6 Ways to Determine If Need a VA to Manage Social Media?

Virtual AssistantThis is a follow-up to an earlier post entitled “What Is A Social Media Virtual Assistant?”

 

 

A good question that I am frequently asked-but before I answer, as a business owner, you will need to determine a few things to set a solid foundation for your social media plan.

1) Solid Marketing Plan? Do you have a solid marketing plan?  NOT just social media,which is still the foundation and fabric of your outreach. Remember, social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Comeoninside.com are all TOOLS). Just like in a tool box, some tools are more effective for some projects than others.
My biggest heartbreak is to see an overwhelmed business owner who thinks they “have” to be on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube all at the same time. The dirty little secret is, not all social media platforms are good for all businesses. Truthfully, if you are promoting a message to the wrong  Twitter followers for example, how much valuable time would you be wasting?

2) Social Media Platforms List. Make a list of the social media platforms you currently have a profile on (i.e. Facebook Fan Page, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Come on inside, etc.) This will help you determine if you want to continue on these platforms.

3) Social Media Time. How much time are you or your team spending ENGAGING on these platforms? Not just pre-posting or “pushing” your info, but genuinely interacting with your Facebook fans, Linkedin connections, Twitter followers, etc?

4) Social Media Presence. How much time do you WANT to spend on any given platform? What type of engagement do your client desire? What type of relationship are your clients asking from you?

5) Determine Time Needed. Once you have a determination of the amount of TIME needed, then you will know if a social media  assistant is a good fit.
Your time has to be worth something. Just like you are an expert in your field, your Social Media VA would be the same managing your online campaigns for you.

Based on approved guidelines the Social Media VA would be responsible for:
•Connecting with various types of professionals
•Updating content and making sure the content is linked with appropriate keywords, seo, etc.
•Distributing blogs and events to various locations. A lot of work.
•A good social media assistant or manager will give you statistics on what your social media plan is achieving. Platforms include but not limited to: Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

I would recommend that a Social Media VA only answers or responds to people on your behalf, with the business owner’s consent. Some business owners will want to reply to negative conversations themselves, let’s say on Facebook or Twitter for example, or some will  leave that entirely up to you. So it’s good to have an experience or trained Social Media Manager to help you, if that being the case.

6) Your Time’s Value in Dollars. Once you know the amount of time your company is spending on relating in social media, you figure out the cost to your business for those hours. If your team used those hours in a different area of your business – how much more successful will you be? That dollar figure is your new “marketing” budget for a Social Media Virtual Assistant. Their hourly rates will vary depending on location or specialty, from about $40 to $70/ hour. If you want expert results, then you will welcome an expert on your team as well.

By Angel Lebak of Virtual Assistant Social Media.com

Regardless if you hire a Social Media VA now or wait until your budget allows, social media management is quickly becoming a part of many companies marketing plans. So to be sure you have the accurate tools on hand to get the desired results, just click here for Contact information for RTJ Online-Social Media Assistant.

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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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