B2C & B2B Social Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc) Universe Revealed [INFOGRAPHIC]

Over the last several years, online networking  sites such as  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc have continued to flourish in both business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) environments, which has allowed people and companies of all sizes to communicate more effectively, while driving additional traffic that can generate more leads and certainly more sales. However, social media networking can be rather tricky and often fails if you or your company do/does not plan properly or if you do not have a solid social strategy in place to market yourself or brand for communication and monitoring of all B2C and B2B activities.

Not to worry because if you don’t have a lot of time to figure things out our friends at Marketo have put together a detailed Infographic, which can help you understand the B2C/B2B social media universe detailed below.
Of course, we also help businesses understand this unique beast, so if you have questions, please drop us a line or contact us through any of our social media networks and we will be glad to help. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by and happy networking!

(Source: MarketoB2B image via Shutterstock)

Three Things to Jump Start your Social Media & Networking Campaigns

In this new age of networking (online and in-person) what is the one question you ask yourself and others most often? Think about it? If you are like many of us, you may think the one thing that annoys you most is “pushy people,” or more importantly pushy salespeople. Yes? Have you been to a local Chamber of Commerce or other Networking event and found yourself in the middle of (10) people all trying to sell you something before they even know your name?
Well, just like with many of our other posts we continue to report to our readers and followers some fantastic ways to get your message across without having to call, email, or text another person to death! Social Media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, Quora, Redditt, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, Scoop-it, StumbleUpon, Etc all allow us to pull other works, ideas, and statements thus increasing you or your brands exposure, which hopefully results in sales if your message was received well. Ah, yes does this sound familiar… being social huh? Anyway, you get the idea and many of you may or may not have heard of the push and pull concept before. However, we are sure, if you are anything like us, that someone in a prior job or even in your family may have introduced you to this concept or was/has tried to sell you or have you sell something extra so they can benefit. The good’ol push and pull strategy, only in this post, we are trying to emphasize to everyone the pull strategy (in content not distribution) versus the annoying push strategies (again in content not distribution) that most of us hate!
So, as more people and companies look for additional ways to attract more friends, followers, likes, etc, let’s think about how we can use networking events or social media sites to help each other versus hinder one another, a brand, or company. Great, so how you ask? This week we would like our readers to think about three simple things (REASON, CONNECTING, and FORMING ALLIES), so you can use these social networking clubs or sites to help another person or company pull their message across multiple platforms versus pushing a sale on them.
1. REASON
First, think about some of the REASONS you or your company might use the push and pull strategy(s). If you are still not familiar with these concepts, please see Push & Pull Promotional Strategy for a very simple explanation but remember we are talking about information and ideas in this post, so please also remember that. Now that you are familiar with the two strategies… what are the reasons you may want to use the pull strategy with networking or social media? Again, isn’t networking and social media about being social versus talking about yourself or selling something? Don’t friends and sales come from your ability to be social in these and other operating platforms? Besides who wants to always hear about you or something you may be selling right? Simply put, the reason you should be on any social media network or at a local networking event is to provide information, so you can give someone else another REASON to stay in contact, like, follow, or buy something from you at a later date. This is being the true industry expert and a main reason to pull people together not push them away!

2. CONNECT
While many of us find that connecting with others often involves a phone call after a phone call, follow up email after email, and annoying direct messages (more like pushing), whereas connecting should really be about connecting to others with REASON for them to help pull your message or product along just like in the distribution channel processes. Does that make since? Since we are focusing on social media and networking in this post, moving forward in your campaigns start to think about ways that you can CONNECT (tweet, retweet, like, pin, +1, etc) with others to help them spread their message(s). Simply, connecting one person to another, basically means that you are trying to bridge a gap between someone in your network (business or personal) and someone else, so everyone sees the value in the engagement or new acquaintance. Thus, both parties should see more exposure, friends, followers, and/or sales. Sounds easy enough right? So why do people continue to look to connect to others for self or company gain instead of first trying to get a message across? Start today by helping to break this mold and pull more messages through your networking efforts or social media sites and see if you can actually connect (pull) even more people into the conversation. Heck, curate something; re-pin, or retweet and see how that/these help expand your networks and/or connections.

3. FORM ALLIES
Lastly and with any networking or social media strategy as we have been discussing let’s not forget about one of the most important parts in trying to pull your/someone else’s message across any channel. Regardless of what network you are using, remember to equally share and help one another; otherwise, one party may feel as if the other party is not doing as much as they can to help the other. Consider this your marriage and form strategic alliances with allies that will help amplify your personal or business message. All too often this seems so easy but all too often it fails (just like marriage), as we forget to reinforce the value we bring to a local or online network “sharing.” If more people and companies would stop competing for friends and business and start forming allies, more friends and sales will surely follow. People and companies value partners and regardless if you are competing in the same industry or among the same friends just remember to create value that keeps people coming back for more. When value is created, more alliances are formed, and more pulling of messages will come.
Surely, by identifying a reason, connection, and ally you and/or your company will take the next step in building stronger relationships that ultimately results in more sales. As many of you know, Seven Times Seven is a consulting agency and thanks again to our clients, friends, and followers, we were able to once again provide our readers with another piece of important information that you can also pass along to your friends, followers, partners, or acquaintances; thus, increasing ours and your own value. Until next week, we look forward to also sharing your information and connecting more with you online and/or in-person. In the meantime, please drop us a line or contact David Dandaneau with additional thoughts or questions that we can help answer next week in our tip and surely don’t forget to KEEP SMILING!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Who is the NCCI & What is the Importance of Proper Workers Compensation Classification? Let’s Find Out!

Each and every day we continue to educate business owners online and in the area who may be still struggling to understand the value with the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) model and/or the pricing strategies available to them if they chose a PEO arrangement. Nonetheless, this week in our daily tip we are revisiting a work published by David Dandaneau last year that may help to educate you further about some of the basic terminology and industry standards, which may ultimately help you and/or your business reduce costs, while freeing up extra time.
First of all, who is the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)? Well, the NCCI is based out of Boca Raton, FL and is considered one of the country’s largest database managers of workers compensation insurance information. In fact, the NCCI helps to analyze industry trends and risks associated with them in order to help others prepare workers compensation insurance rates, while providing a combination of services, which help to maintain a healthier overall workers compensation system (NCCI Holdings, 2011).
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the NCCI is not a rating bureau; instead, the organization is often referred to as an advisory committee because its board of directors is comprised of insurance executives and/or companies. At times it may seem a little biased to many people and businesses who use these same individuals or companies for their coverage needs, as these individuals or companies that they are dealing with are in business to make a profit. Nevertheless, having a board made up of top-notch executives and companies who compete in the industry make it a little easier to help determine a fair classification system for the approximately 700 different workers compensation classification codes, which cover almost any employee or workplace exposure or does it?
One of the most elementary parts of pricing workers compensation insurance for a client is by properly classifying a company’s workplace exposures into one of these several hundred codes previously mentioned. Indeed, each code developed by the NCCI carries with it an individual rate that is based on that codes exposure within a particular workplace. For example, the classification codes for a clerical or sales worker usually carry with them significantly lower rates versus classification codes that may be associated with a roofer or carpenter, as the workplace exposure of these different types of jobs are extremely different (mostly inside positions versus outside positions). However, when the exposure is not so obvious, classifying a specific exposure can be very complicated and something a business owner wants to be absolutely sure of since a misclassification can cost a business a lot of money they didn’t necessarily expect to pay if something does go wrong or they end up getting audited.
Today employers can also use multiple classification codes on a policy or a company can classify their workforce under one as a group but it is important to document or provide records that show what exact tasks workers complete or how they split their time between different comp codes if using multiple codes. What the costs (annual premiums) are for a policy most of the time are based on an employer’s annual payroll, which can be in the form of a standalone policy or a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) arrangement (PEOs offer pay-as-you go policies, which again is a huge benefit of this model). Therefore, for a decision maker of a company or the business owner, it becomes even more important to understand these different codes and make sure your employees who perform work for you are correctly classified for the actual work they perform. As a result, you could save a lot in the annual premiums and rates you receive in return.
Perhaps the one important part about all this is that the details the NCCI provides insurance carriers (i.e. SCOPES Manual)  in regards to the many workers compensation is NOT available anywhere unless you purchase the proprietary material or subscribe to the NCCI online database. However, as a Consulting Agency we welcome anyone to contact us directly if you would like your policy reviewed free of charge with us or through one of the many PEOs and insurance companies we have built relationships with over time. Having this/these expert opinions on whether your employees are classified correctly or not could even save you and/or your company more money, while minimizing costs or any additional fees for a misclassification.
As always and as we continue to encounter issues and questions online and in-person, you can expect more analysis and opinions about this and other common issues found in advancing technologies and/or within the workplace, which at times can make it hard for you to focus on your core business. Of course, we encourage our fans, readers, and followers to share and ask questions if you have any about this post or our other works, since we subscribe highly to the philosophy that everyone can achieve more by working together and each week this is what we try to do. Until next time, keep smiling, as it really does look good on you!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.



References

NCCI Holdings, Inc (2012). National Council on Compensation Insurance

What are the benefits of outsourcing HR or Payroll Services? Is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) the Answer?

In July, 2011 while visiting online questions through a HOT new social media medium (Quora) a user asked the question “What are the benefits of outsourcing HR and payroll services?” Since this and what the differences are between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in combination with human resources, versus a payroll provider are common questions in our consulting practice, we wanted to supply our answer and re-address to our readers our views this week in our weekly tip.

As we stated last week there are many reasons a person or company chooses to outsource anything and depending on a person’s credibility, experience, or industry knowledge they should be able to help you to decide on a provider that actually meets your needs… not theirs! In regards to payroll, and Human Resources (HR) in combination with PEOs there are quite a few things that you need to know about each and/or evaluate in order to make a sound business decision that will ultimately end up helping you save time, energy, and money. David Dandaneau wrote on Quora “PEOs provide organizations with payroll services, access to workers compensation policies, help in managing their human resources, risk management (i.e. employee manuals and other services), which at times may be difficult for these same organizations to manage on their own. As a result of this more efficient way of managing workplace processes and workplace safety, companies can further reduce administration costs while remaining focused on their core business strategy. PEOs also help companies gain more control over their costs of worker compensation coverage since most of the time workers’ comp rates are based on actual hours worked, so a company is exactly even every week and the worry of tax penalty goes away because the PEO pays all the state and federal taxes under their FEIN.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, almost all PEOs help small and large organizations alike with their hiring practices (HR) by attracting and retaining good employees, while reducing their employee turnover and unemployment compensation claims, which is extremely critical in today’s working environment. Because most employee leasing companies also represent a number of different employers these companies regardless of location, usually have access to a larger pool of workers. In turn, having access to a larger pool of workers can often help lower the costs associated with certain employee benefits such as health, dental, or supplemental insurance, and even 401(k) retirement plans, which many companies cannot afford individually but now can because of the buying power of an employee leasing company.
On the other hand, if you are looking for reasons why you would outsource your payroll much like in a PEO arrangement there are several reasons. The first is you avoid paying an IRS penalties since most payroll companies provide a “tax guarantee” that ensures customers pay no penalties and according to a recent IRS report about 40% of all small businesses pay average yearly penalties of $800 or more per year because they filed late and/or supplied incorrect filing information. Secondly, and just like in a PEO arrangement the direct cost of processing your payroll goes away. In another recent study conducted by the University of Texas-Arlington they showed this expense can be as large as 8.5% of the total yearly gross payroll, which obviously frees up your time and money to invest in other money generating activities, while avoiding any unnecessary headaches associated with keeping up with technological advances. Thirdly, you are able to offer direct deposit, which most of the time can be extremely difficult if you do not use a payroll company. Finally, you are able to leverage the experience of the outside payroll processor as many organizations that employee payroll processors make sure they are Certified Payroll Processors (CPP), which means you can take advantage of a benefit (they keep abreast of all changing regulations, withholding rates, and government forms) that was once only available to large organizations. All these benefits at a fraction of the cost it would cost you to do it yourself clearly outweigh the headaches of having to worry if or in many cases… when things do go wrong.
The most important thing to remember between a PEO (i.e. also providers of HR services) and a Payroll Processor is in a PEO arrangement all tax and workers comp claims are filed under the PEO’s Federal ID Number (FEIN) versus a Payroll Processor who files tax information or workers compensation claims under your company FEIN.”
We hope that supplying our readers with this information will help you, your friends, and/or referral partners make sound personal and/or business decisions since we are arming you with important information to do so. As we continue to serve our clients on a variety of consulting segments, we will continue to provide more information on these subjects, along with our other consulting segments. In the meantime, if you would like more information on Employee Leasing Companies (also their HR programs) or Payroll Processors, you can respond here, to us through all our social media outlets, or call us personally at 813-474-2705 to discuss how you continue to remain focused on growing your personal or businesses bottom line, so you have a competitive advantage over your friends and competition. Otherwise, keep smiling, and thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our post. Hyper Smash

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.