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Article Contributed by Jennifer Livingston

Social Media continues to gain in popularity every day. Having a social media site which powerfully promotes your brand is a must in today’s highly competitive social media markets.

In this article, we discuss six techniques you can use to powerfully promote your brand across social media platforms.

  1. Schedule Your Content Updates

Having valid metric data about your audience allows you to time your content releases right before peak user activity, thus increasing its impact. However, don’t limit your releases to pre-peak, off-peak times are also ideal to explore for their increase potentials.

Tools such as Facebook Insights allow page owners to view performance data related to their sites, such as how many likes a page has received and traffic data related to activity with the page’s assets.

Supporting this, for Business provides additional support that is useful for promoting your website, boosting your posts and assisting with “calls to action.” Business also provides options for creating promotions and offers.

  1. Encourage Content Sharing

A huge boost to your site’s popularity can be gained by making it easy for your page’s content to be shared. It goes without say that the content must be entertaining and have value at some level, and clearly support your brand.

Some general content sharing guidelines:

  • Users want to share useful and entertaining content
  • Allowing users to enter comments and rate the content increases its virility potential
  • Content should be optimized for the social media platform
  • Give credit to the content’s creators
  1. Solicit Brand Advocates

Use your existing networks to encourage sharing your brand content. Encourage specialty blog creation supporting your brand.

Having brand advocates such as Walmart’s Mommy Bloggers increases proliferation of your brand’s image and gives high energy enthusiasts a venue to promote your brand in memorable ways, broadening brand reach.

  1. Utilize Brand Influencer Strategies

Content value increases dramatically when it references brand influencers.

Brand influencers are popular figures, experts and leaders, and influential consumers in your market. They provide a form of highly leverageable endorsement for your brand. They generate enthusiasm and interest in your brand and they allow you to be noticed by an audience which otherwise might not have taken notice of your brand.

Cite brand influencers in your content; reference their websites. Drop them an email to let them know that they’re referenced on your website.

Ask them for an interview or a recommendation and when practical ask them to co-create content.

A recent successful brand influencer example would be Johnny Walker’s Instagram campaign which utilizes brand influencers who have traveled to Milan for Formula 1, enhancing the product’s online image substantially.

  1. Post Valuable Content

Post content that entertains your audience but at the same time provides insight, information or other value unique to your brand.

A few question to consider your content’s value to your audience includes

  • Is your tone specific and the content clear?
  • Does it address actual concerns that your audience has?
  • Is it accessible to your reader’s level of understanding?
  • Does it clarify something that is confusing to your audience?

Relevant content increases user accessibility to your content in the way that a closed captioning service makes audio multimedia accessible to the hearing impaired.

  1. Increase Brand Impressions

There are different perspectives on re-posting content. However, re-posting content is not necessarily something to be frowned upon. Content that is reposted can be offered from another angle. For instance, if you offered an entertaining video in one campaign, leveraging that again in a followup piece some time later showing how things have changed since can be a powerful way to increase brand impressions with your audience.

It is important however that the new angle offers your content in a substantively different way. Most online users take offense to tactics that look like spam campaigns.


Building a successful social media brand image is a necessary step to building your social media audience. In this article we discussed 6 proven strategies used by successful social media campaigns.



The Art of Entrepreneurship

Posted by Marcel Sim in Entrepreneurship


Article Contributed by Daniel S. Williams and Evan Ehrenberg

The following lessons are co-authored by Daniel Williams and Evan Ehrenberg as part of a series of publications. Lessons 1-3 are contained in the article “Debunking the Myths, Seeking the Unknown in Entrepreneurship” by Daniel.

Lesson IV: Carpe Diem.

I concede this may sound a tad dramatic at first glance. But I assure you, there is immense value derived from these two words. I am not advocating launching an all-out affront of heroic proportions. That can be left to the imagination. Rather, I suggest that the “seize the day” principle has its roots linkable to a much less grandiose theme: Deliver tangible progress for your pursuit every day. This means taking actions to actualize your company.

It is all-too-easy (especially in today’s tech savvy world) to spend a great deal of time in the formulation phase—the thinking of ideas and process of assessing their validity. To be fair, entrepreneurial endeavors often come about when least expected, or through the contemplative iterations of taking “broken concepts” in society and making them better. However, idea formulation does not make companies, it merely makes ideas for companies. Where the true “value” enters is from the concrete materialization of the ideas into actions that build your company and provide tangible results. Do this every single day — don’t let a day go by where you didn’t make a result happen.

By results, I do not mean to say that you must produce earth-changing monumental steps every day. Results can be as simple as having sent an e-mail to a contact, worked on drafts of documents, or picked up the phone to assess interest by cold-calling potential customers. The value is derived from being able to say “I accomplished something” today, that (while no extreme benefit may have been brought about) is contributing to the progression of your idea into a finalized venture.

It is easy to get caught up in the myriad life often throws our way. The best route to grow your idea is to not allow a day to pass by where some level of progress has not been made. Not necessarily milestones daily, but just something “tangible”, and part of the path to move forward. You’ll find that you won’t stop with the little things and your momentum will simply continue to build, and as long as you get something, even something small, done every single day, that momentum will never stop. Go ahead, carpe diem.

Lesson V: It’s not a titular thing.

In a society ravaged by what we shall call the epidemic of titles, we often rely much too heavily on the verbiage placed before our names–the demarcations commonly associated with ranking of employees under an imposed structure. This neglects the need to look beyond the “paper roles” one assumes; instead, one’s idea can only grow if those working to make it a reality are able to adapt and assume the “hats” of different functions needing to be performed. While some sort of title may be assigned for general assignment, the role (especially in early-stage startups) of individuals is simply much broader. Indeed, when we narrow our scope into an individual role, employees may find themselves trying too hard to improve the work falling under their title, and miss the forest for the trees by not focusing on improving the company as a whole.

Do what needs to be done. Cross-functional teams are productive–venturing beyond narrowly-attributed roles to make progress. The concept of a jack-of-all-trades role is not too far off. If rigid assignment of tasks is upheld, this stifles interest among those you are working closely with to transform your idea into the big-picture reality envisioned. At early points in the growth of your idea, the need for rigidity is low. Be open to assuming another “hat” from time-to-time; titles don’t mean everything, and in startups they may mean little more than nothing.

Lesson VI: Failure is step #2. Check.

Setting out to develop an idea into a pivotal product is not a path free of detours. Along the way are countless moments of self-questioning, fear of failing, and second-guessing your initiatives. This will happen quite often during the course of cultivating your idea, and is to be expected. What commonly may be viewed as a hindrance to progress is actually a quintessential step in the process. As the second step, failure is bound to happen more often than not. It may be a disastrous product launch, or something more trivial like a design not living up to your expectations after repeated modifications are made. In either case the expectation of perfection is inherently flawed. The goal is not to exude perfection at the first go. Modifications may need to be made, tweaks here and there; the lessons learned in these “failures” go a long way in building a mentality no longer averse to failure, but open to it in the sense of being able to make your idea better than it was before. One can occupy his or her time with the fear of failing. Or one can opt to embrace instances of having made a mistake, and work to fail rapidly, so that they can improve rapidly.

The mistakes made, or tasks done less ideally than desired are part of the entrepreneurial process. Trying to entirely avoid making them is nice in theory–not feasible in practice. Sure, failing is an aversion many of us have; one usually does not like to experience the feeling of dread or disappointment usually accompanying it. Viewed that way, failure can compound quite easily, and can even slow or stop the momentum you built in lesson IV. The better way to approach it, though, is with open arms. Failure can be your friend, not always your foe. Take that first step today, because step #2 is going to happen whether you like it or not, and the sooner you embrace that, the sooner you can get to step #3.

Knowing everything is not possible. Making every day a part of your learning is.

About the Authors:

Daniel S. Williams is a graduating Advanced-Standing Senior at Boston College in the Carroll School of Management majoring in Management, with a concentration in Finance. Daniel has previously worked at several firms and startups fostering client-interactions, handling taxes, banking and filing systems, as well as marketing initiatives. He has been a part of Xperii Corp. since inception and has served advisory roles with other ventures.

Evan C. Ehrenberg is a prodigy and MIT’s youngest ever Ph.D. candidate in the brain and cognitive sciences department, he began the Ph.D. program at the age of 16 and is now defending his thesis at the age of 22. Evan is an expert in the domain of cognitive and computational neuroscience, and is an avid entrepreneur, previously working at Palantir Technologies and launching several startups.

Visit Xperii’s website:


Article contributed by Greg Dastrup

Changes in Brand Marketing Strategies

Following the increased business expansion trends of brick and mortar businesses following their customers online, web-based marketing and the consequently higher profit potential have significantly altered the ways in which brands market to customers, forever changing the traditional consumer experience with acquiring information about new and existing products and services.

Web Content & Visuals

Web content has become increasingly more important to business marketing efforts. Customers have become accustomed to finding brand information by web searches and through reading blogs and specialty websites.

It’s become increasingly important to understand the research trends of customers in online markets. Online customers demand quick answers to their queries. Online articles need to support skimming, and quick informational searches for targeted keywords.

In 2014 and even more so in 2015, brands used visual content to increase brand loyalty, conversion and retention rates. Frequently updated ,micro videos with amplifying captions and which tell a story drew higher visitor return rates and longer first time visitor interaction times.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Today’s connected customer has a mobile device, a desktop, a laptop, visits websites, signs up for emails, researches brands online and less frequently in retail outlets. Omni-channel marketing utilizes an approach which targets its marketing efforts at customers through multiple, ideally every conceivable, channel(s). The goal of which is to harmonize the various exposures a customer has to a product to create a series of seamless positive product impressions, with the ultimate goal of higher sales.

Social Media Efforts

Given recently released figures that 5 new social media profiles are created per second and 4.5 Billion user ratings are generated each day on alone, the biggest and potentially highest impact change in the way brands are marketed involves the use of social media platforms to create brand loyalty and inspire a culture of brand followers and enthusiasts.

Brands create Facebook and Twitter pages, albums, invite friends and followers, and specialty brand newsrooms with real-time updates and feedback, all targeted to the end result of promoting their brands to consumers. Social Media allows brands to create storytelling content, which encourages users to return to their pages for updates and increases the emotional investment of their customers, resulting in increased brand loyalty.

Starbucks ran several highly successful campaigns by expanding their social media efforts.

Feedback and Online Reviews

Today’s customers are highly social and want to make choices that fit in with what the rest of the crowd is doing.

Recent studies have shown that upwards of 80 percent of consumers do some form of product research at least once a week, with 70 percent of those who consult consumer reviews stating that they rely on the information that is presented.

The importance of online reviews has reached levels requiring that brands address product quality and consumer experience issues at levels and in ways previously considered impractical. Customer service has become a major brand focus consideration as a result.

Increased Productization

Productization is the marketing process of packaging business offerings, including services, in a packaged form which simplifies consumer purchase decisions. Brands have increasingly productized their offerings to improve consumer satisfaction metrics and sales. To be sure, brands still offer additional features, but as upgrade options.

A familiar example would be the services offered by carpet cleaners that offer a basic service, stain removal, and add on options such as drapes and furniture cleaning.

Today’s customers have largely migrated online and have high interaction rates with their peers before making purchase decisions. Online customers are extremely sociable and utilize social media sites as part of the purchase experience. Millennial customers require visual and concise content relevant, ideally tailored, to their individual demands. They further require that content be entertaining and updated frequently. Brands have responded by changing their marketing efforts from traditional approaches to online methods as well as combining efforts across channels accessed by their customers.


Article Contributed by Lee Flynn

When technology became the foundation for economic growth in the 21st century, the strategies of the companies driving that growth became one of the most important stories in business. Everyone sought to study what those companies were doing and how it impacted their opportunities and how it improved their ability to meet and overcome the various challenges they faced as they blazed paths into new business models, new products and what industry observers call “the new economy.”

Employees First

What technology companies do virtually without exception, is hire talented and capable people for the expressed purpose of listening to them and following their lead. As a business leader, if you’re going to take on the expense of recruiting, qualifying and hiring a building full of PhD’s, it generally follows that it is one of your better business practices to listen to them when they offer their professional advice. This is something nearly every successful technology company succeeds at, and the results speak for themselves.


Establishing a successful identity in the advertising-soaked world of the 21st century is as big a challenge as anything else in business. Marketing can be bankruptcy-invitingly expensive if certain objectives aren’t met and costs aren’t controlled. What technology companies do well is engineer a fusion between product identity and marketing that allows them to leverage development costs into a brand image for the entire organization. This was always the promise of the Internet and for the successful companies, it has become a reality.

Accessible Management

Gone are the days when the big boss was able to sit in his office and write memos with a silent phone and the distant sound of traffic scarcely audible outside his top-floor bay window. Concurrent with the business requirement that qualified employees be acknowledged is the expectation among those employees that management will be accessible. After all, all the great ideas in the world don’t do those employees much good if nobody is listening. Most, if not all successful technology companies have an open-door policy between employees and bosses. This communications channel serves as one of the foundations of innovation and growth.

Eating Your Own Dog Food

When the Internet was new, many companies were just getting started in developing their flagship products. Companies like Oracle, IBM and Sun were at the forefront of enterprise hardware and software and one of the terms that emerged during those days was “eating your own dog food.” This meant companies should be utilizing their own products in their own businesses.

This is a powerful concept because it dramatically reduces costs in much the same way products becoming their own marketing does. If capital is going to be spent developing an expensive product with major implications for the company’s sales strategy, it follows that product needs to be capable of supporting its customers’ businesses. What better way to warranty that promise than by testing the product in a real-world business environment every day?


Few people understand the creative process. The closest most people get is a picture of someone with a light bulb suspended in the air over their head. When Google first came up with the idea they could offer a translate website feature, for example, it was likely the result of many months of trial and error with internal tools and requires a massive consensus between employees and managers inside the company. The value of the feature goes without saying, but the process of coming up with the idea for it was likely more difficult than most would recognize.

Companies that understand the creative process are the most likely to reap its benefits. This is something successful technology companies do with regularity.

Many businesses and industry leaders can look to technology companies for examples of how to integrate best practices into a unified whole. The process of improvement depends on it, and most companies will find there is an ongoing need for progress for both their customers and employees.

Professional For My Taxes

As we draw closer to tax season, consider whether or not you need to hire a professional to help you with your tax needs this year. The answer to this question is highly individualized, and you can determine the right course of action for you depending on your answers to the following questions.

How Thorough is Your Tax Knowledge?

You may already possess the basic knowledge of the tax process; i.e. relevant forms including W2’s and 1099s. However, filing your taxes goes far beyond just this basic information, and this is where filing can get tricky. You’ll need in-depth information on deductible expenses, like student loans and charitable donations, and if you’re a business owner, you’ll have to provide records of your expenses and your income. If you have a single income, no dependents, and don’t own a house, your taxes will probably be pretty straightforward and easy to handle. However, if you have any complications or feel unsure about how you should file, it’s probably in your best interest to hire an accountant or get professional tax debt relief.

Do You Make Money from Freelancing?

If you make extra income from a freelancing position and don’t pay taxes on it throughout the year, then you’re required to pay self-employment taxes in April. Even if you have another full time job that takes taxes out, the government still considers you self-employed because you make an untaxed side income. With this side job, your employer will report your earnings to the IRS as a deduction with a 1099-Misc. form, and if you don’t report it, you may find yourself in a load of hot water.

Self-employment also comes with its benefits during the tax season. You have a variety of potential deductions available at your fingertips, and a professional can help you navigate the deductions that apply to your particular situation, and help you avoid making any questionable deductions that could trigger an IRS audit. In this case, a professional can save you money, make you money, and keep you out of legal trouble—three tempting benefits to hiring a tax service.

Are You a Financial Supporter?

This may seem like a cut and dried question, but it’s more complicated than you think. Do you have dependents that you support financially? You may think you do, and file as such, but in actuality said individual may not qualify for that distinction. For example, even if you support a relative, if they’re not your direct descendent, the government may refuse your claim. Talking to a tax professional can help you correctly file any and all dependents.

How Much Time Do You Have?

If you’re busy and don’t have a hefty chunk of time to dedicate to getting your taxes in order, then you should definitely consider hiring a tax professional. The IRS claims that the average taxpayer will spend 22 hours preparing their taxes with the correct forms. If an entire day sounds like way too much time for you to spend neck deep in tax information, then you may want to shift the responsibility over to a professional.

Do You Have a New Business?

Did you just start a new business? If so, a professional can help you seek out essential business deductions, and pay all the essential federal business taxes, along with state income taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes. An experienced CPA can help you forecast the costs associated with your business and help you save hundreds to thousands of dollars come April.

Have You Recently Had a Status-Changing Life Event?

If you recently had a child, got married, or got divorced, then your filing status has changed and you may need the help of a professional to determine the appropriate status. Some of these statuses may have time-sensitive dates which could make things more complicated. An experienced CPA will understand the nitty gritty of this process. Working with a CPA as time goes on is also a good idea because tax credits and deductions in regards to your dependent children could expire depending on age and salary.

Hiring a tax professional may be essential for maintaining your financial security. While those with uncomplicated incomes, no mortgages, and no dependents may find it easy to file alone, if you have any complicated tax issues, it’s in your best interest to use tax filing services.

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