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Marketing Tips

The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Yes, It Is Possible to Sell a Service on Instagram

Fivenson-studios-how to sell a service online-ann-arbor-graphic design-studios

Perhaps you have never considered Instagram for your business. If you are an accountant or an attorney, maybe you didn’t think your line of work was creative enough. Now it might take a little more work, but you can definitely sell your skills and services on Instagram.

Instagram, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, is all about building your online community. You want people to connect with you and your company on a more intimate level. Let’s say for an example that you are an attorney, you can use Instagram to share quotes, photos of your office, shots of the courthouses you work in, and favorite activities outside of work.

If your business is in graphic design, you would want to share your portfolio of work and places where you draw inspiration. If you are a landscaper or a landscape architect, share before and after photos of your completed gardens and lawns. You could also share helpful hints for the home gardeners and inspirational photos from the top landscape architects around the world.

When it comes to Instagram, you want the images you share to be a reflection of you and your company. Some other tips to get you started include:

  • Short Links
    The links on Instagram aren’t active, so make sure that any links to your website or blog are short and easy to remember. You can use a service like Bitly to shorten long links. You will have to retype these if you share on Facebook or Twitter, so a short link is key.
  • Email List
    Using your email marketing program, take a screenshot of the opt-in page or use another image and provide the link for new users to sign up. Instagram also gives you a chance to create a 15-second video, so you can give viewers a few great reasons to sign up for your emails.
  • Video
    As stated above, you can create 15 second videos for your page. If you’re a graphic designer, create a timelapse representation of your work. If you are a hairstylist, show a sped-up braid tutorial. Share testimonials from your clients or colleagues.
  • How To
    Invite your customers to share a photo of a common issue and give them solutions on how to solve it. If you are an electrician, it might be on how to remove a broken bulb from a lamp. If you are a carpenter, you could show the best method of removing paint and sanding furniture.
  • Build a Community
    Instagram is all about building relationships, so comment on and share photos from your followers. Also follow some of your colleagues in the industry and comment positively on their work to build a relationship.

 

Instagram is a great way to market your business in a fun, visual, and entertaining way. Remember to play it safe with posting, don’t post anything that you think might offend someone and steer clear of political posts. When you are commenting, keep your tone light and conversational. You want to treat your followers as your friends.

Mickie Kennedy founded eReleases in 1998 where he still works to help small businesses achieve their PR goals.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM GENERATES THE MOST ROI (RETURN ON INVESTMENT) FOR YOUR BUSINESS

WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM  FIVENSON STUDIOS GRAPHIC DESIGN ANN ARBOR MI

Social media is an evolving arena for small business owners and many seem unsure about whether or not to invest marketing dollars. In a recent survey, only half of respondents said that they are willing to spend money on social media marketing. And of those who do spend, most (47 percent) commit less than $100 per month, while 40 percent spend between $100 and $1,000. Nearly 60 percent of respondents did acknowledge ROI (return on investment), with Facebook generating the most return. The survey also found that nearly 40 percent of small business owners use social media to acquire and engage new customers, while the majority of the rest use it to drive awareness and market their business (17 percent) or to get leads and referrals (15 percent).

  Which Social Media Platform Do You Use Most For Your Business?
Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

How to keep up with new trends in marketing?

how to keep up with new trends in marketing ann arbor michigan web design graphic deisng logo desing fivenson studios
In these hasty times, anyone who wants to achieve something in the business world, has to constantly search for self-improvement, and one of the ways to accomplish that is definitely keeping up with innovative ways of marketing. If you want to be at the top of the game instead of a simple underdog, there is no going around this. That’s why it is crucial for your success to regularly boost your marketing strategy with new knowledge. Here, we’ll give you some advices on how to market your business on a hip, modern and attention-grabbing way.

Markeitng Strategy how to keep up with new trends in marketing ann arbor michigan web design graphic deisng logo desing fivenson studios

Run to the hills

We don’t mean literally, but to turn to guerilla marketing tactics, which have proven rather effective. If you are new to these strategies, they might sound too aggressive and provocative, but steering away from them can bring you more harm than good. It’s a low-cost and high-gain strategy with maximum results, which is ideal for small businesses. For this type of marketing, instead of investing a ton of money, you’ll need to invest inspiration and creativity. From a pop-up breakfast in bed IKEA prepared for customers to the amazing Coca-Cola’s campaign “Wish upon a coke” to give the passengers on an airport an extra 5 kg baggage tag, guerilla marketing has unlimited possibilities.

Be social

The cheapest and perhaps one of the most efficient ways of marketing today is through social media. After all, you have millions of potential customers just waiting for you to win their attention. But since that is yesterday’s marketing trend, you can refresh and update it. Combining social media and real-life advertising (hush tag signs on billboards and bus adds, for example), can be very beneficial and lead a lot of bystanders to visit your social media profile.

Gift giveaways how to keep up with new trends in marketing ann arbor michigan web design graphic deisng logo desing fivenson studios

Be generous

Giveaways are always a great idea to show your customers you are devoted to them. It doesn’t really have to be some expensive products you’ll gift your clients or potential clients, but some interesting promotional gifts from Cubic Promote, such as pencils, T-shirts, lighters, coffee mugs, hats, etc. that will help your brand to spread around. Though most of the marketing activities today have moved to the internet, there is no reason to steer away from traditional forms which will help your customers to feel you, and additionally give you the upper hand over the competition still trapped only in modern technologies.

Be smart-phone-friendly

Probably you already have a web-page, a blog or a social media page, but you should be aware the fact that more than 80 percent adults own a smartphone, and they tend to explore the web frequently using mobile phones. To make the job easier for them, create a free application with both promotional and non-commercial content. Non-commercial content may be useful for attracting clients providing them with helpful information, while the ads on the app are just a bonus for your business.

Bonus ideas

There are number of other ways to advertise and you should use the ones that suits you the best. Becoming a brand on a local level might be the logical way for a small business just starting its corporate endeavor. The easiest ways to do that are commercials on local media and sponsoring a local sports team, for instance. Organizing some contests and charity dinners might be the things that will separate you from the competition.

Unleash your inner marketing mage and be creative and innovative with advertising techniques, it will pay off in the form of satisfied customers and increased incomes.

Dan Radak is a web hosting security professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he works with a number of companies in the field of online security, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.

 

  We would love to hear your thoughts.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Buyable Pins Coming Soon

Oh How Pinteresting Buyable Pins Coming soon Fivenson Studios Graphic Design-Web design and logo design studios

Here’s how it all works.

Blue means you can buy

When you spot a Pin with a blue price, you’ll know you can buy it right from the app. Searching for something specific? Use the price filter to hone in on just the right Pin.
You can also find the right color for you, within the Pin itself. See how you feel about the orange sleeping bag, or maybe the black one. Swipe through all your options and pick your favorite.
It’s simple and secure
When you’re ready to check out, tap Buy it and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Soon, you’ll be on your way and back to Pinning. Once you enter your personal info, we’ll store it so you don’t have to thumb it in again next time.
The fewer people who have access your credit card information, the better—and that includes us. That’s why we won’t store your credit card info ourselves. Instead, we’re working with payment processors who’ve been protecting people’s information for years. And when you pay with Apple Pay, it uses a device specific account number instead of your actual credit card number, so neither your device nor Apple Pay will send your actual card number to the seller.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Would You Use Pinterest To Buy A Product?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

MARKET LIKE THE YEAR WE LIVE IN

stop marketing like its 1999 and start marketing likes its 2015

It seems like every day there’s a new app, search engine update, or upgrade that marketers simply “must” incorporate into their marketing plan, often at the expense of other tactics.

Though paper flyers are an option for today’s marketer, technology has also made it possible for you to avail yourself of digital distribution options and opened the door for platforms like evite, where anyone with a computer can quickly draw up an event or occasion announcement and distribute it to thousands of email and social media contacts.

When it came to ROI in 1999, the bigger, brighter, and more noticeable your yellow pages’ ad was, the better.

(Yes, we know there was email marketing in 1999, but it was in its infancy.

Every day consumers see dozens – if not hundreds – of billboards as they drive to work, take their kids to soccer practice, head out for dinner, complete shopping errands, and so on.

Print catalogs worked in 1999, and they still work today.

As part of an omni-channel marketing strategy, catalogs (print or digital) can be used to drive brand awareness and impact consumers’ brand perception.

Full color newspaper and magazine ads, television ads, and radio spots took up a large chunk of the marketing budget for those that could afford them in 1999, and that hasn’t changed.

In 1999, business buyers had stacks of corporate brochures and folders on hand.

The corporate brochure can still be an effective tool today, but probably not in the 1999 format.

Given that consumers and B2B buyers alike nearly always begin the buying journey online, it’s critical for today’s marketers to recognize that today’s corporate brochure is their business website, and design it accordingly.

For organizations that reach farther afield, it could be a combination of local groups, tradeshows, conferences, and digital networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms that help them connect with buyers and marketing partners.

After all, these “old school” marketing tactics continue to provide new streams of revenue, holding their own as foundational elements of nearly any omni-channel marketing plan.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Optimize Your “About Us” Page For More Leads

Optimize Your about us page ANN ARBOR GRAPHIC DESGIN AND WEBDESIGN STUDIOSIf you haven’t paid much attention to your company’s “About Us” page or, worse yet, you don’t have a page stating your company’s mission statement, leadership roles, and goals as a business, now is the time to get to work.

If your “About Us” page is either completely missing or seriously thin on information, you are losing money. Studies have shown that visitors to that page were 5 times more likely to make a purchase; and when they did, they were likely to spend more on that purchase. If the company had a well-written and attractive “About Us” page, those numbers went up again.

Your “About Us” page is your “business card” to the world. It says who you are, what you do, and what you stand for as a company. Without one or with a poor version, visitors are less likely to stay on your website and in some cases might never return.

Sound like too much work? Never fear, here are some easy steps to optimize your “About Us” page, that can help make a first time visitor into a long time customer:

  1. Logo and Tagline
    At the top of the page have your logo and a catchy tagline about your company. Make it easy to remember.
  2. Introduction
    Write a short, 3 sentence paragraph describing what your company does. Keep it conversational and leave out the jargon. Also, don’t go straight into the sales pitch.
  3. A Story
    Stories are a great way for your customer to relate to your company. Talk about your company’s principles and goals as a way of establishing trust with the potential customer. You could also relate a customer success story or another anecdote.
  4. Photos and Videos
    Including photographs of yourself and your employees is a great way for the customer to see that they are dealing with real people. Make sure that they are professionally done photographs. Same goes for videos if they when included.
  5. Testimonial
    Include a great testimonial from a long-time customer, but considering keeping it to one or two. No one wants to read 5 testimonials that all say the same thing.
  6. Contact Information
    Be sure that the your contact information is on every page on your website, especially your “About Us” page. Don’t make your customers hunt for it, or they will just leave in favor of an easier-to-reach competitor.

If your About Us page is not the main page on the website, be sure to include a prominent link on the main page. In addition, optimize your page for SEO by using alt text and descriptive titles for your images and use keywords throughout the text.

Keep the layout simple and limit the amount of design features. Reducing page clutter makes it easy for the customer to zero in on the important information, which in turn helps them to make the decision to use your company. Lastly don’t forget a call to action button – like “request more information” or “schedule a consultation.” If your viewer likes what they see, they can find out more about your product or service.

Do you have any other tips for the “About Us” page? Anything we miss? Talk to us in the comments.

Mickie Kennedy is the author of the PR Fuel blog, and offers free PR eBooks and Whitepapers for small business owners and entrepreneurs of all kinds.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Easy Money Or Quick Doom -Using Leverage Wisely

 

EASY MONEY OR QUICK DOOM USING LEVERAGE WISELY ANN ARBOR GRAPHIC DESGIN AND WEBDESIGN STUDIOS

One of the biggest benefits of all trading options is financial leverage. When you take a leverage, you are actually driving your investments to work harder for you, maximizing the profit. What it means is that you are creating leverage for bigger gains through a smaller amount of capital invested. Let’s expand this concept and explain its mechanics.

Definition of Leverage

Financial leverage is based on investing other people’s money in order to maximize future profits. For example, mortgages can be used to invest in real estate, and businesses may borrow money to expand their production. Leverage draws its benefit from increased property value, or higher company revenue which in return increases the value of stockholder’s shares.

How Leveraging Works

Financial leverage is usually created by using other people’s money in an effort to maximize future profits. Mortgages are used to invest in real estate, and companies borrow money to expand operations. The benefit of the leverage comes from increased property value, or higher company revenue which raises the value of stockholders’ shares. On the investor’s part buying options is an ultimate financial leverage. You as an investor can own a huge number of shares for the same initial investment, then if you bought the shares themselves. And the best thing is that you didn’t have to borrow additional capital.

Example

Let’s take an example where you want to invest $2,000 so you buy 10 shares of a company X, which number $200 per share. On the other hand, the option contracts may be valued at $400 for lots of 200 shares ($2.00 for option). That means that you’re your investment capital of $2,000, you could buy five options contracts that would increase your financial leverage by placing you in control of 1,000 shares instead of 10. Now, if the value of those shares surges during the option contract period, you can buy the shares that you have the right to buy at the agreed price, which will at that time be significantly lower than their market value.

Finalizing the Leverage

At that point, you can resell those shares that at market value, capitalizing on a vastly larger number of shares that if you purchased them originally if you had bought those 10 shares for $2,000. Still, bear in mind that you will need a lot more capital at your disposal if you want to pull the trigger on this trade, so you can buy the shares that you are entitled to by your options. And, of course, there is always the risk that the market place can suddenly plummet before you had a chance to resell the shares. In order to pull smart trading decisions, you are going to need a smart tool. You can sign up here to try out a new EquityFeed trading toolbox.

Risks Involved

There were numerous cases of a devastating effect of financial leverage on solvency, when a company that borrowed too much money was brought to the edge of bankruptcy during a business downturn. On the other hand, a company that has taken less leverage has higher liquidity and is more bankruptcy-proof. Leverage has seen a lot of popular prejudice by the people who borrowed a lot of money for personal needs, like overuse of credit cards. On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that in finance businesses borrow money for purchasing an asset with a higher return than the debt interest. By borrowing, a company in fact creates value, while taking debt for personal use there is no value creating, nor leveraging.

If you decide to trade options, you need a good understanding of financial leverage, its benefits and risks. A sound trading strategy can incorporate leverage as a tool for maximizing your profit, while keeping the risk as low as possible.
 

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Celebrating Mom: Mother’s Day Gift Trends

We want only the best for Mom on her special day.

Searches for the “best mothers day gift” in May 2014 were up nearly 40% from the previous year. And Mom would be so pleased: People actually started looking for gift ideas earlier (April searches were up 53% YoY).1 On mobile, searches for “best mothers day gift” were up 51% YoY.2

Flowers are no longer the go-to gift for Mother’s Day.

Over the past four years, search interest for flowers around Mother’s Day has decreased (down 19% since 2011).

On the other hand, arrangements of the edible variety are growing in popularity: Search interest in “fruit baskets” grew nearly 20% in May 2014 YoY.4

Moms are favoring an experience over flowers

Millennial moms just want some peace and quiet…

Millennial moms said they looked forward to Mother’s Day as a chance to rest.5

And what better way to help Mom relax than a day at the spa? That seems to be the general thinking, as the #1 day for “spa” searches is Mother’s Day.6

…while older moms favor food and family

Moms ages 35 and up say a “meal with family” would be their ideal gift.7

That special meal starts with a reservation: After Valentine’s Day, the most searches related to reservations happen most often on Mother’s Day.8

No gift? With less than a week to go, you’re not alone.

Weeks turn into days, and before you know it, Mom’s special day is just around the corner. Mother’s Day ranked third (behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day) for “last minute” searches related to gifts.

MOTHER DAY

MOTHER DAY 2 MOTHER DAY 3 MOTHER DAY 4

Sources 1 Google Trends, January 2012–March 2015, United States. 2 Google Data, May 2013–May 2014, United States. 3 Google Trends, January 2011–March 2015, United States. 4 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 5 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015 (n=2,058). 6 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 7 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015 (n=2,058). 8 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 9 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States


We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Advantages & Disadvantages of Hashtags

Hashing Out The Almighty #Hashtag

  • Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events, and promotions
  • They allow brands to track the performance of promotions across social media.
  • They started out on Twitter, but have spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and other platforms.
  • Individuals can see a 100% increase in engagement by using hashtags while brands can see a 50% increase.

 

Using Hashtags On Twitter

  • Tweets with hastags get 2 times more engagement than tweets without.
  • Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
  • But when you use more than two hashtags, engagement drops by an average of 17%

 

Using Hashtags On Instagram

  • Instagram, the opposite of Twitter, shows posts with 11 or more hashtags have the highest interactions.
  • Use LOTS of hashtags on Instagram to build your community.

 

Using Hashtags On Facebook.

  • Facebook post without hashtags outperform those with hashtags.
  • Rarely use hashtags on Facebook to categorize (for business- oriented followers) or build a community (for community-oriented followers).
  • Too many hashtags on Facebook leads to fewer interactions.

 

Tips For Successful Hashtag Campaigns.

What is a good hashtag?

  • Memorable
  • Unique
  • Relevant to your campaign.

 

Find A Balance

  • Hashtags should be distinctive and simple for followers to remember
  • Don’t use generic hashtags, like food, people, or places they are too broad and too hard to track.

 

Create An Easy-To-Understand Message:

  • Craft a hashtag around one particular message.
  • Keep it short.
  • Make the call-to-action clear, consistent, and easy.
  • Avoid anything too abstract.
  • Capitalize multi-word hashtags

 

Create Your Own Momentum:

  • Identify your audience’s influencers.
  • Look to you fans to inspire new campaign hashtags.

 

Utilize Your Band:

  • Consider using your brand’s name in a hashtag.

 

Double Check:

  • Consider your hashtag means something else entirely
  • Steer clear of slang.
  • Before you finalize a list of hashtags, check if yours are being used elsewhere in an entirely different context.

 

Proofread Them Proofread Again:

  • If a hashtag can be misread, it will be.
  • Make sure when capitalization is removed, the words in a hashtag do no create other words or messages.

 

Have A Backup Plan:

  • Test a hashtag before heavily marketing it.
  • Have an alternative campaign prepared if your initial idea is co-opted

 

Incorporate Hashtags Into Traditional Media:

  • Consider using hashtags on billboards, television commercials, etc.

 

Monitor The Conversation:

  • Follow hashtags to keep track of trends in your industry.
  • See what your competition does, what influencers say, and how customers react.

 

Live Tweet During A Big Event:

  • Find a way to incorporate your hashtag into elections, sports championships, awards shows, and other major events.

Hashtags can be a great way to engage with followers on the proper platform, to introduce new products or services, and gain traction for an event. #UseHashtags.

Fivenson Studios Ann Arbor Graphic Design Web Design Logo Design How To Use Hashtags

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

10 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Motivate Your Employees

In today’s fast-paced business world, companies want their employees to work hard and work fast. As an employer, you want to encourage your employees to be productive and take action as much as possible. Luckily for you, this doesn’t require any sort of expensive fees or complicated rituals. Motivating your employees can be simple, easy, cheap, and even fun. Plus, you will be grateful when you see the results. The best way to motivate your employees is to make them happy. Here are a few ideas:

10 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Motivate Your Employees

1. Set goals.

Employee autonomy is a great thing, but it can be overwhelming when one worker has too many duties or doesn’t quite know which duties to work on. They might be stuck deciding between several different tasks and be confused as to which one to complete first. Even worse, the employee might have to multi-task, something that is terrible for productivity.

Make sure each employee has a clear to-do list to follow each day. It should allow the worker to clearly prioritize the important tasks that must be completed first and recognize which tasks should be completed afterwards. It will also motivate your employee to get everything done by the end of the day so that there is less temptation to goof around.

2. Give recognition.

Everyone wants to feel recognized and nobody wants to be thought of as simply another cog in the machine. You should praise each employee’s efforts when he or she does a good job. Take note of who is working hard and who is producing results. Give your exceptional employees the recognition they deserve. This could be as simple as a pat on the back or as lofty as labeling them as the “Employee of the Month.”

3. Be happy.

Mood is infectious, especially when it is coming from a leader. If you show up to work every day with a scowl on your face and a bad attitude, your employees will eventually feel irritable and demotivated. If you show up to work every day with a smile on your face and an uplifting attitude, your employees will feel happier and be more productive.

Remember that a leader has the power to dramatically shape how his or her company operates. You should be a reflection of your ideal employee. Work hard and your employees will work hard as well. Have confidence and your employees will become more confident in your company and your leadership abilities. Be comfortable and your employees will be able to relax.

4. Foster teamwork.

Employees who have a lot of friends at work are much more productive (unless they spent all their time socializing instead of working). An infographic from Officevibe shows that employees who have friends at work have a 35% higher commitment to quality, are 1.3 times more likely to get positive feedback in the past six months, and benefit 137% more from personal development support.

On the other hand, employees who feel excluded are more likely to behave badly. A 2014 study from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business divided participants into groups of four and asked them to complete two tests that would be scored against other groups. The participants were all told that only three members of each group were allowed to take the second test. This would be determined by a vote. Researchers told some participants that they received three votes and told others that they only received one vote.

After the participants were told how many group members supposedly voted for them, they were asked to unscramble an anagram and record how many times they solved it. There was just one catch: the anagram was impossible to solve. Needless to say, the participants who were primed to feel excluded reported that they solved the impossible anagram more often than the ones who were primed to feel included.

5. Talk walks.

Sometimes employees just need a quick break to refresh their mind. Believe it or not, taking a quick walk can help improve productivity and creativity. Walking gets the body exercise and helps blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. It also helps employees take a break from the ill effects of prolonged sitting, typing, or staring at a computer screen.

Research from Stanford conducted three experiments to test how walking could affect someone’s “divergent thinking.” The researchers found that students who walked for a few minutes produced 60% more creative output compared to the students who sat down. In a fourth experiment, researchers asked students to come up with quality analogies for sudden phrases. Students who walked beforehand performed twice as good as students who sat down.

6. Allow feedback.

Every employee wants to feel valued in some way or another. Give everyone a chance to participate and allow everyone to have their own voice and opinions. You never know what sort of awesome ideas could come from your employees. They could have some wild out-of-the-box solutions that nobody else would have come up with. This will not only help the company develop new marketing strategies; it also helps employees feel more included.

7. Give them a sense of purpose.

One way to dramatically improve productivity is to make sure that employees have a sense of purpose when they are working for the company. Perhaps they want to use their job as an opportunity to brush up on their own skills or to help give back to the community.

Find out what your employee’s goals are and try to align the company’s needs with their own goals. For example, someone who wants to improve their communication skills would have a great opportunity interacting with customers. This will give employees something to look forward to every day.

8. Provide food.

Getting free lunch every day is an awesome benefit that most employees love to receive. Of course, you don’t need to be that elaborate, but you should at least offer some coffee, tea, and healthy snacks.

Hungry employees don’t have the energy to work their best or resist distractions. Employees who eat junk food might find themselves exhausted after a sugar crash. Provide some KIND bars or fruit so that your employees can snack on while they work. Food that is good for the brain is also good for productivity.

9. Pay attention to the time of day.

Everyone has their own chronotype that dictates when that individual works best. For example, “night owls” work better during evening shifts and “morning larks” work better earlier in the day. When owls are working in the morning and larks in the evening, their productivity and morality both drop.

A trio of researchers -- Christopher M. Barnes, Brian Gunia, and Sunita Sah -- found that certain people are more unethical during certain times of the day. The researchers conducted two experiments. In the first one, participants were asked to anonymously report how many matrices they solved in a given period of time. The higher amount of correct answers yielded a higher financial reward. The results found that night owls were more likely to cheat at the experiment was conducted in the morning.

A second experiment was conducted at night. Participants were asked to calculate the numbers they rolled on dice. Once again, higher results meant more pay. The average of all die rolls is 3.5, so it was easy to tell who may be over-reporting. Consistent with their research, morning larks were more likely to cheat at night.

This happens because people who work during times incompatible with their chronotype have less energy and therefore have a harder time resisting temptation. It also makes them far less productive because they are more tired.

10. Promote healthy competition.

What will make people want to work the hardest? Winning a competition, of course! Find ways to encourage employees to compete in a healthy way, not a way that encourages them to sabotage their opponents.

For example, your company can reward the employee who sells the most during a given time period. This will encourage competitive employees to work harder in order to get the best results. Just make sure that the competition is fun for everyone who participates.

About the Author: Patrick W. Dunne is currently a staff writer for SMBAdviser.com and writes about topics like business, leadership, productivity, finance, and marketing. He graduated from Chaminade University with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology. If you’d like to contact him for freelance or guest blogging opportunities, send an e-mail to wingkon@comcast.net or send a message to his LinkedIn profile.

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