Monthly Archives: June 2016

Marketing Ideas For Business

If you own a small business, it’s not too late to generate some extra PR for Small Business Saturday, on Nov., 26. This week I tapped the social media universe for creative ways entrepreneurs are using the occasion to capture additional holiday sales. Here’s what they’re doing this year:

    1. Offer a deal. This is one of several ideas from Lori Riviere, of PR Couture: Provide a discount or a gift with purchase that can lure additional eyes to your website or footsteps into your store. Promote your deal on holiday shopping sites. Find out if your local papers and news sites are promoting Small Business Saturday deals, and if they are, prepare a media alert or get your information to the editors post haste. Promote your deal on your social media properties as well. Speaking of which:
    2. Spiff up your Facebook page, now. Alex Schitter, marketing specialist and communications coordinator for In Touch Credit Union, in Plano, Texas, says, “I think the best advice you can give folks participating in Small Business Saturday is to get their Facebook page polished, now.Have the hours displayed prominently and post photos to showcase the business and products offered. Don’t worry about costly video—it’s not a necessity.” This approach is not limited to “last minute” shoppers or “impulse buyers. Savvy shoppers do their homework before shopping and will do the majority of their decision making online, Schitter says. They also share what they’ve found, so make your posts interesting and visually appealing as well. Direct them to the people living nearby, and extend the courtesy of mentioning popular shops, salons, restaurants near your business as well, as it will also help to increase interest in a particular neighborhood. Another idea from Schitter: For all of Small Business Saturday’s growth, this is still an event that’s not widely touted. ShopSmall.com provides resources to help, but at the current late point, Facebook, online advertising, event guides and town websites (if they’re willing to include the shops and services who participate) are probably your best bets for stirring up interest.
    3. Make a photo collage. Doug DeVitre, of St. Louis (author of Screen to Screen Selling) suggests you make a photo collage of the influential people in the community who’ve come into your business. You can post the pictures online or even have the image printed on a cake and send it out to a high-end customer (or put out the word that you’re serving pieces of the cake at your store).

Luxury Shopping Destination

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived in Jackson Square when Rivera was commissioned to paint murals in the San Francisco Stock Exchange Luncheon Club and the California School of Fine Arts. They were divorced at the time, but ensconced in the neighborhood’s romantic charm, they decided to head to City Hall to say “I do” once again.

When you visit Jackson Square, this won’t surprise you. Its narrow, tree-lined streets and three-story brick buildings make up one of the city’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. Some of the city’s only remaining gas lamps line Jackson Place Cafe’s courtyard, and many of the buildings survived the 1906 earthquake and the massive fires that followed it. Notably, a large stash of Hotaling whiskey survived, and Hotaling Alley is the at the center of the neighborhood’s recent retail boom.

Jackson Square is bordered by Broadway, Washington Street on the south, Columbus Avenue on the west and Battery Street on the east. For the past several decades, it has mostly been known as a home design mecca, populated by art galleries, furniture showrooms,  architecture firms and graphic designers.

Until recently, it was not particularly known as a retail destination, unless you were in the market for a very expensive Persian rug or an even more expensive painting. One exception is Eden & Eden, a vintage and contemporary fashion shop that’s been at the corner of Jackson and Columbus for a decade. A few others preceeded the recent flurry of openings: Carrots, a high-end designer boutique founded by descendents of the Grimmway carrot empire shuttered in 2o14; and La Boutique, which turned on retailers to the neighborhood just in time to close its doors in 2015 after six years in business.

A shop called Pia recently opened in La Boutique’s old space. It was the latest of many 2016 openings nearby. Here’s a rundown of all the Jackson Square shops to hit up for a mall-free day of holiday shopping.

Neutrality Advocates To Oversee FCC

In case you’ve been wondering what will happen to net neutrality under the Trump presidency, wonder no more.

On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump appointed Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison, two vocal opponents of net neutrality, to run his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) transition team. Both Eisenach and Jamison will come to the roll as industry insiders: Eisenach is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and has been a paid consultant for Verizon Wireless. He also worked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) transition team under President Reagan and the FCC transition team under George W. Bush. Jamison, meanwhile, runs the Public Utility Resource Center at the University of Florida and is a former lobbyist for Sprint.

Under the Obama administration, the FCC has advanced protections for net neutrality. The FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order ensured that Internet providers can’t discriminate between different types of content. That means that your Internet service can’t make you pay extra to get a “fast lane” to watch Netflix and relegate others to possibly unusable “slow lanes.”

Internet providers have historically opposed net neutrality and streaming services and tech companies have supported it. In 2014, prior to the passage of the Open Internet Order, Google, Facebook, Twitter and more than 100 companies wrote to the FCC to say that limiting net neutrality protections would pose a ”grave threat to the Internet.” Google still maintains a pro-net neutrality site today that explains the company’s stance: “If Internet access providers can block some services and cut special deals that prioritize some companies’ content over others, that would threaten the innovation that makes the Internet awesome.”

Both Jamison and Eisenach’s positions are clear. In 2014, Eisenach called net neutrality “crony capitalism pure and simple.” And in a June 2016 paper, Jamison wrote, “Net neutrality is hindering the very innovations it is supposed to protect, creating undue scrutiny and threatening bans of pro-consumer services.” But what remains to be seen is what, if any, regulations they will erect in its place. Jamison, for example, argued in that same article in June that the U.S. needed a do away with net neutrality but then institute a ”multistakeholder process” to resolve conflict without “creating a muddled market.”