Use the Active Category Feature on Your Calendars
This feature can be found in the Calendar & Widgets Area and can be applied to any of your custom Event Views.
What is the Active Category Feature?
This feature allows you to specify which categories will be active by default when someone loads your calendar. Meaning, you could have a calendar with 5 categories on it, but only one category is showing when the calendar loads. The other 4 categories can then be checked by the viewer and activated.
When to Use It
This feature is great for organizations that want to cross promote happenings. For instance, a restaurant company with multiple restaurants may want to cross promote things happening at their restaurants. On the website calendar for “Bob’s Burgers” there could be a category for “Stacy’s Stir-Fry” which is not active by default. A user could see it and activate it to see those events also, but they are distracted by these events for another restaurant at the start.
Using this feature allows you to focus viewers on certain information to start while still presenting them with the option to get more information regarding other things (other categories).
Step by Step
- Go to the Calendars & Widgets Area
- Create a new Event View
- Select Categories you want to include in that Event View (all the categories you want to be on that view)
- At the bottom you will see “Specify Active Categories” - check this to activate it and then select the categories you want to be activated by default
- The categories you specify here will be checked and active when a viewer loads the calendar
The Active Categories feature was based on user feedback and suggestions. We appreciate all the feedback we get and encourage users to take part in our Support and Tips Forum.
Encourage Sharing of Events & Promotions
Word of mouth has always existed. When people have a good (or bad) experience, they want to talk about it. They want to share. Social Media was built for this kind of interaction and promotion. It was built for people to tell others about things they like, things they are doing, and things they want to do.
1. Send messages encouraging people to retweet or share your page with their friends. You could write a message like “Tell your friends about our events and promotions!” or “Everything is better with a friend! Tell them about our upcoming events.”
2. Encourage sharing and viral activity within your events. Every event you make in Squareberry features social sharing buttons to send across Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and email. You need to encourage people to utilize these buttons. “Hey! Share this event with friend on Facebook to make it even better!”
3. Run promotions that get followers to bring more people. When running a special promotion, it is always good to make the promotion include more meals/people. For instance, instead of a promotions giving 10% off a yogurt, run a promotion for “15% off when you buy two yogurts. Bring a friend!” You can encourage social interaction by running promotions that involve more than one person.
Squareberry is all about driving people to your real world location for your happenings. Encouraging social sharing and promotions which encourage multiple visitors can help increase the number of people coming to your location, participating in promotions and experiencing you events.
Get Feedback by Asking Questions
…and feedback is a good thing!
Social Media and other aspects of the web have given organizations a great opportunity for getting feedback, responses and more information from their customers than ever before. Organizations should take advantage of this to gain insight and optimize the way they do business, plan events, communicate and more.
Why is feedback so great? Well, it helps you modify and perfect the way you are doing things. It is important to constantly adjust your methods to fine tune them and create the ideal experience for your customers/visitors/etc. Questions can also help promote further conversation and discussion.
Ask Questions on Social Media
Social Media is the perfect outlet for getting feedback. You could post a simple question on Twitter or Facebook. Your question is seen by the people following you, who can respond instantly. Before social media, gaining feedback so instantaneously was uncommon or difficult.
Respond to Comments/Mentions with Questions
You can instigate further conversation by asking questions to people who have already commented or mentioned you on social media. For instance, someone may mention you on Twitter, saying that they are at your restaurant. Responding with a question like “Have you tried the Salmon?” does two things: it recommends something to your guest and it carries the conversation on, encouraging them to respond further and keep the conversation going.
Squareberry Tally Feature
Squareberry allows you to place a single question on every event you make. Each question comes with 3 buttons allowing viewers to answer “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe”. This feature allows you to get quick feedback from your viewers while adding an interactive element to your event page.
Calendar Widgets With Just One Category
Custom Event Views
In Squareberry, you have the ability to create customized “Views”. A view is essentially a group of categories in your account. They can be categories you have made or even categories you have snagged from other accounts. You can also select whether or not to show events and/or promotions on each View you make.
Once you create a customized view, you can then embed this view as any of the calendars or widgets in the app. You can embed that view as a Month Calendar or Vertical Slider Widget.
Single Category Views
An excellent strategy is to create a calendar view with just a single category. This is simply an Event View with only one category in it. This can be used for a variety of things.
If you are a Sports Bar and Restaurant, you could use single category views for a few different things. Snag the category of your local sports team. You can then turn around and create a view with just that team’s schedule. On your website you can add a simple list widget on your sidebar showing upcoming games for this team.
You can also make a category called “Special Deals” and create an Event View with just this category. Then, embed a Slider Widget of this View on your home page. Now your Home Page is displaying every promotion and event you tag as “Special Deals” on an eye-catching and interactive slider. Your website will have fresh, relevant content to help drive traffic to your restaurant.
A common method for this is to have a category called “Featured”. You can then create a view with just the “Featured” category and display it as a widget or calendar on your website.
Remember that events and promotions can be tagged in more than one category. So, your promotion may fall under “Drink Specials” but it could also be tagged as “Featured” so that it will be sent to display at any View which has the “Drink Specials” or “Featured” category in it.
Tuesday Tip - Mobile Restaurant Menus and Store Catalogs
Yes, On Mobile
The Mobile Web can be just as feature rich and informative as desktop websites. More and more people are browsing on mobile devices and using their phone as a primary resource for information and search.
Most people searching for a restaurant website online are concerned with a few factors: hours, location, prices and food. (What else do you need to know?) Your mobile site needs to offer all of this information and in a sleek, easy-to-use fashion. You may not need to include every single menu item (though there is nothing stopping you). But, people want to know how much things generally cost and what you offer. Be sure to show the range of your offerings to get interest from as many people as possible.
Some people may never see your full website. If they find you on their mobile device - that may be it. That could be your only chance to catch their attention or sell to them. Why not have your catalog or featured catalog items right on your mobile site?
For example, if you own a stationary store, you will want to show off the products you offer. Including a catalog of your products on your mobile site is the best way to show off what you have and why someone should visit your location to make a purchase.
Catalog/Menu Page Type
The Mobile Management Area features a Catalog/Menu page type ideal for building categorized item lists. Add items with details, photos etc. Show off your menu, provide a catalog of items or even build a staff directory page.
Also, do not forget about the Phone call buttons. Most mobile users are on phones and including buttons such as “Order Now” or “Call Us” can help encourage people to call your restaurant right then and there. Of course, be sure that someone is there to answer the phone and take the order.
Events and Promotions on your Website Home Page
A website’s home page is the ideal location to show off real world events and promotions. In many cases, web surfers only see the home page. If your goal is to drive them to your real world location or drive participation in an event or promotion, the Home Page needs to be part of your strategy.
Home Page Widgets - What’s Happening!
Home page widgets are the ideal way to communicate your real world happenings on your website. Rather than plopping a traditional calendar or static graphic, these widgets will auto-update to show off your upcoming events and promotions. You can select specific categories when creating your views, to limit your widgets to just those selected categories.
With auto-refreshing widgets, you never have to worry about making sure your website homepage is up to date. You know you are always showing off your upcoming events and promotions and driving people into your real world location. Special Events and Coupons are the perfect way to get more people to your location.
Easily Add a Calendar Widget to Your Home Page
Adding these widgets is very easy. With Squareberry, you are given simple embed codes for every type of widget. These can easily be added to any website. It is as easy as adding a YouTube video. You can create customized views with certain categories, allowing you to show off just the events and promotion you want with any widget or calendar.
The Slider Widget gives any website motion and solid content. Events and Promotions slide by, creating an eye-catching display of your happenings. The List Widget lists your upcoming happenings and auto-refreshes to show off your next X number of events or promotions.
Tuesday Tip - Add Notes To Locations
Many locations are not as simple as an address. Maybe you are on the second floor or to the right of the elevators. Adding helpful notes to your location(s) is a great way to help people get to where your events and promotions are being held.
Your Location May Be More Complicated Than You Think
Many locations are not big buildings with huge signs on busy intersections that everyone knows about. Often times your location is more complicated. You may be in a crowded shopping center or around the corner. It is important to provide useful help and tips for people who have never been there before.
You location notes do not have to be about directions. They can also be helpful tips to make a customer’s experience better. For instance, your building may have a small parking lot in the front, and plenty of parking in the back. Letting people know about the parking lot behind the building (which usually has more spaces) is a great tip to add to your location notes. It lets a first time visitor feel comfortable and more willing to come to your location.
Ask a First Time Visitor
A great way to find out anything bad or difficult about your location is to ask someone who is visiting for the first time. Getting this kind of feedback can be very helpful in determining what you need to let people know about. In many cases, you may learn something you never knew about your place. It may be difficult to see from the road, or the sign is only visible from one direction. There are a variety of situations that you would never think of on your own, since you go there all the time and are so familiar with it.
Getting to Your Location is What It is All About
Your location is what it is all about. Those coupon promotions you run and special weekly events are all about getting more people in the doors. Utilizing the location features in Squareberry can help drive more real world traffic. Isn’t that what all this marketing stuff is about?
Announce Your Schedule Changes
Often times, your events social media messages and coupon promotions are planned and scheduled far in advance. In fact, that is one of the great things about using Squareberry. But, there are always uncontrollable circumstances and things that happen to break up your plan. It is important to communicate changes to your schedule to keep your followers, customers and community updated.
Why the need to say anything?
In the digital age, people store, track and organize their lives in a variety of ways. Some set reminders, others schedule in their personal calendars. Many keep updated through social media and other apps to know what is going on where and when. Your steady followers and customers may be accustomed to a certain schedule or plan. Others who have checked your web or Facebook calendar may have seen an event or promotion coming in the near future and planned to participate. If these people show up and find your location closed or not holding the special happening they thought was going on, it can cause confusion and dissatisfaction.
Canceling or Changing
With social media, you have the power to quickly and effectively communicate any changes to your schedule. You can blast a few messages out across your various social channels and quickly get everyone informed about your changes. Additionally, you can mark any events or promotions you have scheduled in Squareberry as “Canceled”. The Canceled feature is a great alternative to simply deleting items. The happening appears crossed out on any calendar or widget view you have - easily identifying it as canceled to your viewers/followers. Instead of saying nothing, your automated reminders about the happening will say “Canceled” and clearly let everyone know that your event/promotion is no longer happening. Clear communications allow people to stay happy and up to date.
Offer an Alternative
If you start sending out messages about a canceled event it is important to offer an alternative or special to replace it. For instance, if “Live Music Night” is canceled you may want to send a message like this: “Live Music is CANCELED tonight. BUT we got you covered. Half off all drinks from 7-9 PM. COME ON IN!”. This can help drive traffic that you may have lost due to the cancellation. You can also let people know your canceled event is rescheduled or coming soon. “Live Music will happen next week at the same time.”
Make Your Mobile Website a Place to Come Back To
The key word in the title of this article is “back”. Like your website, Facebook page and your actual business location, you want people to come BACK. One visit is good, but repeat visits is what you are looking for. Your mobile website needs to be an ever-updating hub of happenings, news and fresh content. Tell people to use it and keep them coming back.
Events and Promotions
For many businesses, special events and coupon promotions are what draw people in. Your mobile website should serve as the ideal location for people to find this information. Create calendar pages on your mobile site to show off your upcoming events and promotions. People, who are out and about, will be drawn in by your happenings.
Mobile News Source
News pages are a great way to keep your mobile website fresh. With Squareberry, you can feed in RSS (such as a blog) or publish your Twitter feed. These options give your mobile website fresh news content without the need to login and update the news page. Your mobile website keeps updated via your existing main news publishing tools.
Keep It Updated
The most important thing to do is keep your mobile website updated with fresh content. Squareberry’s calendars will automatically hide past events/promotions, but page content needs to be maintained (if applicable). Don’t leave a message about New Year’s on your home page until March. Out of date content can turn off potential customers who will think nothing has changed at your business.
If you are a restaurant, keep your current menu updated/available on your mobile website. Squareberry offers an intuitive Menu/Catalog page type which allows you to easily create and update a full menu of items.
Tell People It Is the Place to Come Back To
Signs on your door and/or tables can go a long way. You are probably already featuring Facebook on your collateral, do the same with your mobile website. Tell people they can easily see what’s going on, gets news and find promotions on your mobile site. Spreading the word helps get them on your mobile site. Fresh content, news and events/promotions keep them coming back.
Customizing Your Calendar Views
Showing off your events and promotions on your website is a key aspect of integrating your complete online presence. Squareberry allows you to create customized “views” with specified categories. This means you can have any number of calendars and widgets which display certain events/promotions based on the settings you dictate.
Create a New Event View
When you create a new Event View, you start by giving it a name. This name will be displayed on the top of the calendars. Next, you select what categories you want on this view. Events and Promotions from the categories you select here will be used on these calendars and widgets.
There are also various color settings you can alter. These colors effect the calendar views but have no effect on the widgets. You can also dictate a timezone for your view, this will adjust the time of the events to display in the specified timezone.
Lastly, you can decide to include events and/or promotions. If you do not want promotions on your view, simply uncheck the promotions setting. This allows you to control categories and event/promotions so that you can fully customize your calendars and widgets to show exactly what you want to show.
Embed Your Customized Views
Once you have created your customized view, it is easy to add it to your website. On the Calendars and Widgets list screen, there is an embed button to the far right of every listed calendar/widget. Click this button and you will get a pop-up with the embed code. There are different options for each calendar/widget which you can adjust to customize this particular embed. When ready, copy and paste the embed code into the HTML of your website.
Single Category Views
An interesting and effective strategy is to create single category views. This allows you to feature certain events and promotions on your website. Read More Here >
Samples of Calendars & Widgets
Click Here to check out samples of all the calendars and widgets currently available on the Squareberry platform.