Archive for Web Development

Product Review: Sprout Social

Here at NxtGen, we are always looking for affordable, yet effective, social media solutions that the everyday small business owner can use.  For the past several months, we have been testing out a few different Social Media Management tools.  Today I am going to share my thoughts with you on one of those tools: Sprout Social.

Review: Sprout Social is a social media management tool that allows businesses to efficiently and effectively manage & grow their social presence across multiple channels and turn social connections into loyal customers.  Overall, I really like this tool.  You can easily connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Gowalla accounts and manage them all from one convenient location.  They even recently added the ability to connect your Google Analytics account, which is a really nice feature.  For business owners that don’t have the time to waste checking and updating several different social media sites, and don’t have the budget to pay a high priced consultant or service, this is a great tool.  You can easily update all your social networks in one place, find new customers with their advanced search technology, monitor conversations taking place across the web either about your brand or your industry, and easily organize all your social media connections in one place, complete with history, notes and more, using the address book feature.  They also provide really great analytics that give you detailed information on followers, influence, engagement, clicks and more – all in colorful, intuitive charts & graphs.  You can review the data right from your browser, or you can create branded PDF reports with the click of a button (data can also be downloaded in CSV form).  But even better is the price!  For the average small business owner out there, who only needs to manage one account (one account handles up to 5 identities), the Pro Plan is only $9/month!  And for those businesses who need to manage multiple accounts, or are looking for a little more in depth analysis, their Business Plan is still an affordable $49/month. Both plans come with a 30-day free trial.  See graphics below for more detailed information on what is included in each package. Read more

Education Goes A Long Way

educationLife sure can be funny sometimes. When I was younger in high school, I really disliked school. The only thing that made school even partly tolerable was that I always had basketball to look forward too. School was hard for me, I worked extremely hard in high school, and got pretty good grades. I got good enough grades that I achieved my goal and was lucky enough to attend Michigan State University. At MSU, the classes were better because I got to study something that I enjoyed, plus the campus life erased all the stress of the classes. As graduation day approach I looked forward to not having to go to class anymore. I was ready to use all my years of school in the real world. I was not going to be lectured anymore; I was going to learn by experience. This worked out for me for about six months. All the sudden I was in the world of sales and was competing against salespeople who had been doing this before I was born. So I started to go to the bookstore and buy books on sales and business. I became obsessed with learning. I really started to enjoy reading about successful business people and thei companies. To continue my knowledge I went back to school to acquire my Masters in Business Administration. This is actually where my business was developed, as I went through the classes my idea started to formulate into NxtGen Marketing. Even after receiving my MBA, I still am taking classes, and looking to learn new skills.

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Website Turnoffs

In a Google search for web site design, there are 132,000,000 results returned. Yes that is million. One needs to be very careful, when they are looking to have a website done for them. By a quick look at the results returned, prices range from $99 to thousands of dollars. The options are over whelming. From my experience many people believe that they can put their website up, and within a short time they will have thousands of visits a month. For a small business, I think that it is more important to make sure that you customers are coming to your website, and interacting with your site, they way that you intended for them too.

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Welcome to NxtGen Marketing

Welcome to the first official blog of NxtGen Marketing. I started NxtGen Marketing to help small businesses use the internet to connect with their customers in new ways. I am myself am a small business. I have grown up only knowing small business. I come from a family of small business owners; my great-grandparents, grandparents, and father have all started and ran small businesses in the Metro Detroit area. I began my career as a sales rep traveling around the Midwest, working with small retail stores. I saw their struggle to keep their businesses growing. This was the beginning of NxtGen Marketing. I saw that most of my customers did not have the time to learn how to use the internet effectively. So towards the end of 2007, I quit my job to focus on building NxtGen Marketing.

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