Posts by: "robrunyan"

By Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO

Social review sites like Yelp enable recommendations for a particular business that are not selective; you are depending on the word-of-mouth referrals of a vast number of strangers—people who are generally not in your network.

But, think how much your confidence would be increased if reviews were generated solely from your social circle? Recommendations from those closest to you, friends and other close connections, are the most valuable recommendations, and the ability to comfortably contact those friends to get more information would add another social layer to the experience.

Social recommendation services are in fact a new web trend. Several new businesses are morphing their algorithms to weigh recommendations from one’s social circle greater than general online recommendations. Since Facebook is, right now, with upwards of 500 million users, widely recognized as having THE most powerful social graph, my money is on a Facebook app to win the social recommendation game, and right now it looks like Stik.com is in the lead.

Stik.com enables local businesses to capture recommendations by friends and customers one is connected to online, like on your Facebook businesss page. It also enables you to find professionals through Facebook via friend recommendations, similar to how one might use LinkedIn but specific to your Facebook network. Stik.com recommendations may also have search optimization value. There is also SEO benefit, within and perhaps outside of Facebook. When you are an optometrist or optician with a social network and a significant number of the people who have a relationship with you recommend you within your network, your content, conversations and network recommendations tag you as a thought leader for queries on “optometrist” or “optician” and help enhance your visibility when someone searches for keywords or keyphrases that are relevant to similar queries.

I have been participating on Stik.com for a few months now and building my network. My friends and contacts have been enthusiastic about providing Stik.com recommendations, and every time a recommendation is provided, it shows up on my Facebook wall for all my connections to see, keeping my expertise and services in the forefront of the minds of my significant social network.

Google is also getting into the game, and while I won’t discount the ability of the 800 lb. gorilla to make an impact, they have a dismal history of attempting to participate in the social web. Their +1 button is their attempt at a more efficient way for searchers to recommend content to friends without pointing away from search engine results. The +1 button allows your contacts through Gmail to see what links you like. Each time you search, the results will have a “+1″ button you can click which prompts Google to share that link with your network. It’s kind of a Google “Like” button. I am watching this feature and playing around with it, but I am not sold on it yet.

Connect with me on Facebook and visit my stik.com page and recommend me and I’ll be sure to do the same!

This post originally appeared on VisionMonday.com as part of the CLICK e-newsletter. You can see the original here.

Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is now a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for SightNation.com. Glazier is ataglazier@youreyesite.com and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog: eyeinfo.wordpress.comand his website: YourEyeSite.com. Author: Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0.

 

Visited your Stik.com profile lately?

I hope you noticed our note at the top of the page about adding your recommendations badge to your website or blog. It’s a great way to continue to collect recommendations from people who may not have found you on Stik.com.

Just click on the “Get Started Here” link from your profile page (see screenshot right) and we’ll give you the code (below) to add to your website, or the ability to e-mail that code to your webmaster. Succesful Stik.com professionals like Jon Wright and Joe Sopo have already added their badge to their websites and have continued to successfully boost their recommendations totals.

You never know where potential consumers are going to find you and it’s important to connect the dots between the different pages that make up your online presence. It’s easy to connect these two today so check it out.

If you have any feedback on this feature, please send us an email at support@stik.com.  This is a new tool, so if you have a good idea we just might add it!

The most successful Stik.com professionals have collected dozens of recommendations and 20 or more reviews. As you build toward that level you should manage your reviews so that the best are showing at the top of your profile when potential customers find you on Stik.com.

Visit your profile (you will need to log in) and “Like” your favorite reviews. This will elevate those reviews to the first page on your Stik.com profile.

You can also reply to your reviewers through commenting on what they wrote. It’s a good chance to thank the contacts who gave you valuable reviews. It’s also a simple step to show shoppers that you’re actively engaging with current and former clients. Make it short and sweet.

For example, check out real estate agent Laurie Arnold’s Stik.com profile Laurie Arnold's reviews(screenshot below) where she has interacted with her contacts that have reviewed her a trusted professional.

It’s that easy and is sure to be appreciated by someone who took the time to help you build an online presence and improve your search engine ranking. They’re also likely to be more enthusiastic references when potential customers seek their opinion on your services.

First impressions will be made based on what users see when they arrive at your profile, so take the time now to manage those crucial first impressions.

We may have developed our own language for communicating online from LOL to TTYL, but we should remember that whatever lingo we use, manners still matter.

Now you can thank your recommenders for their support, and keep your business top of mind!

Visit your profile (you will need to log in) and hover over any of your recommenders with your mouse. You’ll see a black “Thank” button popup (see the screenshot to the right). Click it and it automatically opens a private Facebook message where you can write a personal note.

Here’s an example:

Hey John, I want to thank you for taking the time to recommend me as a trusted mortgage professional on Stik.com. It means a lot to me that you took the time to do it. Your recommendation helps me appear in search results on Facebook, Google, and Bing. Please keep me in mind when you or people you know have mortgage-related needs. Thanks again!

It’s that easy and is sure to be appreciated by someone who took the time to help you build an online presence and improve your search engine ranking. They’re also likely to be more enthusiastic references when potential customers seek their opinion on your services.

At Stik.com we always appreciate feedback from users and analysts. We thought we’d share this post from Basil C. Puglisi, who quickly hits on the real value of Stik.com: finding trusted service providers to guide you through difficult and important purchase decisions. Check it out!

Stik: Reviews from your social network Making significant purchases such as new homes, insurance policies or even your well-planned retirement investments will require individuals to find professionals they can truly trust. Many unsuspecting consumers may find themselves working with unknown representatives or salespersons who may not always have the buyers best financial interest at heart. Just as unfortunately it can often be confusing to know where to find a trustworthy partner in … Read More

via Digital Brand Marketing Educator

It’s important to speak from the heart when asking for your friends for help. Starting today you can customize your requests for recommendations on Stik.com. It’s simple.

Visit your recommendations page and you will be prompted to create customized text for all future requests. We insert your friend’s individual name, provide some sample text and you write a message that your friends will recognize as uniquely yours. Your friends are more likely to respond when they believe the message came from you.

Here’s an example (see screenshot to the right):

Hi John – I really appreciate when friends are willing to vouch for me. Please visit my Stik profile where you can “Recommend” me as trusted realtor serving Oakland County. Thanks!

You can always go back and edit your customized request by visiting the  messages tab on your account page. There you can edit all of your custom requests (see screenshot below)

As always, the Stik.com team is here to help. Email us at support@stik.com.

You probably noticed that Facebook has converted your business page to the Timeline, like it or not. We’ve optimized the Stik.com tab to fit the new design. Just follow these simple steps to add your Stik.com recommendations and reviews to your Facebook business page:

(click on any of the screenshots to see a full screen version):

  1. Visit Stik.com and click on the to-do item that says, “Add a Stik.com tab to your Facebook Page.”*
  2. *If it already indicates this task is done then you should be set but you can always go back and configure again.
  3. Choose the Facebook page to which you’d like to add the Stik App and click save.
  4. Once you’ve completed these two steps go to your Facebook business page and you will see the Stik.com logo underneath the cover photo. 
  5. Visitors who click on that link will see your Stik.com recommendations on you Facebook page. 

If you have any feedback on this feature, please send us an email at support@stik.com.  This is a new tool, so if you have a good idea we just might add it!

Stik to who you know!

*Unfortunately, you cannot add a tab to your personal Facebook profile, only business Facebook Pages.  Facebook used to allow tabs on personal profiles, but they have since discontinued that feature.  Sorry that we can’t provide a better solution — we would love to support personal profiles, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen in the near future.

Your Stik.com profile shows off personalized recommendations and reviews that help potential clients trust you and feel comfortable doing business with you.  But what if you want to share more information about your business?

Starting today, you can display updates from your Facebook fan page on your Stik.com profile.  If you’re already working hard to create useful content for people on Facebook, it’s a no-brainer to display your posts publicly on your Stik.com profile as well.

Here’s how:

Visit your profile and click on the “Recent Activity” tab. (Don’t worry — this tab won’t appear to others unless you have already connected your Facebookfan page.) Then, click on the link to “Display your Facebook content here” and choose the fan page you’d like to display. It’s as simple as that!

 

A few quick notes:

  • If you receive a message that your fan page cannot be displayed, the problem is that page is not accessible to people who are not logged in to Facebook. To change that, go to your fan page in Facebook and click the “Edit Page” button. At the very top of the “Manage Permissions” tab on the edit menu you will see page visibility options. Make sure that your page is visible to people in all countries and people of all ages. If you have either “Country Restrictions” or “Age Restrictions” set then visitors to your Stik.com profile will not be able to view your fan page.
  • Don’t have a Facebook Page but want to create one?  Go here to get started

Every realtor wants to know how he or she can make money from social media.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, shared her own plan for getting the most from social media in a two-part series on Inman News over the past week. Bernice astutely observes that, “The real issue when it comes to social media and real estate sales is that most people have confused the technology platforms with the actual business of providing real estate services.”

Social media isn’t a new way of conducting real estate business; it’s a more efficient means of doing the same business that realtors have been carrying out for years. Building a reputation and relying on referrals has been the status quo for years in real estate.

That’s still the case as evidenced by the 64 percent of sellers who said they chose their agent based on a referral or had used the same agent in the past, according to the most recent National Association of Realtor’s profile of home buyers and sellers. “Buyers also most commonly choose an agent based on a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative, with trustworthiness and reputation being the most important factors,” the report said.

However, what has changed dramatically is how buyers and sellers are finding out who their friends and family have recommended. Fully 89 percent of buyers said they used the Internet to search for a home and 85 percent of those searchers purchased their home through a real estate agent. In the prime home-buying age bracket of 25 to 44 year olds, an astounding 94 percent of homebuyers start their search on the Internet.

These numbers should tell savvy realtors that the real opportunity with social media is to build an online presence and maximize potential referrals by expanding your social networks. In other words,  it’s about replicating the same offline experience that home buyers and sellers have relied on to find someone they can trust help them through this complex process.

Bernice is exactly right when she says, “The way you use social media to expand your sphere of influence (i.e., your friends and followers) is the same way you would make friends with a new neighbor next door.” It’s just become so much easier to reach people than knocking on doors or posting yard signs. But with everyone jumping on the social media bandwagon, it will be the realtors who execute tactful outreach, as Bernice prescribes, that reap the greatest benefits.

In part two of her series, Bernice advises realtors to start Facebook business or fan pages, and participate in video testimonials and two-way exchanges with contacts. These are all great tips that can have real benefits.

However, we built Stik.com as a low-maintenance alternative tool for realtors, and other time-pressed professionals, to tap into the power of social networks without becoming a full-fledged guru on their own. After creating a Stik.com profile in a matter of 60 seconds, professionals can request recommendations from any or all of their Facebook friends and then get back to other work while recommendations – and the SEO juice that comes with them – roll in.

Practicing the etiquette and protocol that Bernice and others suggest is certainly a good idea, but zeroing in on the time investments that will deliver the most business should be the priority.

 

You just registered as a professional at Stik.com. Congrats! (If you haven’t then do it now at Stik.com)

We’ve designed Stik.com to be a low maintenance tool for sales professionals to engage with consumers who already have a connection with them. However, here is one way to use Twitter to jumpstart the advantages that a Stik.com profile offers:

Tweet your profile. It’s easy and has real benefits.  You can use our Tweet button right from your profile and adjust the auto text as necessary.  Tweeting your profile will:

  • Increase the number of visitors to your page, both to recommend you and to check out your services
  • Build valuable links in search engines, increasing your search ranking on sites like Google

Google recently started integrating their social results with all other results. So now when your Google contacts search for realtor (see screenshot) they may see your result sooner than they would have pre-social search — but only if you get your Stik.com profile out in the social sphere.

So Tweet it today!