Instagram has become an increasingly important and essential part of small businesses’ social media strategies; the website’s helping them drive sales, gain customers and further develop their brand (the app-founded in 2010 and bought by Facebook in 2012-is particularly helpful to restaurants, hair salons, bakeries, clothing stores and other businesses that sell very photogenic items, reaching more than 200 million users worldwide (as of 2014). Business owners say that it’s easy to use, and they also like the fact that they can automatically post their Instagram photos on their other social media business accounts).
Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter allow small businesses to pay to promote their posts and gain followers; Instagram doesn’t do that yet (as of 2014); the site offers advertising to more of its users. But there are cheaper ways to build a following: For example, Yumbox reposts customer photos. Co-owner Daniela Devitt says that reposting gets the desired product out in front of even more eyes. The reason why Instagram has such high resonation with current and potential customers? Because a photo can say more about a business than words. “People process photos faster,” says Jesse Redniss, chief strategy officer at Spredfast, which works with brands to boost their social media presence (Source: “Small businesses profit off Instagram”-Associated Press-The (Sunday) Vindicator, June 22, 2014).
Power Home Remodeling Group
The top spot on Fortune Magazine’s first list of the best workplaces for millennials wasn’t any of the already well-known internet sites; the honor went to a home remodeling company in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester-Power Home Remodeling Group (a privately held firm with 1, 511 employees-as of 2015). Asher Raphael, co-chief executive, sees the ranking as vindication: “We have been fighting an uphill battle, which is fighting the negative stigma of the industry and trying to prove you could create scale, process and professionalism,” he said.
The employees of Power Group do the selling, evaluating and estimating of home improvement projects; outside companies do the actual contracting, which typically focuses on replacement windows, siding, roofing and entry doors. The company currently operates in 15 states and posted sales of $310 million in 2014. It’s forecasting $400 million (for 2015). And there’s a great peak to working at Power: Every employee and a guest are taken on a winter trip (usually to Mexico-“The trip is very fun,” said Corey Schiller, co-chief executive). Raphael added that the trip helps keep the growing company small and provides a way to thank the Power workers (and their significant others) for their support.
Power’s practice of hiring young people and training them means that not all will be a perfect fit, Raphael observed (Power has a 31 percent turnover rate): “Our average employee isn’t going to be as profitable early on,” he said. “They also aren’t coming in with any bad habits.” And he made it clear that the company’s goal in hiring young isn’t for cheap labor. “We want to overpay. The people who work here shouldn’t feel they can make more money anywhere else.” (Source: “Philly-area firm is a millennial success”-Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, July 19, 2015).