Social media is taking over the world (if it hasn't already). It's the outlet we all look to for news, updates on our friends, and offers from our favorite businesses. Social media is a way for us to disseminate information about pretty much anything. Here are 9 reasons why social media is king for getting your name and services out there.
1. Boost SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, means that when people search keywords related to your business in a search engine, your business will pop up as one of the first-page choices (we hope). Social media is a sure-fire way to get your site to the top of the list, faster.
2. Drive traffic to your site.
Traffic is a good thing when it comes to the web. If you're not on social, the only people that see your new web pages are the people that are already on your site. But what's key is telling people about your new pages and getting them to that point by social media advertising.
3. Develop a following.
Think of your business like a celebrity -- your object is to get fans. A healthy social media game will build loyal followers that are likely to visit your page on a regular basis (and tell their friends!).
4. Extend offers.
Social media is a great way to let your followers know about upcoming news and events that require their participation. If you give a deadline, people can save dates right to their calendar so they never miss a beat. (Much more effective than a flyer, we think!)
5. Engage with your customers.
Get your brand out there by posting social content that demands feedback from your customers. Post quizzes, fun facts, or contests to keep your followers coming back for more.
6. Establish more efficient modes of communication.
Email is great, but social media is an immediate form of communication. Your followers can communicate with each other and also pose questions, comments and concerns to your staff that can be dealt with directly via the social pages.
7. Take on the competition.
Your competitors are on their social media game, so now it's time to keep up with them! Take a look at their most successful posts, and try to emulate that in your own social strategy.
8. Get news coverage.
If you have an active social media page, you're more likely to get noticed by other businesses and maybe even publications. If you're having an event, fundraiser, or special offer, this welcomes an opportunity to explain your philosophy and cause and generate interest among groups that could potentially promote you in the future.
9. It's free!
Perhaps the most valuable part of social media -- it doesn't take a cent to make a page. If you're willing to take the social media plunge, it'll be well worth your while.
So what are you waiting for? Get followers and get out there -- the Internet is your oyster.
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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 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.
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.
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.