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Social Media: The New Town Squares

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Social Media is proving to be the most important aspect behind the success of any business, and it’s also turning out to be the most misunderstood and misused platforms ever. Mark W. Schaefer has dedicated a whole book to it called Social Media Explained.

More often than not, the reason behind success is not how much you know about the problem, but how you approach it. That is one of the main reasons why some businesses don’t find success in the social media age – because they approach social media the way they did mass media, but in reality they should treat it like a town square in old age Europe.

Here’s why:

Characteristics of a marketplace in 1800 AD at a marketplace in England

Highly Personal

Everyone knew everyone, and everyone was connected. The shopkeepers had a very personal connection with their clients. They probably knew their birthdays, and what they purchased on a daily basis by heart.

italian-market
Feedback was immediate

An extension of the first point, feedback was immediate in the 1000s, you didn’t have to wait for ages to get feedback on your products, you would get get it the minute it reached the consumer. They knew you personally and could approach you any minute to let you know what they liked or didn’t like about your product.

Word of mouth

Word spread like wildfire in those days, people would be talking about your product even before it was out. Your entire reputation as a producer depended on what people thought of you, and everyone would have opinions on everything such as how you did business, what you sold, and how you treated your customers. If you wanted your business to succeed, you had to treat your customers right, because they were the ones who would get you more business.

Need to be socially connected

The town squares in the 1000s weren’t just marketplaces, they were places for social gatherings; people had an innate need to be socially connected to one another, and the town squares were where people met up and caught up with each others’ lives.

socializing

 

Characteristics of Social Media

Highly Personal 

Everyone is connected and on an even larger scale, you can find clients in a different country with just a click. Business owners and companies have built personal connections with their clients digitally. Any big retailer you’ve done business with will send you an email on your birthday. An average college student get messages from Snapchat, LinkedIn, Old Navy, Forever 21, Target, and whichever company they’ve decided to do business with. On top of that, they also keep a record of what their customers buy for future reference and offer suggestions at timely intervals to hold onto the interest of their customers.

Feedback is immediate

Feedback is immediate with social media. People can put up reviews of your product within minutes of consumption, and there are a thousand platforms to do it on like Yelp, Google, Amazon, and Fandango. There will be people blogging about it and putting up pictures of your product.

Word of mouth

Social media is highly personal, and because feedback is immediate, word of mouth will spread like wildfire. Depending on which direction it blows in, it will make or break your reputation.

There is an innate need to be socially connected

This generation has a tremendous need to be socially connected, and social media is the number one place to be. Everyone is online looking at what other people are doing, and putting up their own personal information.

Sometimes, you just have to go back in time to know how to market your business successfully in the age of social media. One of the best analogies for this is the Flintstones and the Jetsons. They were set in different ages, but they were set the same. The same can be said about selling in the social media age and personal selling in 1000 AD. This isn’t only about B2B or B2C anymore, it’s about P2P (person to person).

Mark Schaefer says in his book, that mass media was the worst phase businesses and consumers could have seen, because it built a huge divide between the buyers and sellers. One of mass media’s biggest misgivings is that they made businesses impersonal, but social media made it possible to add a softer edge to your business. At the end of the day, people want a personal connection, the feeling that they are being heard and what they say will make a difference in the grander scheme of things. People don’t want to open their Facebook or Twitter and see a pamphlet of what you’re selling. They want to see what you actually do at work, contests, and shoutouts. They want to feel closer to your company and workers, and giving them that is what will make your business more successful.

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Camden

First Tech Startup to join Camden NJ

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Penji

First Tech Startup to join Camden NJ

Penji is a new tech startup who recently launched in Camden NJ. Instead of having costly all-inclusive packages that design agencies typically offer, Penji offers unlimited graphic design, unlimited revisions, at a flat monthly rate. The startup launched on October 21st 2017, a day after Camden Catalyst, a startup pitch competition hosted by Waterfront Ventures to bring startups into the city.

camden nj

 

Penji solves a unique problem that startups, small businesses, and agencies tend to have. According to Penji, startups and small business owners spend too much of their time attempting to design their own marketing materials, logos, business cards, etc. And even if they hire a company or a freelancer to help them, it often costs quite a bit more than they originally thought. 

” It’s a huge time waster. And that’s why we created Penji, to solve that graphic design problem for startups and small businesses.” – Johnathan Grzybowski (Cofounder)

Penji’s unique mission

Penji also has a unique mission. The startup plans to be one of the first community conscious startups to plant their flag in Camden NJ. For Penji, being a community conscious startup means giving back to their community on a consistent basis and in ways that truly helps their community. The startup plans to offer jobs and opportunities specifically for students and residents in Camden. Their goal is to hire as many talents as they can from the city with the hope of keeping those talents in Camden. Camden is home to major school institutions such as Rutgers, Rowan, Camden County, and Cooper. Despite having these big names investing in the city, few job opportunities currently exist for students graduating from any of these 4 colleges.

“The only way to successfully revitalize Camden sustainably is if our students are willing to stay in the city and invest in the city themselves. And they can only do that if there are good paying jobs available in Camden. Currently there aren’t many available, and we plan to change that.”- Khai Tran

Penji

The startup already hired 4 students from Camden and have plans to hire more as they grow in Camden. Things are definitely looking up for Camden NJ as the interests for startups are growing from surrounding cities. The Camden city has been struggling with bringing in new businesses for the past few decades and many efforts have been put forth to revitalize the city. Things may be different this time around if enough startup companies join Penji in Camden and invest in the city.

Melissa Le (office manager of Waterfront Lab, Camden’s very own co-working space) is optimistic that Camden will be revitalized this time around.

“We’re feeling good about Camden’s revitalization and we know it will be successful if enough key industries get involved. Having major companies such as American Water, Holtec, and Subaru is a great start, however we need more interests from startups and small businesses to make Camden’s growth sustainable.”

 

 

 

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Business

Marketing Lingo you need to know for 2018

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7 Marketing Lingo you need to know for 2018. If you own a small business, chances are you’re wondering how you’re going to market yourself.  Looking online you’re going to find quite a few article and resources for marketing, most of them coming from marketing company themselves.  Give or take an hour of research and you’re pretty much ready to quit because there’s too many options and because you’re not a part of the marketing or digital marketing world, all the lingo being used such as SEM, SEO, Digital Marketing, etc. becomes overbearing. That’s ok, we’ve created a short guide for you to follow that will help you better understand the world of Digital Marketing. These are the essential keywords and lingoes in digital marketing that you’ll need in order to navigate marketing information.

SEO (Common marketing lingo)

The first is the most common marketing lingo. Search Engine Optimization.  This is a service that many digital marketing agencies provide to help get more people to come to your website via an organic search result.  When someone online searches for a keyword that your business represent, your website will come up on the front page.  They will then click on your link and be directed to your website.  This doesn’t guarantee business, but it does increase the likelihood of you getting more leads and sales.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing.  This service is similar to SEO because it rely on you getting good rankings on the 1st page of Search Engines.  The difference is that SEM depends heavily on paid advertisements to get you there instead of appearing there organically.  You know those ads on top and on the side?  Those are probably the works of an SEM Campaign. Learn more about Search Engine Marketing here. 

PPC

Paid Per Click.  How SEM does it’s work is through a Google service known as Paid Per Click.  This is where you pay Google to place your business on the front page in the form of an advertisement.  Whenever someone clicks on the advertisement, you pay google a small fee (anywhere between 50 cents to $20 depending on keyword and competition).

SMM

Social Media Marketing.  The goal for this is to deliver traffic to your website via Social Media.  Depending on your business certain social media platforms may be better suited for you.  A clothing/retail business may benefit more from Instagram and Pinterest than Twitter for example. Learn how to maximize your social media’s effectiveness here. 

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a broad spectrum of online marketing services.  Typically a Digital Marketing campaign will include more than one services to accomplish a goal, whether it be branding or simply more traffic and customers.  Digital Marketing can include SEO, SEM, SMM, PPC, and many other online-related marketing services.  Typically it doesn’t include direct mail, bill boards, or bus wraps.

CPC

This marketing lingo stands for Cost Per Click and is most common with Google’s Pay Per Click model. However many other advertising platforms also utilize CPC to determine the effectiveness of a campaign. Cost per click simply means how much does it cost you every time someone clicks on your promoted ad. Usually you want the CPC to be low, that way you won’t have to pay more for people clicking on you ads.

Conversion

This is a confusing marketing lingo because it could mean a lot of things. Conversion could mean the rate at which someone goes onto your website and then converts to become a customer. Your formula would be Sales conversion / Visitors. However Conversion can be something completely different if you’re advertising on Google, Facebook, of Instagram. Conversion doesn’t mean sales on your website, it could mean simply someone converting and eventually browsing to a desired page on your website, however not necessarily making any transaction. Learn about social media conversion here. 

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Business

Low Cost Business Ideas

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Low Cost Business Ideas

Here are some low cost business ideas to feed the entrepreneur inside you. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need thousands of dollars to start your own business. If you want to make it as an entrepreneur, what you really need is determination and patience in order to survive the business world. If you’re looking for low cost business ideas, you’ve come to the right place because we have some brilliant ideas you can cash in on.

1. Ride Sharing Service

Thanks to platforms like Uber, ridesharing services are becoming popular worldwide. If you already have a car, you can start this business without shelling out a dime. If all goes well you can turn your ride sharing service into a chauffeur service, or hire other subcontractors to launch your own brand.

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