Tag Archive for noah babcock

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

Word of Mouth Is A Two Way Street

Two years ago I needed to have my backyard deck stripped of paint and stained.  I had been looking online and could not find any companies that wanted to do the work I was requesting.  A good friend of mine works for a home and door company in my area, so I asked him if he knew anyone that could do my job.  He gave me the name of a company that he worked with in the past that does decks.  I contacted them, and they were able to recommend a company who could fill my need.  The deck came out great, and I could not be happier.   A few months later I decided to have my front porch replaced.  I ended up using the same deck guy, and was very happy with how the front porch came out initially.  Actually the the front porch came out so nice that both my parents and my in-laws hired him to do work at their houses, thanks to my glowing recommendation.  Two years later, I have a leaking roof and two sets of unhappy parents.  Turns out he took a few short cuts, and while his work looked great initially, it did not last over time.  Now I have to constantly listen to both my parents and my in-laws complain about how the deck guy screwed them.  Lesson learned; word of mouth is a two way street.  In business, and life in general, you are responsible for the recommendations that you give, not just the service that you provide.

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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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