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!

Natural Weight Loss Supplements That Work

It's natural to want to look good and losing weight is one way to achieve that. Losing excess weight also has the added benefit that you're going to feel healthier and more confident about yourself.

If you're overweight it's important that you lose weight without putting your health at risk. This can often be the case with people who try to lose weight too quickly.

Many people use fad diets that claim to lose 15 pounds in a week. However, this often involves cutting down drastically on the amount of calories you eat and doing intestinal exercises in order to lose that amount of weight in such a short period of time.

A major problem is that these types of diets put your body under severe strain. To lose weight that quickly is unnatural and can have negative consequences for your long-term health.

Taking weight loss pills that contain chemicals can also endanger your health. These are often designed to interfere with the neural pathways that control your appetite.

As their active ingredients are chemically based on they're toxic to the body and this often causes unpleasant and even serious side effects.

If you want to lose weight and avoid these side effects it's far more sensible to consider taking natural weight loss supplements that work.

Due to the increased concern over pharmaceutical weight loss pills and their side effects more natural supplements have become available.

Some the most popular and effective weight loss supplements on the market are fat burners and carb blockers.

Fat Burners

Fat burners are natural weight loss supplements that work by raising your body's metabolism. Your metabolism is the rate or speed that your body converts fat into energy. Therefore, the higher your metabolism the more calories you burn.

The most popular fat burners on the market use capsicum pepper extract because it contains certain compounds that raise the body's metabolic rate. This has the effect of helping you burn more calories when you work out.

Fat Binders

Fat binders work differently to fat burners because they focus on the food you eat. Many fat binders contain natural fibers from certain plants.These fibers bind to the fat molecules which has the result of increasing their size. As the fibers become bulkier in size they're much harder for the body to digest and absorb. Instead, a percentage of fat molecules are passed out of the body as waste.

Fast Food, Slow Death?

The all too familiar story: no time to cook, kids are late for soccer practice and McDonald's is on the way. Since it will not take more than a few minutes to shoot through the drive through we'll do the fast food stop. Or all too familiar story number 2: lunch hour at work and I need to pick up my dry cleaning, fill a prescription, and take the car to get gas and find time to eat. Sure enough Taco Bell is on the way and they have a drive through as well. These real life situations play out for all of us, millions of us, everyday. Since time has become one of our most precious commodities the sacrifice we make is often in our diet.

And yet it does not need to be this way. By following a few healthy practices you can still go to your favorite fast food chain and, 30 years from now, live to tell about it. The key is knowing what to select from the menu and balancing that meal with the rest of the day's food intake.

Choose Your Menu Items With Care

Choose a main dish item that is low in fat. As an example, when faced with the choice of a bacon cheeseburger or a regular hamburger, the regular hamburger wins every time. In the battle of the regular hamburger or the grilled chicken breast sandwich the chicken wins hands down. Why? Here's an example:

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich has 360 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 0 trans fat. Compare that to the Wendy's Big Bacon Classic which has 580 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat. Put either choice with a medium fry and you have added another 440 calories and another 21 grams of fat. Choose, instead, the Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chive and you add 320 calories and 4 grams of fat – a better choice indeed.

Choose side salads and salad bar vegetables as these provide extra vitamins and add dietary fiber. In addition they fill you up without adding lots of extra calories. Be sure to use low fat or non-fat dressing or better yet, a simple vinaigrette dressing. More dietary fiber can be found in the choice of whole wheat or whole grain buns and rolls.

If your sweet tooth kicks in have fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. Or go for the reduced fat ice cream versus the shake. Again an example, this time from McDonald's: 16 oz. Triple Thick Vanilla Shake has 550 calories and 13 grams of fat. The Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone has 150 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat. Granted the lower calories alternative is not as decadent but it also will not clog your arteries by increasing your cholesterol intake and it will satisfy the sugar craving.

Watch Your Portion Size

Portion control is also a key element to successful fast food dining. Although many restaurants have discontinued the super size trend, most portions are simply more than we need to consume. These large portions look like real value when viewed in the monetary sense but when measured by way of their contribution to weight gain and its complications they are simply not worth it.

Choose the smallest size possible especially if you are having hamburgers or fried foods.

Share large or high items with someone else.

Eat half your order and take the rest home. Yes, I know we are provided to clean our plates because there are children starving in China. At least that's what many mothers over the years have been heard to say. The fact is being a member of the Clean Plate Club will also get you entry into the Fat Club, the High Cholesterol Club, and if your really fortify the Heart Disease Club.

Remember These 3 Key Points

1. Reduce total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
2. Increase intake of whole grains
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fast food is one of the great innovations of the 20th century. Here in the 21st century we need to manage how we take advantage of its limitless access. To do so will maintain a balance between food as satisfying fuel that keeps our human engine running and toxic waste that will eventually lead to shorten life spans.

Why Holiday Villas Are Popular in Most Holiday Destinations

Holiday villas with swimming pools are becoming a very popular form of holiday accommodation with holiday makers going on a family holiday. You are now able to stay in a villa in most countries in the world.

These holiday homes are especially popular in countries with a warm climate. There is nothing better than sitting outside your holiday villa by the side of the swimming pool with a cool drink.

When choosing a villa for your vacation you need to consider very carefully what sort of holiday that you want. The first thing to consider is what sort of climate that you are looking for. There are typically holiday villas in most climates but there is a much greater selection of villa in the countries that have a warmer climate. You must decide how hot you want it to be and what time of the year you want to go away on your villa holiday.

Having decided on the climate, you must then look to see which country can offer you that climate on your vacations. Some countries may require you to get a visa to spend your vacations there and other countries that you consider for a villa holiday may require certain vaccinations before you go there. Then check how long it will take you to fly to your chosen destination and also if there are flights available.

Once you have done this you can start thinking about what sort of villa accommodation that you are looking for. There are some superb villas available around the world and they vary in price to suite just about every budget.

For holiday makers looking for a relaxing holiday by the beach it is possible to find some stunning villas with swimming pools right by coast. For families looking for a villa in the mountains there are also plenty to choose from with some offering spectacular views over the local countryside.

Most holiday villas have swimming pools. You must check to see if you want a swimming pool with your holiday villa and what size the swimming pool is. Many holiday villas also have outside barbecue areas and outdoor seating areas. In some countries that have mosquitoes you will find that some of the holiday villas have mesh screens around them to keep the bugs out.

It is possible to find holiday villas to suite almost every budget. There are some small two bedroom holiday villas and also some huge holiday home with seven or eight bedrooms. Some families like to go on a villa holiday by themselves and others like to stay in a larger holiday villa and take friends with them.

Atypical villa will have bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Typically the master bedroom or suite will be much larger than the other bed rooms in the villa. It will also have the best bathroom in the villa. Typically it will have a walk in shower, large bath and his and hers washbasins and a toilet. Above the washbasins will be a large mirror and below there will be plenty of storage space.