Top 11 Reasons to Use Social Media in Business

Over the past few years, to say social media has exploded would be an understatement. Members of social media sites have discovered it's the easiest way to find, learn about, and share information that directly influences their purchasing decisions. It is this reason alone that every business should be on multiple social media sites in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

Below are the top 11 reasons to use social media in business:

  1. Build relationships – personal and professional; connect with all types of people – past and present coworkers, current clients, prospects, vendors, competitors, and marketing professionals to build your network
  2. Share your blog posts; share interesting and useful articles, other blogs, webinars, podcasts, presentations, and poll / survey results with your fan base
  3. Gather valuable information – research similar products / services, competitors, prospects, marketing tips, blog ideas, create your own poll / survey – the amount of information available is endless
  4. Join a social network of like-minded individuals or start a new interest group where you can further brand your product / service, build relationships, and share ideas and information
  5. Stay current with the latest trends – write a blog or join a discussion on a trending topic; become aware of new social media sites that might fit the needs of your business
  6. Land a great new job – using your new connections on various social media sites, you can get the inside scoop on companies that are hiring, as well as resume and interview tips
  7. Discover a new passion in life, become a volunteer, or start a fundraising event
  8. Get found by prospects by using inbound marketing tactics – spread the word about your product / service through social media sites; to form a complete marketing plan, combine this with outbound techniques (interruptive marketing)
  9. Build business reputation and brand – constantly add value to all your posts and become a trustworthy leader in your industry; to quote Bob Burg, "All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust."
  10. Build a marketing department inexpensively – for start-ups, employing inbound marketing tactics is a cheap way to start marketing your product / service; most social media sites are free to join, while others have a minimal monthly or annual fee
  11. Help increase conversion rates – use social media and inbound marketing to steer more organic traffic to your website and convert more leads into sales; the average conversion rate is 2.3%, but varies by industries according to ClickZ, Marketing News & Expert Advice, http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1691779/benchmarking-average-conversion-rate .

I recommend choosing a useful of sites to manage and start getting your feet wet. Not every social media site available will be right for you or your business and it would overwhelming to try them all. For example, consistently maintaining a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages, a YouTube channel, as well as a Twitter account might be a great place to start. Depending on the type of business, a Pinterest, Tumblr, or Flickr account might or may not be worthwhile, but obviously they are great certain brands.

If you need help getting started, there are countless different types of resources. I have used the An Hour a Day book series on Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. They address each entity in a step-by-step fashion that is very user-friendly. I also find Hubspot to be extremely helpful. They are continuously publishing user guides that contain valuable information, tips, and tricks. Lastly, when creating your profile on the various social media sites that best fit your marketing plan, it's a good idea to connect with other marketers to check out what they are doing to boost business.

Do you have a tip or trick to share with newcomers to social media? Share it with us; you are more than welcome to post questions and / or comments here!

Does Body Jewelry Make You Take Extra Risks?

Body jewelry is usually associated with body piercing. There are lots of styles available ranging from cute and sexy to exotic and tribal. The places that can be pierced and the type of jewelry worn are naturally endless. It seems that when a person moves beyond a traditional or conservative earlobe piercing that other people tend to think that this non-traditional self expression is a sign of rebellion. However, is the presence of body jewelry an indication that the person is willing to take extra risks?

That is a question that parents of teens battle with as their kids approach them for permission to get a piercing. They fear that piercing such as a belly piercing, nose piercing or tongue piercing may be an indication that their teen is rebelling against their own parental values.

This is true in some cases; however, many teens simply say that the desire to wear different types of body jewelry is merely a form of personal preference and expression. Not a rebellion against their parents, just a sign that they want to have their own look even if they will keep their parents value system.

What risks youth may encounter in their quest to wear body jewelry is trying to do the piercing by themselves with a needle and a prayer. This is often not the best road to travel. The risks for infection are far greater than the risks of not gaining permission from your parents. Many teens see self piercing as the only alternative when their parents "just do not get it."

Does this mean that parents should open the gates and permit their kids to wear any type of body jewelry that they desire? Will this lead their kids to continue that push into getting permission for other behavior such as under-age drinking, smoking, or drugs? In other words, is body piercing the "gateway drug" for a rebel youth?

Probably not. But that is what many parent fear when their teens ask them about body jewelry. Youth often believe that nothing bad can happen to them. They are young, resilient and can handle anything including the risks of a self-piercing. As a parent you have the ability to less some of the risks that youth will consider. Most experts would agree that by educating yourself about body piercing and by understanding your child's motives and desires for this trend, a solution can be formed that will keep harmony in the house and enhance the relationship with your teen.

Adirondack All Weather Furniture – Choosing the Right Wood Type

Few people are aware of the fact that the idea for quality Adirondack all weather furniture began with a quest to find the perfect chair for relaxing on lazy summer evenings. This is why comfort is one of the very first things anyone thinks of when imagining an Adirondack chair or lounger. Aside from comfort, the other feature that most comes to mind when thinking about Adirondack all weather furniture is durability … why else would they call it all-weather !?

Because the original Adirondack chairs were originally designed for outdoor use at some lake cottage or similar retreat-the furniture had to be durable and was made from woods such as:

1. Cypress

2. Pine

3. Cedar

The use of cypress for construction purposes dates all the way back to ancient Egypt when the wood was a material for the construction of caskets for the first pharaohs. Today, cypress is a very common wood and used to make outdoor furniture like swings and various deck accessories. Cypress is also commonly used to make doors and windows as well because it has a conservative within the wood grain that helps it naturally repel insects and resist rot and decay which is why it is a popular choice when crafting quality-made Adirondack chairs and patio furniture .

Pine is another common wood used to make quality Adirondack all weather chairs and other seasonal outdoor furniture. Because of its abundance and reliably quick growth cycle, pine tends to be cheaper wood and is used extensively in the construction of many outdoor furniture pieces, including tables, benches, swings, chairs, and loungers. Pine tends to have a relatively low oil content and bids to that dry out easily, making it susceptible to cracking. However, when properly maintained, pine can be used to make premium Adirondack all weather furniture.

Cedar is a great wood when thinking about quality Adirondack outdoor furniture. Having a reddish brown color, cedar wood tend to be somewhat knotty and is actually a softwood. Cedar is naturally insect repellant and tend to have a very distinct aroma which can be managed with a sealer. However, quality Adirondack all weather furniture made from cedar is both beautiful and very durable making it an excellent choice when buying patio or deck chairs, tables, or accessories.

Furniture Store Marketing – Generate Tons of Customers by Partnering With Other Furniture Stores

Partnering with other home furnishing stores is a joint venture strategy that most home furnishing store owners have probably never even considered. It is probably because this joint venture strategy will require you to be really confident and comfortable in your own business.

Otherwise it would seem like you are risking losing your customers to another furniture store, but that is not true. The key to this strategy is partnering with other furniture store companies that do not sell the same types of products that you sell. Now, just to be clear about this strategy; you will not be switching lists with other home furnishing stores, you will be creating a in store coupon or referral program to use this strategy.

Partnering with other home furnishing stores allows you to gain access to customers who you certainly know are in the market for home furnishings. For example, if there is a store in your area which sells picture frames, fake plants and other various home supplies, ask them to allow you to have a podium stand or counter display stand filled with coupons as a bonus for shopping at their store.

In return you could have the normal mailing to your customers or also allow them to have a floor display on your showroom floor. There are many ways to manage these types of joint ventures, so be flexible and ask your potential partners about their specific needs and wants.

Examples can include stores that sell:

Washers & Dryers

Television & Electronics

Windows

Custom Closets