Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

October 23rd, 2015

Your small business is finally up and running, and it’s a proud day! You’ve been working toward this goal for a long time, and you finally have your infrastructure, financing, tax plan, and business model in place. You’re learning how to manage your budget, and you’re doing everything you can to keep your new clients happy and your micro-team of employees busy and content. But if you’re like most small business owners, your thoughts are already turning toward sustainable growth. You have a trickle of customers that can keep you moving, but how can you expand your reach and gain more traffic? How can you tell the world about your product or service and start bringing the crowds to your door? You can start by leveraging the power of social media. Here’s how.

Take care of the basics.

Before you make another move, set up the basic foundations of your social media footprint. These first steps will cost almost nothing and won’t take more than a few hours. Establish a page for your business on Facebook. Start a website by purchasing a domain name and getting design and management help from any number of site hosts and providers.

Make it easy for your customers to find you.

The most important page on your nascent website isn’t your home page; it’s your contact page. Make sure anyone with any interest in your business knows exactly how to find you by email, by phone, or on a map.

Build outward from the core.

Once the basics are covered and curious clients can reach you within a few clicks, you’ll be on your way. The next step will involve targeting a passive, rather than active audience. At this point, your marketing game will need a boost, and it may be time to reach out for serious help. Turn to a professional social media marketing firm and learn more about the simple moves and applications that can help you track the flow of traffic to your site, raise your position in a list of search results, and get your ads in front of the people who are most likely to show interest in your product.

Cultivate relationships.

While you try to expand your footprint and build name recognition, protect your relationships with the customers you already have. Develop a friendly and responsive online “voice”, a blog with content that’s always relevant and fresh, a customer-focused return/complaint procedure, and an easy, appealing way for current customers to learn more about your product offerings.

For more on how to attract a growing audience of loyal followers, site visitors, blog readers, and—most important—paying customers, turn to the small business management experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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Are You Losing Great Candidates to Other Offers?

July 31st, 2014

What’s happening to all your top choice candidates? Why are they all mysteriously disappearing during that quiet gap between the end of the interview process and the delivery of the final offer? As soon as you finally find a candidate with all the credentials and experience you’re looking for, he or she seems to be lured away by your competitors before you can close the deal. Why does his keep happening, and how can you keep it from happening in the future so you don’t keep investing in an expensive, prolonged hiring process that ultimately goes nowhere? Here are a few tips that might help.

1. Stop scheduling interviews.

In a perfect world, you could keep scheduling round after round after round of interviews, gathering and parsing data ad infinitum until the right choice became clear. But in the real world, you can realistically stage three interviews (including the initial phone screening). After that, it’s time to roll the dice and make your decision. Too many interviews are an expensive annoyance and a turn-off for talented candidates with plenty of other options.

2. Cut through red tape.

Once you’ve settled on your ideal candidate, choose a runner up, and then let both candidates know where they stand. You can do this verbally and informally, as long as you deliver the message right away. But don’t assume that once you’ve made the call, you can keep the formal offer sitting in purgatory while you wait for key HR personnel to return from their vacations. If you need sign-offs, get them quickly—find work-arounds if specific players aren’t available. Just get the offer into the mail as soon as possible.

3. Give a warm welcome.

Let your chosen candidate know that you’re excited to have her on board and you’re looking forward to her first day. (For example: “Dear Katherine, Our team is very impressed with your credentials and we’re pleased to formally offer you position of Associate Manager…”) Don’t send a message that suggests resigned, conditional acceptance (For example: “Dear Applicant, Please review the enclosed offer for the position of Associate Manager. This offer is contingent upon an extensive background check and may be withdrawn at any time for any reason in accordance with the company’s discretion.”)

Remember that you haven’t officially landed your top candidate until the day she signs on the dotted line. For more on how to make this happen, contact the staffing and management experts at PSU.

Is Your Job Hunt Losing Momentum? Five Ways to Stay Motivated

March 14th, 2014

No matter how positive and optimistic you may feel at the beginning of your job search, a long string of fruitless resume submissions and awkward interviews can take a toll on even the most resilient applicant. These days, the average job search lasts for about eight months, but it’s not uncommon for perfectly qualified candidates to stay on the market for a year and often far longer. So when you round the next bend and realize you still have miles and miles left to go, what steps can you take to stay motivated and keep your head in the game?

1. Take breaks.

There’s a difference between persistence and relentlessness. It’s okay to treat your search like a full time job, but full time jobs come with weekends, lunch breaks, and mental health days. Don’t assume that coming up for air will ruin your future or cause you to lose focus. It will actually do the opposite.

2. Stay in touch with your social circle.

You have a social circle, your have a support network, and you have a professional contacts list. You need the first just as much as you need the second two. Your entire social world should not revolve around your job search. Go out for coffee or drink with your friends now and then and immerse yourself in someone else’s life. It will help you gain a little distance from your own.

3. Remember why you’re doing this.

If you’re committed to “searching for a job” and you’re ready to exclude all other alternatives, like freelancing, consulting, starting a business, partnering with a friend, returning to school, choosing a new career, etc, etc, than make you sure you understand why you’re doing this. Don’t develop tunnel vision and continue down this road simply because you’ve come too far to turn back. If this is the path for you, stay on it. But if a better option appears, think carefully before you say no. It’s never too late to change course.

4. Take care of yourself.

Sometimes long-term job seekers slide into a state of self-neglect, losing sleep, foregoing exercise, and eating in an unhealthy way. Don’t give in to frustration or a damaged sense of self-worth. Your needs come first, job or no job.

For more information on how to stay positive, balanced and socially connected during your search, reach out to the employment experts at PSU.

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