inconvenience is a good start…
  • Setting realistic expectations by communicating when you next expect to have these products or services available is ideal.

Low-Quality or Defective Products or Service

All too often, people are left disappointed after buying a product that breaks shortly afterward. When this happens and customers will complain about it.

When customers lodge a legitimate complaint and they don’t receive any kind of suitable solution, they may feel doubly frustrated and lodge a second complaint. 

customer complaints

Here’s what to do: 

  • Apologize for the slow response and explain that the team recognizes the problem searching for a suitable solution. 
  • Clearly communicate the expected timeline for follow-up communication and the final resolution…and follow it!

No Follow-up

Even if you have the best intentions of resolving a customer’s issue, they may feel anxious about your progress and want to know how it is going.

If customers are in need of help with time-sensitive requests or complaints, then they’ll be looking for updates on what information you’re able to find.

It’s important to be upfront about expected response times and stick to them. This way, you can give all customers the best service possible without disappointing some people just because their expectations are too high.

Here are a few follow-up best practices:

  • It’s ok not to have the solution right away. Its a good idea to communicate with the customer that you are actively trying to solve the issue. 
  • Set customer expectations with realistic timelines for resolution. If you know it will take a few days to resolve the problem, don’t promise a solution for the next day. 
  • Think about the channel through which the customer made the complaint and the acceptable response time. 24 hours is acceptable for a negative online review or an email, but a few hours or less is generally expected for in-person or phone complaint
  • If a complaint is time-sensitive, reassure customers by providing a few regular updates.

How Should Local Businesses Handle Complaints?

Your business will be able to turn complaining customers into loyal advocates if you are aware of the issue and resolve it, as well as effectively communicate throughout. This is a great way for both sides to win!

  1. Make it Easy for Customers to Complain

Customers will not feel inclined to go through the hassle of complaining when they know that their feedback is only going to be met with a formality.

To help create a solid customer experience, customers need to feel that the business cares about their thoughts. When customers complain, it should be easy for them to share their honest opinions and thoughts with a business. 

You could encourage customers to share their thoughts by:

  • Putting a form on your website to encourage feedback and complaints.
  • Posting a feedback link in your newsletter, social media platforms, and in-store.
  • Actively ask your customers for their opinions.

Proactively asking your customers for honest feedback is a great way of preventing complaints from escalating. Sending out customer satisfaction surveys at regular intervals helps you gauge how they feel about your business and if there are any problems that need to be addressed before it’s too late!

It can be used as an opportunity for uncovering valuable insights such as what may not be working for your business. 

When customers complain, ask valid questions to dig deeper into what caused the issue in the first place. 

When a customer registers a complaint, consider asking the following questions:

  • Could you elaborate on that point more? 
  • Could you clarify what you mean by that?
  • Help me understand how we can meet your expectations?

Here’s the thing, although customer complaints are never comfortable, it’s also a good time for some self-reflection. 

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need any further details? 
  • Why is this complaint significant for my business? 
  • What happened to cause the customer to complain?
  • How can we prevent this from recurring?

Asking the right questions will help you uncover the root of a problem so that it can be resolved. Depending on how your business is structured, you may choose to assign one team member as customer complaint specialist who handles complaints and uncovers insights about what needs improvement in order for customers to have an even better experience with your company.

  1. Respond Proactively and Efficiently

Acceptable response times depend on the nature of the complaint.

Here are some complaint response time best practices: 

  • Respond promptly.Negative feedback requires a swift reply and resolution to show care and action from your business.
  • If the feedback is public, respond publicly. It’s an opportunity to show future customers you’re responsive, capable and willing to right a wrong.
  • Read through the complaint thoroughly. Use the customer’s own words to personalize your reply. This goes a long way to display empathy!
  • Offer a solution.  Showing empathy for the situation and being respectful is vital to successful response management, but a solution is at the core of what the customer wants. Providing a solution that’s appropriate to the complaint, whether that be compensation, a refund, or replacement. 
  • Put the right person in charge. Make sure that the person replying to negative reviews has the authority to offer solutions.

Taking time to regularly monitor your customer complaints is important to ensure you don’t miss one. 

  1. Follow up to Verify You’ve Solved Their Problem with a Suitable Solution

When you’ve found the cause of a customer complaint, identified an appropriate solution and proposed it to them, don’t forget about follow-ups. It can be hard for customers to let go so make sure they feel heard by following up on your proposal in order see if their problem has been addressed or not.

Customers appreciate businesses that care about their experience and their overall satisfaction. 

You can then follow up with customers by: 

  • Asking them if there’s anything else you can do to help them.
  • Simply asking if the solution worked out for them. 
  1. Record the Complaint and Analyze Patterns

When you receive a complaint, it’s important to record the type of complaint and who it came from. 

The complaint could come from: 

  • A regular customer 
  • A one-off customer
  • A high-value customer 

If you receive multiple complaints about the same issue from a similar type of customer point, you can identify trends in your operations!

It’s important to identify high-volume complaints as these can point to dominant issues throughout your business. 

Identifying repeat complaints and take steps to address the root cause, it’ll becomes easier to prevent future complaints! 

Here’s How You Can Support Your Employees to Properly Handle Customer Complaints? 

Business managers should provide employees with the proper training to help them resolve customer complaints in a timely manner.

Clear guidance and policies will help ensure that each customer complaint gets a standardized level of attention from staff members, while those complaints are recorded properly.

Create a Clearly Written Complaint Handling Document

Writing a guide to handling customer complaints professionally and effectively is a good idea. This document should be comprehensive so employees know how to deal with different situations as they come up, both on the job training-wise and in a pinch when no one else is around for guidance.

As we mentioned earlier, if you’re consistently collecting feedback, you should be familiar with common customer complaints and have a specific way for your employees to be able to handle them. That way, employees will understand what’s expected of them as the complaints arise. 

Try to provide guidance on how they should react, how to escalate the complaint, and provide possible solutions.  

To avoid complaints, make sure your complaint handling document is easily accessible to all staff members. After reading the document you should feel confident in making judgment calls and tackling different situations on your own.

Give Your Staff Resources to Resolve Complaints

If you want to make your employees feel confident in handling complaints, consider providing interactive training sessions. You could incorporate role-play situations where we show them the potential set of customer problems that can occur and force trainees to come up with solutions on their own.

Re-evaluate How Your Business Handles Complaints Routinely

Handling customer complaints is one of the more difficult aspects of working in a customer-facing role. It’s important for employees to feel well-equipped when handling these types of cases, so it’s necessary that managers check on their staff quarterly and provide high quality training sessions if needed.

customer complaints

Final Thoughts On Customer Complaints

Complaints are inevitable when running any business but they can also provide useful information about where improvements need made which will ultimately benefit customers as well!

Customer Support is a big part of your businesses’ marketing! It tells a story of how your business values your customers sentiment. Take it seriously!

It is important to make the effort to work on the issues that customers complain about, and proactively improve how your business deals with negative feedback. You might want try implementing a few of our suggestions for handling complaints and see if you can retain more loyal customers.

Regina Floyd

Regina L Floyd
(808) 400-1460

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Apple Maps: How To Add It To Your Local Business

apple maps

How To Add Your Local Business To Apple Maps

Apple Maps (AM) is the third most popular map service on the market today and if you have a business, you WANT to be on it. With 23 million monthly unique visitors, they are right behind Google’s 154 million and Nokia HERE’s 27.7 million

So you may be wondering: Is it worth the time for a local business? 

As you’ll soon discover, you bet it’s a worthwhile investment and a key part of your local search and review management strategy. 

Apple Maps

In this remainder of this article, I will be covering the following:

  • What is Apple Maps?
  • Apple Maps vs. Google Maps
  • Siri with Apple Maps
  • Apple Maps and CarPlay
  • Who uses Apple Maps
  • How does Apple Maps handle Ratings and Reviews
  • How to get your business listed in Apple Maps
  • The future for Apple Maps
  • Why Apple Maps should be a Priority for your business

To begin with, this map service is a web mapping service exclusive to iOS, iPadOS, WatchOs and macOS. As the name suggests it’s built by Apple Inc., but before launch in 2012 they announced that their app would include turn-by-turn navigation, 3D maps with Flyovers from your phone or tablet (or computer), as well as Siri – all of which are designed exclusively for you!

In Case you didn’t already know, Maps in  Apple offers a variety of features that most people find extremely useful. Features like:

  • Turn-by-turn navigation with spoken instructions for vehicles, pedestrians, and public transportation.
  • Apple customers can use the app while driving via CarPlay, and via Siri, Apple’s voice assistant app.
  • It can also be used to see real-time traffic information. Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, is integrated into navigation.
  • Maps display points of interest provided by approximately twenty companies, including, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.
  • Users can drop pins on the map to save places for later retrieval.
  • The satellite view features Flyovers, three-dimensional satellite views in designated locations.
  • The Nearby feature displays points of interest for each category. Points are shown with their names, distances, and reviews on Yelp.

This particular system also integrates with many third-party providers, such as Yelp and Booking which means you can use it to find a restaurant or hotel without having to switch back and forth from one service’s app to another. How cool is that?!

Apple Maps (AM) vs. Google Maps

So what’s the difference between these two maps? AM is an exclusive application to Apple devices, while Google Maps is available for both Android and iOS. There are some important differences that you should be aware of before installing either app on your device:

  • Apple shares data contextually taking a subtle approach. Google gives the user everything.
  • Apple has flyover mode, a 3D landscape of buildings and structures. Google has Street View.
  • Apple integrates Siri tightly with Apple Maps, and other apps in your phone (e.g., location data for your photos) tell Siri where you’d like to go, and navigation is seamless.
  • Google Voice Assistant works in a similar fashion but isn’t as tightly integrated with the rest of the software and hardware in your device.
  • Both Apple and Google integrate Maps with mobile devices, vehicles, watches, and smart speakers.
  • Apple Maps doesn’t hold onto your data!  Apple goes out of their way to protect your privacy. According to Apple, “When you use Apple Maps, your route from A to B is scrambled into sections on Apple servers because nobody else should know your entire route.“

If you want a navigation experience that’s seamless, one where the app is natively integrated with all of apple products, then it may be the best fit for you.

On the other hand, Google Maps is the best mapping tool on the market, providing you with detailed data and giving you access to a wide variety of information.

Both of these platforms are the best of both worlds and in my opinion, it’s a really good idea to add your business to both Google and Apple Maps. 

Siri with Apple Maps

Using Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, you can perform several different types of searches starting off with the activation  of the app by saying “Hey Siri.”

For example, you might say things like: 

  • Hey Siri, take me home.
  • Hey Siri, where is the nearest Pizza shop?
  • Hey Siri, what’s the traffic like in Philadelphia?
  • Hey Siri, what time is the Phillies game tonight?
  • Hey Siri, show me Independence Hall in Philadelphia?

Siri is remarkably intuitive, handling searches with several variables.

AM With CarPlay

With CarPlay, iPhone users can now start their car with a simple touch of the screen. And even better than that, you’ll never have to look down at your phone again – just take advantage of Siri’s voice control! And yes, It’s all hands-free of course. 

CarPlay with Siri voice control gives you the hands-free experience and navigation of AM without ever taking your eyes off the road. You can use both car controls as well or report issues using Apple Maps.

Who uses this maps system? Is this for you?

If you’re an Apple user then your maps are on apple’s map service. It was the default mapping app for all of their devices until Google Maps replaced it in 2012.

After all this said, this is why Apple Maps is important.

Apple says 1.65 billion Apple devices are in active use overall and 900 million to 1 billion+ users in 2019 with a total of 4.66 billion internet users worldwide as of 2021

and, Here’s why that should matter to you.

Apple Maps is more popular than Google Map on iPhones and Apple devices, as evidenced by its 3x greater usage. Yea, read that again!

But wait, There’s more.

Did you know that DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps to display maps and navigation data in their search results?  I just learned this too!

Although DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect user information, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number of users. However, earlier this year they hit an important milestone: 100 million searches per day! 

More people are using DuckDuckGo and although this may not seem like much, it’s significant because Duck Duck Go’s new users come from Google and Bing. It’s indirect competition!

This should be another huge reason to consider getting your business on Apple Maps!


How does AM handle ratings and reviews?

Initially, Apple Maps relied on third-party providers like TripAdvisor and Yelp but has since decided to start rating businesses in their Maps app. For now, these ratings are being provided by third-party sources but it is only a matter of time before Apple decides to offer them themselves.

Apple’s rating system for products, services and businesses went live in 2019 with the MacOS 14 beta 6 update. This thumbs up/down ratings system allows users to rate their favorite things – it is a work in progress! 

Apple’s new rating system will allow users to leave reviews about local, regional and national businesses so now is a good time to get in with your business info.

The company has not shared the specific timeframe for adding content to their ratings and reviews yet. They have, however, mentioned that they hope “to add more services and features in future.”

Apple Maps

Now that you know all of this helpful information, Here’s how to get your business listed 

You can add your Apple Maps listing via Apple Maps Connect. A free Apple ID is required. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Head over to
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID (you’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one)
  3. Search for your business using the search fields above. If you don’t see your business, you can also add it
  4. Once you’ve found your business, you’ll be prompted to verify your account
  5. Once verified, you’ll be able to edit the content on your page

At this point in time, you can add the following information to your listing:

  • Business Name and Phone Number
  • Business Address
  • Hours of Operation 
  • Place Status (Open / Closed)
  • Links to your apps, website, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter Profiles
  • Apple Pay Accepted (or Not)
  • Categories

Apple makes this a simple and straightforward process. Just follow the prompts, provide the necessary info, and your business should be ready to go!

You might be wondering what’s the future AM

Apple Maps is an essential part of the Apple product ecosystem, and it’s a service that offers marketers something different than Google does. Where other platforms want to lure in advertisers with slick marketing campaigns or free services like Waze, Apple prefers focusing on developing groundbreaking new products instead. As their line-up matures, they have moved into creating subscription plans for many features within its map app – such as traffic updates and satellite images.

Apple seems to be taking on Yelp and TripAdvisor with its own ratings service. The features of the reviews will most likely look very different than what we’ve been accustomed too in order for Apple to make a name for itself as an innovator.

This means the time to prepare is now and get in on the ground floor of this today!

Apple Maps should be a priority for your business

If you’ve got a business in this century and you want it to grow and expand, One of the biggest mistakes you could do is putting all your eggs in one basket. Not only does this risk your business, but it can also be an inconvenience for customers who want to leave a review with another site and need you to sign up first before they do so. 

This means that while Google receives the lion’s share of reviews, enough negative or mediocre ones could cost them potential new clients down the line if people associate these past stories as current occurrences instead of just bad luck or timing-related incidents.

In order to put a new innovative spin on your digital marketing strategy, take the time for review management. If you notice iOS users in analytics surveys and follow-ups, make sure that Apple Maps is part of your plan moving forward. Particularly because Apple makes it super easy!

We hope you’ve found this information helpful to your business. If you have questions, or need some help, just Contact Us

Regina Floyd

Regina L Floyd
Simple Online Business Development LLC
808 400 1460

Check Out Our Free Google My Business Video Course

6 Local Lead Generation Tips for Local Small Business Owners

6 Tips for Local Lead Generation

6 Local Lead Generation Tips For Small Businesses

When it comes to owning a small businesses, lead generation can be the difference between success and failure. As a business owners, you need repeat customers to stay afloat but you also have to look for new leads online if you want your business to scale.

In today’s age of technology, it seems that everyone has a computer in their pocket in the way of a smartphone. 97% of people learn about local companies through the internet, on their phones,  so if you’re not online to meet your customers’ needs and wants, they’ll go elsewhere for what they need!

The local lead generation strategies mentioned here provide a way for you to capture business from these searchers. It doesn’t require much cash up-front to generate leads and local customers who want your services when you know how to go about it. 

If your marketing budget is slim to none, this is the most efficient strategy with lack of resources and your business can’t afford expensive advertisements, but your business still needs more people walking in through the door!

If your audience is localized in a small area, your competition can be high. The good news is,  you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on ads or marketing strategies when there are other ways (shared here) for your business to get the attention it needs without spending money you just don’t have. Lead Generation doesn’t have to be expensive.

lead generation for business

The following are 6 Lead Generation Tips for Local Businesses:

  1. Build an Email List Through Localized Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are a creative ways to obtain and collect contact information of prospective leads. But since you’re a local business, there’s no point in sharing a generic lead magnet that will attract people across the globe. 

Instead, create one specific for your target audience and localized so it only attracts prospects who live around this area!

  1. Use Targeted Social Media Ads

Ads are an excellent way to get your business in front of the right people. These targeted search results will allow you reach potential customers no matter where they go online, making sure that more eyes on what you have to offer and improving revenue as a result!

If you find Google ads expensive, start with a small budget, and gradually increase it once you understand what works and what doesn’t for your business. 

Facebook ads are the next best local lead generation platform for small businesses with its 2.5 billion users and unmatchable targeting capabilities. 

When you run a Facebook leads ad, it shows in the newsfeed with a form for adding contact info right there in the newsfeed. This convenience gets you 20% more leads compared to Facebook ads leading to landing pages. 

  1. Create and maintain a Blog

A blog is a great way to communicate with your customers about your products, services, vision, and the commitment to serve. It allows you to attract your audience and involve them with your brand continuously by providing value about what you know how to do.

Your blog provides a way for your company to connect with customers in an honest and meaningful fashion. Consider running a Blog on subjects that will interest your audience, while highlighting the benefits of working with you.

Blogs also allow you to create content as you target relevant keywords and helps your website appear in the search engines for more related keywords and it improves the overall visibility of your business. 

Using your geographical location in blog titles and URLs also will be beneficial for your business as it contributes to improving local SEO (search engine optimization).

  1. Build Localized Landing Pages

When you direct your leads to a landing page, it becomes the determining factor for effective conversion. When people are looking for products or services in a specific location, they are much more likely to engage with a localized promotion than one that is not targeted at their needs and wants.

Localized landing pages also improve your local search rankings when someone searches with location modifiers such as “chiropractor near me,” or “plumber in Hershey PA” etc.

You’ll see more conversions with local Google or geo-targeted ads when they lead to the closest branch, rather than a generic landing page.

  1. Optimize Local Listings

With more than 96% of Americans owning a smartphone, you need to make sure your business is listed on local directory sites. 

You can expect competitors in the area to be doing this too so if they’re not already prepared for that competition then it’s time they start!

Mobile technology has taken over America and with mobile usage steadily increasing people are using their smartphones as an everyday tool.

In fact, 93% of adults use their phone daily or almost every day according to Pew Research Center data from 2016-2017. 

Because nearly everyone owns a smartphone these days businesses should take advantage by listing themselves on at least one major online directory site like Google My Business (formerly known as Google Places).

The following are some Top local listings:

  • Yahoo Local
  • Yelp
  • Bing Local
  • TripAdvisor
  • Foursquare
  • Angie’s List 
  • YP
  • Better Business Bureau
  • GlassDoor
  • Biz Journals
  • CitySearch
  • Manta
  • White-pages and more!

Optimizing your Google My Business page not only improves your visibility but also gives your SEO a boost. It ensures that your business shows up when someone looks up the internet for related products and services. (see link for a free Google My Business Course I offer)

  1. Keep in touch with your leads!

This should go without saying, but after giving you their information, one might agree the next step is to keep in touch with the people asking for more information. 

It’s not enough to generate a lead by asking for their email address. Keep in touch with your leads and remember that they may be busy, distracted or forgetful when it comes to following up on your lead magnet! 

Sending them an automated follow-up email sequence will help you build rapport and show that you care about what matters most – keeping these prospects engaged until they are ready to purchase from your business!

Similarly, if you get some leads during an offline event, make sure to follow them up through email or a phone call to encourage them to take action or move one step down the sales funnel. 

Following up on cold leads is another excellent way to keep your cold leads in the loop. Create an automated email series to pull them back into the sales funnel. 

Local lead Generation

These 6 Local Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses are just a few proven methods!

If you need more lead generation for your business, try these tips!

By the way, if you don’t have time to implement these ideas into your marketing and need assistance with the technical aspects, we would be delighted to help! Just contact us 

local lead generation

Regina L Floyd Local growth expert

Regina L Floyd
808 400 1460
Follow Us On Facebook: @SimpleOBD

Check Out A Free Google My Business Video Course To Grow Your Business Online

How To Use Google My Business For Free To Get More Local Customers

Use Google My Business for FREE to Get More Local Customers

How to Use Google My Business for FREE to Get More Local Customers

What is Google?! It’s a massive search engine that just about all of us know, use and love,  and it’s become synonymous with searching for information online. It’s even become part of our everyday speech and jargon.

Just ‘Google It’! 

I for one am guilty of saying that to my teen daughter when she asks questions about things she could easily look up. 

If you are wanting  to give your business the advantage and leverage of being found when someone does a search for your type of business, product or service,  in my opinion, it makes sense to use as many Google products as you can!

Did you know that Google is actually more than just a ‘search engine’ these days? 

In their daily lives, people use Google to navigate and explore their local areas (think maps), discover answers to common household problems, seek out product and service recommendations by reading reviews as well as writing their own reviews about their experiences with businesses!

As a local business wanting to stand out, there is a lot you can do to improve your visibility on Google and showing up when people search.

Setting up your Google My Business (GMB) is probably the most advantageous of them all.  And it’s NOT hard to do. 

As a side note…it’s totally FREE!

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free listing service that literally puts your business on the map!

It was created as a tool to help local businesses manage their online presence and connect with local customers.  

Quite literally your business gets a location-specific listing in the biggest directory in the world all in an effort to help you do more business. 

These listings help  prospective customers discover the important information about your business, such as your business address, online reviews, and where they can find you online and offline!  It also lets them see what you are about and often, see how others feel about your products &/or services. 

Google My Business

What are the benefits of Google My Business?

There are a number of benefits to your business for setting up and getting your Google My Business listing optimized.

Getting your Google My Business listing set up properly is all about visibility for those closest to your business! 

As a local business, you want to get in front of as many businesses as possible, right?

The whole idea is to show up in the search engine for your type of business locally!

Here are the main benefits of putting a concentrated effort into Google My Business.

Google 3 Pack

Rank better than #1 with the Local 3-Pack

Here is a subtle but important thing worth considering. 

When you search for a local business, even before the SEO-driven search results come up, Google shows you a list of nearby businesses that it considers to be the most relevant to the search. (Read that again)

These results show up on a map, complete with star ratings and all the business information that is important to searchers (also known as your potential customers).

Does that get your attention? It should!

The exciting news about this is by filling in your Google My Business profile as much as possible, and getting Google reviews, it will help boost your chances of being included in the 3-pack!

Google Local Pack

Show up on Google Maps searches

Achieving 3-pack visibility is definitely a great accomplishment but it’ll only work for you when the customer is already in your area. 

So that raises a question, “What about when searchers don’t happen to be in your local area?” 

Setting up your Google My Business account helps you come up on Google Maps when people search locally.

These days, 86% of people are searching for businesses on Google Maps with 30% of all mobile searches are related to location! 

More searches mean more traffic, which means more sales.

Over 50% of “____ near me” searches result in a store visit and a chance for a sale!

Its Easy, Fast and FREE!

Marketing and SEO can be complicated, super expensive, and time-consuming. 

Setting up a Google My Business account is a fast and free way to get your business found on Google. 

It’s easy to update your business details so that customers trying to reach you have the right information.

Local SEO delivers great ROI…

Google reported that 46% of searches have local intent! That’s HUGE!

That means almost half the searches on Google are specifically looking for a nearby business! 

Within that 46% of searches, 60% of those people are searching from a mobile device, which means the map search result is going to pop up and they are ready to buy.

Leveraging that would be a huge advantage for your business!

Build trust and social proof with reviews

It would stand to reason that having (positive) reviews of your business is would be favorable! 

When someone searches and discovers your business, seeing positive testimonials and reviews are a great way to display social proof that your businesses is reputable. 

We all like to do business with those whom we know, like and trust! And customer trust is critical for a successful business! Reviews on your Google My Business listing makes your business that much more legitimate and trustworthy!

It’s been said that 73% of consumers will trust a business based on their positive Google reviews!

Access the smartphone market

Do you know how much time the average person spends on their mobile phone?

4 Hours! 

That is a massive amount of time! And a lot of that time is spent searching for businesses!

Over 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile phones! 

Considering that information and the fact that 78% of local mobile searches lead to an in-store purchase, its clear that a winning formula is literally at your fingertips!

A FREE Website!!

While many businesses already have a functioning website, there are so many more that may be just getting around to moving online.

For local businesses that prefer to sell offline but want to be found on the internet when someone searches for their type of business, they can get a Google My Business page set up in minutes!

A Google My Business page is a simple website that shows off your business, helps searchers know where to find you.

A Google My Business Page also helps facilitate things like placing orders, sending messages, and calls to your business!

Get Start With Google My Business

How to start using Google My Business

The best part about setting up a Google My Business listing aside from being Free is how easy it is to do.

To create a Google My Business listing for your business:

  • Head over to (or log in if you already have one)…
  • The page will prompt you to provide information that makes it easier for potential customers to get in touch such as your phone number, website URL, your physical address (which will show on the map), business hours, and photos of your business…
  • Make sure to complete your business category…
  • Click ‘Finish’ to verify! 
  • Google will send you a postcard with a code to the address you entered to make sure it’s your actual address. 
  • Don’t miss this last step! Once you get the postcard (it should only take a few business days), log back in, enter the code, and you’re done!


Is Google My Business right for you?

Some businesses don’t have a physical location or storefront. 

If you don’t want everyone online to know your home address, you’ll still have to put it in during the Google My Business setup process to get the verification postcard but you can change the settings so people don’t see it.

You can choose what information is visible to searchers. 

You can also select the areas you service. 

And this is ideal for businesses who want to specify the locations where you offer delivery or if you have a service rather than a product.

As a local business, this should sound interesting particularly if you want more customers!

Here’s what to do next…

If you want new or more customers, go set up your Google My Business profile today and start tapping into all those extra searches!

By the way, if you need help with this Google My Business stuff and don’t want to deal with the all the technical aspects, we would be elected to help you. Just contact us here.

Regina L Floyd Local growth expert

Regina L Floyd
808 400 1460


Know a local business owner that could use more customers using a Free and Easy marketing Strategy? Be sure to SHARE this post with them. 

How To Reach More People With Social Media Marketing

Would you like to know How to Reach More People with social media marketing?  It really isn’t rocket science so here are some very basic, simple tips to help you shine.

social media marketing tips for business

Having a successful business online can be challenging. It can be hard to attract, and reach more people who want to buy your products or services, so you have to go and find them. Marketing with social media can be a great way to do this. The trick is to stand out from the rest.  Here are some effective social media tips that will help make you a success online.

  1. Update your company’s Facebook profile regularly. Set a time schedule aside every day to keep your company’s information up to date. This should be the time when you share exciting news, answer questions, or post giveaways. Don’t leave your customer base hanging by not posting at regular intervals on your page. There really is no excuse to not have something posting on your page. You can even pick 1 day a week to schedule posts each day and then add spur of the moment stuff as you are going along. No Excuses!
  2.  Serve up a lot of great content when you are setting up your Facebook page. There is nothing worse for a consumer than going to a business page you are interested in and finding almost no useful information. Take the time to answer any questions they may have ahead of time with the content you put on your page.  Share helpful tips and how-to with them. Even something as simple as a great recipe on your page can go a long way.
  3. Link your social media sites together. Have links from each site you maintain to all the others as well. This way if a person who follows you on Instagram also has a Facebook page, they can find it and see you on both platforms. You can increase the amount of followers you have dramatically. It really helps if you can have the same name on several platforms.
  4. If you are using your social media to advertise an existing business, especially one that is based online, make sure you include the link to your website. It is astonishing how many people don’t include a link to their own site. Getting those who find you to click over to your site is a great way to introduce them to all you have to offer.
  5. Link your business page to your personal profile and keep them separate.  I am shocked at how many people who own businesses don’t actually link their business page to their profile. When you make friends and want to connect on social media, your links on your profile are the first thing they see. Don’t be a secret agent for your business. You really can reach more people with this one tip alone. 
  6. Keep your eyes on the prize when it comes to social media marketing. Don’t make your business page about yourself. Keep the focus on your company, your product or your services. Keep your personal updates and information on your own personal page and make sure to keep the two separate. Also consider posting 80/20 – 80% value content and only 20% sales pitch and buy stuff posts.
  7. Learn to make fun headlines for your social media blogs. Headlines are like the front of your business. You can come across boring and run down, or new and exciting. Think of interesting ways to lure people into your blog. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the headlines on your page.
  8. Try making some lists for your social media blog. When you are trying to attract visits to your blog, you need information that can be taken in quickly by readers. The best way to do this is to compile lists that show things like the 10 best places to visit or 10 songs that make you move.
  9. Maintain a positive perspective regardless of what others post on your page when using social media marketing. Being positive is essential to making your customers feel good when they visit your page. If they feel good, they are more likely to share your page or revisit to see what deals or promotions you may have running. This is how you get more people to help you reach more people. Positive, uplifting content is going to help you reach more people 100% more than negative content. 

I truly hope you found these tips helpful to make your business stand out on the internet. It will be much easier to get people to visit your website once you start putting these social media marketing tips in place. Once you see results, you’ll be even more motivated to stick with this great way of marketing.

If at any time you need some help or guidance in your Social Media Marketing, just reach out and contact us for a free consultation. We also have a variety of services to meet your online marketing needs

Regina L Floyd
Local Growth Consultant
808 400 1460

Follow Us On Facebook! @SimpleOBD