5 Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Business

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Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.

Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?

According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.

86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.

89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.

With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.

1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.

2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.

3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.

4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.

5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!

To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!

Profile-Pic.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

Great Infographic – Interviewing 101

Interviewing can make or break your opportunity to get ahead in your career. It creates a first impression and a lasting impression at the same time. Be aware of your facial expressions, your posture, and articulation. Read my blog post on Interviewing 101.

I wish I could give the author credit but I have no idea who did this!

I wish I could give the author credit but I have no idea who did this!

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Leadership: An Inside Job

When you exercise, your trainer always tells you “work from the core”. The reason we work from the core is because it transforms the entire body. In business I use this concept. Total success happens only when you work from the core.

Great work is done from the inside out.

Having a senior management or executive position does not automatically qualify you as a good leader. What determines your leadership capabilities is how you are able to find, groom and develop a good team. Rolling up your sleeves, getting into the grit of the mess and motivating people to change the way they see things, convincing them of the personal benefit that lies ahead – that is true leadership.

People will work if they believe in the goal and are committed to the process.

The result of any accomplishment or failure stems directly from what happens at the core of an organization. C-Suite executives are not the only one’s tasked with the responsibility of ensuring organizational sustainability. More often, these executives are the face of an organization; in their respective positions they rely on their leadership team to execute and deliver on expectations. Senior management may come and go, however good leadership endures the test of time. With solid leadership in place, an organization can withstand would-be disasters stemming from CEO’s moving from one organization to another.

Great leaders focus on three core internal objectives: Execution, Team Building and Effective Communication. 

Execution. Leaders don’t need the spotlight. Being on the cover of a magazine or doing interviews with the media isn’t what leadership is about. If you are busy doing all those things, who is running the company? In Larry Bossidy’s Book – Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, he says: “To build an execution organization, the leader has to be present to create and reinforce the social software with the desired behaviors and the robust dialogue.” Execution generally comes from middle managers, supervisors, and line managers. These are the people who get things done; delivering on expectations handed out from the top-down.

Team Building. Leadership is about creating an open platform and welcoming environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and knowledge with one another. Learning how to trust co-workers and support one another is essential. Leaders provide opportunity for employees to engage with each other and they have a special way of utilizing the competencies of others to foster a cohesive environment.

Communicate the Vision. Managers and leaders communicate differently. While a manager may command a task, a leader will make a request. Leaders explain the purpose of the task and the value it can create for the producer. A manager issues the order and deadline requirements. It is the leadership team that delivers on those orders by utilizing effective communication paired with motivation and employee engagement practices. Effectively communicating the vision of the organization to an employee brings them into the conversation. It allows them to see the personal gain achievable with their help. Bottom line – if employees are not sold-out to the vision, they will not consistently produce quality work.

In sum, great leaders work internally; individually and collectively. They see a need and meet it with empathy, understanding, patience, motivation and strategy. The success of an organization is the direct result of good leadership developed from the core.

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Achieve the Impossible

Achieve the Impossible

 

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Good Leadership is Not About Being Right

Im-Right“Being right means nothing unless you’re the one that holds the cards.” That is what a great boss once told me. He learned that after being fired from a prestigious law firm after arguing with his boss over who was right. His boss said to him “You know what, your right – and you’re fired!” I later discovered that we never really hold all the cards. Even when we own our own companies, we are still at the mercy of our loyal customers our brand and those we hope to gain valuable relationships with in the future. Good leadership is not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.

A good leader understands the value in making mistakes. Being wrong is a humbling experience that teaches us what not to do the next time. Leadership doesn’t require you to know everything, rather it requires you know how to find the answers to questions you don’t know while working with those who do. The man who leads only to “yessers” is a fool. You simply cannot grow if you are never challenged beyond that which you think you already know.

Leadership requires many things, being right isn’t one of them. As a leader you must have the ability to:

Inspire. Bringing out the good in people and helping them to turn that into greatness is one of the most prominent traits of a good leader. Enhancing the lives of others; showing people how to become greater, reach higher and go beyond the norm is an invaluable treasure. People need to know they make a difference and they are valued. This is what leadership is about.

Effectively Communicate. Good leaders understand that effective communication is the difference between speaking to someone and having a conversation with someone. Communication doesn’t become effective if the recipient does not understand the expectations nor have they agreed to meet them.  Bring workers into the conversation, don’t just speak at them, engage them.

Delegate. You can’t do everything yourself. If you think you can, you’re only fooling yourself and wasting a lot of time and money in the midst. Delegation is one of the toughest things to do for someone who thinks “nothing will get done right if I don’t do it myself”. Trust that people will do what they say they have the ability to do. Create a check-in to see where they are with assignments and determine if they are going in the right direction. Give constructive criticism, encouragement and make adjustments as needed.

Be Relatable. It’s difficult for people to follow someone they cannot relate to. Strive not to become out of touch and unapproachable. Always stress an open-door policy in the workplace and initiate conversation with your employees. Don’t wait for them to initiate conversation with you. Share personal experiences and stories with your employees. This will draw them in and help you to create a personal connection, not just a surface interaction which only creates surface results.

Confidence is key in leadership. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. We must see the opportunity in not knowing and encourage others to work with us to find the answers. Together you will learn something new, becoming greater collectively and individually.

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Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

How to Discipline Your Employees Without Losing Them

Holding your employees accountable for their work is vital when you are growing a business; but that shouldn’t come at the drastic risk of losing your talent.

Often senior-level managers can become out of touch. We may think we know what is happening on the floor, but in reality, we have no idea. The mistaken assumption is that expectations are reasonable and achievable when they may be far from it. Being clear about your expectations leaves no room for assumptions and takes the excuses out of the equation when holding employees accountable.YELLING

Instead of finger-pointing and playing the blame game when employees are under-performing try these suggestions:

Be clear about your expectations. When assigning tasks to employees for special projects or implementing process changes, it is important that you clearly discuss expectations. See my blog on implementing change in the workplace. The discussion is not only opportunity to give direction, but also to hear from your employees. Leave room open for them to digest your expectations and provide you with feedback or concerns regarding those expectations.

Be Empathetic. Whether we plan for it or not, life happens. We cannot predict the days events, but we can be empathetic and understanding of life’s happenings. Before pointing out failures, give your employees a chance to express why they fell short of meeting expectations. Hear it from their point of view first and then remind them of previously agreed to expectations. Ask them probing questions about how they think they can improve on delivering in the future.

Give them options. Explain the different options available; whether it be moving them to another department, re-arranging the work schedule to accommodate any lifestyle changes or possibly discussing  an exit strategy. The last thing you want is someone working for you that doesn’t want to be there. It’s better to find out while they are still there; this way you’ll have the chance to cross-train someone to replace them.

Follow through. When it comes time to implement disciplinary action, do it. Don’t get too caught up on small details that you “let it slide”. Holding employees accountable requires you to actually follow-through with doing what you say you will do. Why is this important? Because it sets the standard. Now that you’ve heard from their point of view, provided options and explained disciplinary measures it’s time to implement. Implementation shows you are serious about the future of the organization and you expect them to be serious about it too.

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

Extend Your Reach!

SET A GOAL

 

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Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

April’s Book Pick

Monthly Book Pick!

This month I  picked Marcus Buckingham’s First Break All the Rules [Kindle Edition]. This book is a break all the rulessummary of Gallup’s studies accumulated in the mid to late 1990. Gallup’s research produced twelve simple questions that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from the rest. This book introduces this essential measuring stick and proves the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and rate of turnover.

“Engaged workers view the world differently than disengaged workers do because they have managers who develop their strengths rather than fixate on their weaknesses.”

This book will teach managers how to engage workers and dig deeper to create a sustainable organization.

If you have any recommendations for my next book pick, please add your comment below!

Profile-Pic_thumb1.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Winner of March’s Book Pick!

Congrats to the winner of my Book Pick of the month, Siegrid Ree.

Stay tuned for my next pick of the month giveaway!

All the best,

Mary V. Davids

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Winning in the First 90 Days

Businesswoman climbing ladder.The first 90 days at a new workplace are crucial. Within your first 90 days you must not only prove you can perform the job, you must prove you were worth the investment. Over the years, I’ve observed several mistakes new workers make. Unfortunately these rookie mistakes can create lasting impressions causing challenges during tenure.
It is important to remember that your first 90 days lay the foundation for your future success at a company. Within your first 90 days, you can either become just another number or you can choose to set the standard for what you want people to know about who you are and what value you add to the organization.  Here are a few suggestions to help you score big in your first 90 days.

If you want to become a recognized leader, people must  first know who you are.

Speak up…..Strategically. Yes, you are the newbie but that doesn’t mean you were born yesterday. Make sure the atmosphere is welcoming. Don’t over-talk someone or cut them off. Wait until the timing is appropriate and then share your thoughts. Always start with a positive statement. Just because you started a new job doesn’t mean you lose all your knowledge and skills. Get in there and be a voice.

Observe. Pay attention to how employees interact with one another. See how employees engage during meetings and who speaks up more than others. See who agrees with one person’s view over another. Pay attention to detail and stay aware of your surroundings. Observe what happens during lunch time. Who eats lunch in the break-room? Who eats lunch at their desk? Who goes out with a group for lunch? Theseeat at desk little things tell you a lot about employees. The behaviors of employees during lunch hour can give you an idea of who the worker-bees are, and it can help you differentiate the introverts from the extroverts. 

Ask questions. To make a conscious decision about who you should and should not interact with, you will have to ask the right questions. See what colleagues say about the company by asking questions such as:

What do you like most about working here?

Who do you enjoy working with the most? Why?

These are light questions that will strike up conversation but also get you to know more about how employees view the company and who the influencers are within the organization. Notice, these questions do not encourage negative conversation. You don’t want to get into a conversation where one employee is bashing another employee, or even worse, the company.

Never Gossip. New employees often find themselves in difficult circumstances, often facing the pressuregossip_istock to engage in gossip. Imagine high-school years; having the desire to be accepted and part of a group. This pressure can sometimes cause you to do things you don’t want to do; but you do it anyway. Distance yourself from gossip. You don’t know anyone enough to have an opinion and even if you did, gossip never has a positive outcome. Gossip is a distraction, a distraction you cannot afford to engage in. Remember, leaders don’t blend in, they stand-out among the many.

Problem Solving – Stay Positive. When a problem arises digest the issues, provide  positive responses and focus on the resolve.  Diffuse any finger-pointing by reminding the group to focus on fixing the issue, not re-hashing details leading up to the problem. Forget fitting in. Instead focus on being confident and results driven; the rest will follow.

Bottom Line. Don’t look at the first 90 days as a tip-toe situation requiring you to stay under the radar. Look at it as an opportunity to lay a solid foundation about who you are and what you can do to improve performance and sustainability at an organization. Initiate conversation with those in leadership positions and never let the suit intimidate you.

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.