Twitter Dashboard for Local Tweet Searches

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to filter through Twitter search terms for your brand, services you offer, etc. to find just your local audience?  Well, there is one.  The fancy name for filtering Twitter for search terms by location is “geo-location.”  Essentially, it is de-cluttering Twitter to find only your local clients.  Want to see who’s tweeting about shopping for a car in your local market?  No problem.  Want to see who’s talking about your brand in your digital backyard?  Again, no problem.  Want to engage just your local audience?  Yep… no problem.

Here’s how, step by step.  I’m using a Chicago area BMW dealer in this example, but this will work for any location and any business.

Perillo BMW Google Maps


Go to Google Maps and type the name of your business in the search bar.








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Next you will need to get the latitude and longitude coordinates for your location.  The quickest way to locate this is to switch your map view to classic Google Maps.  Here’s how to do this.

Click the ? image you see in the lower right side of the map at the bottom of the page.  Next click Return to Classic Google Maps.




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Once there, right click on the red business location marker and select Drop LatLng Marker.









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Now just copy the coordinates you see in the Drop LatLng Marker.






Next, go to Hootsuite.  No worries if you don’t have an account you can start one for free.  Up to 5 Social Streams are included in the free plan at the current time.  Managing social media account at multiple businesses? The Pro Plan is only $10 / Month for 50 Streams.  Very nice.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 12.58.20 PMFollow Hootsuite’s setup prompts to add your social networks, then let’s get filtering for local tweets by using Hootsuite’s Twitter search feature.  Start by selecting +Stream, then select the Twitter profile you’d like to use.  Select the Search tab, then do exactly this.  Type your preferred search term (brand, services you offer, etc.) and then geocode plus your latitude and longitude.  Using my continuing example of this Chicago area BMW dealer, it would be:

bmw geocode:41.9024,-87.6311,200km

BMW is the search term here, you can use any you like and Hootsuite can set up multiple ones within your dashboard.  Be sure to put the information in exactly has I’ve shown, noting the lack of spacing.  If you do it wrong, then you will show no results, so just check your coordinates and spacing and try it again.

Try it out mastering the local Twitter possibilities in your marketing arsenal and let me know what you think!  Have question or need help?  Just ask.

The Chemistry of “Natural” Foods

James Kennedy Monash, who called himself a British sinophile in Australia, a chemistry teacher, created these posters as a was to breaking down people’s fear that “chemicals” are found in many of our foods.  Or, at least that what it looks like when we read the labels.  To do this, he created his “ingredients” series to show that nature evolves compounds, mechanisms and structures far more complicated and anything chemists might produce and put into our food.

Check out mother natures complexity.  BTW, in case you’re wondering what a sinophile is, I was wondering that as well.  A sinophile is a person who is attracted to all things Chinese.  What that has to do with chemistry is still a mystery, but I like the way his mind thinks when it comes to chemicals we put into our bodies in the name of being “all natural.”

Use the FS option on the bottom to display full screen.

Don’t forget to ask, “Who?”

Have you ever been in a meeting and someone says, “I’ve been hearing…”?  Or, “I’ve been getting complaints about…”  Usually a sentence like these ends with something negative.  Come to think of it, a sentence like that always ends in something negative.  What should you do next when you hear this?

Your immediate thought is situations like this is likely, how can I fix that or prevent it from happening.  Right?  But, maybe the more important question is, “who” has the person making these startement been hearing this from?  Client?  Employees?  Who exactly raised the issue?  By now, you’ve no doubt guessed where I’m going with this.  You see, the who is usually the person right in front of you in that meeting.

So, don’t forget to ask who the “who” is.  Just remember to ask it to yourself.  Asking the person speaking at a meeting with a question like that probably isn’t career extending, but there is a solution.  Ask the person saying, “I’ve been hearing…” something much more simple.  Simply ask them what their opinion as to what they solution to the issue is.  Better yet, ask them what they think the cause of the issue is.  You see, it’s their opinion that was behind this whole red herring exercise in the first place, so peeling away the covers exposes what you actually need to know.

Stop chasing red herrings and start focusing on the “who”?

Using Google’s new enhanced image search

Image Filtration in Google


A new, and very granular upgrade, has been rolled out to Google image search.  This is something those looking for images online that they can legally use on their websites, emails, etc. have long wanted.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Run a Google search as usual, and be sure to press the image search option (or filter after the initial results appear.)
  2. Select the search tools menu and you’ll now see all of your filter options:  Size, color, type, time, usage rights, & more tools.
  3. If you’d like to filter legally usable images, just select Labeled for reuse or labeled for commercial reuse, depending on your intended purpose.

The advanced image search function has technically been available since 2009, but up until now, you had to access the Advanced Image Search Page to filter your results.

Reynolds & Reynolds Contact Manager lead counting in mutiple franchise car dealerships

Contact Manager, by Reynolds and Reynolds can be challenging to use for reporting purposes in multiple franchise stores.  This is chiefly because Contact Management lacks reporting ability by make and even new versus used, when also wanting to report for lead source.  In a multiple franchise dealership that relies on Contact Manager for its CRM, the impact of this is multiplied when setting up reporting.  As anyone in internet lead management knows, not knowing lead volume, closure rates, etc. by source is the marketing equivalent of flying blind, while holding out a blank checkbook for your lead vendors to use.  You simply can’t know what’s working or not without knowing the lead closure data by source.

Tired of having this issue?  Here’s how to solve it.  One caveat before we begin.  Contact Manager data campaigns are uses, data export, Excel, and pivot table use, but it’s easier than you’d think and I’m going to show each step needed.

Here we go.

Begin by logging into your CM account

Contact Management Homescreen







Once in Contact Manager, you’ll need to access the Campaigns tab.  If you have correct access to it, you will see this:

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Select Client Collection on the left side menu and you’ll enter the wonderful world of Contact Management data campaigns.  Yes, you are reading sarcasm in my last statement, but if it’s what you have to work with, this will help you report in ways Reynolds itself hasn’t built into it’s own reporting tool.

Now that you’re in Client Collection, you’ll need to add a new collection by using the Add button you see second from the left in the center of your screen.  A dialogue box will open, then you can easily select the default Contact Type, name the collection anything you’d like (I like to use * or @ in front of inportant collections so they appear in the top of my collections list, since Reynolds has no folder feature for collections… have a previously mentioned that Contact Management isn’t friendly to multiple franchise dealers?  Moving on… Once you save your collection name, you’ll need to actually build the collection.  No worries.  I have a nice cheat sheet for you right here.

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Notice that the example I’ve used above would be for a BMW store.  You will have to build one collection for each brand you want to on if you want to keep things easy.  Pay careful attention to the Comparison column.  That is where most errors using this tool are made.  I have included some needed omits for certain prospect types, status’ & sources, in case you have a need to know how to exclude any of these in reporting you do.

Note:  For more advanced folks reading this, you could just build one collection and include the make name as part of your export file.  That and the details I’m going to give you on pivot tables will let you use all of that to run a wide variety of data reporting variants.

Try to keep the collection data expressions running like I’ve illustrated, so that things can go smoothly for you.  Reynolds Contact Management campaigns run in a stack order.  Going from broad to specific is good form and by leaving the dates included at the bottom, you can easily edit them to new months as needed, or whatever time frames you need to report on.  I actually build daily, weekly, monthly variations for all brands, then I’m good to go for whatever the particular management need it.

After saving your collection, but a check in the box for it on the Client Collect screen that comes up next and click export, third from the right on the center screen menu.

Here’s a sample export screen, but by all means, include as little or as much data columns as you are comfortable with.  As you get use to making these, you fill find just a few export with lots of data columns are easy to work with, using pivot table to extract just what you need.  For purposes of our discussion today though, be sure to include at least prospect Source in the export!

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After making your choices from the dozens of available options and hitting Export, you will then have to wait.  The wait time varies by load on the Reynolds system at the time and the complexity of what you asked for, but in general, five minutes or less.  Go on over to your Customer tab and then your Inbox to see your results link.  Yes, I said link.  This is a data export link, not the actual data shown in Reynolds.  Regardless, click the link, choose the save option.

Contact Management System Messages




Next, use MS Excel to open the file.  No worries if it looks scary at this  point.  Pivot tabling will solve all that next.  From your ribbon bar menu at the top, select the Data tab, then Pivot Table.  Here’s what it looks like:

Contact Management pivot table



Go ahead and use the Create Automatic Pivot Table option.  We’ll be customizing it in just a second.  After making these last selections, Excel will open a big dialogue box, but we’ll only be using part of it for our discussion here.

Excel pivot table display









What I’ve shown above is the exact dialogue box setup to produce the volume of leads by source for you in a second,a s well as what that setup will show you.  Just check the box for prospect source box in the top part, then drag the highlighted area I’ve shown for Prospect Source above into both the Row Labels and the Values sections of the dialogue box.  Then, sit back and smile.  All that’s left to do it hit print and impress the management at your new marketing meeting.  if the’ve been trying to use Reynolds Contact Management to report lead source volume across multiple makes, using a single Contact Management account, they won’t know hoe you did it.

Yelp Reviews Go Mobile

Mobile Yelp Review

Until recently, Yelp mobile let you find, learn more about, and leave tips on businesses.  One very glaring hole remained though, namely the ability to leave reviews.  Previously, you had to check into a business, then remember to return to yelp.com from a desktop PC, search through your visited places, then finally leave a review.  In other words, you either had to be a review-ie (my word for those addicted to supply the world with their opinions of businesses in exceptionally high volume.)

Check out Yelp now and you can leave a review right from the mobile app.  I’ve played with this since on and off since it rolled out in August.  At first, I thought it would be just another way for more fake reviews to make their way to a business’ yelp page more quickly, great.  Has my opinion changed?  Let me ask a question first.  Why did Yelp just add this feature now?  According to their official blog, “most people on Yelp don’t write reviews, they read them.”  Interesting, but I don’t think this is why they waited until now.  I think their review volume and review quality has slipped and this an attempt to bump that back up.  Only time will tell, but the quality issues have been apparent for some time.  Notice how many single review yelp review writers are now posted live, and notice they are predominately bag reviews?  Don’t believe me?  Check out the filtered vs. unfiltered star counts of your favorite businesses on Yelp and see.  Let me know what you see in your industry.

Yelp review alert

Another update from Yelp began the posting of “Consumer Alerts” on the Yelp sites of businesses identified by Yelp users as having unsavory ways of collecting positive reviews.  Things like free goods or service in exchange for positive reviews.  If you are offering these types of incentives to your guests thinking you’ll get a big bump in positive reviews, you may want to think again.  A consumer alert will stay on your Yelp page for at least 90 days.  In a time where Yelp has over 10 million active users on mobile, no one can afford that type of embarrassment.

In what ways have the changes on Yelp mobile affected your business?


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Stop waiting for online reviews to happen.

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Are you not happy with your online review scores?  Are you not happy with the volume of your reviews?  If the answer to either of these questions is “no” then, what are you doing about it?  Let’s use Atlanta Georgia as our test case for this discussion.  I chose Atlanta for no particular reason and have nothing for or against these particular stores, but they serve as an excellent practical example.

Here’s a practical tip you can implement today that will allow you to gain reviews and most likely increase your score in process… and best of all, your clients will do it for you.

Is it most likely that a BMW dealer in a large city has a large volume of sales and service clients?  Most likely, yes.  Is it most likely that most of the stores shown above are relying only on the clients themselves to initiate reviews of these stores?  It would seem so, so given the review counts and scores.  What can they do to immediately raise their review counts and improve their scores?  They can contact their existing clients and ask them to review their store.  Yes, it is really that simple.  Start simple, just set up an email filter via your CRM that looks for closed service order tickets from the last 30 days.  Broadcast an email to those clients telling them you’re in search of fans of your store that might take a moment of their time to leave an online review and to reply back if that would be something they’d like to do.  You’ll be amazed at what happens next… you’re clients will respond and tell you how much they love you and how much they’ve like to help by leaving a review for you.  Sure, you might get someone that has an issue with your business, but look at that as a second chance opportunity to earn their business back by opening up communication with them again.

When clients do reach out in reply to your email, be prepared with an email response that includes links to all of the major review sites and where your stores are listed on them.  You can make it look as fancy as you are as technically inclined to do, but for most clients, simple is always better.  Don’t ask them to say anything in particular in any way… just provide them the means to say whatever they’d like.  You’ll be astounded at the results.

Try it and you’ll see!  Then, let me know your results.  I’d love some feedback.  Also get in touch if you want to know more about the psychology behind the method.  It’s deceptively simple, but it works.

La Providencia, El Salvador

Mission Moment | El Salvador 2013
Jamie Stockman

God’s power changes lives and he shows that power both near and far from Apex.
Each summer, Apex United Methodist Church works in partnership with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Salvadorian Mission Projects, and the Methodist Church of El Salvador. A team of volunteers is sent on an experience of transformation, both for the communities they work in, as well as the volunteers themselves.

During the six years I’ve traveled to Ahuachapán, El Salvador, I’ve been blessed to participate with many people from AUMC and it’s family of faith communities on a wide range of projects. Things like: building homes for people who have spent most of their lives living under tarps with nothing but dirt as their floor, constructing classrooms so that a church can qualify as a school for families that cannot afford their child’s education, and even distributing food to families in need. But, recipients of these blessings don’t just receive much needed shelter or food for their families. As result of programs like these, each of the people affected also receive a tangible symbol of the faithfulness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

Rich Mullins once said to “Let love be the strength in your legs and in every footprint that you leave there’ll be a drop of grace.” I believe that in El Salvador, with every batch of concrete that is mixed, every cement block that is set in place, and every bag of food that is given out, a little drop of grace is left behind… and that the faces of those affected are truly the face of God. In all of this, we not only gain perspective on the needs of others far from our home; but better still is the fact that the people who are served better understand God’s plan for their lives and his deep desire to care for their needs. For His love knows no borders, the world itself is His church, and He seeks to care for all of His children.