Twitter Reconnect Suggestion, Say Hi!

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twitter-reconnect-suggestion

Twitter adds a Reconnect and “Say Hi!” Suggestion

For many social media people, connecting through twitter’s main site and a desktop is not the norm. Twitter through mobile is the most common way users connect, “60% of our users connect with mobile devices.” http://business.twitter.com/twitter-mobile

Further, with platforms like tweetdeck and hootsuite, many social media experts rarely visit twitter’s actual website. It does leave one to wonder how much of an impact an update such as “Reconnect” really makes. How many users will ever even see these reconnect suggestions?

Why would twitter add the reconnect suggestion?

As for twitter, it is likely that they are pushing these interactions to keep users engaged in their platform. They want to retain users and the draw that social media platforms have for retaining uses is interactions. After all, social media is about being social. Have you reconnected with anyone on twitter lately?

Take twitter’s advice and “Say Hi!”

Awkward-Twitter-Bird-Reconnects

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Forbes: What’s the Point to Social Media? Pest Control Guy Answers

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Ushahidi in Forbes Magazine

Ushahidi in Forbes Magazine (Photo credit: whiteafrican)

Lois Geller does a great piece on social media. She reveals how poorly some companies are doing it, and how so many don’t have a real clear cut business purpose. Using real numbers from 3M, Coke, and Pepsi it’s a good read:

Social Media Marketing: What’s The Point?

Advertisers lost control of the media years ago when the Internet gave all the target audiences the power to run their own message delivery systems.

I’m not sure we’d fully recovered from that peaceful revolution when another gigantic wave hit us, then another and another: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, Yelp, Foursquare, and on and on.

The whole Social Media thing can be very confusing which partly explains the problems some companies are experiencing with it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/loisgeller/2012/09/04/social-media-marketing-whats-the-point/

She then asks how businesses are using social media.

My Comment:

Social media can be used in so many different parts of a business. It can simply be another line of communication, like a new telephone number. Or it can be a  customer out reach program, fostering current customers relations and gathering consumer feedback. But some how these new innovations always tend to fall in the marketing departments lap… How do we make money on this? How do we use this to get more customers? It can do that too, but that may be one of it’s least effective uses.

We use it for customer outreach and retention. It’s primary use for this pest control guy is to add another line of communication with existing customers. And Facebook is the platform of choice for that. The value in this comes in customer retention. We believe that a customer who likes you on facebook is more likely to keep your service.

But don’t mind me… I am just a pest control guy.

Thomas B.
Bulwark Exterminating

P.S. @Lois… Find it kinda interesting the Forbes does not have an easy location on it’s page here for me to find your twitter account. Plus the twitter button on the left adds a mention to  @Sharethis and not to you as an author. I may be a prude, but I’d like to give credit to the author when I share articles. Social Media to me is about identifying with people first. I think Forbes is missing the boat here. In fact, the “Follow” button at the top only leads me to follow you on the Forbes website…. Disappointing.

Sadly that will not be retweeted as I originally intended to do because Lois deserves the mention, not @Sharethis… and at minimum Forbes should be mentioned in the tweet. I would probably be more forgiving had the article not been about Social Media.

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GM Pulls Social Media Marketing and Facebook Ads

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General Motors automobile mural

General Motors automobile mural (Photo credit: Toban Black)

Facebook and Social Media are not search marketing. Most people don’t search on facebook or other social media platforms. If you must, Facebook marketing is classic interruption marketing. Your there having a party with your friends, talking, sharing photos, building memories, and *WHAMOO* an ad pops up related to green jello since you were just talking about gelatin something

or others. Yeah, yeah, go away green jello giant we were thinking something more blonde with that Jello reference.

Search marketing is engaging internet surfers while they are looking to engage you. Different story. You’re not interrupting them, your helping them. You can’t treat these avenues the same. You match a bow with an arrow, not a bullet. You might get lucky and kill something with bow and bullet, or unlucky…

Aimclear covers a their thoughts on GMs failed Facebook marketing attempts. www.aimclearblog.com/2012/05/16/thanks-gm-that-leaves-more-facebook-ads-impressions-for-me/

My comment:

Why isn’t GM spending what they spend on one commercial ad to build a freaking awesome Facebook Car Game?

…I know, who would listen to a pest control guy’s ideas on marketing.

 

p.s. I try leaving comments and apparently Thos003 hits the spam filter every time. So now I blog my comments and link back.

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BBB Gives SEO Advice… Tainted with Black Hat Magic

SEO is becoming mainstream to the business owner. 6 to 7 years ago I would be shocked to find a business owner that new what SEO was. Today I am shocked to find one that doesn’t. The majority of business owners now know they need and want SEO. The problem now becomes understanding what SEO really is, and does a business owner ultimate get his website ranked in Google. Hence the BBB is trying to fill a need for its loyal members by providing a quick and easy guide to getting websites ranked.

Here is the BBB’s article: 5 Steps To Get Your Business On Google’s First Page

Reckless. Very reckless. If only SEO was as quick and easy as a 5 step.

Black Hat Magic

What  irritated me the in this article was the following statement:

Accredited Businesses who use BBB’s dynamic seal on their website will greatly benefit from bbb.org’s high domain status, thus increasing their own domain authority and search engine ranking.

What BBB did here is shrewdly ask for a link. Asking for a reciprocal link to be more clear. Further, implicating that by adding a link to the BBB the businesses owner will get better ranks. They even linked to Moz.com within this misguided statement. Was this contrived or is the writer is naive? While this tactic of reciprocal linking isn’t entirely black hat, the fact that the article doesn’t give full disclosure that they are asking for a link makes me cringe.

 

Most Effective SEO Strategies

spring-spider-pest-controlDespite the BBB’s attempt to gain links from their naive and trusting followers, the BBB did publish a survey with some good percentages for effective SEO strategies. The survey put “Link Building” as the 3rd from the bottom. The respondents felt that “Quality Content Creation” is your best bet for SEO success. Bravo. Take the survey’s advice and work on your content strategy and keyword research. Give users the information they are searching for and your business should reap some SEM benefits. But please understand, SEO is not a quick 5 step project. It’s a competitive world out there, and everyone wants the first page of google.

 

Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/bbb-gives-seo-advice-tainted-with-black-hat-magic/

Google and Wikipedia sitting in a tree..

google-wikipedia-serps

 

So Google is now displaying a little drop down screen shot of the Wikipedia page associated with a website. The information is Universal and site wide, so this tab is included on deeper pages.

Why is this Interesting to me?

I find this very telling of how heavily google is now leaning towards entities in the search results.

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Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/google-and-wikipedia-sitting-in-a-tree/

704-214-6513 – CBS Broadcasting Charlotte

It seems rather frequent these days that Bulwark Exterminating gets calls from individuals “with the news station” wanting to “feature a pest control company”.

And now, more often then not, I am disappointed when a call gets through to my line with an intro of “They said they were with the news station.” Very few of these individuals are actually reporters covering news. Instead they are solicitors who have coat tailed in on the name of CBS News. Granted they don’t usually say they are covering a news story, or that they are reporters from the news station. They simply drop the familiar “News Station” name into their introduction and those answering the phones make great haste to get them to the proper PR person. But really, all they want to do is pitch a spot on their news website.

Now I know that a lot of traditional media stations are suffering with how to adapt to the internet. The online world is sucking viewers away by the millions. Reporters are getting scooped left and right by bloggers and youtube videos shot from smart phones. It is a tough new world for traditional media. But these phone calls make them seem even more desperate to me. And strangely, the “News Stations” just don’t get it. And sadly, most of them cave to running Google Adsense, feeding their biggest competitor.

And what they don’t see is the power they still wield. I am more than happy to bend over backwards for reporters, when they do actually call. I am happy to rearrange schedules, clean up a truck, find an ant mound, let them video our live scorpions, and even spend 2 hours to be dropped for breaking news. Because the news is still watched. Not by all demographics, but by the good majority of the demographic that will actually buy pest control. And your stations are still being watched. Yes, you may have to adjust for the loss of viewers. Yes, your prices will probably need to drop. But you still have an audience and you can make it profitable.

And for those solicitors that keep calling, you are making making your stations look bad. You are not reporters. Don’t pretend to be such. Don’t pretend to be offering a “news” feature. Further, online views are not the same as TV views. They shouldn’t cost the same, it’s not a bargain. The prices I’ve been offered for impressions on a news website are ridiculous. Especially when the ads are below the fold. So “No Thank You CBS Broadcasting in Charlotte NC. We don’t want to be solicited for a feature PAID spot on your website. If you do however want to feature our fabulous Charlotte Pest Control company in the news my lines are open.”

 

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Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/704-214-6513-cbs-broadcasting-charlotte/

Exit Seats – What did I agree to?

———— Starting #ExitSeats Training ——————————–

“… 300 series plane, so no flight attendant will help you
with emergency exit doors.” Points to Emergency folder…

“Your resposibilities are found in here. Any questions?”

————— End of Emergency Exit Door training. ——————–

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a ...

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a passenger airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what did I just agree to do?

Well for those of you that have agreed to this position of power, note that there are certain written responsibilities that come with the extra leg room. And if you do have any relatives flying on the plane with you then you should not be sitting in the exit row. These are serious federal laws.

Or you can use my line, “I don’t like those relatives, so I will be showing them anything but favoritism.”

If you are seared in a row of seats having direct access to an
overwing exit, you are in an emergency seat and may be called upon to
open the exit window and help other passengers leave the aircraft if a
crew member is not available to assist.

Each person seated in an exit seat must be willing and able to perform 
the following functions:

- Locate The emergency exit.
- Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism.
- Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit.
- Operate the emergency exit. Assess whether opening the emergency exit will
increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed.
- Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a Crew Member.
- Stow or secure the emergency exit window so that it will not impede use of exit.
- Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit
- Asses, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit.

A passenger seated in exit seat must have sufficient mobility strength  
dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to:

- Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of the emergency exit.
- Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms.
- Push, Shove, Pull, or otherwise open the exit.
- Lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, maneuver over the seatbacks
to next row or out the opening objects/obstructions the size and
weight of overwing window exits.
- Maintain balance while removing obstructions
- Reach the emergency exit and exit the aircraft expeditiously.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must:

- Be 15 years of age
- Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the
assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative
- Have the ability to read and understand instructions related to
emergency evacuation provided by Southwest Airlines in printed or
graphic form.
- Have the ability to understand  oral Crew commands.
- Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions
without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or
eyeglasses.
- Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions
shouted by Crew Members without assistance beyond a hearing aid.
- Have the ability to adequately impart information orally in English
to other passengers.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must not:
-use potable O2 concentrator.
- Have preboarded the aircraft. Required a seatbelt extension to
fasten his seat belt.
- Have a condition or responsibility such as caring for small children
or pets, that might prevent him  from performing the applicable functions.
- Have a condition that might cause the person harm if he performs one
or more of applicable functions.

Federal Regulations  Require that you identify yourself for reseating 
if you:
- Cannot meet the selection criteria
- Have a condition that will prevent you from performing the
applicable functions
- may suffer bodily harm as a result of performing any of the
applicable functions.
- do not wish to perform

Window door approx 50 pounds

_______end of folder training________

 

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Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/exit-seats-what-did-i-agree-to/

A Valentine’s Day Shout From Your Pest Control Guy

happy-valentine-day-ballantyne

So it’s Valentine’s Day! Yeah!! ..or Nay? For those that suffer through Valentine’s day, I understand. I feel the sentiment behind a friend’s words in saying, “it should be renamed ‘Singles Awareness Day’.”

But hey, being so closely named to this day, I have decided to embrace it and all the cheesiness that comes with it.

And as a pest control guy, this mean double “Love Bug” trouble.

bug-treat-recipeYes… that’s my crafty work.  I spent some time making these cute little love bugs. You can get your Love Bug Recipe here: http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/bug-treats

And beyond that, I played the romance killer in this short feature:

So there you have it…

Hope you have a Wonderful Happy Valentine’s Day!

oh.. and if you want to win a free year of pest control service in this year’s Valentine Video Contest, then might want to check out this link:

http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/contest-rules

 

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Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/a-valentines-day-shout-from-your-pest-control-guy/

From Yellow Page Spammers to Bad Plumbers Who PPC

A recent study by Ryan C. McDevitt of Duke University lays claim that plumbers who bid on Google’s PPC ads have a high likelihood of being poor quality plumbers.

The article makes a comparison of PPC ads to the former yellow pages. The argument begins with the home based services whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ or a number. They found plumbers with ‘A’ or numeric names charge a 8.4% price premium. They used a study from 2005 based on the Chicago yellow pages which documents ‘A’ names and number names by percentage of total listings in each category to point out plumber’s beat the average 9.3% of business with ‘A’ names. This study they used is pretty eye opening.

Source: American Business Disc,2005

Does it correlate that yesterday’s Yellow Page spammers are today’s internet spammers?

The fact that Locksmith’s tops the list reminds me of the notorious Locksmith spammers in today’s SEO world. Albeit it may not be entirely fair to suppose an ‘Automobile’ category is gaming the system by using ‘A’ names as the category itself begins with ‘A’.  It is also insightful that roughly 6.2% of competitive categories use ‘A’ or numeric names. If name selection for a business were unbiased we would likely see an average closer to 3.9% ‘A’ names, which is where Lawyers and Attorneys fall due to regulations requiring firms use names that match the lead attorney. Pizza companies actually fall below that mark with a 3.4% ‘A’ name ratio.

My Thoughts

The idea that plumbing spammers are more likely to bid on google PPC ads is intriguing. However I found that the study by McDevitt of Duke makes a lot of assumptions. Further, it used Yelp as a primary source for counting reviews and comparing complaint averages. I highly doubt that the data included Yelp’s obnoxious filtered reviews. Plus, as Larry Kim added, 25% of Yelp’s reviews are suspected as fake.

And if the conclusion has some merit among the plumbing industry, I find it hard to believe it is applicable to all home service industries. Granted I am a bit biased to the pest control industry, but even still, I find it hard to imagine a business model that could afford the current cost per ‘pest control’ click and not retain customers.

The study does have some tenable findings in the yellow pages with regards to A and numeric names associated with quality. I believe the choice to take the AAA name for phone book ranking is an indication of choosing short term gains over long term strategy. A well developed quality service takes more careful aim with long term strategies in the crosshairs.

But… “Hey, I am just the pest control guy.

for further discussion on this study visit HBR : http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/11/beware-the-plumbing-firm-that-advertises-a-lot/

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Article source: https://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/from-yellow-page-spammers-to-bad-plumbers-who-ppc/

Yelp Changes, sorts “Not Recommended” reviews from Low to High.

This past week yelp changed a few things, they no longer filer reviews!

But before you get too excited, they now “Recommend” and “Highlight” reviews, while they  have other “reviews currently not recommended.” But.. You can NOW click through to this reviews that are not currently recommended,  without having to enter a captcha!

“Yahoooooo!… No Captcha!

Wait there’s more, the “NOT RECOMMENDED” reviews are now sorted from low to high stars… AND they have a new video!!!

yelp-not-recommended-review-filter

Yelp-recommendation-software

(hmmm…. EVERY review? But what about the businesses that trip a review filter that causes their reviews to pass a different standard…???)

Yelp-Fake-Reviewer-filter

Wow… Not sure where to go with this one since Nick B. in Austin is so obviously fake, yet he’s reviews only got filtered for a “Bridal Company”. Check out this thread to see how many Yelper’s agree that Nick’s review should be filtered Austin Pest Control Reviews on Yelp

Yelp Testing Carousel Layout

Apparently I was one of the lucky 1% to see Yelp’s new layout. But I did find a way for you to see it yourself… CLICK HERE! 

Yelp-New-layout-carousel

The page is wider. The font is larger. The “Competitor Companies” on the right are pushed further down. The reviewer images are bigger. They encourage users to add photos, for better or worse. What I surely don’t like is that they have distorted the video image by taking a landscape layout and squished it into a square. It would be ideal if I could select the image to show in the video box… even worse is this:

Video-Yelp-Broken

They have also eliminated a few options, like bookmarking and linking to a review. They moved the compliments, messages, and follows to the left and only visible upon scrolling over them.

Yelp-new-design2

I give the new design a 3 star rating… nothing to be too excited about, but not too bad either. Still don’t like the review filter even if Yelp has changed the name to “Not Recommended”. And I am still not happy about the number of fake reviewers that Yelp knowing permits to remain on their system. Yes… KNOWINGLY permit. I’ve reached out to the uppers at yelp and they have assured me that this user and others like him are being looked into. But they have been aware of him since I first reported it over 2 months ago. Here is Luther with Yelp responding…

If anyone wants the details on the fake review network that yelp isn’t doing anything about, ping me. I’ve got a pretty little spreadsheet I can share with you.

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Article source: http://pestcontrolseo.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/yelp-changes-sorts-not-recommended-reviews-from-low-to-high/