How social media shaped my startup

Brian Solis, a public relations executive, aut...

Image via Wikipedia

Entrepreneurs like myself are faced with many challenges today. This is my story of how I’ve learned to address our marketing barrier – or, as I call it, the Brian Solis barrier.

We are two young, highly motivated, internet junkies entrepreneurs and we are both first time founders. Another important thing is that we are both tech geeks and software engineers. This last one is extremely important because it explains why our first instinct (after we had a kick ass idea) was to start writing code.  Luckily for us I stumbled upon Brian’s blog as we started coding day and night.My name is Tomer Tagrin and I’m a first time founder of a new Internet startup name Yotpo. In three words, our startup is a distributer of User Reviews ; I know it’s a bit vague, but with a quick search you could understand exactly what it’s about.

As I spent hours reading almost every blog post and posts from other top A blogs (David Cancel, OnStartups and much more) I realized something – something which truly changed how our startup is run, developed and spends money. I came to an understanding that what we’re doing isn’t rocket science, and we aren’t building a new technology for voice recognition. Don’t get me wrong, our algorithms and system are really complex, but it’s nothing that other motivated entrepreneurs throughout the world couldn’t do.

So, we have a technology barrier that in my opinion in the Internet of 2011 it’s just not enough. I remember talking with my co-founder, Omri, and we thought, “Boy, if Brian Solis was part of our team it would be the best thing Yotpo can achieve.” I know you think it sounds corny and a bit shallow but think of it as the Brian Solis barrier, and what exactly is the Solis barrier?

This is why I shared this content with you. And, this is what I hope you will do as a result of reading it. Comment below or ‘connect’ above to discuss how this applies to you and your organization…

365 ways to build your personal brand


There are few people I know that have leveraged the internet more effectively to build their personal brands than ‘Green Bay Greg’ Dallaire. The video is one that he shot for a client of mine, Tailwind Flight Center, and it demonstrates the quality of the work he’s doing at ‘365 Things to do in Green Bay’ along with Tony Rouse from MindSeed Labs. If you want to know how to use the internet and social media to build your brand you don’t need to look much farther than Greg Dallaire…

2011 Trends Driving Rural Small Business

Go to the source to read the article:

Two of my favorite points? “Small town people are carrying smartphones, playing location based games, and using Facebook even while out of the house. Visitors and travelers are using Google Local to find businesses in even the smallest of towns. Travelers and locals review small town businesses on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. All of this is happening now. Smart small town businesses are taking advantage of this, and 2011 should see more businesses in small towns offering coupons and deals through the established players like Google and Facebook. Mobile-friendly information and QR Codes will pop up, even in remote locations.” and “The wave of global outsourcing may have crested, and small town business can benefit by capturing more of these jobs through ruralsourcing. Rural service firms claim a number of advantages over global firms: shorter supply chains, better data security, intellectual property protection, cultural compatibility, and convenient time zones. Costs are lower than traditional urban firms, reflecting the lower rural cost of living. Those small town companies capable of partnering with large corporate clients stand to gain new business throughout 2011.” Smart rural economic development corporations, government leaders and business owners will pay heed…

Social Media Revolution and its Affect on Small Businesses

Social Media Landscape

Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

Social media is not a trend and its use is growing exponentially. The tools will evolve and may in fact change, but the need for businesses to incorporate the Internet in general, and social media specifically, into their overall marketing strategy in order to achieve their goals is not going away. Social media will continue to change the way businesses market their brand, products and services because a savvy business is able to be proactive with its consumers, listening to what they want and need and responding to those needs quickly.

Small business owners should be excited about the opportunities available using the Internet and social media to grow your brand and become more visible to your target market. Social media will enable you to reach more people interested in your products and services faster and more effectively without the huge marketing budget that traditional media requires. Social media gives you the chance to reach out, talk with your customers, give them a reason to talk about you and happily share their recommendation with their friends or better, your community. As pointed out in the video, consumers will “no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media“.

The good news is that according to a study by AMI-Partners, nearly 70 percent of the small businesses in the United States use social media. The bad news is that only 30 percent of small businesses perceive social media as strategically important to their continued business success because they are unsure how to best utilize the sites’ services to grow their business.