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!

Why Holiday Villas Are Popular in Most Holiday Destinations

Holiday villas with swimming pools are becoming a very popular form of holiday accommodation with holiday makers going on a family holiday. You are now able to stay in a villa in most countries in the world.

These holiday homes are especially popular in countries with a warm climate. There is nothing better than sitting outside your holiday villa by the side of the swimming pool with a cool drink.

When choosing a villa for your vacation you need to consider very carefully what sort of holiday that you want. The first thing to consider is what sort of climate that you are looking for. There are typically holiday villas in most climates but there is a much greater selection of villa in the countries that have a warmer climate. You must decide how hot you want it to be and what time of the year you want to go away on your villa holiday.

Having decided on the climate, you must then look to see which country can offer you that climate on your vacations. Some countries may require you to get a visa to spend your vacations there and other countries that you consider for a villa holiday may require certain vaccinations before you go there. Then check how long it will take you to fly to your chosen destination and also if there are flights available.

Once you have done this you can start thinking about what sort of villa accommodation that you are looking for. There are some superb villas available around the world and they vary in price to suite just about every budget.

For holiday makers looking for a relaxing holiday by the beach it is possible to find some stunning villas with swimming pools right by coast. For families looking for a villa in the mountains there are also plenty to choose from with some offering spectacular views over the local countryside.

Most holiday villas have swimming pools. You must check to see if you want a swimming pool with your holiday villa and what size the swimming pool is. Many holiday villas also have outside barbecue areas and outdoor seating areas. In some countries that have mosquitoes you will find that some of the holiday villas have mesh screens around them to keep the bugs out.

It is possible to find holiday villas to suite almost every budget. There are some small two bedroom holiday villas and also some huge holiday home with seven or eight bedrooms. Some families like to go on a villa holiday by themselves and others like to stay in a larger holiday villa and take friends with them.

Atypical villa will have bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Typically the master bedroom or suite will be much larger than the other bed rooms in the villa. It will also have the best bathroom in the villa. Typically it will have a walk in shower, large bath and his and hers washbasins and a toilet. Above the washbasins will be a large mirror and below there will be plenty of storage space.

Conspiring Against an Employee

Some of us are happy with the job we have and are content with or even love what we do. Some of us are not happy with our job and it frustrates us the more we perform at work. Whether you like your job or not you primarily work for a paycheck. When conditions at work are so stressful that you find it difficult to work for your paycheck you might want to consider your work environment situation.

In some cases, employees are victims of conspiracies in the workplace. It may sound like something out of a workplace drama series, but it is a common deterrent of progress and ultimately a very unprofessional practice in the workplace.

We can pretend that drama doe not exist at work, but the truth is work is run by people. It is part of the human condition to play favorites and disrespect others. When this sort of unprofessionalism arises in an employer or employee, there is a great chance that he or she will attempt to gather additional employees on his or her side to rally against another employee in secret. This is a conspiracy.

Harassment

A conspiracy against an employee is almost always used to harass. Harassment is any conduct that will lead to the victim to feel unsafe, threatened, persecuted, or distressed. When an employer brings employees together to play a harmful role against an employee, he or she has a personal feud against that individual. This may be due to race, religion, gender, appearance, or anything that he or she does not like about that individual.

Harassment is used as a tool to single someone out and make them feel unwanted or embarrassed in the workplace. An employee may feel that he or she is underperforming at work and that his or her opinions are not of value.

Coercion

Most people who would like to see someone leave the workplace that know there are not sufficient grounds to fire him or her, will coerce the employee into resigning by use of conspiring. If someone starts to feel an incredible amount of stress at work and unwanted, he or she will more than likely resign. This is one of the main goals employers and employees try to achieve when conspiring against an employee.

For additional resources on conspiring in the workplace and legal avenues available for victims, contact the Houston employment lawyers of the Ross Law Group.

Life Insurance 101, An Explanation of Various Types of Life Insurance

TERM LIFE INSURANCE – Life insurance for a set number or years. You can choose from 5 to 30 year terms. No cash value, if you die during the term you collect the death benefit. The policy dies after the selected term has ended and you receive nothing unless you have a, return of premium rider or you convert the policy to some form of permanent insurance.

RETURN OF PREMIUM TERM INSURANCE (ROP) – A term insurance policy that returns all or a portion of premiums paid at the end of the term if the death benefit has not been paid.

SIMPLIFIED TERM INSURANCE – Term insurance which uses a simple application. Underwriting is done electronically. No underwriting requirements by the applicant unless red flags arise out of the electronic underwriting process. Policy is usually issued much quicker than regular term. There is a limit of death benefit for this type of policy ($350,000 or less) depending on the insurance carrier. This type of policy is generally more expensive because of additional risk by the insurance carrier. Less underwriting =more risk.

CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE – Applied for as a stand-alone policy or as a rider to another life insurance policy. Pay immediate benefit for a covered illness even if death does not occur.

ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE – Pays benefit in event of a covered sudden accidental death. Applied for as a stand-alone policy or as a rider to another form of life insurance.

MORTGAGE PROTECTION INSURANCE OR DECREASING TERM INSURANCE – Term insurance that pays the balance of your mortgage should death occur. The amount of death benefit decreases to match the amount owed on mortgage. The insurance is set up to end at the same time your mortgage is set to end.

UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE (non variable) – Flexible premiums. Can be a permanent insurance as long as premiums are paid and policy is funded properly. Investment policy in which risk lies with insurance company.

Has a minimum guaranteed interest rate which differs by company. This policy has the ability to gain contract value. The death benefit can be set to level (death benefit stays the same throughout) or increasing (death benefit increases as contract value rises). You may obtain loans or make withdraws but you must be careful, if the policy is not funded, it will collapse.

VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE – Agent must have securities license to sell. Very similar to non-variable universal life. The difference is that the policy owner assumes investment risk. There is no guaranteed interest rate. Policy can collapse if investment does not do well and policy is not funded properly.

WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE – Simply put, you pay the premium and the policy will last your whole life. You usually have an option to borrow against the policy, amount depends on the value of the policy. This type of policy is usually much more expensive than the universal life policy.

GRADED BENEFITS WHOLE LIFE – Partial or no benefits paid until a named or tiered waiting period has passed. If you die before the waiting period has passed, you usually will receive the return of your premium payments with some sort of interest.

FINAL EXPENSE WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE – This type of whole life insurance is aimed at burial and funeral expenses and other final expenses. Usually, no medical exam required and death benefit is limited to $50,000 or less.

SINGLE PREMIUM WHOLE LIFE – This whole life policy is paid for by a single lump sum payment. In return the beneficiary receives a larger death benefit than the payment.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: You may be interested in mixing and matching different types of policies. For example; There is a need for 500k immediately. As time goes on, the kids have graduated college and are out of the house, the house is almost or totally paid off. Now the need is less. In this example you may want to purchase a 330k universal life and a 20 year 200k term. This plan will save you money and still protect your family for life.

Or, you may want to mix term, critical illness, accident, universal life, or whole life in various ways depending on your needs.

RIDERS:

Waiver of Premium Rider – pays life insurance premium if you become disabled and can’t work. There is usually a waiting period and rider usually expires at age 60 or 65.

Critical Illness Rider – Rider is explained above.

Return of Premium Rider – Rider is explained above.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider – this rider allows you to purchase an additional amount of life insurance at a later date without having to prove insurability again or take another medical exam.

Term Conversion Rider – allows you to convert a term insurance policy into a permanent policy without proving insurability again.

Accelerated Benefit Rider – this rider is only for permanent life insurance policies. This rider is usually included automatically for free. It allows you to collect a portion of your policy’s death benefit if you become terminally ill with a short life expectancy, usually one year. The portion paid out is subtracted from you policy’s death benefit.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider – This rider pays in addition to the death benefit if you die from an accident.

Child protection Rider – Usually used to pay final expenses if the unthinkable happens. Often, at a nominal cost and purchased in units of $1,000.

UNDERWRITING: requirements depend on insurance carrier, type of policy, amount of death benefit, age, build chart, gender, medical history, medications, family history, motor vehicle report, and other factors.

An application is always required, although, non-medical policies usually have a simple application.

Requirements could be: Paramed (certified medical processor or nurse comes to your place of choosing, takes you through a medical questionnaire, measures your height and weight, takes blood and urine sample, possibly EKG either resting or non-resting), Medical information from your physician or hospital, Medical exam, etc.

HEALTH CLASSES – Typical health classes would be, Preferred Best, Preferred, Select Standard, Standard, and then different nicotine classes such as, preferred nicotine, select nicotine, and standard nicotine.

It is possible to be rated less than standard depending on health and underwriting factors.

You must qualify for a health class. This is chosen by the underwriter after the underwriting process is complete. The agent can only quote you the different health classes but this can change with the underwriting process.