I just left Chick-fil-A, happy to have had the privilege of watching great management in action.  A teenage gentleman caught my eye – along with the attention of six other customers in line.  (Let me get dopey for a second.)  That guy’s cheek-to-cheek grin was a ticket to encouraging the heart – this guy was happy to be himself today.  He stood next to a high-school-age colleague, stationed behind the busy counter and leaning toward her active cash register.  She was smiling, too, but it was that sweet, polite smile you expect when you go to Chick-fil-A, and she had just greeted the next in line.

You could sense my all-of-a-sudden-favorite teen food service professional didn’t want to interrupt, but this guy was too excited to postpone conversation.

“He told me I was an outstanding employee.”

Immediately, six customers transformed from disengaged to genuinely delighted for this guy.  Me, too.  I was refreshed.

There’s a message in that.

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You’ve heard the statistics before: Social media posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without; businesses who market with infographics grow traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t; and 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

Still not convinced? Take a look at this blog post for an infographic on the growing importance of visuals, which have been taking over the social media landscape in the past few years. To catch the eye of an audience increasingly inundated with media and information, we must feature unique and striking visual content on a frequent basis. Continue reading

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As social media spending climbs almost 10 percent again this year, many in business have begun to all but abandon marketing in favor of social media management. Social media management is less costly, faster, and it requires less overall input from leadership, but it is not effective on its own.

Marketing, while it involves social media today, is more.

Marketing is the act of building trust and dialogue between the producer and the customer. This sustained relationship is helped by social media, but it is not produced by social media. Continue reading

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