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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Best Practices LinkedIn

Being a presence on social media is pretty much a given for businesses in todays fast-paced digital economy. But what social media platforms and how do you make the most of the social media that you do use?  Well, if you are a professional who wants to connect with other professionals, you will want to get your company, brand and personal page up and running on LinkedIn as soon as possible.

According to Moz Online,  LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. It connects colleagues with each other and businesses with current and potential employees, all while enabling community development and content sharing. LinkedIn’s potential lies in its power to build authority, establish thought leadership, and cultivate a robust network. Join us for a peek behind the curtain to see if LinkedIn is a match for your business. Here are a few suggestions of how to optimize your business on LinkedIn. 

  • Complete your profile, both personal and professional, as fully as you can. Use

    keyword-rich descriptions that are easily searchable.

  • Constantly build your LinkedIn network. The more people you are connected to in LinkedIn, the more likely you’ll be able to find someone you know who is connected to someone with whom you’d like to be introduced.

  • Build your company page. Along with those key words use images that show off your company and the services or products you offer. 

  • Participate in Industry Groups. Find some active, quality groups within your industry and start participating by joining conversations, answering questions, being helpful, sharing interesting third-party articles.

  • Solicit recommendations for your products that can read like testimonials and give your company a positive image.

  • Establish yourself as a leader by publishing articles and content that is seen as useful and interesting for other people in your industry.

  • Make sure to respond to your posts, reviews, and questions. If a user leaves a product review, thank them. If they have a complaint, address it. Answer questions and offer advice and assistance.

  • Engage your employees. Your employees are your best brand ambassadors, so encourage them to add your company to their LinkedIn profiles.

     

Multigenerational Workplace Issues

Baby Boomers and Gen Xers and Millennials. . . OH MY!  Companies today often have teams with a wide range of ages. Age ranges can be wonderful. When every person entering an office comes in with different life experiences, perspectives and views it can add value to a company.  But let’s face it, there are stark differences in the values, communication styles and work habits of each generation as well. Workplaces can, in theory, have employees ranging from 18-80. That is a huge range. Businesses in all fields are quickly becoming aware of issues that have become pronounced due to these age ranges. Let’s take a look at the potential issues and some solutions for bridging this multigenerational workforce gap. 

  • Get to know each person and generation and what their concerns may be. For example, the millennial generation of workers would choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards, according to a NexGen survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Baby Boomers prefer more traditional classroom or paper-based training. They also have retirement and stability on their mind. Generation Xers prefer to learn on the internet and work well independently. They may be concerned with working their way up the corporate ladder.
  • Negative stereotypes for each generation exist, so try to dispel these and show each what they have in common. For example, Forbes Magazine points out that, “Ultimately all employees want the same thing — to be engaged at work and to have a good manager who acts as a coach and helps them achieve their specific career goals.”
  • Embrace different communication styles. According to Business New Daily, “Preferred communication styles have almost become a cliché: Generation Y sends text messages, tweets and instant messages to communicate, while Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers tend to prefer phone calls and emails. Throw in that younger workers tend to use abbreviations, informal language and colloquialisms, and you’ve got a recipe for serious communication breakdowns. Business leaders should set the example of the company line on communication and create an environment where face-to-face communication is valued and embraced. But don’t ever be afraid to embrace the differing communication methods.

Patents Basics

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It has led to inventions and progress in so many fields. Do you have an idea for your business and want to get the idea or innovation patented? The process for filing for a patent can get a bit tedious so, do your homework and understand what issues may lie ahead of you. We also suggest discussing your case with a patent attorney.

According to Entreprenuership.org a patent grants inventors the right to exclude others from making, using, selling (or offering to sell) or importing their inventions throughout the United States for a limited period of time. To obtain a patent, the inventor submits his or her application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (known as the “USPTO”).

There are three main types of patents:

  1. Utility Patents –  Almost any product, process, or ornamental design that is new, useful, and non-obvious is patentable. What we normally think of as a patent is known as a “utility” patent, because it covers the usefulness of a product—the way it operates, what it produces, what it does, etc.

  2. Design Patents- Design patents protect the ornamental design or appearance of an article (i.e., they do not protect aspects of a product that are functional). A few examples of designs that may be protected by design patents include the ornamental aspects of furniture, packaging, shoes, game boards, and fonts.

  3. Plant Patents (used less frequently) are for certain new varieties of plants that have been asexually reproduced, for a term of 17 years.

As a business owner, you will most likely be filing for a utility or design patent. The registration process includes: a clear and concise description of the company’s declaration that it is the original and sole inventor, written drawings (where necessary) of the invention, filing fees; and, one or more of the company’s “claims” of exclusivity. Be sure to be very specific in your documentation as you must prove that you are the first to do something or make something like this. The United States Patent Office has a complete list of patent laws and resources. Please,  follow the link above. 

Tweeting Rules for Business

SinceJack Dorsey founded Twitter in 2006, there have been some pretty basic rules for use. For example, 140 characters was the limit of each tweet until late last year when images no longer counted towards that number. Twitter also introduced the rules of using the @ sign and hashtag symbol(#). But with the creation of Twitter also came some unwritten rules of etiquette. These rules become more important when you are a business leader and are trying to put forth a positive image for your company or brand. Here are a few that you should consider every time you tweet.

  • Behave as you would offline. How you conduct yourself in public before social media has a direct impact on how potential and current customers view your business. Be sure everything you tweet is in alignment with your business beliefs and company policy. 

  • Use your business logo. Your profile image should be your logo if you are specifically tweeting about company news. Branding your logo on social media becomes important when you want viewers to recognize your colors and images.

  • Use signs and symbols properly such as the @ and # characters. Using excessive hashtags will only annoy your followers and muddy your message. Use them as you would a search term.
  • Use authentic and useful content. Mix links to your company website or blog posts with other compelling content — such as photos, your spin on industry news, or inspirational fodder — that puts a human touch on your brand.
  • If you retweet, give credit for that tweet. Do not claim you came up with something clever when you really didn’t. This could backfire on your brand.
  • Follow people who follow you. Building followers of your brand is the ultimate goal, so join in the follow parade!
  • Promote your brand and business but do it in a way that gives the viewers something such as a link to an article, blog, photos or something more than just the hard sell.

With over 307 million monthly active users, Twitter is one of the most influential social platforms that every organization and individual wants to use to their advantage. When used correctly, Twitter can, perhaps, prove to be the best tool for reaching out to your target audience.

Facebook Advertising

More than one billion people are active on Facebook. Let that number sink in a bit. One billion people! When it comes to marketing and advertising, therefore, Facebook is too big to ignore. Managing and leveraging your social media account with Facebook advertising becomes essential. In addition, Facebook Ads can transform your business’s social reach without hurting your budget. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of advertising with Facebook and some tips from Facebook experts. 

  • Use Facebook’s tools to find the right audience easily. You can choose your audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. That means, you can really pinpoint the group you really want to see your Ad.
  • Pay attention to the analytics on Facebook. The Ad Reporting Tools show you how your ads impacted your business in visual, easy-to-read reports.
  • Follow guidelines set out by Facebook that help you choose the right format for your images and guide you through content formation.
  • Include a Call-To-Action. Adding a Call-to-Action to your Facebook Ads might not increase your click-through rate or make your ad more engaging, but it’s likely to improve your overall conversion rate and decrease your cost per conversion.
  • Use social proof such as testimonials to give your brand and company credibility.
  • Test multiple designs. No matter what your level of expertise is, or how long you’ve been advertising on Facebook, always test both your ad’s design and its targeting. Ad Espresso online suggests, “Coming up with at least 4 different Facebook Ad Designs and then test each one. For example, you might test two different images with two different copy texts (2 images x 2 texts = 4 variations).”
  • Ad Espresso also suggests, “Put the right ad in the right place.” Correct placement of your Facebook Ads is critical and, ideally, you want to optimize your design for each placement. For example, you can choose from Desktop Newsfeed, Desktop Right Column, or Mobile Newsfeed.