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29-Jul-2015

Social media in entrepreneurship


I first joined ENACTUS, a business organization at UNK, when I arrived on campus to get involved and meet new people. After participating in the organization for a year, I realized it is much more than a resume builder. ENACTUS is focused on entrepreneurial projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.


I have joined and developed two projects with ENACTUS thus far in my college career. The first is my experience with the Board of Directors for Brewed Awakening, and the second project is building my own business from scratch.


I’ve had the dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur ever since I was a little kid. The inspiration for my business came to me when our Board of Directors was collaborating on different marketing strategies to use for the student run coffee shop on campus.


We came up with the normal marketing ideas: we tried posters, flyers and social media to help market the coffee shop to students on campus. However, all of these strategies had been tried before and produced little success. I wanted to come up with an innovative way to market products to people in a way that would be impactful. That is when the idea for my company, Divergent Influence, was born.


I noticed that it did not matter what we, the operators of Brewed Awakening, said about the shop. What truly mattered is what the students and faculty of UNK said about the shop. How many times have you seen an ad about how “XYZ company is the best?” It does not matter what the business says about their products, because they are naturally biased. What truly matters is what your customers are saying about your business. People like products best when they hear about them from the people they like and trust.



I took this “word-of-mouth” concept of marketing online and utilized social media. Divergent Influence employs promotional models, or brand ambassadors, that promote products and services through their personal social media accounts. This type of influence marketing expands and diversifies the audience that businesses’ products are exposed to.


To promote Brewed Awakening, our brand ambassadors took a few photos drinking coffee around the shop and posted them on their social media accounts. This not only showed their friends the atmosphere of Brewed Awakening and the products that it had to offer, but it also influenced them to stop by the shop and enjoy a warm cup of coffee.


Divergent Influence connects brand ambassadors to businesses to help promote their products. When people learn about your business through influential friends, word spreads very quickly. Faster than any expensive marketing plan. 


My business has already helped Brewed Awakening and Gary Michael’s obtain a substantial return on investment. As Divergent Influence helps their clients grow, we know we will be growing and expanding operations right alongside them. I look forward to growing as a business professional at UNK as well as helping others succeed as a Board member and as an entrepreneur.




About the Author

Austin Partridge
UNK Class of 2018

Austin is an aspiring student entrepreneur at UNK who, alongside his girlfriend Lily Nguyen, have started their own business, Divergent Influence Marketing.

 
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