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How to Start Getting More Reviews for Your Business

As anyone who knows us Geeks would tell you, we’re huge movie fans (as if our multiple posts about Star Wars weren’t enough to make that clear). And we’re from Chicago, home to some of the greatest movie critics ever, including Roger Ebert.

One of the most amazing things about the late, great Ebert was how much power he held with his reviews. His writing could make or break a film’s opening weekend. But more than that, he wielded influence with just his thumb. A simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” could forever cement the reputation of a movie, forever.

Well, today, critics like Ebert are everywhere. And they’re not just professionals reviewing movies - they’re everyday people, turning their texting thumbs to businesses like yours.

Across industries, reviews matter more than ever for the success of your brand. Reviews, rankings, and testimonials are crucial for getting your next batch of customers in the door, and they’re coming from more sources than ever.

So, what can you do to get more online reviews for your business? And how can you help ensure that these reviews are working in your favor? Read on!

The Importance of Reviews

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Gadget of the Week - Spectacles V2

“Camera glasses you’ll actually wear?”

If that description of the latest gadget from Snapchat - the Spectacles V2 - sounds like an example of damning with faint praise, well… It kind of is, really.

But consider the checkered history of camera-enabled glasses. Remember Google Glass? Remember Spectacles V1? While both of those high-profile wearables offered some interesting features, they will both ultimately be remembered more or less as buzzy misfires, never able to fully connect with the public.

An example of this tech that you can actually get users excited about? One that can transcend the kitsch factor, and actually function as a stylish, useful accessory? That would be a big deal, indeed. And Spectacles V2 might just be the pair of shades to deliver on the camera functionality and that crucial cool factor, all at the same time. 

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What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it?

What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it? (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

So you’ve gotten visitors to your site, perhaps thanks to your SEO or pay-per-click SEM campaigns.

But are you keeping them coming back and buying what you have to offer again and again? Are you just churning through users, or building a loyal following of big spenders and glowing referrers?  

While it’s always great to be bringing in fresh leads and acquiring new customers, retaining your existing customers is also a key pillar to increasing the value of your brand. This is what is known as retention marketing - the art and science behind increasing the probability of a customer purchasing from you again.

The Benefits of Retention Marketing

And retention marketing doesn’t just create abstract value, like engagement or brand recognition! It also translates to your bottom line, and in a huge way, at that.

Indeed, by some metrics, it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and yet a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as the value of their first purchase. 

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App of the Week - GasBuddy

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, there’s nothing like a good road trip. Loading up the car and hitting the open road is a great way to reconnect with family and friends, get away from the work mindset for a while, and really focus on the things that matter.

Although, if you’re anything like us Geeks, there’s one pesky little problem that keeps drawing your attention when you should be enjoying the ride: Gas.

Paying for gas can put the damper on a road trip in a hurry. After all, fueling up is expensive, no matter where you go. And it can be hard to locate gas stations - especially when you’re making your way through an unfamiliar state.

Fortunately, there’s one essential app that can help you make the most out of your pit stops the next time you’re on the road. Meet your road trip’s new best friend: GasBuddy.

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5 Ways to Get More Engagement on Social Media Right Now

Facebook’s algorithm has been changing – and it’s all anyone who cares about social media marketing seems to be talking about!

(Well, that, and all of the major social media PR crises and data privacy issues that have seemingly dominated the news cycle in 2018.)

For marketers – and brands who rely on Facebook to reach new audiences, retarget their existing clients, and build up loyal followings – Facebook has long been king. Next to Google, it’s the largest digital marketing platform by a wide margin, soaking up more attention (and ad dollars) than just about anywhere else on the internet.

As such, many businesses who want to expand their outreach online find themselves having to play by Facebook’s rules, even when it comes to marketing on other social networks, like Twitter and Instagram. And those rules just seem to keep changing.

The Ever-Changing Facebook Algorithm

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Gadget of the Week - Tile Pro Series

At one point or another, we’ve all misplaced our keys. It seems to only happen when we’re in a rush to get out the door, and almost never at a convenient time (as if there were such a thing).

But what if there was a way to actually track your keys quickly, and avoid the classic early morning losing-your-stuff scare? Tile, a company dedicated to “helping that thing you love find its way back homehas done just that, with its series of Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to keys, phones, and other everyday items you tend to misplace.

A Tile device, once attached to a keyring or to any device or object you don’t want to lose, works directly with the company’s branded app, which is available for both Android and iOS users.

When you realize you’ve lost your misplaced item, you can simply access the app and click on your registered Tile device. The app periodically updates the location of your Tile by using its low-power Bluetooth ability. A map will pop up, showing you the last place your Tile was located; once you get into a 100–200 ft. range, you have the option of playing a loud sound through your Tile to help you find it. 

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On-Page and Off-Page SEO: Understanding the Difference

On-Page and Off-Page SEO: Understanding the Difference

Have you ever heard the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats?”

In our experience, it’s a great way to think about the principles of SEO, or “search engine optimization.” SEO is all about doing what it takes to make sure that your brand ranks highly on search engines like Google - and it’s one of the core tenets of our content marketing strategy here at Geek.

So, with that said, why exactly are we talking about boats? The answer comes down to the two primary aspects behind effective SEO: on-page and off-page optimization. In order to successfully prime your content to rank highly on search engines, like Google or Bing, you’ll need both on-page and off-page strategies in place.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, remember that rising tide?

An SEO Story

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App of the Week - Just A Line

What is augmented reality (AR), and why do you need it when doodling on your phone? Google’s new Just a Line app is the answer to both of those questions at once!

Coined as an “AR experiment,” the Just a Line app is one of many ARCore 1.0 apps that the company plans to release within the foreseeable future. The app bills itself as a cross-platform collaborative AR app for doodling, the first of its kind.

So, AR is what makes Just A Line like no other drawing app out there. But what does AR really mean?

Put simply, AR is the layering of computer-generated enhancements on top of the reality you see around you. AR is sometimes known as the “cousin” to virtual reality (VR), because while VR tends to create a fabricated yet hyper-realistic generated reality simulation, AR incorporates your surroundings and adds noticeable enhancements to add to your lived experience.

Sound complicated? That’s the great thing about Just A Line. Beyond all the technical terms, the app itself is as simple and user-friendly as its name implies. 

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The State of Snapchat - Is It Still Worth It for Your Brand?

Within the past few years, Snapchat has become one of the largest social media platforms, and currently ranks fifth for the most used among competitors like Facebook and Instagram.

This messaging app has earned a loyal following, thanks to highly popular instant communication features such as pictures that disappear within 10 seconds, and cutting edge facial recognition and augmented reality (AR) software.

It has even become a useful tool for business and marketing strategies, an avenue for brands to use to reach younger, more tech savvy audiences.

Yet over the last few months, it seems like Snapchat’s fate as a successful app has suddenly become unclear, all due to falling stocks and negative PR.

So, that leads us to the question of the moment, one that seemingly everyone wants answered: “Is it really worth it for your business and brand to invest social media dollars into Snapchat?"

Well, the answer can be yes and no. It truly depends on your intended audience, and what type of brand or business you’re promoting. It’s also important to consider the current state of other social media apps and websites before you decide on a direction for your social media marketing campaign.

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Gadget of the Week - GoPro HERO

Have you ever seen footage of someone parachuting headfirst from a helicopter – shot from that person’s adrenaline-pumping point of view? Or how about an amazing shot of a concert – from the perspective of the guitar, or even from a set of whirling drumsticks?

Odds are, if you’ve ever seen a piece of awe-inspiring first-person video that left you asking how they did that, then that footage was shot on a GoPro camera.

If you want to get started shooting incredible videos of your own, you could do a lot worse than GoPro’s latest, the GoPro HERO.

This “entry-level” camera packs a ton of power into a small, affordable piece of hardware, perfect for “newcomers” – and anyone looking to make quick, powerful videos without a ton of set-up.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).