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FCS student launches social media marketing company

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He goes to bed at 8 nearly every night and his feet hit the floor around 4 a.m. Then, it's perusing the Internet for the latest in news and business. Next, it's a few chapters from books penned by his would-be mentors, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and even Donald Trump's "The Art of the Deal". He squeezes in time to take a few online college courses in marketing and analysis.

It sounds like Hunter Eastland is a major business player, with savvy intellect and a desire to stay one step ahead in this fast-paced, every changing business landscape. However, when Eastland completes his rigorous morning schedule, he heads to school. No, not college, but high school.

Eastland, 17, is a junior at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon. He's just launched a start-up marketing business called Next Social Media Marketing.

"Our digital marketing agency helps small businesses that don't have the resources, time or expertise to get a measurable return on digital marketing," Eastland said.

And yes, let's get it out of the way, his father is a highly successful businessman in construction and real estate. Eastland is very independent and while he could possibly in the future have a career in the family business, he's very interested in the use of social media to further business's marketing and being the conduit to their success. He's wise for his age and grew up in the world of social media, unlike many current business owners who are desperately trying to catch up and grab this marketing ring.

"The use of social media is crucial these days," said Eastland, who happens to also be key in FCS's basketball team. "The successful use of social media can seriously help drive traffic in sales for both large and small businesses."

Eastland's interest in creating a social media business started about two years ago.

"I really got inspired by Steve Jobs," Eastland said.

Jobs is known as a pioneer in the microcomputer industry in the 1970's and 1980's. He was an American entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and industrial designer.

Eastland could tell you book and verse that Jobs was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.; CEO and majority shareholder of Pixar; a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar; and founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are widely recognized as pioneers. Jobs passed away on Oct. 5, 2011 from cancer.

"I am really inspired by Steve Jobs," Eastland said. "...the way he looked at things and his innovation. He tried to change the world. I've always loved reading about him. He was an introvert like me, but also had many different levels to his personality."

Eastland has devoured many books about Jobs and his philosophies.

"I love to learn, but I don't necessarily love a school system," he said.

He's does well and brings home A's and B's. As far a college...if he can squeeze it in.

"I have a real sense of self-ownership and self reliance," he said.

He might have been accused of being a "mini control freak" at times, but that's OK with him, it comes with the territory.

A start-up's launch

Territory these days is his new company. He's got a website up and online. His company will help small businesses with their social media, Facebook and email advertising, website redesign, among other services. Eastland knows 87 percent of Americans use the Internet as of 2016, according to his research.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people who use the Internet," Eastland said.

His launch was less than two months ago, but he's put hundreds of hours of research into it. So many people use social media, but 95 percent of our local small businesses don't even have their own account set up, he said. He noted business owners know how important it is to be 'on the grid,' but simply don't have the time to set up and monitor accounts, and if some are honest, are not quite sure where to begin and how it's done.

"We make sure all their social media, across the board, are set up," Eastland said. "We roll out the content and authenticate their brand."

He rushed on to talk about ad campaigns, Facebook and Google accounts, social traffic and more. His is an Internet based company and right now he's the "lone wolf" with the company he hopes will grow leaps and bounds when people realize being in the now, up to date, and relevant in a changing business scape is the way to go these days.

This energetic millennial said a good social media manager makes a company. He independently contracts for work. There are all kinds of special packages and there's talk there might be an offer of a free month of services, and then he'll "go from there" on a per month basis of service.

"It's all about content and getting it out there, it's about driving traffic and encouraging sales and offers," he said. "It's about planning and implementing."

This young entrepreneur said it's all about, "Increasing awareness, increasing customers and increasing revenue."

"Our mission is to help business owners who are falling behind in this new age of commerce," he said. "The world is a radically different place than it was just five to 10 years ago, and its only going to continue to change. Let us keep up with the ever-evolving marketing techniques. Next pushes the limits of creativity, innovation, and technology; but unlike our competitors, we understand that while the times are changing the goal stays the same, acquire more customers and increase revenue."

And, when Eastland finds time, he's going to schedule his senior year at FCS with mammoth goals in his 20's and 30's.

To learn more about Eastland's business, go to his website at nextsocialmediamarketing .com and schedule a call.

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