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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Social Media Analytics

So you own a small or medium sized business and you understand the importance of being a presence on social media. In fact, you have created business pages on the top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Maybe you even have joined industry specific platforms like Houzz or Doximity. But how do you know exactly how well your pages are doing? What you really need to do is study the analytics of your pages and see if they are making an impact. Evaluating social media analytic data will tell you whether your pages are performing well or falling flat.

Analytics will help your company focus on what your goals are in regard to being on social media. For example, is your goal to increase “likes” or “tweets”? Is the goal to convert viewers? Is the goal to increase brand awareness?  Analytics can help you fine tune those goals and help you keep track of your performance. In addition analytics will help your company keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs). These can be broken down into: likes and shares your posts receive, replies and comments and (most importantly) clicks your links and content.

If you are a novice to social media analytics you will want to start with some research into what the numbers mean and how to translate those numbers into actions. Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics tools out there. It can report most anything about your website and traffic, including all the necessary social referrals you’re interested in. One feature of Google Analytics is the ability to create custom dashboards of just the metrics that matter to you. In addition to Google, Buffer (a social media management tool) and True Social Metrics (a dashboard of analytics) can help you examine whether your efforts on social media or working or whether you need to go in another direction.

Managing Conflicts at Work

No matter what size your business is there are bound to be conflict between employees. Everyone comes to the table with different experiences, beliefs and expectations. Your job as a business leader is to find a way to cultivate and enjoy those differences without having to manage conflicts constantly between team members. It is pretty much inevitable that conflict will arise in times of stress or change. How you deal with it will determine the extent and impact on your company. Here are a few tips from experts at Forbes, Time, and U.S. News on what to do (and what not to do) in times of conflict.

  • Be Prepared – Honestly, you know it is practically inevitable – so plan ahead. Talk to your Human Resources personnel, who are experts on dealing with many personalities and are usually good under pressure. They may have courses or suggestions for how to handle day-to-day conflicts or larger disagreements. They can also be excellent mediators in the  event of a larger conflict.
  • Stay Calm – Conflict can quickly escalate if all parties are not dealt with in a calm manner. Your leadership skills of listening, problem solving and finding a common ground will be tested. Most of all keep your cool and check yourself before dealing with any crisis, big or small.
  • Document – One of the hallmarks of a great Human Resources department is documenting any conflicts so that they can be handled correctly. Be sure your HR department or specialist keeps a written log of what the conflict was and how it was handled. You may need this documentation later if the conflict comes up again or if a legal situation arises.
  • Do Not Avoid – Some business leaders make the all-too-common-mistake of trying to avoid the conflict and let it solve itself. Experts warn against this because what may seem like it is settled may rear it’s head later and cause even more problems later.
  • Follow Up – Many conflicts can be solved quickly and rather quietly. However, as a business leader, you should make it a priority to check in with concerned parties to make sure all is well or at least getting better. HR should also follow up and conclude documentation on the conflict.

Employee Documentation

As business leaders or human resource managers, documenting employee performance is critical for the health and development of successful companies. Why is it so important to document, document, document?  And how should this be done?  Read on to find out the reasons why businesses should follow good documentation strategies as well as what some of those best practices look like.

It is important to document employee issues for several reasons including: protecting the company, maintaining records for the future managers and for the protection of the employee. Documenting employee issues will protect the company in the future should the employee file a lawsuit claiming discrimination or other legal matter. Documentation will also prevent any new managers from having to start from scratch. Documentation can give insight into issues and conflicts as well as how those issues were resolved. All that documentation also protects and helps the employee as well. In all fairness employees need to be informed when there is an issue so they can make corrective action or add their input about the situation. 

Proper documentation should include the following items:

  • a description of the events or situation
  • a definition of the policy that was violated
  • a review of any previous issues with the employee and how that was resolved
  • designate a mediator or neutral person to discuss the issue with
  • indicate what changes need to be made and a timeline
  • signatures of all people involved
  • comments or input from all parties

The documentation should be a thorough as possible and include differing points of view as well as the final resolution.

Time Management Best Practices

Most of us feel like we could benefit from a few extra hours in every day. There just doesn’t seem like there is enough time to get it all done. This is especially true for business leaders who try to juggle it all. There are, however, solutions to using time more efficiently that will make getting it all done possible. Managing time well is a hallmark of most exceptional professionals. Here are a few tips for making the most of your time.

  • Take Stock – One of the first steps to managing your time wisely is to know how you actually spend you time. Start your quest for better time management by taking stock of your time right now. Keep a log of your day for several days in a row.  This will give you a good idea of what times you are most productive and when you are least productive. This log will give you a good insight as to how long it takes for certain tasks to be done and give you a chance to evaluate whether it can be done more efficiently.
  • Evaluate – Either as a team or with your business leaders evaluate your findings. Are there certain tasks that can be handed off? Do certain tasks need to be reprioritized? How are you going to keep your employees involved in time management and prioritizing tasks? A group discussion will help create a “To-Do” list of sorts that can get everyone on the same page in regard to whet should be done and when.
  • Use A Planning Tool – Many companies use certain apps or software to keep all employees up-to-date on the completion of projects. Online tools can help keep everyone informed about the progress of a project or whether certain jobs have been completed.
  • Get Organized – Now that you have had a chance to look at the inner workings of your business, certain jobs may make more sense to be done by some employees. Reorganized projects by skill and ability rather than by availability. Getting organized may also mean assigning time consuming jobs to outside groups. For example, if your office requires cleaning weekly or constant upkeep of machinery, you may want to consider contracting out for tasks that take you away from your ultimate business goals.
  • Delegate – It is easy to get tied down to doing certain tasks that have become known as your “thing” but you may want to start delegating tasks that others could easily handle.
  • Learn to Say No – As business leaders, we are pulled in so many different directions. It is really okay to say no to engagements and tasks that take you away from your business. Or better yet, assign the event to someone younger in the company who would love to gain experience!
  • Be Healthy – In other words get enough sleep, eat healthy and take care of yourself. The worst thing that can happen to over-taxed workers and leaders is that they get sick and fall into  the trap of “trying to catch up.”

Increasing Sales for Small/Medium Businesses

Small and medium sized businesses that are just starting out or even those who are several years into development usually start looking for was to increase sales and grow the market they currently have. Increasing sales can mean many things such as: increasing foot traffic to an actual brick and mortar shop, increasing online sales for ecommerce businesses , optimize conversions or sell more to existing customers. Here are some tips from the U.S. Small Business Association and other experts in marketing and sales.

  • Nurture Loyal Customers– While finding new customers is always a good idea, listening to the needs of loyal customers and satisfying their requests means not only do they stay happy customers, but they are more likely to spread the word and talk you up to friends, relatives and co-workers. Creating long-lasting relationships with your current customers will pay off in the long run.
  • Revisit your Web Strategy – Businesses have the potential to reach thousands, if not millions, of customers on the web. Think of the number of people who are married to their phone. The numbers are increasing practically daily of the consumers who purchase not only on the web but via mobile devices. Make sure your web strategy has taken the mobile industry into account.
  • Pay Attention to Metrics – You really can’t improve what you haven’t measured. Keep collecting data on sales that come in via the website. For example, what brings visitors to your website? It might be your blog articles, pay-per-click advertisements, or referral program. You could be great at building brand awareness, but you don’t know until you measure your efforts.
  • Step Up your Marketing – Evaluate your current marketing strategy to see if it needs some tweaking. Have you taken advantage of Google ad Words, Facebook Ads, email campaigns, traditional mailers, local search listings, and/or loyalty marketing? Take time as a team to examine what methods are working and what has not been  tried yet. Don’t be afraid to try something new for a few months.