Tour of NEWORK Space

Training events

We took a tour today of the NEWORK Space on the square in downtown Newark.  In case you weren’t aware, this co-working space opened in November 2017 on the north side of the square on the block between Park Place Bistro & the Midland Theatre.  Here’s how they describe the new space:

NEWORK Space is a completely furnished and equipped physical hub of the local entrepreneur and business community. It allows professional freelancers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, commuters, academics and students to work in an affordable, professional environment with other people who may have complimentary skills and experience. It is a three-story, 6,000 square foot renovated office space in a historic building that provides a variety of seating arrangements and rooms for smaller and larger meetings and events.

The building has three floors. There is a large, configurable event space & coffee bar on the first floor, and offices, desks, meeting rooms & informal gathering spaces on the 2nd & 3rd floors.  Overall, the design and decor of the entire space is fresh, trendy and inviting.

There are a number of ways to utilize the space currently:  as a guest ($18/day or $180 for a 12 day punchcard) for a floating seat, or as a monthly member ($200 for a floating seat, $350 for a dedicated desk & $550 for a private office).  At this time, all private offices are occupied and there is a waiting list.

For meetings and events, these spaces can be rented on a per-event basis.  Call for details.



Counting Down to the 2017 Movies in the Park Series in Grand Rapids this Summer!

It’s almost that time of year again!  June 2 is the start of a summer favorite event here in Grand Rapids…the 2017 Movies in the Park. This event is held annually at Ah-Nab-Awan Park downtown. The summer schedule has finally been released!

There are some fantastic flicks coming this year including some classics like The Bodyguard, Mrs. Doubtfire and Jaws. Check out the full schedule below and visit the Downtown GR website for full details and information.

Photo: Facebook

The summer schedule has finally been released.  Some great flicks coming this year including some classics like The Bodyguard, Mrs. Doubtfire and Jaws. Check out the full schedule below and visit the Downtown GR website for full details and information.

Click HERE for Ah-Nab-Awan-Park Info.

June 2nd

ZOOTOPIA (PG) — 7:00 pm

STAR TREK (PG-13) — 9:30 pm

June 16th

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (G) — 7:00 pm

Pan’s Labyrinth (R) — 9:30pm


July 7th

Mrs. Doubtfire (PG-13) — 7:00 pm

Forrest Gump (PG-13) — 9:30 pm


July 21st

The Book of Life (PG)

Jaws (PG)


August 4th

Selena (PG)

The Bodyguard (R)


August 18th

Remember the Titans (PG)

Pitch Perfect (PG-13)


See you at the movies!


Ten of the Coziest Bookstores in the United States

We love small Indie and Independent bookstores. If you’ve seen the film You’ve Got Mail, you will know exactly what we’re talking about!  The cozy atmosphere is welcoming and almost magical for booklovers.   There is something amazing about holding a book (instead of an e-reader).   Whether it’s a newly arrived book, or one that has been on shelves for years, there is just something about the smell of a book and its’ pages.

We recently dove into our directory and searched the coziest bookstores we have listings for.  Here, in no particular order, are ten of our favorite small bookshops across the United States!

Wild Rumpus Books – Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota


Left Bank Books – Located in St. Louis, Missouri


City Lights Bookstore – Located in Sylva, North Carolina


The King’s English Bookshop – Located in Salt Lake City, Utah


Maple Street Book hop – Located in New Orleans, Louisiana


South Congress Books – Located in Austin, Texas


Baldwin’s Book Barn – Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania


The Mysterious Bookshop – New York City, New York


Myopic Bookstore – Chicago, Illinois


Capitol Hill Books – Washington, D.C.


We think we have a pretty good list, but we know there are many more! Do you have one where you live? Make sure to let us know in the comments! We would love to add them to our list!

To check out more of our listings, visit us at

Zappenin’s App Available for iOS

We’re excited to announce that our iOS mobile app for iPhones, iPads, etc. is now live on the App store.


You can use it anytime to quickly find local businesses around you from the convenience of your mobile device.  It takes just a couple of taps to find the best restaurants, hotels, florists, hair salons, plumbers and more… both around you and in any city in the U.S.  As always, the ZapScore of each business is displayed to help you sort through the options.

A couple of comments:

  • We are releasing new features to the app, so be sure to update it regularly.
  • Don’t fret.  Zappenin’s app for Android is coming soon as well!


62% of Consumers Prefer Reviews from People They Know

Recent poll shows consumers prefer a single review from someone they know personally over large numbers of reviews from strangers.

In a February 2017 poll* conducted by Zappenin, the majority of consumers (62%) stated that when seeking a new product or service provider they value a single review from someone they know personally over lots of reviews from people they don’t know.

Here was the poll question:

When choosing a business (e.g., a restaurant, plumber, hair stylist), what type of review do you value most?

A.) A single review from someone I know personally
B.) Lots of reviews from people I don’t know

The results were clear.  The majority of consumers prefer even a single recommendation from someone they know personally over sifting through many reviews from strangers.  In other words, social proof (or “social validation“) from peers, friends and relatives carries a lot of weight in choosing a business and making a buying decision.

Survey Results

Clearly consumers value sites like Yelp & TripAdvisor… and even Google & Facebook… all known for amassing lots of reviews for millions of businesses & destinations.  However, the reality is that many consumers would prefer just one “word-of-mouth” review from someone they know.

The challenge is that word-of-mouth reviews are notoriously difficult to collect and make available exactly when consumers need them.  Consumers must cobble together these highly-valued recommendations from friends & relatives on their own.  Facebook and Google groups have made it easier in some situations, but it still far from mainstream behavior.

Zappenin plans to change this.


* Survey was conducted on both Facebook & Pollshare.  659 total respondents.


Facebook Removes Page Invite Option From Post Likes

Over the last few days, Facebook has removed the ability of Page admins to “invite” Facebook users to like their page, after those people first like a post from that Page.  Instead, admins now have the option to “Add Friend”.

If you are a Facebook advertiser, this is a pretty big deal.  Many Facebook Page admins and marketers write posts and then “boost’ them (pay money to Facebook to display the posts to targeted audiences beyond those who like their page).  When Facebook users like these posts, it doesn’t mean they necessarily like the corresponding Page… so a long term relationship with the user has not yet been struck.  The secondary benefit was that the Page admins could follow up with those users and send an invitation to like the Page.  This is how many marketers justified the cost of boosting a post– that they would also pick up these follow-up Page like as well.

At least for now, that is no longer the case.

In a peculiar move, Facebook has instead replaced the “Invite” option with “Add Friend”.  How many admins of a Page want to invite strangers who like a Page post into their network of friends?  Umm… none?  Exactly.  It is hard to understand what the thought process was in making the change.

There is always the chance that this was simply a bug Facebook accidentally introduced, and it will be fixed in short order.  Meanwhile, Facebook advertisers are forming Facebook groups and expressing their dismay on Twitter (#bringbackinvites) in hopes of reversing this policy.

UPDATE:  Facebook has mysteriously brought back the Invite option.  Crazy.

How To Set Up Social Networks For Your Business

So you want to increase your ZapScore and start taking advantage of the top social networks to promote your business & connect with both new and existing customers.  Here are a set of links and helpful tips for getting your business established on each of the 11 networks Zappenin monitors.

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Pinterest –

Google+ –

LinkedIn –

Snapchat –

YouTube –

Yelp –

Foursquare –

Tumblr –

Remember: after setting up each of these, be sure to add them to the Zappenin listing for your business.   This will very quickly increase your ZapScore and help you gain visibility in front of new customers!

If you haven’t yet claimed your business, get started here.

How To Claim Your Business Listing

One of the best ways to ensure your business receives maximum visibility on Zappenin is by “claiming” your business listing.  By claiming, you can add to & edit the information displayed about your business.  Best of all, it is totally free.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Create an account on Zappenin.  Simply complete and submit this very short form.  Then be sure to check your email for a link to confirm your email address is valid.
  2. Once your account is set up, either claim an existing listing (if your business is already listed on Zappenin) or add a new listing if it is not.

To claim an existing listing:

  • To see if your business is already listed, simply use the search box at the top of the page to see if you can find it.  If you do find it, look for the “claim” link on the page:
  • Upon clicking, complete the simple form to request to claim the listing.  Any information you provide to confirm you are authorized to represent this business is helpful.  (We don’t want people “hijacking” business listings that are not their own.)
  • After we receive and approve your request, your listing will appear in your My Account section where you can add to & edit it.
 To add a new listing:
  • If your business is not listed on Zappenin, then go to the “Add A Business” link located in the top menu bar.
  • There you will be able to categorize, add important information about and submit your business.

Some Tips

When either claiming or adding a listing, here are a few important tips to make sure you listing looks and ranks well for potential customers:

  1. Be sure your business name, address, phone and (if available) website are accurate.  These are the staples of a great listing.
  2. Add a logo or other image.  Your logo not only makes your listing look great for customers, but it is also used to display your listing in the search and browse.  Listings with logos look far more appealing.
  3. Add both a short and long description.  Use these to tell potential customers what products & services you provide and why they should choose you over competitors.  Short descriptions are used in Zappenin’s search, browse and other locations around the website.  The long description is displayed on your business’s listing page.  Both are very important.  Note: pay close attention to spelling and grammar when writing your descriptions.  These types of errors lower your credibility with customers.
  4. Add your social network accounts and pages.  This, above all things, is most critical on Zappenin.  Our algorithms use your social network activity to calculate a ZapScore.  Simply put:  if we don’t know about your Facebook page, Pinterest account, Instagram account, etc., then you will not rank as well when potential customers look for you on Zappenin.  So make sure you tell us!
  5. Lastly, don’t be afraid to start.  Some business owners feel they need to block off an extended period of time to fully complete their listing.  Wrong!  You can edit & update your listing any time you want via your My Account page.  Meanwhile, potential customers are using Zappenin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  So the worst choice is doing nothing at all.  Even if it’s not perfect, you can always change it later.


Facebook Launches New Feature to Connect Consumers with Service Providers

In mid-December, Facebook quietly launched a new feature that helps people find top-rated local service providers in a local search & directory format.  According to the site, it recommends those with “the best Facebook reviews and ratings.”  Clearly, this is a foray by Facebook into the space currently occupied by Yelp, Angie’s List, Google+ and other review-oriented consumer sites.


This will be an interesting test for Facebook.  Facebook Pages are used extensively by businesses large & small to stay connected to existing customers, provide updates & announcements and, in general, keep their brand top-of-mind.  Active & popular businesses can collect thousands of followers (“Page likes”) as well as reviews & ratings.  Where Facebook Pages struggle is in helping businesses find new customers.  All of the Page activity typically does not help a business get in front of consumers who need their product or service, but do not actually know their business.

Facebook certainly has both the raw number of consumers (i.e., nearly everyone) on its platform and the participation of businesses through Facebook Pages to be a formidable player in this space.  The big question is whether they can bend consumer behavior to start at Facebook when looking for a service provider.  Consumers know Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. as places to go to find service providers and read reviews.  Facebook is not currently on that list.  It’s a monumental task to drive that kind of shift in behavior.  When a consumer needs an electrician or a plumber, will they turn to Facebook first instead of, say, searching on Google?

There are similarities to Google Plus, Google’s failed effort to compete with Facebook as a social network.  At the time of its inception, Google had more people regularly using its products & services (search, Gmail, etc.)  But getting those same people to adopt Google Plus as a social network proved to be a monumental challenge.

It’s also interesting which business categories Facebook chose to highlight… or better stated, the ones they omitted.  Restaurants, the bread-and-butter of Yelp, are noticeably absent (though you can search restaurants if you choose).  It seems likely that Facebook that rather than taking on Yelp in their wheelhouse… and possibly paling in comparison, they are nipping around the categoies at the edges while they refine & learn.

All this said, it will be interesting to see whether ratings & reviews are the main driver behind how Facebook surfaces its recommended businesses.  Consumer reviews are certainly one way of helping consumers find the best businesses.  Here at Zappenin, we believe it is the entire scope of businesses’ authentic social activity that when summarized, help consumers best select a business for their product or service need.  Facebook reviews are one important signal, but there are other social signals, and other social networks, to consider as well.

However it turns out for Facebook, it is validating to see that attempts are being made to tap into social activity to help consumers find businesses.  Businesses are being encouraged to leverage social media more & more.  This activity, when done well, should reward businesses with more new customers.  This is certainly our mission here at Zappenin.

Recently Updated Listings – Granville, Newark & Heath, Ohio


Below is a list of businesses that have been recently added or updated on Zappenin from the Granville, Newark & Heath, Ohio area.  If you know these businesses, please visit the listing and leave a review.

If you own a business not on this list, or not in the Zappenin Social Yellow Pages at all, please suggest it here for inclusion.