QR Codes Are Back! How to Use Them To Improve Your Online Reputation

QRCode ScannerSometimes, the best inventions come in the form of tiny little squares. After a long hiatus, and with some hiding in our favorite mobile apps, QR codes are back and in a big way. Here’s why:

QR Codes are about to go through a major rebirth thanks to Apple. Recently, Apple released iOS 11 that has a native QR code reader built into the Camera app. Apple’s iOS release joins Android’s 6.0 (“Marshmallow”) release to automatically recognize a QR code when the default camera app is pointed at any QR code.

The Sordid Past of QR Codes

While the codes remained extremely popular in Asian markets, things didn’t go so well in the West. In order to scan QR codes, consumers in places like the US had to download an app onto their mobile devices. Unfortunately, it was a hassle downloading the apps, and often times the available apps would break. This frustrated the American consumer, leading to the death of the QR code in the West.

What’s a QR Code?

Also known as a Quick Response Code, a QR code is a square containing tiny codes of black and white. These squares hold a ton of storage and are scanned by mobile devices such as your phone or tablet.

What Can it Do?

Due to its ability to hold a ton of storage, these little squares accomplish several feats. QR codes can: track a product, identify an item, track time, be used for document management and marketing purposes. If you’ve ever wanted free stuff at your local convention, you’ve probably scanned a few QR codes. Social media sites like Snapchat are already using the codes, giving QR the opportunity to re-brand in a more positive light.

Use QR Codes to Get More Reviews

Not everyone creates QR codes or even knows about them. But, at ReviewInc, we have the ability to create and even print out QR codes for your business. We even have a business card creator that will create Vista Print ready images that includes your very own QR code.

Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Honoring the Victims and Families of 9/11

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Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.

- Ralph Marston
American Writer

Knowing Facebook’s Rules Can Improve Your Business

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These days, there are standards for everything. Facebook, for instance, has their own set of community standards and terms of use. These standards are there to protect the consumer and the business. In many ways, it’s intended to police the consumer, putting the kibosh on hate speech and trolling. Luckily, it is to the benefit of business owners and social media managers alike.

Where to Find Facebook’s Regulations

Facebook’s Community Standards page is a catch-all for everyone who uses the site. They keep things pretty simple. Don’t sell or trade drugs. Encourage respectful behavior. And respect the intellectual, individual, and property rights. While it’s laid out plainly, the Community Standards page does not go deep into detail.

As a business owner or social media guru, what you want is the Terms of Service page. Keep this link in your back pocket. After all, you do not want to be searching for it through roundabouts on the Facebook pages when you need it most.

The Golden Rule Applies

Now that you know your own rights, you’re probably wondering how this can help you as a business owner. Your best bet is looking at the Terms of Service page. The first thing you should take a look at is section 3, labeled “Safety.” Here, it shows you cannot do anything illicit, but neither can anyone else. A person cannot intimidate, harass, or bullying a business. Inversely, a business engaging in this behavior spells disaster for a business’s Facebook page.

That said it isn’t always a simple case of bullying. Creating a false account can be grounds for expulsion from the website. Located in section 4, Registration and Account Security, it says that anyone falsifying their personal information in Facebook is against Facebook’s terms of use. And in section 5, Protecting Other People’s Rights, it says repeatedly infringing or violating someone’s rights or the law could spell expulsion from the website.

The Warning Label to be Aware of

After you read through the Terms of Service page, you may be a bit nervous about one thing in particular. Here it is in legalese:

“[…] you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless you’re content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

You may own what you post on your pages, but Facebook has the right to do anything they please with your posts. As far as adhesion contracts go, this may be scary when it comes to intellectual property. Even so, Facebook protects its users when others use your logo or brand name without your permission.

The part that makes this interesting is how you can use other people’s information. If this applies to you as a business owner, what about original posts by your customers such as reviews?

Sensitive Information

It’s also important for businesses not to post their customer’s information or take any kind of property. Facebook dictates you need consent if you collect information from your customers. This is especially the case for things like comments or user reviews. Say you want testimonials on your website. According to Facebook, you have to do three things. First, you need consent from the customer. Next, you need to make it clear that you and not Facebook is the recipient of the information. And last, you also need to give customers your business’s privacy policy so they know that you will not post their personal information or document.

What This Means for Your Reviews

Sometimes understanding Facebook’s rules is difficult as a business owner. This is especially the case with their terms of service and their online reviews. But, once you have that knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to navigate Facebook even better. What’s more is your business is more likely to succeed in the world of social media.

This article is just our interpretation of Facebook’s terms and should not be relied upon as official legal interpretation. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney for clarification and how these terms apply specifically to your business and its needs.

If you have any more questions about Facebook, improving your online reviews, or reputation management, we offer free consultations. Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Four Ways To Make Your Company Page Stand Out

35041872 - blue strawberry between red ones.It’s good to be unique. That is, if you have a business.

Some companies cobble together their information on various social media and review sites. However, if that’s all they do it doesn’t garner much traffic. To compete with competitors your business should offer something different. So why not start with what’s online? Here are four helpful ways to make your company pages stand up to the competition.

Declutter, Don’t Complicate Things

You’re selling a brand not a product. You don’t have time to go over your products and everything they do; that’s what salespeople and demos are for. Instead, you have to make an impression based on your brand and your belief system. When you keep your brand information short and sweet, you will keep your audience interested. This can lead to a deepened interest in what you do sell and more profit coming your way.

Your Company Should Reflect Your Passions

Make your company organic to your belief system. After all, if you’re passionate, your clients will become passionate, too. One of the best ways to do this are the extra touches you place on your page. If you market apples to business owners, make your logo an apple. If you are a beekeeper, make the background to your pages hives and honey combs. And if you’re an undertaker- well, we’ll leave that up to the undertakers.

Be Unique, But Target Too

Rethink. Rebrand. But don’t be cliché. It’s important to be yourself, but gear your rebranding toward that specific audience. Use verbiage that makes sense for your target audience. If most of your revenue comes from business owners in the auto industry, use key words from that industry. Medical industry? Make an inside yet tasteful pun about tongue depressors that will get them smiling. Do things that will humanize your business to create personal connections necessary to close those sales.

Tell The World What Your Customers Say

Businesses often gain customers via word of mouth, even online. That’s why customer feedback and engagement are so important. Responding to reviews and customer posts makes you look responsive and human. Once they’ve had positive experiences, they become an advocate and influencer for your brand. This can lead to testimonials or a review widget with positive feedback on your page. Reviews on your company page show potential customers positive experiences. Those experiences are analogous to word of mouth, meaning more business for you.  Their feedback also lends credibility to your brand.  Without it, your brand efforts might be in vain.
 
The old adage goes “content is king, but engagement is queen.” In other words, when it comes to reputation, engagement is everything. So why not start on your reputation today? ReviewInc is always available to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation on how to improve your online reviews and reputation management. Schedule today! Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com .

 

Choosing a Real Estate Agent? The Rules Have Changed

Real Estate Agents Meme

Looking for a Real Estate Agent?  My how things have changed in the last 2 years. ReviewInc has followed up on its study from 2015 with a new survey about choosing Real Estate agents, and the results are in.

The exact same survey was presented to 1,500 U.S. consumers asking them what they research before they engage the services of a real estate broker. It is clear that online research continues to dominate the landscape. While people continue to ask their friends or neighbors, online mediums including the agent’s website, searching Google/Bing and reading reviews on sites like Zillow, Yelp and Google are still critical for real estate agents.

Real Estate Agents 2015 vs 2017

The two categories that saw the largest change were checking reviews on Zillow and the agent’s website. Of course, even reviews on Yelp and Google saw a higher percentage change, but Zillow saw twice the rate of the change compared to Yelp and Google.Change in Research Methods for Real Estate Agents

When ReviewInc conducted its original survey, Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) had just announced its acquisition of rival Trulia for $2.5B.  It was a gamble, but it appears to have paid off.  Zillow shares have grown by over 20% in the past two years outpacing Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP) whose shares declined by 16% since in that same period.  Of course, Google, aka Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), the 800 pound gorilla, continues to steam forward.
StockPrices

If you are a real estate agent, make sure that your website is updated and optimized for local search.  Also, make sure that you get lots of reviews on Zillow, Yelp and Google – because they clearly matter.

Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process. Utilizing a feedback and review management system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate and measure feedback.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.