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Digital marketing news for small businesses: April round-up

3 minute read

One online marketing story has been unescapable this month, namely the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw the national news full of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in court. But that was by no means the only thing happening in the world of digital marketing, and if you’ve been too busy running a business to keep up with it, here are some of the stories that caught our eye and what they mean for your business.

Don’t just solicit positive reviews

As a business-owner, you naturally want all the reviews of your business to be five stars, and that might lead you to encourage reviews only from customers you know to have been happy with your product or service. However, a new addition to the Google My Business guidelines forbids so-called “review-gating” – the practice of soliciting only positive reviews by filtering out customers you know have had a bad experience with you. Specifically, the revised guidelines now state:

“Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.”

It’s understandable if you’re worried about the possible impact of negative reviews, but providing you respond to them in the right way, the odd bad review shouldn’t harm your business. In fact, it could even help your business; studies show that negative reviews could earn trust by showing that your reviews are authentic.

Keep abreast of updates to Facebook Business Tools Terms

In the wake of the aforementioned Cambridge Analytica scandal, but primarily in the run-up to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it should come as no surprise that Facebook updated its Business Tools Terms this month. A useful article on Marketing Land unpicked the changes and explained what they mean for businesses using Facebook, including the requirement that “Site and app owners must obtain and manage user consent for Facebook to access, gather and store their data”.

Take advantage of your new Pinterest business profile

If you’re among the million businesses with a Pinterest profile, you’ll be interested to know that the platform is revamping its business profiles over the next couple of months to offer “new insights [and] new ways to get discovered”. You’ll be able to customise your profile cover so that you can choose what customers see first, and you’ll have a handy counter telling you how many people have viewed your profile each month. What’s more, there’s now a ‘Following’ tab so that fans can see your latest pins in chronological order. Find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

Product quality is the most important purchasing consideration

A piece of research conducted by Blis has some findings for retailers. It used the results of a survey of 2,000 US consumers to compile a ‘hierarchy of needs’ that shows consumer priorities when purchasing from a retail brand. At the bottom, the top priority underlying everything else is product quality, followed by price. That’s followed by ease of obtaining the product (availability) and its perceived value or user trust. Interestingly, the brand’s morals were considered the least important aspect, while consumers are more forgiving of mistakes when they’re made by brands they like. Read more about the results here.

Using Twitter to dominate the search results

Finally, you might already be using Twitter to support your business, but did you know that it can also be a powerful way of dominating page one of Google? This interesting piece on Search Engine Land outlines how you can use Twitter to build a strong brand identity in the search results, and even use it to displace negative content about your brand. If your business isn’t yet on Twitter, you might also like to read some of the other great reasons why you should be.

A collection of articles written collaboratively by members of the UK Domain Team.

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