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Biz Branding & Customization Business Marketing Mobile App Social Media

Foursquare Marketing Strategy; Capture all potential customers in your Neighbourhood and Beyond

Foursquare marketing strategy for small business owners

Foursquare is a location-based mobile social networking website, the website and its application pretty works with Smartphone and tablets on different platforms. As a user, you will be able to check-in at venues using your app, text messaging or the mobile website.

Currently, Foursquare has over 50 million community members worldwide with more than 6 billion check-ins so far, millions of it recorded on daily basis. The merchant platform has over 1.7 million subscribers.

 

The concept and platform is intelligently built, Foursquare utilizes the advantage already created by the 3 largest growing marketing trends; Mobile Technology, Social Media and Local based services.

Foursquare already has all the powerful tools local and offline businesses need to keep and attract more customers.

How to use Foursquare for marketing 

Be visible on Foursquare

Foursquare marketing strategyFoursquare has much more become a business directory, the first step you need to take if you will like to attract prospective client and customers on Foursquare is to become visible. A user may have previously added your business location the moment ago when he checked in, but you will have to create the business information so that people will start finding you. Simply search for your business and if you can’t find it, add it yourself and enter your category and sub-category to give your business a refined definition. You can verify your business location with foursquare by phone or email.

Utilize the Foursquare specials and promotions regularly to boom your business

Foursquare is loaded with a feature called “specials and promotions.” Create a promotional offer and deals in your business and broadcast it on Foursquare for users to see. If you run a boutique, you can create a special discount group promotion for families, freebies etc. Consider rewarding loyal customers using the Foursquare specials.

Reward customers who give tips and feedback 

Foursquare has a feature whereby customers who have visited your business can comment, suggest, give tips and feedback. If you will want to get the best out of Foursquare, you need to be active, keep track on what users are talking about your business. Positive reviews and feedback from customers automatically go public, work out some innovative ways to reward such customers and act on given tips.

Regularly update your visitors

One of the ways to keep your customers is by sending them updates regularly; this new Foursquare feature gives you an advantage to quickly announce your new offer, latest promotions, just arriving stocks and special deals that your business has just started to offer. You can upload images with a short review in the update.

Stick a Foursquare check-in sign at your business’ physical location so that users can easily follow your business on the mobile social networking platform.

Are you taking advantage of Foursquare marketing opportunities yet? Let us know what you think.

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Business Designs & Invention Information and Communication Technology (ICT) News

Top African entrepreneurs that will stand the test of time 

The recent growth of Africa’s economy is recognized globally as a major success story. Nigeria in particular stands out and is predicted by many expert commentators to become one of the 15 largest economies in the world by the year 2050, part of the MINT group along with Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey.

Key to this dramatic growth are a number of african entrepreneurs who have played critical roles in a range of industries to drive success across the continent.

Some of the African entrepreneurs that will stand the test of time

Long standing top African entrepreneurs with visions for the future

Orji Uzor Kalu 

DR. ORJI UZOR KALU, MONOrji Uzor Kalu, born in Nigeria in 1960, developed a keen political interest while studying at the University of Maiduguri. He started out trading in palm oil and has gone on to become chairman of SLOK Holding (a consortium of companies involved in a range of industries) and the Nigerian Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers. His interest in politics has been maintained, and he is an active member of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), even running as the party’s candidate for president in the April 2007 general election. This balance between business and politics provides him with a diverse focus on both the operations of business and the impact these have on the country more widely.

ALSO READ: “Chinko phones” are rebranding, Tecno Phantom A (F7) smartphone now rocks the Nigerian Market

Tunde Folawiyo

Tunde Folawiyo - Nigerian entrepreneurTunde Folawiyo – honored recipient of the 2010 African Business Leadership Award – is a key player in the growing energy industry of Nigeria, having founded Folawiyo Energy Ltd, a company responsible for around 30 percent of premium motor spirit in Nigeria today. Tunde has a particular interest in helping the energy industry to evolve to the point where it becomes self-sustaining. He is also an active and vocal advocate for the wider philanthropic benefits that economic success can bring; he speaks regularly about how self-sufficiency of the energy industry could facilitate major investment in education and a reduction in the requirement of foreign aid.

William Kamkwamba 

William Kamkwamba - Africa windmill  Inventor and LordThe need to innovate is a critical skill for any entrepreneur, and this ability is the foundation of the success of William Kamkwamba. William was born in Malawi and built an electricity-producing windmill made up of junk, including rubber belts, bamboo poles and a bicycle dynamo, when he was only 14 years old. In doing so he provided a means of sourcing water for his family and village. Building on this success, William went on to create bigger and better inventions and has applied this innovative thinking in studying for a degree in Environmental Studies and Engineering at Dartmouth College in the US.

ALSO READ: Nigeria becomes giant of West Africa in Internet Speed delivery

Sandra Appiah and Isaac Boateng 

Sandra Appiah and Isaac Boateng of Face2Face Africa - F2FATelling Africa’s story is essential, and social media plays, and will continue to play, a crucial role in this. Sandra and Isaac, both from Ghana, have established a new media company called Face2Face Africa in New York and work to deliver their mission of restoring Africa’s global image.

Entrepreneurs share a number of important qualities, such as ambition, vision and drive. They also have their own personal traits that play a key part in their individual success and will ensure they continue to succeed and contribute to the continuing growth of Africa’s economy.

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Biz Branding & Customization Business Social Media

How to Utilise Social Media Correctly, to get the MOST OUT of your Brand

As most marketers will happily confirm, social media can be the making of a brand. If used effectively it can boost sales, heighten positive engagement between a company and its customers, and provide a superb alternative channel of communication. Here are some useful guidelines for brands still yet to approach:

Steps to Utilise Social Media Correctly


1. Don’t do anything without a plan

Before creating a single profile, the business should know its social objectives – building a brand, strengthening brand loyalty, increasing revenue, learning what people really think of the brand; and who exactly it wants to reach (its entire customer base or certain segments), and where they are found online  – for instance, Hidden Hearing knows that most people over the age of 60 develop hearing issues of some kind; they also know that the 55-64 age bracket is the fastest growing on Facebook, and therefore it makes perfect sense for them to maintain a Facebook page.

Without a clear understanding of its social media goals, a brand can’t effectively track whether they’re being met, and so can’t hope to understand the ROI of its activity.

social media marketing strategy

2. Relevant content

Brands should place a real focus on content that people find interesting and which relates to their industry. That doesn’t mean they can’t post a picture of a cute baby or kitten stuck in a shoe every Friday afternoon, it just means that ought to be the exception rather than the rule. Brands want people to take an interest in what they’re saying, to share it, and come back for more. They should utilise diverse forms of content such as imagery, videos, infographics and text, and also link to or share content from other sources that aligns with their message. This may encourage links back also.

Any feedback from followers, comments on photos, queries posted on Twitter or Facebook, should be responded to immediately.

Also Read: 5 Essential Parts of Writing Quality Content for Business Promotion

3. Consistent branding

It’s absolutely vital to keep the brand image consistent across all forms of interaction, from physical outlets, if they exist, to the corporate website, to social media pages. The imagery, such as logos, must be the same, and so must the values which make up the brand’s ‘story’ – by way of a simple example, if a brand’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are all about engaging customers with funny content, then it makes sense that the website, to which presumably they are wanting to drive traffic, is written in a similar vein.

 

social media marketing graph

4. Follow competitors

Creating a fake profile to follow competitors over social media is a good idea. Brands can see how their rivals do things, what they can improve on, and what types of content tend to get the best reception.

5. Choosing the right platform

A scattergun approach won’t work – it stretches resources too far. Brands need to assess which platforms are best suited to their needs and stick to two or three. A hairdressing salon has no need for LinkedIn, but they would be well advised to maintain profiles on Facebook and Instagram where they can showcase images of their styling successes and build up a customer base.

Also Read: How to Grow Your eCommerce Business with LinkedIn

Social Media Strategy

6. Blogging

Blogging regularly, not necessarily at any great length, is a form of content that can be easily shared across all social channels simultaneously. It demonstrates the brand’s experience and knowledge, and it also serves a useful function in boosting SEO.

7. Use analytics

There are many analytics tools available, from the simplistic to the complex, that enable a brand to track how its social media activity is actually boosting revenue. Analytics can measure how many people a Tweet reaches, how many people have shared a blog post, what type of image tends to get the most shares or likes on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

How to Utilise Social Media Correctly, to get the MOST OUT of your Brand

Also Read: A/B Testing: How to Increase Sales and Gain More Consumers

It can demonstrate exactly what part a social channel played in an individual e-commerce sale, and it can indicate the level of positive or negative sentiment that people hold about a brand during online conversation. It can be used to justify the expenditure on social to a management team that may not fully grasp its value. In short, it’s indispensable.

Conclusion

Making social media work for you depends solely on your strategies which includes various tactics and techniques for effective results. You have the medium at your disposal, all you need do is to utilise social media to your business benefits.

Credits: PreviewNetworks, SageRealEstateThoughts, KreataGlobal

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How to Guide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Mobile App

How to turn your Smartphone to a Home Security Assistant

One of the greatest good you can do for your family and home is to provide adequate security; theft, burglary and robbery are common occurrence in almost every residential neighborhood. Local security agents are not supermen; they could have been able to curtail home security problems 100 percent. Hiring highly trained and experienced security personnel specifically for your small home may eat up the whole monthly budget.

Home security

Do you know your Smartphone can become a personal home security assistant?

Your tablet and Smartphone is good enough to do the job. Just set up a few tweaking with some apps installation and other small gadget link-ups, and your home is totally secured.

There are a lot of apps that can connect your Smartphone to other security gadgets to give you the optimum safety you and your family deserve.

Different ways a Smartphone can serve the home security purpose

Video Surveillance Solution

Mobile apps such as Net Eye Camera, CCTV Mobile and WatchDoing can work with IP cameras, CCTV, Network video recorder (NVR), webcam, digital video recorder (DVR) and other video surveillance gadget to generate video images of intended security perimeters where the cameras are placed.

Robert narrated how burglars where caught with IP Cam viewer for iOS and Android

“He was at his desk in the office when he just took a glance on his iPod touch where he usually watches the four cameras he placed at home, noticing some strange movement in his house and a strange and unfamiliar car at his driveway; he quickly called his son if it was him and friends. Finding out his son was still fast asleep on bed, he immediately called 911 to report, and before you know it, a security van got to his place and the two burglars got busted.”

Example: How to set up iCamViewer iPhone App

The iCamViewer for iPhone is compatible with different models of iP Cameras.

Instruction: Connect a CCTV camera which is an analog camera with a video server to turn the signal to digital, and then proceed to these steps:

1. Connect your video server or camera to your network; use the IP detection software to locate the cameras on your network.

2. Assign your IP Camera or server network IP address. This instruction usually comes with individual camera. This will connect your camera automatically to your network.

3. Now, download and install the iCamViewer on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

4. Launch the app on your device, tap on the “viewer” icon on the main navigation at the bottom and then tap on the “gear-like” icon at the upper left of the screen view.

Smartphone home security

5. It will open the “Configure Camera” screen; fill all fields for your camera. In the “Name,” enter a value such that you can identify this camera and then tap “Done”

Smartphhone home security system

6. After all the configuration fields has successfully been entered and the check box clicked, your live camera view will come up, If the camera image size is much smaller, close and open the iCamviewer again, and the image should be back to normal.

Smartphone as home security assistant

7. To add more cameras, tap the “plus” button and repeat step 5.

Image Credit: cctvcamerapros.com

Camera view settings are there on your screen, you can watch either in grid or full screen.

Security and Fire Alarm System

MobileAlarm and iSmartAlarm are gadgets with Smartphone apps that help you prevent burglary.

The iSmartAlarm is a 2 in 1 gadget;

CubeOne is a 4-inch cube featuring connecting ports for Ethernet Cable and power supply. The gadget emits ‘Panic Alarm’ that sounds exactly kike the 110 decibel car alarm going off inside the house. No more feelings of danger of break-in when you are sleeping.

The other is the iCamera, a wireless security camera that can rotate 350 degrees viewing angle. It can be mounted to hang on at the ceiling, but must be within a 100 feet range to your router. Unfortunately, the camera can’t be purchased separately but a part of the package.

Setup and Installation

1. The iSmartAlarm is just a plug and play device; power the CubeOne and link it to your router. A red light on the top of the device will breathe and turn white and in about two minutes it will start flashing white light slowly. Your security alarm is on.

iSmartAlarm for home security

2. Download the iSmartAlarm app on your Android or iOS device only for now, create an account. Your phone must be connected to the same WiFi with the CubeOne box in your set up. You will require entering an email and phone number in the set up because when alarm goes off, a robo-call will be initiated to the phone number you entered. You can enter up to five numbers, in case the first person doesn’t pick, it will move to calling the rest.

iSmartAlarm application for home security

Image Credit: ismartalarm.com

3. The app as it is designed will then guide you step by step to set up each active peripheral device.

4. Finally plug the camera to the wall outlet and connect it to the CubeOne through the Ethernet port. You can also use the camera wirelessly.

Others

Other ways Smartphone can serve home security includes;

Remote door lock; Lockitron is very good at that, and fire outbreak systems which notify you with calls, SMS and alarms whenever there is a change in temperature.

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Uncategorized

Video: Apple iPhone 6 Sapphire Screen finally breaks

If you haven’t heard of that, Apple is making a sapphire screen on its iPhone 6.

Sapphire crystals are durable; making screen out of this material isn’t a bad idea. Apple is trying to make something stronger that won’t crack so easily. In a previous post, I wrote about how my iPad screen got broken and the hell I went through before getting it fixed. You should read it if you have similar experience to get yours fixed for free!

Over the time, Apple iPhone and iPad screen has always being failing the durability test, despite the phone being expensive. This time around, on the new iPhone 6, Apple wants to give value for money and you no longer have to treat your iPhone like an egg due to screen fragility.

iPhone 6 sapphire crystal screenFor weeks, rumors persist so strong that Apple will be making sapphire crystal display in both of its new iPhone 6 models this September. Apple explained that it has adopted the sapphire crystal because of its durability compared to the current Gorilla Glass display on the iPhone 5s and other previous models of iPhone.

Anyway, the issue is a mixed truth, Sapphire screen is truly durable, but to some extent. It outshines Gorilla Glass in some areas, but in others it doesn’t.

Recently, a YouTube video was posted by Steve Hemmerstoffer showing the Sapphire crystal remaining tough under powerful fatigued conditions such as; Key scratches, hammer impacts, knife cuts and drop on its face. The iPhone 6 new screens will also hold up when bent under tense conditions. They seem to be really impressive against any other display we have ever seen.

However, when the Sapphire crystal display was run over by a vehicle, it cracked immediately the tire hits the panel, and completely badly broken when the vehicle has moved over it, we all had hope that the sapphire glass surpasses the Gorilla Glass in all manners until we saw its failure against the rubber.

Corning, the manufacturers of Gorilla Glass isn’t surprise at all, they have gone all the way to make a publication that Sapphire Glass crystal (in large amount) is more fragile than Gorilla Glass, the company has produced sapphire display for military purposes and it seem they know a thing or two about which display is superior.

If you are already saving for the iPhone 6, enjoy the durability of the sapphire crystal display, but always ensure that your iPhone never falls to be run over by a car, else the best you can do is to make a good on that additional AppleCare protection premium.

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Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

How Cloud Computing can help in your business development

Cloud Computing is a business model where services are delivered from the Internet through web-based applications and tools, rather than from a server via direct connection. These services include software and programs, as well as data and information. This kind of technology offer benefits and uses suitable for businesses, especially for small businesses with tight or limited resources.

The Evolution of Cloud Computing for business development

Cost Effectiveness

Cloud computing enables businesses to take advantage of business services at a lower cost more than traditional computing technologies. Software packages are available at lower prices because the software developers also incur lower costs in distributing them. Online distribution removes costs related to production of DVDs or CDs, packaging costs, as well as costs of shipping and distribution worldwide. Other cloud-based services that enable businesses to save money include managed hosting, server maintenance, and software licensing.

Cloud computing concept

ALSO READ: 5 Commonly Asked Questions about Cloud Computing

Collaboration

Cloud-based services enable businesses to maintain remote employees instead of in-office employees. This setup enables businesses to save capital spent on office space, as well as overhead costs. Cloud computing enables businesses to communicate with employees in a more efficient way – for example, the employees need not be in front of their office computer all the time, as they can communicate with the office through any electronic device. Programs necessary for any task can be launched from the cloud, from anywhere in the world, as long as there is an Internet connection. This also allows businesses to function at all times, instead of just maintaining strict operating hours, without an increase in costs. Communication between employees is likewise easier with cloud-based applications providing messaging, calling, and video-conferencing functions. Collaboration is likewise improved with the introduction of cloud-based programs that enable users to log in and view a specific document or presentation in real time, without need to attach and download the same via email.

ALSO READ: Cloud Computing Vs Mobile Computing – Which one is the best?

Business NeedsCloud computing and its features

There are three areas where cloud computing is mostly used in businesses: messaging, storage, and office or productivity suites. According to a Forbes study, these services occupy more than 50% of the kinds of services migrated to cloud computing by most businesses. Of all services migrated to cloud-based services, messaging apps take the majority of the pie at 18%, while cloud storage apps rank second at 15%, and office suites at 13%. Some cloud-based messaging apps include Iron.io, Google Cloud Messaging, and etherSMS. Cloud-based storage apps include Dropbox, Google Cloud, and OneDrive. Cloud-based productivity apps include Office 365, Google Docs, and Zoho Docs. 

ALSO READ: 6 Under-Utilized Cloud Storage Features You’ve Never Heard of

Security and reliability

Utilizing cloud-based applications provide an unexpected benefit in the form of security. Online storage facilities enable users to keep extra copies or backups of important business files. Online storage drives also provide a more secure option, safer from viruses and malwares. Some providers also provide geo-redundant storage options, storing your files in separate locations, for a more secure option. Cloud-based services also offer greater reliability in terms of a dedicated IT support system, compared to a small business’ own IT department, which may be composed of only a handful of people. Added reliance to cloud-based services also frees up manpower demand in the business, resulting in lower salary costs, office space, and overhead costs. 

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Business

Warning: You’re Losing Money by Not Having Financial Options

Get to Grips with your Money Matters: Picking the Best Financial Options for You

Do you struggle to keep your finances in order? If so you’re not alone. Many people find it difficult staying on top of their money matters. Whether it’s making a regular commitment to save money, or choosing the best banks in Philadelphia; dealing with financial matters can be stressful. The good news is there are ways to make it easier. The tips below will help you to really get to grips with your finances.

Understanding your finances

Before you can even attempt to organise your money, you need to have a good understanding of your current finances. The only way to do this is to write down everything that you owe. Include credit cards, any debts you may have, monthly utility bills, rent and so on. It can be tempting to forget about various debts. However, burying your head in the sand and not including everything you owe will only make the problem worse. Once you understand your finances, you can then figure out ways of improving them.

ALSO READ: 3 Basic Money Management Tips for your Success

Tackle any debts you may have

Let’s face it; debts can be a real headache. They cause stress, sleepless nights and countless worry. Many people struggle with debt these days, but there is help available. There is a lot of free debt advice organisations set up to help you figure out what you can do. If you’re going through temporary financial struggles, you may have considered a payday loan. While these can certainly help in emergencies, you need to be extremely careful when taking out a loan. Failure to repay the money owed will lead to much more serious financial problems. The BBC has produced a list of ways to help manage spending which could come in extremely useful.

ALSO READ: 5 Money Management Apps to Manage Your Spending

Choosing a bank account

Often the first step to getting to grips with your finances is to ensure you have the right type of bank account. Compare the different accounts on offer. A basic bank account can be an ideal option for those who worry about getting into financial trouble. You won’t have an overdraft facility which means you can only ever spend what’s available in your account. Always compare the reputation of a bank, as well as its terms and conditions before you apply.

Selecting a loan

Sometimes a loan can be helpful. Whether it’s a personal or a business loan; it can provide you with the cash you need when you need it. However, there are so many things you need to think about before applying. Always compare interest rates, the reputation of the lender and never take out more than you can afford to pay back.

The above are just a few steps you can take to start managing your money. If you need further help and advice, The Money Advice Service is a resource. Providing free budgeting tools, you’ll soon be on your way to a healthier financial future. Financial planning doesn’t have to be difficult, it just takes a little research and dedication.

And now, the question is; do you have financial options?