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Archive for April, 2013

3 Ways NH Businesses Can Think Bigger About Facebook

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Last month, our company released a free special report, The State of NH on Facebook. The report was designed to help professionals get a better understanding of New Hampshire’s Facebook users: The sheer volume of them (two-thirds of eligible residents), the activities and interests that matter to them and their demographics. We also included practical tactics and ideas for how businesses can make use of this information to engage their audiences, boost their brand visibility, and yes, even increase leads and sales.

Since March 22, when the report launched, its findings have been featured on the front page of the Union Leader’s Business section, in New Hampshire Business Review’s News Browser and on itswebsite and on many Patch.com outlets catering to hyperlocal audiences. The report has also been shared dozens of times from our own company’s Facebook Page, and virally to thousands of others on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other people’s social channels.

The upshot?

There is an undeniable recognition by media and professionals alike of Facebook’s role in the now and future success of any business of any size.  The challenge is, most people and companies still haven’t really tapped into the power and possibility of this behemoth social platform.

And there’s a bigger picture, too. Businesses in the Granite State don’t just promote their products and services for New Hampshire customers and clients. They’re marketing to regional, national and international audiences and Facebook is a crucial piece of the marketing matrix.

Here are three other pieces of that matrix, and how Facebook plays a role in each of them:

1.     International focus. This applies to exporters in any industry, businesses with offices abroad, and for travel and tourism businesses here in New Hampshire, to give just three examples. Of Facebook’s 1 billion-plus users, about 85 percent of them are outside the United States. A December 2012 survey of world social networks shows that Facebook is the dominant network in 127 out of 137 countries surveyed!

Whether you’re promoting a product, a service or an experience, you can reach your audience in more cost-effective ways than you ever could before, wherever they are in the world, thanks to Facebook. And international users are also heavy mobile users, which leads neatly into the next point.

2.     Mobile users. More than half of its users access Facebook from a mobile device, and 15 percent of its users access Facebook ONLY from a mobile device. This has huge implications for every business, in New Hampshire and beyond – it’s time to get serious about a mobile strategy, including how your website and email newsletters appear on mobile devices.

Here’s one more remarkable statistic to consider for brick and mortar businesses. The majority of searches made on mobile devices for local products and services are acted upon within one hour of the search. That means mobile users are looking to spend money right now. Are you ready to be found by them on mobile devices?

3.     Integration strategy. There’s so much talk about social media marketing, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Facebook is not the be-all, end-all. It’s impressive, yes, for its reach and influence, as well as for being the world’s largest marketing database. But in Marketing 101 terms, it’s just a channel.

Don’t lose sight of the many channels you manage (i.e., email, PR, website, etc.), by treating Facebook as an island unto itself. Your best bet is to make sure your promotional campaigns actively involve multiple marketing channels, and maintain brand and messaging consistency across them.

There is a world of value to be had by creating a powerful, engaging Facebook presence. There’s also a world of value outside Facebook’s borders. It’s never been more important for you to take the reigns, broaden your horizons, and find the right fit for Facebook in your overall business success strategy.

It’s our passion and purpose to help forward-thinking professionals take advantage of the opportunities presented by Facebook, to connect more meaningfully, effectively, and efficiently with the people who matter. Don’t let fear or overwhelm get in your way. Facebook represents a bigger shift in the business landscape that may ultimately determine if you’re in business five years from now or not.

Whether you use the information in The State of NH on Facebook report; register for our upcoming Facebook Business Accelerator training program; or find your own ways to harness the power of the world’s biggest social network, now is the time to take action.


The future of your own ventures, and New Hampshire’s overall economy, depends on you!


About Epiphanies, Inc.

Hailed as ”visionary” and “two of the most creative thinkers in the industry” by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, and the Division’s social media consulting agency since 2009, Lani and Allen Voivod share powerful social marketing strategies through speaking, events, workshops and their online channels. Their company, Epiphanies, Inc., engages leaders, inspires entrepreneurs and helps redefine what’s possible for bold brands, innovative businesses and mission-driven organizations. Join their Facebook community at http://facebook.com/AhaYourself, and learn more about their Facebook Business Accelerator at http://AhaFB.com.


Live Free and Celebrate New Hampshire’s Tourism Industry

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

A year ago, our friends down the hall at the Division of Travel and Tourism Development unveiled the Live Free and … brand. A piece of our state motto and a fill-in-the-blank with a favorite activity, it has been enthusiastically embraced by the tourism industry, which gathered today for the 37th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

The tourism industry is the second largest here in the Granite State, employing about 60,000 people who tend to the needs of nearly 35 million visitors who come here each year and spend $4 billion.

“As our second largest industry, our travel and tourism industry is integral to the New Hampshire economy and will continue to play an important role as we work to build a more innovative economic future,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Lori Harnois, director of the NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development, left, and Gov. Maggie Hassan

In this day and age of instant communication and everyone being on-the-go, it’s a challenge to reach them, but our tourism folks continue to find ways to do just that. In the past year, they introduced a fall foliage app for mobile phones, taken a bigger aim at the group tour market and are tapping into new market – Japan.

And tying it all together is that evocative Live Free and … that invitation to pause and make a wish or dream about possibilities that can happen here in New Hampshire – hiking, skiing, relaxing, fishing, zip-lining and even starting a business.

The travel and tourism division will launch its summer marketing campaign on May 8, with print, online and television advertising in Boston and New York.

It’s a sunny Monday afternoon … a good time to Live Free and … (fill in the blank).


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development



The Singapore Connection

Thursday, April 18th, 2013



What country has a hot aerospace sector and is eager to do business with America?

That would be Singapore and earlier this week, representatives of nine New Hampshire companies lined up to talk with Haw Cheng Ng, a trade specialist with the US Department of Commerce, about the opportunities available in that country halfway around the world.

“The Singapore aerospace industry is project to grow by 10 percent per year,” he said.

Many of his appointments, which were one-on-one in meetings in Portsmouth and Concord, were with companies that have joined the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium.

The good news?

“The companies I have met with have been good ones and I believe there are great opportunities for them to supply the Singapore aerospace and defense market,” he said.

The New Hampshire Office of International Trade Resource Center offers a number of programs to help Granite State companies, no matter what their business is, to explore and expand into international markets.

Clearly, there is a world of opportunity out there.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development


NH Earns an A+ for Business Friendliness

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey is out for 2013 and who is at the top of the class for its business friendliness?

That’s right.

New Hampshire.

The state scored an A+ and ranked third for its overall friendliness for small businesses. We are one of just four states in the entire country that earned the top rating and we had the highest grade in New England.

Last year, we came in with an ‘A.’

“This is a very respectable report card for New Hampshire,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. “The high marks reflect the state’s commitment to maintaining an environment that encourages businesses and their employees to succeed.”

The 2013 study, the second annual one conducted by the company, draws upon data from over 7,000 small business owners nationwide. Thumbtack.com is an internet marketplace for services.

Last year, New Hampshire ranked 5th in the nation for ease in starting a business; this year, it rose to second place, behind Idaho.

The survey, conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, takes into account things like ease of starting a business (A+); ease of hiring (A+); zoning (A). The lowest score we received was a B for training and networking programs.

New Hampshire members of Thumbtack.com posted notes on doing business in New Hampshire.

It has been very easy doing business in New Hampshire. I feel like it’s up to me whether I succeed.”  Consultant, Sandown

New Hampshire has fewer regulations than Massachusetts, and that makes a big difference for us.”  Builder, Exeter

Got an idea for starting a business here in the Granite State? Start right here.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

Commissioner Rose the New Chief of the Department of Resources and Economic Development

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Commissioner Rose speaks after he is sworn in by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Moments after Jeffrey Rose was sworn in as commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, he said this is a fitting day for a new beginning.

 Not only is it his first day on the job, but it’s opening day for the Boston Red Sox.

“For those who know me well, they know I am a huge fan of baseball,” Commissioner Rose said following his swearing-in ceremony. “The optimism, the hope, the renewal and all that lies before you is what opening day is all about and it is with that enthusiasm that I approach today, with this new job and new role.”

 As commissioner of DRED, Rose will oversee four divisions – Economic Development, Travel and Tourism Development, Forest and Lands and Parks and Recreation.

 “There’s a lot of work to do,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan. “I think Jeff already knows, but he will discover, that the people of New Hampshire are the best resources we have.”

 Rose comes to DRED from BAE Systems in Nashua. He grew up in Merrimack, spends time at the family’s getaway in Campton and brings to his new job a passion for New Hampshire and all the things that make it a wonderful place.

 “I’m truly excited about this opportunity and all that is ahead,” he said. “As someone who has grown up and spent virtually his entire life here, I can’t think of more exciting opportunity and I look forward to doing wonderful things on behalf of the state of New Hampshire.”

Welcome, Commissioner Rose.

Go Sox!

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development