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How to Determine Which Social Network Is Right For Your Business

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Often times startups hop on every major social network to look “present,” but fail to keep up with all of their accounts. Sometimes being present online, but failing to be consistent on your profiles is worse than not having a social account at all. Imagine a customer browsing your website, and they decide to hit the “Facebook” icon to like your page so that they can stay updated on your sales. As they are linked to your company’s page- they see posts from 2014. They will start questioning how legit your business is or if your business is still active. You could seriously lose a potential customer! Keeping up to date with a company page is a lot of work, and you can’t afford to be on every single social media platform. You need to understand which network (or networks) fits the best for your business, and focus on that.  

Let’s start with Facebook. Facebook has over 1 billion monthly users worldwide- and 73% of the US adult population, which means that you can basically reach consumers in every industry. It is a great place to start to test your social media campaigns. Facebook is best for building brand awareness, staying familiar with your current customers, and grabbing the attention of potential customers. To have a Facebook profile, you need to stay committed to posting at least once a day, with high quality content (pictures and videos do a lot better than plain text). Although Facebook does work for B2B businesses, it is where the B2C business truly shines. But, regardless of the industry or the size of your demographics, you will most likely be able to bring exposure to your company and establish a true community around your brand. Facebook is the only social media platform you should be on no matter what field you are in.

The second most talked about social media network is Twitter. Twitter has 230 million monthly users- and on this platform the users have a higher tendency to follow brands than any other network. Twitter is most popular with young adults ages 18 -29, living in very popular urban areas. Twitter is best for building brand awareness, release breaking news, building relationships with customers and influencers and for handling public complaints (users tend to vent on Twitter). The types of businesses that do best on Twitter are: musicians/influencers, publications, news organizations, marketing companies, and sports related businesses. To have a Twitter profile, you must post a few times a day, and you should be interacting with your industry’s community.

Instagram is becoming one of the fastest growing networks, and brands are getting so creative with their marketing strategies! Instagram has over 500 million monthly users- most are female, younger than 35, living in urban areas. According to Forrester Research- Instagram users were 58 times more likely to engage with brands compared to Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is best building brand awareness, interacting with customers and influencers, staying familiar with existing customers, and grabbing the attention of potential customers. Instagram is usually best for B2C companies, but users are slowly moving from Facebook and Twitter into Instagram so that may change soon for the B2B world. The types of businesses that do best on Instagram are: fashion brands, retailers, Etsy shops, bloggers, home décor brands, active/sports/fitness related. On Instagram, visual storytelling is an art form, so brands need to be willing to post consistent high quality content and able to engage with followers regularly.  

Another fast growing network is Pinterest. It use to be just for moms looking for recipes, brides looking for wedding décor, and new parents looking for baby advice, but it has evolved into much more. Pinterest has over 110 million monthly users. 73% of users are females between the ages of 18-50. Pinterest is best for driving referral traffic back to your blog, video, or store. Pinterest is best for B2C businesses whose niche is: cooking, arts and crafts, clothing/fashion, baby items, home décor/design, event décor, or gift items. This is a goldmine for creative industries as you can communicate directly to the customer. Since users are constantly “repining,” you may receive free marketing from fans that repin your image to their followers. To have a business Pinterest profile, you must be ready to update it every time you post a blog, throw an event, or have a new item in stock. People want easy, digestible content like infographics, quotes, blog title graphics, close ups of décor, outfit ideas, etc. Make sure to title your picture appropriately, write a relevant description that has relevant keywords, and link it back to your website.

LinkedIn is the only social network that is specifically for B2B companies. It was designed for educated professionals looking to advance their careers and stay well connected within their industries. LinkedIn has over 106 million monthly users, both male and female ranging in ages 25-64. Most users have a bachelor’s degree or higher. LinkedIn is best if business development is a core focus. It is a great tool to build brand awareness, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers on your products and services. To have a LinkedIn company page, you must be ready to update it a few times a week sharing company updates, content that relates to your industry, and interact with industry related groups. Unlike most social media networks, LinkedIn is the place where everything you communicate should be professional.

To determine which social network(s) is right for your business, finish this sentence: “My target audience is on _________.” The next step is getting started on the one or two best options. Once you get the hang of it and create a community of followers, you can move on to adding another social media platform to your list. Whatever you choose, just be sure to be consistent in posting high quality content. You NEED to be active on social media if you want to have a successful business.  The beauty of social media is that it is FREE marketing. It may take a few months of dedication of working on your profile, gaining followers and building your engagement. But if you apply the right tactics, overtime you will see an increase in awareness of your brand and interest in your product or services.

Business

How Office Design Enhances Productivity

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Did you know that how your workplace design can impact the productivity of your employees? Aside from this, office design also affects employee safety and health. A study by international architectural firm Gensler in the US states that even small workplace designs such as lighting and spatial layout affects employee productivity. So how does environment impact the health, safety and productivity of employees?

Sitting Down

Our work has a big impact on your health. Most of the time employees spend a lot of time on their desks, so they are becoming sedentary. As we all know, sitting down for long periods of time has adverse affects on our health. It makes us gain weight, which in turn can lead to more problems like heart disease and obesity. Getting sick could lead to more days away from work or hospital stays, which could inhibit productivity of the employee.

Designing office spaces that encourages movement or walking can help curb these problems for employees and employers alike. There are workstations that are designed to be used in either sitting or standing position. An open space design also encourages employees to walk from one section of the office to another. Sometimes something as basic as an ergonomically correct chair can help prevent ailments like back aches.

Lighting

Good lighting can help people see details clearly and increased visibility can help increase productivity. But, this does not mean to say that you can skimp on lighting in the office because a 1983 study shows that poor lighting is connected to low production levels and social satisfaction among employees. Many offices are composed of cubicles to give employees privacy to do their work. However, the cubicle arrangement also blocks natural light, which means that some employees are not exposed to natural lighting during an entire work cycle.

Humans are wired to seek natural lighting. In fact, all office workers in Europe must have exposure to natural light. Employees who had the best views were the most productive and were most likely to describe themselves as healthy.

Noise

Acoustics is another key contributing factor to productivity. To achieve acoustic comfort, the office must have appropriate acoustic support that is conducive to interaction, confidentiality and concentrative work. If it is too noisy, workers will not be able to communicate with each other let alone concentrate.

Other Factors

Aside from these factors, employers should also provide workers with suitable ventilation, access to greenery and the gym to help encourage healthy lifestyle. Even something as basic as giving them access to increase or reduce temperature in the office can impact their productivity. Employers should also encourage employees to personalize their workstations so that employees are happier. Work space design should allow employees to socialize with each other easily while at the same time giving them access to views and privacy, so that they can work properly and productively.

Good lighting, comfortable furniture, pleasant color schemes, and access to views or natural lighting can help generate positive energy in the office and employee mood. 79% of UK based employees report that a good working environment is important to their sense of job satisfaction.

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Things To Think About Before Quitting Your Day Job

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If you’re thinking about quitting your day job to go full time as a businessman or freelancer, there are many things you need to consider first. First of all, your job is like a security blanket. Letting go of it might sound adventurous at first, but it also comes with certain risks. Before you result to flipping a coin or removing the petals of a flower, here are some things you need to think about before taking the plunge.

Flexibility

Going into business or freelancing will give you flexibility for better life-work balance. Going to business for yourself will allow you to adjust your schedule so that you don’t feel like you’re chained to your desk the whole day. This is very beneficial, because you can work out your own schedule to fit your lifestyle. If you have children for example, you can be home when they are sick or when they’re home from school. Going into business or freelancing is also a good option for people who like to travel.

Benefits

One of the many reasons why people stick to their day job is the health benefits. This is a big factor to consider should you decide to quit. Health, dental, and retirement benefits can be expensive to put up on your own. Before deciding to stop working, make sure that you can afford to pay for these on your freelancing or business income. Work up a number before you decide to see how many clients you need to sustain paying for insurance on your own. Knowing how much you need will also result in a smoother transition when you leave your job.

Nest Egg

It is also easier to leave your day job if you have your finances in order. If you’re not sure if you can afford it, try to figure out how much you need as an emergency fund to serve as a buffer. This isn’t strictly for emergencies like getting sick. This will serve as funding for daily expenses until your business becomes profitable. One of the best ways to figure this out is to write several business plans to flesh out your ideas. Not only will this allow you to strategize if plan A does not work, it also gives you an idea what you will do using different scenarios.

Your Job Is Failing You

Do you feel yourself stretched too thin or unfulfilled? This might be because your job is failing you and quitting might be the answer. A business or going freelance, on the other hand, will give you time to think about or try new ideas. It will be like breaking out of the 9-5 routine and going on an adventure on uncharted waters. If you feel trapped, quitting and starting a business might just be a good option for you.

Self-Starter

You also need to ask yourself if you’re a self-starter. When you’re in charge of your own schedule, it might be tempting to get up later or to procrastinate starting something. When you don’t have a boss looking down your shoulder, you need to be a self-starter and self-motivator to get yourself going.

Deciding to quit your job to start a business or to go freelance full time is a big decision. Considering the above factors will help you decide if striking it out on your own is a good fit for you. It is also best to remember that you can find another job if it does not work out for you.

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Make The Most Out Of Meetings

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Companies invest lots of time and energy to conduct business meetings. It can be frustrating if the meetings fail to bring the desired result. Meetings can be painfully boring and you may try to avoid it, but with proper steps, you can come out with a winning smile from the conference room.

Be prepared

You are invited to a meeting with a definite purpose. Be prepared to be an active participant in the discussions. Try to know the topic of discussion. Keep your notes ready. Plan how you want to execute your points. The more you do your homework, the more confident you feel about the proposed meeting.

Develop a plan and write a summary

Once you know what you want to accomplish in the meeting, you need to develop a plan to execute it. Write all the major points you want to communicate in the meeting on a paper. Avoid complex language. If you use lucid language, everyone can follow and understand you. If a written summary is ready in your hands, you feel more confident before entering the venue. Be prepared for the questions. Try to answer the questions patiently.

Network

Try to build a network for yourself when you participate in meetings. Arrive early and have some time to get to know the people. Mingle with all the participants of the meeting with some casual conversations. Building a good working relationship with the people outside your team can help you progress in your career.

Smart use of time

It is very important to finish your presentation within the time limit. Do not stretch the duration of the meeting with an unending series of questions and answers. People may not encouragingly listen to you if you extend it too long. Participants should not feel that their time is wasted.

Participate and encourage participation

Most people do not find meetings engaging enough. They either play with their phones or whisper within themselves. You can impress everyone with your listening skills. Do not distract yourself from the discussions. Ask appropriate questions after each of the presentations at the meeting. When you present, try to maintain eye contact with the participants. Appreciate when they ask you good questions. You can add some variety in the stiff environment of the meeting by arranging some creative games in-between.

Learn from the past

If you have been to business meetings before, you already have a clue how to go on with your idea. Learn from the mistakes you made before. If this the first time you are participating in a meeting, get some information from your team or review the past presentations made by your seniors.

Time to shine

When you are invited to an important meeting, make the most of it. Do not be apprehensive. Take it as a chance to show your potential as an employee. Your seniors will appreciate your efforts when you prepare yourself hard for the event. When you participate actively in the discussions and ask intelligent questions, you get a chance to impress your colleagues.

 

Meetings are a part of the modern corporate world. You cannot afford to miss all the meetings. If you can prepare yourself well for the meeting, you feel more positive and confident.

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