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!

Fast Food, Slow Death?

The all too familiar story: no time to cook, kids are late for soccer practice and McDonald's is on the way. Since it will not take more than a few minutes to shoot through the drive through we'll do the fast food stop. Or all too familiar story number 2: lunch hour at work and I need to pick up my dry cleaning, fill a prescription, and take the car to get gas and find time to eat. Sure enough Taco Bell is on the way and they have a drive through as well. These real life situations play out for all of us, millions of us, everyday. Since time has become one of our most precious commodities the sacrifice we make is often in our diet.

And yet it does not need to be this way. By following a few healthy practices you can still go to your favorite fast food chain and, 30 years from now, live to tell about it. The key is knowing what to select from the menu and balancing that meal with the rest of the day's food intake.

Choose Your Menu Items With Care

Choose a main dish item that is low in fat. As an example, when faced with the choice of a bacon cheeseburger or a regular hamburger, the regular hamburger wins every time. In the battle of the regular hamburger or the grilled chicken breast sandwich the chicken wins hands down. Why? Here's an example:

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich has 360 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 0 trans fat. Compare that to the Wendy's Big Bacon Classic which has 580 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat. Put either choice with a medium fry and you have added another 440 calories and another 21 grams of fat. Choose, instead, the Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chive and you add 320 calories and 4 grams of fat – a better choice indeed.

Choose side salads and salad bar vegetables as these provide extra vitamins and add dietary fiber. In addition they fill you up without adding lots of extra calories. Be sure to use low fat or non-fat dressing or better yet, a simple vinaigrette dressing. More dietary fiber can be found in the choice of whole wheat or whole grain buns and rolls.

If your sweet tooth kicks in have fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. Or go for the reduced fat ice cream versus the shake. Again an example, this time from McDonald's: 16 oz. Triple Thick Vanilla Shake has 550 calories and 13 grams of fat. The Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone has 150 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat. Granted the lower calories alternative is not as decadent but it also will not clog your arteries by increasing your cholesterol intake and it will satisfy the sugar craving.

Watch Your Portion Size

Portion control is also a key element to successful fast food dining. Although many restaurants have discontinued the super size trend, most portions are simply more than we need to consume. These large portions look like real value when viewed in the monetary sense but when measured by way of their contribution to weight gain and its complications they are simply not worth it.

Choose the smallest size possible especially if you are having hamburgers or fried foods.

Share large or high items with someone else.

Eat half your order and take the rest home. Yes, I know we are provided to clean our plates because there are children starving in China. At least that's what many mothers over the years have been heard to say. The fact is being a member of the Clean Plate Club will also get you entry into the Fat Club, the High Cholesterol Club, and if your really fortify the Heart Disease Club.

Remember These 3 Key Points

1. Reduce total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
2. Increase intake of whole grains
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fast food is one of the great innovations of the 20th century. Here in the 21st century we need to manage how we take advantage of its limitless access. To do so will maintain a balance between food as satisfying fuel that keeps our human engine running and toxic waste that will eventually lead to shorten life spans.

Getting Low Auto Insurance Rates – Cheap Car Insurance Policies

First of all, avoid being in an accident. Having a clean accident-free driving record is a big plus for negotiating lower rates from your auto insurance provider. That you are a good driver makes the risk level for the insurance agency to be relatively low thereby giving you more power to make certain demands especially on lower rate considerations.

Also having a clean driving record will make you top choice and a better client to the insurance companies around.

You should endeavor to understand some of the value added services that auto insurance companies provide. Most times, these services help you save both time and money. A good insurance company will certainly love to have smiling customers and one of the greatest means for achieving this is to increase service value while maintaining price points or even lowering the overall price.

You can save more if you have multiple policies running on the same account. For example you can have a life insurance policy, home renters insurance and your auto insurance policy all being active in the same account. This will typically prompt for a lower rate negotiation.

Insurance companies will cross check on some of your personal behaviors and habits. If you have a record of getting drunk on alcohol or excessive speeding with friends and over loading vehicles, then your record is that of a high risk for the insurance companies. Having a non-destructive record will certainly give you more points for lower rates. The first step for you to get your lower rates is to get free auto insurance quotes from trusted agents online.

Where To Start?

Cheap Holiday Deals to Stalis Provide Perfect Holidays For All

Family holidays to Stalis are about as popular as couples holidays, beach holidays, 18 – 30′s holidays, and mature holidays to Stalis. In fact, it is difficult to find a group that can’t appreciate holidays spent in Stalis. Greek island holidays seldom have as much to offer visitors as you will find in the resort of Stalis-a resort that offers a little bit of everything you could possibly want from a beach holiday and a little bit more.

First of all, you should check out various package holidays to Stalis. You might be able to learn a little more about the possibilities that holidays to Stalis present for the entire family simply by taking in the long list of package options that are available to you. More importantly, in these economic times, packages are a great way to make cheap holiday deals to Stalis and other locations on Crete.

The nightlife in Stalis is rather lively though not nearly as dominating as the nightlife and club activities are in Malia. Stalis is a more well-rounded option for holiday fun than those resorts that are designed to appeal to party crowds or even those that attract more mature holiday crowds. What you have in Stalis is a healthy mix that makes it a worthy choice for family holidays.

The beaches of Stalis provide excellent opportunities for families that enjoy beach holidays and are content to spend the entire time on the beach. There is much more to this charming resort than a few beaches though so you don’t risk running out of things to do. Popular excursions to enjoy from Stalis include mini trains to Malia, boat trips to Santorini, and the traditional villages that can be found further inland. Greek island holidays are about experiencing the best Greece has to offer. Don’t miss out on the cultural treasure chest waiting for you away from the primary resorts.

Cheap holiday deals to Stalis are a great way to enjoy the very best of Crete. Don’t miss out on package holidays and prices that are lower in price now than they have been in years. Family holidays to Stalis may be the perfect way for you and your family to enjoy Greek island holidays. Make your plans today and you could be enjoying the beautiful views and gorgeous waters of Crete before you know it.