What Your Body Language Say About You-Professionally

Whether it’s a business or personal interaction, multiple studies show that as much as 50-90% of the communication is nonverbal. That means that people who are addicted to text messaging and e-mail may be sending only half the message, and receivers often misinterpret even that half.

Yet the use of text messaging for business purposes continues to grow, in concert with more of Gen-Y entering the workplace, and a continuing increase in the global rate of texting by everyone. This total rate now exceeds seven billion texts sent per day, according to a new mobile marketing website (more than one per day for every person on earth).

But are these text messages an efficient and appropriate business tool? Where body language is part of the message, it definitely is not.

Sure, there are many cases where a 10-word text message, or 140 character social media tweet, will communicate a simple message more efficiently than a face-to-face discussion. But most business processes, like negotiating a contract, closing a sale, customer support, or managing employees, are much more complicated than just words.

Eye Contact

The eyes are the most powerful part of our body language, and can express everything from happiness, annoyance, interest, to pain. Frequent eye contact is interpreted as honesty and forthrightness. Staring is interpreted as too aggressive. These are obvious in person, but lost in a text message.

Posture

If you are trying to appear dominant or authoritative, stand erect with shoulders back. A slumped position usually indicates insecurity, guilt, or weakness. A dominant sounding text message, on the other hand, generates anger rather than acceptance.

Mirroring

 

Most people feel more comfortable and open with people in a similar position to themselves. An example would be sitting down to meet with a key vendor, rather than standing to deliver demands. Good managers practice this one for personnel issues.

Handshake

This, of course, comes into play to signal openness or goodwill at the beginning of an interaction, and agreement at the end. Remember, a nice firm palm-to-palm handshake is important for sincerity. This cultural icon is totally missing from text messages and e-mails.

Hand-to-face

Even when the words sound good, hand-to-face movements such as holding the chin or scratching the face shows concern or lack of conviction. If a person is covering his mouth while telling you something, he may be lying.

Facial Expression

A critical message delivered with a smiling face will have a totally different impact than one delivered with an angry face. “Smiley face emoticons” were invented to simulate this in text messages, but they don’t always work, because the sincerity is lost.

Arms and legs position

Folded arms or crossed legs, perhaps turning away slightly, indicates a lack of interest and detachment. Later uncrossed arms and legs may be a sign of acceptance of your position or terms.(Top image)  An extrovert will have toes pointed out, introvert will keep them pointed in. None of these come through in texting.

Space occupied

Some people stand up and move around to be more dominant, maybe even threatening. Even sitting, you can stretch your legs to occupy more space. Standing while talking on the phone will make your voice sound more urgent. Maybe all CAPS will satisfy this one.

Overall, the most successful people in business learn to use the right tool for the right job. I’m supportive of using text messaging for agreeing on a time and place for a customer visit, but when I read that text messages are the new pink slips for layoffs, that’s just wrong!

By Martin Zwilling of http://businessinsider.com.

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5 Reasons You Need A Social Media Manager

Virtual AssistantBusiness owners around the globe are asking themselves whether or not they need a social media manager. However, more and more of them are noticing the popularity of social media, but don’t know how, where, when, or why they should jump on the bandwagon themselves. They notice their colleagues, peers, friends, children, and family have jumped on board, on a more personal level. But, what so many of them fail to see, is that their present and future customers have jumped on for a ride too!

Right now, as you read this, your customers are flying down the road going mach 5 with no end in sight. They’re enjoying themselves too while reading/writing reviews, articles, comments & opinions on your business. They’re chatting amongst themselves (and to the rest of the internet world) about their latest visit, what their experience was, and even how it bugs them that Sally the cashier always seems “nice”, but never says thank you when they are leaving.

Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to be in that cart flying down the road too? Do you want to know what your customers are saying about you? Do you want to be able to effectively converse back with them? Wouldn’t you love to hear, first hand, about their experiences? Wouldn’t it be great to know how they felt about Sally so you could enforce stronger cashier policies?

There is no excuse for you not being in that bandwagon yourself. If you want to continually grow your business every year with the goal of higher profits and better ROI’s, then you need to be in that cart. Most importantly, you need to be sitting in the cart as strategically as possible so your customers don’t mistake you for luggage!

If the last four paragraphs didn’t provide you with enough reasons as to why you need a social media manager…don’t fret! Here are five more:

1. Contrary to popular belief, just because your 14 year old niece has a Facebook account, that doesn’t mean she could (or should) create your own businesses fan page. Hire a professional. Your goal should be to have a better social presence than all your competitors. Better website, Facebook, Twitter etc. Hiring someone who has extensive knowledge on the platforms best suited for your business will benefit you enormously. Social media is so constantly evolving, that you want a professional handling yours that you know is up to speed with the latest tools, platforms, & strategies.

2. You must have a well thought out social media strategy if you want to succeed. You must have a plan. One that will provide a road map for you so you don’t get lost. You need to be consistent with your content and most importantly, you need to make sure your content is *valuable*.

3. Just because you already have social media platforms in place, that doesn’t mean you are using them correctly. If you have a Facebook business fan page or Twitter account that gets updated once “every now and then” (when you find the time) … you’re in trouble. It actually looks worse for your business to have inactive pages than not having any at all. Also, you want them all integrated together so they are working for you, and not the other way around.

4. You need someone to remind you -not- to be a broadcaster! It is extremely easy for someone to “hide” you on Facebook and “unfollow” you on Twitter. So easy, it can be done with one click of the mouse! You need someone helping you develop content strategies that are focused on providing engaging valuable content that people enjoy reading and make them feel comfortable enough to join in on the conversation. One of the most successful companies at doing social media is Zappos.com. Check out their Facebook site to see what I mean about engaging content.

5. Having a social media manager saves you, the business owner, time (our most valuable asset). Even though an effective social media campaign requires an “all hands on deck” approach to be effective, having a social media manager undoubtedly saves you time. They can provide you with a road map and content strategy that should make it easy for you to distinguish what is considered good and bad content. They also could take away the burden of having to log onto your computer and manage comments and updating content regularly on all platforms. They do all that for you leaving you more time to concentrate on your livelihood … your business!
By Krysty Petrucci facebook.com/TribalMedia

Now it’s your turn. Have you jumped on the social media bandwagon yet? What has been your experience thus far? What have you had difficulty with? What seemed surprisingly easy? If you haven’t jumped on yet- what’s stopping you?  What are you waiting for?

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Avoid Bad Conversations

One of the most interesting and fun parts of having a social media site is being able to jump into any conversation you feel you can share an idea or opinion about with people from all different parts of the world. Working as a social media virtual assistant, where marketing is one of your main goals, the conversation pieces you hold are necessary. However, the quality and legitimacy of those conversations really do matter.

As much as building relationships, human-to-human, is important, the quality of those relationships is also important. You may recognize that when meeting someone in person, you want to be approachable, sophisticated, and proper. Conversations that take place on social media sites should also fit within these guidelines. Conducting yourself in a professional manner shouldn’t end until you’re not working.

It’s normal to have bad conversations and good conversations. Bad ones may consist of mono voices, endless sentences, and quirky ways of expression. Good ones could also include quirkiness, but will also include meaning, depth, and less face value.
The point here is are you paying enough attention to yourself and the way you conduct your conversations? As a social media marketer or manager, most of your clients hired you because of your ambition, goals and the way you spoke to them. They don’t have much more to go off of other than how you speak and your past track record.

When you’re alone, start thinking and ask yourself some questions. How would I sound to a complete stranger? What would I say? What would I say about myself? When you’re out and about, think about the conversation you just had with the cashier or waitress. Also think about how you speak when you are at work. Being self-aware can give you more of an intelligent and professional outlook, which is very important as a social marketing assistant.

Great conversations start with positive behavior including, thoughtfulness, sharing yourself, empathy for others, and conveying insights or ideas in a positive manner. However, even when you are starting out positive it can end up in a bad place. Here are 4 ways to avoid a bad conversation:

1. Don’t be overly blunt when asking questions.

When asking questions to another person, don’t turn into a Combat Captain. Let the questions spawn organically, not brutally. Let the conversation unfold and ask questions so it can do so, but don’t pry and pry and come off too stern. That’s scary.

2. Difference of Opinion? It’s ok, embrace it!

Instead of just trying to get your point across and only giving a basic acknowledgement of the other person’s idea or opinion, even if you hate it, say more that “yea-yea.” You want to engage the person and the conversation, whether to move them towards what you think is right or not, we’re all humans and we’re entitled to our opinions. You’ll have a much better chance of swaying them your way if you just talk about it rather than shrugging it off.

3. Don’t go overboard when talking about yourself.

The last thing a person wants to hear is a two hour conversation, where the one person speaks the entire time and it’s all about them and their life. It’s boring, wasteful, and just rude. Try to avoid this at all costs. However, in my experience, to get someone on your good side and make them feel welcome, do remember to ask questions about them. It creates a more comfortable atmosphere and portrays that you care.

4. Short, Cryptic, One Way Statements = Bad

I love being witty, wise or a smarty-pants, whatever you want to call it, but there is a time and place for things like this, such as at home or once you know a person well and they know your personality. If you continue on this way, you may come off as a bit cold or mean. I know you probably don’t intend it to be that way, but not all people are like you so it’s better to just be personable rather than disengaged and short.

Great conversations are fluid, have depth, and are stimulating. They allow for connections to be made and can inspire. As a social media assistant and marketer, language is our art and we should provide the best. Working on the art of conversation can help you personally and professionally and overall, enrich your daily life.

By Dawn Pigoni of http://besocialworldwide.com

 

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What is a Social Media Virtual Assistant

Find out what a social media virtual assistant does and how one can help you and your business.
Today, it’s essential and similar to brushing your teeth, that for businesses to develop and bloom, a social media presence is of utmost importance for thriving businesses. Mostly, it is due to people talking about your brand or product, negatively and positively.

Social media and the tools that they possess are extremely effective to reach millions of online users from around the world, verses a traditional website and definitely more effective than paper marketing because of technological advancement.

I know most of you’ve heard about Social Media, but have you begun the social media adventure yet?

I’m sure you feel that it’s important, but something is holding you back. Maybe you think it would take up too much of your time, or you just don’t have any idea where to start. One thing I know for sure…Social Media is here to stay.

A Social Media Virtual Assistant will help you to establish your social media presence, perform a variety of tasks, manage your social media accounts, and allow you more free time, so you can focus on your business. Social Media Virtual Assistants may even be helpful in areas that you haven’t even thought about such as researching and keeping up-to-date with social media marketing and how to help your business. They can also help to create a buzz about your brand or product through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, other social networks and forums. Outlined below are the major social media tasks they can perform for you.

A Social Media Virtual Assistant can:
<Perform Social Media Research, Strategies & Action Planning
<Setup Social Network Profiles
<Manage your Social Networks
<Use Marketing Strategies on Twitter, Facebook, & Online Video
<Manage your Online Reputation
<Perform Social Bookmarking
<Perform Article Marketing
<Perform Blog Commenting
<Post on Forums

So if you haven't taken the plunge yet, and don't really want to, or just cannot seem to find the time, now is the time to outsource all of your social media tasks to a Social Media Virtual Assistant.
This will help to create a more simple life and allow for adequate time to spend on the more important aspects of your business, as well as helping to increase your profits.

By Dawn Pigoni

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How Will You Brand Yourself?

If you are thinking of starting a small business and you’ve identified the market and you’ve found a niche – or a position that you feel comfortable with, now you need to think about how your are going to brand yourself.
What type of branding will you use?

Here’s a definition of branding according to Business Dictionary.Com: Entire process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product (good or service) in the consumers’ mind, through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Basically you can go one of two ways. A personal brand or a business brand. What are their differences and advantages?

Personal Brand: In a personal brand you are simply branding yourself. For an example: If you are an expert at something or want to sell yourself as such, then you might want to think of going with a personal brand. In other words you are selling yourself. You can set up a blog, website or a column of some sort and build a following of “you” and promote your business from there.

Business Brand: With a business brand you are promoting the business itself, whatever that business may be. If you are selling a product or services or if you are building a “brick and mortar store,” on or offline, then you might want to think of a good business brand that will identify something unique about your business. Don’t forget the definition of the term.

One advantage of a personal brand is if you feel that in time you might want to promote something else or branch off from your original niche in some way, then you can do so without having to re-brand so-to-speak, because it can be accomplished under your personal brand.

But if you are building a business and just want to stick with a certain name or brand, then you may want to go with a business brand. One advantage of this is in time the brand itself will take on value, if you decide to sell down the road.

What Is Needed: With a personal brand you would need a good professional photo of yourself and a nice biography that will tell us about you. With a business brand you will need a good logo and a catchy tagline, one that will tell others what is unique about your business. A logo and tagline can be included if you go with a personal brand if you like, but it’s a key factor to a business brand. This is something that will make your company really stand out among the rest.

Do Your Homework: There are plenty of information out there that will provide you tips and ideas as to how to brand yourself. There are several blogs on branding, what taglines you can use, and websites that will help you to create your logo. Just do a simple search. Give it a lot of thought. Because when it comes to starting a business, there is nothing more important as to how you brand yourself.

By Reginald Jackson at RTJ Online .

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Why a Growing Need for Social Media Managers

There used to be a time when you could look up towards the sky and see an advertisement in the form of an airplane, tugging a banner saying “Come Eat at Sloppy’s Joe’s!”, or the Goodyear Blimp flashing an advertisement for their famous tires. Traditional advertising methods for local businesses used to be the yellow pages, newspaper, radio and television. But times have changed. Though people still watch television, read the newspaper and listen to the radio, the internet and satellite radio have changed the way people advertise. In this age of cell phones, individuals are seldom in reach of the yellow pages and amazingly, now individuals can get the news from their i pods!

With growing popularity of the social media platforms, businesses, small and large, are forced to change the way they promote themselves. With Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and You Tube, people are spending a lot more time on the internet and a lot less time thumbing through the yellow pages. Running a local business successfully today absolutely requires using social media. Companies like Coke, Home Depot and Ford Motor Company are already utilizing links to multiple Social Media platforms. And Pepsi Cola this year has pulled out of the Super Bowl to concentrate on social media. And it’s even been projected that by the end of this year, 97% of all retailers will be marketing their products and services on Facebook.

With this new trend, corporations are now seeking assistants to coordinate campaigns for these social media platforms. For that reason, social media manager is now a new hot buzzword that’s all over the internet. Let’s face it; businesses do whatever they have to do to reach potential customers. And right now, they’re all over the Net. Interestingly, the job site Simply Hired is currently advertising over 19,000 positions of social media specialists of some sort for businesses of various sizes.

So can you appreciate why there’s a growing need for “Social Media Managers?

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