RankBrain, Echo, Facebook and local search conferences

Friday, October 30th, 2015

local marketing news 30th Oct 2015

It’s Halloween tomorrow so have there been any scary happenings in the land of local digital marketing this week? Well, RankBrain (Google) sounds pretty scary as does Echo (Amazon). More details on both of those below along with some useful information about an update to Facebook’s mobile app and a listing of all the 2016 local search conferences you should highlight in your calendar. Have a great Halloween weekend. Enjoy!


Details about Google’s RankBrain start to emerge
Anyone who reads anything about Google’s search algorithm knows that it has multiple moving parts and is constantly evolving. Earlier this week a report in Bloomberg surfaced about a new aspect of the algo; a machine learning system known as RankBrain. It is geared around gaining a better understanding of search queries and therefore gives Google the ability to deliver higher quality search results. It really shows where Google (and others) are heading with search, perhaps even a self-learning algo! There’s a ton of stuff out there to read so hopefully you’ll find the three articles I’ve linked to below useful.

Read more:
 FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm via Danny Sullivan
Google’s RankBrain: 9 Industry Experts Weigh In via Jennifer Slegg
How to get the most from RankBrain, Google’s new ranking-robot via Ben Silverman

Amazon Echo goes local with help from Yelp
Amazon’s Echo was widely launched back in June this year. It’s a hands free gadget that enables the user to access information (news, weather, etc) and connect with various digital services (Prime Music, Pandora, etc). This week it got an upgrade with the integration of local data provided by Yelp. So now as well as asking Echo about your local weather for tomorrow you can then also ask it for the coolest local roof top bar. Tip for local business owners is to make sure that you’ve got a listing on Yelp, claim it and then ensure all your contact details are correct. Rumours and speculation have already started that this may lead to the possible acquistion of Yelp by Amazon, so watch this space.

Read more:
Amazon Echo adds Yelp local search for restaurants and businesses via Mashable
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant can now tell you about local businesses using Yelp via The Verge
Amazon Echo Gets Smarter With Local Business Listings From Yelp via MarketingLand

Facebook mobile notifications tab gets an update
Facebook’s play at local continued this week as they started to roll out an update to the notifications tab in their mobile app. In the latest version you can customise your tab to get information on local events along with recomendations and offers from local bars and restaurants. Some have compared it to Google Now so we’ll have to see how they stack up against each other. You’ll need to enable your location history, of course, and the update is currently only rolling out to Android and iOS users in the US. Would be interested to hear from anyone who’s tried it out.

Read more:
A More Useful Notifications Tab on Mobile via Facebook
With updated notifications, Facebook pulls people down the rabbit hole via Gigaom
You can now customize Facebook’s notifications tab on Android and iOS via VentureBeat

Local search conferences for 2016
Staying on top of technology and digital developments is part and parcel of a local search professional. While they’re clearly lots of news and information online it’s also useful to check out various conferences and actually talk to people. Below is a great list of local search conferences for 2016 that the author mentions will be updated as and when more dates are added. They’re all US based so if any bright spark out there would like to put together a UK (or global) list together that would be fab! In the meantime, here are all the US slots.

Read more:
2016 Local Search Conferences via Location3

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See you all back here next week.


How To Use New Twitter For Smart Businesses

Monday, August 4th, 2014

A couple of months ago Twitter gradually rolled out a new interface to its users in an attempt to make it more intuitive and increase user engagement. This article will look at the changes Twitter have made and how your business can benefit from it.

  • New Twitter Cover Photo

new twitter cover photo

What’s New

Twitter have dramatically enlarged the cover photos so they now take up the entire width of the screen and not just a few inches. This may not strike you as a core change, but increasing the cover photo for profiles, means you instantly have more visual engagement.

How To Use It

One of the key factors of any marketing campaign is visibility, and in this case it is quite literal. This now means you have a fantastic way of getting your logo and name out there. Be sure to have a quality and professional badge or image you can upload and always ensure it’s 100% relevant to your brand. If it’s not, people wont understand the reason it’s there and will not take you as seriously. This will be the first thing people see, be sure to harness the power of visual marketing by uploading your brand image.

  • Tab Options

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.50.26

What’s New

New Twitter now has tab options for features such as Tweets, photos and videos, favourite tweets, who you are following, who follows you and lists. Before, you were left to navigate a profile with some of these features more difficult to find. For example, the option to see photos was not established as it is now, rather all images and videos clumped together in box to the side.

How To Use It

It is now easier than ever to locate the features you want on Twitter profiles. It saves you time, it’s uncluttered and intuitive. Not only does it allow you to streamline your social media use, but also means anyone looking at your profile will find exactly what they need. Be sure to only tweet relevant content, as this will be seen instantly and impact on impressions. The same applies when uploading images and photos, make them relevant, though remember an odd image of your team having lunch or at events can help break the fourth wall.

With lists, make sure that you only create ones that you want people to see. They are a great way of networking and increasing your feed, but only when used correctly. If people see you creating lists that are irrelevant, they may question your integrity.

You can now easily see which tweets you have favourited. Be sure to favourite only good content that you are happy for others to see you support or enjoy. This is a great way of promoting content, if you thought it good enough to favourite, others will pay attention which is why it’s important to select good content to share here.

  • Pin Tweets

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 12.06.48

What’s New

New Twitter now allows each user to “pin” tweets to the top of their profile so they are highlighted and emphasised.

How To Use It

This is a fantastic way of getting content seen on your profile. By “pinning” the most important tweets to the top of your page they remain dominant and thus receive increased views. Be sure to pin tweets with links you want your users to see. Maybe it’s news about your business,  investment, a webinar you’re hosting, a sale. Anything that your customers need to know about should be pinned to ensure it gets maximum coverage.

NB: you can pin tweets once they are live by clicking on the “…” option at the bottom of the tweet and then “Pin Tweet”.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 12.14.26