The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Great Social Media Manager

A great social media manager is, as Ron Burgundy would say: “The balls”.

It’s an undisputed fact that every business needs to be active in social media. The ever-changing demands of the modern day consumer requires brands to think fast and adapt quickly in order to stay one step ahead.

The role of a social media manager has appealed to the mass generation of socially-active internet users. It’s hard not to. Especially when some might think that you can earn big bucks from posting Facebook updates. Hardly.

Being a social media manager is kind of like being a stand-up comedian. You have to quickly understand your audience and your engagement with them is vital. In order to accomplish this, you need to know if the audience is laughing at your jokes and you need to know this in real-time. If you can do this, then you have already won the crowd.

So, how do you become a social manager? More to the point, how do you become a great social manager?

The answer will be surprising to some. Firstly, you have to want it. Second, you have to love it. Third, you have to learn it. And even if you tick all these boxes, you should ask yourself: “Am I a social person?” If the answer is no, then becoming a social media manager is probably not for you…

So let’s take a look at the stats.

LinkedIn shows 57,910 results for “social media manager”
Social media has now overtaken porn as the number 1 activity on the web
97% of all consumers search for local businesses online
71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others
93% of marketers use social media for business
In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%)
77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix
On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion
78% of small businesses attract new customers through social sites
When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below

But the statistic that is most relevant to this article is:

Just 12% of those using social marketing feel they actually use it effectively.

Being a social media manager brings with it some key benefits within a freelance setting. The most recognisable being the fact that you are your own boss. You make the decisions and answer to no one. You send the invoices and you set the policies. Heck, you could sit in your underpants all day on the computer if you wanted to.

The other is money. It is an in-demand role, but one that companies are still struggling to come to terms with. Some companies realise and understand the value social media could bring to their enterprise and are willing to invest heavily in robust social media campaigns. Being your own boss, you can decide how to set your costs and price accordingly.

Another attractive reason is the low barriers to entry. With low start-up costs and plenty of online resources (like this one!) to rapidly decrease the learning cure, anyone can launch a freelance social management business within a short space of time.

I’ll tell you my story shortly but first, let’s explore the essential skills you’ll need to become a great social media manager..

Fundamental Skills:

Marketing Knowledge

You should have a good grasp of the basic marketing principles. Some education in marketing would be beneficial, but otherwise you can find many quality resources online.

Experience

Your experience doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to life experiences. Have you managed your own social media profiles for a while? Do you know how to effectively maintain your own social accounts and understand what clients expect?

Sociable

I touched on this at the beginning of the article. If you are not a sociable person – someone who doesn’t like communicating much and isn’t very outgoing, then becoming a social media manager just isn’t for you. Sure, you can hide behind a keyword and monitor for a while, but clients will usually want to meet, speak on the phone, or have Skype sessions at some point.

Project Management

You don’t have to have a Prince2 certificate, but you do need to be able to manage projects and your time well. It’s typical for social media manager’s to work with multiple clients at any one time. Keeping tabs on everything is important so that it doesn’t get overwhelming.

Technological

Social media exists online. Therefore, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy. Having good knowledge of social technology will enhance your services and ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest social trends and developments.

Interpersonal Skills:

Communication

It kind of goes without saying that if you’re going to be representing a company and engaging with their customers, then you will need to have strong communication skills.

Personality

Companies tend not to want to hire people with no personality to act on behalf of their brand. It doesn’t resonate well with them, or their audiences.

Responsiveness

I’ve touched on this a few times – social media is very fast-paced. Imagine if one of your social assignments was largely focused on customer service and you didn’t respond to customer complaints or queries for weeks. People online want rapid responses. Being able to fulfil these needs can stand your client (and you!) in good stead.

Entrepreneurial

To become a social media manager in a freelance capacity, you have to be a self-starter. You should be willing to go the extra mile and take a few financial risks along the way. If you don’t land a job that pays enough in one month, how will this affect you?

Multitasking

A great social media manager must be able to effectively carry out a wide range of tasks.

Organisation

You should always be very well organised when delivering social media management services. I use all kinds of traditional tools like calendars, white boards and task lists to keep myself organised. I also use many online organisational tools, such as: Thunderbird for accessing all my email accounts in one place, Dropbox to easily share documents with clients and bookmarks to keep track of all the websites I frequently visit.

Strategic Thinking

Being able to think campaigns through before they happen and sometimes thinking outside the box when needed, are great asset to have as a social media manager. Clients tend to want to know how you will do something before letting you do it, so being able to present a clear and concise strategy is essential.

Flexible (with travel)

Contrary to popular belief, a freelance social media manager has to leave his office sometimes! If this is a problem for you, then you should think about starting another profession. Nearly every sizeable project I undertake involves multiple meetings with the client. You should have reasonable pitching skills, as you may be required to sell your services face to face too, before being hired. You may even opt to take on in-house work.

Wider Skills:

Copywriting

Every good social media manager is a great writer. Writing forms the foundations of many aspects of online marketing, be it creating ads, writing blogs, engaging with customers, scripting sales copy or writing press releases.

Graphic Design

Pretty much all social media platforms provide the functionality to customise the interface and incorporate your own branding. If you are sharp with Photoshop (or similar design software), then you are in a good position to offer these services as part of your social media package. Similarly, creating content such as infographics, banners or images is standard practise for a social media manager.

Advertising

Every social media manager should have sound knowledge of advertising. Be it Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or banner advertising, you should know the ins and outs of each discipline and understand how to optimise each format.

PR

Public relations is closely tied to social media marketing, in the sense that both involve managing the spread of information between a business and the public. You may start out not needing to have a deep knowledge of PR, as it is typically managed by larger brands who have an interest in persuading stakeholders, investors or the public to maintain a certain point of view.

Statistical

Everything in marketing should be measured. You should periodically measure and analyse your social marketing performance and produce reports to your clients to demonstrate your value.

SEO

Understanding how social media affects search engine optimisation will ultimately improve campaign performance. In 2012, there was an average of 5,134,000,000 searches on Google every day. If you think SEO doesn’t matter to your social activities, think again.

Traditional Marketing

Even though you generally won’t be involved in traditional marketing practises while undertaking a social media management role, you should understand how both forms of marketing affect each other and how each can be best leveraged to complement the other.

Video Editing

This will probably be the least used of your wider skills, but nevertheless it can assist you in your social marketing positions. I’ve had a few clients that required presentations or demonstration videos to be edited before being used within their social media campaigns. I’m for sure no expert, but having a reasonable level of knowledge in using Windows Movie Maker (or similar video editing software) can turn that video file straight from the camera into a beautiful, YouTube-ready video.

Even if you possess all the necessary skills to become a social media manager, there is still scope to improve your services by using different social tools and software. I’ll quickly recap on two different pieces of software I use that may help you in becoming a great social media manager:

Hootsuite: I wrote an in-depth review of Hootsuite on my blog that also includes a video tutorial which should provide all the information you will need to know about Hootsuite.
BuzzBundle: This is my favourite and most valued piece of software I’ve ever used. I use it mainly to find keywords around my content subject from across a huge range of blogs, forums and social sites and stream all this information back to me in one interface. I can then see who is discussing my topic and jump straight into the conversations to add my two cents.

What You’ll Be Expected To Do…

So, what does a social media manager actually do? As you can probably tell by now, the role of a social media manager is diverse. It’s not a case of “Well, I post updates to Facebook.” Here are a few general activities that social media managers will be expected to execute:

Strategy

You will be required to formulate campaign and platform specific strategies that meet the business objectives. You will create actions plans, content calendars, set metrics and KPIs, undertake various research activities and perform different types of analysis.

Content Creation

Content creates the foundations of any marketing campaign. How you decide to execute your campaigns will depend on the different forms of content you produce. As you would have no doubt already heard from someone, content is king. Believe them.

Community Management

Managing accounts also means managing communities. You should be the go-to person when representing brands in social domains and continually reach out and engage with your audiences. You will need to constantly strengthen social relationships in order to develop long-lasting followers.

Audience Building

Marketing to the same people over and over will not widen your scope and social reach. You should be increasing readership and your level of influence within your target audiences.

Customer Service

Many companies use social media as an instant channel for customer service. You will have to be responsive and helpful in your social activities, regularly being the first point of contact. You will be representing the brand and managing their customer perceptions.

Measurement

Every effort that consumes investment will need to be measured and analysed. I’vve previously written tutorials that demonstrate how you can set up your Google Analytics account on my blog.

Reporting

Once your efforts have been measured and analysed, your clients will want to understand how their investment has performed. This can take the form of visual aids for meetings or digital reports. Reporting is a key ingredient of any social media manager in order to prove your worth and demonstrate the value you have added to the business.

How I Became A Social Media Manager

I’ve been active in social media since July 2007. This was before the time of all the latest social marketing tools and software that nowadays are ingrained into all social marketers everyday life. Resources or tutorials weren’t as widely available that could help speed up the learning curve.

I did find an online course that looked pretty good in teaching me how to turn my social skills that I had been practising on my own accounts into a fully fledged business. I invested £600 on this online course to learn the basics and now that some years have passed, I can look back and say the value wasn’t all that great, but the ideas were there. It pushed me to think outside the box and motivated me to start my trajectory towards becoming a social media manager.

So before I had decided to turn my love for social media and networking into a freelance opportunity, I attended Brunel University where I completed my BSc and MSc in Business Management. It was at this time when I jumped on board with the poker boom and started playing online cash games and tournaments. Poker really helped me to develop my own time management, money management and analysis skills. I always knew I wanted to start my own business so this was a good platform to get my feet wet. Throughout my time playing poker, I was always engaged in online social discussions and even wrote a few guest posts for poker sites.

Before I knew it, I was a fully-fledged freelance social media manager…

So to kick-start my freelance social media work, I joined a bunch of freelance sites like Elance, oDesk and Freelancer. I still use some of them today.

After a few years of freelancing on small one-off projects and developing my social marketing acumen, I was hired by an online business services company to run their social media campaigns, as well as handle all their own clients social marketing campaigns. I still work with them today, which just shows the power of forging good working relationships.

I managed to attract clients in most months for the next few years and each project ended up being pretty diverse from the next. This allowed me to develop wider skills that I have since found almost a necessity in order to provide a well-rounded social media marketing service. I mentioned some of these wider skills required to become a great social media manager towards the middle of this article.

I also kept maintaining and building my own social media profiles. It’s important to practise what you preach and showcase your expertise on your own domains. My social profiles have regularly attracted clients, which keeps work coming in and builds up my networking potential.

I have been writing on my blog for a few years, but only recently updated my site. My own social activities also serve to build traffic to my sites, where I generate passive income. I like to “listen” to the social environment and engage with people who are already looking for my content. This serves well in building and strengthening connections, as well as attracting targeted traffic.

I have also been a keen guest blogger. I believe that writing articles for other relevant blogs only serves to increase your scope and exposure. Once or twice, I have had my articles featured by online magazines and publications, which was always nice.

Keeping my ears to the ground and getting myself ‘out there’ was one of the things I promised myself I would do, even though I knew the vast majority of my time would be spent in my home office. I tried to regularly meet up with business connections and clients to make sure they could match an online persona to a real life face. The vast majority of the time, I even managed to remember my business cards!

A strategy I’ve always tried to employ while freelancing is to try and turn one client into three. What I mean by that is word of mouth is the most powerful advertising there is. People do act on solid recommendations that their friends make. I found that taking as basic an approach as asking clients at the end of projects if they knew anyone who could benefit from social media marketing, worked out surprisingly well.

As social media is such a dynamic environment with start-ups booming and busting every few months, I knew that it was essential to keep up to date with social developments. Every so often, a client would ask me to set up profiles or campaigns on sites that some social media managers would have never heard of. Keeping tuned in enabled me to have at least some knowledge and experience in using these platforms, which dramatically lowered my learning curve and ultimately lead to better performing campaigns.

Around a year and a half ago, I decided to broaden by service offerings and set up a web design company with my business partner. “Thinking Forwards” was born in the summer of 2012. Websites and social media go hand-in-hand, so this enabled me to up-sell my services both ways.

So that brings me loosely to where I am now. Just to be clear; I have never used paid advertising or SEO for my own benefit while being a social media manager. My progression came solely through content marketing and guerrilla marketing tactics.

To Summarise On How I Became A Social Media Manager:

Joined freelance sites
Practised what I preached and actively maintained my own social media profiles and blogs
Kept consistently networking and building my contact lists
Continually created my own content on my own sites
Took my content straight to prospects
Proactively kept asking if people needed my assistance
Guest blogging and featured articles
Attended networking events and met up with clients and business contacts
Tried to turn one client into three
Kept up to date with new social networks and developments
Started other initiatives where social media services were complementary
Never turned down any work or networking opportunities
Worked long hours, sometimes for small rewards, to build reputation, authority and presence

I thought I would leave you with some final advice from things I have learnt from my own experiences being a social media manager.

Remember that…

Sometimes you won’t be right for a project, even if you think you are
It’s OK to work for less than your desired amount, if the benefits warrant it
You won’t win every contract, so don’t beat yourself up if you get turned down
Things change really quickly in social media, so you will have to continually adapt
You never know as much as you think you do!

Positive Change in the Management Will Change the Organization Positively

Management was considered a skill and art. People said leaders are born. Then people said leaders could be inspired. Now people say that leaders could be trained. It is true that we could be trained and taught to become leaders. Management is a leadership skill. The best leadership ever is the leadership by example. If the example is right then the understanding will be full. If the example is not right then the understanding will not be right.

Companies and organizations have managers and management levels. Smaller companies might have only one level of management and there might be only one individual as a manager. Larger corporations have different levels of management. There might be junior managers who directly deal with base level employees. There might be middle managers who interact between the junior managers and the senior managers. There might be a higher management team which would be at the top of the organizational structure.

If an organization is established to be bigger, the management would have been planned and structured beforehand. Most organizations that are worldwide and famous now, were not planned to be so when they were initiated. If you take any of the gigantic businesses, corporate companies or organizations, most of them were not meant to be grown into worldwide entities. In fact, some of the current successful and worldwide businesses were opened up for fun. We can consider the United Nations Organization as one of the very few organizations which were meant to be worldwide as they were established.

The change becomes necessary when the organization transforms from a small group of people having fun to a larger entity of importance in the society. When Facebook was launched, it consisted of only one manager; the founder himself. Now it has over 10,000 employees with different levels of management. Google was started with two people. Now it has more than 57,000 employees worldwide. This is the transformation that takes place when a company or organization grows.

All companies had to face the issue of transforming from a smaller stage to a bigger stage. Once they transform, the organizations which changed their structure of management accordingly were able to survive. The management of whichever organization was resistant to change had to pay the price of losing the organization. If an analysis is done on the organizations, companies or corporate businesses which were closed or sold, then the management would be held responsible for ending up in such situations.

The most effective mode of management is to lead by example. A military is a controlled system that runs by orders. One of the most important aspects in the military is that the leader who is giving an order also carries out that order. For example if a soldier is required to wear a uniform, then the chief of the battalion is required the same. If a soldier is required to carry out training exercises, the commander is required too. In other words, militaries are successful organizations not because the leaders or managers have much authority but because they lead by example.

As a simple fact, if a manager keeps his table clean all the time, he can ask his subordinates to keep their table clean. There will be no opposition. Since the subordinates know that their manager always keeps his table clean, they will have no excuse or reason to give him. The leader gets his authority through his example behavior and not through shouting at people.

Since management is essentially leadership, it should lead by example. The duty of higher management is to make sure that there are example leaders in the middle management. The middle management consists of the most sensitive links with most critical positions. The middle management of any organization is the bridge between the workforce and the managing force. If the bridge is not right, then the journey wouldn’t be fulfilled.

As organizations transform from small to big, the gap for a middle management arises. The top managers might be able to manage 10 staff but not 100. If the top management decided to manage all staff without middle management, it is like building a suspension bridge without any poles in the middle. It will work for up to a certain length. If the bridge exceeds the optimum length, then the strength would be in question.

It is the same with a growing business. There have to be changes to address the needs of tomorrow. Most organizations fail because they try to address the problems that took place yesterday and they forget to think and make a plan to avoid problems tomorrow. In the long run, this kind of organization will have problems piled up from the past and will be facing problems in the future as well.

The aspects of the management should change in a way that the management should be able to think, anticipate and identify potential problems in the future. They should then be able to get ready to face and solve the problems before the problems hit the organization. If this is not considered by the management, then the day to day problems will keep all the staff occupied in problem solving. While everyone is busy trying to solve the problems, the intended regular tasks will be missed. The missed tasks will seed for new problems in the future. Since the management is not willing to change, the same will take place in a loop.

A few managers don’t consider themselves as examples. The manager might not think that he is not supposed to be an example, but the employee will always look at the manager as an example. If the manager is not punctual, then the employee will either become like the manager or will not like the manager. If people don’t like other people, it is hard to take tasks from them. If you are a manager and your employee doesn’t want to take tasks from you, then you are in trouble.

Every single aspect of the manager is critical to the organization. If there are five different managers in an organization, all of them should be together and be leading by example. The employees who look at the managers should get an impression to become like the managers. In a few organizations the founders or the owners make sure that the staff will like the management. If someone in the management is spoiling the name of the entire management, that person would usually be fired.

Some say that the only job of a manager is to hire staff. I strongly disagree. The only job of a manager is to manage. Managing is a leadership aspect. The best leadership is to lead by example. To be a positive example, the manager has to be positive in all qualities. If the manager is positive in all senses, the employees will like the manager. If the employees like the manager, then they will listen to the manager. If the manager asks them to do something, they will do it. A positively qualified example manager is going to ask only something good for the organization. At the end, a positive change in the management will change the organization positively.

The Importance of Employee Management Software in a Modern Office

Former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, Anne Mulcahy, once said,

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset- they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

If you are an organization that uses the Internet for everyday business practices, then there should nothing stopping you from going one step further and applying technology provided on the Internet to employee management.

Under piles of workloads, appointments, and meetings, it often becomes understandably difficult for a manager to give employees the time and attention, encouragement and stimulus that they deserve.
Making use of a company’s greatest assets – its human resources – to their fullest potential sometimes means adopting technology that efficiently tackles time constraints, management challenges, a employee dissatisfaction.

Has it Ever Worked? Yes!

Ever wondered what goes into making candy? The answer should be a large number of very satisfied workers. Or at least that’s what the Jelly Belly Candy Company of California believe.

The family-owned company takes its employee performance and job satisfaction very seriously.

They recently decided to make the switch from its antiquated talent management process to a far more modern and automated system that uses an employee management software to provide accurate performance appraisals.

The result?

The new automated employee management system has allowed for a more standardized, organized, and formal evaluation process at the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

Greater accessibility between employees and managers, better training programs, and more efficient performance appraisals have all allowed the company to reach its business objectives without compromising on employee satisfaction.

The Different Tools of an Employee Management Software

1. Maintain a database for all your former and current employees

Complete, searchable, and secure records that includes information such as the employee’s personal details, bank details, emergency contacts, and even a record of his/her sick leaves.

2. Reduce the paperwork

An efficient employee management software will allow employees to request time off, submit timesheets or documents and allows employees to audit or approve submissions or requests.
This negates the need to work with HR or submit unnecessary pieces of paper.

3. Keeps track of time and attendance

Employees and managers have an instant record of absenteeism and the number of hours put into work everyday. This allows employees to be more responsible and stay on top of their punctuality and absenteeism rates before it becomes in issue.

4. Total Rewards

Some employee management software apps allow managers to provide their employees with rewards (financial or non-financial) for good performance.

Employees can access their total reward statement through the software, and this often becomes a powerful way of keep individuals motivated and driven.

5. Expense Management

An incredibly useful feature of most employee management software is that it allows staff to scan or photograph and upload receipts onto a database, therefore allowing managers and employees to keep a permanent account of all expenses.

6. Payroll

A simple app can process payroll on individuals online based on the number of hours they have put in with just a click of a button.

7. Asset Management

When an employee leaves the company, managers can keep track and monitor the return of any equipment that was provided to the employee by the organization.

8. Shift Planning

In an organization that depends on perfect timesheets for its smooth functioning, a tool that schedules the staff, eliminates shift conflicts, and notify employees of work shifts automatically can prove to be extremely convenient.

9. Track progress of the company

Information is constantly being constantly being collected on the employee management software, making it easy to gauge the company’s progress.
Instead of having to spend time putting together reports to see how the company is doing, a quick look at the information on the software should allow managers to constantly and accurately track the company’s progress.

The Benefits: Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

1. Providing constructive feedback

Neither managers nor employees look forward to performance reviews, often a once-a-year event that makes an employee feel like a school kid receiving a report card.

Surveys have shown that employees dread annual performance reviews and are therefore less likely to respond in a positive manner to the feedback that is given.

An employee management software allows managers can control how frequently and in what format they would like to provide feedback to their employees.

Performance appraisal reports can be replaced with configurable dashboards and messaging systems, resulting in feedback that is constructive, efficient, and perhaps flows better with the rest of the company culture.

2. Setting goals and motivating employees

An employee management software makes it easy to remind employees of their goals and drive them towards developing skills and meeting deadlines.

This structure also allows employees to work more independently instead of being micromanaged by a manager or HR professional.

3. Better accessibility and communication

Time constraints, clashing schedules, and increasing workload makes it difficult for employees and managers to communicate.

This can foster resentment and misunderstandings, with managers sometimes being too harsh in their judgement of employees and employees sometimes feeling like they have been judged unfairly.

Employee management software avoid help companies avoid such issues, and can help managers clearly communicate their expectations from an employee.

4. Better employee-manager relationships

Employee management software takes away some of the pressure, anxiety and stress that is often observed between managers and employees.

It allows for an environment that encourages low stress communication and help employees and managers work together towards meeting organizational goals.

To summarize, an employee management software provides an organization with a plethora of tools for better management, while simultaneously focusing on employee satisfaction and engagement.
If used correctly and to its fullest potential, employee management software provides a company with an automated, efficient management system and a healthier work environment.

Top Do’s and Don’ts for Hotel Revenue & Distribution Managers

Hotel revenue management may seem like yet another type of management from a lot of myriads of management types in the business landscape, but Revenue Management is the heart of the entire hospitality industry where a revenue manager must orchestrate the bookings and room price in such a manner that it maximizes revenue.

The primary job of a revenue manager (traditionally) all day was to monitor the fluctuating rates and update their own inventory rate according to the market equation to sell the inventory at highest possible rates in the least possible time and at the same time maintaining high occupancy, RevPAR, and ADR. However, as the times have changed and technology has stepped its foot in almost every industry, there are countless Hotel Revenue Management Tools, like Rate Shopper, Channel Manager, Rate Optimizer, Online Reputation Manager, which have reduced the work of revenue managers in half and doubled the efficiency.

Additionally, with progress in technology, there have been some proven Do’s and Don’ts that have emerged for the revenue managers, which can guide them to shape their revenue generation strategy. Let us discuss a few of them here:

• Look at the bigger picture – A smart approach for a successful Revenue Managers should be to stop focussing on just the revenue generated from the room sale, but start focussing on revenue generated by a particular guest, i.e. pay more attention to the Guest Life Cycle or Customer Life Cycle, as some may like to call it. As part of guest experience management, a hotel/revenue manager should keep a record of its existing guests including their choices and preferences and present them various services that they might purchase during their next stay. To explain further, depending on the persona or demographic profile of your guest, you could suggest them various other services of your hotel like, spa, club, gym, disco, etc. This practice creates new sources of revenue and increases overall revenue even when low price inventory has been bought.

• Healthy Mix and Distribution of Inventory – Amid seeking for maximum bookings, a revenue manager should be aware of the art of creating a fine balance for exposing your rooms for sale on online and offline channels. Neither exhausting the entire inventory through OTAs nor selling all of them directly would be a good approach. Tools come to rescue in this a requirement. A competent Online Channel Distribution Manager can provide you a lot of support here. The revenue manager should keep a tap on the spending patterns of the direct and OTA customers so that you can optimize sales with the right mix of OTA bookings and direct bookings to achieve revenue targets. Modern Channel Managers allow revenue managers the flexibility to turn on and off any OTA channel they feel is not giving desired results or is proving to be very expensive.

• Monitoring Competition – For a better revenue generation, it is always suggested to keep an eye on the competitors in the market. A good revenue manager should observe the prices, promotions, strategies, and processes of its competitors that he/she can adopt for their hotel as well if the need be. In a hotel business where prices fluctuate daily, it becomes even compulsory to keep a constant vigilance on daily competitor rate. The good news is you have tools for that; Hotel Rate Shopper. This tool helps you monitor daily room rates of your pre-decided comp-set. It does not end here, such tools help you with a plethora of other jobs like; an intelligence on overall market supply and average market rate for your city, even Airbnb market supply and average market rate, rate and availability reports for your property on different OTAs and Metasearch sites, a comparison of your ranking on OTA vs your decided comp-set and eyeball competition. Advanced tools even support event tracking for your city to enable a prior change in hotel room rates if required. Competitors can safeguard you against the failure of any new business practice in the industry and if it becomes a success, one can follow the suite.

• Focus on Hotel Brand Image and Online Reputation – Developing strong costumers loyalties can help a hotel stand out from the competition. Reviews about your hotels matter a lot to build a strong brand image. Customer reviews and rating have a direct correlation with customer booking preference and thus revenue. Even the most competitive pricing can fail to lure the customers if the reviews are not positive. As per a research, only the price is more valued over the positive reviews in online travel booking. However, many consumers expressed that they will not book a room in a hotel in the absence of positive reviews, even if the price is very low.

The industry is realizing that managing Online Reputation Management is not a one-day job and not an easy one to do. Especially with so many social media sites, review sites to track your guest reviews as guests are present everywhere. Brands images are created over years and broken in a moment. A very strong reason so many hotels whether independent or hotel groups are adopting Online Reputation Management Tools. Major hotels are increasingly using it for restaurant reputation management also.

Some of the DONT’S a revenue manager should follow while creating strategies for better revenue generation are as follows.

• Impractical Offers – Exclusive offers and packages are new fads and they are no doubt a powerful technique of luring the customers for bookings. However, a revenue manager should be well aware of the potential of the hotel to grab bookings without offers. Often it has been observed that revenue managers keep running useless offers just to follow their competition, shedding a chunk of hotel revenue.

• Overbooking – Booking more than available inventory under the fear of cancellations may sometimes prove an intelligent move. However, this process should be highly optimized since any wrong assumption can lead to trouble for customer inflicting serious damage to the Hotel’s brand image.

• Reliability on Single/Limited Channel for Selling – A smart revenue manager never relies on one a few booking channel for selling their room inventory and always keeps a profitable mix of OTA channels for grabbing more bookings. Hesitation in accepting the new approaches by Revenue Managers can be a reason for a hotel lagging in revenue generation. RMs should also monitor the performance of each of their channel partners. Set booking targets for all channels, check the volume of booking and Length of Stay (LOS) of bookings, analyze their profitability, etc. However, at the same time keeping the focus on direct bookings as well and walk-ins. This not only decreases hotel dependency on OTAs but also helps save heavy OTA commissions, thereby increasing profits.

• Neglecting Social Media- Social media has emerged as the most raw and honest platform for customers to express their reviews, share their experiences and voicing their complaints and even booking. Being ignorant of the power of social media can be a suicidal and hence, a revenue manager should ensure proper engagement of hotel staff and management with the customers on social media.

• Playing too safe – Business is about being bold and taking calculated risks. Playing too safe and practicing mundane business practices can keep your bread coming, but for a business to flourish it is very crucial to take risks. By employing latest strategies, taking less walked roads, the results can be extraordinary. A revenue manager should know the art of taking calibrated risks.

Key Considerations to Working With a Document Management System

Purchasing a document management system

Many of the major systems managing documents present equivalent functionalities. Though the differences are often minor; there could be a specified service that seems to be utterly essential for the business and becomes a significant factor with regards to selecting among distinct systems of document management.

On an equal footing, cost is a substantial driver to think about. The cost of applying a document management system comes-with the software’s base expense, network hardware necessities (a number of servers may perhaps be needed to operate the software); localized workstation needs, application or amendment bills and the general expenses that will be incurred.

The cost certainly varies based on organization size and sort of items. However, prior to doing, the listed below questions must be answered:

* Is the price of your document management software genuinely the finalized price or could it be a “base price” that would be boosted based upon the additional programs obtained by the company?

* Does the cost comprise technical help and support and long run up-dates?

As much as price is concerned, there’re 3 points to always remember: the expense of applying the managing document system itself, the fee for customizing or adapting it to company-special requirements and also the cost of training staff members. It’s critical to go serious into the customization price, especially in the case of high-end solutions, where the cost indicated isn’t commonly the specific cost. Training expenditures may also deviate, with sessions that range from exclusively 2 hours to possibly one or two extensive days. Additionally, help in the field can even be required after the implementation.

Furthermore, system administration may well involve significant bills based on the program. As an example, any SQL-based product might demand a minimum of a part-time committed administrator, whether external or in-house. Consequently, administration costs and the price of presenting the training necessary to upgrade the talents of the office personnel that is going to deal with the system of document management must also be taken into account as costs.

Applying the document management system

There are really no firm, fixed laws concerning the implementation of a document management system. However, knowledge signifies that some sorts of implementation usually work better than the others.

Though, it’s genuine that each enterprise is distinctive and different from the rest; and therefore, each implementation consists of certain aspects and details to contemplate. It is likewise genuine that agencies don’t deviate as much as it may appear. That’s why this is essential to learn the system of document management plus its out-of-the-box functions well. Systems are normally dependent on many companies’ guidelines and, that’s why, it’s worth investigating how useful it could be to adapt a few business procedures to the recent functions, instead of starting a software adaptation project that often might emerge to be expensive.

Having said this, before employing a system of document management in the business, it’s necessary that you contemplate two concerns: How would you exactly want the program to work within the organization? Do the diverse regions and divisions in your enterprise require diverse security levels?

Consequently, the first point to take into consideration is the firm’s structure: Is it a smaller organization or a big organization with a number of independent parts or departments? This might originally appear unimportant, nonetheless it basically has a great influence on the system of document management to implement and the structure that you desire to put in position.

It’s similarly significant to pay emphasis to profile groups. The business may possibly have distinct forms of profiles (Accounting, Human Resources, Management, etc.) and as a consequence, it could possibly involve different security levels where top secret data is concerned, so as just permitted working team can access certain data.

And finally, when setting up security levels, it is necessary to look at that there needs to be a balance in between security and convenience. If security prerequisites are too high plus the system becomes blocked too often, this can hinder functionality and consequently production. This aspect should be in-depth researched so as to define the satisfactory security level and also an proper efficiency level.

Designing the document management system

Technical aspects of system like the location where documents might be amassed or whether a new server could be expected or not (most document management systems involve a stand-alone server) should be evaluated just before making a choice.

Systems of document management develop “profiles” or “templates” to make organization easier and facilitate faster search features. A few of the standard profiles or templates are Client, Subject, Kind of Document, Writer, etc. It’s essential to determine if these templates/profiles are appropriate or if your company demands more profiles. In this case you’ll need to request the required profiles. To do this, the underneath questions must be clarified:

* What profiles does your business need?

* What parts or departments require diverse templates?

* How should e-mail, faxes or other style of electronic data be dealt?

* Is there any other functionality that ought to be inlaid in to the system?

Legacy documents

One more key question to bear in mind when enacting a document management system is:

What do you desire to do with the present documents? Every single business has a major number of documents that were formulated before applying the document management system and are not accessed any further basically because they’ve turned obsolete or have even fallen into disuse. In an effort to organize these older documents, our recommendation is that you make a group for them all, being then changed on the new system by users each time they access any of these for the first-time. This way, this activity will be easier and take less time; and for that reason, it can be less expensive in comparison with converting all old files towards innovative system instantly.

With regards to shifting from one managing document system to another, the system might contain some conversion/migration option that facilitates flipping older information quickly. This would also be a point to consider when choosing a document management system.

Integrating our document management system with our existing business software

Guarantee the document management system proposed could be quite simply integrated with the applications usually used by your enterprise and with other less often used applications.

The majority of document management systems can’t be incorporated with highly common database software. For that reason, you should adequately evaluate the applications that will be used at your organization as well as their compatibility and level of integration with the document management system to implement.

Embedding e mail in to the document management system

With exponential increase of email, the ability to organize emails has become of extreme worth. Bundling all electronic mails (and their attachments) in to a single document repository, together with business documents, scanned documents, etc. is becoming a lot more important.

Client-related electronic mails and email messages sent and/or received by different staff members must be appropriately included in to the document management system; so as they are open to any staff (on the relevant authorization) who has to access them all for work objectives. Moreover, it is important to evaluate how the pre-existing emails that are previously saved should be addressed. For this reason, the business must establish rules directed at interpreting how email messages must be saved in the document management system.

Scanning

Inside our society, where we utilize less and less conventional paper, document scanning is getting increasingly more demanded. An organization is required to be increasingly efficient, attempting to cut down the room or space set aside for document storage or making information more accessible by scanning it. Again, the solution is based on employing an excellent document management system.

Standard storage system vs. document management system

Dissimilar to regular file storage systems, a good managing document system presents agencies several capabilities that allow managing documents in a more efficient and reliable way.

Document management systems were created to support institutions create, store, monitor, command, edit, manage, organize and recuperate the data from documents. This concept demands a centralized repository (whether inside or outside the premises) to save any type of information used around the enterprise. Moreover, and finally, it gives a safe environment that guards restricted information from harmful access.

If you are reluctant between keeping your old fashioned file storage system and applying a great document management system, do not worry. With assistance of the professional plus the Information Technology employees in your business, go over all of the questions formerly described and select among the many document management systems accessible on the market the one which best fits the necessities. You will surely notice the change.

How To Make Money Using an Udemy Online Teaching Course

A few decades ago, it was hard to find a good teacher. The only option that you had was to look for one in your area because the Internet was not available at that time. Nowadays, the internet has made it a lot easier to learn from the comfort of home. If you have been thinking of taking a certain course to hone your skills, we suggest that you check out Udemy. Let’s find out how people make money on Udemy by launching courses through websites. Read on to know more.

What Is Udemy?

Basically, this platform brings both students and teachers together. As a matter of fact, Udemy is one of the top platforms for online courses. It offers a lot of free tools and support for instructors to develop courses and make money from them.

Udemy allows anyone to create a course and offer it to everyone across the globe through its platform. Nowadays, the platform has more than 15 million students from more than 190 countries. Moreover, it has courses in more than 80 languages.

Launching a Course

If you want to submit a course on Udemy, you may want to follow the steps below. We will talk about each step in detail so you can get started without any problem.

Sign up

First of all, you may want to go to the home page of Udemy and sign up for an account, which will cost you nothing. As soon as you have signed up, you can access tons of free as well as paid courses.

Course creation

After signing up, you can hit the “Teaching” button. The “Create a course” button will show up that you can press to create a course and become a tutor.

Udemy revenue model

For course creation, Udemy won’t charge you any fee. On the other hand, for selling, you do have to consider the revenue model offered by the platform. Let’s find out more about the revenue model.

Instructor promotion

After a lead generation, the entire revenue goes to the course instructor. For instance, if a lead is generated through the coupon code given by the course creator, the instructor will get the revenue.

Organic traffic

If the course buyer comes to the platform through organic traffic, 50% of the revenue will go to the course creator. And the rest will go to the website. So, there is a lot of money to be made even if you don’t use other means to get the word about your courses.

Other revenue sharing model

This revenue sharing ratio can be between 25% and 97%. Actually, the ratio is based on the fact whether the customer comes to the platform via deals, ads or affiliates. So, based on these factors, the revenue can be more or less.

Resources for Udemy

Udemy helps you throughout the process. Whether you are going to create a course or you want to promote, the platform has resources for you. Udemy offers tons of free resources that help you make your course a success. As a matter of fact, the free resources on this platform are on the list of the best advantages of Udemy, as they help you make money from your course without too much struggle.

So, if you have been thinking of creating a course and publishing it on Udemy, we suggest that you take into account the advice given in this article. Just make sure your course is interesting and it can help your students learn new things. And that’s all you need in order to sell your courses and make a lot of money.

Ideal Solutions To Success Online

If you have ever spent time looking for ideal solutions to success online, you could find yourself very frustrated. You found that there are basic ways to succeed in this line of work. You know that online work isn’t hard, physical labor. Working online is easy in that there isn’t a lot of physical work involved. People who work hard as builders, factory workers, office personnel and in administration, must work hard and produce good results or they no longer have a job. Online work isn’t hard physically. However, it takes tenacity, perseverance, and a little knowledge to be successful. Perhaps herein lies part of your annoyance. Let’s look at some things that bring frustration into your ideal online performance. The items are not listed in any particular order of difficulty or ordered frustration levels.

Number 1, Building a Website

The number one thing that frustrates many people and keeps them from being successful online is building a website. This one thing kept me from being successful online years ago. When you find the right training building a website can be really easy. You don’t have to know HTML to build one today. You can learn how to make a website at certain locations on the Internet. There are places where you can learn how to make a free website.

Number 2, Finding a Domain Name

The best way to relieve frustration from finding a domain name is to first find the niche you want to promote. The name of your site needs to match the niche you have chosen. So, the way you keep this from being frustrating is to identify your niche, and then write a list of 10 to 15 names that describe your niche. It’s like choosing a title for a book, the title must tell what the book is about. Same with your domain name. It must tell what your niche is about. I prefer to stick with a .com. It’s just a personal preference that you don’t have to adhere to.

Number 3, Getting Site Ready

Until you learn, getting your site ready for search engine optimization can be really frustrating. Actually, it can be next to impossible if you don’t have the proper training. Again, I have a page for you to review that explains the ins and outs of preparing your site for SEO. Again, you can write articles, use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The big question you need to ask is, “Where are you going to get the training and knowledge on how to make these ideas work for you?”

Number 4, Getting Traffic

The number one goal for any marketing site is to drive traffic to it. There are many ways to do this, but the only way I choose to do this is by writing good content for my website. What if you can’t write, or at least you think you can’t? Many sites offer training on how to write.The training on a few sites is phenomenal. Every bit of the training is to help you build a site, monetize it and then drive traffic to it. You can learn so many ideas on what to write that you will never run out of something to write about. Getting traffic is almost done for you. All you have to do is follow directions.

Number 5, Training

Before I found a helpful site, training was my nemesis. The lack of training defeated me every time and cost me money. The training I have gotten has given me a handle on success. I have learned how to succeed because I have been trained well. Following are a few things I have been able to find online:

Certification Courses: 5 Levels

1. Getting Started

2. Build Your own Traffic Producing Website

3. Making Money!

4. Mastering Social Engagement

5. Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation

Each level has several courses and the training available to make you successful! I repeated most of the lessons. Some were simple but needed more exploring. Others were new to me and my then limited expertise. I can’t believe how much knowledge is packed into these lessons. Yet the progress from one step to the next is given in easy steps for those who aren’t technologically proficient when they begin the courses.

You Get All the Training

Every site that I tried before this would promise they could teach me how to be successful. What they taught me was that I needed to hire a group of professional online gurus to help me build a successful online business. I paid good money to learn this, too. Their ads said that even a monkey could learn how to use their program. I guess that I’m not as smart as a monkey because I couldn’t begin to understand what they were trying to teach me. “You’ll never believe how easy it is to make money online,” their ads read. I learned the hard way, out of pocketbook hard way, that paper will lie still and let you write anything on it. At least the paper they wrote on did! I was never able to follow more than the first couple steps. Not nearly enough to learn anything. However, all that has changed now. Since I found this site, I have learned how to be successful online. All I’ve done since I’ve been here is grow and grow. That’s where I am. That was what I was looking for in the first place. Can I tell you that I found a place where you can work at your pace, make the amount of money you want to make, and work when and where you want to.

Work for Yourself

The best boss you will ever have is YOU. Working for yourself online doesn’t require lots of energy. You don’t have to have a specific location where you go to work. With today’s technological advances, you can work from nearly anywhere. I prefer to work at home with my family nearby. That’s where you can find yourself, too. Are you ready for the change? Are you ready to be your own boss? Then don’t wait! Visit me to begin today!