Getty Images

Businesses are slowly transitioning to the Internet and many people know by now that social media is a great place to advertise.

Customers can reach out to business owners directly and list any concerns they may have with the product. In addition, building a strong fan base is essential to establishing a social media presence and a loyal following.

Take a look at makeup brands such as Pixi or KKW — not only do they post regularly and engage with followers, but they also partner up with other influencers to raise sales and recognition. You can link products directly from an Instagram post or swipe up on Stories to go to a specific page.

However, this may seem pretty daunting — and the truth is, it can be very hard to start out on your own platform. Here are seven tips you should absolutely follow to make your voice heard.

Research your platform

Do your research Getty Images

If you don't have any experience with social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, make sure to do your homework. Most of these sites have business tools you can utilize to your advantage. Pay attentions to how other successful brands are posting and find trending hashtags and themes.

Research your competitors or others in your industry — what are they doing successfully? Don't copy them outright, but try and understand what's working for them and how you can replicate it for your brand.

Build your personality

Be your best selfGetty Images

No one wants a plain old businessman — or woman — trying to sell them something. You want to create a brand for yourself, or rather, a personality for your followers to latch onto. For example, if you're business focuses on health and good living, try building your brand around inspirational quotes and pictures. Let your culture and personality show through your social media presence.

Post consistently

Stay active and engaged Getty Images

You can't expect results in just a few weeks — be consistent in your posting and your community outreach. Find people and businesses similar to your target demographic to follow, learn from, and engage on your own platform.

Target your audience

Reach the right people khaleejtimes

If your brand is selling all things baby-related, narrow down your search to parents, grandparents or prospective mothers. Facebook has business tools that allow you to choose your target demographic from age, education level, job, salary, interests and more. Narrowing down your customer base will help inform your branding strategies.

Partner up

Teamwork is essentialGetty Images

If you have friends or acquaintances that own successful social platforms, call in a favor for a shoutout or a feature on their page. If you don't know anyone like that, many pages will do the same for a price — depending on how popular they are. This tactic will likely gain you followers, and in return, a bigger customer base.

One thing that is not recommended is buying followers — not only is it completely untrustworthy and discredits your brand, but these are not real people you can sell to, thus this will not aid in growing your business.

Use social media tools

Tune into tools Getty Images

You may not have time to manage your social platforms for hours every day, so use apps that can do it for you. There are tools to help you plan your Instagram feed so that everything stays aesthetically pleasing and ordered, like Preview. This app even lets you schedule posts at the most optimal times during the day to increase views.

When growing your brand and your audience, the most important thing to keep in mind is that growth won't come in a day. Most brands take months and even years to develop, but once you have a small fan base, it's easier to grow.

PayPath
Follow Us on

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

Getty Images/Maria Stavreva

Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.

Keep reading Show less

diy gifts

Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.

With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.

Keep reading Show less