How to Add & Manage Reviews on your Facebook Business Page

by Jennifer Smith

Austin Tenant Advisors

Jen Smith is the go-to source for smart, savvy Facebook marketing and advertising. Equal parts tech researcher and social media maven, Jen brings over 15 years of online marketing experience to the table, helping her clients connect powerfully with their consumers – and injecting serious know-how into their brand's social presence on Facebook. Jen gives businesses the tools to use Facebook to grow their bottom line and whip their customers into an excited frenzy, while making the Facebook marketing process "like"-able for everyone She is also the owner, along with her husband Nathan, of Austin Tenant Advisors, an Austin commercial real estate firm that specializes in tenant representation. In addition to being an active commercial real estate advisor, Jennifer also brings more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the high tech industry to the Austin, TX. 

After living in Austin for 15 years, she is also a self-proclaimed Austinite and loves everything about Austin from shopping to eating at trendy restaurants to catching a live music show.

In the digital age, online reviews have almost completely taken the place of the word-of-mouth referrals. Reviews are what prospective buyers use to research your product or service and decide if they would like to do business with you. They also let people share their personal experience about your product or service. 

Topics: Social Media

Using social media to market your business

by Curt Finch


Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx (, a provider of web-based time tracking, project accounting and resource management software designed to guide customers to per-person, per-project profitability. He is a frequent speaker at major events and conferences, has many articles published in numerous business magazines, and his latest book, “All Your Money Won't Another Minute Buy: Valuing Time as a Business Resource” is available in most bookstores. He is a featured blogger for Inc. (, and you can follow him on Twitter (

All business owners hear these days is how important social media is.

Topics: Social Media, Featured, Blog Posts

Get heard - 3 tips to improve your online content

by Kelly Jackson

Jaxzen Marketing Strategies

Kelly is the CEO of Jaxzen Marketing Strategies. Career Marketing Communications professional and innovative small business owner. At Jaxzen Marketing our strategy is to work with teams to align marketing activities with sales goals, and then to measure their effectiveness in terms of leads converted. By developing integrated marketing communications plans around this objective, we’re able to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Do you find yourself in the position of blogging or writing other online content for your company? Whether you are a newbie to creating online content or a seasoned writer, SXSWI offers several panels featuring some of the most notable internet authors and journalists.

Topics: Social Media, Featured, Blog Posts, Marketing

Real business networking requires an effective strategy

by Leslie Thacker

Business Finance Solutions

Leslie Thacker is the Managing Partner of Austin Texas-based Business Finance Solutions. Leslie has over 20 years of general business experience, including ten years managing the marketing, sales, and projects for financial services including bank lending programs and electronic data interchange programs for small businesses. She has served as a consultant to several banks and a small business investment company (SBIC). Her role in Business Finance Solutions includes assisting small and mid-sized businesses obtain working capital financing, equipment leasing, and leveraging other assets for working capital. Before entering the financial industry, Leslie was the publisher of a business trade publication in Corpus Christi. She also has an extensive background in inventory control and merchandising. Leslie is passionate about helping business owners, managers, CFOs, and operations personnel obtain valuable practical business training. In March 2009 she started a highly successful Austin based Meetup group. Each month she has arranged a respected speaker to present a finance or operations topic of interest to the group. There are now approximately 180 members of the group. Leslie also volunteers time at the Texas State Small Business Development Center, assisting with educational programs and the center’s marketing program. When not helping businesses find financing and practical educational resources, Leslie spends time in her garden growing antique roses.

Many of us have been to organized networking events where it seems all everyone does is work the room with a stack of business cards handing out as many as possible. When I have come back to the office all I have is a stack of business cards. Many times I can’t put a face to a business card, let alone how a business networking relationship might work with a person I just met. Lately I have even seen networking events called “speed networking.” To me, the thought of speed networking doesn’t make any more sense than speed dating.

I have discovered that I find the best business networking partners when working in civic groups, educational organizations like the Texas State University Small Business Development Center, and most importantly from others who I have a solid networking relationship with. We all know a warm lead is better than a cold one, and a solid referral is the best way to develop new business relationships.

The key to effective business networking is establishing a one on one relationship with another business professional who has a complimentary network to yours. Once you have identified a person or company that looks prospective, make sure their character and business values match yours. You want to network with people that have the same ethical and service oriented standards as you.

Here are some places I find new valuable networking partners.

Meetup Groups. My company hosts a monthly meetup group that focuses on business educational topics for business owners and operations management of Austin area businesses. We have had 22 meetings and have about 180 members registered in the group. There is a core of solid core of about 35 regular members who have attended more than a half dozen times. We don’t advertise as a networking group, rather as an educational group.

Our goal is to provide a presenter for the group each month who will send members back to their office with some actionable information that they can immediately use. It is safe to say that I have become strong networking partners with about 15 people of that core group. I have taken the time to get to know them, their interests outside of work and what kind of challenges their company faces. Our group has become so close that many members will stay 30 - 40 minutes after the end of the program to catch up and truly get to know one another. While we aren’t a networking group, real networking is taking place because of the type of people who attend and level of trust most of the members have with one another. I belong to several other meet up groups where the same kind of authentic networking organically happens.

Linked-In. I have found the key to effective networking on Linked in is joining in discussions that interest me. Two way interaction via discussions will sometimes lead to a mutual interest. When I find those I take the discussion private and then eventually to a phone call or if the other person is local, to a brief meeting for a cup of coffee or tea. I have several long distance networking partners whom I have done business with numerous times, all because we took the time to get to know each.

Blogs. I write this blog and have received a number of direct emails from readers. I attempt to answer every one of them personally and authentically. On more than one occasion the time I took to answer an email with my best advice has led to a sale or referral to someone else who I had written communication with. If you write a blog, encourage interactivity with your readers and take a tiny bit of time to help them with whatever the reason they write you. My business partner receives at least five emails a day from a column he writes for a national business information website. He writes about finance issues. He writes back to every one he can.

Make referrals, get referrals. I try to make solid referrals into my own business network at every opportunity I can. While I never make a referral expecting to get one in return, it often happens that way.

It has taken me several years to find the kind of networking strategy that works for me. I do use some social media, but the most effective networking for me is to build a connection to my network one person at a time and be generous with ability to help someone else out in my network.

Leslie Thacker is the managing partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions.

Topics: Social Media, Featured, Blog Posts, Marketing


From an accountant’s notebook: on the subject of networking

by Ron Ratliff

Ron Ratliff CPA

Ron Ratliff was a CPA who practiced accounting in Austin, Texas for many years. He passed away in 2011 and his articles are archived on the Business Resource Center for the long term, so that the business community can continue to benefit from Ron’s expertise.

I realize that this subject has little, if anything, to do with Finance & Accounting – subjects that I supposedly know a bit about.

Topics: Social Media, Business Best Practices, Blog Posts

Top 5 Marketing Best Practices

by Kelly Jackson

Jaxzen Marketing Strategies

Kelly is the CEO of Jaxzen Marketing Strategies. Career Marketing Communications professional and innovative small business owner. At Jaxzen Marketing our strategy is to work with teams to align marketing activities with sales goals, and then to measure their effectiveness in terms of leads converted. By developing integrated marketing communications plans around this objective, we’re able to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

During my tenure leading multiple marcom teams at AMD, we gained valuable insight through evaluating programs post execution. Some times we had great success meeting our program goals. Other times the wheels fell off and we quickly had to identify the problems and correct our course of action.

Topics: Social Media, Blog Posts, Marketing, Strategic Planning

Six ways networks go right

by Jan Triplett

Business Success Center

Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business, that provides sales and financial growth strategies, planning, and implementation. She is also a professor in Business and Professional Skills for the online MBA program at Mary Baldwin University. Triplett is a national and international speaker, author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small and Easy to be Green. She published The Networker ” magazine for over ten years and moderated KUT radio’s nationally syndicated program, “The Next 200 Years”. She was co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy” and the “Owners MBA” and co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Association Hatchery incubator and accelerator. She is a small business activist. She served as a White House Conference on Small Business and Congressional Summit delegate, served on the Mayor’s Task Force on International Infrastructure, initiated the Northcross IBIZ District and recommended portions of Austin’s Big Box Ordinance. She was a founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and the Greater Austin International Coalition. The SBA honored her as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. She has also earned her CBTAC and Director credentials. Her company received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firm.

In the Austin area, you can attend specific networking functions morning, noon, and night. You can turn any other gathering (including standing in lines at grocery stores, movie theatres, bookstores or working out at a gym) into a networking opportunity. In short, what you can do is spend a lot of time and have little to show for it.

Topics: Social Media, Featured, Blog Posts