50 Sure Fire Ways to Get People Fired Up and Motivated as Self-Starters at Work

excited

A recent Gallup poll indicates that the percentage of U.S. employees who consider themselves “engaged” in their jobs averaged 31.5 percent, an historical low.

That means nearly 70 percent of American employees don’t consider themselves engaged at work.

Fired-up employees will perform their jobs more proactively. And you’ll realize benefits as well.

You will find that you can more easily delegate responsibility. That means you get to spend less time on the small, yet still important, stuff and focus on the big picture, such as kindling strategic growth.

Here are 50 surefire ways to spur employees get motivated, take the initiative and become a self starter at work.

Share Your Vision

You started your business with a vision that fired you up so much you expended enormous effort to get where you are today. Share that vision with your staff by telling your own “origin story.” (Be sincere.)

Listen

Aside from letting staffers get things off their chest, you have a great opportunity to put your finger on the pulse of your business and learn from your employees. You can learn invaluable things, including potentially innovative ideas to improve daily operations.

Express Appreciation

Sounds simple but this still addresses one of the greatest needs of people in general: the desire to feel appreciated. Some of your staffers will consider your appreciation as significant as — if not more significant than — more money.

Disrupt the Routine

If you want enthusiastic and productive people working for you, do all that you can to disrupt routine. Do whatever you can to make the work as interesting and engaging as possible. Don’t flick on autopilot.

Create Healthy Competition

In the office as on the sports field, people maximize their contribution when they know that exemplary performance will be rewarded. The trick is to make the reward system as transparent as possible to everyone.

Celebrate Success

Success doesn’t happen all at once. It’s often a string of continuous achievements. When you create a healthy competition for excellence, also be sure you celebrate every success when it happens.

Provide What is Needed

This can apply to small things, such as more sticky notes and yellow highlighters, or large ones, such as offering a formal training program. The easiest way to find out if your employees need anything is to simply ask them.

Show Respect

Awards are great but treating all the members of your team respectfully will help their overall performance as a group, too.

Never Micromanage

Leaders don’t lean over employees’ shoulders monitoring everything they do. Assuming you know how to hire people, you should trust them to do their jobs. Micromanaging is never helpful.

Lead by Example

Nothing is as contagious as the habits of a successful leader. But you must let your team see your successful habits in order for this contagion to work. Be a present leader who measures up to the same standard you’ve set for your team.

Be Amiable

Smile and let your employees know they can come to you with their problems and concerns — and maybe even a suggestion or two will float your way. Listening to their concerns will make them feel better too and will make them work harder and take more initiative.

Keep Your Word

By exhibiting the ability to follow through with everything you say, you will earn the respect of your team. This will increase their engagement. By contrast, imagine how engaged they will be if they don’t respect you.

Be Decisive

Remember Nike’s immortal advertising slogan when it’s decision time. Just do it. Procrastination only slows you down. Demonstrating an ability to be decisive can make a strong impression on your team and make them want to do the same.

Don’t Fear Emotion

Smile and crack a joke with folks around the water cooler. You’ll improve company morale and fire up employees in the process. As PsychCentral notes: “Even the most mundane task can be viewed with value when we are in a good mood.”

Push Limits

You will find you need to apply some pressure on occasion to prompt your team to perform beyond the usual. Otherwise, they will stagnate. Getting your team to that next level of being self-starters may take an extra push.

Be a Problem Solver

Recognize you don’t have all the answers and don’t pretend to. This isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength. Recognize these moments as chances to exhibit your effectiveness as a problem-solver. It will start to rub off on your team making them good problem solvers, too, and freeing you from needing to make every decision.

Avoid Fear-Based Management

Great leaders are with their teams day in and day out, offering words of encouragement and teaching or helping to refine the various skills required to succeed. Don’t ever stand on the sidelines screaming at them if you want them to become self-starters at work.

Cultivate New Leaders

As your business expands, it will prompt the need for new leaders. Be ready to fill this need immediately by letting all your team members know they have the opportunity to grow with the company.

Encourage Personal Growth

As a small business leader, you must consider practical ways of encouraging this growth. Give team members copies of your favorite personal success book. Tell them about an upcoming business networking event and suggest they attend. Try to enhance their personal development outside the office as well.

Help Correct Mistakes

When one of your employees makes an honest mistake, take the time and effort to explain what he or she did wrong. Then give pointers on avoiding repeating the blunder.

Promote Accountability

Your employees will feel personally invested in your company’s success when they are held accountable for their actions. They will realize what needs to be accomplished and they will expend their time and effort accomplishing it.

Show Flexibility

People are unique. No two members of your team are the same. As a result, you must be flexible in terms of how you lead each person, as some will require more of your attention than others.

Get Employees More Involved

Encourage staffers to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty by getting more deeply involved in more facets of their work, including longer-term projects. If they feel they are a part of the organization’s future, they will be inspired to work independently, freeing more time for you.

Brainstorm

Hold frequent brainstorming sessions and encourage your team to hold its own. This will help each team member creatively come up with innovative ideas for the company.

Inspire

Tell your team members how their contributions add to the company’s advancement. “Employees are more inclined to step up their game when they know their work can add value to the healthier whole,” Forbes proclaims.

Be Socially Responsible

Your employees want to feel good about their work beyond just their salaries and your bottom line. Where possible, show them your company is a good citizen locally and of the world. Explore green options to make your business process more environmentally friendly. And always look for ways to provide more socially responsible products and services.

Stop Lecturing

Today’s frenetic business world is not a good place to opine on and on (and on). Avoid long winded explanations and cut to the chase. Unneeded complexity is draining.

Sustain Fresh Ideas

Each team member will feel empowered by simply having the ability to suggest new ideas as well as help bring them to life. Give people a chance to take this kind of initiative and task them with the follow-through. You may be amazed at the results.

Create a Good Environment

Research shows that your office environment is very important to your team members. You can easily drive motivation here by considering what you can do to transform your office space into a cool place, where people want to work, rest and have fun.

Build Team Spirit

Your company team can be likened to a family. Or it should be. Help bolster this attitude by organizing team activities during work but also after work.

Provide More Freedom

Having the ability to choose their projects, including how, when, and where they get the work done is becoming increasingly important to talented professionals across sectors and industries.

Pay Staffers Properly

When you are working at establishing employees’ salaries, make certain that the pay is consistent with what your competitors pay, as well as similar companies in your region of the country.

Set Priorities

Employees report that they often waste time at work because they don’t know which of the many projects they are working on has priority, for example. As a leader, it’s your job to help them prioritize. Work with your team members to set clear goals, including details about each project’s priority.

Make Meetings More Efficient

Meetings have the potential to waste too much time — time that could be better spent completing priority projects with approaching deadlines. Set the agenda for each meeting, start on time and end as soon as possible.

Don’t Be a Drill Sergeant

Ordering people around like you’re running an army is counterproductive in every conceivable way. Instead of fostering engagement, you’ll encourage people to update their resumes. Offer direction but leave room for employees to develop their own processes.

Deal With Dissatisfied Employees

Some employees simply can’t be motivated. And with your repeated attempts, you will reach the point of diminishing returns, spending too much time and energy that could be spent on something else. The Wall Street Journal suggests: “Ask how you can help improve their work experience. Offer to move them into another work area, a different department or even a different company.”

Kill Rumors

Rumors need to be nipped in the bud. Depending on the nature of the rumor, it could destroy morale and hurt productivity. That’s bad news while you’re trying to teach your team to take more initiative.  Obviously, time is of the essence when dealing with this type of situation.

Share Long-term Goals

Fill your team in on some of your long-term goals. This can have an effect similar to getting employees more involved with projects. It signals to them that they have a long-term role to play in the company’s future.  And it could alleviate anxiety allowing staffers to take a more proactive role in day-to-day operations — your ultimate goal.

Get Them Out of the Office

Sponsor a community service day. Such an event will allow employees to get out of the office to participate in something that can make them feel good about themselves. Churches and charities are always available to help you find such day projects. These activities can also teach employees how to be more proactive leaders, something they can bring back to your business too.

Keep Personal Worries to Yourself

Whatever is keeping you awake at night, keep it to yourself. If you exhibit trepidation in front of your team, it can stimulate their anxiety, which never helps.

Launch a ‘Mini-CEO’ Program

Inc. relates the story of how when an employee has a new idea, Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, a marketing software firm in Boston, sometimes will appoint that person as ‘CEO’ of a new in-house start-up. “We want to empower the edges of the organization, and we want to let the people who really understand our customers make decisions,” Halligan told Inc.

Give Ownership Stakes

Employee Stock Ownership Programs can be an attractive way to motivate your team, since the structure works by providing funds only from the company’s profits. This arrangement may promote more proactive behavior from employees because they benefit directly from the results.

Go Nuts (Once in a While)

Have a crazy hat or tie day in the office. Host a lunch-time dance party. Cut loose and do something crazy to break up the routine and lift spirits. It may also spark some creativity and improve your team’s work ethic. A little silliness is a small price to pay for employees that will take more of the load off you.

Give Handwritten Letters

Nothing says appreciation like a handwritten letter. Send these to team members who have exhibited the kind of proactive leadership you’d like to see from everyone at the company. The result may be more such leadership in the future from others who see the results.

Provide Nap Breaks

Depending on your comfort level with this one, napping may be a great motivator. Companies large and small have created nap rooms where employees can enjoy a restful 15-minute snooze.

Create Other Incentives

Incentives are well-known ways to motivate staff. They don’t necessarily require the expenditure of a lot of money. An extra paid day off, gift cards, or tickets to a movie are all excellent incentives for your staff, as is an occasional cash bonus.

Correct in Private

When you need to discuss a performance-related issue or correct a recent specific error, do so in private. Hold the conversation either in your office or the employee’s, with the door closed.

Praise Publicly

Companies celebrate Employee of the Month for the simple reason that people love praise. Make it a standard practice in your offices to recognize positive people by announcing publicly when someone has made a particularly dazzling achievement.

Ditch Managers

Try removing the project supervisor. Empower your staff to work together instead of having everyone report to one person. This can work wonders, as letting your team down is considered by many to be far worse than letting a supervisor down.


Excited Woman Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Motivational

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How To Set Up A Google Store In Minutes

Last week, Google released yet another gadget that may win them friends with small business owners. It’s called the Google Checkout store gadget and it essentially allows you to use Google Checkout and Google Docs to to easily create your own online store in a matter of minutes. What makes the gadget especially interesting is that because it’s tied to a Google Docs spreadsheet, small business owners can keep product inventory without having to use another third-party program like Quickbooks. Something many of us can probably appreciate.

To install the gadget on your site or blog, Google outlines three simple steps.

1. Sign up for a Google Checkout seller account.
Checkout will process your orders and help you attract new leads, convert more sales, and enjoy advanced fraud protection.

2. List the products you want to sell in a Google Docs spreadsheet.
You’ll just need to create a copy of our template spreadsheet, and then replace the sample inventory with your own.

3. Place the Google Checkout store gadget on your website.
You can embed your online store anywhere you’d like — on Google Sites, Blogger, or your personal website.

And that’s it. Three steps and you literally have your own online store set up and ready to go.

This is really a great new gadget from Google, especially if you’re one of the many aspiring merchants or SMB owners who were intimidated by the thought of creating your own e-commerce store. Now, you don’t have to be. Thanks to Google, you don’t have to worry about hosting, dealing with the technical elements of setting it up, matching inventory, receiving payments, etc. They’re taking care of that for you and helping to make the process as painless as they can.

What I really like is how much this lowers the bar to entry for merchants to start up. There are so many people out there who have a blog and perhaps wouldn’t have thought it “realistic’ to attach a store to it. Now they can. Even if you don’t have a huge lot of inventory, but just want to sell a handful of homemade goods. A process like this makes it easy enough for you to do that.

I don’t think you can call the new Google gadget a PayPal killer any time soon, but if you’re looking to get an online store up and running quickly, this may be a good way for you to go. The gadget goes what Google does best — simplifies Web activities so that even us regular people can take advantage of them.

Do practice some caution, though. The gadget is still in beta so we don’t fully know what Google plans to do with it. You don’t want to launch a huge online store, only to have Google decide to take it down or make adjustments to it without telling you. Still, I think it’s worth experimenting with, especially if you’re simply looking for a quick way to get started in the world of e-commerce.

What do you think? Will you use the gadget to attach an online store to your Web site or blog?

More in: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Power Up with 8 Battery Packs that Keep You on the Go

mobile battery packs2

Batteries are not a hot business topic, but we each crave longer battery life for our devices and equipment, especially when traveling. This short list of portable battery packs may help you just enough to keep an important business conversation going on your phone or allow you to finish a document on a tablet.

A technical abbreviation that you’ll want to know when considering an external portable battery pack is milliampere hour (mAh). It describes the energy charge that a battery holds and how long a device will run before you need to recharge it. I’ve included the Amazon link for each battery pack, when possible and some of these devices were sent to me for media reviews.

Anker: Astro Slim2

portable battery packs

This is my favorite for travel. Ultra-slim external portable battery that stacks against your smartphone and supplies simultaneous, full-speed charges for two devices. If you do a search for portable battery on Amazon, Anker frequently pops up first.  It’s available here (not an affiliate link) on Amazon for $27.99.

  • Compact, easy-to-grip slim design specifically sized to stack battery behind your smartphone while in use.
  • Hideaway micro USB cable for Android  reduces the number of cords you need to carry to stay connected; USB port available for iPhone. Elegant.
  • 4500mAh battery offers enough power for 2-3 charges on most phones.
  • Dual ports supply 1Amp of power each so you can power up in no time.
  • LED column lets you know exactly how much battery power is left.

Satechi Portable Energy Station

Another favorite of mine. This company makes lots of great travel products and innovative gadgets. I have owned this one for a long time and it has taken some abuse and held up well. You can find it on Amazon here for $59.99.

  • Instant dual power – recharge your tablet and smart phone or other mobile devices simultaneously.
  • 10000 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery – Rapid charging – faster than charging from a traditional outlet.
  • Battery life indicator & auto OFF feature that detects when fully charged. (When you look at these tiny devices, this becomes somewhat important.)
  • Lightweight and compact – easily carry it on long flights in your laptop or tablet bag. You can expect the weight to increase when you increase mAh.
  • It offers an overload protection feature to keep your battery safe.

iWALK: Extreme Series Universal Backup Batteries

This company has a large selection of portable batteries for devices, even one to power your laptop. Here is a link to the compact 5200 mAh model on Amazon, which sells for $43.99.

  • 9 compact models ranging from 1,800mAH to 15,000mAH.
  • Equipped with LED battery charge and discharge level indicator.
  • Ideal for smartphones, navigation units, cameras, Bluetooth headsets.
  • Extreme 15000 – largest capacity unit in the world with 8 different connectors.
  • Extreme 8200 Duo – capable of charging two devices at the same time.

Snow Lizard: SLPower 7

Like some of the chargers above, slim and easy to pack. Plus, you have to give them credit for a creative name. It’s memorable. Not sure what it has to do with batteries though. Amazon has it for $51.91 here. White or black.

  • Boasting a 7000 mAh battery the SLPower 7 has enough power to rapidly charge your iPad, tablet and smartphone.
  • Designed for on the go use, the low profile charger provides power and portability at just over one half inch thick.
  • 2 USB connections – Dedicated iPhone Connection and USB connection for tablets and  smartphones.

Digital Treasures: PowerFlask

portable battery packs

Although I don’t think I would walk around with this battery in my pocket, it certainly fits. A portable, novel way to charge two USB devices simultaneously. You can find it on Amazon for $71.91.

  • 13,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery which will keep supplying extra juice for devices on-the-go. I did find that when I had depleted the charge it took overnight to fully recharge.
  • Two ultra-bright flashlight LED’s are situated at the top of the PowerFlask for lighting options while the user is on the road. (It took me a while to figure out how to turn these on – should have read the manual sooner.)
  • The PowerFlask is wrapped in supple leather with an aluminum finish for a high-quality and eye-catching aesthetic.

Scosche: goBAT II

Dual USB portable charger and backup battery. Available at: Amazon for $42.88. You can also get it at BestBuy.com and Buy.com.

  • Internal 5000 maH rechargeable lithium ion battery can charge a drained iPhone 4 2.6 times.
  • 10 Watt (2.1 Amp) port is perfect for charging tablets and 5 Watt (1 Amp) port can charge virtually any other USB powered handheld.
  • Four blue LED lights indicate how much battery life is left.

New Trent: Powerpak+

This battery is rugged looking and powerful. One of the small things I liked about it is the ridges on the side that made it less likely to slip out of my hand. You can find it on Amazon for $54.95.

  • Powerful 13,500mAh battery pack quickly and efficiently charges USB-based devices.
  • Features a 1A and 2.1A port to juice up both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. (I found this handy for the occasional time when I needed to charge both devices.)
  • Charges most smartphones up to 6 times.
  • Slim and compact design allows it to easily fit into any backpack, purse or carry-on.

Goal Zero: Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit

portable battery packs

This small 3.5 Watt Solar Panel recharging system is pretty cool. It comes with four AA batteries (and will also recharge AAA). You also can purchase a portable unit called the “Switch” that is smaller than a roll of quarters, but powerful enough for smartphones, iPods or your GPS. It is available on Amazon for $119.99 (for the panel only) and $39.95 for the Switch.

If you are out in the field a fair amount, this solar recharger may be the unit for you. You can plug your device into the solar panel charger directly. Of course, you could buy extra battery units for your device(s), instead, but this one at least gives you some recharge options.

  • Charges devices via USB port.
  • Power pack and solar panel combined weight only .7 lbs. (less than one pound). It is small enough to fit in a backpack, briefcase or purse.
  • Foldable and rugged Nomad 3.5 Solar Panel recharges Switch in 2-4 hours.

You may not think about batteries on a daily basis, but if you find your devices running low all too often this list may help. It might help you to prevent that beeping tone that says, “You have less than 10% battery life remaining, plug in now…”

How do you handle keeping your devices charged while on the road?

Full Charge Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Law Being Cooked Up to Reverse Ban On The Sale of Home Baked Cookies

homemade cookies

If you’re a resident of New Jersey or Wisconsin, you can’t legally sell cookies and similar baked goods made in a home kitchen. But there are efforts underway in both states to reverse the ban on home baked cookie sales.

Erica Smith, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, explained the current situation in an exclusive interview with Small Business Trends, “In order to sell baked goods you have to get an expensive commercial licence and either buy or rent your own commercial kitchen space, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. And that applies even to foods that are not potentially hazardous, like simple cookies and breads that don’t require refrigeration and are perfectly safe.”

Reverse The Ban On Home Baked Cookie Sales

Although home bakers have been trying to change the laws in those states for years, the Institute for Justice has recently gotten involved. Lawmakers have introduced a bill in New Jersey to make it legal for independent bakers to sell their home baked goods. And the Institute for Justice has taken legal action in Wisconsin to change their policies.

Although Smith says she’s confident that home bakers in those states will eventually be able to legally sell their baked goods, there’s one roadblock in New Jersey that is making the effort more difficult. The proposed bill has passed in New Jersey’s lower house twice. But the state Senate’s health and human services Chairman Sen. Joe Vitale hasn’t brought up the measure for a vote.

Vitale opposes the legislation not just because of health concerns, which Smith says shouldn’t really be an issue as evidenced by the other 48 states that allow the sale of home baked goods. His other concerns revolve around fairness to other commercial bakers.

Allowing home bakers to sell their cookies and similar items could potentially lead to some issues for those who have spent time and money building their own commercial baking businesses. Those who bake in their home kitchens could likely sell their baked goods for lower prices due to their lower overhead.

However, for those who want to run part-time baking businesses or simply don’t have the resources to rent or own their commercial spaces, the proposed laws could open up more opportunities for business ownership.

For those who would like to see the effort to legalize the sale of home baked goods succeed in New Jersey, Smith says you can contact Sen. Vitale and share your opinions. And she said that she’s confident that the laws will eventually be changed in both states to reverse the ban on home baked cookie sales and give more opportunities to independent bakers.

Homemade Cookies Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Releases Tool Kit to Speed Up Your Mobile Small Business Site

Google Releases Mobile Web Speed Toolkit to Help Your Mobile Small Business Site Load More Quickly

Simply having your website load on mobile devices is no longer enough. Mobile sites have to also be fast, interactive and relevant. With this realization, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently announced a mobile web speed toolkit that should help all publishers build a faster mobile web experience.

Last month, Google released a new study, “The Need for Mobile Speed” that highlighted the impact of mobile latency on publisher revenue. The study analyzed 10,000 plus mobile web domains sharing insights about the impact of mobile latency on user experience.

Some of the findings indicate that 53 percent of website visitors leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, yet three out of four top mobile sites take more than four seconds to load.

The study also revealed strong correlations between page speeds and bounce rates, revenue, viewability and session duration.

For instance, in terms of revenue, the study claims that sites that load in under five seconds get two times more revenue than those that take 19 seconds or more. The study also says that there was a 25 percent higher viewability observed for sites that loaded in five seconds versus the ones that took 19 seconds.

Introducing the Mobile Web Speed Toolkit

“It’s clear mobile speed matters to the success of publisher sites, but making mobile load times a priority doesn’t always make achieving speed easy,” said Jay Castro from the Google AdSense team. The company says it created the web speed tool kit specifically to address these challenges.

With the toolkit, you can now assess the different components impacting your website’s speed. You can also improve your your site speed by improving performance and prioritizing the order in which your site loads.

While having relevant and interesting content on your website is important, the relationship between speed and publisher revenue cannot be overlooked.

Image: Google

More in: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Five Ways to Shift Your Social Media Marketing Up One Gear

Five Social Media Marketing Tips that Will Shift Your Social Media Marketing Up One Gear

Social media is a great place to market your business, especially if you’re a small business. It doesn’t limit your traffic or reach, and allows you to connect directly with buyers without having to invest large amounts of money. By optimizing your approach to social media marketing, you can indefinitely increase everything from brand recall to lead generation, and actual sales and revenue.

If you’re unable to scale your current efforts at social media marketing, this write-up will tell you exactly how you can do it to achieve your desired results.

Social Media Marketing Tips

1. More Frequent and Intentional Posting

Be it over the internet or on social media platforms, your activity is your pulse. Unless you’re consistently active, you’re as good as dead on social media. After all, nobody hangs out on your social page. They have to be seduced to take a look and the only arms that you can extend are your pieces of content.

Conduct this experiment. Increase your social media activity and you’ll see your followers grow. Decide on a schedule. For instance, three times a day on Twitter, two on Facebook and only once on LinkedIn. UseGoogle’s keyword planner to see what your audience is looking for and source that content using a news aggregator like FlipBoard, a content curation app like DrumUp or a recommendation app like Pocket  (set-up keywords).

Relevant shares are more likely to get engagement from exclusively your target audience. Edit your descriptions to something extra-specific so you attract the right audience.

Social Media Marketing Tips - More Frequent and Intentional Posting

From your content recommendations, schedule the decided amount of content every day or a week in advance. You could even store content on a content library in a content curation app to make scheduling everyday easier.

2. Creating Content Based on Predicted Performance

It takes hours to create high-quality content, as you may well know, and that effort is best applied to content that you know will get shares, increase you reach and make an impact. How do you know?

Google trends, audience interests/insights available on social media platforms and engagement stats pulled by social media analytics tools.

Social Media Marketing Tips - Creating Content Based on Predicted Performance

You don’t have to monitor these platforms on a daily basis. Once a week would do. Simply observe which of your blog posts got the most shares on social media (SumoMe has a free count plug-in that integrates with your blog). Study Google Analytics to see which blog landing pages are driving traffic to your website. Keep a tab of topics trending in search. Decide on your topic title based on these indicators and share your posts on social media.

3. Interacting with Social Users on Communities

Communities are where the most valuable conversations happen on social media (from the perspective of businesses). Social communities are created for people with similar interests to meet and discuss the latest happenings, issues and ideas on how to solve them. You may not recognize them as such, but it is easy to recognize those opportunities once you’re a part of the right communities.

On each social media platform that you’re on, join groups that discuss your niche. The idea is to become a part of that community. Do not promote your product as soon as you join the community. You’ll lose your credibility and any opportunity that you might have in the future. Spend five minutes a day participating and introduce your product only when it answers someone’s question.

There are two straight-out benefits of participating in communities: the relationships you build with your high-target audience and constantly being at the top of their minds. (They’ll think of you when they want to buy. Some great communities to be a part of are sub-reddits discussing your industry, Quora and communities on Google Plus.

4. Including Compelling Visuals on Every Post

Everyone’s aware of how visuals add value to written content. But what value do your visuals actually add? The same rule that applies to written content applies to other forms of content. What point is your visual making on the post?

Begin by conceptualizing your visual. What do you want it to convey? Think emotion, process or summary describing the title of your post. Once you’ve decided on the concept, browse for options. There are severalfree visual resources that stock wide ranges of photographs that you’ll be surprised to see fit your posts.

Social Media Marketing Tips - Including Compelling Visuals on Every Post

If you intend to create your visual, that isn’t very hard either. Google for inspiration, source your background from an image resource and use an image editor like PicMonkey to put together your visual. To create an infographic, you could use Piktochart.

5. Encouraging Employees, Partners and Friends to Share Content

There’s no better way to cut through the noise on social media than making advocates of your personal and professional network. You could use this employee advocacy guide to understand how such a program is developed and managed. Studies have shown that advocacy on social media increases the credibility of the message broadcast. Another obvious advantage is the instant, increased reach.

You simply begin by explaining why you need your advocate’s help. Show them exactly how they’ll impact your business and show your appreciation towards their efforts by rewarding them. Spend extra time devising the messages you intend to circulate via your network of advocates because it has potential to go viral. Other studies show that messages shared via advocates are shared many times as compared to those shared via company pages on social media.

To be assured of success on social media, you have to survey the latest studies and case studies and learn what works to apply the insights to your business. This write-up is insights derived from experience and brands that have succeeded on social media. All that’s left to see is how you apply it to your business.

Shift Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Messenger Lite Takes Up Less Phone Space for Tech Challenged Areas

young-mobile-users-in-kenya

Small businesses and others seeking a better way to communicate with customers or partners in tech challenged areas should rejoice.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has launched lighter version of its Android Messenger app. The new bare-bones Messenger app is designed for people in areas with slow internet connections as well as for older phones with less powerful processors and less memory.

Introducing the Facebook Messenger Lite App

The new Facebook Messenger Lite allows you to send stickers, photos, links and text to anyone using Messenger or Messenger Lite.

“More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability,” said the Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite Tom Mulcahy in a blog post. “With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to.”

Tom also adds that the app is fast and easy to download as it’s under 10MB.

Like Facebook Messenger, Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo, but with reversed colors. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background while for Facebook Messenger, the bolt is white with a blue chat bubble background.

The new Messenger Lite is already rolling out to people in Malaysia, Kenya, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Tom says that they will soon be rolling the app in other countries in the coming months.

This should come as good news for businesses that use Messenger as a means to communicate with their clients. You can now be able to upload real-time photos and links regardless of the Internet speeds or the speed of your phone.

While Facebook is quite clear on what you can do with the “Lite” version, they are not so clear on what you will not get but don’t get surprised if you can’t find features certain features.

Facebook also doesn’t disclose whether there will be a similar app for iOS. They are, however, clear that they chose markets with a “prevalence of basic Android smartphones.”

Young Mobile Users in Kenya Photo Via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Pre-Order and Price Up for India

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Pre-Order and Price Up for India

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Pre-Order and Price Up for India
HIGHLIGHTS
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is priced for India
It won’t have any form of exclusivity unlike other games in the series
The game will be out on November 4 this year
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the latest entry in the long-running shooter series from Activision finally has a price for India. Several retailers have the game up for pre-order with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart listing it shortly. The standard edition of the game will set you back by Rs. 3,499 on PC while PS4 and Xbox One versions cost Rs. 4,499.

And if you’re the sort who wants the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remaster with it, prepare to fork out Rs. 5,199 on PC and Rs. 6,299 on PS4 and Xbox One. Along with the 2007 classic it comes with 10 multiplayer maps as well.

What’s interesting is that this time around, distributor World Wide CD ROM has told Gadgets 360 that there will not be any form of pre-order or online exclusivity like it did with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. The game will be available to all game stores, both online and offline.

While this covers the disc-based copies of the game, ordering digitally does have a minor price advantage. Buying it via the PlayStation Store will cost you Rs. 3,999 while the Legacy Edition is for Rs. 5,999 and then there’s the Digital Deluxe Edition which contains the game, it’s Season Pass, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered for Rs. 7,999.
On the Xbox Store, the Standard Edition of the game costs Rs. 4,300. The Digital Deluxe Edition which includes the game, its Season Pass, as well as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will set you back by an even pricier Rs. 6,690. There’s a Digital Legacy Edition for Rs. 5,350 as well which consists of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

As for the PC, you can pick the Standard Edition on Steam for Rs. 4,299, the Legacy Edition for Rs. 5,350, and the Digital Deluxe Edition for Rs. 6,690 – same as what you’d pay on the Xbox One.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Call of Duty, CODIW, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered, PS4, Xbox One, PC

[“Source-Gadgets”]

37 Mobile Manufacturing Plants Set Up in India in Last Year: Prasad

37 Mobile Manufacturing Plants Set Up in India in Last Year: Prasad

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 11 crore mobile phones have been made in the country in last one year
  • LeEco will start mobile manufacturing unit on Tuesday
  • By 2020 government aims to bring down import to zero

India has attracted investment from 37 mobile manufacturing companies in last one year that have generated 40,000 direct jobs and 1.25 lakh indirect employment, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

“We decided to make India a big hub of electronics manufacturing. In the last one year, 37 new mobile manufacturing units have come,” Prasad said after inaugurating government-funded ‘Electropreneur Park’.

He said that 11 crore mobile phones have been made in the country in last one year compared to 6 crore earlier. “We have given jobs to forty-thousand people and 1.25 lakh indirect jobs,” Prasad said.

Chinese companies like Gionee and Xiaomi are making their handsets at Foxconn plant in Andhra Pradesh. Domestic companies such as Karbonn, Lava, Micromax, Intex, Jivi, iTel, and MTech too have set up their manufacturing plants in the country.

(Also see: Gionee Says Will Set Up Manufacturing Unit in India)

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As per industry sources, Chinese company LeEco will start mobile manufacturing unit on Tuesday. Prasad said that besides manufacturing electronics product in India, product designing is also important.

He said that government has provided Rs. 10,000 crore under Electronics Development Fund to support new entrepreneurs in the field of electronics. The Electropreneur Park (EP), which was innaugurated today in South Campus of Delhi University, is an incubation centre set up with government funds of around Rs. 21 crore to support incubation of up to 50 companies.

(Also see: LeEco to Start Manufacturing, Research Units in India)

Set-up in collaboration with academia and industry represented by Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association, the Park will focus on creation of intellectual property rights and product development to increase domestic manufacturing of electronics items.

“India imports electronic goods of over Rs. 3 lakh crore. By 2020 government aims to bring down import to zero. The Electropreneur Park started today is a step in that direction,” Minister of State for IT and Law P P Choudhary said.

Ministry of Electronics and IT has selected six start-up firms that will develop products at this incubation centre. “6 out of 176 start-ups have been selected which means they have capability of developing good quality products and selection of six more are in pipeline,” MEITY Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar said.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Mobiles, Smartphone, India, LeEco, Gionee, Xiaomi

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Pokemon Go’s Unofficial Chat App Is Struggling to Keep Up With Massive Load

Pokemon Go's Unofficial Chat App Is Struggling to Keep Up With Massive Load

HIGHLIGHTS

  • GoChat helps finding nearby PokeStops and Pokemon
  • The app lets you send direct messages to other players in game
  • GoChat for Pokemon Go works as a cross-platform app

Pokemon Go has been a runaway success and no matter where you go, you will find people playing the game and trying to catch ’em all. One feature that has been missing from Pokemon Go is in-game chat. There is no way for people to talk to each other by sending messages or posting in bulletin boards.

GoChat for Android and iOS aims to solve this precise problem by allowing Pokemon Trainers to talk to each other. It helps people devise game tactics, talk to gym leaders, and inform people about the exact whereabouts of various Pokemon and PokeStops. Just like the game, the chat is location-based and allows you to only read the posts that are around your area and asks you to get closer to the area in case you are too far in order to read the posts.

(Also See:  How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

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The GoChat messaging service also allows you to create your own profile and add friends to it. You can also send direct messages to Gym trainers or other friends that you have added to the profile.

The app is currently available on iOS as well as Android and works as a cross-platform app that allows you to message someone irrespective of the platform both GoChat is being used on.

The messaging app is just one of the several unofficial companion apps Pokemon Go has given birth to, apps that are trying to bask-in some of the glory that the game is getting around the world.

(Also See: Pokemon Go Is Responsible for These Real Life Weird and Scary Things)

Even though Pokemon is only available officially in three countries, according to analytics firm SimilarWeb, the game has found itself on more devices than Tinder.

Coming back to GoChat, the app was created by first-time developer Jonathan Zarra. Speaking to The Verge, Zarra said the app already has nearly a million users within five days of launch, and its servers are getting nearly 600 requests per second. The app is also amongst the top searched apps on the App Store, and amongst the top most downloaded apps.

Zarra admits GoChat, which was launched on July 4 just before Pokemon Go, is struggling to handle the massive load – leading to frequent crashes and new users being unable to register for the service. He’s looking to upgrade the back-end of the app, and The Verge cites Zarra’s contractor to say the new servers will cost roughly $4,000(around Rs. 2,68,000 rupees). Zarra says he has no intention of bringing ads to the app, making breaking even an unrealistic goal.

GoChat’s developer refused to say how much he’s spent on the app so far, but added that monetising the app may invite litigation from the Pokemon Company. Zarra said he is speaking with investors on how to keep the app solvent.

Tags: Android, Apps, Gaming, GoChat, iOS, Niantec, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Social

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]