Let’s Get Social

Many of us have one of those friends who feels the need to let the world know exactly what they are doing and when they are doing it through social media. I don’t believe I would be going out on limb to say that this kind of behavior is downright annoying. But, social media is much more than a meaningless database of worthless hash tags and status updates. It is actually an amazing tool to not only promote your business, but also collaborate and gain valuable knowledge from others. Social media’s presence has continued to skyrocket with platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube, being used by businesses and non-profits. Here are a few tips for successfully selling your business and gaining knowledge through social media:

  • Create quality work. Whatever you write is a direct reflection of yourself. So before you post anything, proofread, proofread, and then proofread again!
  • Create quality connections. Look to connect with centers of influence (COIs), who are well known and respected in your community. These people can connect you to other prospects and are a credit to your own reputation for others checking out your business.
  • Listen and develop relationships. Nurture the quality relationships that you have already developed and remember to respond to posts and comments. Just like a conversation, social media goes both ways. Decoding is just as valuable as encoding.

Don’t get left behind and take advantage of one of the best ways to promote your business, while gaining knowledge and ideas. Members at Vistage Florida have been using social media tools in their own lives and businesses as well. They know that it can never replace face-to-face interaction, but social media has given them yet another tool in their arsenal for success.

Don’t Fall Prey to Cyber-Attacks

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.”

 — Ronald Reagan

Every day it seems we hear about the too common corporate breaches that have impacted retail enterprises, banks and government offices. Whether a large company or a small local business, we are all at risk for hackers to steal sensitive information.

Small businesses are becoming a more popular target for hackers because of the lack of time, money and resources these businesses use to protect their online sites as compared to larger corporations. According to research about cyber-attacks, small businesses underestimate the possibility of getting hit with a data breach because they feel they have nothing worth stealing while hackers see the lack of internet protection as an easy way into these businesses and can find very creative ways to profit from the simplest of information. Mailing lists, bank accounts and other stored data can be big profit centers for hackers.

While large corporations may have higher budgets for security and more employees to develop plans for cyber-attacks, there’s still no excuse for smaller businesses to take similar measures. To help protect yourself and your business from cyber-attacks don’t assume your websites and online data is safe from hackers. Since technology is evolving, so is the ability and technology for hackers to wiggle into your secure data, it could be as easy as hacking a simple password. It can take time and effort but the time and effort to restore a hacked business can be impossible.

Cyber-attacks are increasingly common and happen to all kinds of businesses. Educate your employees and update your security and software regularly as a preventative measure to guard against a cyber-attack.

You Never Get a Second Shot at a First Impression

 “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

– Henry Ford

There are hundreds of social media sites where you can spend hours researching all kinds of ideas, people, and news but not all that information can be beneficial to your business. Investing in your professional network involves using websites like LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the internet with over 400 million users, to create your online first impression.

 As a CEO or staff member, it has become increasingly important to keep an updated and positive online reputation on all relevant social media sites. The promotional benefits are endless however the amount of time dedicated to this task can also take over your day. Like all promotional enterprises, the balance of cost and benefit needs to be weighed to be effective. Time management is an ongoing skill to learn and refine.

 However, as we look into “LinkedIn” as an example we notice that every time we make a connection with other business leaders or employees, we allow that person to connect with an outreach network of thousands. These connections may have direct or indirect importance and can have beneficial impacts on sales, business and personal matters that are reachable with the simple effort of a keystroke.

It is easy to forget the huge impact a simple message, tweet, email or connection can have.  Before clicking that send key stop and think about the words and image you are sending out. Your integrity, reputation, ethics and personality are always important. Manners and social graces always matter. Today’s words and actions become your reputation.

Remember… there’s no Do-overs in Email

“Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely necessary.” – Bill Cuppy – American Author

In a world of fast internet speeds and instant messages, all of us are guilty of thoughtlessly sending a quick email without realizing the tone or effect our words have on the receiver. Correspondence is an art form and the communication necessary to portray a professional and appropriate manner is important. Having proper email etiquette shows you are responsive in a well thought out manner and have utilized your training to appropriately communicate. There are several key factors to consider before clicking that final “send” button.

The primary consideration when sending a business email is to remember you are a representative of your company. Writing in a too casual manner or unprofessionally will reflect badly on both you personally and on your company.

Another critical factor to email etiquette is addressing the receiver properly. Always address an email with “Hello” or “Dear” to show your respect and thoughtfulness. Also, never assume a contact is comfortable with you addressing them with their first name. It’s always proper to address someone with their appropriate title.

Simple rules such as dating your email, including previous thread emails and including copies to the appropriate parties show you are paying attention to the details of the contents.

Email is now by far the most popular form of business communication worldwide and according to telecommunications research groups, the average number of emails received each day tops 150 with the average number being sent approximately 50. The best strategy for saving time and effort by and for all parties is to communicate with clear language and effective professional direction.

Strong Work Ethics

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Upholding and preserving strong worth ethics in your field of business not only shows your strength among fellow employees, but also gives your business a firm reputation. A strong worth ethic is the backbone to a productive and thriving business. Without employees and CEOs energized to accomplish daily goals, businesses fail to be competitive and will lose the momentum to remain at the top of their game.

As an employee of a business, professionalism is one key factor in retaining strong work ethics. Achieving professionalism as an individual means presenting yourself well in the way you dress and perform to show you are serious and committed to be the best. Professionalism also includes being respectful around other employees and focused if tempers get high and when deadlines get tight.

Being dedicated is another important factor in strong work ethics. Dedication and commitment is defined as working till the job is done, and the job is done right. If the goal is always to make the best effort, to keep the eye on the goal and to solve problems in an efficient and effective manner, success will follow.

Strong work ethics aren’t something you are handed at birth, in school or when entering your career, they are a set of moral standards each person must learn, practice and accept to be respected and trusted among other employees and CEOs. Strong work ethics will improve your career goals and are vital for a company.