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7 Simple Solutions for Targeting Customers on Facebook

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

The end of the year is nigh, and now is the best time to start planning effective and interesting Facebook page posts. If youíre looking to save time and get more from your investment during the holiday season, here are seven posting tips from successful businesses to get you started:

1. Boost important posts.
Boosting posts that promote your products or services is the best way to reach audiences that matter to you. It helps you increase purchases by leading people to your site on link posts, and grow your customers by targeting new audiences. Plan your content calendar around key holiday dates and simply click Boost at the bottom of an existing or new post.

2. Share exclusive discounts and promos.
People who like your Page are excited to hear about special holiday discounts or promotional events. Inspire more purchases by including special codes visitors can use at checkout in your link posts and using time prompt messages like "free delivery, this weekend only" or "12-hour flash sale". End-of-year contests and giveaways also drive customer loyalty and boost sales. Remember to only promote products or services your audience is most interested in.

3. Connect with words and pictures.
Hold your audienceís attention and get them interested with the right combination of holiday-themed images and enticing copy that reflect your business objectives. Use high-quality photos that showcase your business or products and keep your messages short and instructive, with calls to action on your Boosted Posts like "shop now" or "buy today".

4. Keep your creative refreshed.
Donít let your Boosted Posts go stale. People find recent holiday posts more interesting. Keep posting relevant content - if an important holiday has just passed, start posting about the next holiday or event. Test which posts work best and review their performance, switching photos and copy for different posts with the same objective. Respond to comments on your posts in a timely manner to let your fans know youíre listening to feedback.

5. Be consistent in your posts.
Besides boosting posts, itís important to be consistent in the quality and types of ongoing posts you create. It helps your audience know what kinds of messages to expect from you. Because the holiday season is a busy time for your business, use a content calendar to help you plan. Make sure you schedule posts for when majority of your audience is online.

6. Target your posts.
The good thing about Facebook is that it allows you to control who sees a particular post. Depending on your objectives, you may want to post content that will interest people in specific age groups, locations, interests, etc.

7. Review post performance.
Your Page Insights can give you a better understanding of who your most engaged audience is and the types of posts that appeal to your fans. This will help you refine your Boosted Posts to appeal to them and adjust your targeting accordingly.

Facebook for Business

3 Ways to Incorporate Social Media into other Parts of Your Business

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

When Facebook started, it was no more than a small network limited to Ivy League students. Now, more than a decade old, Facebook has become an identity management resource for more than one billion people around the world.

Facebook is a platform that enables consumers to discover new content, stay in touch with loved ones, and express themselves. Brands caught up quickly and saw the opportunity for business, venturing into this ecosystem and jumping into conversations at opportune moments.

That the social media giant generates billions of dollars in ad revenue only means that consumers are indeed listening to what brands are saying. Yet, some leaders still remain skeptical about whether social media is measurable. There are even marketers who have tried to quantify the value of a social media status update or tweet.

While well-intentioned, these views will often put marketing teams in a social media trap. Itís easy to overlook social mediaís core asset - ROI driven by genuine, human relationships - in seeking sales and revenues. Here are three strategic ideas to guide you through creating an effective social media plan for your organization:

1. Use social media to improve cross-department collaboration.
Because people are swamped with heavy workloads, itís difficult to take breaks to get to know colleagues, especially those on different teams, not to mention those with remote work settings. Use social media to help your team stay connected by creating Facebook groups, following similar Twitter feeds, or integrating your LinkedIn profiles with an internal communication platform. The key is for your organization to have a forum for sharing ideas, expressing your values, and uniting around a shared goal.

2. Monitor customer conversations across different social networks.
Social media gives brands direct access to their customersí conversations. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for you to see what people are saying about your brand - both directly and indirectly. Aside from broadcasting your messages, you can also actively listen for brand mentions across different social networks to ensure that your brand can deliver upon its unique value.

Get everyone involved, depending on your customerís needs - from sales to product development and marketing. Itís also critical to let all organizational functions have a pulse on your audienceís core needs and values for multiple perspectives. The more you listen, the more connected you are to your customers, the better product, marketing, sales strategy youíll be able to build.

3. Create behavioral targeting mechanisms.
Today, companies are collecting large amounts of data to better understand user behavior online. For example, a brand can analyze its most valuable customers by traffic source. Use analytics to conduct broad global listening and supply this information back into your reporting. There are tools that make it possible to monitor millions of data sources through automated notifications that show spikes in sentiment, mentions, and global trends. Social data can be integrated directly into your Google Analytics and Facebook Insights accounts, which makes it possible to track end-to-end conversations. Teams can combine full customer journeys, track conversations both on and offline, and analyze geographic differences.

Businesses need to be social at multiple touch points, internally and externally. What you need to do is to look for areas within your organization where you think social media can bring new opportunities for growth, collaboration, and direct consumer relations. Where your business is already strong will be your biggest ROI drivers.


4 Reasons Why You should Earnestly Promote Content

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Every online marketer knows that content drives action, and that it can only work if it reaches the audience for which it was intended. Otherwise, itís like that philosophical thought experiment, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Marketers know they need to push their content out there, because it wonít automatically promote itself.

Hereís what happens when marketers manage to push their content out to the right audience.

1. Content drives engagement.
Once you've held peopleís attention with content you've published, nothing can keep them away from your site. Manís greatest core competency is communication, and nothing excites him like a compelling thought or a bright idea.

2. Engagement fosters trust.
Deliver messages that people find useful to their concerns on a regular basis. Consistency helps build a reputation for your brand as the go-to source for relevant information. Consistency builds trust between yourself and your audience, and every piece of information you share strengthens that trust.

3. Trust induces emotions.
People naturally open themselves up to those they trust. The same goes for marketing - youíll want to get to your prospectís "sweet spot" - that is to say, speak to their hearts and tap into their emotions. Because you have established a relationship built on trust, theyíll be open to your ideas.

4. Emotions drive action.
Majority of our decisions are triggered by emotions. An article in the Psychology Today website states that emotions provide you with a quick assessment of your current situation without the need to think much about it. This is where you get to "press their buttons" and get your audience to take favorable action.

All in all, content drives action. So donít let it get thrown away in a forest with nobody to hear it talk about your business.


HR Outsourcing Contracts Increase in Q3 2014

by: Sarah Joson

Monday, November 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

UK.Finance.Yahoo.com recently shared the highlights of the Quarterly Outsourcing Index created by arvato UK, a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, and industry analyst NelsonHal.

The report found that the average deal value for HR outsourcing grew 24 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014.  Strong outsourcing activity was also seen from the central and local government market, even though spending activity decelerated.  

The report also found that out of all the outsourcing deals signed this year, HR accounts for 25 percent with a total value of £93 million. Moreover, 25 BPO and ITO deals were finalized in July - September 2014 with a total value of £421 million. The Q3 of 2014 is the third consecutive quarter of growth in percentage of first-time outsourcing deals at 64%.

Twenty-four percent of existing contracts underwent expansions and extensions. Contracts that are set to be delivered onshore grew from 60 percent last year to 76 percent, and the public sector (healthcare, central and local government markets) spent £108 million.

The growth in HR outsourcing contracts propelled the value from just over £8 million in Q3 2013 to £10 million in Q3 2014.

The bullish year-on-year growth for the HR outsourcing industry is a sign that demand for recruitment, benefits administration, and payroll outsourcing services, as well as the ongoing development of refined client-outsourcer partnerships remains strong.

On the other hand, the report revealed that private sector clients behind 92 percent of all the HR outsourcing deals closed since January. The most active buyers in the business services segment are from the professional, property, and people services with 39 percent of deals. Manufacturers lagged behind with 22 percent of all the contracts.

Within the HR segment, benefits administration accounted for 48 percent, followed by recruitment with 36 percent, and development services with eight percent.

4 Tips for Real-time PR Success

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

To set the record straight, real-time PR isn't impromptu PR. It isn't as simple as telling the social media manager or intern to monitor trends and events on Twitter and offer responses. It doesnít work that way. You always have to have a plan.

Real-time PR is filled with data and processes. For a successful real-time PR campaign, here are four tips you need to consider:

  1. Combine your efforts with data. The best asset for your real-time PR team is data, as it allows you to change courses quickly when a tactic isn't performing well.
  2. Prepare real-time campaigns in advance. Always have content ready for an upcoming holiday or event. During one of the annual awards ceremonies, HBO had prepared content for all the predicted winners, and when the actual winner was announced, the cable network released the appropriate content.
  3. Have a process in place. Real-time only works if you have a team specifically tasked to act and respond. Set up processes so that time-sensitive content doesn't get lost in a muddle of approvals.
  4. Use technology to your advantage. You donít have to be "on" 24/7, but your tech should be the constant hum in the background of your PR efforts. Establish rules so that you receive alerts when a possible real-time opportunity arises.


10 Ways to Close Outsourcing Deals

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

As economies continue to recover from recession, cost remains as one of the key drivers of strategies amongst organizations, which is why some of them opt to outsource processes to providers which are equipped with the skills and tools that they need.  

Technology paved the way for innovative solutions and economical services delivery models and these factors continue to shape not only global industries, but for organizations that are hoping to close deals as well. In fact, the long-standing metrics for deals such as annual run rate, length, and deal size have changed.

For service providers which are still at the proposal stage, they would need to design a value-based presentation to attract and push their potential clients to sign with them. A post at BusinessReviewEurope.eu lists down 10 things that can help reinforce your outsourcing proposals:

1) Be mindful of the circumstances.
One way to show potential clients that you have done your homework is to explain to them how you can add value to their existing operation, outsourced or not. This is your way to ensure them that you are equipped with the tools and capabilities that prevent problems during the integration period.

2) Find out the clientís soft spot.
The outsourcing industry has become so saturated that providers are found almost everywhere. Often times, these providers present a common and played out premise which is to deliver affordable services. To outmaneuver competitors, you can fish for key objectives by asking the right questions. Move beyond the typical template and leverage on the data that you have collected. It could be about the impact on the end user, increase productivity, and how lower costs will be achieved.

3) Show them what youíve got.
Present your track record so that they will be informed of what you can do and how much you know about the industry. Then stick to the pitch brief and incorporate your solutions as you explain that you have the right people with relevant experience.

4) If you are eyeing renewal, show your achievements.
If you are an incumbent bidder, you should be able to prove that renewing a contract with you is a valid choice. Explain to them how you were able to reach the goals that were set after the contract was awarded to you.

Before you even think of running for a renewal, you might want to check on your previous reports and see how accurate they are. Also, remember the conversations and meetings you had with them during the reports so you can remind them of what you were able to accomplish before the contract ends.

5) Always have a different perspective on things.
Innovation is necessary in proposals. This is your way to tell the client how much you are willing to think outside the box to optimize their processes. Your strategy should be able to display your plans to integrate innovative approaches, how it will be measured and how you will monitor its impact to the business objectives of the client.

6) Highlight the importance of teamwork.
Make them realize that you are a company that strongly believes that collaboration is fundamental to the success of the contract. Make them see that you need them as much as they need you.

7) Refine the contract.
Inform clients that changes are inevitable, but you are ready to take them head-on Ė not just to find solutions to the changes, but also to maximize the operationís potential. Tell them how you can monitor the changes, and create an example that will simulate the possible changes.

8) Weigh in on the goals.
Clients expect that you will present to them the usual, prefabricated dialogue about your outsourcing products. Be a step ahead of everybody else and align your knowledge about your service, technology, and SLA (service level agreements) to what they are trying to achieve. Highlight how you can help them achieve their targets so the conversation will move from the operational level to the strategic level.

9) Start from the top, and move your way down.
As someone who is totally foreign to an organization, you have to speak the language of the important people across the organization. Start with the senior stakeholders and decision makers so they will be able to see how confident you are and how you will handle the operation from day one.

10) Emphasize that you bring value on top of cost reduction.

Establish the fact that you are a provider that seeks to add value to their organization Ė at an affordable price. Cost used to be the main driver for clients to outsource, but if you can show how you can improve their quality of work, that puts you ahead of the competition.

11 Skills every Startup Employee Hopeful should Hone

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, November 06, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

If youíre one of those who wish to work for a start-up company in hopes of transforming your career and perhaps someday creating a startup of your own, there are a few specific skills you need to hone. Donít worry, these skills are not all tech-related. In fact, business executives these days seem to be far more interested in traits like a growth mindset and adaptability than your resume.

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) entrepreneurs share with Mashable what they think is most essential to increase your chances of getting through the hiring process.

1. Networking skills
For Go Overseas Co-founder and CEO Mitch Gordon, because making the right hiring decision at a small startup is critical, he always reaches out to his fellow founders and connections on LinkedIn before making any hiring decisions. Your odds of receiving an interview offer increases exponentially if youíre able to send an email via an introduction from a respectable individual. So be purposeful about networking and email people who are interesting to you.

2. An impressive portfolio
In interviews, actions speak louder than words. Beef up your portfolio with a series of your accomplishments: projects you worked on, issues you solved, things you created, teams you led. 8fit founder Pablo Villalbaís advice is for you to be really good at something, show others how you succeeded in similar situations, and youíd have no problem landing any job you like.

3. Adaptability
For MEBO International CEO Kevin Xu, it is necessary for every startup employee to be able to adapt quickly to the working environment and company culture of the organization they get to work for.

4. A good understanding of analytics
Thursday Bram, founder and CEO of Hyper Modern Consulting, said having a good grasp of analytics is useful - no matter what role you want at a startup. Understanding analytics is a critical skill that not all entry-level employees have. Being able to quickly determine what is and isn't working will make you a major asset, even if youíre working with founders who aren't particularly concerned with metrics. And if youíre working with a startup that follows the numbers, youíll be able to get fully informed on the work more quickly than your less analytical competition.

5. Confidence
According to SDC Nutrition, Inc. President and CEO Sean Marszalek, an individual that exudes confidence throughout the interview process demonstrates success and a great energy. Prospects that display tenacity and confidence are favored by employers because they will bring that attitude to the workplace.

6. A great handle on numbers
George Bousis, founder and CEO of Raise.com, said bringing a new feature - or just yourself - to the table means being prepared to discuss, convince, and demonstrate how you will grow the business. You should be confident in discussing growth and progress thatís completely numbers-driven and understand how big the audience is, the conversion metrics and the unit economics of the business.

7. Initiative
The highest achieving teammates are those who have a history of taking initiative and doing projects on their own. A potential startup teammateís ability to be creative, independent and action-oriented is demonstrated when they share a project they built and implemented on their own. To Nanxi Liu, CEO of Enplug, Inc., these skill sets are important because each teammate is likely to wear multiple hats.

8. Personal branding
Every startup wants that wunderkind who is often mentioned in the press. Become well-known for your achievements, or at least build credibility and demonstrate your knowledge and skill by guest posting on influential sites, said Firas Kittaneh, the CEO behind Amerisleep.

9. Effective selling techniques
All that matters for a startup is sales. Earners Group founder Charles Moscoeís advice is to learn to be aggressive with sales and donít be afraid to cold call or do what it takes to close a deal.

10. Tenacity
Show your future employer how hard you can hustle when you want something bad enough. Show no signs of giving up. If you aren't giving it your all every single day then you aren't a good fit for a startup, said Matt Wilson of Under30Experiences.

11. Presentation skills
For CPXi CEO Mike Seiman, the key is to be persuasive, and how you present yourself in front of people is crucial to that. Being practiced in delivering pitches - from short elevator pitches to longer and formal presentations - is a useful skill that shows you can present in front of your own team, prospective clients or even investors.

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