This new tool pinpoints the communities most in need of disaster relief

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GiveDirectly, which supplies cash to people after natural disasters, will use the Google-built tool to find the places where its work will have the biggest impact. Global warming has all but guaranteed that storm seasons will continue to intensify, in traditional hurricane hot spots and further afield, meaning more people are likely to be affected by destroyed homes and communities and in need of financial support. But there is never enough support to go around, so charities are always looking to donate as efficiently as possible. A partnership between GiveDirectly and Google.org aims to smooth the process of delivering funds to the people who require them most urgently. Read Full Story

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Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

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Posted by MiriamEllis Local businesses know better than any other model what it means to fully participate in community life. You are the good neighbors who are there to serve, inspire, and sustain the people and traditions that make your town a unique and enjoyable place to call home. As we explore this topic of what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to honor all that you have always done to take care of your community as a local business owner or marketer. Thank you. In this article, you will find local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support, advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs, and some serious thinking about building a better local future. Adhere to all regulations First and foremost, start each day with a …

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Mapping Local Essentials: Being the Business that Grows, Sells, or Markets the Beans

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Kenneth Leung , Michael Coghlan “Dried beans saw a more than 230% increase in demand and rice sales spiked by 166% in that same time.” - ABC How should a business operate now? Where is there work to be done? Economists are making stark predictions about the future of small businesses in the US, but at the same time, I live in a town without a courier service established enough to meet the mushrooming demand for home delivery. Frankly, it’s devastating reading headlines forecasting the permanent closure of 7.5 million American SMBs , but while absorbing these, I also spent six weeks shaking the Internet for bathroom tissue before locating some 1,400 miles away. Point being: Where there’s need, fulfilment can be a public good, and where there’s upheaval, any possibility is worth considering. Necessities are emerging in bold relief on the map of each …

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How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

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Posted by MiriamEllis “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers This quote is one I find myself turning to frequently these days as a local SEO. It calls to mind my irreplaceable neighborhood grocer. On my last essential run to their store, they not only shared a stashed 4-pack of bath tissue with me, but also stocked their market with local distillery-produced hand sanitizer which I was warned will reek of bourbon, but will get the job done. When times are hard, finding helpers comes as such …

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10 Alternatives to Google Hangouts on Air

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Google has an impressive resume of highly impactful, successful products. For instance, products like Google Search and Google Docs are used by millions around the world daily. But no business is perfect. Even the most inspired innovation can fail if the market just doesn’t get into it. That’s why, over the last few years, Google has started to cut their losses and kill products that never quite hit the mark. Google Play Music, Google Glass, and now Google Hangouts on Air have been retired, which may come as a surprise to users who relied on these products. Don’t worry, though—it’s not all bad news! While you may have lost your favorite live-streaming service, there are plenty of Google Hangouts on Air replacements. What Was Google Hangouts on Air? Google Hangouts on Air launched in 2012, with Google adding live-streaming and community elements to their already existing Hangouts platform. At the …

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Shop these 30 brands to support COVID-19 relief

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From dog food to sneakers to skincare to groceries, shop these brands to support coronavirus relief efforts. As we continue weathering the storm that is the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of brands stepping up to donate and provide aid to the communities who need it the most. So if you’re planning on doing any online shopping anytime soon, buying with these brands puts your spending power to a great cause. Here are 32 of our favorite brands that are giving back. Read Full Story

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Best Customer Service Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. When your human team has trouble managing your customer service needs with sticky notes and cluttered inboxes, you need a new solution. Customer service software lets you keep all of your tasks in the right baskets without losing track of anything. It also boosts your customer satisfaction and lightens your agents’ load. These customer service software options will help you organize your company, whether you’re a startup or a seasoned business owner. The Top 7 Options for Customer Service Software Hubspot’s Service Hub —Best for Free Software and Deals Zendesk —Best for a Complete Support Suite Groove —Best for Small Businesses and Startups TeamSupport —Best for B2B Support LiveAgent —Best for Live Chat Service Salesforce Service Cloud —Best for Remote and On-Site Support Freshdesk —Best for a Streamlined System …

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Why consumers follow and unfollow brands on social media

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30-second summary: Sprout Social has been compiling a consumer index report of social media trends since 2013. Their 2020 report contains new insights and statics about how brands and consumers interact on social platforms. Marketers can use this information to better align their social media strategy to their customers’ expectations, ensuring that their content resonates. The survey revealed that 89% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social media and 75% will increase spending with that same brand. Understanding why consumers follow (and unfollow) brands, what type of content they’re most (and least) interested in, and what stand-out brands are doing right can help marketers gain more followers, while driving leads, sales, and growth for their organization. Sprout Social’s 2020 consumer index survey, Edition XVI: Above & Beyond , found that 50% of consumers have increased their social media usage in the past six months. The data …

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