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NeoCon 2014 was a whirlwind! Check out some of our favorite social media moments from this year’s show. And while you’re at it, take a look at some of our photos from the show over on Flickr.

Meet the Endorse Collection at #neocon14 in Suite #1130.

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Join us Monday at #NeoCon14 in our #SetGoLounge for your chance to win a Fitbit!

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Can’t wait to see everyone at NeoCon 2015!

 

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9000028112_ffcef87f9f_zWithout fail, there are always moments in my day when I’m asked to be creative and imaginative. Usually I greet these moments with open arms, but other times, I’m not mentally prepared. This usually stems from being focused on analytical and logical projects all day and not completely utilizing my creative, right-brain capabilities. Nonetheless, these requests for creative inspiration still occur and it’s my job to deliver my thoughts and insight. I’ve found that the tactics outlined below help fuel my creative capabilities.

Start Writing

Jot down topics, words and phrases related to the creative project you’ve been presented with. Next, try seeing if any of these terms and phrases can overlap to create new meanings and ideas. Whenever I do this, I end up with a web-like chart sprinkled with some Venn diagrams, which reveal dozens of potential creative concepts. You just may find that creativity will spark by using something as simple as a pen a paper.

Explore Social Media

When my creative task calls for something more visual or tangible, I tend to look at other’s work for inspiration. Social platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr allow you to search by keywords for user-uploaded content. Of course you should only use these sites for inspiration and not duplication of somebody’s work!

Ask Questions

Sometimes the best answer to a question is another question. This Socratic method of discussion traces back to ancient Greece as a way to stimulate critical thinking and illuminate ideas. If you’ve been assigned a creative task, ask the project owner questions to get a better sense of what they’re looking for. Try asking others associated with the project for their thoughts and insight. Present possible ideas or concepts to someone whose opinion you respect.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” I hope these quick tips have helped guide you on an enjoyable path to creative brilliance.

How do you get your creative juices flowing?

Developing content for tweets, posts and pins can be harder than most think. Posting content that lacks quality on your social media outlets can make your company appear dull and boring. This struggle continues to plague social media community managers who are constantly searching for content with substance. Here are some quick ideas to help conquer your content woes!

1)      Repurpose Old ContentHONCompany Facebook

Have an old blog that you can put a new twist on? Have a picture saved from last year’s big tradeshow? Repurpose this old content into something new and interesting for your audience.

2)      Ask

Can’t find anything to post? Just ask! Sometimes the best content is out there simply waiting to be shared. Ask your followers if they have photos from a recent furniture installation you completed or if they have any great stories about working with your company.  Your colleagues can be a great source of content as well. Ask them to share pictures of them out in the field at an industry event or installing your product. You can’t be everywhere at once, so find people who are willing to feed you the content you need!

3)      Spice it Up

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Add some humor or playfulness to an average post about your product. Some of the most engaged content I’ve seen on social media involves companies using their brand in fun new ways and environments. Give your product or service some personality and portray that across your social media channels.

4)      Deliver Consistency

It’s been proven that consistency on social media can drive engagement. Posting ten times one day and not at all for the three following days can really confuse the people who follow you. Foster continuous engagement by posting at a rate which makes it comfortable for you to put out new content.  This may mean holding on to a fun photo for a few days until you have a good window of time to post. Make it a routine to always post a work wellness article every Monday morning or always ask a fun trivia question on Thursdays. You’ll find it’s easy to get quality content once you make it a habit.

How do you generate content for your social media channels?

Like’ HONCompany on Facebook

We’ve got a fastball for you! Through August 30th we’ll be giving away a HON stress baseball every day in our 2014 HON Catalog Twitter Contest!

How to Win:

1)      Go to our Twitter account  and look for the HON Catalog question of the week!

2)      Once you find it, simply reply with your answer to the question using hashtag #HONCatalog14.

3)      That’s it–We’ll select one random winner daily!

Here are some of our favorite contest tweets so far!

Question: What do you love about the HON Catalog?

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The contest is only open to residents of the contiguous United States and Canada. You may enter the contest as many times as you’d wish, but you can only win once. Users found making multiple Twitter accounts will be disqualified

HON at NeoCon

As a professional completely new to the office furniture industry, the first time I heard the word “NeoCon” mentioned by a colleague of mine, I assumed it had something to do with the once-wildly popular internet game Neopets. “Finally! Someone who shares my middle-school obsession with digital animals!” is what I said to myself. As the conversation continued, I soon learned that NeoCon® was in fact a large trade show of sorts, where office furniture manufacturers come together to show off their latest and greatest products. This year’s event is being held June 10-12th at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago and I have the great fortune of being able to attend.

HON’s theme for NeoCon 2013 is “Unrivaled Solutions”, which emphasizes our continued commitment to producing a premier product offering and solving the needs of our customers. We’re excited to show off our newest products and our legacy lines.

Find Your Purpose at NeoCon

To add some extra excitement to these year’s NeoCon, we will be hosting a “Find Your Purpose” contest. To participate, join us in Suite #1130 during the first day of NeoCon (Monday June 10, 2013) and break open a special HON green fortune cookie! Inside your fortune will be revealed. Three lucky individuals will win a new HON Purpose™ chair instantly! If you aren’t one of our instant winners, you still have a chance to get your very own Purpose! Simply Tweet or Instagram a photo of you sitting in a Purpose chair at NeoCon with the hashtag #HONFYP and we will choose a winner at random! You can find the complete rules for the contest here.

Make sure to stop by the HON Resource Center to see if you are among the fortunate to win a new HON Purpose chair! I’m looking forward to my very first NeoCon experience, and hope to see you all there!

1)      LinkedIn Employee Search

Recruiting for a new position? Trying to find qualified candidates? Take a moment to browse through LinkedIn. This professional networking site makes it easy to search keywords like “social media professional” or “CPA” to find the right candidate in your area. LinkedIn profiles are often times a verbatim electronic version of someone’s resume. Take a moment to evaluate their experience, skills and talents. Don’t be afraid to connect  or shoot them a message describing your open position! Make sure to stay personable in your message, otherwise you may come across as spam and inauthentic.

2)      Twitter Searches

Twitter’s search function is an incredible tool that many people simply overlook as a basic website feature. Businesses can search important keywords to their market and find potential customers instantaneously. For example, if an office furniture dealer searched the terms “need office chair” they could find the following leads:

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A simple personal reply back to these potential customers could lead to great new business!

3)      Pinterest Sources

Wondering who is pinning pictures of your products? Use the URL http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourcompany.com to find images on Pinterest that were taken from your site. This is a quick way to find potential clients or people that are already interested in what your company has to offer!

4)      Divide and Conquer

Social media dashboards like HootSuite are crucial to organizing and keeping track of your social media profiles. Creating feeds on your HootSuite dashboard for Facebook Wall Posts, Twitter Feeds and Twitter Searches allow you to make sure you don’t miss anything important on social media! HootSuite also allows you to schedule posts, so that important ‘Happy Holidays’ tweet doesn’t go out a week too late! Additional Tip: Organize your Twitter followers into lists (i.e. Potential Customers, Industry Leaders, Community Stakeholders) and import those into your HootSuite dashboard to keep tabs on important social influencers for your business!

5)      Ask Questions

It’s proven that followers on your social media pages are more likely to interact with your company if you ask questions! Don’t post high-level, ACT type questions, though. Simple, fun and engaging questions will spur conversation and buzz on your social media page.

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In what ways does your business stay engaged on social media?

As a recent college graduate, my first weeks at HON seemed like an intense internship. Learning new processes, being introduced to my co-workers and finding the closest source of Dr. Pepper, it was all familiar. Then it hit me—like a dodgeball to the face at the HON National Sales Meeting (that happened)—this is the real deal. Devoting my professional existence to a sole job was a new venture for me, but one that I was excited and prepared to take. However, there were a few things that I was not necessarily briefed on during my college classes.

They don’t teach you how to schedule a meeting. I quickly learned that meetings are the go-to method for organizing thoughts, delegating tasks and brainstorming ideas in the workplace. Scheduling a meeting is a fine-tuned process that requires extreme attention to detail and strategic timing. Ensuring that Person A’s schedule is open when Person B is free, and making sure Person C has enough time to get to their conference call, can be a difficult task. Breathing slowly and taking your time scheduling  will ensure your meeting time is set for 1:00 p.m. instead of 1:00 a.m.

They don’t teach you how to manage emails. In college and high school, a new email in your inbox usually consisted of spam, a professor reminding you of homework due or your mom sending you pictures of the family dog in a sweater. Once at work, I discovered emails are precious pieces of information that should be treated with dignity and respect. Accidentally deleting the wrong email could lead to embarrassing follow-up emails and ultimately leave you at a loss of information. I recommend immediately organizing important emails into sub-folders so you can easily find them at a later date.

They don’t tell you work can be enjoyable. After numerous professors’ lectures discussing their days roaming the halls of large corporations, the prospects of finding an organization to work for after college that was fun and exciting seemed bleak. I soon learned that the words boring, slow and lazy are not in HON’s vocabulary. Working for an organization that is rapidly changing and continuously improving can make your workdays seem more like just days. It doesn’t feel like “work”. I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “life is what you make it” and believe the same idea can be translated into the workplace.

I’m sure as my time at HON continues I’ll come face-to-face with other tasks I was not taught how to accomplish while in school. That’s the great thing about life though; you are never fully prepared for anything. New experiences will happen and new lessons will be learned, that’s how we grow as humans.

What was something you weren’t taught in college, but quickly learned?

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