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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Building a Positive Company Culture 

Not all of us can be Google, which prides itself on a unique and happy employee culture. In some ways, Google Headquarters looks more like an adult playground than a corporate office. In fact, there are people employed at Google whose sole purpose is to create a happy and positive employee culture. How about that? 

Ok, so not all of us can afford to have a gym, playroom, or spa retreat inside our office, but we can still do some fairly simple things to maintain a positive company culture. Here is how. 

Create a Safe Space 

Not all offices have extra room to build an adult playground with a ping pong table or video games, but almost every office can carve out a small area where an employee can relax, enjoy their lunch, and chill out away from their desk. Sperling Interactive in Salem carved out an area in a room that was not very functional in order to build a “nest” where employees can relax, hang out, and sometimes just have a different place to get work done. 

 

Show Gratitude 

When something good happens at work, thank the people responsible. This might mean an email, short letter, or maybe even a small gift to show gratitude for the hard work. Make sure you are consistent in doing this or employees may notice that you gave a shout out in one instance and not in another. 

 

Encourage Positive Thinking 

Encourage your team to think in a positive way. This means in your thoughts, actions, and words, you should keep it upbeat and happy. Obviously be genuine, but try to always have a “glass half full” attitude. This outlook can be contagious. 

Don’t Just Talk… Listen 

Everyone likes to be heard, whether it is complaints about the dishes in the break room building up in the sink or a company policy that someone would like changed. Truly listen to your employees and they will feel valued. It does not mean you need to do everything that it asked but, rather, listen and respond. This sense that feedback is welcome can make employees feel valued and want to stay at your company for years. 

 

Encourage Employee Learning 

Whether you can afford to subsidize a masters program or certificate programs or not, you should be encouraging your employees to learn more. If you invest in them, they will invest in you. I can not say enough about this! 

Check out our events calendar for more workshops on nurturing a positive company culture. We all can’t be Google, but we can make out employee culture a happy one. 

 

Facebook for Business Tips 

Trying to reach your target audience through social media? Or maybe you are trying to expand your audience to include other demographics? Facebook for Business is a great place to start, especially since it now has over 2.23 billion monthly active users. 

A business page on Facebook has never been easier to create and maintain. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to do to get going on Facebook and some tips to keep users returning to your page. 

Create a Business Page 

Follow this link to create a business page. To get started, choose a Page category either business or community depending upon your needs. From there, you will be prompted to add a cover photo. We suggest something familiar such as an image of your office, logo, or products. Choose wisely because this icon image will appear every time you post. From there you will want to fill out all of the business information sections including a short description of your business, hours of operation, phone number, website address, and a link to Google Maps so customers can easily find you. 

Once the page has been created, you can customize it for your business with tabs that make sense for your field. For example tabs could include: your posts, your photos, reviews of your business, special offers, community events, important dates, or videos. Get creative! 

Posting to Facebook 

Now the fun begins! You can start posting on your page and start gathering Facebook likes, friends, and followers. Be sure that each time you post you are doing it with content in mind. You should not just post randomly and without purpose. Have a content brainstorming session that will help you come up with the top things you think your customers will want to read. For example, include links to articles in your field, pictures of your office or product, employee spotlights, specials and discounts, insider tips, or maybe infographics that can easily be shared. It’s really up to you whether you want to be informative, funny, creative, or thinking outside the box. 

Create a Social Media Calendar 

In order to not overwhelm your readers with too many posts or multiple posts a day, it is important to create a social media calendar. A simple list of what you will post on specific days will help you stay organized and keep you from over posting the same topic. Remember, Facebook allows you to schedule posts whenever you want, or you could use a social media manager like Hootsuite

Respond to Readers 

Facebook recognizes companies that respond quickly to readers with a “Very responsive to messages” badge below your Page’s cover photo if you have a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes over the last seven days. That means that you are on the page often and maintaining connection with your clients. 

Post at the Best Times for your Audience

According to research published on HubSpot  there is data out there on optimal times to post on Facebook. The best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Other optimal times include 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. On Fridays, Facebook use spikes by 10%. Since people tend to be happier on Fridays, marketing guru Neil Patel suggests posting funny or upbeat content to match your audience’s mood. The worst time to post on Facebook are weekends before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m., according to SurePayroll’s research.

Do you need more information about Facebook for Business? Consider attending our workshop on September 26th. 

 

Getting Free Press 

As a small or medium-sized business, you know the power of getting your name out there whether it is on social media, in the news, or by word-of-mouth. Whatever the method, your business’s name being mentioned or your brand being shown can help boost sales and make your brand awareness skyrocket. 

Unfortunately, many small businesses, and even some medium-sized businesses, don’t have a huge advertising budget when they are new. So, how can those companies get free press to give their marketing a kickstart? Finding free press is the answer! 

Getting free press sounds like a dream come true, and it really is. But you have to work at it for it to work for you. Let’s take a look at a couple of strategies that your business can use to get some free press and get your name out there. 

Make Yourself an Expert 

Contact publication in your local area, as well as publications that are known in your field and offer up your services for quotes or articles that they may want for their journals. Sure, you will have to take the time to connect and write but it can be worth it when your name and your company’s name is the news. 

 

Create Your Own Press Releases 

Write your own press releases whenever there’s a newsworthy occasion in your business. Any new products/services, anniversaries, milestones, or special occasions can be a cause for writing up a news release. Send it to the contact pages of your local papers, news outlets, and journals for your specific field. 

 

Engage with Reporters 

As you get more involved with the community and community events, you will also get to know the news reporters at said events. Make personal connections and tell them about your business. This is especially true if you are planning any community events or taking part in any volunteer work in the local area. 

Be a Guest Blogger 

Many online business sites request guest bloggers to add content to their site. Find the sites in your field and ask to be a guest blogger. If the site gets enough traffic, you could get your name and your brand out there for the cost of writing a blog about what your company is up to. 

Need more ideas on ways to get your name out there? Check out our calendar for marketing ideas that can boost your business. 

 

Social Media – Where to Begin 

Yes, everyone is doing it! Social media is a beast and if you haven’t gotten on board yet, then you may not even know where to begin. What channels should you choose? How often should you post? How can you know if your campaign is successful? Let’s take a closer look at how to get started on a social media campaign. 

Determine Your Goals and How to Measure Them

Before you even login or download an app, start brainstorming with your team about what your goals are. Do you just want to increase brand awareness? Or perhaps you want to drive more traffic to your website? Maybe you want a way to connect with your target audience and supply them with deals and savings? Social media may be your way of generating leads. 

Once you set out your goals, you will be able to determine how those goals will be measured. Google Analytics can help as well as the individual page manager section to each social media platform like: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Those stats can tell you how many people are engaging in your social media posts as well as how many likes, shares, and retweets. 

Know the Pros and Cons of Each Platform

Get to know what the basics are for each type of social media and whether they attract your target audience. For example, Instagram tends to attract millennials and is visually based. Facebook, on the other hand, draws in an older crowd that are looking for content sharing. LinkedIn is more business connection-based. Twitter can be a mix but leaves out the longer content. Before you start setting up your profile or business page, make sure the platform you choose is the right one for your demographics and your service/product. Find out how much advertising costs and what the return is. 

 

Make Your Posts Worthwhile 

Viewers on social media have become quite savvy and are mostly against pages that advertise constantly, or sound like a robot. Be human in your posts and give the readers something worthwhile to read. Make it worthwhile by adding content that your followers will be interested in, or by running promotions/discounts for followers who mention a post. Do something to get your followers to engage with you by retweeting, sharing, or commenting on your posts. 

 

Measure Your Success

At regular intervals measure how your campaign is doing. How many more followers do you have? What is your engagement number like? Should you shift your content or offer more things that encourage followers? Your analytics page can help. 

Need help getting started on your social media campaigns? Check out our calendar of events. We often host workshops on social media and how to boost your business with an online campaign. 

 

Upping Your Communication Skills 

Do you make presentations to clients often or meet face-to-face with consumers? How effective do you feel your presentations are? Even if you have worked in your field for years, and know your service/product well, you may still need to sharpen your communication skills. Here are a few ways to can hone those skills while still sounding natural and genuine. 

Learn the Basics of Nonverbal Communication 

Some studies show that communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. That means that what you are saying is such a small fraction of what your audience is getting from you. They are, however, paying close attention to your body language and vocal variety. That means that the majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues. To garner full attention many body language experts suggest making eye contact as much as possible with your audience, having good posture, not slouching, making your voice larger than normal, not crossing your arms, and moving around the space if you are talking to a large group. 

 

Don’t Go Overboard on Visuals 

Sure, having a visual aid can help you stay on message and focus the audience’s attention. However, do not wholly rely on visual aids, like PowerPoint, to get your message across. There really is nothing worse than having a presenter read from the slides. Not only is that boring but it is degrading to the viewers. Instead integrate storytelling into your presentation. Your audience is more likely to remember the story than the slides. If you really want to hook the group, ask them to be a part of the discussion or to relay their own stories about the topic. Once they have made a personal connection, they will be dialed in to your presentation. 

Master Your Timing 

Understand the attention span and needs of your audience. Not all people who have come to a presentation have an hour to listen to you. Remember that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was 286 words, about two minutes long. Realize that timing is everything. If you can simplify your message, do so. Short and sweet can sometimes help an audience remember what you said. 

Check out our calendar of speakers every month, we often have workshops on improving your communication skills or honing presentations. 

 

Value of Video on Your Site 

How is the traffic on your website doing? Do you have visitors often? What’s your conversion rate? Looking for ways to draw more people to your site and get more traction with SEO? Maybe you should consider adding some video to your site. 

Video is quickly becoming a fantastic inbound marketing tool for websites. Viewers are consuming video content more than ever before and that trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, 90% of consumers access the videos placed online. 

Making your site a top performer means keeping up with this video trend. Less written content and more video seems to be the way this trend is leaning. Although websites should never be lacking content, the video version is catching on. More and more companies are adding video with the intent of sharing their expertise, demonstrating a product or service, and telling a story. 

If you are wondering why you should add video to your site, here are a few reasons to motivate you. 

Videos are the Way Consumers Browse 

Face it, website browsers have an extremely short attention span. When given the option between watching a video about something and reading about it, the viewer will almost always choose the video. Take the stats from YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world. “More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year. According to Nielsen, “YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.”

Video Helps Your SEO 

Using a video on your site means that visitors are on your site longer watching and learning. According to Vital online, one important factor on how well a page ranks in search results is how long a visitor stays on a page, the longer the visit, the more important Google thinks the webpage is.

Video Builds Relationships

As a viewer watches your “How To” or your testimonial online, they become connected to your business. In fact, businesses that use actual employees to do their videos and footage on your warehouses or offices help the public understand who you are as a brand. Those connections can create new customers and solidify the relationship with loyal ones. 

Video Helps Your Company Stand Out from the Competition

The truth is that not many companies have the marketing budget, time or energy to create custom videos for their viewers. Custom video is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition.  

Video Helps Deliver Your Message 

Whether you are making a story video, how-to, or introducing a new product, your video will easily deliver your message with a personality attached. 

Keep an eye out for our workshops on making videos to driving traffic to your site.