Responding to Online Questions and Comments

Your business’ online image can significantly influence the opinions of both current and future clients, helping to satisfy your existing customers and impress or draw in new clientele by demonstrating your commitment to addressing customer questions or concerns. Whether you’re responding to questions and comments on your business website and blog or through one of your social media accounts, taking the right approach is essential to ensure you are projecting the online image you want for your business.

Respond in a Timely Fashion

As online culture changes the way customers think, it’s important to change the way your business responds to comments and questions as well. Devoting the time and manpower to monitoring your website and social media feeds is a valuable use of resources that allows you to address issues and concerns quickly to show your commitment to timely customer service. Waiting too long to respond to questions or concerns will make customers feel abandoned and prompt them to seek services or products from a provider they feel will better respect their time and money.

Respond as a Brand

Online communication and social media interaction are great ways to connect with your customer base on a personal level. However, it’s important to remember that responses to questions and comments should be formulated with your brand in mind. Regardless of the number of employees you have handling client interactions across your social media accounts, make sure each response is professional and consistent with your brand’s values, image, and personality.

Respond to Valid Comments and Concerns

Especially if your business receives a large number of tweets, comments, and questions each day, it’s essential to pare down your responses to those that are most vital. Always respond to customer questions and concerns, which are the greatest opportunities to pull in new clients and retain those who aren’t satisfied. While you should always feel free to retweet or share praise and thanks, these comments don’t necessarily require an actual response. Be wary of negative or argumentative comments—when you see a customer expressing frustration or experiencing an issue, responding is definitely the right choice. However, while you shouldn’t be afraid to address negative comments when they present the opportunity for growth and connection, avoid engaging with commenters who are only concerned with attacking your brand or are not expressing legitimate concerns related to your business.

Are you looking for help managing your business’ online and social media presence? Student Experts can help—please contact us online to find out more about our social media and SEO solutions.

Touring Some of Tucson’s Local Observatories

Since 1972, the City of Tucson has maintained outdoor lighting ordinances designed to preserve one of the area’s most valuable resources: its flawless, dark night skies. The Tucson area’s uniquely dry climate features exceptional astronomical “seeing,” offering minimal atmospheric interference and stunning images of stars, nebulae, and galaxies due to the inherent stability of dry air. Today, Tucson is home to some of the most widely-used astronomical observatories in the American Southwest, drawing professional and amateur astronomers alike to view the skies from the unique vantage point of the Sonoran Desert.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Kitt Peak is one of Tucson’s most famous observatories. Established in 1958 on land perpetually leased from the Tohono O’odham Nation and shared with the National Solar Observatory’s McMath-Pierce Telescope, Kitt Peak hosts primarily small optical telescopes that range in size from 0.4m to 4m in diameter. Kitt Peak is also the home of two radio telescopes, including the ARO 12m Radio Telescope. One of the observatory’s major claims to fame is its standing as the first observatory to dedicate a telescope to the search for near-Earth asteroids—this is done for the purpose of calculating the probability of a future impact event. In addition to its numerous dedicated scientific telescope installations, Kitt Peak’s Nightly Observing Program teaches visitors how to read star charts and view night sky objects with binoculars, and also lets participants catch a glimpse of several astronomical objects through either a 16” or 20” research-grade telescope.

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory is part of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO); it is currently the largest field installation outside of the SAO’s main site in Cambridge, MA. Since 1968, the Whipple Observatory has pioneered work in the field of ground-based gamma ray observing with its 10-meter gamma ray telescope, which was in service for 40 years before its decommissioning. Among its current complement of telescopes, the Whipple Observatory operates the 6.5-meter MMT telescope, the PAIRITEL telescope, and the VERITAS gamma ray observatory. At the base of Mt. Hopkins, atop which the observatory resides, the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Visitors Center features a variety of displays, models, and exhibits that focus not only on the scientific achievements and goals of the observatory, but also on the area’s role in Native American history and culture.

Mt. Lemmon Observatory & SkyCenter

The 9,157-foot summit of Mt. Lemmon is one of the best locations near Tucson to view the night sky. Developed in 1954, the Mt. Lemmon Observatory maintains several independently-managed optical and near-infrared telescopes alongside the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory and the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter. Much of the work achieved by this observatory has focused on solar system objects, including research on asteroids and comets. The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is also the home of the largest telescope dedicated to public viewing in the state: the 32” Schulman Telescope, which is available for use privately and during the SkyCenter’s popular SkyNights public viewing program.

The beautiful night skies are just one of the many aspects of Tucson that we love here at Student Experts. However, we are ready to help businesses no matter where they are located. To learn about our services, including blog creation and infographic design, contact us today.

Blogging for Business: Making It Stick with an Effective Editorial Calendar

Maintaining a business blog has become a valuable and widely-used tool that can allow you to connect with your customers and personalize their experience to build brand loyalty and adapt your products, services, and marketing to your target audience. In fact, studies have indicated that businesses and companies with consistently updated blogs are better able to acquire and keep new customers by building a positive two-way relationship. However, there are many ways to blog for your business, and not all of them are effective. Whether you are new to blogging, have tried it only once before, or are a regular blogger, there are many ways you can improve your business blog to reach a broader audience while sending more purposeful messages.

Understanding the Need for an Editorial Calendar
The key to successful business blogging is not only creating an online blog for your business, but maintaining that blog and delivering consistently high-quality and relevant content. Looking at these requirements alone, you may already feel overwhelmed. While it’s easy to decide you’ll make posts regularly, how do you ensure this happens? Conversely, it’s also important to spread out your blog posts to prevent new articles from becoming lost in a never-ending flood of information. Developing an editorial calendar that guides your posting practices offers numerous benefits in terms of both organization and content quality. First, you’ll know exactly when blog articles should be posted and can prepare accordingly if editing or rewriting is needed. Second, keeping upcoming deadlines in mind gives you and your staff time and motivation to develop high-quality blog topics. While deadlines that are too close together can hurt blog content, the right spacing will give your team members the deadlines they need to focus and produce the type of content you want.

Developing Your Posting Schedule
There are numerous articles and suggestions already available on the web to guide you toward a content posting schedule for various social media sites. However, posting to your own business blog is a slightly more flexible process, allowing you to factor in your business’ size, goals, and content generation capabilities to determine the best schedule for your blog posts. Other considerations that may govern your posting schedule include special events and holidays, as well as sales and other business-specific information you may want to include on your blog. You may want to ramp up the release of content as an important date approaches, or maintain a steady stream of posts and information throughout the year. Regardless of your approach, it’s important to keep a few strategies in mind. Consistency is the major goal of editorial calendar creation—you will be putting your content goals and deadlines in writing to ensure they are met and your blog is updated regularly, rather than becoming a wasteland of occasional updates and irrelevant information. Additionally, your goals will drive your schedule—if you simply want to increase customer awareness of your services, you’ll want to devise a very different schedule than if you are pushing a large sale or event with a specific end date in mind.

Creating and Maintaining Your Calendar
There are many ways to create and maintain an editorial marketing calendar. While a pen and paper approach may work for a single writer, there are a variety of online tools available today to help you create, share, and manage calendars among many individuals. This type of approach is particularly effective if you employ more than one writer or offsite writers that may contribute to the blog. Making sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of topics and deadlines will eliminate confusion and improve content delivery so you can be sure you’re updating your site consistently. The ability to look at your calendar and instantly see not only the content you have planned for this week, but for upcoming weeks and months as well, will help you stay on track when it comes to creating new and informative content in keeping with your goals.

Generating consistent, high-quality, and relevant content is the key to optimizing your business blog. Student Experts can help you boost your blog content and social media sharing with our SEO optimization and content creation services. You can learn more about what we do and how we can fit into your plans for online growth when you visit our website or give us a call at (520) 344-4672.

Mobile Optimization: What It Means and Why It Matters

By 2014, mobile device usage had surpassed PC usage as the dominant method by which consumers browsed the internet. Nearly 100% of consumers use mobile devices to look up information while on the go, including details about businesses, restaurants, and services, while more than 15% use mobile devices consistently to make purchases online. As the popularity of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices continues to increase, it’s essential to understand mobile website optimization and the role it plays in your business’ future success.

Mobile Optimization: The Basics
Mobile website optimization is about more than simply ensuring your website can be viewed on a mobile device. Specifically optimizing your website for mobile device usage includes considerations such as touchscreen technology and limited data transfer capabilities when wireless internet is not available. Thus, mobile optimization often requires the development of a sleeker, mobile-specific website that may differ—either slightly or significantly—from your “traditional” PC-based website. Taking into account the way information is viewed and conveyed on a mobile device versus a PC and designing a website around these differences is the key to not just making your website mobile-friendly, but actually optimizing it for consumer use while on the go. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that your mobile-optimized website may need to change as mobile devices and their usage continue to evolve. Updating your mobile website regularly to reflect these changes is the best way to maintain and grow your consumer base as mobile device usage continues to increase.

Mobile Optimization: The Benefits
If you’re wondering about the benefits of creating and maintaining a mobile-optimized website, there are many. The first major benefit of mobile optimization is simply that it allows your website to remain accessible and usable to your consumers. Recent research on mobile browsing has indicated that more than half of consumers will decide to make a purchase based on the time it takes a company’s website to load on their mobile device, while 30% will abandon a purchase if the site and online shopping cart are not optimized for mobile use. This means that if your site is not specifically tailored to make shopping easy and straightforward on a mobile device, you could be losing business. A site that is designed for mobile use makes purchasing easy, and consumers are much more likely to go through with a purchase when the process is simple to view, understand, and complete. The experience your consumers take away from your mobile site will also affect their opinion of your company and their likelihood to turn to you in the future, affecting long-term business prospects as well. If your site is not optimized for mobile use today, consumers may assume your business is outdated and won’t meet their current and evolving needs. Conversely, a site that looks great and functions well on mobile platforms shows your dedication to adapting your business practices to modern consumers and your willingness to engage in your customers’ lifestyle, thus demonstrating your company’s commitment to its current and future clients.