Columbus, OH, September 17, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- One of the key challenges faced by small business owners used to be getting the word out about all the great things they do. With the dramatic growth of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, people are increasingly sharing their opinions about nearly everything—including their experiences at local businesses. An added challenge has thus emerged for local businesses with everyone so connected these days: how to get the word to spread.
Large numbers of local businesses are now using Facebook and/or Twitter to establish a presence online. One recent report from research firm Palore revealed that roughly 60% of small businesses already have a page in Facebook. These pages cost nothing to create and small business owners believe they ought to be using social media. Once their pages are created, however, not too many know to maximize its potential value.
Social Raves, a start-up based in Columbus, Ohio saw this as an opportunity and announced today the public release of its web application (http://apps.facebook.com/socialraves) which allows local businesses to leverage the power of social media networks to generate positive word-of-mouth for their products and services and, consequently, greater traffic and new revenues.
The app helps small business owners promote their businesses socially by allowing them to install a tab labeled “Recommend This” on their Facebook page where customers and fans can recommend or refer the business to friends. When satisfied customers rave about the business using the Social Raves app, their rave is “shouted out” to their network by appearing on their wall as well as in their friends’ news feeds, giving the business valuable exposure that leads to greater awareness, higher conversions, and new customers.
The application also enables fans to refer their family, co-workers, or friends directly to local businesses via email from within the Facebook page of the business. Each referral, which also gets published on users’ walls and friends’ news feeds, results in an email introduction between the business and friend, making the app a platform for generating new leads for local businesses.
Each local business that installs the free app on their Facebook page gets a “raves page” hosted for free on the Social Raves website (http://www.socialraves.com) where recommendations are saved and published for the rest of the world to see. This page is search-engine optimized so consumers who are not in Facebook searching through Google, Yahoo!, or Bing for the products and services that a local business provides can not only find and discover the business, but more importantly, read about what past and current customers have to say about their experiences—and potentially become customers at a time when they are in the market looking to transact or buy something.
“Social Raves is on a mission to give small business owners the power to leverage recent trends in technology particularly social media, not only to get the word out about what they do, but also to have it spread as widely and as deeply into people’s social networks,” said Robert Bolongaita, founder and CEO of Zengo Networks which owns and operates Social Raves.
The app’s hook for consumers is that all the recommendations and referrals ever made by their network are saved and organized on the Social Raves site where Facebook connections are preserved or persist. Thus, users who come to the site from Facebook will not only see their friends who are also using the app, but also their recommendations on who to hire, what to do, where to go, etc.—giving them the ability to create their own reference source on great local stuff, one that is personalized for them by the people they know and trust.
For local businesses, it is the ability to let owners—through their own private dashboard—scale their marketing by allowing them to keep track of who’s recommending and referring their business to friends so they can reward these customers and nurture the relationship. Knowing who their raving fans are (from the “regular” ones) enables local businesses, for example, to prioritize and target promotions/offers to the most vocal and most passionate segment of their customer base who can be expected to turn around to tell their friends, who’ll tell their friends, and so on. Analytics on the dashboard also allow business owners to track the size and growth of their promoter or raving fan network, as well as the tools to grow it.
Social Raves is a social recommendation engine for consumers and customer referral platform for local businesses. Its website and application capture, crystallize, and channel customer opinions into powerful word-of-mouth marketing, while enabling consumers to find and discover trusted local businesses using their social network.
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Robert Bolongaita, please call (614) 423-5804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.