Social Media Bigfoot Spotted at a Business Near You.OK I got your attention with a tail of a Sasquatch, AKA Bigfoot buzzing through your head along with questions like does he exist etc.. Fact is I actually want to talk about social media or more directly your social media footprint.In my last article I talked about the selfish nature of social media and why people share those funny pictures and what they ate for breakfast etc… Today we will talk about how a little bit of selfish sharing of that nature can build a better brand for you and your business. Fact is we all do social media to get results.Social Media Littlefoot VS Social Media BigfootLittle Foot has spent thousands of dollars in marketing and tools to get 100,000 twitter followed and 20,000 likes to the company fan page on Facebook where they send out product updates and company events, site links etc..Bigfoot has taken a more natural approach and built relationships with followers through networking and sharing. They sponsor a page of funny fails and hilarious gags, and clips from little league games where they sponsor a team. They have a wide range of interest covered and show their employees working and giving back to the communities. The people and faces of the company are as well known as the brand.On any given day Little Foot sends a message out that will be paid attention to by a percentage of their readership. If the news media is among them it may intrigue a closer looks and may result in some media attention, or it may not. More often than not their reach will be limited to the 100,000 followers minus the number who simply ignore messages from the people they follow such as those gained in follower trades and paid to follow programs.At the same time a video of employees holding a car wash for local charity goes viral and reaches 200,000 views on YouTube. A new customer comes in and says I saw your video my friend Becky shared, or my friends are talking about your company. This is Bigfoot scoring a big win with Social Media Engagement.The difference is social media engagement.Engagement is the difference between watching a YouTube Video and watching the pre-roll advertisement. Chances are you adjust volume, or grab a drink etc.. during the commercial and then pay full attention to the video. You will have more fun watching the video even if you watch both, and if the video leaves a positive impression you are more apt to take action than you are with the advertising. Some actions are personal like checking out more info about the company that produced the video, some are more social like clicking favorite and share. The best ones are financial when you decide to buy.Engagement is about getting the attention of your followers and making them take action. Every small action like a share with their friends spreads word of your company or website. The more people who see the softer side of your business, and see the good will and fun loving nature of your company and it’s staff the better the impression will be.Bigfoot leaves a lasting impression, his actions are amplified by his following while building trust and interest. Only a few companies like Pepsi Cola, and Tide Laundry Detergent are actively using engagement marketing in an effective manner. We can all remember the cute interactive social games and e-card of XYZ-Brand. College students and other spring breakers saw Pepsi everywhere and their social media contest have impacted brand engagement as well. Tide was a huge hit with their mobile laundry centers during such major disasters as Hurricane Katrina. I mean the list goes on and on but is still only a fraction of Brands that get Social with Social Media.Fact is little foot is any brand that thinks advertising and marketing are the same beast and that more ads make for brand awareness. Big foot is branding a positive image and making life partners out of customers and prospects alike. So are you Bigfoot or Little Foot with your social media campaigns?
Summer is here and for many of us that means summer business trips. I love traveling for business. It usually means I’m on my way to speak at a seminar in a great location. But, my least favorite part about business trips is keeping track of all of my receipts.I use to come home from a business trip and find my receipts in various places over the next several days (or weeks!). Some I would find in my wallet, others in my briefcase, more in my coat pocket, some in my car and with all of these, I was still missing receipts!That was until I came up with my system for easy business travel record keeping. This system is so simple to use and it maximizes my business travel deductions.Here’s how my system for easy business travel record keeping works:*Rule #1*Use the Convenience and Leverage of EmailWhen my airfare is booked, the airline sends me an email automatically that has all the information I need for my receipt. I forward that email to my bookkeeper immediately upon receipt. That takes care of the airfare receipt.When I check out from my hotel, I request to have a copy of my bill emailed to me. I forward that email to my bookkeeper immediately upon receipt. That takes care of my hotel receipt.With my airfare and hotel receipt, I have the receipts for the majority of my actual expenses. But most of the receipts from my travel come from the other expenses, like meals, cab fare, cash tips. Here is how I tackle those receipts.*Rule #2*Pack 2 EnvelopesPart of my packing for a business trip includes packing 2 envelopes in my carry on bag. The first envelope I label with my destination, travel dates and “Meals.” The other envelope I label with my destination, travel dates and “Other.” Any time I get a receipt from a meal, it goes in the “Meal” envelope. Any time I get any other receipt, I put it in the “Other” envelope. After my trip, I give the envelopes to my bookkeeper to record my travel expenses.It’s such a simple system, but it works!You may be wondering why I separate my meal receipts. There are 2 reasons I do this.First, with my meal expenses separated, it makes it easier for my bookkeeper to code the expenses properly. My meal expenses are only 50% deductible, but the rest of my business travel is 100% deductible. Separating the two helps ensure that the expenses get coded to separate accounts so only my meals are subject to the 50% limit.The second reason is so I can maximize my deductions. This is explained in Rule #3.*Rule #3*Use Per DiemTo maximize my business travel deductions, I separate my meal receipts AND I use a personal credit card or my personal cash to pay for all of meals while traveling. I do this because it is the easiest way to make sure I maximize my business travel deductions.Here’s how I maximize my deduction:When traveling on business, meal receipts are not required in order to deduct a meal expense. The IRS issues per diem rates for meals and these rates can be used for a meal deduction instead of the actual expense.This means I can use either my actual meal expenses or I can use the per diem rates. Of course, I always pick the one that gives me the biggest deduction!I have trained my bookkeeper to compare the total of my actual meal receipts to the per diem allowed. My bookkeeper then determines which provides the greater deduction and records that in my bookkeeping.For example, if my meal receipts total to $125 and the per diem totals to $200, then I can legitimately deduct $200 for meals. This is one of my favorite strategies because I have increased my business deductions without spending any additional cash!Here’s how I simplify the record keeping:I mentioned that I use a personal credit card or personal cash for my meal expenses while traveling. I do this to make sure my business claims the larger of my actual expenses or the per diem allowed.Once the greater of my actual meal expenses and per diem has been determined, my bookkeeper then completes an expense report that claims the greater amount. My business then reimburses me based on the expense report.Worst case is I get reimbursed the exact amount I spent, but often times, I’m able to get reimbursed more than what I actually spent because the per diem rates are greater. This means my business gets a bigger deduction and my entire reimbursement (even if I am reimbursed more than what I actually spent) is tax free to me!This is my favorite kind of system – it’s simple and it maximizes my deductions!
Business travel trips can last anywhere from a few hours to many months. For ease in your travel trip do hotel bookings in advance for an extended stay, rent a car and use Internet phone calls and services. Think of the extended business trip it may be boring to go for meetings and work all the time. Try to make feel yourself at home during a long business travel trip and think in advance for making adjustments in your meetings time to take advantage of the cool location. After taking long business meetings opportunities will arise for going out to visit the surround area where you are staying. But, the problem people face here is that they don’t know the place. This problem is solved after the innovation of the business travel app embedded in your iPhone.Make the business trip a pleasure trip by using pre planning online calender that you can easily get in business travel app of your iPhone. Just make a schedule of your trip by taking out all important information related to the business trip. First book the flight tickets and for reservations in hotels and hire a rent car. Then find out the place nearest to your hotel for taking business meetings. Although some good hotels will also able to provide a convention hall for the meetings and business parties. Book that convention hall in advance for your meetings. Then calculate your time that you can utilize for visiting the place. Just have a look at the business travel app map which will help you to find the nearest places of your destination. All these information put in your iPhone travel app and it will synchronize all the information automatically.iPhone business travel app allows its users to know the surrounding area by doing just one click on the app. After tapping the name of the place on your app in only few seconds it will display you the map of the entire location you are staying with it’s distance and the important places where to go and visit all you will get in just one click. Make the use of short span of time for doing traveling around the place you are staying for a long time. By using Business travel app you will not feel lonely, the app works for you as a guide that helps you to travel a place which you do not know. This will be a great fun for the Business travelers that have to travel alone on the long trips without knowing the place where they are going.iPhone travel apps another advantage is that suppose you are going to a destination where you don’t know there native language and they also don’t understand your language, in this situation what can you do? All you need is just a translator, just install an translation app on your iPhone as it hardly takes few seconds and then use it for doing translation. Write the sentences in English and click on the translation by selecting the language you want to translate your sentences. Then you can show screen of iPhone to the person whom you want to talk. This is how you can communicate to someone who do not understand your language. This will help you in your business travel trip by providing you comfort level as you need on the trip.