When I work with clients who are relatively unfamiliar with how businesses can use social media to expand their reach, one of the most common reasons they give to avoid using social media for their business is that they’re worried about how to respond if somebody were to post something negative about their business online on Facebook or Twitter, etc.

From time to time I use social media to get a quick connection to customer service. I’ve heard that airlines will provide much faster help if you complain on Twitter than if you call them on the phone. I once had both soles to hiking boots detach from the body of the shoe while hiking. Booth boots on the same hike! The glue decided to give up the ghost on the same day like clockwork. A comment on the manufacturer’s Facebook page resulted in a quick name and phone number to call. The company ultimately sent me a replacement pair of boots even though they were out of warrantee. I noticed that shortly after I contacted them, they removed the post that contained the customer service person’s name and number. Apparently, it was just up there for me, although others could nab if while it was up.

This simple infographic, below, shares five composite types of folks who complain on social media and tells how to respond gracefully. (Infographic via

  1. The Meek Customer
  2. The Aggressive Customer
  3. The High-Roller Customer
  4. The Opportunist Customer
  5. The Chronic Complainer Customer

Take a look and learn more. The bottom line is be responsive, genuine, thoughtful, respectful, and customer-service oriented.
How to Deal With Social Media Complainers [INFOGRAPHIC] - An Infographic from Pardot

Embedded from Pardot



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Get Inbound Links to Your Website

by Sara Isenberg on August 24, 2012

in Facebook, SEO, Social Media, Twitter

[First I want to give credit where credit is due. The information in this post comes from Kirsti Scott’s blog post called “Make sure your website is found easily.” This is not the first time I’ve found valuable information in the Scott Design blog. I’m sure it’s not the last. Thanks, Kirsti!]

One of the things that adds to your website’s SEO juice is inbound links, that is, links to your website. How do you get them? Well, you can hope that folks love your content and link to it (as I’ve linked to Kirsti’s). However, you can also take a bit more control of the situation and go sign yourself up in directories and social network sites and make sure to link back to your website. Be sure to use the same business name, address format, and phone number. For local search, it’s better to use a street address than a P.O. Box.

Following is a list of some of the most-used search engines, Internet directories, review sites, and social networks to check out.

Once you’ve signed up at all the sites, find out how complete your listings are by checking your business on, which was launched in early 2009 as a free resource for small business owners listing their businesses at multiple sites online.



Another cool infographic. From SocialCast. The Hectic Schedule of a Social Media Manager.

Socialcast-Infographic-The Hectic Schedule of a Social Media Manager

Infographic from Socialcast

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Here’s a cool infographic from Mashable and Postling showing how small businesses are using social media to engage:


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mom, this is how twitter works.

by Sara Isenberg on January 2, 2011

in Sara Isenberg, Social Media, Training, Twitter

As you may know, I love sharing great finds. I recently came upon a Twitter tutorial that’s cute, simple, easy to read, and beautifully designed by Jessica Hische. I plan to share it with my Twitter newbie students/clients.

For anybody who’s looking for a Twitter 101 tutorial, read it:

mom, this is how twitter works.

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Here’s a well-done stand-alone slide presentation — perfect for Social Media newbies and as an overview/review for anybody who cares about social media and business.

[This presentation is at the top of Slideshare’s list of most popular presentations. For more on that, see]

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As a web consultant and SBDC Technology Advisor, one of my services is to provide web audits for small business clients. A web audit consists of a thorough website review including review of first impression, design, navigation, usability, content, SEO, etc. I’m always on the lookout for articles to share with clients. [Updated January 21, 2011, February 8, 2011]

Here’s my recent collection of Best Resources to Review before You Design (or Redesign) Your Small Business Website:

  1. I heartily recommend these two excellent books as an easy way to learn and/or review some of the basics of web design and web content:
  2. Here’s my collection of Best SEO Search Engine Optimization Resources:
  3. Here’s my collection of Great Social Media Resources — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twtiter, Blogging:
  4. 8 Best-Practices for Small Business Websites (DIYthemes):
  5. What Does Web Design Say About Your Small Business? (Mashable):
  6. 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Web Designer to Get Tangible Results (DIYthemes):
  7. The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page (Formstack):
  8. How to Choose – And Hire – a Web Designer (DIYthemes):
  9. Building an Online Marketing Plan:
  10. The Benefits of Wireframing a Design (SixRevisions):
  11. (I’ll keep adding resources so check back later.)

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As you may know, I’m a Technology Advisor at the Silicon Valley SBDC TAP program. TAP serves the SBDC offices for the Northern California Region. Over the last 2-3 years, I’ve completed 70+ web audits for SBDC clients. Business and Technology advising services are free to SBDC clients!

A Web Site Audit is a strategic review of your company’s Web Site to ensure that it supports your company’s marketing and/or e-commerce activities.

TAP has recently added a new package called a Social Networking Strategy Review.

The Social Networking Strategy Review is a strategic review of your company’s use of Social Media for these most popular Social Media platforms:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogging

The Social Networking Strategy Review will result in a written report that contains a review of your current LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging online presence, and will include recommendations and tips for improvement. The report will also contain general information on Best Practices, and for those who don’t already have accounts, detailed instructions on how to set up your accounts so you can get started.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact your nearest SBDC office.

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[Note: Scroll down to see the great list of resources/links. Originally posted June 15, 2010. Updated with more resources July 22, 2010. Updated again on December 22, 2010, January 5, 2011, January 14, 2011, February 7, 2011, February 22, 2011, May 17, 2011.]

One of the things I do as a consultant is technology advising with the Silicon Valley Technology Advisory Program (aka TAP). TAP is a program that is part of the Silicon Valley SBDC (Small Business Development Center).

From the Silicon Valley SBDC website:

We’re dedicated to the success of entrepreneurs in the Greater Silicon Valley Area, which includes Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

The Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center offers a wide variety of services for present and potential small business owners. Our services include no-charge expert consulting, low-cost training, information resources, events and seminars. All consulting services are confidential and free of charge.

I’ve been a Technology Advisor with the Silicon Valley SBDC TAP for two years. Most often what I do is review (“audit”) websites of TAP clients — they’re usually owners of small businesses — and create a written report with recommendations for improvement, and then we discuss the recommendations. I review a wide range of websites!

Recently I’ve been working on creating a Social Media Report with a collection of resources that will help Silicon Valley SBDC TAP clients learn more about Social Media. Note: It’s for Social Media newbies! One of the Appendices that I’ve recently created is chock full of great links for people getting started on Social Media, so I’ve decided to share it here. Here you go!

Social Media Resources (general)

LinkedIn Resources

Facebook Resources

Twitter Resources

Blogging Resources

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How much KLOUT do you have?

by Sara Isenberg on July 20, 2010

in Social Media, Twitter

I recently discovered a new tool that measures your Twitter influence. It’s called KLOUT.


The Klout Classification is a holistic look at your influence and how you use it. There are 16 possible classifications determined by factors such as how often you tweet, who you follow, who follows you, and how your audience interacts with your messages. Your Klout Class  is like a personality test for your style of influence.
Your influence network shows who you influence and who influences you. Influence is determined by a variety of factors including retweets, @messages, follows, and lists.

On top of a Klout score score of 0-100, plus numbers for true reach, amplification, networkclassification results, based on 25 variables, are shown on a 4 x 4 matrix. The matrix is where the 16 classifications, from observer to celebrity, come from. And, among other things, you can see who you’re influenced by and who you influence.

You can check out your klout by going to:<your twitter id>

Of course, replace <your twitter id> with your twitter id or the twitter of id of anybody whose klout you want to know.