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Google Plus Local

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This article was originally published on the TrainSEM blog on 08/06/2012 and the images are lost to time.

Google Places is no more and Google+ Local has replaced it. It is now a merger of the old Google Places with the typical Google+ Features.  In keeping with the rest of Google+, the key feature now is about the reviews/ opinions of friends who have been to these places rather than the opinions of strangers.

If you are logged into your Google+ account you will be able to see which of your Google+ contacts have been here before and what their feedback on the place is, which is similar to the old reviews of Google Places. It seems the old anonymous reviews will still show up if none of your friends have actually commented yet or you are not signed into Google+, as well as any new posts by Google+ users.

This is what it looks like when you try and write a review for the first time.

This means that anything you write on here will be viewable to pretty much anyone, so you should probably mind your manners if you are leaving a negative review.

When you write your review, you get to rate different categories between 0-3.  These fields will be different depending on the type of business you are reviewing.

Here is the rating system for a restaurant. It just so happens that this venue is not a restaurant… If you come across a business that is incorrectly categorised, you can change it for them by clicking “Edit business details” (or let the owner know to claim it).

When you make changes without being the owner, you must explain why you made the changes you did. For this example I corrected the business category and adding the opening hours for the venue, previously it did not list their opening hours.

This is what my review of EB Games Swanston Street as viewed by one of my friends.  My review was shown to him first because he had me on Google+.  Notice that the older reviews only have an overall rating? These older reviews will probably get pushed off the page as more reviews are made.

What do you think?

Written by Keith Nallawalla

Facebook has been unveiling a lot of new features on a regular basis in the past few months leading up to their IPO. One new feature in their post IPO updates has been Post Scheduling for Business Pages . This update seems long overdue and it is surprising Facebook never got around to doing it earlier since there have been third party apps allowing this Facebook feature for quite some time. What does this mean for small businesses? It is not uncommon for a small business page on Facebook to be managed poorly. Either by either too little attention or too much attention in short bursts, but then no activity for a while. A key problem here is that it was hard for staff to actually find time to get onto Facebook to post things at the relevant times of the day. It is no secret that certain times of the day get better responses from different markets. Now that scheduling is available without worrying about a third party tool, small businesses can attempt to post more efficiently. I refer to small businesses as a lot of bigger businesses outsource their social media or have dedicated staff to take care of it. This does not mean that small businesses should simply schedule all their posts at the start of the week and then not check into Facebook again until the following week, because you will want to monitor any comments and respond to anything. You will also want to peek at your analytics to see if anyone is actually engaging with your posts. To schedule a post, make a new post and click on the little clock icon in the bottom left corner. Then you can choose the time and date to post it. It allows you post retrospectively (as you could previously) or schedule to the future. It is quite straightforward, asking for the year, then month, day and minute, but you do not have to be so specific for retrospective posts. For scheduled posts you should be more particular though. The minutes are only in 10 minute increments but that shouldn’t be a huge issue. Once it is done it will tell you when it will be posted. Just click Close after this appears. To change or delete the post, visit the activity log as described above.

Facebook now allows Post Scheduling for Business Pages

bad customer service

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