Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Though various forms of dry shampoo have been around for centuries, the product is experiencing resurgence in popular culture. Online searches for dry shampoo have grown over recent years, reaching over 180,000 searches per month in 2014. This trend is not stopping with just humans though. Dry Shampoo is convenient and many pet owners are interested in using the product for their furry friends, which creates an opportunity for savvy pet groomers. 

Formulas of dry shampoo specifically tailored for use on dogs have recently hit the market, retailing anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00. Well-known brands for humans, such as Burt’s Bees, have created their own lines for canines that features dry shampoo. While dry shampoo is a convenient option for pet owners whose pooches are not a fan of the bathtub, the product can’t replace regular baths all together. Pet groomers should try to capitalize on this new trend in pet products.

Many salons offer retail products to their customers as a way for clients to maintain their new styles and to earn extra revenue for their business. Pet groomers should consider adding dry shampoo to their inventory of retail products, selling clients on the convenience and helping to diversify their products. This in addition to your regular full service pet grooming can help you boost profits for your company.

The pet service industry is a booming market that has experienced immense changes over the past few years. SinglePlatform is committed to helping local business succeed. Make sure that your pet service company is keeping up with new trends by checking out SinglePlatform on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Get Discovered in Local Search

Word of mouth isn’t what it used to be. With 88% of consumers reporting that they trust online reviews as mush as personal recommendations, it’s time to face the fact that times have changed. Consumers are finding local businesses in new ways, and business owners need to adapt their marketing strategies to make sure their business is making the most out of their online presence. We’ve created the below infographic to show you how the digital landscape has effected local businesses:

Your business’s online presence is key to getting discovered. Managing your listings on search engines, review sites, and mobile apps helps you take control of your business’s reputation and gain more customers. Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

Best Practices for Review Monitoring for Local Businesses

Internet review sites have gained steam in recent years; Yelp and Foursquare both support millions of daily users. These review sites and many others have changed the way that consumers find local businesses. 88% of consumers say that they trust online review as much as personal recommendations, which means that your online reviews are just as important as word of mouth referrals. Many business owners know they should be setting aside more time to monitor their reviews, but once you have the time, where do you start? Below are the best practices for review monitoring to help you and your staff through this delicate process.

1. Claim Your Listings
Most review sites require you to claim your business listing before you will be able to respond to your business’s reviews. Check out our handy guide that will help you claim your listings.

2. Monitor Your Reviews Regularly
Make sure that you or a staff member is consistently monitoring popular review sites for new reviews of your business. If a review requires a response, you’ll want to be able to respond as quickly as possible.

3. Don’t Ignore Positive Reviews
While there is no need to respond to every review, responding to a handful of positive reviews helps you engage with happy customers too. Appreciating customers who already have a positive view of the company can turn them into regulars.

4. Read Carefully
When you find a negative review, read the full review carefully so that you understand the issue fully. Decide if the review merits a response. If the main complaint in the review is an issue of personal preference such as too much garlic in my marinara sauce or this fitness center doesn’t have the barre class I like, then it might be best not to respond. There is nothing for your company to defend or fix. If the complaint stems from a service issue or a faulty product, you should consider responding.

5. Look into the Issue
After deciding that a negative review is worth a response, gather as much information about the incident as you can. Ask your staff what happened from their perspective and if they remember the specific customer. Do the complaints in the review have merit? Is this feedback that you can use to better your service?

6. Private or Public Response
Once you have gathered your information, you have to decide whether or not to respond publicly or privately. Often it is best to respond privately; this often can de-escalate the conflict and makes the customer less likely to get defensive. Many review sites allow users to update a review, so if you are able to smooth things over in a private message, users may update previous reviews to reflect your efforts.

7. Apologize
Always start a response to a negative review with an apology, even if the issue wasn’t your fault. A customer walked away from their experience with your business unsatisfied and an apology will make them feel heard.

8. Explain How Your Business Has Improved
Show others reading this review that you are constantly striving to be better. If you address the issue raised and explain ways that you hope to avoid this issue in the future, that reviewer and other readers may be inspired to give your business another chance.

9. Say Thank You
Always thank a reviewer for taking the time to give you feedback. Feedback is a gift for business owners and if utilized productively can help you improve your business. Saying thank you will make you seem professional and foster good will between the readers and your business.

Following these steps will help you manage this aspect of your online presence and maintain a positive reputation amongst consumers who are active on review sites. To enhance your online listings with the information that customers are searching for, check out SinglePlatform.

Best Practices for Local Businesses on Instagram

We recently revamped our social media strategy and after researching the best ways to reach potential customers, we launched SinglePlatform on Instagram.  Instagram has more than 400 million active users each month and 80 million photos are shared on the platform each day. Instagram users are engaged, generating nearly 3.5 billion likes per day.  If you have considered trying to leverage Instagram as a marketing tool for your business, these are some best practices to keep in mind. 

1. Reach Customers with Hashtags

Hashtags allow for your post to come up in searches on Instagram, allowing your account to be found by more potential customers. Take some time to browse the posts of your competition as well as your customers. Keep a list of the hashtags that they are using. Make sure that you incorporate these hashtags when they are appropriate to your posts so that your content is being found. 

2. Geotagging Shows Customers Your Location

Geotagging allows you to tag your location of your post. Users can click on the geotag and be redirected to a map showing where the post happens. This is a useful tool for small businesses to show users their location. 

3.  React to the Latest Trends

Social media moves fast so make sure your content is topical.  If there is a trending topic that relates to your business, you should post something that makes you a part of the conversation. 

4. Build an Engaged Community

While you want to gain as many followers as possible to expand your reach on Instagram, following your customers and potential customers is a good way to learn more about your audience.  Liking your customers post and interacting with their accounts can make them more engaged with your business. 

5. Run Giveaways and Promotions

Reward your followers by offering them discounts and giveaway. Not only will this keep your followers interested in your account but it also a great way to attract new customers to your account. 

6. Don’t Overlook Video

Instagram began as strictly a photo-sharing app but has expanded into video over the years. The app is currently rolling out longer video lengths to users so this would be a great time to start incorporating video into the content you share on Instagram.

7. Be Consistent

People are drawn to reliable brands and maintaining a regular posting schedule can help you foster a trustworthy reputation as well as helping you to keep your business on your customer’s minds. Make sure your content is consistent too. Everything you post is a reflection of your business’s brand.

8. Measure Your Progress

Like any of your other marketing efforts, you want to make sure that you are seeing success. Keep track of how many followers you have month by month. Set aside some time to look at which posts garner the most likes and comments. Try to pinpoint why these posts are successful and continue to give your audience what they want to see.

If you follow these tips for your Instagram account, you should start to see your followers and engagement grow. Check out SinglePlatform on Instagram to see how we have created a growing social media strategy. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

2016 Menu Trends

Anyone who has ever read a cookbook from the 1950s knows that tastes change over time. Ingredients that were popular five years ago may fall out of favor while other foods will be invented or rise from obscurity.  Restaurant owners need to keep up to date on what foods consumers want this year. Check out these 2016 menu trends:

The restaurant industry is fast-paced. Is your restaurant keeping up with the latest trends and technology? Make sure that you check out SinglePlatform on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more marketing tips and industry news.

The Power of Food Photos

As a restaurant owner you know that the food your staff makes and serves is the heart of your business. Hours of work goes into creating each dish between buying the food, preparing the meal, cooking the item and presenting the dish properly for the customers. Your restaurant should be utilizing that time and effort to draw in new customers. Food photos are a powerful tool that restaurants can use on social media and in marketing materials to draw diners attentions. Here are a few tips on taking the perfect food photos:

1. Use Natural lighting
Artificial lighting, or flash from your camera can make food photos look unnatural and unappealing. Set your ‘stage’ next to a window, where natural light can illuminate the food and highlight the vibrant colors without distorting them.

2. Create Dimensions
Staging your food photo is important. Placing the food to highlight dimensions can make your photo more dynamic and interesting to the eye. Try grabbing a fork full of the dish and lifting it over the plate. Not only will this create depth but it will also give the viewer the perspective of a diner.

3. Use Different Angles
Using unexpected angles is a good way to make your food photos more interesting, which can lead the viewer to spend more time looking at the picture. Taking food photos from straight above the dish is currently a popular angle amongst food photographers.

4. Use a White Dish
Using a white dish, especially when using brightly colored ingredients, will make the food pop against the neutral colored plate. This will ensure that the focus in on the food and potential customers are not distracted by the flatware.

Once you have the perfect food photos you have to share them with potential customers. Be sure to add your photos to your website and all social media. Facebook and Instagram are both great social media platforms to use to share any visuals.  Learn how SinglePlatform can put your photos in front of new customers who are looking for restaurants like yours.

The New Yelp Google Chrome Extension: Yelpify

We recently covered a new update in how Google displays search results. Now, there is a new Google Chrome extension from Yelp calling for business owners’ attention. Yelp is one of the most influential listing sites out there and with this Google Chrome Extension they may become all that more influential. The extension can cut consumers search times down considerably. Yelpify was created by Raj Nagasubramanian and won first place winner at the Yelp online hackathon.

What Nagasubramanian created was a way for local business’s Yelp ratings to appear on search sites other than Yelp. For example if you search for “Chef’s Club NYC” on Google, I would be able to see their 4.5 star review on Google as well as their 4 star Yelp rating right below the Google rating. This information saves searchers time and enhances the general Google listing. Searchers will also see a link that takes them right to the business’s Yelp page.

In addition to the Yelp ratings appearing on Google, the Yelpify extension can appear on other sites like OpenTable, TripAdvisor and GrubHub. The extension is a way for Chrome users to simplify their searches and find more information in one place.

As many business owners know, yelp and similar review sites have changed the way that consumers search for businesses. Business owners should make sure that they are setting aside time to monitor their Yelp reviews and ratings more since these reviews will be appearing in more places.  If you want more help in getting the most out of your online listings, check out how SinglePlatform can help you local business stand out everywhere that matters online.