Category Archives: Facebook

Micro PR AKA Neighborhood PR

micro PR

The Benefits of Joining a Facebook Group for Local Businesses and Brands

If you own a brick and mortar business or a brand with a product/service for a specific area, then this article is directed at you!

Most every community has local Facebook groups. The purpose of different groups might be for buying/selling various items, a forum for neighbors, uniting locals with a common interest, etc. Bigger cities will have more groups and diversity, but local Facebook groups aren’t hard to find.

Facebook groups are valuable on a number of fronts. Facebook groups can be used to help fill an opening/staff your business, keep you informed of community happenings, help you keep tabs on potential competitors, advertise and more. Facebook groups are also often where your target demographic could be. People that move to a new community are desperate to find recommendations for new doctors, babysitters, repair services, you-name-it. The people that physically live in a community are going to find a way to exchange information, ideas and gather online. Community and local Facebook are a great starting point for taking the pulse of your potential clients.

Read the Rules

Before you go into a Facebook group with advertising guns blazing, read the rules. Most successful groups have some sort of rules so that the group isn’t just an endless series of MLM (multilevel marketing) posts. Guidelines help make Facebook groups enjoyable for members. A potential rule might be that individuals can only post about their businesses on a certain day of the week or groups might ask members to post hiring ads in a certain thread. Some groups have different themes for different days of the week. 


The best first step to take when entering any group is to observe. Just because you can’t post about your business, doesn’t mean you won’t get value from the group. You could even belong to some groups solely for the purpose of observing. Observing provides you with the opportunity to view the thought processes, questions, wants and desires of your target audience or local community.  You are gaining first-hand reconnaissance on how to market your brand.  You can see where your brand stands amongst competitors, what others think of your brand and what your potential client’s value and are searching for. Some groups may be more valuable than others, but take the time to listen before posting anything so that you can stay in tune with the community.

Recruit Other Voices

The owner of a business isn’t the sole arbiter of information about that brand. Recruit help in the form of trustworthy employees or loyal clients to help you advertise your brand. You may be able to ask some happy customers that you are friendly with to leave you a good review or to recommend you to their neighbors within community groups. Sometimes the most powerful voice isn’t yours! Don’t shy away from using an outsider to help convey a message about your brand, granted that your source is both positive and trustworthy.

Help Others

Be helpful! Your primary objective may be promoting your business, but if you can help others along the way, it won’t hurt your reputation. Perhaps you can donate product or service to a local worthy cause or simply recommend a business that you have used and found helpful in the past.

Staying Behind the Curtain

You will have to decide whether you want to be a public persona for your business or whether you want to lie low and observe. If you don’t have a lot of time to continually monitor your online presence within a Facebook group, it may be best to simply open your ears. Facebook groups can be a great tool for getting the word out about your brand, but they are equally great for social listening.

Facebook groups aren’t a new community invention, they are just an example of community taking place online. If you want to learn more about how micro PR could benefit your brand, contact us here.

How to Build an Online Presence for Your Business

online presence

Building an online presence can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this article will serve as a guide on how to get started online and tell you what we, at Alter Endeavors, think is necessary for every business to have online.

Pick your Platforms

Let’s start with the fact that in a world where there are literally endless social platforms on the Internet, you absolutely have to set limits. Which means you don’t have to be on every social platform. At AE, we suggest starting with a 1-3 approach. Meaning, at a minimum, choose between one and three social media platforms, and concentrate on doing those well. But how do you choose which platforms are right for you? First and foremost, your choice is based on WHO you are trying to reach. Who are your essential, must-have customers? Are they even on this platform? If your people are there, you HAVE to be there. Once you decide, you may need a basic guide on how to start a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Houzz account.

Focus on your Core Values

A major part of establishing a company is promoting your core values and your mission statement. When setting up your platforms, the “about section” should have a strong description that is unique to your brand. Consumer loyalty increases drastically when their values align with a brand they use, and this can be a key aspect of who your loyal customers are. Once again, consistency in your about section/bio is important across all platforms to enforce your brand’s image. So, when choosing your mission statement, be sure to take the time to develop it so that it exemplifies what is unique about your brand and what makes you stand out from your competitors.

High-quality Images

When starting to build your online presence, it is paramount to collect high-quality images and logos for your company. An example of high-quality photos that you may want to use on your accounts is pictures of the interior and exterior of your brick and mortar locations to use in your marketing efforts. Not only do you need easy access to these photos, they should be consistent across all of your platforms. Your brand must be the same in all of your marketing, or your customers won’t recognize it easily. Once you have high-quality photos of your logos, you can use them as your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to help people recognize your online accounts as legitimate. By keeping your logos consistent across all of your platforms it will increase your brand recognition. After collecting all of your high-quality photos and logos to create your online presence, it’s smart to save them all together somewhere so that you have a source for content later as well.

 Sizing for Photos

When creating your online presence, make sure that your platforms are uniform and appealing to the consumer. Incorrect sizing can easily mess up the look of your photos. Whether it is your cover photo on Facebook or an Instagram photo, it is important that you use the appropriate size and dimensions, or your page could look unprofessional. For an easy guide on what dimensions you need to use on certain platforms, click here.

Add Updated Contact Info

If a customer wants to contact you and can’t find the correct information, it could quickly lead to bad PR. To avoid potential bad publicity, it is necessary to add a link to your website, as well as your correct phone number and address to your online accounts so that customers can reach you. By adding your contact information, you are able to openly communicate with your customers and hopefully strengthen the connection between your company and its customers.

Establish your Business

A good way to establish your business online is by claiming your business on Yelp as well as setting up a Google My Business account. While there are many benefits to claiming your business, the biggest one for growing your online presence is that it improves your search engine optimization (SEO). Your company will show up when searched for and potentially when someone searches by your location. By setting up an account for Google My Business, you verify your business information, help customers find you, as well as continue to tell the story of your business.

Ask for Reviews

Last but definitely not least, growing a positive image for your brand online is necessary. While people may find your product interesting and want to try it, many consumers go to your website, Yelp or other review pages to find out what others think of you. This is why it is important to reach out to loyal customers and ask them to leave a review. This extra bit of work may end up being what makes a person decide to support you or not. In a constantly changing online world, people expect to know if they can trust a company prior to buying from them. By asking your loyal customers for reviews, it ensures that your business is receiving positive and sincere reviews that can help your brand.

Start with these tips and you’ll have a solid online foundation for your business. Hopefully, this article was helpful in leading you to create your online presence. If you need more help building and maintaining an online presence for your small business, we would love if you considered Alter Endeavors!

Local Social Media for Brick and Mortar Businesses

local social media for businesses

When devising a local social media strategy, the benefits of customizing the approach specifically for a business and its customers is invaluable. Sure, there are general guidelines that apply to almost every industry, but the blog I wrote about Social Media for Service Based Companies is not the same advice I would give for brick & mortar establishments. If you’re a small business owner with a set locationhere is the best way to market your business on social media.

One of the main differences between local social media for service based companies and brick and mortar establishments is the end goal. For service based companies, we are constantly driving traffic to the company website, specifically the contact page. There is stress put on educating the public about the need for the service in question and demonstrating that the company is an expert in its field. For brick & mortar establishments, the goal is to drive traffic to the location! Convincing people to stop by a restaurant or clothing store means appealing to a want that can be fulfilled immediately. Hungry? Stop here for lunch. Need a new outfit? We’ll outfit you! The recommended platforms don’t change, but the way they are used most certainly does.

Facebook is an opportunity to interact and showcase a businesses’ involvement in the community. It is also a way to highlight the brands a store carries or if applicable, the local farms a restaurant sources ingredients from. Facebook also allows event pages to be created in order to generate buzz for any upcoming special events or merchandise sales. Facebook should be updated consistently and with a variety of information that is relevant to the customer base.

Twitter has proven to be an excellent way to manage customer service. A brand’s Twitter feed can include much of the same information that is on its Facebook newsfeed, but posted multiple times a day. Interact with audiences that you are hoping to attract by retweeting or mentioning them in your own tweets. Make sure to reply to any comments, complaints or suggestions in a professional and friendly manner. Keep in mind that there are brands that have built a following by the way that they respond to customer comments on social media, whether it is diligently (JetBlue) or with humor (Skyscanner Jen).

We love Instagram for brick & mortar establishments. This is an opportunity for restaurants to flaunt appetizing photos to the foodie community and for clothing stores to capture the attention of fashion influencers. With this platform, it pays to research popular hashtags and to have an ongoing rapport with repeat customers and ignite discussion with active Instagram users. We suggest that the filter used for images stays consistent and that the wording of the captions matches the messaging on all other platforms. This is a good time to define whether your brand is for or against the use of emojis!

One of the most impactful and easiest steps for local social media you can take is to double check that all of the pertinent information about your store (address and phone number) is easily found across all social platforms. For restaurants, this means linking to your menu and providing numerous photos. For product-based stores, it’s important that sales are publicized and that store hours are made apparent. At Alter Endeavors, we make a point to occasionally view our social media profiles as visitors, where we check links and think like a potential customer.

We live in a day and age where the question, “How did you hear about us?” is as commonly answered via “Facebook” as “ word of mouth.” Just today, I visited a coffee shop after seeing pictures of their decor and Nutella waffle on my explore page on Instagram! You don’t need photographer quality photos or fresh daily content, just start by making sure your ‘About’ section is complete!

Dr. Pepper, Dublin Dr. Pepper, Texas Tradition and a lot of Pissed-Off Fans

The Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS for short) group has just forced the 120-year old tradition of Dublin Dr. Pepper to stop production. Unfair Park has an excellent blog giving the details of this particularly poor decision on DPS’s part. More importantly, the Dr. Pepper brand is now under duress. An immediate and severe backlash is taking shape on the Dr. Pepper Facebook page, their Twitter account and more dangerously, on spaces they do not control. And so far? Silence.

The decision was made final and acted out yesterday at 5 PM. Unless DPS comes up with an incredibly good reason as to why their international brand was threatened by this small-town company, then they are going to lose a lot of business over the next few months. And the Dr. Pepper brand will NEVER be the same again if they do not handle this situation correctly. DPS claims Dublin Dr. Pepper violated their distribution rights, but in light of the entire lawsuit, the allegations are pretty weak-sauce, especially from a PR perspective.

DPS executives might blow this off, and so far that is what they are doing on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They were not prepared to deal with the incredible onslaught of negativity now plaguing their FB page and Twitter account. So far, as I am writing this article, they have not addressed this situation with their 11,062,677 fans on Facebook or 82,302 fans on Twitter (really, that’s all y’all have on Twitter?), which is only making it worse. If they were hoping that their stalwart fans would defend them, they were fatally mistaken. Look on their FB page, and folks claiming 40+ years of Dr. Pepper enthusiasm are tossing their loyalty and paraphernalia in the trash, claiming a DP boycott. The comments are coming in the thousands and man, are they upset.

So what are you going to do Dr. Pepper? Social Media will not let you hide, that is both its beauty and its curse.  Here are a couple sample snapshots of what I’m talking about.

Getting the right link for your place of employment on Facebook

This is a real quick snippet. You can now link your business page on Facebook to the Community Page that mysteriously appeared, even though you did not create it. These pages are actually the compilation of a community’s collective experience of a particular topic. For example, Thai Spice, a restaurant I used to run, has both an official public page and a community page. Even though they never created that community page, it exists because of that particular community’s shared experience. These pages were in beta last year and they have proven to be incredibly annoying if you wanted to link where you work with your company or brand’s official page. There is a way to link your official page and this community page that everyone seems to find instead. Go to your public page, hit “Edit Page” in the top right and corner and then look at the screen shot below.

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Real Mature Singles Need a Lesson in Facebook Advertising

Alright, I don’t get it. Quite frankly I’m surprised Facebook let this one fall through the cracks, even if it was the advertisee’s fault.

On one of my client’s personal accounts today, I saw this add for Here is why you should always consult someone like me before you run an ad on Facebook. I checked my client’s interests, his marital status and everything else, and even though he is an older man, this advertisement means nothing to him. At an average of a $1 per click, can someone like this really afford to be advertising to someone as irrelevant as my client, if they really are after single, sincere, older men? I can guaruntee you that this advertisement will lose this company hundreds, if not thousands of dollards unless they fix their demographic target. Not only that, but eventually Facebook will most likely catch on and kill the ad completely, meaning they will have to start all over again for trying to solicit older men with “married” set as their status.

This is just one more example of what you need to watch out for when advertising on Facebook. If you are nervous, confused, unsure, whatever, feel free to drop me an email about your ad before you publish it.

The National Association of Realtors, Their Political War and the Resounding Voice of Dissent of NAR Members on Facebook

This morning I was quickly scrolling through the CCIM Technologies* news feed looking for stories to share when I stumbled across this little gem. The National Association of Realtors® posted a link to a blog article recapping a virtual town hall meeting presented by NAR President Ron Phipps to thousands of NAR members.

Understandably, this organization is scared. Things are changing rapidly on a political front and some systems, like real estate, are scrambling to protect themselves from local and national governments looking to fill empty coffers. I get it. Phipps response to this, however, has caused a severe backlash from NAR members who feel like they don’t have a choice to support the NAR’s political agenda or not. How do I know this? The answer is Facebook, obviously, and the NAR better deal with it soon. Continue reading

How To: Open up your Facebook world

Have you noticed that you only see a portion of your friends’ wall posts even though you have hundreds of friends? Well, Facebook makes your default viewing option to include those people you interact with the most. Right or wrong, you are being limited to a select few individuals because you liked their status or commented on their wall, but not one of your other friends. If this is what you like, then leave it the way it is. If not, then perhaps follow these simple instructions to make the change and open up your Facebook world.

Step 1

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The Backyard in Bee Caves did something right on Facebook, hooray!

I know, I just wrote an article about Facebook posting, but this one is incredibly positive (whereas yesterday’s was incredibly negative…and creepy). I was testing out posting as a business for one of my clients when I stumbled across this post on The Backyard’s Facebook page. A potential customer complained about ticket sales, and The Backyard was not having it.

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