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Oakland Digital Uses Social Media for the Good of Local Small Businesses
Oakland Digital offers a new program that educates, inspires and empowers small business owners in Oakland, 6/01/2012 - Oakland, CA – Friday, June 1, 2012 – Where social media has become an essential part of big corporations’ marketing plan, Oakland Digital Arts and Literacy Center (Oakland Digital) works to create a better-informed, self-reliant community that harnesses digital media and technology for economic success and professional vitality. Oakland Digital’s facility located on the edge of Chinatown (at 12th and Harrison) is dedicated to transforming downtown Oakland and underserved communities into an area that flourishes through technology, innovation and collaboration among its diverse community members. The volunteer driven, non-profit plans to narrow the digital divide with the start of a newly funded pilot program, 2012 Digital Equity.

Since 2009, Oakland Digital has empowered the lives of nearly 900 underserved Oakland, CA, and East Bay citizens. The non-profit organization has attracted community leaders and funders to support its core programs (Inspire and Digital Equity), including City of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Y&H Soda Foundation, Western Digital, The Lowell Berry Foundation, and U.S. Bank.

Board Vice President and Treasurer Linda Poeng, says, “A company that’s not dedicating some time to social media is missing an opportunity to get better acquainted with their existing customers and their circle of friends, family and acquaintances. An effective online marketing strategy is essential in today’s digital economy. Done properly, it can generate new fans, followers and recommendations.”

Oakland Digital’s 2012 Digital Equity Program is ideally designed for the older entrepreneur or business owner that is unfamiliar with social media, but understands its value, and is willing to commit to learning how to strategically apply digital technology to grow and expand his/her business.

Executive Director Shaun Tai is just one of several digital marketing instructors who “eats, drinks and praises” new and social media on a daily basis that will be available during this program. There will be other instructors present, as well, that shares the same enthusiasm of Oakland Digital, and is dedicated to empowering and enriching low-income communities in Oakland through technology. Local, social responsible companies get it too, and have contributed employees to serve as volunteers to help drive Oakland Digital’s vision and mission home.

Currently, the organization is seeking six (6) Oakland based, brick-and-mortar businesses with at least 1-5 employees, in operation for a minimum of 5+ years and willing to participate in a three (3) month committment to participate in Digital Equity 2012. The chosen businesses will begin receiving one-on-one online marketing and Internet education to local small business owners in Oakland beginning in August. This free of charge, comprehensive program will cover topics including social media marketing and how to effectively manage your online business presence.

If you would like to participate in 2012 Digital Equity please apply at no later than July 20th, 2012. For more information email or call 510-435-2945.

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