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!

The Secret of Successful Container Gardening

Container gardens are great, and a lot of people are starting to look at container garden ideas today for convenient ways that they can start one. If you don’t have a lot of space but you want to grow some vegetables, flowers, or plants, you need to check out container gardens and how they can work for you. You’ll be amazed how with the right steps and secrets, you’ll know how to grow a container garden that is flourishing and looks outstanding.

Have Containers that Work for You

The great thing with a container garden is that you can use any sort of container that you want. So, if you want to use a container that is a rubber boot, you can do that, and that draws a lot of people to this style of garden. But, no matter what container you are using, you need to make sure that there is proper drainage. There are a few different ways that you can create drainage, you can do a layer of rocks at the bottom so that there is room to drain where the roots won’t grow, or you can go ahead and put holes in the containers. You also need to make sure that the containers that you are using are going to be big enough, you need to have containers that are big enough for the size of the roots that are going to grow, otherwise the plant will die off or you will stunt the growth.

Have the Correct Soil and Light Conditions for What You’re Growing

The other factor that is really important with what you are growing and your container garden is having the correct soil and lighting conditions. With soil, you will find that you may need to have different soils for different plants, so one container may have a different pH than the other soil that is out there. Also, check the light conditions so that you know if the plants that you are growing have enough light. Different plants need different amounts of light, so it will depend on what you are growing in your container garden and how much light that they need. Generally, it is best to give them light that is less harsh, like morning light instead of afternoon light that can actually burn the leaves or harm the plants. Make sure that you have the right soil and light conditions so that your plants can flourish in it and grow to what you want.

Have a successful container garden with all the tools that you need, there are all kinds of little things that you need to do, but knowing these tips and tricks will make it a lot easier to handle. There are all kinds of little tips and tricks that will give you an extremely easy to grow container garden. See what works the best for you and use these container garden ideas to get a great looking container garden that is going to look amazing and be extremely functional, you’ll love it.

Fractions and Rational Numbers – What is the Difference?

Most of us go through years of school math courses and still are confused about some basic things. For example: Why can not you divide by zero? Why is .999 … equal to 1, and not a bit less?

There are loads of these kinds of questions, that would not be a cause of frustration at all, if they were taught reasonably and clearly.

Unfortunately most of these things are supposed to be covered in elementary school, and most elementary school teachers do not have a good understanding of basic math concepts. Instead they are supposedly to teach just a collection of "skills."

One of the simplest concepts that is usually left inadequately explained is the difference between fractions and rational numbers. Let's see if we can clear it up now.

A fraction is a number that expresses part of a whole as a quotient of integers (where the denominator is not zero).

A rational number is a number that can be expressed as a quotient of integers (where the denominator is not zero), or as a repeating or terminating decimal. Every fraction fits the first part of that definition. Therefore, every fraction is a rational number.

But even though every fraction is a rational number, not every rational number is a fraction.

Why? Consider this:

Every integer (all the whole numbers, including zero, and their negatives ….- 3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 …) is a rational number , because it can be expressed as a quotient of integers, as in the case of 4 = 8/2 or 1 = 3/3 or -3 = 3 / -1 and so on. So integers such as 4 or 1 can be expressed as the quotient of integers.

But an integer is not a fraction . 4 is an integer, but it is not a fraction. 4 is not expressed as the quotient of integers. The difference here is in the wording.

A fraction is a number that expresses part of a whole. An integer does not express a part. It only expresses a whole number.

A rational number is a number that can be expressed as a quotient of integers, or as part of a whole, but fraction is a number that is (must be) expressed as a quotient of integers, or as part of a whole – there is a difference. The difference is subtle, but it is real.

There are slightly different variations of the definition of a fraction, including, "A fraction is the ratio of two whole numbers, or to put it simply, one whole number divided by another whole number."

That definition also shows that an integer is not a fraction, because an integer is not a ratio. It can be expressed as a ratio, but it is not a ratio in itself; it can be divided by another whole number, but it i s not being divided.

In a nutshell, the fractions are a subset of the rational numbers. The rational numbers contain the integers, and fragments do not.

How To Start A Restaurant Business

First of all you will need to think about the type of restaurant you want to open. Primarily, restaurants are grouped into three categories: quick service or fast food, midscale where you will get a good meal for a good price, and upscale with plenty of charm and fancy cuisine. This will also be dependent upon the type of food you want to serve, and the type of customers frequent the area.

One idea is to open an ethnic restaurant such as, Italian, Mexican, French, etc.. You can open an ethnic restaurant in any of the three categories, but before you choose take a look at the demographics of your area. You may want to take a demographic survey so you can get information on:

o The ages of the customers that will eat at your restaurant business.

o What types of ethnic groups live in the surrounding area.

o The occupations and income levels near your restaurant business.

o How many people will be interested in the type of food you will be serving.

o What are the needs, in terms of services or products, of the people in your area? Will you get enough business in the area you are planning to put your restaurant business?

A competitive analysis will show you what other restaurant business are in the area and what type of competition they will give you. You can do this by going to the restaurants as a customer, and checking out the menu to see how much they charge for their food and drink. This will help you decide how much to charge for your fare. To start your competitive survey, you should check the phone book and yellow pages in that area that have a restaurant business in the same category as yours.

The type and size of your restaurant business will determine the amount or size of the following:

o What you will need in the line of equipment.

o How many pieces of dishware, glassware, flatware, linens and napkins, you will need.

o Cooler, freezer, and storage size.

o How large your building will need to be.

o How many employees you should hire.

o How much parking you will need.

o What you will need in the line of advertising.

What will you call your restaurant business? The choice of a name should be one that reflects what you sell and will help you sell your goods. You will want all of your customers to be able to pronounce and spell the name to look it up in the phone book, or when writing a check. The name should be more creative than the competition, and represents the type of menu you are offering.

Make sure you are not stepping on someone else, check to see if the name you have chosen has been registered to someone else under a trademark. If it isn’t, make sure that you register the name with your county clerk. You should also check with the federal government to see that there are no trademarks registered through them with the name you have chosen. You can be sued for using an already registered name.