4 Social Media Trends for 2017

One of my favorite end of year trends is the Google Year. In my opinion, this is a great way to summarize the year in technology, social media, and the public. You can check out the 2016 video here.

Now that you’ve looked at the year in review, let’s discuss social media trends for 2017!

trends in social media 2017

Virtual Reality

2016 has been the year of VR. Many major companies are releasing VR devices, including Sony, for use with their Playstation game console and Samsung for use with their Galaxy phones. Although these were released with gaming in mind, the rise of social VR is coming. It is beginning with 360-degree photos on social media platforms and will only keep getting more involved. Be prepared to feel like you are at all of the hottest events in 2017!

Live Video

Live Video is catching on with companies much faster than individuals. Recently, I’ve seen quite a few television commercials demonstrating how to go live on Facebook. This doesn’t seem to be going away in 2017. Live videos are a great way to interface with customers and have customers connect with each other in real time.

Social Fundraising

Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, and Crowdrise have gotten a lot of attention in 2016. Social fundraising has become a great way to get ideas funded by individuals who can get behind those ideas. Individuals, start-ups, and nonprofits have all found great success in social fundraising campaigns. Look for this trend to keep getting more popular in 2017!

Filters and Photos

In 2016, we saw a lot of pictures of our friends with dog faces, reindeer, funny voices, explosions, and glitter thanks to Snapchat’s filter feature. 2017 will bring filters to Facebook and Instagram due to the public interest in expiring media. Look for Snapchat to be the trendiest social media platform of 2017.


As we look forward to what will happen in 2017 one thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. What are you most looking forward to happening?

4 Tried And True Sources For Developing A New Customer Base

A business that’s stagnant and lacking growth is a business that is on the road to extinction. Like a shark, a business must keep making progress, keep moving, or else perish. That’s why, if you are in charge of a business, you need to come up with new ways to expand that customer base.

Here are four good, reliable methods for developing new business. When you’re done with them, check out even more resources in “Help! I Need To Develop New Business- Now What?”

There's many exciting ways of getting new customers, including social media

There are many exciting ways of getting a new customer base, including social media (Photo Credit: ganderssen1)

Word Of Mouth

Nothing engenders trust and confidence than a recommendation from a known, reliable source. It’s one thing for you to tell a prospective customer that you provide the best services in your field; it’s another for a happy customer base to sing your praises for you. The latter is far more believable. Not convinced? Check out the popularity of sites like AngiesList.com.

Bear in mind, word of mouth also covers B2B referrals, which you can get from within the companies that you service. In fact, a referral from the department of a given company could open another sales door in a different department within the same organization.

Co-Marketing And Cross Promotions

Say for instance you have your own website-hosting business, but you want to expand your clientele. Furthermore, let’s say you know of a website-design business that’s looking for more work as well. Your companies are not in direct competition, but rather provide services that complement each other.

This kind of symbiotic relationship can benefit both companies and increase their respective exposure. Not to mention that it’s always good to expand your network of business connections as a general rule!

Get Out There!

In order to get a bigger customer base, you need to initiate contact with more people, and what’s more effective than being right there in front of them, speaking, showing the prospective customers a real flesh and blood human being who knows what they’re talking about? Consider being a speaker at a convention, trade show, or other related industry event. The personal touch gives people a face to attach to a name, opens up the possibility of a productive relationship with potential customers, and most importantly, shows people that you know your stuff. A business’ representative who demonstrates competence and knowledge creates trust and confidence in an otherwise reluctant customer.

Social Media

This one’s inevitable. It seems you can’t hope to do anything today, or stand out in any way, unless you turn to social media. So, if you can’t beat them, join them! For instance, consider using Twitter in order to promote your company’s services, products, events, and sales. Just make sure to incorporate hashtags so that customers can easily find your topic.

Furthermore, you can track buying signals on Twitter, looking for users by entering search terms that mesh with your company’s products and services. Harkening back to our previous example, you can enter the term “web hosting” in a search, or look for #webhosting.

There are more ways out there to choose from; this is just scratching the surface. Check out more ideas on business development in “Develop Your Business Using Customer Development”, for example. But whatever methods you decide on, you need to make sure that your business is not only perpetually growing, but is staying ahead of the pack. Good luck!

Byline: John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He’s learned that self-promotion is the key to success, though he’s still resistant to Twitter.



Just another Friday at ABG

We were unable to get our Just another Friday at ABG Capital post out last week, but today we have some great updates for you. I first want to report on our office build-out that is moving along nicely. Our “fish bowl” like conference room is almost complete and has already been in use. Our Communications Specialist, Natalie DeCario, was signed up for a 3-day Social Media Boot Camp sponsored by ASPE-ROI. Since they were unable to host the course at their facility, due to a low enrollment, we held it in the new conference room so it wouldn’t get canceled. Our visitors enjoyed the new space!

Speaking of social media, we want to give a shout out to Natalie on her first podcast. It revolved around “Social Media Tips and Faux Pas.” She was interviewed by Suzanne Bowen who is blogger for TMCNet on their Monetizing IP Communications channel.

100 Fastest Growing Companies

From left to right: Barry Yancosek, Tim Linn, Randy Stegner, Jason Tapolci, Jeff Tapolci

We have to give a huge congratulations to our portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, for their recent achievements. They were named 13th overall in the Pittsburgh Business Times 100 Fastest Growing Companies. In their technology category, they ranked number 1! What a great accomplishment everyone, it’s well deserved! Follow these links to see photos from the event along with a video of Jason Tapolci, President of VoIP Innovations, who talks about the company’s success.

Not only did they receive that accolade, but they were also notified last week that they ranked 1207 in the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Company list. This is the second year in a row that VoIP Innovations has ranked in both of these lists. Again, we congratulate everyone at VoIP Innovations for their hard work!

Paul Frye - Employee of the Month

Paul Frye – Employee of the Month

Lastly, we want to give you some updates from our month end company meeting that was held today. Paul Frye was nominated as the ABG Capital Employees of the Month for July. We also want to recognize Dustin Campbell and Jake Crisman who were our Honorable mentions for July. Keep up the great work, you guys rock!

As we wrap up this week’s Just another Friday post, we want to tell everyone to have a fantastic weekend celebrating Labor Day!

Just another Friday at ABG

How was your week? We’re excited to be ending another great one here at ABG Capital! The biggest thing that we had going on this week was our Month End Meeting. All the employees gathered around and got to hear the latest ABG Capital news.

We recognized our Employee of the Month, Terri Sams, who works for Inspira. She was nominated by Nate Rupp and Ryan Rice for her exceptional work. We recognized two VoIP Innovations employees, Justin Cornish and Randy Stegner, as honorable mentions for all the hard work they’ve been putting in. We also have to mention Eric Butler and Dustin Campbell, from VoIP Innovations, because they received some pretty awesome feedback from a customer. Caricatures of them are now hanging on our ‘Atta Boy board.


Eric (left) and Dustin (right)

At this meeting, Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital, announced that profit sharing has officially been approved by the Board of Directors! This is great news for all of the ABG Capital employees because they’ll be able to get some extra cash in their pockets at the end of the year. Profit sharing was something that’s been on everyone’s minds for a long time now and we’re excited to see that it’s actually happening!

Now that we got all that good news out of the way, it’s time to get down to business! We’ve recently entered the Social Madness competition organized by The Business Journals. It’s a competition that measures the amount of social engagement you have with your fans and followers, not the growth of your network. The local competition kicks off this Monday, June 3, and the winners will be announced on July 9. From that point, the winners from each size category will move on to the national competition, which starts on July 16, and then the entire competition ends on August 20.

This is a competition that involves everyone and we need YOUR help to make sure we move on to the national round and win for our category. As a winner, we would receive a national editorial write up and have $10,000 donated to a charity of our choice. This competition is not about seeing how many likes we can get in the time frame; it’s about your engagement with our sites. That means liking, commenting and sharing the things we post. Show us some love people! The competition will focus on our FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+ pages. Even though the competition only covers these four sites, we’re also on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Vine (search for ABG Capital).

I planned on the Social Madness explanation being the last part of this ‘Just another Friday’ post, but I couldn’t resist sharing this picture with you. Our air conditioning unit is right above Ian Hambleton’s desk. He comes in later in the day and it wasn’t too long after he got here that he realized there was a problem… Water was leaking right onto his desk! He grabbed some bowls and is STILL waiting for the dripping to stop so he can get to work. Good luck Ian!