business tips

Why Star Players Make Bad Managers

When an employee performs extremely well, earning plenty for your company, it may be tempting to promote them to manager. After all, they might encourage others to succeed, right? However, a recent study by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that maybe you shouldn’t.

A Bad Boss in the Making

In order to move up the pay ladder in most companies, generally a person must be promoted to management positions. And the role of manager seems like the perfect reward for that one great employee. It comes with higher pay, greater responsibility to help that person grow, and more perks. And, some employers may hope, one high-flying team member can share those skills with a whole group, increasing productivity overall.

However, not everyone excels at managing other people. Sometimes that star employee is good at leading a team for just a short time, but you may see a decline in performance if they take over long-term. Also, though they may be able to make friends and work together, they may not show the empathy and desire to help others that is essential for a manager.

Should you end up with a person like this in a management position, you may find you’ve got a manager who dislikes their team, neglects the other employees, and/or is clueless about how to take a group in the right direction. Trust between members of a department may fall, and productivity certainly will. That seemingly great reward, in the end, will cost your business.

What to Do Instead

Want to promote someone to manager? Don’t do it based only on their closed deals or their productivity. Find out who has the drive for their whole team to succeed. Learn who would be helpful, rather than potentially harmful, in a conflict or when an employee is under stress. This kind of person may not be your star employee, but they may make a great manager. That same study found employees and sales thrived under managers who weren’t the top performers.

Along with promoting the right people, rather than just the best salesmen, you may want to examine the structure of your business. Help your company grow a professional career path, not just a managerial stream. Employees have a wide variety of skills that your company can benefit from. Provide more opportunities for motion and growth for those who do well but aren’t suited to become managers. This will help the right people become managers and everyone else stay invested in helping your company grow. And that, we all know, is vital to the longevity of a company, not just star players.

What Makes a Successful Company Culture?

When conducting a 2017 study on successful company cultures, Entrepreneur and Culture IQ rated companies on these 10 categories: communication, support, collaboration, agility, wellness, mission and value alignment, work environment, performance focus, and responsibility.

These values strengthen your employees and how they see the company. You may notice that they focus on more than the company’s profitability or how hard the employees work. Naturally, these are important for your bottom line. But the bottom line in your company culture is just that: at the bottom.

Building a Strong Company Culture

How can you apply these pillars to your own company?

Focus on making your employees feel supported and encouraged, with good communication between all parties to foster trust and cooperation. Remember that younger generations especially like to feel trusted, challenged, and mentored. They might not want to stay and invest in your company if they feel easily dismissed or that there is a lack of trust on either side.

Build a good work environment for your employees as well–one that is safe, comfortable, and conducive to work. And remember to add in fun! Employees like something to look forward to or celebrate, like holidays or team lunches. These shatter the risk of monotony that can wear down anyone.

As you work on this, understand that a healthy work environment is more than just physical; every employee should feel at ease coming to an atmosphere of communication, partnership, and trust rather than drudgery or hostility. No one should dread coming to work!

Remember that money and other perks alone aren’t sufficient motivators. If you tie employee performance or company value solely to money, you can create an undesirable company culture and risk high turnover among employees who want more than simply higher pay.

A Culture of Values

As you build your company culture, find ways to incorporate specific values into your work environment. Zappos, for example, has 10 core values that build an extremely healthy culture. And not all of them are bland, boring cop-outs; these are well-thought-out values that a new hire could be proud to incorporate.

Does your company have values (such as company goals or standards) that apply to everyone, from the CEO or franchisor to a brand-new hire? Hold everyone to the same standards of a company goal and values. This will help every employee feel important, especially if you can show how their work–even if it’s small or menial–contributes to the overall success of your business. Millennials especially can be disheartened by “meaningless” work that seems to have no direct relation to the health of the company.

Hire Smart

Don’t just hire anyone who could do the job. When selecting a new hire, decide how they will fit into your company culture. Do they already have a head start on the values you’re using to drive your business? Will they improve your business and not just fill a role? Also, how will they work with your current team? These are attributes Twitter uses to hire their team members.

 

Your business is more than numbers or an arrow on a graph showing your profits. Work now to instill a healthy company culture throughout, from your corporate headquarters to the newest, smallest franchise. Your business will thank you later, with less turnover and a more attractive environment for new employees.

Motivating with More than Money

A lot of businesses motivate their employees with financial incentives. But are they as effective as they seem? The Harvard Business Review conducted a study on incentive pay and its correlation to employee satisfaction. It showed that, surprisingly, employees aren’t always motivated by money. At least, not long-term.

Employees can feel less commitment to the company and to its goals if their only incentive is money. This is in part because pay is not even throughout a company, and depends largely on status and position.

Tying benefits to the company’s profitability can backfire especially. This is because, though employees contribute to the company’s success, they can’t control all factors, especially if your business is struggling. Again, using profit-based compensation is uneven through a company and doesn’t always correspond to the amount of work being done.

You’ll need instead to create a strong company culture with constructive feedback and respect between you and employees. Here are our tips for motivating your employees with more than money.

Giving Direction

Your employees will want to understand how their day-to-day activities contribute to the company’s goals. No one likes to feel replaceable or unimportant. So show them how even their small tasks help the company run efficiently.

However, if you can’t find a reason to do these small tasks or a reason why an employee contributes to your company’s success, you might consider asking yourself if you need that position or task filled.

Use Verbal Recognition

When you talk to your employees, is it only to make small talk or to reprimand? Or do you offer praise as well? Verbal praise is important for motivating employees. This is especially true with millennials, who want plenty of feedback.

Offer specific praise and compliments when you do. Name what it is they did well, and how this helps the company specifically. This goes back to helping your employees understand how their day-to-day work drives the company’s goals.

Public recognition can also do a lot to motivate your employees. Bring up their accomplishments at meetings, whether through an announcement or with a certificate of some kind.

Hold Friendly Competitions

One great way to encourage your employees to get excited about a project or a new goal is to combine it with competition. Try to encourage your company to meet a goal or come up with a new product or process that betters your business. You can divide your employees up into teams or let them fly solo–whichever you feel will foster more enthusiasm. Of course, competition should come with a prize! Make sure it’s going to be worth the effort without draining away your newly-found success.

Motivate With Consequences

Some employees will tick differently than others. Different personalities motivate hard work with avoiding punishment, rather than chasing a reward. Make sure that you outline consequences for specific actions–or the lack thereof.

This is not to say you should use consequences alone. Carrots work best in tandem with a stick, but if you use a stick by itself, you may chase away employees just as fast as if you didn’t use any incentives.

 

How have you motivated your employees? What’s worked for you and your business? We’d love to hear your motivation tips.

5 Reasons You Need To Guest Blog

You’ve seen them all over the web, and probably on some of your favorite blogs: Guest Blog Posts. And of course, seeing these will lead to the inevitable question: “Should I be scheduling guest blog posts?”

Yes. And here’s five reasons why:

Backlinks and SEO

When you include links to your website in the bio of your guest blog posts, it creates backlinks when your blog is published on anther site. This increases your SEO, especially if you are publishing on a quality, trusted site. The more important the site, the more potential you have to earn higher SEO rankings, which means the more likely you are to be seen, and the more business you and your company can earn.

Gain More Followers

Posting on a different site also gives you the ability to reach a different audience. The blog you post on will have loyal viewers of its own, and these loyal viewers can now meet you, learn from you, and learn about your business and find a trusted new resource in the field. Pretty sweet, right? If they really like you, not only will they return again and again to your blog/company site, they may follow you on social media. The more people who visit your site, and the longer you stay, the higher your SEO rankings.

Win Win

But guest blogging isn’t just about you. You can help increase the SEO of the site hosting you. How? Simply write a post on your own blog summarizing what people can learn at your guest blog post, and link to the other blog. This provides backlinks to the site hosting you. In addition, your loyal blog readers can visit the host site, learn new things, and potentially become loyal followers to the host site.

Build Relationships

It’s no surprise that with such a beneficial partnership already in the works, you and the host site can build a working relationship where you support each other beyond guest blogging. Additionally, you can also build relationships with readers by responding to their questions and comments in the fields of your guest blog post, potentially bringing you more business.

Establish Credibility

The more quality content you write, and the more people see it, the higher you can rank in Google, which means more people visiting your site, and even higher SEO rankings. When people learn they can rely on you and when you consistently provide quality content, you can become a trusted leader in the industry. Pretty sweet, right?

Need to Learn More?

Remember, not all of this is going to happen overnight. It takes time to reach out to bloggers, write quality content, and watch your SEO scores start to climb. If you need help guiding you through the process, or if you are interested in learning about more marketing tactics to help you, your franchise, or your business grow, contact us today. We’ll help you get started.

 

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Avoid These 5 Obnoxious Business Tactics

Marketing is necessary to make businesses successful. But there’s a big difference between successfully promoting your business, and annoying your customers. Here are 5 ways you can tell if your business is scaring away clients:

Not Listening

If you’re constantly interrupting or talking over your customers, they’ll fill disrespected. Not only that, but they’ll be unable to communicate their needs to you. Remember, the whole point of selling a product is not to sell the product, but to meet the needs of your client. Let your customers do the talking so that you can find out what your customer needs, and provide it. This will help sales happen naturally, rather than scaring potential customers away by stuffing unwanted products down their throats.

Not Knowing About Your Product

A business can’t make recommendations unless they fully understand the benefits of their product and how it’s different from the competition. An American Express survey found that 78 percent of consumers have abandoned a purchase because they had a bad experience with the company’s representative where, often, they knew more about the product than the representative did.

Cold Calling

Phone calls can be a beneficial marketing tactic for the right business, but too often business call at inappropriate times. Do your research, and don’t attempt to call your clients early on a Saturday morning, or  during the family dinner hour.

Additionally, if you do cold call, make sure you don’t do it aggressively. Though charities and donation agencies all have a great cause to support, particularly as the holiday season gets closer, no one will want to support your agency if you call once a week or more. Honor your do-not-call lists.

Email Spamming

In a similar vein, everyone loves a good discount, but not everyone needs a new discount in their mail everyday. Sending weekly deals and specialty announcements about unique promotions are a great way to keep your customers informed and help encourage purchases. However, urging your customers everyday to come back and buy something new is going to get you nowhere but the spam folder.

Inconsistent Quality

Your customer service and product quality must be consistently good. Otherwise, customers will stop trusting you and your brand, and stop purchasing. Don’t scare away your loyal customers by giving them poor quality service or products.

Need help with creating a consistent Social Media? Staying on Brand? Providing consistent quality products and marketing in your franchise? We’re here to help! Contact us in the form below to get started:

 

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What’s Better than a Discount? These 4 Deals

You want to give your customers a deal while at the same time increasing your margin. So what can you do? Many people would jump straight to the conclusion that a discount is what they need. While discounts have their place in sales and conversions, if you aren’t careful, discounts can lead to brand degeneration, and actually drop sales long term, which means loosing profit and doing more harm than good to your sales margins.

The point of a discount is to save customers money and encourage them to make a purchase. However, if you have too many discounts, your customers may begin to expect them and hold off on purchases until the next discount rolls around. Additionally, discounts are associated with cheap product, so over time, too many discounts can degenerate your brand. So what can you do to provide your customers with incentive to buy that won’t hurt you long term? Instead of giving a discount that drops the value (both literally and perceived) of an item, try instead adding value. Not sure what we mean? Below we’ve listed four successful ways to add value for your customer.

Store Credit

Store credit can come in a variety of forms, from online credit towards your next purchase, to physical “discount dollars”, but they all have the same thing in common. These credits are earned when a customer makes a purchase, and often times can only be used in the event of an additional purchase.

This is a tactic Hot Topic does with their Hot Cash. Make a purchase, earn hot cash, which will be redeemable after a certain date (usually a couple weeks to a month in the future). This allows their customers time to accrue hot cash, and nudges them to return at a later date to make additional purchases.

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Because these credits are perceived by clients as additional, free money, customers will feel as if they are wasting actually money if they do not return and use the credit to make an additional purchase.

Coupons

Want to make your customers feel special? Provide exclusive coupons for exclusive customers. For example, offer exclusive coupon codes to your Facebook followers, or your email list, or to anyone who leaves a comment on your business blog. And yes, these coupons can appear in the form of discounts, but the difference between a coupon and a regular discount is the perceived value. When something is made exclusive only to a certain audience, its perceived value increases, meaning customers are more likely to use exclusive coupons offered to them.

Free Shipping

If you have an online store, you’ll be interested to learn that roughly 70% of shopping carts are abandoned. That means a customer visited your site, browsed your store, and even considered purchasing an item by adding it to their cart, but at the last minute, they changed their mind. Why? The number one reason is shipping fees.

You can entice your shoppers to take that last step to purchase an item by offering free shipping. Amazon has been doing this successfully for many years.

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And see that little clause at the bottom? Shipping is only free on orders over a certain money amount, providing incentive to make additional purchases in order to earn free shipping.

Bonus Gift

Nothing makes a customer feel more valued than being offered an extra gift when they make a purchase. Not only can such tactics encourage customers to make a purchase and feel like they got a great deal, it can increase your sales margin. And, by having these deals available for only a limited amount of time, it can provide the same urgency as other discount deals while providing more value to your customer.

Claire’s is an example of a store that successfully utilizes bonus gifts, often on their jewelry sales.

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Earn repeat customers and encourage more purchases by giving customers value, and encouraging customer loyalty.

Need Help?

Not sure where to get started in marketing your brand or franchise? Contact us in the form below. We’ll provide you with suggestions of how to better manage your brand to earn loyal customers.

 

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Why Snapchat is a Must for Your Business

Snapchat is paving the way for the future of social media marketing. All of the features and content updates to the app thus far have only increased the effectiveness of the app in reaching a larger audience, making it one of the great up and rising social media platforms for businesses. Just to throw some numbers out, Snapchat has over 100,000 daily users. Another noteworthy statistic is that there are 10 billion daily video views each day for the companies that participate. With the potential in those numbers in mind, here are a couple of reasons why Snapchat is paving the way for social media marketing and should be implemented in your digital marketing strategy.

Unbelievable Reach

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media platforms on the market today. Snapchat reaches over 60% of all Americans with a smartphone and ,on top of that, more than 70% of Snapchat’s users are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34. Like it or not, millennials are the future target of marketing because they will be entering the workforce and spending money. If you want your company to get a competitive advantage in the long run with marketing, adopting the right platforms and targeting the right audience is key.

Snapchat has the potential for reaching more consumers than any other platform. This means that anyone with a smartphone has access to it. The potential reach is growing everyday as more and more millennials and non-millennials download and start using the application. To put this in perspective, Snapchat now has more users than Twitter and is quickly catching up with Facebook and Instagram. With Snapchat being the fastest growing social media platform, the reach alone is enough evidence to adopt this platform in your digital marketing strategy.

Brand Awareness

Snapchat is the king of brand awareness. There are multiple features that allow brands to spread their name effortlessly. A couple of the big ones are as follows:

Snapchat Geo-filters

Geo-filters are simply amazing. Geo-filters are very simple to set up and they are really cheap. The way that geo-filters work is that a company will design a filter that will be used for promotion or brand awareness. After the design is completed, you buy a geographical location where people can access and use the filter you created. After your filter has been up live on the app, it will run in the specific location(s) for 24 hours, then it will disappear unless you pay for those locations again. There are plenty of companies and organizations that have successfully used these filters, you can see them here. Whether you work for a big company or a small company, this Snapchat feature is cheap enough to be worked into your budget and it is definitely worth it.

Snapchat Stories

Snapchat stories are revolutionary for the social media world and the marketing world. Just how stories work for each user, the business stories also disappear after 24 hours. The content and advertisements within these stories are watched more than videos and content on Facebook, with Snapchat coming in around 10 billion views each day and Facebook having around 8 billion views each day. The biggest difference between the video viewing experience on those two platforms is that Snapchat is more interactive and has more engagement. In order to view a story on Snapchat, the user has to manually click on the story, which is very different than the automatic video play feature in Facebook. This means that those who view your story actually want to see what you have to offer. After clicking into the story, the user again can swipe to whatever story or video is most interesting to them, thus increasing user engagement.

These features are just the beginning. Snapchat is going to continually update their platform and introduce more attractive features that companies can use to their advantage. The biggest question is, are you going to be an early adopter? Or are you going to fall behind and get lost in the digital crowd?

Need Help?

Struggling to figure out how to make your marketing effective? We have your back! Here at Divvy, we provide valuable digital marketing strategies and social media content for you to help your online presence by stay engaging with your audience, maintaining consistency, and keeping up-to-date with content. Contact us to see how Divvy can make a difference for your company today!

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Creating Suspense on Social Media

Creating suspense on social media is easier than you think. You will be ready to create audience anticipation in a matter of these three steps:

Know Your Social Networks.

Each social media platform has unique advantages and disadvantages. For example….

 

Facebook is a consumer-focused social network with high engagement. Fan pages integrate within newsfeeds, allowing content to go viral. It is a good place to post industry-related articles, pictures or videos but a bad place to make a sales pitch.

 

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform for rapid and efficient distribution of information. It is great for joining in on conversations with ‘hashtags’ and news updates. Twitter is a fast-paced platform, and companies often don’t know how often to tweet or how to engage or respond to followers, hurting their online presence.

For more information regarding differences between social networks, click here and here.

 

Remember to consider the demographics each channel attracts. Match your target audiences to the appropriate channel(s) they would use.

 

Don’t forget that each platform has its own culture. Fill out your profiles according to the culture with avatars, cover photos, bios and profile information. Also, use the language your target audience would use to find you.

Make a Plan.

It’s time to make a plan. Whether you are announcing a new store, product or service, there are a variety of tactics you can implement to create suspense on social media, including:

  1. Release countdowns
  2. Giveaways
  3. Behind-the-Scenes and Sneak Peeks
  4. Media Hooks
  5. Fan Competitions
  6. Scavenger Hunts

 

Giveaways are great ways to build your audience, while fan competitions are best to get your fans engaged. Media hooks include the following options: product packaging, branded art, soundtracks, demos, or trailers. If you don’t think a media hook is right for you, consider a sneak peek of how a product is made or a service is prepared.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is in line with your social network(s) and target audience(s).

Engage with Your Audience.

Don’t forget to engage with your audience throughout the campaign. Anticipation and suspense brings forth mystery and curiosity. Do you know what that means? Your audience is going to be asking questions. You need to be the one to answer them. Don’t let the media – or anyone else, for that matter – tell your story for you.

 

Re-tweet, like, comment and respond to all communication from your audience(s). Become a thought leader by being credible and reliable. You’ll have people begging to know what’s next.

 

If you still need help crafting a plan to create suspense on social media, call Divvy. Divvy specializes in social media marketing. Call 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

 

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Words Per Post | The Perfect Word Count for Your Blog

Words per post refers to the number of words in each blog post. There’s a lot of data out there determining the “perfect” number of words for a blog post, but a lot of that information is conflicting. With that said…

 

How do you determine the right depth for your blog post? Is there a golden rule? The answers to these questions are both simple and complicated.

Determining the Perfect Word Count

Determining the perfect word count is complicated. Some bloggers praise shorter blogs while others support longer ones. At Divvy, we follow a variety of SEO tactics, including each post containing minimum of 300 words.  This is our minimum, but again the perfect word count is complicated. The best answer to the question is dependent upon the content.

 

words per post dependent upon content

 

The depth of your blog posts should be led by the content of your post. Are you answering a simple question? Or offering unique insight? You want to provide enough answers to your readers without getting fluffy or off topic.

 

The best rule of thumb: Offer benefit to your readers.

250 to 300-word posts are good for short, sweet, and straight to the point blog posts. You can offer a quick overview of a concept or answer a simple question in these types of posts. This post, for example, contains 435 words. See how I answered a question without overloading you with information? That’s why shorter posts are more frequent. They are easier and faster to write and still useful to readers.

 

600-word posts allow you to join in on the conversation with greater detail. There is more room for depth, discussion, and creativity.

 

900-word posts require more research, details, and depth than that of the previous shorter word counts. With this length of post, you need to understand the topic and provide more information to your readers.

900-word posts can discuss information on a general subject or detailed information on a specific topic. With this length of post, you can get more specific with points and subpoints.

 

1200-word posts are full of relevant, detailed information. There is no fluff in these posts, only rich content. If you are writing an 1200-word post, make sure that your content will meet the expectations of your readers.

 

As you go about writing your personal or business blog posts, make sure you offer the right amount of information to the person who found your blog. If you don’t, they won’t return.

 

Does your business or franchisee need help with blogging or SEO? Call Divvy at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Our team specializes in these areas. Talk to you soon!

 

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How to Write Irresistible Content

“I don’t know how to write irresistible content.” Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as you think. With a little critical thinking, organizing, and planning, you can be on your way to writing irresistible content. We promise – it’s actually very easy. Follow these 7 tips:

1. Know and Connect with your Audience.

You need to understand what makes your buyer tick. Make that connection. Understand what they require in order for them to want to interact with you and request for more information. Write content that would irresistible to your target audience. The more interesting the information is to your target audience, the more useful it is to them.

 

Find out what particular problem(s) your audience has, and speak to it.

2. Assume your Audience Doesn’t Know what you Know.

Avoid jargon, buzzwords and industry-talk. Use terms that they would use in order to find you. They found you, they have come to you. Now you need to explain yourself clearly to them.

3. Make the Content Applicable.

Don’t just spit information out into the world. Make the content worthy of reading and applying. Don’t just share information. Share how to do what you are describing.

4. Be a Credible Source.

You need to build trust and credibility to get results. Cite your sources and have social proof. Social proof examples include:

  • Statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Endorsements
  • Examples
  • Quotes
  • Anecdotes

Build trust up front. It is worth it.

5. Write…. and Don’t Forget to Design.

Write and design your work so it is easy on the eyes. You spent time gathering information, researching, and planning. Don’t ruin all that work by not designing your content. You want to invite your audience to read and learn more.

 

Avoid writing long sentences. Or follow up with a short one.  Write short passages and paragraphs to invite your reader in.

 

Spend time finding the proper formatting so that your rich content won’t be skimmed over. Or worse – bounced away from.

6. Stay True to Yourself.

Stay on brand. Use your voice. It differentiates yourself from all the other writers out there.

7. Practice and Analysis Makes Perfect.

Go start writing right now! The best way to get better with irresistible content is to practice, analyze, practice, analyze.

 

Share your work! Analyze how well it did. Try something new and analyze it again. Figure out what content is getting looked at and what is working.

 

Do you need help with writing irresistible content? Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in marketing consulting and social media content strategy.

 

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