Archives for posts with tag: social media

In the spirit of Halloween, let’s talk about something that can be really scary…..you guessed it, the world of social media! If your business hasn’t jumped on the hayrack (or bandwagon) yet, have no fear. Here are 3 ways to make sure you don’t get lost in the (corn) maze:

Hide out for a while

Regardless of the pressure you may be feeling to jump on social media, don’t rush into it. The best first step is to not move at all; instead, sit back and observe. What are your key audiences saying about your brand or your industry as a whole? What are you competitors doing online? Just like any offline relationship, a successful social media relationship starts with listening. Once you know where your audiences are most active and what they need, you’ll be better positioned to jump into the conversation at the right time and offer an effective solution that meets those needs.

Carve out your strategy

Let’s get festive and pretend your social media strategy is a pumpkin. What would you carve into it? What story would your design tell? It’s important to have a good understanding of who you are and what makes your business unique. Yes, social media is known for informal interaction, but everything you post should be purposeful with an end goal in mind.  Be sure to outline your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) ahead of time to help you measure the success of your social media content and strategy.

Be the friendly ghost

The key to a successful social media presence is transparency. Don’t be afraid to let your followers see through your larger business objectives to build trust and really humanize your brand. Your followers become more than just customers; they become friends, so share content that is driven by more than your company’s sales initiatives. Reward them with exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, post photos from your office’s fun holiday festivities, and share inspirational stories of your work in the community. Maintaining an online “friendship” with your key stakeholders requires a combination of solving their problems, teaching them new information, motivating them, and celebrating their successes (what I like to call a virtual high-five). Be prepared to invest the time it will take to reciprocate the support your followers are giving you by proactively monitoring their activities and helping them find the tools they need to succeed.

What are your social media fears? Let HON help!

Follow HON on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.HON Social Media

 

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Whether you attended NeoCon 2015 in person or participated in the fun through social media and HON World, I think we can all agree that last week’s show was one to remember. As the social media manager for HON, I often have the privilege to represent our company at exciting events as well as the enjoyable challenge of capturing HON happenings on film. I’m charged with the mission of meeting new people and finding creative ways to share our story through digital tools. But, at the heart of it all, my job is to spark engaging and meaningful conversation with you.

This year at NeoCon, our showroom was designed to ignite conversation – about HON, about office furniture, and about people and what they need to be successful. We wanted to inspire our showroom guests through color, simple designs, and purposeful furniture solutions. We aimed to bring a piece of Iowa and our longstanding value of inspired practicality to the bustling city of Chicago. And, we did just that.

Jerry Dittmer, President of The HON Company, summed it up best when he said “we took practical and simple to a whole new level.”

I hope you were able to visit us in person last week; but, if not, below are some of my favorite #HONSpotted images that were posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the event so you won’t miss out on the HON conversations of NeoCon 2015!

Bringing Iowa to Chicago
No matter where we go, we’re always proud of where we come from, so we decked out the reception desk with a huge graphic of Muscatine, Iowa’s well-known Beckey Bridge. Just as the bridge welcomes you to HON Headquarters in Iowa, it now welcomes you in Chicago.

Iowa Roots

Inspired Practicality
It’s who we are and who we have been since our founding, so our clean and simple designs in this year’s showroom were intentionally created to demonstrate this core value at HON.

HON Inspired Practicality

New Products
All of the new product launches and expansions that were showcased at NeoCon this year are market driven and open for orders today, not sometime down the road. Some of the highlights this year included new Height-Adjustable Tables, new Mocha and Pinnacle laminates and our comprehensive Soothe® line for healthcare featuring the Soothe patient recliner, guest seating and tables.

New Products

Color
We’ve introduced several new fabrics and finishes this year, and by several I mean over 900 new seating fabric colors and 50 new panel colors! That was reason enough for us to to make an extra splash with pops of bright color throughout the space.

Color

HON Swag
What’s a trade show without some giveaways? Or, as we call it, HON swag? This year, everyone who visited the HON showroom could go home with HON lip balms and bags (which came in handy when it rained the first day!). Those who traveled by flight and snapped a photo of one of our new airport ads on their way to the event were also given a pair of HON-inspired argyle socks.

HON Swag Giveaways

Building Relationships
We recognize and appreciate that our partners are HON storytellers out on the front lines, so a highlight of NeoCon every year is meeting and catching up with the people most important to us and our mission.

HON Dealers and Partners

Fun!
We amped up our social media activities this year with props and 3D hashtags. There were lots of smiles and laughs shared as we all tried to master the selfie stick and pose with speech bubbles that boasted sayings like “office furniture rocks” (because we all know it does).

NeoCon Fun

Check out The HON Company on social media for more NeoCon photos and, more importantly, join in our online conversation. Whenever you’re attending an event with us, spot a HON truck or advertisement on your travels, or just want to show off a recent installation, tag us with #HONSpotted so we can be a part of it with you!

With NeoCon rapidly approaching (it’s only 3 days away!), I’ve found myself perusing Instagram to relive years past. Here are a few of my favorite snapshots:

Giveaways

1. Anyone recall these items floating around the showroom? HONigami, fortune cookies, and Fitbits galore! And you don’t want to know how many steps HON members accumulated during the 3 days with the Fitbit…

View

2. We consider ourselves quite lucky to have this view outside our showroom.

Chalk Display

3. Loved 2013’s chalk display!

Midwest

4. Proud of our Midwest roots and proud to be a part of this great city.

Bags

5. One thing you can always count on at NeoCon? BAGS. Still one of my favorite designs.

Designers

6. A huge plus to NeoCon is having that rare opportunity to speak with the product designers. Wolfgang Deisig pictured here with Motivate.

Seating

7. The HON Winning Lineup of Seating! Or a prime opportunity for musical chairs…

Flock

8. The year Flock minis stole the show.

Social Media

9. Last year’s social lounge.

Purpose

10. The evolution of Purpose.

Graphics

11. 2012’s colorful wall graphic.

What are some of your favorite NeoCon memories? See you in Suite #1130!

Communication is important in any environment, and is especially important in the workplace.  Miscommunication can result in low employee morale and motivation, decreased productivity, and increased employee conflicts.  As simple as communication may seem, it is not always easy to communicate at work. It is important to choose your words wisely, listen intently, and verify that you are understood.

Here are a few simple tips you can use to be a more effective communicator:

1. Don’t just hear—Listen.  This includes paying attention to body language if you are speaking to someone in person.  When a coworker approaches your desk, make sure you fully focus your attention on him or her.  If you do not have the time to do so, offer to schedule time to meet with the person later.

2. Be comfortable with resolving conflict.  No matter how well employees get along, there is always a chance that people will disagree. If you are a manager or leader in your office, help create an environment that allows your employees or teammates to discuss potential issues, and find a way to resolve them. Be sure that any conflict resolution focuses on the problem and not the personalities involved.

3. Be open to constructive criticism or feedback and be prepared to give it in return. Be appreciative of feedback that you receive, and make necessary changes to drive improved performance.

4. Use language that is easily understood to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.  Make sure you are aware of any cultural communication differences.

5. Follow correct grammatical guidelines and use spell check.  This is key, especially if you are communicating with customers or people outside of your business.

6. If you are conversing over email and have questions, speak to the customer or fellow employee in person or give them a call.  Although emails are a quick and easy way to communicate, they can also be misunderstood at times. Never be afraid to verify!

7. Always be aware of your audience and setting.  Make sure you consider what is appropriate to discuss in a workplace environment, with your coworkers outside of work, or on social media.

Remember, effective communication is key to the continued success of any company. Set clear guidelines around workplace communication, and ensure all of your employees or teammates understand them. This will only improve the overall effectiveness of the company or department.

Many businesses today have a presence on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but the social media craze is about more than just the number of “likes” and “retweets” one gets. Here are a few of the most important measurable benefits:

Brand Distinction and Awareness

No matter which social media platform(s) your business uses, you have the freedom and ability to present the unique personality of your brand to potential customers and keep them hooked. Whether you want to have a formal or laid back media presence, make sure your posts convey the identity that you want for your business. Social media is quickly becoming the main channel for how customers find out about a new business or a product, so posting regularly and differentiating your business from others is important.

How HON does it: HON posts daily on various social media platforms and produces original content that represents the brand as being personable and relatable.

socialmedia1

Direct Communication with Customers

Brand awareness is commonly one of the main goals of social media, but it’s often forgotten that is a two-way street. Social media allows customers to communicate directly with companies, and in turn allows companies to reply back. It’s important to converse with these individuals because it provides a “face” for your company. Just like an offline relationship, regular online engagement will lead your customers to become more committed to your brand, which can lead to increased sales and success.

How HON does it: HON replies to all individuals and businesses that tag us on social media.

socialmedia2

Richer Experiences

At the core of every good company is great customer service. Every interaction is another opportunity to display your company’s service level and create a richer experience for your customers and followers. A positive personal experience can result in a higher number of returning customers, which may correlate with increased sales.

How HON does it: HON responds back to all questions.

socialmedia3

Increased website traffic

Without social media, inbound traffic to your website is limited to the random Google search and those people already familiar with your brand. Taking advantage of multiple social media channels is important, as it increases the amount of inbound traffic to your company by adding various paths to your website. By including multimedia, hyperlinks, and even hashtags in your social media content, you make it easier for people searching for your product or service to curate information and find you through search engine optimization.

How HON does it: HON is active on multiple social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Flickr, and regularly directs fans and followers back to hon.com.

How do you use social media for your business?

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

HONCompany Facebook

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

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:

blogtweets

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?

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