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.
Adjusting Your Dashboard
Changing How Your Dashboard Looks
Squareberry allows you to customize and change your dashboard to display your social/mobile statistics and feedback accordingly. Every organization focuses on different aspects of marketing. Some are Facebook heavy with little Twitter use. Some organizations love to run interactive polls while others focus more on scheduled events. Every organization is different.
Squareberry’s dashboard has various boxes that each show off different aspects of your marketing efforts. These boxes on your dashboard include:
- Facebook Followers
- Twitter Followers
- Social Statistics
- Facebook Demographics
- Listen&Count Polls
- Recent Twitter Followers
- Most Viewed
- Recent Sent Messages
- Social Influence Widget
- Recently Created Items
To adjust the Dashboard, click the “Adjust Dashboard” button at the top of the page. A pop-up appears allowing you to drag and drop the boxes into the order you want them to display. The left side of this pop-up is your active dashboard and the right side shows available boxes you are not currently using.
PDF Dashboard Report
Squareberry’s Dashboard also allows you to export the Dashboard as a PDF Report. The PDF Report exports a set of boxes showing off a nice summary of your marketing stats. Simply click the “PDF Report” button at the top of the Dashboard page to export the Dashboard report.
Mobile Web Tips For Businesses With Several Locations
Many small businesses and restaurants have the opportunity to open additional locations. Often times, multi-location businesses have a cohesive marketing strategy for their brand while allowing each location to host their own events and even their own promotions. But, it is unlikely that each location would have its own website. A single website for all locations is much more common and generally a more efficient and effective option.
Show Off Your Locations
Use Info Pages
Squareberry’s mobile management offers a “Location” page type which allows you to simply show off locations and provide directions etc. But, utilizing the “Info/About” page type allows you to provide more details, links, images, text and more.
On your mobile website, you can create an Info/About page for each location your business has. Each of these pages can feature a phone call button, location, links to social media pages and a general content area where you can add text/images about that specific location.
If you have a lot of information, photos, videos and more about each location you can utilize sub-menus on your mobile website. Simply add a sub-menu for each location and then add an assortment of pages to each location’s sub-menu. This means you can have an Info page, Contact page, Video page etc. for each location. Your mobile website visitors can select the sub-menu of whatever location they are interested in and find a plethora of information and media options about that location.
Events and Promotions
Your upcoming events and coupon promotions are an essential aspect of your marketing. The flexibility of Squareberry’s Mobile Management Area allows you to lay them out in a variety of ways. Events and promotions can be featured on your mobile website in a variety of ways.
You can add a Calendar Page for each location featuring only categories of events and promotions relavant to that location. Alternatively, you can use topical calendar pages with certain categories that include events from all locations. This option helps in cross-promoting events from location to location.
The best solution always depends on your business and your customers. Make it easy for people to find your events and promotions while still communicating newly scheduled happenings and cross-promoting your locations.
Add Your Events & Promotions to Your Website
Your website’s home page is obviously a great place to start when featuring events and promotions. The home page is what everyone sees. It is where your most important information is and might be the only page someone sees.
Great options for your home page:
- The List Widget - Very popular for the home page. It is simple and always shows your next X number of upcoming events. Another popular strategy it to put a link to a full calendar page right above or below your home page list widget.
- Portrait Slider Widget - This is a bold statement and can span the whole width of your home page. The items in this slider widget are larger and very eye catching. When using this widget it is highly recommended to add images to your events to get that bold/visual appeal.
- Landscape Slider Widget - Similar to the Portrait Slider Widget but smaller in size, this widget is a great alternative if you do not want to take up as much vertical space. Again, the idea here is eye catching featured items.
Many websites have a sidebar. This is a very common element of a website. For sidebars, the list widget is the most popular item. The List Widget offers the ability to show off your upcoming events and promotions across your website with a small feature on your sidebar. You can make it as small as you want, showing off just 3 or so upcoming happenings.
Full Calendar Pages
Widgets are great, but don’t forget about a full calendar. For organizations like schools and churches, calling attention to your full calendar is a great idea. This is one of the top reasons people visit your website. They need to see what is going on.
Now, if you are a small business or restaurant, you may not want to call as much attention to your full calendar. But, it is still good to have. People like to see what is upcoming. Placing links/buttons next to your widgets that send people to your full calendar is a great way to utilize it without throwing it in people’s faces.
You can see samples of all the views and widgets here: http://squareberry.com/features/online-calendars/web-calendars-widgets/
Send Customers to Mobile Pages with QR Codes
The Mobile Management Area allows you to create mobile websites for your organization. Each page you create for your mobile site can be linked to directly using a QR code. QR codes allow people to easily and quickly reach your web page by scanning the code with their mobile device.
Utilizing QR Codes to Boost Your Mobile Brand
At the top right corner of the edit screen for each mobile page is a button “Link & QR Code to This Page”. Click on this button to get a QR Code for the page you are currently editing. You can easily download the QR Code at that time.
Calendar pages are always great to utilize. Add a QR Code to your restaurant menu, in a local publication or on a mail-out. You can quickly send people to your events/promotions page on your mobile site to help draw them in to your location. Calendar pages help you carry people from printed material to mobile-friendly site, from mobile site to real world events and promotions.
Your printed advertisement, brochure or mail-out can quickly be given an easy call-to-action by utilizing a contact form. Add a QR code on your printed material that links to your contact form. This allows anyone who sees your ad or brochure to instantly contact you via contact form/email. This can help generate leads, generate sales and get registrations.
QR Codes are perfect for enhancing printed materials. Local newspapers, magazines and publications can utilize mobile photo galleries and QR Codes to take their printed items to another level.
Start by creating a photo gallery page type. Upload photos related to the article or topic you are covering in the publication. The QR code can then be placed on your printed publication next to relevant information/articles. Now, people reading your publication can easily scan the QR Code and get a touch-friendly photo gallery on their mobile device to enhance their reading experience.
Adding Interactive Polls to Your Mobile Website
Listen&Count allows to to create interactive polls to ask questions, gather feedback and make your social/mobile marketing more interactive. With Listen&Count you specify keywords that will be tracked on Twitter, SMS and/or a Website Poll Widget. Any responses with one or more of these keywords are counted and tracked in your account.
Adding a Listen&Count Page
Start in the Mobile Content area, click “Add Page”, and then “Create New Page”. Select the “Listen&Count Poll” page type. You can name the page and change the menu icon, like any other mobile page type. For Listen&Count Poll pages, you have two options: “Use Current/Latest Listen&Count Poll” or “Use a Specific Listen&Count Poll”.
The first option uses the current/latest Listen&Count Poll that you have created. This means, the page on your mobile website will automatically update to show new/fresh Listen&Count polls that you create. If you create polls that have an End Date, they will no longer display on your page after reaching the end date. A newer poll with a later end date will then replace it. If you have no dated poll created, it will then display the most recently created poll with no date range.
Selecting this option allows you to create pages like “Weekly Poll” or “Latest Poll’ which will automatically update to show new polls you are creating in your account. There is no need to keep coming back to the Mobile Management Area, you can easily create new polls and they will automatically be displayed on your mobile site.
Use a Specific Listen&Count Poll
If you select the second option, a drop down appears allowing you to select any of your existing polls to display. The selected poll will show up from that point on and will continue to display until you change it. This setting is useful for permanent/ongoing polls with no end date, or polls you want to display for a long time without being replace by other polls.
Restaurant Menus on Mobile Websites
The Catalog/Menu page type in the Mobile Management area is perfect for building restaurant menus. This page type allows you to add items and organize them using “spacers”.
A “Spacer” is a simple displayed title that can be used to organize your menu. A common use for this is to organize your menu by food types: “Soups” “Salads” etc. Below each spacer you can add items (the actual menu items).
Items are your actual menu items. This would be a specific soup, sandwich or salad that people will order. Items have 3 fields. First you add a name and then a price. The 3rd field is a content area where you can add a description, insert a photo or even add a video.
Menus Are Essential
One of the main reasons web users visit restaurant websites is to view the menu. They want to see what you have and find out how much it will cost them. Many people are unlikely to go to a restaurant with no idea what the food is like. Having some kind of menu, be it a sample or a full menu is essential to bringing in customers.