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small business Articles

Facebook Reportedly Giving Small Business $10M in Free Ads Facebook Reportedly Giving Small Business $10M in Free Ads
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As businesses anxiously await the launch of business profiles on Google+, Facebook is reminding small businesses of the power of its social media dominance (it’s up to 800 million users now). The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook has …

Groupon Deals Could Hurt the Reputation of Your Business Groupon Deals Could Hurt the Reputation of Your Business
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The type of headline we ran here probably isn’t exactly the kind of thing Groupon wants to see circulating throughout the Blogosphere these days, considering all the negative press the company has been getting lately, but it is a conclusion …

What Does Google+ Mean For Small Businesses? What Does Google+ Mean For Small Businesses?
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With the recent launch of Google+, there has been considerable focus paid to debating the merits of Google+ vs. Facebook. However, beyond direct comparison of apples and oranges, there’s a bigger story at play here for Google+. Since its start …

Facebook Shuts Down “Deals,” Keeps More Relevant Check-In Deals Facebook Shuts Down “Deals,” Keeps More Relevant Check-In Deals

Facebook has had a couple of “deals” products: “Deals” and “Check-in Deals.” Deals are going away, but Check-in Deals are staying. Facebook gave us the following statement: “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product …

Facebook Issues That Could Cause Problems For Your Business Facebook Issues That Could Cause Problems For Your Business
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While Facebook may provide a great way to interact with fans and market your business, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Several issues have been discussed recently that business should take very seriously. What is the biggest problem you see …

Foursquare Business Pages Now Available to All Foursquare Business Pages Now Available to All

Foursquare has made brand pages “self-serve”. This means brands can create their own pages, acquire followers, share updates, check-in at places, etc. You know, like a social network. Foursquare says the announcement is “to the great relief” of its BizDev …

Small Business Facebook Pages Lacking Local Fans? Small Business Facebook Pages Lacking Local Fans?

A study from Roost finds that only 15% of fans on the average small business Facebook Page are actually local to the town where that business is located. If that’s accurate, that’s not great for brick and mortars. It does …

Facebook Ads Gaining Popularity Among Local Businesses Facebook Ads Gaining Popularity Among Local Businesses
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22% of local merchants have used Facebook Ads, and two-thirds of them would use them again, according to a survey from MerchantCircle. The firm’s quarterly Merchant Confidence Index, a survey of about 5,000 local business owners across the US, finds …

5 Reasons Why Effective Marketing Makes Your Business More Valuable 5 Reasons Why Effective Marketing Makes Your Business More Valuable
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Most of us suckers, I mean business owners, dream of one day handing the keys of the business over to another dreamer that decides that buying our business is the best investment they can make. Or perhaps your version of …

Office 365 From Microsoft Heads to Public Beta Office 365 From Microsoft Heads to Public Beta
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Last year, Microsoft introduced Office 365 in limited beta. Now the company has announced the public beta, expanding it into nearly twice as many countries and languages (38 markets and 17 lanugages). Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, …

Can Groupon Own The Deals Space?
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Can Groupon own the deals space the way Google owns search? It’s hard to imagine the space being dominated by any one company. Forget for a second that it has Google and Facebook to contend with, and even LivingSocial (previously cited as its closest competitor). 

What deals sites have you tried? How successful were your campaigns? Tell us about it

Eric Schmidt Speaks at Humboldt University: Full Video

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin last week. Google has now made video of the entire speech available.

He talks about Google increasing its presence in Europe and Germany, and the funding of a center for discussing/debating the evolution of the web. He also announces a small business initiative.

He then talks about OnePass, the new subscription service the company announced recently.  

There are some microphone issues at the beginning that are somewhat comical. 

The State of the Yellow Pages Print Industry
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I have been pretty harsh on the Yellow Pages in the past. Most of my trouble comes from the fact that the medium just isn’t as effective across all verticals as it once was. That’s not to say that it’s not effective at all, because that is untrue. In some areas, it can work well–like plumbing, HVAC and other emergency situations. Of course, by the time you locate the book you probably could have done the search on your computer or smart phone just as quickly, but who’s counting?

5 Tips for Making Your Site More Local-Friendly
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Search engines have become one of the primary ways that people find products and services right in their hometown. This growing reality significantly increases the need for small local business owners to master this thing called local search.

There are many ways to make your website pages much more localized. This is one of the underlying elements that tell the search engines that yours is indeed a local business.

Google Offers on the Way, Should Groupon Have Sold?
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Google has a new project in the works that appears to be a direct competitor to Groupon. It’s called Google Offers. According to an official fact sheet about the product, obtained by Mashable, Google Offers is "a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email."

Getting More From Your Google Place Page
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I write a fair amount about local search because it’s an important topic that’s only going to become more important as millions upon millions of folks move over to smart phones to do their browsing and shopping.

Will Local B2B Be the Next Web Trend?
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Most of you would probably agree that local is one of the biggest trends on the web these days, fueled by a variety of factors: increased mobile and smartphone usage, localized deals services (like Groupon), and of course search. Local is a major focus of Google right now, as evidenced by an increasing number of local results being returned for queries, as well as products like Google Places, Hotpot and Google Offers. 

Google Gives Small Businesses A Bunch of Free Resources, $100K in Ad Spend
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This year, Google says it is going to "help businesses, great and small, get the most out of the Internet." The company has selected five small businesses from different areas and given them $100,000 in AdWords spend for the year, along with free consultations with AdWords reps, and free wireless service for the year.

But that’s not all. They gave the businesses brand new laptops and smartphones,  free "green" environmental consulting, a year of free accounting and financial services, and a free webmaster.

Groupon Talks Managing Capacity, Following Japan Apology

As previously reported, Groupon has apologized for a recent deal gone bad in Tokyo. In the apology, CEO Andrew Mason mentioned that Groupon has "capacity planning formulas" to help merchants figure out the number of customers they can handle from a Groupon deal. As you may know, a common complaint about Groupon is that it can send too many people to a business, which does not have the means to meet customer demand.

Facebook Groups As A Small Business Intranet Option
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When Facebook Groups was unveiled last year, I was skeptical. Facebook tinkers with its platform so much (to its credit) that I sometimes just tune out. Professionally, I need to know about these changes. And, more importantly, I need to know how they impact my clients. But, this one just didn’t do much for me.

Until I started revisiting the tool recently.

6 Steps For A Better Small Business Facebook Page
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The rise and rise of Facebook continues unabated, and it has moved well beyond just being a social network, it’s also a vital marketing channel for businesses of all sizes.

While most businesses have taken the first step of setting up a standard Facebook page which includes a feed of comments, photos and helps them gather fans; few have taken their Facebook pages to the next level.