Yes, Instagram has been around for a while, everyone has heard of it, and you may even have an account with photos of your cat or plates full of the finest fare. But have you considered using it as a foundation for your social media marketing and to build a visual brand for your business? According to a study by Forrester, Instagram posts generate 120 times more engagement than their social counterparts.
Think of it as telling your story through images without being tormented with ads, having to say everything in 140 characters or less, or combat new algorithms every few weeks.
As you start snapping photos, keep a few things in mind:
Smartphones are everywhere and used for everything. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of American adults have a smartphone (a number that's predicted to increase)—and, not surprisingly, this number skyrockets with younger generations. The growing dependence on these mobile wonders, coupled with an explosion of loyalty marketing apps, is great news for small businesses.
While there's nothing wrong with the old punch card, there are so many things right with a digital approach.
Leading your business—keeping it aloft and profitable as you navigate the distance—is often a solitary responsibility. You're in the lead and only you know the direction, right? So you don't dare let anyone else guide the ship. Perhaps it's time to change course.
Human leaders might do well to take a lesson from the birds. A new study of migratory birds flying in a 'v' formation reveals that even when the going gets toughest, the birds swap the lead. The research, from an international team led by Oxford University scientists, followed 14 northern bald ibis migrating from Austria to Italy. Migration is risky, and previous research suggests up to 35 percent of juveniles can die of exhaustion during their first migration. Flying in formation, taking turns in the lead and constantly switching places conserves vital energy for the long haul.
"Our study shows that the 'building blocks' of reciprocal cooperative behavior can be very simple: Ibis often travel in pairs, with one bird leading and a 'wingman' benefiting by following in the leader's updraft," said the study's lead author, Dr. Bernhard Voelkl of Oxford University's Department of Zoology, in 2015. "We found that in these pairs, individuals take turns, precisely matching the amount of time they spend in the energy-sapping lead position and the energy-saving following position."
Being willing to let others take the lead may reduce unnecessary pressure. And while you're coasting on the efforts of your flock, you can use that energy to study the ever-shifting organizational change going on around you—and reap the benefits! (Manta.com)
You've heard it. Sitting is the new smoking. Chiropractors tell us 'text neck' is a real thing. Our wrists are adorned with smart technology that buzzes us to get up and move. Well, you can quit smoking, but in today's computer-based work world, how do you quit sitting?
Should you invest in a few treadmill desks for your office? Install stand-up work stations? Start holding walking meetings? It's worth considering say new studies that highlight the growing benefits of working out at work. And as it turns out, activity during the workday enhances mental sharpness and reduces stress.
Small budget? Try these:
Crowded places tend to be loud, confusing and chaotic—often causing people to scurry to a more orderly area. Websites are no different. If a site is overflowing with images, colors and giant blocks of unnecessary text, it obstructs customers' views of whatever it is you really want them to pay attention to, and they end up lost in the frenzy. This creates uneasiness and stifles the desire to be there at all.
Bad design is bad functionality, and that equals lost customers. Websites should be uncluttered, easy to navigate and have a clear call to action. (Yes, less can really be more.) Good design is a well-balanced combination of images, copy and whitespace. Concise content and some breathing room between images and text create a welcoming online experience that invites action (a purchase, an email sign-up, etc.).
With just mere seconds to grab their attention, be thoughtful about your approach and make it count.
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.