Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Twitter Town Hall: #bcliquor

Now more than ever before, it’s so easy to ‘have your say’. Ya’ gotta’ love Twitter. And do you know what’s really cool? The Twitter Town Hall – a forum on Twitter where you can join in the conversation, express your views & opinions, and really get into it with others on specific subjects. And the best part? You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to attend the ‘Town Hall Meeting’. 

An example of a Twitter Town Hall is coming up this Sunday (September 29 – between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm).  The B.C. liquor laws are being reviewed (for the first time, apparently, in 12 years) and you can weigh in on the following topics (from     

1.       Would you like to see restaurants and bars licensed the same?

2.       Tell me a time when BC’s two license system was inconvenient for you?

3.       Would you be supportive of allowing markets and festivals to sell local #bcliquor products?

4.       Should drinks be consumed in separate areas at festivals & public events or should people have access to consume anywhere?

5.       Do you think #BC has a good balance between accessibility and health/safety?

The British Columbia government website inviting people to join in, states:

§  Anyone with an active Twitter account can join the conversation

§  Tweet direct to @John_Yap to share an idea and have your voice heard

§  Make sure you use the hashtag #bcliquor in all tweets

§  When responding to a tweet, use the “reply” button to ensure conversations remain threaded

§  Staff will help moderate the chat through handle @GovTogetherBC

§  Feedback gathered through the Twitter Townhall will be considered as part of the final report sent to Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Suzanne Anton.

Sounds like it could be a very engaging couple of hours, doesn’t it? Think I’ll check it out!


A well-constructed website is crucial for any business, as is a solid & engaging social media campaign. These are things that can have a major impact on your business’ bottom line.  But do you know what’s even more important?  Yep, positive customer reviews.  I know I’m not alone in saying that whenever I decide to make a purchase or use a new service, the first thing I do is some online research.  I “Google” the product or service and, quite frankly, put a lot of stock in what other users or customers have to say.  For everything from choosing a doctor to trying a different brand of mascara, you can find reviews from people who have already been there!  And what better way to promote your business than to garner as many positive reviews as possible from satisfied customers. The key is, however, to solicit reviews in as unassuming a manner as possible. The last thing you want to do is to piss anybody off! Here are 4 tips for getting people to write rave reviews about you...       

1.  Be the best at what you do. I know – sounds cliché – but unless you’re just going to be soliciting reviews from your mom, best friends and people who owe you favors, you have to ensure that your products and services are great-review-worthy.  Go above and beyond to satisfy – no, not just satisfy – to please your clients – to make dealing with your business a pleasurable experience.  Offer the best services, top quality products and, most importantly, the ultimate in customer service. No one will be struggling to write only positive things about your business if they only have positive things to say.

2.  Ensure that writing a review is a quick & simple process.  People are busy, and most are not going to venture too far out of their way to write reviews. This is not to say that they’re not happy to do so, but if it’s a daunting process and they have to click through to a gazillion places, they may just opt not to do so.  Be sure to include a designated area – or a link to a designated area – that people can find easily and submit a review within a few moments.  Your social media sites are great and easily accessible platforms for people to leave feedback. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ & Twitter all make it easy for people to comment and leave reviews.  Your job is to ensure that your social media sites are engaging and inviting for customers.

3.  A ‘little incentive’ never hurts, but remember – there’s a fine line between asking people to kindly leave a review – and flat out bribery!  The reviewer is, after all, doing a favor for you (your business), so  while you don’t want to make it seem like you’re committing bribery or paying someone off to say something nice about you (all credibility will be lost), a little ‘thank-you gift’ (a coupon or small discount) is acceptable – just as long as you don’t discriminate. The ‘thank-you gift’ is for taking the time to write a review – for contributing some feedback – not for necessarily writing a positive review.

4.  Pay close attention to the sites on which people review your business.  Ensure that your business profile is visible on these sites and interact on a regular basis with people.  Always acknowledge and thank them for taking the time to write their reviews.  Being engaging and gracious will go a long way in enticing others to write positive reviews!