Today I went to a very informative small business seminar, hosted by the Novi Chamber of Commerce and the Novi Library. The seminar was focused on Google Maps for the purpose of building a virtual network of local businesses. This is not a new concept and I have been speaking of this with my small business clients for at least 3 years.
Before I go on I want to tip my hat to Doug Willett, LunaTech3D, a Google affiliate who provides the LOOK INSIDE videos for businesses, non-profit organizations, and downtown development groups. Doug provided great insights into the why and how of Google ranking and Google+ pages and Google maps.
UPDATED February 2017
It's been two years since the original post and in those two years each of the social channels has updated their platform layouts to improve the customer experience and provide businesses with more visually appealing formats and advertising options. To keep your business profile up to date, here is a current article from SproutSocial that provides the image sizes for the major social channels.
Here's a simple way to address a social media review that is less than stellar. In this case I did not have any business relationship with Jenny. I acknowledged the reviewer and through the response I a) implied that this review may have been without basis, and b) showed interest in working through the issue.
Other small businesses struggle with this issue, and next to finding time to manage a social media site with thoughtful content of various media types, this is the reason why they choose not to participate in social media.
In summary, take the good with the bad, and know that the bounty of good will dwarf the bad.
These articles are written by Tami Bethune, owner of BTG Solutions, a consultant providing website design and social media marketing plans for small businesses with small business budgets.