Pinterest 2We’re at the point where most business owners believe that they should be on social media in some form. However, what isn’t especially clear is that they should do, when they get there. Most of them joined because friends pressured them with statements like, “What do you mean you’re not on LinkedIn? It’s the most professional social network?!” “You’re not on Facebook? What rock have you been under? It’s great for building relationships.” Or even, “You’re not tweeting on Twitter?!? Come on, get with the times! It’ll help your business.”

It’s too bad most business owners don’t stop to ask their friends one simple question. “What measurable results have you seen as a result of being on social media?” If they did, they’d be sure to hear a long-winded explanation that could be summed up in one word- NONE. The reason- they signed up, but don’t have a plan. The following five tips will help you develop a goal-oriented plan for using social media.

1. Develop goals. What are you trying to accomplish on social media? Do you want 2500 more website views per month, 20 extra people at a networking event or perhaps $6500 in sales from Facebook traffic? Understand what you are trying to accomplish and develop numerical goals.

2. Identify your target market. Who are you trying to reach via social media? Be specific giving demographic, geographic and psychographic descriptions. If you are trying to reach urban men, college educated, 40-55 who are busy executives, it would make much more sense to join LinkedIn than Pinterest (a predominatly female-driven service).

3. Develop your brand. What will appeal to your target market? How do you want to come across. Define your voice, perspective and physical brand. This should be consistent across all networks.

4. Join networks based on your goals, target market and culture of each network. If you want to reach women shoppers and drive 3000 more website views to your site, join Pinterest. If you want to connect with HR and get three job inquiries in the next month, look to LinkedIn. If you’re unsure of the purpose of a network or whose on it, visit Wikipedia.

5. Create a posting strategy. Decide how often you will post and where. Use a calendar to keep track of what you will post, where and when.

Bonus: Use a timer! This will help keep you from falling into a social media black hole!

 

We would like to thank Crystal Washington for her wonderful article.

social mediaCrystal Washington is a marketing strategist, social media consultant, keynote speaker and the owner of a Houston-based marketing firm, Black-Market Exchange. Crystal teaches professionals of all knowledge levels how to leverage marketing techniques, social media and networking effectively.

 

YTYou Tube: The idea of visual social media started with the push of videos. With the birth of You Tube and many other video sties, people could quickly view a 2 minute or less video and about your company’s services and products. They are great for explaining how to use products through a visual medium. Many even use the medium to help educate the public about everything from how to change you oil in your car to how to build a rocket. You Tube and the other offer a variety of videos literally for everyone.

Squidoo: This Social Media is a great place to find informative articles, term papers to great recipes. The user can browse by area of interest to find all sorts of information about that particular topic. The user can share the information, print the information or simple read the information and move on.

Slide Share: This Social Media allow people to show presentations about their products and services. It is a great location to introduce your company to a large audience. There is neither time limit nor size limitation; you can quickly upload a quality presentation for the community to see. This is also a great way to introduce new products or information about your company.

Pinterest: This is the newest Social Media to hit the markets. This media uses graphic image sharing to engage the community. This has been a dream media for fashion designers and storefronts to bring their products to the main stream quickly and cheaply. It is a great way to gage potential customer opinions on a product as well. With a 70% woman audience, it is also one of the best places to “sell” and connect to the female buying base.

Using any of the above Visual Social Medias can greatly help you sell your product and services to the world. While you can decide to post and use all of them, the key is again, keep it consistent. People like to see new content. Make sure you dedicate the time to the ones you decide to use.

If you need help with making a video, slide presentation or documents please feel free to contact Your Virtual Assistants. We have a team of experts from Graphic Artists to Advertising Experts to help you quickly and easily make the most of these Social Medias. Please use our contact page so that we can call and discuss how we can help you today!

SMWith Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and many other worldwide targeted social medias, the local social medias are usually forgotten about. These local medias can be very important and highly effective when used. In many cases, they are far more effective than the “Biggies” out there.

Groupon: This social media site is used to drive new customers by offering a discount or coupon to a mass of people to try your product or service. It is available in most major cities around the world. It is great site as well for people who are traveling and want to get a discount on eating, massages, facials and many other things. It is set up by the site offering a DAILY special from an advertiser. This ad offers a discount to all people who want to purchase. The customer pays in advance for the “coupon” and in many cases has up to 6 months to use. You do have to notify the establishment in advance for them to use the coupon.

Foursquare: This social media site is a highly competitive and engaging site. It is designed to have customer “check in” to your place of business. The person that checks in the most will become the “king” of that establishment. The establishment will offer the “king” a special offer only available to them. This sets the people into a competition to see who can overthrow the “king” and become the new “king”. It can be highly effective for stores and restaurants.

Placebologger: This is a social media site to find Local Blog sites. They are great for targeting and keeping in touch with local markets and news. You can also use these sites are guest blogging opportunities to help with the back linking and page ranking.

Google Places: This site helps you get on the Google Map. It is also helpful for the Google ranking of your site. You do have to list your site and have your listing verified with a code that they send you, but is great for being listed in the local search market.

Twellowhood: This is a local social media program for Twitter. This allows you to see only tweets that are about local businesses or events. It is a great way to engage with your local audience and send them information about specials you may have.

These are just a few of the local social media avenues that you can use to either begin you social media marketing or to enhance your current one. These are easy to us for beginners and are not nearly as time consuming as the other Medias.
If you are looking for more ideas to help or start your social media campaign, please feel free to contact Your Virtual Assistants at our email or please use our free calendar to make your own FREE appointment with us to talk further on how we can help your business grow.

Some companies are just getting the concept of Social Media Marketing, while others have been in it since the inception. Whether you are a newcomer or an old timer, we all need to learn to respect the power of Social Media.

The companies and organizations that do not may be in a world of trouble. Think about it, how did the world find out about the mass killings in Syria? You Tube… How did we learn about the senseless killing of Travon Martin? The fact is today people can quickly spread their news, opinions, or comments around the world in a matter of seconds using Social Media. Companies need to be aware that their and their employee’s actions today are now with consequence and you can quickly have a swarm of mass protests shut down your company or quickly damage your hard earned reputation in a few short days or even minutes.

United, for example learned the lesson of NOT ignoring your customer’s complaints. One customer had a valued guitar broken in transport on a flight from United. After several complaints to the company went unanswered, the gentleman quickly posted a You Tube video about his experience. Today the video has been seen by 11,695,893 people and counting! United was shammed into reacting, unfortunately a little too late… the damage to their reputation was already done. The worst part is this also spurs others who have had problems, to also use this forum to add their two cents. Before you know it, United has its hands full trying to keep a mass crowd of complaints from continuing to snowball. If they just addressed the ONE client at the time, this could may have been prevented.

In Travon Martin’s case, I am sure that the Police force never even thought about the power of Social Media. Their inactions spurred a few people to start the posts and soon the press caught wind of the story… and we are now seeing this power unfold in the public’s eye.

It is not always the bad news that spreads on the internet. In the case of a recent Marilyn Hagerty’s Grand Forks Herald review of the Olive Garden. This rave review of the new restaurant went viral by end of the day that the review was published. Even Marilyn was surprised how quickly her simple review would attract so much attention.

An example of a company using Social Media to connect to the public before connecting to the press was with BP after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. With Social Media a new medium for BP, they opted to use Twitter to release news releases to the public on a regular basis. They also allowed people to use their Facebook page and other forums to “vent” their displeasure with BP. This strategy worked and BP was able to survive the crisis.

Companies need to study the leaders like Zappos , Dell and many others that are using the power of Social Media to their advantage not only for making money but building loyal customers. It is also important for companies and organizations today to take the time to study the good, the bad and the ugly of Social Media. Social Media Marketers need to spend the time NOW to have Social Media Crisis plan ready. Just think… what would you do if you became the center of Social Media Viral Attack?

If you need help with Online Reputation Monitoring and help with planning for a crisis, contact Your Virtual Assistants. Let’s talk about how we can help you set you on the positive side of Social Media today.

The answer is absolutely!

In the world today a bad review or a bad post concerning you or your business can cause you much unneeded headaches and heartaches and may even cost you sales, clients or worse- your business. We know that good reviews and recommendations can create an opportunity for new clients and sales, but how do you handle it when you get a bad post or review?

To quickly react to any bad reviews or posts, you should hire someone to make sure that somebody is monitoring the talk and posts concerning you or your business. When they see a bad post or bad review, they can quickly inform you so that you can properly address this problem. Many companies have made the mistake of ignoring these social media posts and think that the bad publicity will make it go away. It won’t and in the end it could cause a lot of bad feedback for you and can cost you thousands of dollars in lost sales.

Today Social Media is an open forum to tell the world about you and your company. By quickly responding to bad comments, you can prevent the event or post from going viral and loosing you sales and even your reputation.

When you come across a bad post or review- it is important to make sure you take the time to address the issue and try to fix the issue that was brought up. Make the client or person happy by offering a discount or simply explaining your side of the story. Naturally, there are some clients that will never be happy, but you need to try to find a way to make the post become positive for you and your business.

When you come across a bad post or review- it is important to make sure you take the time to address the issue and try to fix the issue that was brought up. Make the client or person happy by offering a discount or simply explaining your side of the story. Naturally, there are some clients that will never be happy, but you need to try to find a way to make the post become positive for you and your business.

Today, online reputation is so important to any single person or starting company, who is trying to build a brand or to maintain a reputable brand that people know trust and believe in. To avoid losing your ground, it is wise to take a bit of time or contract a person to monitor your online reputation so you have no hidden surprises later.

Your Virtual Assistants is proud to offer you this affordable service to you and your company. Please feel free to contact us via email or schedule your appointment now so that we can talk to you in detail on this important service. We are also in the process of becoming Masters in Community Management and will be offering this service as well very soon.

by Herb Lawrence, ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center… Helping Women-Owned Businesses Launch and Grow… from the Delta to the Ozarks.

Entrepreneurship is NOT just for men! In fact, over the past 14 years women owned business starts have grown at a substantially higher rate than their male counter parts. More than 10.1 million firms in the US are woman owned, they are major employers with more than 13 million Americans on their payrolls and they generated more than $1.9 TRILLION in sales in 2008! See yesterday’s article Women Business Owners: Petticoats at the Junction for some very interesting statistics detailing the contribution of women owned businesses to economic growth.

To read more on this post please click here

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google ad wordsMost of us or at least in the beginning most of us think the numbers do not mean much. I was one of those people. But I have now come to the conclusion that is not the case at all. The numbers can show many things to you for your own business or a client’s business.

Analytics can show you many visitors you have had to your website, how long people are staying on your site, how many pages they are viewing. Analytics are also a great source to find if a new product launch or new blog post are making an impact. Analytics can show you if your social media, whatever your plan is, works for you or your client.
So next time you think about your analytics and how they do not matter or mean much, stop and think about all the analytic numbers and all the information you have at your fingertips. Analytics can also show you the bounce rate of your website this could be helpful in alerting you if there is a problem with the site and show you that you might need to make some changes.
There are several different places and tools out there for you to be able see and gather the numbers. One great analytic tool is from Google, it is called Google Analytics . It is a small script that you upload to your webpage, it is free by the way, and it will tell you all sorts of great numbers such as your top referring sites, top content, ect.
Another great Analytics tool is Hootsuite. They have a free version and a paid version. The paid version is $5.00 US a month and gives you more valuable analytics and additional tools as well.

You can also find your analytic numbers from your website’s CPanel. Most website hosting sites have a CPanel AWStats option which breaks out your numbers for you as well.

So the next time you are wondering if the analytic numbers really work and really matter…the answer is yes. Otherwise how can you tell if what you are doing for yourself or your client is working, and if they are not then you make necessary changes to make them work.

For more information or questions, please feel free to call us. We also offer a Social Media Analytics Class as well.

When I saw Pinterest the first time, it reminded me, no doubt, of the the invasion of household refrigerators with multiple pieces of paper that we left our parents or they left us. Memos such as to inform you when we arrived, what had to buy, when, where and what time was a meeting or an appointment. Even sometimes we also “hung a picture.”

PINTEREST (www.pinterest.com) is the now becoming the next hot social media network of the moment. It is growing by leaps and bounds. Basically you can think of it as a bulletin board or whiteboard, where the user places your ad (photo, phrase, graphics, etc.) and making a “pin” on a link. This link will take you to a blog or website. This then causes an influx of visitors to these blogs or websites established.

Because “images” are the heart of the site, it is obvious to conclude that it is a “visual” social network. All companies or businesses are forced to make their products relate to the image. So when using Pinterest, it is essential to choose the picture that “pins” to be the most attractive and draw the attention of potential visitors or customers. If your blog or website is about fashion, footwear, design, photography, real estate or other item that traditionally requires a visual part of “sell” , the struggle to position yourself well can be solved with your Pinterest profile.
But if your company normally does not need “visual” aids to promote your product, do not let this stop you from using this popular media. There are many other visual aids to keep competing. One resource is the graphics. With it you can “pin” graphs, tables, coordinate systems, geographic coordinates or other data to your target audience instead of using traditional photographs. The most important thing is do not miss this great social media opportunity to market for your company.

Another good alternative is the use of videos. Yes, Pinterest does all “pinning” of videos. Pinterest is not just about “pinning” images. Creating your own quality videos, with the possibility that users enjoy the content. It is also great for promoting the advantages or use of your product from this visual. Do not forget that the social media content must be relevant in order to keep up the curiosity.

Pinterest, is a great visual social media network to display your blog content or website. It opens another window to the outside. Pinterest enables users to share your content that “pins” on a great big virtual whiteboard on the internet.