General Questions about Main Street Hub™
What is Main Street Hub?
Main Street Hub’s mission is to help great local businesses connect with their customers and find new ones online.
What does Main Street Hub do?
Your dedicated account manager and a team of professional writers manage and monitor Facebook Business Pages as well as Yelp, Google+, Twitter, and Foursquare—depending on the Service Plan you have signed up for.
We build and optimize social media profiles for your business on websites like Facebook, post messages regularly to engage your customers, create campaigns that encourage your customers to spread the word about you to their friends, and suggest responses to customer reviews to ensure that your business looks as good as possible online.
And we do all of this in a way that takes the burden off of you while keeping you in the driver’s seat.
What kinds of businesses use Main Street Hub?
Any business that can benefit from improved word of mouth. We specialize in local businesses like restaurants, doctors, salons, florists, mechanics, spas, vets, and more.
Do I have to do any work?
No. You can do as little or as much as you like. We’ve designed Main Street Hub to be a full-service solution for managing your social media that requires no effort from you. However, if you would like to be more hands-on, we can help you with that as well.
How will I know whether Main Street Hub is working?
Within the first 6 months the typical MSH customer sees a: 330% increase in Facebook fans, 500% increase in Twitter followers, 244% increase in Foursquare check-ins and 61% increase in monthly Yelp traffic. You will have access to a simple online dashboard that allows you to track all of these key metrics in one place.
From the outset, we want you to know that no one is going to say, “Hi, I heard about you on Main Street Hub.” We work entirely behind the scenes.
But you can be certain that customers rely on social media to find great local businesses. Over one billion people use Facebook. Four out of five people consult customer reviews before deciding where to spend their money. Seventy percent of people believe that businesses should be responding to comments and reviews online.
These websites are more important than other forms of marketing because (1) they are more objective and credible, and (2) customers turn to them first. The future of your business depends on you being where customers are. What put you there, and we make sure you’re taking advantage of all of these opportunities.
We provide detailed reports, available 24/7, on the growth of your online presence, including increases in (1) the number of Fans and Followers your business has, (2) the number of people who are visiting your social media pages, (3) the increase in customer engagement that your business is enjoying with Main Street Hub, and more.
We will also provide you with weekly updates where you can easily see these statistics as well as all of the messages that we have written on your behalf. Our professional writers have a lot of experience with what works and doesn’t work on social media, and we think you will find that their ability to engage your audience is huge part of Main Street Hub’s value.
What does Main Street Hub need from me?
We only need a little help from you in order to get started. After that, our goal is always to make our partnership as easy as possible for you.
From the moment you sign up, our team begins to study your online presence and learn as much as possible about your business. Within one business day, your dedicated account manager will be in touch to welcome you to Main Street Hub and ask follow-up questions about your business and your goals.
What if I don’t have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yelp, or any of these websites?
No problem! We’ll build them for you.
Does social media really matter?
Definitely. Over a billion people use Facebook. Eighty-four percent of consumers consult customer reviews online. The future of your business depends on you being where the customer are.
General Questions about Facebook and Twitter
What is Facebook?
Facebook is the largest website on the internet. Its mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. It has over a billion users. If it were a country, it would be the third largest on Earth.
On top of all that, Facebook occupies more Americans’ time than any other website. And studies have shown that people who find you from Facebook are more likely to come back than people who find you from advertising. Because Facebook is not about ads—it’s about relationships—it’s more credible in the eyes of your customers.
How does Facebook work?
Facebook is a place where people can connect and share with their friends, family, and anyone else they’ve ever met. If you sign up for Facebook as an individual, you can search for someone you know and send them a “friend request.” If that person approves the friend request, you are connected. Now, you can see every message they write or photograph they upload.
Facebook users can also connect with businesses, not just other individuals. So, if a Facebook user comes to your Business Page, they can connect with your business just like they can connect with other people. To connect with a business, though, a Facebook user does not send a friend request. Instead, they click the “Like Button,” a button at the top of your Business Page that says, “Like.”
When a Facebook user clicks the “Like Button,” all of that person’s friends are notified that that person “likes” your business. It’s a fantastic endorsement.
What opportunity is available to me by using Facebook for my business?
There are lots of great ways to use Facebook for your business, and we’ll be doing it all for you: (1) If you haven’t done so already, we’ll create a Facebook Page for your business; (2) We’ll help you invite your customers to join your page as Fans; (3) We’ll share engaging content with your customers, so they stay in touch; (4) We’ll subtly and tastefully encourage your customers to spread the word about your business; (5) We’ll create promotions that reward people for being Fans and that attract new Fans; and (6) We’ll register you for a customized Facebook URL, which you can use in all of your marketing materials.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is “a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” For businesses, it’s a simple tool that helps connect them more meaningfully with the right customers when they’re talking about spending on goods and services.
Twitter processes hundreds of millions of messages (or “tweets”) every day. And smart businesses are taking notice. GM uses it to solve customer service issues. Foursquare encourages customers to post their check-ins to Twitter. And Dell has sold millions of dollars worth of computers through Twitter alone. Thousands of local businesses are also using Twitter in creative ways to attract and retain customers.
Why? Because Twitter users are about twice as likely to visit a company’s website, post an online review, or click on an ad.
How does Twitter work?
Every person on Twitter can write a “tweet,” a message no longer than 140 characters. Each Twitter user can “follow” as many other Twitter users as they want. If you follow another user, you can see all of their tweets. So if you tweet something, all of your “followers” see it, and if they respond to you, all of their followers see it. Again, it’s all about word of mouth.
What opportunity is available to me by using Twitter for my business?
Here’s how we’ll be helping you make the most of Twitter: (1) We’ll search Twitter for what people are saying about your business; (2) We’ll proactively reach out to customers looking for your product or services; (3) We’ll seek out people who are talking about your competitors, especially people who are saying negative things about them and may want to switch to you; and (4) We will connect with people in your area on Twitter and grow your following through engaging content.
Engaging Customers on Facebook and Twitter with Main Street Hub
How many “Fans,” “Likes,” or “Followers” should my business have?
This is the wrong question to ask. The point of Facebook and Twitter is not to amass as many Fans or Followers as possible—though we certainly can help expand your reach. The point of all of this is engagement.
Each person on Facebook, for example, is connected to 200 people on average. What’s more important: one person who engages with your Page and spreads the word about your business to their 200 friends, or ten people who don’t engage with your Page at all? You will reach many more people, and you will retain more customers, if you can keep them engaged. That’s what we’re all about.
How often should a business post to Facebook or Twitter?
Your social media approach should be like Goldilocks’ porridge—not too hot, and not too cold. You want your customers to be thinking about you regularly, but you don’t want to annoy them. The number one reason why people “Unlike” a Facebook Page? The business posts too often.
For most businesses, about five posts per week on Facebook and Twitter are enough.
Will Main Street Hub post messages to Facebook and Twitter more often if I want them to?
Yes. At Main Street Hub, we pride ourselves on having a ‘no-limit’ posting policy. We want to make sure we are able to post any and all content you request in a timely matter.
How does Main Street Hub help me increase participation on my Facebook Page or Twitter account?
Your dedicated account manager works with a team of professional writers who know what works and what doesn’t work on Facebook. We craft messages that have been proven to prompt more participation by customers on our customers’ Pages. We ask questions, create engaging images, find interesting articles, and more.
We will also use cross-promotion to let people on each social media website know about your other presence across the web.
All of this content will be designed with one purpose in mind: to encourage your customers to share your Page with their networks.
General Questions about Customer Review Websites
What are “customer review websites”?
Yelp and Google+ are websites that collect customer reviews about local businesses. They have generated a lot of controversy, but there is no denying their impact. Tens of millions of people visit each of these websites every month, on their phones or on their computers, and that number is growing fast.
Love them or hate them, sites like Yelp are not going anywhere, especially when 4 out of 5 customers rely on online reviews before spending their money.
And now that businesses can respond to Yelp and Google reviews, business owners have the power to make their presence on these sites more positive and rewarding—if they do it right.
What opportunity is available to me by using customer review websites?
Here’s what we do for customers on our Basic and Value Plans: (1) We claim your business listing, and fill out your profile completely; (2) We respond to the existing reviews that are most recent and most influential on your profiles; (3) We guarantee to draft responses to all new reviews within 48 hours—and we’ll usually do it within 24 hours; (4) We’ll invite positive reviews to join your Facebook Page; and (5) We’ll flag inappropriate reviews immediately, and follow up to make sure they’re removed.
How many reviews should my business have?
There is no single answer to this question. The number of reviews you have is a product of the kind of business you run and the kinds of people who make up your customer base. Restaurants receive a high number of reviews because of the number of people who patronize those businesses every day. Other businesses, like dry cleaners, receive fewer reviews because they are less “flashy.”
However, the number of reviews you have does not matter. What matters is what your reviews say. It’s better to have two reviews that average 4.5 stars than one hundred reviews that average 3 stars. If you have two reviews and one of them is negative, you’ll want us to respond to that review because that review will weigh heavily in the decision-making process for potential customers.
How many stars should my business have?
We would love for you to have a perfect five-star rating, but that’s unlikely to happen. Why? It’s simply because you cannot please everyone, and you cannot control what every person will write. You can, though, control what you do in response, and that’s where we come in.
If you have 10 reviews, and one of them is negative, that’s actually not a bad thing. It shows that your reviews are real, not fake. And it gives us the opportunity to show how committed you are to customer service by responding in a polite way to that reviewer.
Responding to Customer Reviews
Which reviews should Main Street Hub respond to?
We should (and will) respond to the most recent and influential reviews that are currently on your customer review profiles, as well as every single new review that you receive.
Why should Main Street Hub respond to customer reviews for me?
We have a team of professional writers that knows what works and what doesn’t. We have a lot of experience with helping our customers turn negative opinions around, and though we won’t be successful in every case, we believe we can increase your odds of getting a favorable result.
In addition, customer reviews are a sensitive subject, and we have seen business owners respond in anger to a negative review. Losing your cool, even for a moment, can have disastrous consequences because your actions live on the internet forever. We can help by taking this burden off of your shoulders and crafting a calm, polite, effective response that will reflect well on you for all time. As a matter of fact, a recent study from BazaarVoice has shown that 71% of consumers change their perception of a negative review after seeing a professionally written response from the business.
How will Main Street Hub respond to customer reviews on my behalf?
When a new review appears on your profile, our team will swing into action. We will draft a response and email an “Authorization Request” to you when it’s time for you to look it over. If you like the response, you can approve it with one click. If you want to change anything, you can either edit the text directly, or you can choose not to publish our draft and return it to us with your feedback. All of this is made simple by our easy-to-use one-click system.
Improving Your Website’s Ties to Social Media
Can you update my website?
We do not administer individual business websites. Instead, we are focused on the websites that matter most to your customers. Far and away, those websites are Facebook, Google, Yelp, Twitter, and others like them. But just because we do not administer individual business websites does not mean that you shouldn’t update yours to embrace the powerful role that social media plays in today’s economy.
What does my website need?
We strongly recommend adding a number of features to your website. During the first month of working together, we will email you with more specific instructions that you can forward to the person who manages your website.
First, we recommend adding a Facebook “Like Box”. It has three main benefits: (1) It makes visitors aware of your presence on Facebook, which is your most powerful marketing tool, (2) It gives visitors a taste of what they can expect by joining the Facebook Page, and (3) It provides visitors with a one-click method of becoming a “Fan” directly from your website.
Second, we suggest adding the Twitter Profile Widget. It shows all of the tweets we write for you, instantly. It’s a great way to make visitors to your website aware of your Twitter presence, and it’s an easy way to keep your site updated and fresh without having to pay your web consultant an expensive hourly fee.
Third, we think there’s great value to adding a Facebook “Facepile” application. When your site has the “Facepile” application, and someone comes to your site, they see pictures of the friends of theirs who have already “Liked” your business on Facebook. Nothing is more powerful than a trusted source, and when someone sees that their friends already approve and have publicly voiced their support for you, that person is more likely to do the same.
Fourth, we recommend adding “social media buttons” that link to Google+ and Yelp. You want people who support your business to write reviews of your business on those pages. Why not make it as easy as possible for them to do so? If you include those links, you’ll be more likely to convert a visitor to your website into an evangelist for your business on Google+ or Yelp.
Fifth, we suggest adding a Google Map that shows your location. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, you ultimately want people to know where you are. A Google Map makes your location come alive much more than just an address. For example, not many people will know the exact location of your street address—they won’t know the cross-street and they won’t immediately know which landmarks are nearby. But if you provide them with a map that immediately shows them which block you’re on and which landmarks are nearby, they’ll have much better awareness of your location and will be more likely to remember you when they are in the area.
Sixth, we would advise you to add high-quality photos to your website. Now, you can even take great photos from a cell phone, so there’s no excuse to having dark, grainy photographs on your website. Put some new photos up there that feature smiling faces and really show off your business. You’ve put endless hours into making a great business. Having an old, unattractive website is like having a storefront where the lights are off and the windows are broken.
Main Street Hub and Search Engine Optimization
Can you help me with SEO?
Not directly. Frankly, we do not believe SEO is as important as it was ten years ago. The most important thing for local businesses has always been word of mouth. With social media, word of mouth has finally come online, and impersonal search engines are losing some of their luster. Now, four out of five people are going to customer review websites, Facebook, or Twitter to find local businesses. And the time and money you invest in these social media websites will pay off in permanent increases in word-of-mouth in the long run. In contrast, the time and money that you put into SEO can disappear at the drop of a hat if Google or Bing decide to change just one ingredient in their formulas (which happens all the time).
Will you get my business on the first page of Google or Yelp?
Probably not. And we would be skeptical of anyone who promised you that they could.
Again, we do not think that SEO should be your primary goal. If we did, we would offer services designed to put you on the first page of Google search results. The fact is that your primary goal should be looking your best on the websites that matter most to your customers, and those websites are social media and customer review websites.
Why is social media more important than SEO?
Why is word-of-mouth more effective than advertising in the Yellow Pages? People trust other people, especially their friends and family! And the most recent statistics on customer behavior shows that friend-to-friend recommendations on social media are a much more trusted source of consumer information than anything else online.