STL Web Matters

Web resources for local business owners

Contact Information

Patricia Scott

Hours: 7:00 AM until 4:00 PM CST

E-mail: patricia@sbicmgmt.com

Phone: 314-993-7104

Editorial Perspective

Editorial Perspective

Welcome to STL Web Matters. This is an occasional report of news & opinion related to the Web as a business tool for local business owners in the Saint Louis Metro area.

You’ll see topics about: social media; web listings, directories & search engines; profiles on companies I feel represent The Best of Saint Louis; and, The Small Business Saturday Initiative. I’ll also spotlight good Saint Louis websites as I find them.

Special Note: Are you a blogger or would you like to be interviewed for this publication? Guest bloggers who have something to say about how small and medium size businesses can use the Web to gain a competitive advantage are welcome and encouraged. Also, if you are the owner of a Saint Louis-based business and want to be interviewed about your experiences with Web tools, I’d very much like to hear from you (and so would my readers!). Please contact me through my website http://www.STLontheWeb.net .

Social Media Advice From the Pros

Social Media Advice From the Pros

At this morning’s St. Louis Regional Chamber meeting Lisa Keller of Nestle Purina, Ron Watermon of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Marisa Lather of Microgrid Solar were generous with advice on how to get the most from social media channels. Here are some of their top points: Ask yourself these two questions to vet content for social media distribution: “Does this help my brand?” And, “Would I share it?” When planning content, think like a journalist in your use of video and photos. Trade links with employees, customers, vendors, partners, and brand advocates (people who use your product or service). Have one-on-one conversations with employees about social media style. Re-purpose your company’s photos and videos for social media. Social media content should drive people to your website because that’s where your brand’s “extended story” is told Ms. Keller also shared that her team doesn’t post daily to Facebook any longer because Facebook has become a “pay to play” channel. Facebook’s feed is funneled more to their own advertising customers, so your Facebook postings aren’t getting the same exposure as in the past. She estimates her company’s organic reach (non-paid views)  via Facebook has fallen to only 4%. As a great demonstration of sharable social media content, Ms. Keller dropped some Tweetable candy for her audience: Nestle Purina is looking to hire a “socially minded” person in their marketing department for social media projects. Talk about a juicy morsel! Interested parties should visit the Nestle Purina website to...
Yelp.com Can Hurt Your Business

Yelp.com Can Hurt Your Business

Why does this make me uncomfortable? Yelp, part of a giant advertising machine, is fighting for online Freedom of Speech by whooping-up on a small business owner in Virginia State Supreme Court. Sounds like another incident of online bullying that ends badly. Except this time, the effects might be game-changing because Yelp is a bully with lots of money. Yelp gets at least 5 subpoenas monthly from business owners seeking the names of anonymous users who have unfairly attacked their businesses online. Unfortunately for these owners, very few lawsuits are ever successful. This is because Yelp and other websites like them (CitySearch, Angie’s List, Google + Local, Yahoo Local, and Amazon.com) are protected from liability for defamation claims under the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Complaints—whether true or false– can cost your company thousands of dollars in lost business. Yelp Plays Hardball to Protect its Advertising Revenue in Court & Congress In November of 2013 Yelp hired lobbyist Laurent Crenshaw to push for a federal “Anti-SLAPP” law, which will, if enacted, make it even tougher for small business owners to protect themselves in the Courts against anonymous critics. Mr. Crenshaw used to work for U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who now sits the House Committee On Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Crenshaw has been working hard in his new capacity, according to his LD-2 Disclosure form filed with the U.S. House of Representatives, in two months his expenses were $30,000 lobbying for Yelp. See his expenditure report . His specific lobbying issues are listed as: “Working to promote competition in the online marketplace. Protecting and promoting Internet freedom.”...
How to Get Listed (if you must) on CitySearch

How to Get Listed (if you must) on CitySearch

There are more web designers out there than sticks floating down the Mississippi. So that’s why I listed my business on CitySearch because all my competitors will certainly do it. Even though it’s very unlikely I’ll get a call from someone who found me on CitySearch (because I don’t advertise on CitySearch), I just couldn’t stop thinking of all those other sticks. And, I’m a natural optimist.

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