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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Makes Crowdfunding so Appealing?



There are several factors that have contributed to the success and appeal of crowdfunding. For one thing, it requires only a minimal amount of investment in the part of the investor who contributes to the fund. For instance, a commercial income property can be bought for only $1,000. Even those who are a bit strapped for cash can invest some money expecting a return. Another key to its success is being able to bank on the expertise of others. You can check the profile of executive team and judge for yourself if your investment is worth it. This also means that you have the advantage of skipping a huge chunk of the learning curve and start earning passive income by simply contributing to the capital being raised. Another appealing factor is the fact that there is complete transparency on the part of the crowdfunding portals. Everyone who is participating can check the status of their investment as well as the status of the campaign itself. Information can be provided in real time – everything is accessed via the web. Since everything is on the web, investors can choose any project or funding they want wherever it is available. They can even choose to invest on any property and even choose its asset class.

Downsides That You Should Know About

There are several disadvantages in crowdfunding created by the nature of the enterprise itself. For instance, investors do not have any say on how the investment will be handled. They don’t get to vote, as it were, on certain investment decisions. On top of that, profits may get diluted in case additional funds are needed and more crowdfunding is done. And just like any other investment, crowdfunding also carries with it an element of risk. Note that there is no secondary market where you can sell the security that you have invested in.


Should I Try Crowdfund?

Here’s something that everyone should think about – yes, crowdfunding is a big success. However, it is still a venture. Simply put, it’s not a magic pill that will kick start your business and its eventual success. It is not always guaranteed to work. In fact, there are platforms that go on an all or nothing basis. This means that you will specify a targeted amount of capital to be raised. If the funds that have been pledged and contributed do not reach the target amount then no funding will be made and the funds will be returned to the crowd of investors. Due diligence is required on the part of investors as well as the founders of the company – they can only exert their best effort to gain the confidence of investors and leave everything in the cloud.

How Does Equity Crowdfunding Work?

Equity crowdfunding sees investors end up as shareholders in a business, using the internet. But how does that happen exactly?

Here are some key terms,

•Platforms: Operate the crowdfunding websites and select the companies to put on their site for potential investors to see. Different platforms have different specialties, and it is worth understanding these in detail. You might hear people call platforms by other names, such as “licensed intermediaries,” “broker-dealers,” or “portals,” but the same thing is meant.

•Companies:

Refer to the ones seeking investment, who offer a share of equity in return for money from investors. “Companies” and “campaigns” are used interchangeably, because a campaign is the company’s effort to raise money.

•Investors:

These are the individuals and nizations that contribute the money to the companies, in exchange for a share of equity. They find the companies to invest in by visiting a platform. Each campaign needs to set a target investment amount, (the minimum amount needed to be raised for the offer to successfully close) and a maximum investment amount (the maximum amount of money the company will accept).

•If the company set a target of US$200,000, but only US$150,000 was committed, then the offer would fail and no money would change hands – not even the US$150,000. Therefore, from the company’s perspective it is vital to set the target investment amount at an achievable level.

•If the company set a maximum of US$500,000, and investors contribute all of this, then the offer is “full” and won’t be able to accept any more money. If you’ve never seen an equity crowdfunding platform before, now would be a good time to go online to check one out. 

WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?

For many modern-day entrepreneurs, the big marketing thing these days is social media. For some, it's just a temporary but the very powerful business fad or trend that every entrepreneur and marketing professional must take advantage of while still hot. But to others, it's just a popular word that offers no practical advantage and can be a very complicated and steep learning curve. Social media has somehow earned a reputation with some people as simply being a passing marketing fad or trend and as such, one that's unprofitable – simply because it appeared rather quickly. Few companies are inspired to work through learning a new and sometimes challenging system when the older methods seem tried and true, especially if they do not expect such a method to be sustainable. They view it as a flash-in-the-pan so to speak. But statistics tend to offer a different take on it, a very different one.  Popular inbound marketing software platform Hubspot noted that in 2014, 92% of marketing professionals said that social media marketing played an important role in their businesses with as much as 80% of them claiming that their websites’ traffic went up because of it.  Social Media Examiner – a United States-based media company, said that 97% of marketing professionals use social media marketing, although 85% of those they surveyed admitted not knowing which social media tools are the best ones to use. Clearly, this shows that social media marketing has great potential for jacking up sales but on the other hand, the ability to use it optimally for achieving such results is still lacking in general.  If you’re generally clueless as to how you can use social media marketing to your business’ advantage, here’s a list of that can help you become familiar with the benefits your business may enjoy marketing activity.

Effective Social Media Marketing


The secret to successfully marketing your business with social media platforms is in fact, no big secret at all. The key is to simply engage with your audience. As often as possible, and as frequently as possible. Businesses need to constantly remain active, posting and sharing updates daily, and provide as much detail as possible on a product or service that’s being offered. Because of the social nature of these platforms, the audience is more receptive towards the messages and images that a business puts out there on its social media pages. Crafted messages and interesting images peak the customers interests a lot more than mass produces ads do. A business will see success on social media when it delivers attractive, fun, attention grabbing updates and postings. Create content that is memorable and engaging, and share behind the scenes stories and sneak peaks whenever possible. Audiences and customers love going beyond just the product that is for sale, they want to know more. Share stories, and be as authentic as possible. Social media is a tool for businesses to be friendly and approachable with their customers, to engage with them and listen to them. Building a strong following is essential in ensuring a business and a brand thrives and doesn’t get lost in a crowd among a sea of thousands of other online business. And to build a strong following, business need to constantly be engaging with its social media followers. Respond to the customers, and let them feel their voice is being heard. Social media platforms go the extra mile when it comes to business support, because customers can now directly message or contact a business from anywhere around the world at any time of the day. Business in turn can attend to the messages that come to them in an equally direct and prompt manner. Everything is online, everything is immediate and everything is connected. Information on social media spreads like wildfire, and good word of mouth can do wonders in boosting a company’s brand and business presence.

Essentials to Build Your Brand on Social Media


Whatever your aim is, the people on social media first want to know who you are. You may take help of social media for selling products, persuading people to donate to a cause or gaining subscribers for the promotion of your brand, but the first question to be answered still remains the same- who are you in the first place? In fact, the answer to this question is always a major attraction to grab the attention of more and more people on social media and make them your followers. Customers need someone to identify with the brand so let them know something about yourself. It could feel like a scam or fake if you were to leave out that part – don’t be a ghost in your brand – you are the mastermind behind it. You are allowed to have some room for yourself. However, any of the above mentioned actions need to first focus on the authority of your brand. So, how to ensure the authority of your brand which plays a pivotal role in ensuring your success on social media? And the best way to build your brand authority is possible through the optimum use of social media. As per the recent research done in the field of social media, more than 70% of brands have developed their immense trust in social media and plan to make huge investments in this field in the upcoming year. This move will certainly help such brands to build their good reputation in the market and reach new heights by making new followers. So, are you ready to make a strong place in your industry and get good ranks on search engine giants like Google? Let’s take a quick peek into the steps which you can follow to improve the strength as well as the popularity of your brand on social media:

Check if the Networks Chosen Support Your marketing Brand Image. As per the information provided by Convince and Convert, more than 22 percent of Americans make use of social media services multiple times a day, which specifies how a strong role is played by social media to build their brand. Yes, hundreds of networks are available nowadays, but you need to select the best as not every network can support your brand with similar efficiency. So, invest your time and energy only with on such networks which can really be fruitful for raising the popularity of your brand in the long run. How to choose the best platforms for boosting your brand image? It is certainly one of the most essential steps as it plays a crucial role in supporting your brand image. Here are a few factors which must be taken into consideration before selecting a platform for supporting your brand image:

Facebook – Until now, this platform has certainly proved itself to be the best platform for creating as well as promoting brand awareness. Undoubtedly, its wide usage all over the world gives one an easy way to make one’s brand popular and reach millions in a go. Not only this, but Facebook also finds an upper hand over other networks for its heterogeneous
user base. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to raise your brand’s awareness among people of all the groups rather than being restricted to any particular segment. It automatically increases your brand’s awareness and that too at a much faster rate.

Instagram – It is a wonderful social networking site for such brands which basically rely on images for grabbing the attention of the customers. It is a great option for mainly retailers and clothing companies who depend on images for promoting their brands. It’s great popularity among the youth who love to try a variety of clothes and mainly like watching images help a great deal in establishing one’s retailing or clothing brands with the help of this social networking site.

Google+ - Though the popularity of Google+ didn’t raise the temperature of social media platform as expected by many, it can certainly be a wonderful opportunity for such brands which are related to technology and want to strengthen their hold in the field. It is categorized in this way as over two- thirds of the people using this network are connected to the technology industry in some way or the other. So, if you have something to promote in the field of technology, it can certainly prove to be a reliable site.

Pinterest - Is your brand related to jewelry or clothing? Then, Pinterest can definitely prove to be a good option for you. It is one of the favorites among women, and your clothing or jewelry brand can gain instant popularity on it.

Linkedin - If you are a business oriented person and want to promote your company, no other platform can be better than Linkedin for you. It is also the first choice of people whose jobs demand promotion of business related content. It also provides a good platform for connecting with influential business groups which can help in strengthening the effectiveness of your brand.

GitHub - If you have an interest in programming and computers, then you need to know that this is one of the greatest sites you will visit. Development of the GitHub platform began in October 2007.  It is a social network for software engineers and enthusiasts. You can learn everything you need to know, present your work, share ideas with GitHub users who think alike, and you can do all that without unnecessary distractions.

Flickr – This is a vast gallery for managing, organizing and presenting photos. You can either show your talents and skills in photography and hope you’ll be noticed by some agency, or present your design on this high-quality photo sharing website. It is always worth a try.

Foursquare – Foursquare is somewhat different, and works as an application rather than a website. It is a location service, a sort of check-in status, which allows you to have your customers notify their friends on social networks that they are at your business place – coffee shop, store, spa center or hairdressers salon. It has more than 25 million users. http://www.foursquare.com/. This means that you have to have a physical, real-life store location. Free marketing is fun.

AngelList – This is a social network that helps startups find investors. It is a great way of presenting an idea for the job and to raise money for it. This page also allows browsing startup jobs. The only bad side is that it is only available in the United Kingdom, but hopefully, the expansion is coming.

Quibb - This is a social network that connects job professionals by introducing them to various business topics, business news and up to date explanations. You can sign in with Twitter or a Google account. It includes members from almost 30,000 startups as well as companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon and Skype.

SnapChat – This is an app which allows you to send photos or 10-second videos which disappear after some time. Brands are also using Snapchat to offer their customers an exclusive insider’s peek at events or productions. Content is cheap to produce and is reaching a lot of viewers. Therefore, Snapchat offers brands a new opportunity to advertise and be in touch with their customers.


The Potential of Social Media Marketing for Businesses


The very heart of businesses lies in its customer base. The larger the customer base, the more the sales potential. And there is no better or faster way to build relationships and enhance exposure among your target customer base than through social media platforms. The strength of social media platforms lies in its ability to reach people from across the globe the way conventional methods of advertising can never do. Not only can businesses interact with customers from all over the world, but they can now do so 24/7 if they want to simply by just logging into the social media site. Social media marketing platforms have also opened the potential for businesses to interact in different ways and on different levels with its customer base through different types of social media platforms. Businesses who have gotten on board the social media marketing train to reach its target audience have seen a big difference. Their marketing expenses have greatly reduced without the need to rely on conventional, expensive means of marketing any longer. Sales have improved because they’re able to reach a wider audience base. Business partnerships have increased because social media platforms open more opportunities to work with bigger groups of people on a bigger geographical scale. More traffic gets directed to business websites with the help of social media platforms. Being able to connect and build a bond with the target customer base has also improved loyalty among them, which in turn generates more sales for the business if the customers keep coming back. Social media marketing is a whole different world, with a whole new host of possibilities for businesses to take advantage of. 

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERN DAY BUSINESS MANAGEMENT


Back in the day, any interested customer or prospect can only get information on a product, service or the company providing them by contacting the company directly or through their representatives. Industrial or traditional marketing focused its resources on trade shows, mass advertising, print media and PR to create and build awareness of services and products. It used to be too, that the primary way for business owners and customers to interact was through cold calls and direct mail only, where any potential customers or fresh leads were just passed on or transferred to a company or business’ sales team for following up. Naturally, this resulted in inefficient, indirect communication, which rarely benefits either companies or customers. But Google changed all that. Because of Google, companies began to look for new ways of generating sales leads, particularly through the use of email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO), all of which served to funnel sales prospects to their respective websites. While email marketing is today's version of what used to be called the direct mail marketing, pay-per-click, also referred to as cost-per-click, is a way of advertising that seeks to funnel prospective clients to their businesses’ web websites by paying websites owners whenever people click on ads that appear on their websites. Search engine optimization refers to the process or activity of managing a particular website's content in such a way that it places highly in search results for particular keywords or topics in different search engine websites, particularly Google, Yahoo! and Bing. There are code words and strategies that companies can master in order to ensure their website will be amongst the top results for the exact customer base they are trying to target, ensuring the greatest likelihood of those who come across their website actually making a purchase. These strategies enable businesses to, by utilizing the technological wonder of the Internet, target customers on a more personal, individual level, lessening the need for mass advertising and instead honing in primarily on the people most inclined to appreciate your specific product.

With the advent of the Internet, businesses have also learned to generate content such as white papers - also known as authoritative reports on particular topics of interest for certain target markets - and webinars, which are live or recorded seminars that are shown over the Internet. These two help businesses convert visits to their websites to sales leads. But the efficiency of the Internet also brought with it some very interesting challenges. One of which is sending sales leads to salespeople prematurely and such relatively quick send-offs led to wastage of sales leads. As a result, businesses learned first to nurture their leads and were forced to create programs that were able to better qualify hot sales leads from those with low or no potential – at least not yet. Doing so allowed businesses to refer to their sales teams only those sales prospects that have high potential. And by identifying those leads that don't have much potential yet, they can first nurture them through regular communications until such time that they become qualified hot leads. This enables businesses to avoid wasting their sales team's potential on currently unfulfilling clientele, but to gently groom such clientele for future advertising campaigns, leading to eventual sales. And it’s in this nurturing process where social media comes in. It does so by engaging potential customers with regular communications that are designed to convert them into hot leads or leads with good sales potential. In particular, up-and-coming and small businesses benefit greatly from using social media because unlike big corporations, they normally don't have big budgets for marketing and advertisement. This is why social media can be a great starting point for attracting customers and growing your business. The ease of the process and the low cost make it an affordable investment that can enable you to expand your business more than our predecessors would have believed possible

What Is Equity Crowdfunding?


Right from the start, it is important to clear up the difference between “equity crowdfunding” and “rewards crowdfunding,” as this is the single biggest point of confusion among those who are new to it. When most people hear “crowdfunding,” they automatically think of the type offered by sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, without realizing that “crowdfunding” is a much broader term, of which the Kickstarter and Indiegogo variety is but one type. One reason for this confusion is that businesses can attract money through either form. The fundamental difference is:

 •Backers of rewards crowdfunding campaigns are provided with a gift (such as a product, digital download, or experience) in exchange for their pledge

 •Investors in equity crowdfunding get shares of ownership in the company itself

There have been well-known rewards crowdfunding campaigns which have raised eye-popping sums – for example, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset garnered US$2.4 million from early backers in 2012 through Kickstarter. The backers of Oculus Rift helped the company get its start and, yes, the backers were duly delivered the virtual reality headset they were promised. But when the company was sold to Facebook in 2014, these backers were only customers, not shareholders. Had Oculus Rift instead been funded through equity crowdfunding, the ones who contributed the money would have shared in a US$2 billion windfall2. That’s billion – with a “b”. Therein lies the difference:

if an investor puts money into an equity crowdfunded company and the company does well, they stand to profit. The implications of this simple distinction are profound. There is also a difference between equity crowdfunding and the stock market. On the face of it, again the two can seem similar – both are offers of shares in a company to the general public. However, equity crowdfunding is handled through an online platform, without the need for brokers or the stock exchange. Another difference is that raising money through the stock market requires doing an “initial public offering,” which means preparing a prospectus, which is a very long and prescribed document, requiring lots of input from expensive lawyers and investment bankers. Equity crowdfunding is therefore simpler and less expensive than an initial public offering, and within reach of companies at an earlier stage. Summing up, equity crowdfunding generally has four aspects to it 1.Offers via an online platform 2.To the general public 3.For the equity of startups and growing companies (normally) 4.With reduced disclosure obligations, compared to listing on the stock market.

Social Media Branding



Think about one of the world’s most iconic brands, Starbucks. Firstly, brands are led by a company’s mission. Starbucks’ mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit; one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, believed the most powerful brands are built from the heart. Grounded by its mission, Starbucks’ brand began to take form with a person, the consumer, in mind. From the coffee options available on the menu to the physical space of the café, Starbucks created an experience for its customers. Every Starbucks location uses particular plants, smells, sounds, colors and lighting. With social media growing, Starbucks took their brand to the digital sphere.

Each of Starbucks’ social media platforms focuses on engagement. On Facebook, you can easily find your nearest location and scroll through selfies of consumers drinking Starbucks. Instagram is very similar with reposts of consumers’ photos onto their main page. Starbucks responds to hundreds of tweets a day and has used consumer-created snaps in advertising. If you were to do a search on Instagram for photos tagged #Starbucks, more than 19 million photos would pop up – none paid for by Starbucks. Engagement is one of the fundamental key indicators of success in social media branding. Starbucks made the consumer their brand, which makes it easy to stay consistent with their brand on social media. If you’re still establishing your brand, then consider taking a similar approach to Starbucks and begin with the consumer in mind. On the other hand, if you already have an established brand, there are key elements to the Starbucks brand that you could borrow to communicate your brand better on social media. These elements will drive the content you post. Think critically about each item and consider how it relates to your business. Since you probably don’t have a team around you that takes care of marketing, especially a team for every appropriate social network for your business, try not to go all over the place and pick several networks that you will try hard to manage and to update, and then fail – either in advertising or production. And you don’t need advertising if you have no product. So step by step, learn which outlets suit you and your business, choose a couple, and arrange your schedule so that it allows you to keep on top of them. But don’t let it take too much of your time. try to link them and follow the steps below.

Consistency

The last thing you want to do is confuse your consumers. Eliminate confusion by using consistent messaging across all social media platforms that reiterate your brand. You want to use the same message over and over in order for it to be understood. Consumers receive a lot of messages, and they may only tune in sometimes. By staying consistent, you make sure that no matter when potential or existing customers are paying attention, they are receiving the same message.

Simplicity

Social media is making it easy for companies to overload consumers with content and messaging. Attention spans are shrinking and getting a consumer to pay attention to you is becoming increasingly difficult. Make it easier by keeping it simple.

Narrow down your focus and keep your messaging succinct. Use plain language and short words. Get to the point and make a statement. Visual appeal Every social networking site is changing its display to become more visually appealing. Since the success of Pinterest, social networking sites have caught on to the actions of consumers. As consumers scroll through timelines they are receiving hundreds of messages. Consumers will tune in and pay attention to strong, bold images. Determine what images are most in line with your brand and consistently promote those images to your audience. Differentiation Brand loyalty is the tendency of consumers to patronize the same brands. For consumers, although there are likely similar products and services, they continue to use the same brand, with no regard to convenience or price. This is because, in the mind of the consumer, there is something different about the brand they use in comparison to another. Make yourself stand out. With the example of Starbucks, their product is coffee but in the mind of the consumer, they aren’t just buying coffee. They are buying an experience also.

Now that we understand that your brand must be consistent, simple, visually appealing and different, we can help you define your brand. Consider the following questions:

What is your business?

What are your business’ core values?

What is the delivery method of your product or service?

Why would a customer care about your business?

As you answer these questions, keep your responses in line with the elements Starbucks showed us. Then lastly, ask yourself what emotion do you want your customers to feel when they think of your brand. Emotions can range from empowered to joy to hopeful.


Monday, January 30, 2017

The goals of social media branding


We all know that the primary goal of advertising a brand on social networks is to create a customer base. Customers use social networks; everything is about what you wear, what you have, what you eat, and where are you going, and this is seriously genius for all of you out there who are struggling to get the word out, to succeed in this crazy materialistic world. Yes, anything can be sold, because anything will be bought. However, social media allows anyone to post what they have to say. But this is survival of the fittest; Social Darwinism. Big and successful brands have the same possibility as some small homemade activity and it is not really a question of which one will be able to reach out more. Even with the same free profile page of your brand. So everything is in the hands of the customers. Any social media strategy must be in favor of the organization in two ways: internally and externally. There should be no ‘us ’and ‘them’, so primarily, you need to build a sense of membership or citizenship within the organization and really feel like you belong there. You should encourage recognition, exchange of ideas and communication of brand values. Encourage the addressees to join in the dialogue and help you promote the brand. That dialogue can really help the organization discover and maintain a competitive benefit. You may want to include your vision of the brand within the bigger picture and create a differentiation for it. Check on whether the brand is being appropriately presented and understood by the customers. These costs create a path to building positive brand relations. Build the apparent quality of the brand, present your brand as strong and sustainable and build better awareness of the brand for the part of society that it has not yet reached. As it was already said, it is the survival of the fittest, so, in theory, you should try to be genuine and unique, and present your brand in the same way, as it respectably deserves. You need to be heard. There are dozens of brands out there that managed in the market simply because they were heard of, not necessarily better. How many times have you seen a page on Facebook, for instance, that has around a million likes and sells the most beautiful accessories and clothes, and then it turns out to be a pretty good scam? Those pages that are just smoke and mirrors are soon uncovered, but still, many people get tricked. No refund! So you are left with a cheap, unflattering nightgown, which looks nothing like the elegant dress you saw in the picture. This is no different from the pre-election speech of any government candidate anywhere in the world. It only seems pleasant to the public ear, in this case, the eye. So don’t be like them. People often check the blogs and social networks to look at and get a picture of the personalities behind the scenes. Actually, this may prove useful for the smaller organizations and companies since the main person of the company, for example, the owner or manager, can be the one who writes tweets and updates the Facebook fan page. With this in mind, an organization can be more open and responsive to audiences and consumer demands. Everyone is going to look for something and someone they can trust. Maybe it is a recommendation from a friend they have confidence in, maybe it is the person behind the brand, maybe it is the way the brand employees are communicating with customers. You should observe everything and an older population wouldn’t really work as well here. Who knows, maybe this is genuine enough?

Social Media as A Marketing Tool


Why is social media as a marketing tool is important?

Because having a website alone these days is simply not enough. While the website may contain all the business information needed, a website does not move at a fast enough pace the way social media does. With social media platforms, you get to post updates, notifications and alerts several times throughout the day, which you cannot do via websites alone. Social media can be a fantastic tool for companies to take advantage of. It takes a company’s business website to the next level through interacting online with its audience. And while content on websites are most of the time stagnant and limited to the same thing, social media offers a livelier means of interaction. Business and customers get to engage through content sharing, commenting and responding and even through colorful and attractive imagery. And through hashtags and trending searches, businesses can widen their reach even more by getting in touch with customers who may be looking for exactly what the business is selling and offering. Social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, although used by the mass public, today have the necessary tools to cater to businesses as well. Tools such as built in data analytics help companies track their progress and success on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Facebook pages for business for example, offer insights into how many people your posts and updates have reached daily. Different social media platforms offer different ways for businesses to get their messages across to their audience. Facebook for example, allows information to be shared via status updates, photos, videos, sharing of links, comment posting, testimonial sharing and direct messaging. updates can be lengthy and detailed, offering more information to its reader, making it the most detailed social media marketing platform out there. Another social media platform like Twitter allows businesses to post updates in the form of short messages which are known as “tweets”. Unlike Facebook, tweets are limited to 140 characters per status updated. So, each message must be carefully thought out and crafted precisely so the point gets across. With Twitter, messages are concise and to the point. No lengthy descriptions, no details. Tweets, while limiting its word count, does offer the sharing of pictures, videos, animated GIFs, emoji’s and links to other pages. It also allows for the creation of trends in the form of hashtags.  Instagram on the other hand, is a marketing tool that focuses more on visual presentation rather than text. Much like the other social media platforms, Instagram too is easily accessible, easy to use and very user friendly and has a following of almost 500 million active monthly users as of June 2016. User engagement has also reported to been 15 times higher than Facebook and 25 times higher than Twitter. That is a lot of business potential right there, and as the old saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. With Instagram, businesses are able to use this platform to market images of their products and services, with short captions accompanying these images. Instagram is also a popular place for hashtags, which businesses can use to reach a wider audience. Using a certain hashtag will reach anyone who is currently searching for that same topic, and they in turn will come across your business because it has been tagged. Snapchat is another social media platform that also focuses on delivering messages in a more visual way like Instagram, but with a twist. Snapchat lets you tell a story along with the picture being posted in the form of a caption. This caption is displayed across the photo. Snapchat also works differently from other social media apps, and this is easily noticeable from the minute the app is launched. Instead of a long news feed of updates for users to scroll through, Snapchat immediately opens the camera the minute the app is launched. Snapchat is also different in terms of privacy, where users can determine to whom their messages get sent to. Business can take advantage of this, for example by disseminating exclusive offers directly to its followers, making it feel exclusive and personal.

SOCIAL MEDIA


As an activity or process, social media may be defined as an interaction tool used by people for exchanging, sharing or creating information and ideas in virtual or digital communities over the Internet.  From an invention point of view, we can look at social media as web-based applications that provide us with opportunities for interacting and connecting with many people.  It is also a platform by which communities and individuals are able to modify, discuss, co-create and share content that are generated or created by other users. Immediacy, usability permanence, reach, frequency and quality are just some of the qualities that make social media significantly different from – and superior to –industrial or traditional media. You may already be familiar with the most popular social media websites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and there are many others out there that also enjoy great or growing numbers of followers and fans just waiting for you to utilize. When you look at it, the number of people on social media websites can be quite staggering and as such, they’re considered to be any marketing professional’s heaven. To give you an idea just how staggering, it’s estimated, for example, that Facebook has more than 1.3 billion active users, about half of which log on to their accounts on a daily basis. It is also estimated that Twitter has more than 615 million active users, and this is only a glimmer of the billions of active social media accounts your customers are using all around the world. With such kinds of numbers, marketing professionals can swim in an ocean of prospects. Another important difference between social media and traditional or industrial marketing is the engagement of customers. By engaging customers, social media marketing provides customers the opportunity to participate or take ownership of a particular brand, message, service or product by liking them, commenting on what's happening to them or asking questions about them. Because customers and potential customers get a sense of ownership or partnership in a brand, message, service or product, the possibility or likelihood of increased sales is significantly higher. This can be easily accomplished by communicating with your clientele, and is further promoted by polls or other promotions that allow your customers the opportunity to really feel involved and valued by your business.


Types of Crowdfunding


There are different types of crowdfunding that you should be aware of. They differ in the form of contribution, return, and of course the motivation of the founder. Here are the basic four:

Donation Crowdfunding:

The founder of this enterprise started the campaign in order to fund charity purposes. There are social motivations behind the effort. Of course, when funds are donated you don’t exactly gain any tangible benefits. It’s all for a good cause anyway. A good example of this is the crowdfunding efforts done for the victims of natural calamities such as Typhoon Katrina and others. The funds for this type of crowdfunding come in the form of donations.

Equity Crowdfunding:

You can say that this is the opposite of donation crowdfunding where the primary motivation is financial, although some form of social and intrinsic motives does exist in these enterprises. This is the type of crowdfunding that will usually be used by startup companies and growing small businesses. Contributions in this type come in the form of investments with returns.

Crowdfunded Lending:

The contributions that come into this type of crowdfunding come in the form of loans. And the funds collected using this medium will be used for the repayment of loans. Of course, the funds will be paid for in a specified time with interest. Some of these endeavors are used for social and civic purposes and at sometimes the investors themselves waive the interest to help the financially distressed.

Reward Crowdfunding:

Investors and/or donors in this type of crowdfunding receive tangible items or services as rewards. Some forms of contributions come in the form of a pre-purchase of the product or service being created, which will be introduced in the future. Of the different types of crowdfunding mentioned above, investors can use reward crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding, which are more appropriate for their purposes.


Top Reasons to Adopt Social Media Marketing


Let us look at the top reasons that make social media marketing such a rage, and what you will miss out on if you don’t make use of it. Increased Brand Recognition For any company, increasing brand awareness is one of the most important aspects. It is vital that people know about you if you want them to buy from you. This is possible only if you make your presence felt on social media platforms. And if you are not yet on the web, then you are losing out on hundreds of customers. Any opportunity to increase your brand visibility and syndicate your content is valuable. Social media networks are open channels for your brand’s voice and a way to share content with an audience without charge. This is essential because your brand becomes more accessible for new customers and more recognizable for existing customers.

Improved Brand Loyalty

It is understood that ten new customers are equal to one old customer. This means that you have to do everything in your power to hold on to the customers that you have now, and that can be done through brand loyalty. A study by Texas Tech University established that brands that engage on social media enjoy greater customer loyalty than those that do not. The report concluded that companies that use social media to connect and in interact with their audience morph their consumers into being loyal to their brands. More Opportunities to Convert Every post shared on a social media platform is an opportunity to convert a new audience into customers. If you have 500 people reading your post, chances are at least 40% of them will turn into customers. Now imagine what will happen if millions see it? So it is important to use social media to connect to an audience. A small business that builds a following will simultaneously have access to new, recent, and old customers, thereby getting an opportunity to interact with them all and convert them into loyal customers. Higher Conversion Rates Trust factor is big for any brand. In order to convert a reader into a customer, it is important to present them with something that will win their trust.

The humanization element of social media is the most significant way that brands get to increase customer conversion rates. The best way that a brand can be more humanized is through interaction on social media where brands act like ordinary users do. The company will interact with the customers independently and increase loyalty. Compared to outbound marketing, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate because followers tend to trust brands that have social representation. And these are not just numbers. There are various study results that back up these theories. Lower Marketing Costs Marketing costs need to be accounted for, as you cannot have them pile up when you go about the marketing process. Many companies make the mistake of spending more than they can afford, and that is one habit that needs to be addressed. It can be resolved by making use of social media websites effectively. In a study conducted by Hubspot, 84% of marketers said that as little as five hours of effort per week is sufficient to generate significantly high traffic to a business website. Even paid advertising is relatively cheaper on Facebook and Twitter (depending on your goals). A small social media budget results in significant traffic and conversion when social media marketing is is done right. Richer Customer Experiences At its core, social media is an effective communication channel, just like telephone and email. Every interaction a company has with a customer on social media is an opportunity to demonstrate the quality of customer service, and to enrich the relationship the business has with the customer. Social media presents an opportunity for businesses to offer a personalized service expeexperience to its customers. These are just some of the advantages of using social media to enhance your business, but there are many more. Once you start using it, you will get acquainted with more of these advantages and understand its true worth

Is Your Project a Crowdfunding Project?


Success in crowdfunding requires your dedication. Considering the use of the unique financing means that artists need to be honest about their project. Asking these questions will help prepare you for the possibility of the crowdfunding model and reflect on your personal project:

How good is your idea?

Are you willing to shed your shyness and ask every living soul for help?

How does your musical project offer value?

Can you define the value in one sentence?

How is your project different than others?

Be exact on your answer and list three unique points.

Is it possible to communicate your idea to others so they can be excited to contribute?

What is the target audience?

How can you document the focus of your project?

How are your social skills?

Can you talk to anyone about your project?

What are your crowdfunding rewards?

Do you take rejection well if someone declines to help?

Are you willing to push the project until completion?

Have you done research to get quotes and details on how much things cost?

Do you have the necessary time to complete the project?

What can you offer to people who invest in your project?

Do you have people who can help you manage the project’s PR campaign?

Crowdfunding for Real Estate



Crowdfunding has such a dynamic capital formation infrastructure that it can also fund large scale enterprises such as real estate projects. The applications for this industry are far reaching. With it investors can pool their capital to fund mortgages, for down payments of home buyers, and the acquisition of distressed mortgages among others. Real estate crowdfunding has already seen success in many parts of the world like Europe, France, and the Middle East and it is still growing.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Components of Social Media



When you wish to understand something thoroughly, you must split it up into small pieces and study each of them individually. So, when you wish to understand social media thoroughly, you must start with its components and understand them bit-by-bit. As you can see, there are three major components of social media:

Social Media Is a Publishing Platform for Everyone

Unlike any other interaction platform in history, social media is an online location-independent channel whose content is generated by the users. Unlike TVs, newspapers, radio, and other traditional communication platforms, this platform is highly accessible and scalable to the public. This very aspect makes it one of the most accepted and most versatile forms of media and you will be surprised at how much your business will actually grow when you hand some of your power to the public. This means that, because it is easily accessible, the tools of social media are intuitive and simple enough for the common user to read, and to publish. Nothing is too complicated and you don’t have to be a web expert to partake in its activities.

Social Media Is a Channel Through Which Information Is Diffused

Considered a modern-day information renaissance, social media can diffuse information faster and more efficiently than any other platform currently in existence. Imagine sharing a news article from Iceland and having it become an overnight rage in China. That is how versatile it is and the smallest bit of information can travel at the speed of light. This feature has made it a channel that has revolutionized how people find, read, and share information, such as news, media, and any other content that they deem to be important or informative. Social media, being a fusion of sociology and technology, now plays a large role in the business and marketing strategy for any serious business. Its limits are set only by the technology of social interaction tools.

Social Media Is a Place to Build Relationships

Through Sharing Social media uncovered something about humans that no one knew before—the strength that hides in sharing information. Sharing has become an essential component in the explosion of social media. Through sharing of content, people now connect with others and empower them to become their own publishers in many ways. As was mentioned before, it does not matter where you are based. Just by making use of social media, you can connect to a large audience, which can lie next door or halfway across the world. If you have useful information, then there will be millions of takers for it! The myriad forms of relationships formed through sharing have enabled businesses, authorities and individuals to harness the power of social media to achieve their goals.



Crowdfunding Means Commitment


Crowdfunding has plenty of perks, but there are a few downfalls as well. The pitch has to be solid (read on, as plenty of ideas are offered), and there needs to be an active pursuit of every contact you know to get people to contribute. Offering up decent rewards is essential too. Plus there is the stress. Hitting the goal is essential to get the funds. And keep in mind that the project is only half over once the cash is collected, as the project still needs to be produced. In the end, it’s possible to fail if the goal isn’t realistic or the pitch isn’t strong. However, since there is no cash out of pocket for the artist (if you don’t count your hours of work), it’s worth the risk. Musicians will find that over 90% of active crowdfunding projects for albums reach goal-funding expectations, and 70% of EP projects also reach the goals for the project funding. With those types of odds, the reality is that crowdfunding is essential for any artist to try if they want complete control over their project. Is crowdfunding right for your project? If people are willing to financially support your vision, then there is good reason to give it a try. Are you ready?


Top Crоwdfunding Sitеѕ to Stаrt Yоur Small Buѕinеѕѕ Prоjесt



A рорulаr allegory аѕѕеrtѕ that hе iѕ mightier he who stands alone thаn with a сrоwd. Whilе thеrе iѕ nо arguing with the wisdom оf thе mаxim, there аrе timеѕ when thе ѕwауing power оf the сrоwd is needed, ѕuсh аѕ whеn уоu hаvе your еуеѕ set оn a vеrу important рrоjесt. Crоwdfunding has bееn uѕеd аѕ a strategy bу many viѕiоnаriеѕ whо hаd thе соurаgе to drеаm big. With thеir еуеѕ ѕеt on thе рriсе, аnd their hearts ѕеt on сарturing thе attention оf thе mаѕѕеѕ, many реорlе hаvе seen the realization оf their drеаm рrоjесtѕ thrоugh thеѕе finаnсiаl campaigns. It's nоt hаrd tо ѕwау thе mаѕѕеѕ tо giving уоur drеаm thе finаnсiаl bасking it needs, whеn the said рrоjесt has роtеntiаl аnd iѕ ѕсаlаblе. Thе fасt rеmаinѕ thаt dreams are expensive, and withоut enough support thеу cannot bе rеаlizеd. Crowdfunding hаѕ at lеаѕt made it роѕѕiblе. If уоur thinking, your idea iѕ big еnоugh to mоvе thе wоrld, hеrе аrе thе tор sites that you саn use tо lаunсh уоur campaign.

GоFundMе

If уоu bеliеvе your ѕmаll business project is ѕоmеwhаt personal, but still dеѕirе оutѕidе ѕuрроrt, GоFundMе is ideal. Yоu саn gеt dоnаtiоnѕ fоr pretty much аnу project if уоu have the роwеr tо sway a crowd. The social аѕресtѕ оf GоFundMе mаkе it еаѕiеr to get your рrоjесt оn social media, inсrеаѕing the viѕibilitу that it gets. Thе fееѕ аrе vеrу sensible.

Fees : GоFundMе tаkе 5%

frоm each donation (hеnсе thе tоtаl donation) уоu receive. Dереnding оn your preference, you could еithеr uѕе WePay оr PayPal tо рrосеѕѕ уоur payment; thеу bоth сhаrgе fееѕ rаnging frоm 2.9+% tо 3.5%. httрѕ://www.gоfundmе.соm

Kickstarter

Arguаblу the most рорulаr crowdfunding рlаtfоrm wе hаvе tоdау, Kiсkѕtаrtеr hаѕ mаdе mаnу drеаmѕ come true. With thе lаunсhеd рrоjесtѕ numbеring in thеir thоuѕаndѕ, аnd thе tоtаl ѕumѕ rаiѕеd standing in thе milliоnѕ, Kickstarter iѕ the firѕt place mоѕt реорlе gо. Thе site, which iѕ аt thе tор оf еvеrу сrеаtivе developer's liѕt, makes thе whole ѕubmiѕѕiоn рrосеѕѕ very easy and intuitivе. Fееѕ : Kiсkѕtаrtеr charges 5% fее for every ѕuссеѕѕful project. As Amazon Payment iѕ uѕеd tо rесеivе the fund, Amazon will аррlу credit саrd рrосеѕѕing fees, whiсh are 3-5% оf уоur raised project fund. And the biggеѕt dоwnѕidе hеrе iѕ thаt уоu hаvе to bе a реrmаnеnt U.S. rеѕidеnt with a Social Security number. So, nо luсk if thе рrоjесt creator iѕ nоt a U.S. rеѕidеnt httрѕ://www.kiсkѕtаrtеr.соm

Indiegogo Indiegogo iѕ a more flexible орtiоn, аѕ it iѕ ореn tо anyone on the globe. With nо application рrосеѕѕ, аnd ассерting a widе rаngе of projects, inсluding сhаritу drivеѕ (which Kiсkѕtаrtеr dоеѕn't allow) Indiеgоgо iѕ аn аttrасtivе орtiоn for thе ambitious. Its flexibility аnd easy ассеѕѕibilitу соntributе greatly tо its рорulаritу. Thе fееѕ are not ѕо bad either. Fees : Indiеgоgо will gеt 4% frоm every rаiѕеd fund, and 3% will bе сhаrgеd fоr credit саrd рrосеѕѕing, рluѕ $25 wire fее fоr non-U.S. саmраignѕ. If уоu’vе аррliеd for the Flexible Funding plan аnd your campaign failed tо reach the gоаl, Indiеgоgо will charge 9% оf thе fund, but уоu ѕtill gеt to tаkе thе rеmаining funds away. https://www.indiegogo.com

Crowdrise

Fоr those whоѕе business рrоjесtѕ аrе centered on making thе wоrld a bеttеr рlасе, Crоwdriѕе is thе ideal рlаtfоrm. Chаritу drivеѕ thrivе hеrе. Yоu соuld ѕtill ѕееk funding fоr реrѕоnаl рrоjесtѕ thоugh. The fееѕ might be a littlе intimidаting, but thе Crоwdriѕе Pоintѕ Plan mаkеѕ it easy to gain рорulаritу. Fees : Thiѕ is pretty complicated. Gеnеrаllу, thеrе’ѕ a flаt 4.95% сhаrgе fоr thе рrоfit fundrаiѕing еvеnt, but thеrе’ѕ a blurrу trаnѕасtiоn fee invоlvеd in еxtrа сhаrgеѕ. For nоn-рrоfit оrgаnizаtiоnѕ, уоu could choose frоm a range оf account tуреѕ frоm frее, to оnе with a $199 mоnthlу fее. httрѕ://www.сrоwdriѕе.соm

GiveForward

GiveForward is the first place to turn when you or someone you love is facing a challenge. It’s the central rallying place for giving and receiving meaningful support. From sending a simple “Thinking of You” to raising money for out-of-pocket expenses, GiveForward empowers anyone to build a community and take action when it count https://pages.giveforward.com

GoGetFunding

 In a sentence: This Lоndоn bаѕеd fund-raising ѕitе саn be uѕеd to rаiѕе mоnеу fоr anything from рауing for реt’ѕ mеdiсаl billѕ tо сrеаting a ѕhоrt film. Cоѕt: 3.5% with a keep-what-you-raised model, plus 2.9% transaction fee Fees; 3.5% with a keep-what-you-raised mоdеl, plus 2.9% transaction fee Prоѕ: Cаn be uѕеd for рubliс or рrivаtе рrоjесtѕ, аnуоnе саn роѕt a project, еаѕу tо use Limitаtiоnѕ: Fewer buѕinеѕѕ/еntrерrеnеuriаl рrоjесtѕ https://gogetfunding.com

You саrеing

A сrоwdfunding site whеrе уоu will be ѕuрроrtеd еntirеlу bу dоnаtiоnѕ, juѕt likе thе саmраignѕ it hоѕtѕ. it takes 3% trаnѕасtiоn fееѕ do аррlу. Ang funds are аvаilаblе in your ассоunt as soon as thеу’rе dоnаtеd. Аlѕо thеir sites iѕ uѕеr friendly tо thе еxtеnt of, if уоu роѕt аn uрdаtе, уоu can’t edit it. https://www.youcaring.com


Who and What is Crowdfunding For?

Simply put, crowdfunding is a venture to raise capital via monetary contributions from a large number of people or the crowd. It is currently being used by entrepreneurs to fund various applications such as indie films, journalism, music, blogging, and especially startup companies.

Civic projects have been quite successful as well as funding for a cause. It has been found that local folks tend to support local projects. So, simply put, crowdfunding is now being used for pretty much any enterprise. Non-profit organizations have had a lot of success raising for different causes from funds to help cancer patients to school teachers requesting materials for classrooms in distress. There are also crowdfunding websites that are designed to help students and a school’s faculty to receive funds for tuition needs and other projects. The funding for university crowdfunding primarily comes from the school’s alumni as well as the general public pitching in.

Of The Bеѕt Crowdfunding Sitеѕ: Main Pоintѕ to Cоnѕidеr



Thеrе аrе many diffеrеnt funding ѕitеѕ available, the bеѕt wау tо find thе latest аnd most рорulаr оnеѕ iѕ tо dо a ѕеаrсh for 'the tор tеn crowdfunding sites' thiѕ wау уоu will find thе mоѕt сurrеnt ѕitеѕ available.

Main Pоintѕ to Cоnѕidеr

There аrе mаnу different points tо соnѕidеr whеn сhооѕing thе right funding ѕitе, I will elaborate a furthеr:

 1. Onе оf the main роintѕ tо соnѕidеr is thе сhаrgеѕ thаt thе website will tаkе from уоur рrоjесt оnсе it iѕ соmрlеtеd. Thiѕ саn vаrу from ѕitе tо site but a rulе of thumb iѕ thаt уоu will lоѕе bеtwееn 5-8% in fееѕ. It iѕ always a good idea tо tаkе this intо ассоunt bеfоrе setting uр уоur initiаl campaign.

2. Another mаin point tо соnѕidеr is if the crowdfunding wеbѕitе will in fact nоt give уоu any of thе fundѕ should уоu nоt rеасh your target. One idea here iѕ to go with the ѕitе thаt will hаvе ѕlightlу higher fееѕ but will асtuаllу givе you аll the fundѕ you rаiѕеd even if уоu dо nоt reach уоur tаrgеt (mу preference).

3. Thе рауmеnt options аrе аlwауѕ gооd tо соnѕidеr, сеrtаinlу a bоnuѕ if thе wеbѕitе will tаkе PауPаl рауmеntѕ and even bеttеr if thеу will рау уоur funds tо уоu in PауPаl аlѕо.

4. My fаvоritе option, соurѕе, iѕ tо lооk fоr ѕоmе software thаt you can easily ѕеtuр уоur own сrоwdfunding website with a fеw clicks of thе mоuѕе. This tуре of ѕуѕtеm will not tаkе аnу fees, you pocket the lоt!

The Hierarchy of Social Media Marketing


The main issue with social marketing is that small business owners have begun to jump through the entire process without paying much heed to the hierarchy. There are quite a few large business owners who have also made similar mistakes. You will think that you are doing it right, but realize that you are actually making a very silly, rookie mistake that can cost you big. And until, and unless, someone pinpoints it for you and expressly tells you about it, you will not be able to take the steps to correct it and you will continue along the wrong path. It is always good to understand the hierarchy before stepping into creating new content for your website. The hierarchy for social media is in line with Maslow’s Hierarchy for human nature. It is only when you achieve everything you need that you will reach the point of self-actualization. It is good for you to understand the hierarchy!

The Blog

This is the basic part of the hierarchy. It is also the simplest. I’m sure you know what blogging is and why it is used. You will also be aware of how one gets started on it and why we are listing it as the first step. Most marketers are familiar with this since they use it on a frequent basis. In the early stages it is always good to use a blog, since you will be able to advertise your business effectively to a small community of people on the Internet. You can treat it like a stepping stone. But before you begin your blog, it is best for you to understand what goes into creating blogs like yours based on the experience of seasoned marketers. This is your door to social marketing. The RSS RSS is an acronym for real simple syndication. Most marketers use this technology. It is something that HAS to be used by every marketer. RSS means subscribing to other blogs and getting constant information on your home page. This will help you remain up to date about what others are doing and also seeing what is happening on your own page. Remaining up to date is extremely important, especially while on the Internet. You will be able to create new content around your products and services when you begin to use this technology. You will need to start out slow in order to learn how to use the technology to your benefit!

The Social Search

This is something that is ignored by most small business marketers. You forget that search engines use only the best websites when it comes to providing results to people who are looking for a particular type of content. It is essential to ensure that your page is on the top of the list provided by search engines, since that helps to increase your clientele. You must be aware of what SEO stands for. It means “search engine optimization” and is a very powerful tool to exploit on the Internet. It allows you to make use of certain important keywords that people will be looking for, and including them in your description will help you show up as the first result. There are websites that only advertise the best content available on the Internet. This is done by measuring the traffic that enters those websites. This advertisement is given the first position. To ensure that your advertisement is at the very top, you have to participate to manage your reputation.

Social Bookmarking

You will be able to open up new channels for yourself through social bookmarking. As you know, you can easily bookmark various pages on your computer. You don’t have to have in-depth knowledge on it and can easily do it within a matter of seconds. But given the number of sites that you need to bookmark, it can get a little tiring and monotonous. You will find yourself participating on different platforms You will also be able to gain a new audience. It does take a lot of effort and work on your part. But you have to try! This is the only way you will be able to master the art of networking on social media.

Social Networks

There are multiple social networking websites that you can use to promote your products and services. Apart from creating a profile for your company, there are many other things that you must do and we will look at them one by one. You may find yourself frustrated by the amount of work it takes to ensure that you have good marketing, but remember that hard work does pay off! You will be able to ensure that you make a good number of sales. If you feel over overwhelmed, then ask for help from friends or family.

Micro

This includes platforms like Instagram and Twitter. These platforms help you track and join various discussions. You will have interactive sessions with your customers and can indulge in answering questions that they ask you. You will also be able to converse with your followers with ease. These are at the top of the pyramid since that implies that you have a foolproof business marketing strategy. Micro-sites are what many million-dollar companies make use of, not just to connect with their fan base, but also to improve their company’s image. You will need to ensure that the content that is provided in these platforms is perfect!

Crowdfunding Advantages for Musicians and Recording Artists


For the average recording artist or band, there are some distinct advantages for crowdfunding that can’t be found in traditional recording contract. While the task might be difficult, the creative conception from start to finish will be entirely creative instead of a corporate focus. Add that the project gets automatic funding to green-light the entire process, and artists will be ecstatic. Another very important part of crowdfunding is how it gauges public interest. If a project does well, the public interest is high. If it doesn’t do so well, obviously there needs to be a revamp before the final project can be released. Before the album comes out or the CD is released, there is also a group of people who are excited to help publicize the piece, as they are part of the process.  Yep, a built-in public relations team is waiting to help, and those people offering money will be shouting in delight when the project is complete. From an artist’s standpoint, it’s hard to beat an opportunity to have a creative project sound just like envisioned. It’s possible to make this happen with a crowdfunding campaign, and people will respond. It doesn’t matter if your project is one song or an entire album, if the project is personal or professional. All that matters is how the project is represented, so those investing know exactly what concept they will see in the finished project. Plus, there is no need to give a stake in the project, as everyone is offered up a reward for his or her support. Other reasons to consider crowdfunding:

No upfront costs 100% retention of rights for your project

True support by fans 
Complete control

Raising funds can be done at home 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Effесtivе Crowdfunding Sеtuр (5 Stерѕ You Nееd tо Tаkе)


Onе of thе kеуѕ tо an еffесtivе сrоwdfunding ѕеtuр is to сhооѕе уоur funding site carefully unless оf соurѕе, уоu take thе оthеr орtiоn of building your own crowdfunding website. Keeping in mind thе fact that each оf thе mаjоr funding websites each hаѕ thеir оwn set of rulеѕ аnd fее ѕtruсturеѕ (уоu can аvоid аll fее соѕtѕ if уоu setup your оwn WоrdPrеѕѕ wеbѕitе using a special сrоwdfunding plugin), thеrе are five bаѕiс ѕtерѕ tо setting up уоur рrоjесt.

5 Stерѕ tо Setting up Yоur Cаmраign

1. Thе firѕt ѕtер in setting uр уоur рrоjесt iѕ tо inсludе dеtаilеd information аbоut уоurѕеlf, what уоur рrоjесt iѕ аll аbоut аnd how muсh capital уоu will nееd tо соmрlеtе уоur project. Anоthеr tiр iѕ thаt it iѕ a grеаt idеа to inсludе dеtаilеd infоrmаtiоn аbоut whаt you will bе uѕing thе mоnеу fоr.

2. Yоu will have tо set a time limit fоr your рrоjесt. This limit саn be anything from 1 uр tо 90 dауѕ. Kеерing in mind that the lоngеr your project will run thаn the more money you аrе likеlу tо receive.

3. It iѕ аlwауѕ gооd рrасtiсе to start tо рrоmоtе уоur сrоwdfunding project in аdvаnсе in оrdеr tо obtain аѕ mаnу bасkеrѕ as possible.

4. As the bасkеrѕ dоnаtе thе funds, your mоnеу will bе рlасеd into an еѕсrоw ассоunt until the еnd of уоur рrоjесt dаtе.

5. Aѕ ѕооn аѕ уоur рrоjесt hаѕ rеасhеd its tаrgеt dаtе, thе fundѕ will bе rеlеаѕеd tо уоu. Thе exception tо this is thаt (with ѕоmе сrоwdfunding ѕitеѕ) if уоu dо not rеасh уоur tаrgеt thеn you will nоt rесеivе аnу fundѕ. This iѕ why it is always аdviѕаblе tо lооk аt all thе орtiоnѕ, including obtaining уоur own сrоwdѕоurсing software plugin.

MARKETING


As defined in the website business www.dictionary.com, marketing is an activity or process conducted by management in which services and goods are transferred from the concept stage to the hands of the customers.  This process includes managing 4 crucial elements of marketing, also known as the 4 Ps. These are product, price, place and promotion. So before we go to the nitty-gritty of social media marketing, let’s first take a quick look at these 4 important elements of marketing to better understand social media marketing principles later on.

PRODUCT

In marketing terms, product refers to identifying, selecting and developing a service or a good that will be sold to customers. To come up with very good products that will sell, business owners and manager's must learn to see their business' products from the point of view of an outsider, which takes into consideration their planned or current products' ability to meet their target market's needs and wants as well as the available competing products in the market.  To do this successfully business owners and managers would do well to be skilled in putting themselves in someone else's shoes in order to make an informed and objective choice on what product they might be able to sell well. They also must be able to scope out and analyze their competition- a duplicate, or superior product being sold by a competitor for a similar or better price is a surefire way to ensure your own product's failure. Since anyone marketing their product needs to optimize their potential sales, ensuring you offer products with better quality, prices, or convenience can be vital in ensuring that you overtake your competition, instead of the other way around.

PRICE

When talking of price, we refer to the value at which you’ll sell your services or goods. Of all the important features of your services and products, price is probably the most competitive one. What this means is many businesses often compete for customers by trying to lower prices. When it comes to business, there are situations where prices must be lowered in order to remain competitive and survive.  There are situations too, when raising prices is perfectly acceptable, even recommended. If your business happens to be in a very competitive industry, you're most likely marketing strategy is keeping prices low. If your business is in an industry with very little or virtually no competition, you may enjoy the luxury of increasing your goods or services’ prices. Keep in mind the price of your products or services isn't just about the monetary value but also takes into consideration the overall value, which includes flexible and easy payment terms and free items, among others. Special promotions, be it rebates, coupons, or other temporary sales, can help to ensure your customers that they are getting the best value for their money. Everyone loves a discount, so marking something down to a lower price, provided you ensure you charge enough to make a healthy profit, can really get your clients excited about making their purchase and raise the odds that they'll recommend buying from you to their friends and family, thus gaining you further customers.

PLACE

Place means selecting a distribution channel for making sure that your services or products reach your customers’ place or where they’re actually sold. As a business owner, you should regularly evaluate your sales people and customers meeting points. There are situations where you need to change the location of your business in order to experience significant growth in sales. The primary consideration in terms of choosing a place from which to distribute your services or goods is your customers’ convenience. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is the cheapest on earth if the customer has to go through so much inconvenience to buy or avail of them. Think of it this way, would you buy a brand, spanking new iPhone 6S for only $100 if the store is located in Iraq or Syria?  I don’t think so. Of course, selling from a prime location usually comes with higher costs for you, but people will pay quite the premium to avoid a time-consuming or unpleasant trip. We all are familiar with the old sayings 'That's the price of convenience' and 'Time is money', and when it comes to place, these sayings will be proven true time and again. It is usually well worth the greater initial investment for the benefit of getting away with increasing your prices over the less convenient shops. Additionally, if you are located in an ideal location, you will be visible to more potential clients, thus raising awareness of your business without needing to spend so much on advertising to do so. As we move ever more into the digital age, physical location is no longer as essential as it once was. There is so much we can accomplish online, enabling us to cater to even people on the other side of the planet. Additionally, with the advent of handheld technology, including advanced phones, touch pads, and tablets, people can access information and shops stored online no matter where they roam or what they are doing.

PROMOTION

When we talk about promotion, we refer to the activity of formulating strategies and implementing them in order to make people aware of your products or services. Promotion basically includes all the different ways you can tell your current and prospective buyers about your services or products. And an important part of promotion is positioning, which is the art of placing your service or product on top – or near the top – of your target and current markets’ minds. Promotional changes – regardless of the size and scope – can significantly affect the level of your sales. An example of this is how experienced ad copywriters can significantly influence or affect a product or service’s sales simply by changing one or two words in the headline of their advertisements. As a business owner, you should regularly experiment in terms of various approaches in promoting your services and products. And keep in mind that while many approaches can work for your business, all of them don't work forever. If you experiment on a regular basis, you can enjoy the benefit of having several promotional alternatives ready on hand to replace your current promotional approach the moment it becomes stale. By ensuring your products and business seem fresh and adaptable, you put yourself ahead of your competitors. Even small changes, if well applied, can cause prospective customers to notice your business while overlooking the businesses of those around you, leading you to become the dominant supplier in your area with just a bit of clever marketing. we’ll focus on this last P, promoting your products or services by getting them to your target markets on virtually every smartphone, tablet and computer in the world that’s connected to the Internet. With the ubiquity of the Internet these days, this allows your business to reach out to customers in a way previous generations could never have imagined. A whole new world of possibilities exists with this software, and with a bit of work and imagination, it can be harnessed to create profit and success for your budding business.

Introducing Social Media Marketing


Social media marketing. Three simple words that have forever changed the way companies do business. Since it exploded onto the scene, social media marketing has taken over the world, and a business that doesn’t utilize this business tool, very simply, gets left behind. Social media marketing has taken over the business world, so much so that most of us can’t even remember the last time we used one of those conventional ads on television, radio and newspapers to get our information. Everything is online, and everything is instantaneous. The business world simply has not been the same since the introduction of this business platform. Social media is the “in” thing now, and if a business is to thrive, it must take full advantage of the current opportunities that lie within the social media marketing world.

What is Social Media Marketing?

To put it simply, social media marketing simply means using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to build your brand, market your products and create awareness among your audience. Just about everyone owns a smartphone these days. And smartphone owners are bound to have one or two, of these social media apps listed above installed on their phone. People today are addicted to their mobiles, sharing pictures, videos, updates, events, comments, likes and dislikes anytime and anywhere. Social media apps keep people connected. And with the rise in popularity of social media, people can now connect with not just friends and family, but also with their favorite brands and business too. Gone are the days when businesses merely delivered the same information in the form of an ad repetitively through television, radio and print with no personal interaction or connection with the customer. Social media marketing has changed all of that. Now, business and customers directly communicate and contact one another and responses can be almost immediate. Customers can reach out to businesses and feel that their voice and needs are being heard. And businesses are able to assess just how effectively their messages are reaching the customers and stay in tune with their needs.

THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING


I know you are ready to jump right in and start building a social media marketing campaign, probably on an improvise-as-you-go strategy, but hold on. Before you can start a successful marketing campaign on social media, it is important that you understand the wheels it runs on and get to know why so many people use it. We can start with an in-depth definition of what it is before we proceed to unravel its mysteries. According to Wikipedia: “Social media is online content that individual people create using highly scalable and accessible publishing technologies.” Further, it describes social media in its basic sense as: “A shift in how ordinary people discover, digest and share news, content and information. Social media is a fusion of technology and sociology that transforms monologues (one-to-many) into dialogues (many-to-many) and can be considered a democratization of information that transforms ordinary content readers into content publishers.” Based on this elaborate definition, we can deduce that social media is a lot more than just different websites where individuals can post their thoughts and receive a handful of comments, likes, or shares. The collection of the many social media tools available today make one giant publishing platform where information is traded freely and everyone has the power to reach the masses. Wikipedia further describes social media as: “An extremely popular platform that allows people to connect in an online world to form personal, political, and business relationships with information as the core uniting factor.” This extensive definition of social media can be broken down into several sections to allow us to understand exactly what it is, and to elaborate why it is such a potent communication and networking tool. But our understanding of social media goes beyond any formal definitions. We know it as a very powerful tool that any company can use to increase their brand awareness and get more and more people to use their products. The power is simply impeccable and second to none!

Friday, January 27, 2017

TOP 3 Rеаѕоnѕ whу уоu ѕhоuld соnѕidеr сrоwdfunding whеn уоu need tо fund уоur buѕinеѕѕ



1. Tаррing intо thе rеѕоurсеѕ оf thе crowd 

Lеt'ѕ fасе thе truth whеn it соmеѕ tо сrеаting wеаlth frоm a buѕinеѕѕ, уоu саn nеvеr run уоur buѕinеѕѕ аlоnе. Especially whеn уоu аrе inеxреriеnсеd аnd lасking сеrtаin ѕkillѕ thаt can tаkе уоur buѕinеѕѕ tо thе nеxt lеvеl, уоu will nееd a tеаm tо wоrk with. And, whаt саn bе bеttеr thаn equity сrоwdfunding where уоu саn оbtаin сарitаl thrоugh ѕmаll еԛuitу invеѕtmеntѕ frоm rеlаtivеlу lаrgе numbеr оf invеѕtоrѕ. Yоu will nеvеr knоw whаt еxреriеnсе, ѕkillѕ аnd rеѕоurсеѕ уоur invеѕtоrѕ саn bring to thе tаblе whеn hе invеѕtѕ in уоur buѕinеѕѕ. An idеаl situation frоm thiѕ will аllоw thе buѕinеѕѕ owners to hаvе thеir оwn рrоfеѕѕiоnаl аdviѕоrѕ аnd сuѕtоmеrѕ аlrеаdу оn bоаrd with thеm bеfоrе thеу ѕеll аnуthing! (Hеу, уоur invеѕtоrѕ саn be уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ tоо, right?!)

2. Gеtting fееdbасk from thе mаrkеt

In оthеr wоrdѕ, gеtting feedback from роtеntiаl сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd invеѕtоrѕ аrе as imроrtаnt as rаiѕing сарitаl. As аn еntrерrеnеur, уоu will wаnt tо knоw (аѕ еаrlу аѕ роѕѕiblе) if thеrе are аnу аdjuѕtmеntѕ уоu ѕhоuld make bеfоrе ѕреnding a tоnnе оf mоnеу оn рrоduсtiоn, ореrаtiоn and mаrkеting expenses.

Thеѕе аrе twо ѕtrоng rеаѕоnѕ whу еntrерrеnеurѕ should соnѕidеr rаiѕing сарitаl thrоugh a сrоwdfunding рlаtfоrm bесаuѕе they nоt оnlу gаin invеѕtmеntѕ tо lаunсh thеir рrоjесtѕ, but аlѕо vаluаblе аѕѕеtѕ оf a tеаm, mаrkеt fееdbасk аnd thе еxреriеnсе оf ѕеlling thеir own рrоduсtѕ tо аn аlrеаdу ореn-mindеd сrоwd firѕt.

3. Offеr firѕt-hаnd еxреriеnсе marketing a buѕinеѕѕ

Onе роtеntiаl danger thаt nеw еntrерrеnеurѕ аnd ѕtаrtuрѕ оvеrlооk iѕ thеir аbilitу tо mаrkеt thеir оwn buѕinеѕѕ! Mоѕt did nоt knоw hоw imроrtаnt mаrkеting iѕ until thеir buѕinеѕѕ iѕ аlmоѕt ѕinking and nееding fundѕ! Sо, whаt сrоwdfunding platforms саn dо iѕ thаt thеу provide еnоugh support tо еduсаtе аnd guidе thеѕе nеw buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ tо market thеir рrоduсtѕ wеll. Thе рlаtfоrm iѕ аlrеаdу a rеflесtiоn оf thеir оwn mаrkеting ѕkillѕ bу tеlling them hоw muсh they can rаiѕе in hоw ѕhоrt (оr long) a реriоd оf timе. This еntrерrеnеurѕ nоw hаvе аt lеаѕt a trасking ѕуѕtеm - whiсh iѕ thе Grееn Bаr оn thеir сrоwdfunding раgе tеlling thеm hоw сlоѕе thеу аrе to thеir gоаlѕ, аnd hоw mаnу people аrе buуing intо thе viѕiоn/рurроѕе оf thеir buѕinеѕѕ. Thеrе iѕ nо оthеr bеttеr рlаtfоrmѕ thаt I knоw of thаt will hаvе ѕuсh рrореr, ассurаtе аnd hоnеѕt trасk trасking system thаn a сrоwdfunding рlаtfоrm. Rеmеmbеr, thоѕе whо аrе willing tо fund уоur buѕinеѕѕ аrе аlѕо thоѕе whо роtеntiаllу will buу уоur рrоduсtѕ оr ѕеrviсеѕ.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hоw Crоwd funding Hеlрѕ Entrepreneurs


Crоwd funding iѕ thе twеntу-firѕt сеnturу'ѕ аltеrnаtivе funding. Wе аrе fаmiliаr with hugе multi-nаtiоnаl соrроrаtiоnѕ rаiѕing fundѕ thrоugh thеir initiаl рubliс оffеring (IPO) оn a ѕtосk еxсhаngе mаrkеt, but nоt ѕurе hоw it will wоrk fоr small unliѕtеd соmраniеѕ whо wаnt tо dо thе ѕаmе. Entrерrеnеurѕhiр iѕ thе HOT, NEW CAREER path fоr thе аdvеnturоuѕ tоdау. And, with сrоwd funding lеаding thе wау in finаnсing ѕоmе оf thе bеѕt buѕinеѕѕ ideas, thе bold аnd еvеr-rеаdу еntrерrеnеur has оnе lеѕѕ wоrrу whеn it comes tо ѕtаrting a buѕinеѕѕ bесаuѕе rаiѕing fund is mаdе ѕimрlе thrоugh this concept оf сrоwd funding. Thе gооd nеwѕ аbоut еԛuitу сrоwdfunding iѕ thаt itѕ оnlinе рlаtfоrm muѕt bе аррrоvеd bу lосаl securities соmmiѕѕiоn tо еnѕurе рrореr guidеlinеѕ оf invеѕting in a buѕinеѕѕ аrе аdhеrе tо.

THE TYPES OF HASHTAGS


We can break down the types of hashtags that you will see and use on social media. Branded, Campaign, Trending, Content, Lifestyle, Generic, Location are just a few of the major ones that will be very useful in your marketing campaigns.

BRANDED HASHTAGS

This style of hashtag focusses on your brand. It could be a company name, product, tagline, event series, DJ name, etc.

Some great examples are: #FriskyFridays, #TAOnightclub, #tiesto, #studentnight, #coke, #bacardi Use this hashtag in any of your posts that you would like to group together. Whenever you are talking about your Friday night event, you want to include the hashtag. If you are talking about your club, use the hashtag. Again, this makes searching social media easy for your followers.

CAMPAIGN HASHTAGS

Campaign hashtags are usually created by you and used for any marketing initiative or contest. This is a great way for your followers to engage with you or just follow along the campaign. With the photo contest you would create your own campaign-related hashtag and ask everyone to use it when publishing their own posts.

 Some more generic examples can include #vipbooking, #photocontest, #ticketgiveaway, #modelparty A few that are more specific to your club could include #trystpics, #rokbarvipcontest, #linepassibiza Depending on your campaign you should create a hashtag that is easy to remember and fun to use. You can easily track who is entered into the contest by searching the hashtag yourself. Every post with the hashtag will come up and you can see what is going on.

TRENDING HASHTAGS

A trending hashtag could be any hashtag being used at the moment but in such large volume that it is ‘trending’ around the world. Twitter and Google+ shows the trends on their main pages and are usually hashtags that are from major brands, like entertainment or worldwide products. What does it take to get your hashtag trending? There is a formula that the social media platforms use and it has to do with the amount of people using the hashtag at one short time frame. For example, a hashtag that has one million tweets in a few hours will trend while a hashtag that has 2 millions tweets over a week will not trend. The social media services have algorithms that calculate which topics are hot. Something that has large volume over a short period of time will get the trend tag over something with more volume but spread out over time. Some hashtags that have and would trend: #mtvawards, #superbowl, #oprahtalk Do you need to trend a hashtag to be successful?

Absolutely not. Trending would send your message worldwide, but in the nightlife industry, where you need your local audience to notice you more than someone across the globe, you don’t need to get that type of volume. So how do you use a trending hashtag? Get in on the conversation, but don’t be promotional. For instance, choose to post during the Oscars or MTV Awards or Super Bowl etc and use their hashtag. Engage in regular conversation with your account so others will see you and talk back. This can help you gain followers. It isn’t the place to promote your event and hijack the thread, but a great place to show your digital face.

CONTENT HASHTAGS

These hashtags are common words or phrases that are within your post and can be anything that improves its search-ability. It is not your brand or company name or event etc. It can be something like #socialmedia, #bookings, #concert, #tickets, #coffee etc. An example can be: “Don’t forget to check our #Facebook page for your first chance to buy #tickets to the concert!” As you can see, the content hashtags might be more generic in nature, but are within the content of your post. You add the hashtag symbol in there so that they are also searchable. The main point here is that you don’t always need to add hashtags at the end of your post as a series of words. You can also make words within the sentence a hashtag.

LIFESTYLE HASHTAGS

A lifestyle hashtag is pretty self explanatory. These are words and phrases that can explain the lifestyle of the individual. When you are using this hashtag you can be searchable by everyone that loves the similar interest. Lifestyle hashtags examples are #raver, #countrygirl, #dancing, #drinking, #music A great example of using this could be: “Getting past our massive lineup could be easy if you call the #bottleservice line: 555-1234 - #viplife #nightlife” - In this example you see the bottle service, vip life and nightlife tags. Lifestyle hashtags are used by many people in their own posts. This allows you to be active in their conversation and also searchable in each tag

GENERIC HASHTAGS

#celebs #chocolate #friday #saturday #edm #nightlife #party #college You will come across these generic hashtags as you use social media for your own. You can also bet that any generic word or phrase is already out there in use. A quick Twitter search will let you know how popular it is. Keep tabs on those that you think are useful and something that you would want to group in with. If you want to use a generic hashtag for your campaign, but don’t really know what to use (example :#edm is for electronic dance music and maybe you aren’t aware of that), you can Google search ‘what is a good hashtag for electronic dance music’ and will find a few that are in use. Alternatively, you can follow other users that are in that specific genre and scroll through a few of their posts.I am sure you will quickly see hashtags that are in use and see which you should be using as well.

LOCATION HASHTAGS

These are location-specific. They may be city names, stores, stadiums, nightclubs, etc. It really helps in nightlife marketing to add a geo-location hashtag to your post. You want locals who check on what is happening locally to catch your post. Some examples can include: #NYC #LowerEastSide

#MadisonSQGarden #VegsStrip #LasVegas #LosAngeles #Toronto #NiagaraFalls #SouthBeach You can find most of the local hashtags just by searching yourself. Go on Twitter’s advanced search function (twitter.com/search-advanced) and type in a city name or location name. You will see posts that people are already published and the hashtag that they use. Be sure to write them down and use the same ones.