How to Survive Facebook Changes

As you all noticed, Facebook has recently released many changes not only to its design but also to its algorithm. These changes resulted to the decrease of the organic reach of your Facebook posts and campaigns, in other words your campaign may not take off because your content doesn’t have traction. To put it bluntly, you don’t reach your audience.

So what to do? At the very beginning you should develop your social marketing strategy which should include more than one social media platform. If you stay, for example, only with Facebook than all your efforts depend on the changes and strategies of one social media source. Analyze various social media sources to reach your audience worldwide and land them on your website directly.

Reach your target audience worldwide

Depending on your Brand and goals, consider different social media platforms. Despite the fact that Facebook has been the most engaging social media platform for lots of people worldwide, think of Twitter, Google+ and other sources which are also undergoing major changes and redesign thus gaining more attention, users, and followers.

Recently Twitter has introduced a new page design and published new usage data: now it has 255 million monthly active users, an increase of 25% year-over-year. Google+ will not be considered just a product of Google but a platform. So it means we can expect changes and redesign of its look and functions too. MySpace is on the rise again – the platform used to be favorite among all kinds of creative-beings.

Don’t forget about newsletters – there you can publicize your news and updates outside of social media market at all.

And pay attention to apps – they are on a rise! The certain audiences use apps much more than other sources of information. For instance, women download 40% more apps and spend 87% more money on paid apps than men.

But what to do with our favorite and beloved Facebook? There are also certain strategies you can develop to adopt the recent Facebook changes. Understanding the fact that you don’t “own” your audience any more (because you cannot reach it organically through your posting) you should accept the fact that you have to pay each time you want to promote your campaign to your target audience. Based on this fact, develop your ad campaigns the way they reach the audience you need, try to get their email addresses and drive them to your website to sign up for you blogs and letters. In this case you will establish more one-on-one communication and keep the audience even if you lose it on your social media platforms.

One of the most common pieces of advice – make your content interesting and catchy. New Facebook ad opportunities give you a chance to get click-through engagement directly to your website. Try to benefit from it now.

Question and comments: info@BPOGroupUSA.com

 

 

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Crowd-Funding Opportunities for Women

Women are still counted as minority entrepreneurs. The sad part is that all minority entrepreneurs are rarely get funding, as the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research reports. “Minority entrepreneurs made up just 8.5% of the people pitching their businesses to angel investors in the first half of 2013″, – the report says.

Though minorities, including female entrepreneurs, receive much less investor attention and funding, female start ups are more successful. “A 2012 study by Dow Jones reported that 61% of startups with five or more females were successful and only 39% failed. No wonder Etsy recently grew their number of female engineers by 500% in 12 months.” (c) Forbes. Female entrepreneurs are known as hard-working, consistent, goal-oriented and better anti-crisis managers than men.

Yelena Kodryany and Elina Barsegyan

Example of a successful start up: IntelliChild Academy, currently consisting of four schools, is run by two business ladies, Yelena Kodryany and Elina Barsegyan

Business ladies are more conscious about socially related issues, healthy life style, education, that’s why many health care, child care, and human rights projects are run by women.

Shruti Kapoor, the founder of Sayfty, an advisory project carrying personal safety products

How to overcome traditional disrespect to women-entrepreneurs? How to attract investors’ attention? One of the ideas is creation of crowd-funding sites specially for business-ladies. One of such projects is Plum Alley whose motto is “Connecting women entrepreneurs with markets, capital & advice”. Plum Alley looks like a community where you can shop, submit your project for fundraising, get an expert advice, be an expert advisor in your field. The categories where you can show your expertise or try to get funds for your projects are “Film and Video”, “Education”, “Food and Beverage”, “Fashion”.

PlumAlley.co where you can submit your project for crowd-funding

The Plum Alley project was launch as an e-commerce website over a year ago, and now it added a crowd-funding and advisory components. The reward based investments are quite similar to popular Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but in the case with Plum Alley the target audience is women.

The re:artiste Artist Representation company is run by female entrepreneurs, Natalie Burlutskaya and Maria Kordova

Crowd-funding can be a game-changer for your ideas to make them work. Instead of looking for big investors and getting prepared for many business meetings, through crowd-funding sites you can receive smaller investments from the larger group of individuals. And there is a bonus to it – you build awareness, too.

www.plumalley.co

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Dot NYC – New Competitive Domain As An Element of Strong Branding

Someone has already called the most popular domain “dot com” boring. Well, why?

Today it was officially announced that the City of New York has been approved for its own geographic top-level domain – .nyc – which will allow New Yorkers and visitors to easily find local businesses, services and information online. A .nyc address will show that a business or individual is located in New York City and identify products and organizations serving the New York City community. The City of New York is one of the first cities in the world to be granted a geographic top-level domain by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit private organization responsible for overseeing the distribution of IP addresses and domain names. The approval of .nyc comes as ICANN expands the number of generic top-level domains beyond extensions like .com, .org and .edu.

BPO Group USA

New domain, .nyc

It looks like “dot nyc” will be competitive and desirable because it plays at the area of branding, branding of one of the most glamorous and dreamed-about cities in the world, New York. “Having our own unique, top-level domain…our small businesses will now be able to identify themselves as connected to New York City, one of the world’s strongest and most prestigious brands,” – emphasized Mayor Bloomberg.

New York City. Photo courtesy of Natalie Burlutskaya

Should you wish to register for a .nyc domain, you need to know these rules:

  1. registrants will have to have a primary place of residence in the City of New York with a physical address or a “bona fide presence” in the City of New York, meaning regularly performing lawful activities within the city and maintaining an office or other facility in the city;
  2. small businesses would also be able to use a .nyc domain to allow customers to know where they are located in order to better build their online identity;
  3. registration for .nyc addresses will open in late 2013 and fees are to be determined. Additional information is available at www.mydotnyc.com.

Commissioner Walsh pointed out that “small businesses benefit from a strong online presence, and the .nyc domain will give New York City’s small businesses an extra boost by making them more accessible and allowing them to build off the NYC brand”.

How did NYC obtain its own domain? The City of New York is working with a selected registry vendor, Neustar, who is covering all of the City’s costs associated with obtaining the top-level domain, which includes a $185,000 application fee and all technology services and marketing expenses associated with the top-level domain. In March 2012, the City of New York applied to ICANN for control over the administration and management of the .nyc domain, and in May 2013, ICANN announced its decision.

 

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Space Missions and Social Media

June 16 is a remarkable day in space history. The first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, marks fifty years of her historic flight. This Russian woman was not only the first woman to fly in space – she remains the only woman ever to have made a solo space flight. During that Cold War era her flight preparation was a huge state secret. Valentina Tereshkova was not allowed to confide even in family members, who only learned of her exploit when Moscow announced it to the entire world. No internet, wikileaks, blog posts, Instagram, or Facebook pages existed at that time, which is hard to imagine nowadays. Today we can find out information about Valentina Tereshkova’s space mission from various information sources posted online. No need to go to the library or inquire from the archives. Unless you want to learn something really, really specific.

Valentina Tereshkova. Photo courtesy of rt.com

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield from Ontario became a social media superstar and probably the world’s most famous Canadian. During his 146-day mission, on Twitter, his breathtaking images of Earth from an orbit 250 miles above the planet — along with poetic descriptions of the various locales — created a cult-like following of more than 1 million Twitter followers from around the globe. Today this Canadian astronaut who became an Internet sensation aboard the International Space Station is hanging up his spacesuit. He announced his retirement.

Chris Hadfield became a Twitter sensation during his 146-day space mission. Photo courtesy of floridatoday.com

What shall we expect from the next space flights? How will the astronauts share their “status” with us and “update their locations”? It’s fun to guess and wait for new sensations.

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Copyright Symbols

In order to show the copyright it is accustomed to use several symbols that are not quite the same.

The ™ or SM symbols are to be used for marks that are claiming the rights to the creation or for marks whose trademark applications are pending. Sometimes these symbols are governed by the state laws so it may be useful to check with the local authorities.

The symbol ® means that the trademark is Federally registered. It should be used only if you have received Federal trademark registration.

The sign © can be used with any copyrighted material, registered or not. Unlike trademarks, copyrights appear as soon as something is created, so you can use this symbol freely for anything you create that is covered by copyright (images, paintings, books, music, etc.)

A lot of work is being done and sold nowadays online. Is your website protected? Since everything is considered to have a copyright as soon as it is created, websites are protected by copyright even if you do not choose to register the copyright, and in this case you can freely use the copyright sign.

Once you produced your creation you can add the TM symbol, and it gives you a level of protection. You can put ™ on anything – it just means that you consider it to be a trademark for your creations. You can use the sign ™ quite freely.

The sign ® is used to indicate that your trademark is registered with the government. Only use the sign “Registered” if you’ve actually registered the trademark formally.

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Copyright Basics

Picture courtesy of burrycunningham.org

Many people heard about Copyright and Copyright Law but do not quite understand what it means. We will try to explain the basics of it.

U.S. copyright law evolved from English Common Law and Statutory Law.  During more than two hundred years copyright has grown up into a complex body of law. The USA Founders included copyright in the Constitution, and its rights and limits are still a part of the continuous debate.

 Copyright law is about balance. It gives creators the right to control their works along with being compensated for various uses of their works. At the same time, these rights are limited in time and scope. It was done with the purpose to give the public an opportunity to access the creative works and reuse them in new creative ways. Often the copyright is understood only as a scope of restrictions while in reality it has permissive aspects such as Fair Use Doctrine and the Public Domain.

The Fair Use doctrine means the use of the creative work not for gaining profit but rather for information and educational purposes.

The Public Domain doctrine means that the copyright works go to the public use when the copyright terms and intellectual property rights are expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Examples of such works are poems by Dante, music by Mozart, paintings of old masters, and some old silent movies. “The term is not normally applied to situations when the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as “under license” or with permission. In informal usage, the public domain consists of works that are publicly available; while according to the formal definition it consists of works that are unavailable for private ownership or are available for public use.”  

Image courtesy of thewavingcat.com

In order to show the copyright it is accustomed to use several symbols that are not quite the same. We are going to explain the symbols and the difference among them in our further posts.

 

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Business Law for Entrepreneurs

Do you want to learn more about doing business in the USA? Make sure you are well prepared and have everything you need for your business.

The lawyer and our fellow consultant, Ekaterina Mouratova, has published her legal guide to doing business in the United States.

Find this helpful resource at http://businesslawbook.com/

 

 

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Branding in the Art World: the Armory Show

The art world, enigmatic and mysterious, still purports to be a business. If your artworks do not sell you are out of the game. Galleries and art fairs, while providing a great playground for demonstrating their artworks to the visitors, still need to be appealing to their hearts to convert spectators to admirers and collectors, aka buyers.

BPO Group USA at the Armory Show 2013

Image courtesy guestofaguest.com

It means that a gallery or an art fair itself has to be a brand, reliable and trustworthy, to attract buyers. And even big and famous enterprises have to rethink their marketing strategies and make updates to a brand. One of the best examples of such rebranding is the Armory Show, which opened its doors last week on the Manhattan Piers 92 and 94.

Founded in 1994 by four dealers  as the Gramercy International Art Fair, this show became the largest in New York and one of the most important fairs in the international art market.  The name is the homage to the legendary 1913 exhibition, which, for the first time then, showcased works by avant-garde European artists along with their American counterparts. Throughout its years, the Armory Show was presenting such legendary names as Picasso and Pollock as well as the most cutting edge artists of a younger generation.

Thus the Armory Show became the leading Contemporary and Modern Art Fair in the world. Its mission is to showcase under one roof (literally, two) the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries providing the access to a selection of the world’s leading galleries. Besides, it offers exceptional program of art events and exhibitions throughout New York during the celebrated Armory Arts Week.

For more a decade, the Armory Show has been a queen of art events in Manhattan. It attracted top galleries, collectors, and artists by providing them with the annual opportunity to check out emerging trends and new artworks.

the armory show 2013

Photo courtesy TheArmoryShow.com

The scene has changed over the past four-five years. There were several factors having influenced the dominance of the Armory Show: the economic situation, some major galleries dropping out of the show, proliferation of other shows worldwide. Besides, the local start up of Frieze Art Fair in 2012 brought extra competition. All these factors have been challenging the Armory Show to reinvent itself. The Armory Show was criticized for being “too corporate, too big, or too much one booth after another,” as described by Noah Horowitz, executive director of The Armory Show. So in other words, to be more competitive and successful, the Armory Show has to face a sort of an image problem and rebrand itself.

How is the Armory Show doing it? The following key steps have been made in this direction:

  • the concept of the show has been rethought: the new fair became more gallery-driven, with more single booths. Entering the piers you feel like strolling along the city streets full of attractive art spots;
  • the idea of visual merchandising has been changed: a Solo and Special Projects Program  showcased single themes and artists. It makes the participating galleries focusing on the most representing while most distinctive art pieces. And as a result, the viewers get more clear impression and vision;
  • also a new branding program for the Show was created by one of the Show’s commissioned artists, Liz Magic Laser. The challenge is to update everything from the show concept to its merchandising materials such as T-shirts and totes;
  • there was still a challenge to keep the Armory Show distinctive from other contemporary rivals, and the answer was to emphasize its American roots. Visually it was powerfully done via placing a huge American flag on the entire end wall of the long rectangular fair’s space. It became a stylish focal point of the room.
BPO Group USA analyses rebranding of the Armory Show

Emphasizing the show’s American roots. Photo by BPO Group USA

BPO Group USA at the Armory Show 2013

A gallery booth look. The Armory Show. Photo by BPO Group USA

BPO Group USA analysis the visual impact at the Armory Show

Clean design of the booth makes a clear presentation. Photo by BPO Group USA

It is too early to analyze the financial outcome of this year’s show as well as the connoisseurs’ reviews. But being a part of the admiring crowd we heard chats and whispers saying that the “refreshed” show impressed the visitors. People noticed the difference (aka “rebranding”) and took it positively. We will be following up the further updates to a brand and promotional strategies of one of the most impactful art shows in the world.

BPO Group USA analyzes the Armory Show merchandising

The Armory Show T-Shirt as a part of rebranding program executed by Liz Magic Laser. Photo Courtesy de.phaldon.com

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Brand Yourself on the Web

www

Image courtesy support.mediacore.com

Today it is hard to imagine any brand without its own website. The internet became the easiest source of information. We are [re]searching everything and everywhere using all possible devices starting with our own smart phones.

Do you have a website? Is your brand professionally represented online?

Before you start doing any action from scratch – by yourself or with a professional assistance – think twice of your URL selection and promotion. At BPO Group USA we are happy to consult you at any phase of your branding, business promotion, and your website design. We want to share the following tips with you - before you start your marketing campaign.

DOs

  • Use your brand name as your domain name: in other words, use YourBrandName.com whenever possible
  • Use dot.com whenever possible, or at least dot.net; if YourBrandName dot com or YourBrandName dot net have been already taken it make sense to think of a different brand name – you cannot confuse your consumers with a lot of names everywhere representing your business
  • If your brand name consists of several words, capitalize each letter of each word to help each word stand out and make your brand name easy to read: for example, BPOGroupUSA.com => BPO Group USA dot com
  • When running an integrated media campaign use the URL with your selling line, or slogan: YourSlogan.com

Easy DON’Ts:

  • Avoid hyphens and slashes
  • Do not use words with apostrophes
  • Do not create domain names which are your product or category names, they should be used as supplements.

For more tips and tricks please contact BPO Group USA:
info@BPOGroupUSA.com

 

 

 

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