4 Steps to Take When Responding to Negative Feedback on Facebook

As a business, it is imperative to respond professionally and courteously to all feedback presented to you. However, this can be difficult when it comes to Facebook or your other professional social media platforms with the feedback being so publicly and easily accessible on the internet. Here are 4 ways to handle negative feedback on your social media platforms:

1. Respond Promptly – It is crucial to respond promptly to your followers and customers when they reach out to you or comment on a product. If the feedback is positive, send a quick thanks and maybe politely ask that since they seem to enjoy your product/page,etc. would they mind sharing with their friends who may also like your product?

2. Respond Appropriately – when receiving negative feedback, it is important that you don’t take the feedback as an attack, rather, see it as a challenge to grow. Take a deep breath and put yourself in your customers place. Do they have a valid point? If so, acknowledge your shortcoming and do your best to remedy it. Do they warrant a discount or even reimbursement? If you are not comfortable with those options, perhaps send them a valuable coupon or gift certificate to prompt them to give you another shot.

3. Be ok with the outcome – If you find yourself in the position where the customer is just not satisfied with your efforts and you followed steps 1 and 2, take the experience as a personal and professional growth experience and push forward.

4. Grow from the situation – Whether the unhappy customer ends up satisfied or not, take a moment to note what went wrong in the first place, what may have been overlooked, and implement a plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Compile the above steps into a customized, strategic plan for your business and make sure it is part of your company’s social media departments standards of operation. For help with your strategic plan or standards of operation, contact me at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com for more information. First half hour is free! Email me today!

April 8, 2015 – Consider These Techniques When Designing Your LinkedIn Headline by Catie McClure

When creating or enhancing your LinkedIn profile, it is important to pay special attention to each section of your profile starting with your headline. The goal when designing your LinkedIn headline is to make yourself stand apart from other similar professionals as well as be easily found.  Include these tactics when designing your LinkedIn headline:

1.  Include a reputable position you hold within your community or industry.  This is important as it gains you respect and sets you apart from other professionals in your industry. Some examples may include a position on a local board or award you have won within your community or industry.

2.  Include keywords in your title.   Your LinkedIn title should answer the questions: who you are, who you help, and how you help. In answering these questions, include your titles that serve as searchable and popular keywords.

3. Keep a couple versions of your headline on hand. Switch it up every now and again and monitor any changes in activity. Be creative but don’t sacrifice quality. Professionals don’t appreciate fluff they can’t immediately assess the value of.

These techniques are important because more and more professionals are using LinkedIn personally to find reputable and professional trade’s people for their personal use as well as to refer out. LinkedIn provides the general public with sort of an online resume of sorts and can be valuable in determining which professional to use. By including these techniques you will show up in more searches and stand out from the competition.

By incorporating these techniques you are setting your profile up for success. To find out more about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile today, email me at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com or stay tuned for our next post, How to Draft Your LinkedIn Summary. Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Catie McClure has been providing internet marketing and administrative services to various industries since 2010. She specializes in social media management and content writing in addition to her extensive sales and administrative experience. Prior to starting her own consultant firm where she manages a team of administrative assistants and content writers and managers, she was a licensed, Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson for 10 years specializing in buyer agency and customer care while working under companies such as RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker as well as being an integral part in a local real estate startup. Catie believes the best clients are educated clients and works diligently to make sure her clients stay apprised of the latest marketing trends based on their industry. When she is not assisting clients, she enjoys yoga,road trips, reading and spending time with her husband and 4 boys. For more information on Catie’s services at McClure Virtual Business Solutions, email her at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

Sources:

http://careerenlightenment.com/5-tricks-writing-effective-linkedin-headline

http://content.wisestep.com/how-to-write-your-killer-linkedin-headline-creative-tips/

April 2, 2015 Pinterest for Realtors: The Importance of a Pinterest Presence and Must-Have Boards By Catie McClure

To some, it may be obvious how Pinterest can positively affect your real estate business. The fact that the shelf life of pins on Pinterest far exceeds the shelf life of any other posts on social media, is reason enough alone to build a presence on Pinterest. With the busy lifestyles of Realtors these days, it may not seem a priority to have a presence on Pinterest but it is. For starters, Pinterest has grown exponentially in popularity over the past few years and it would be foolish to not have a presence there as a Realtor. The fact that people (mainly women who are 3x more likely to pin or repin) go to Pinterest especially for real estate related ideas and suggestions, should be motivation enough to enhance your presence and extend your marketing efforts to Pinterest. Home decor is among the top 3 searched items on Pinterest. So,to gain positive traction with your real estate Pinterest account make sure you start off with your Pinterest boards with this in mind. The following are Pinterest board suggestions that appeal to both buyers and sellers of real estate. Just remember, be creative and personalize to your personality!

  • Local Community Board
  • Home Improvement
  • Appliances
  • Financing
  • DIY
  • Massachusetts Real Estate
  • Home Staging
  • Real Estate Current Events
  • Quality Real Estate articles – preferably from your website
  • Outdoor Living
  • Garden
  • Family Room Ideas
  • Kid Room Ideas
  • Bathroom Styles
  • Kitchen Design
  • Small Spaces
  • Organization
  • Repurposing
  • Furniture
  • Basement Makeovers

You can really gain a good amount of personal marketing real estate with your Pinterest presence. Vibrant visuals are also key to Pinterest as is the use of good descriptions and hashtags. Being active, repinning and having a regular presence on Pinterest is also imperative to your success on Pinterest. If done right, Pinterest will drastically increase  your internet presence and strongly enhance your marketing and branding authority as a Realtor as well as gain amazing exposure for your clients. For more information on what Pinterest can do for your real estate business, email me at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

Sources:

https://www.flyerco.com/blog/actionable-pinterest-insights-real-estate-lead-generation/

http://www.inman.com/next/25-killer-pinterest-real-estate-board-suggestions-to-target-buyers-and-sellers/

The 4 Bare Essentials of Keeping Up with Your Online Presence By Catie McClure

One of the biggest problems professionals today face is finding the time to learn how to and maintain their social media presence. Even though most professionals know that it is imperative in today’s business world to have a strong social media presence, some still are far lacking in keeping up. The vast landscape of the social media industry doesn’t really provide a viable solution for the lone the busy professional and small business.

On one hand the social media industry offers a wealth of information on how to properly conduct your social media activity for every social media platform known to man, this wealth of information is more than slightly overwhelming. The current solution to this problem is to either struggle along insufficiently or hire one of the countless content management firms or consultants to do it for you for a pretty steep price. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the social media industry as it is my bread and butter as well, but I am saying that I understand that these solutions can be a bit suffocating for the lone entrepreneur or small business.

In an attempt to provide some small solution to these problems, I am writing a series of posts on what the busy professional can do on their own and still maintain a sufficient social media presence without making other areas of their business suffer. Below are the bare essentials in getting started and maintaining a sufficient online presence:

1. Make sure your profiles are complete. To see a couple sample profiles, you can check out my LinkedIn profile here www.linkedin.com/pub/catie-mcclure/26/149/784/en or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mvbsllc?ref=bookmarks. 

2. Complete a content calendar. Do this at least every week, biweekly or ideally on a monthly basis. Create one that best fits your needs. If you know you can designate 5+ hours once a month to compile a calendar for the month ahead, that is ideal However, if you can’t then just make sure you put something together on a weekly basis. For a sample content calendar email me at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com and I will send you a sample.

3. Designate time every day or at least every other day to checking in on your social media platforms. Even if it is just 15-30 minutes a day. Give each platform a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Just enough time to skim the news feed, share relevant information your followers might like to know about (just be sure to give credit where credit is due), post some of your original content you made ahead of time and comment on one or two of your associates posts.

4.  Blog. Yes. The dreaded word. However, blogging is essential to the online presence of businesses today and the need seems to only be growing. Even if you can only bang out one per week or even every other week. Just do something. For ideas on how to find topics when you need to whip up a post quick send me a quick email at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

To keep your momentum going, it is my suggestion to follow these steps for a month and as you become better at creating content and more efficient in your management, add to your efforts a little at a time. The best way to expand your efforts once you have this list down, is to write a list of goals or priorities for what you want to get out of your online presence and start incorporating them into your plan and content calendars.  Before you know it, you will have smoothly running internet marketing machine!

About the Author

Catie McClure has been providing internet marketing and administrative services to various industries since 2010. She specializes in social media management and content writing in addition to her extensive sales and administrative experience. Prior to starting her own consultant firm where she manages a team of administrative assistants and content writers and managers, she was a licensed, Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson for 10 years specializing in buyer agency and customer care while working under companies such as RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker as well as being an integral part in a local real estate startup that is still successful today. Catie believes the best clients are educated clients and works diligently to make sure her clients stay apprised of the latest marketing trends based on their industry. When she is not assisting clients, she enjoys yoga, road trips, reading and spending time with her husband and 4 boys. For more information on Catie’s services at McClure Virtual Business Solutions, email her at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

Best blogging practices for Realtors by Sharon Tully

It seems that Blogs are here to stay; I can’t go a day without reading one or finding out someone I know is starting one.   When did they become so ingrained in daily life?  By doing just a little bit of research, I found out that the term “blog” was coined in the late 1990s.  It evolved from the online diary and came from the expression “web log”.

Since blogs are now acceptable forms of social media, it’s time to weed out the good from the bad so they can become useful business tools.  It’s easy to know when you like a blog.  It grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go.  But knowing how to structure a blog to make it effective is the key to success.

While a good business person wears many hats, it’s the wise one who knows when something is out of his/her area of expertise.  When it’s time to call in a partner for a particular need, there’s some homework to be done first.  A small business may be in need of administrative services but is not ready to hire a full-time staffer.  Virtual assistants and other business support services are available to meet the needs of that particular business.  McClure Virtual Business Solutions is one such company that can provide support and help you grow your business.

Continuing on the topic of blogs, professionals in this particular area know that the tone of a blog needs to be casual and conversational.  They know how to open up a discussion to garner comments.  In addition, they can create a content strategy so the blog fits into the bigger marketing picture of a company.  Real estate clients of McClure Virtual Business Solutions, for example, benefit from the business expertise and specific industry knowledge offered.  MVBS can help realtors find their ‘voice’ for their blogs so that there’s a personality that comes through to make a connection.  Their dedicated professionals help the good business person wear a few less hats so he/she can become a great business person.

SOURCES

http://www.echoditto.com/

http://activerain.com/

http://www.brokerageu.com/real-estate/business/marketing/content/blogging-best-practices/

http://realestate.about.com/od/whyblog/

https://mccluresolution.wordpress.com/

Four Tips for Choosing the Right Social Media Management Company

In today’s internet saturated business world, it is imperative that a company have a solid social media presence. Many businesses choose to hand this responsibility over to a management or consulting company that specializes in maintaining social media accounts for clients.

Not all consultants can deliver all the successful social media interaction they promise, so knowing what to look for when choosing the right company for you is very important. According to Social Media Management Mavens: “generally, a good social marketing agency is one who can give you a fresh approach, offer unmatched skill, and provide solid advice for your business as a whole.” Here are four qualities to consider when choosing the right social media management for you:

1. Professional Presentation: This company will be controlling your online presence and the way you are presented to the users of social media networks. Tim Parker of Intuit advises: “Make sure their [writing] voice matches your company’s style — and that they have a solid grasp of proper spelling and grammar…Typos do not come across as professional.” Your potential social media manager must have the same commitment to quality that you do.

2. Dedication: You want to get the best out of this service, so as Social Media Mavens recommend, evaluate the potential companies’ “enthusiasm.” To ensure that your social media campaign is managed correctly, the service provider must be as devoted to your company as you are. The Mavens advise: “The right social media agency will eat, sleep, and breathe your brand. They will be a team dedicated to make your business shine, and they will love what they do!”

3. Social Media Presence: Does the company maintain an effective social media presence for itself? Is it monitoring itself as it promises to look after your interests? It is important to consider questions like these asked at PRWeb: “What social media networks have they used to craft their own social media influence?” and “Are they active members of any professional social media focused organizations or blogging communities?” Your potential management company should have the social media presence you envision for your business.

4. References: Finally, as Tim Parker at Intuit suggests, ask for references! As with any service you pay for, be it plumbing or snowplowing, it is wise to not take the provider’s claims of expertise and success at face value. Parker advises: “working with an individual, [the person should] provide three to five professionals references…. working with an agency … ask to speak with previous small-business clients to make sure that you won’t be ignored in favor of larger accounts.” Consider the references and ask to see other pages the service manages. Conduct your own review.

In essence, it is vital when choosing a social media management company to consider the role that social media plays in your potential service provider’s business. Remember the importance of presentation, dedication, social media presence, and above all, references!

SOURCES:  http://www.socialmediamanagementmavens.com/how-to-choose-a-social-media-marketing-agency

http://blog.intuit.com/employees/10-tips-for-selecting-a-social-media-manager/

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11004538.htm

http://social-media-marketing-services-review.toptenreviews.com/

http://www.itworld.com/software/350457/how-choose-social-media-management-service

Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser by Toni Earls

Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser

If you are planning an event for your business in 2014, now is a great time to get started. Whether it is a networking event or a fundraiser, staying on top of your planning with a checklist will aid your efforts immeasurably. Keeping yourself organized is fundamental to the success of an event. Consider these suggestions when planning yours.

1. Be clear about the purpose of your event, whether it is a fundraiser, a networking opportunity, or something in between. The Fundraising Authority recommends: “Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals?…details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.”

2. Begin preparations early on, at least 3 months out for a large event, according to Marriot. Their comprehensive checklist includes these beginning steps: “…develop the program and budget. Book meeting site and support services. Check calendar of local events to avoid conflicting or inappropriate dates.” You can also use this time to contact attendees and if necessary, make travel arrangements. The more thorough and detailed you are at the start, the less likely you are to encounter problems closer to the event.

3. The importance of your marketing is highlighted by the Fundraising Authority’s checklist. “You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event.” Whether you are a small business looking to network or a non-profit hoping to fundraise, it is imperative that you orchestrate a persuasive marketing campaign to entice people to your event. “ ‘Getting the word out’ [methods] include…mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.”

4. Remember, people won’t come and/or they won’t donate if you don’t ask. Event 360’s advice is applicable in a fundraising or a networking event planning situation. “The golden rule of fundraising is: You raise money when you ask for it. You don’t when you don’t. ASK! Make a list of everyone you know and everyone you come in contact with during the course of a day – everyone is a potential donor.” There are also many potential guests for a networking event in this pool of people. Be judicious about your requests but don’t hesitate to cast a wide net.

5. Finally, remember that the influence of your event doesn’t end when the tables are cleared away and the lights are shut off. It is important to follow up with clients or donors, and to thank them for their attendance. Fundraising Authority advises: “Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors.”

In short, be purposeful in your event design. Plan ahead and keep abreast of the situation throughout the events planning stages. Market your event like it is a new product and don’t be afraid to ask people to attend or to donate, depending on the situation. Most importantly, remember to say thank you when it is done.

SOURCES: http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/fundraising-basics/fundraising-event/

Click to access check_time.pdf

Click to access Event-Fundraising-Checklist.pdf

Preparing to Meet Your Accountant by Toni Earls

A meeting with your accountant, whether it is an annual occurrence or the first time, will not be productive or helpful if you do not go to it fully prepared. Making sure that you have your documents in order will make the process go more smoothly and allow your accountant to do his or her job more efficiently. Doing as much work as possible before your meeting will help lessen the workload later and potentially negate the need for repeated meetings.

Accountingmatch.com recommends going into your meeting with clear expectations for yourself and your accountant. They assert: “…your accountant [should] have a clear understanding of what you expect to get and when you expect to get it. Just as important is for you to understand what your accountant needs and expects from you in the relationship.” This will work to your mutual benefit.

 Make yourself aware of your responsibilities as a client and what is reasonable to expect from your accountant. Spartina suggests that you: “…make a list of items that you want to discuss with your accountant. The fuzzy or complicated areas can include education expenses, membership dues, taxes you have paid, and Internet expenses.” Making yourself aware of potential problem areas will allow you to deal with them more effectively later in the process.

 This video prepared by AG Tax, encourages prospective clients to do the work ahead of time in order to streamline the process. Determine if your accountant or firm has templates or spreadsheets to guide you in preparing the necessary receipts and documents and take advantage of it. Asking for a checklist from your accountant or firm can ease stress and limit confusion when trying to gather the pertinent paperwork for a meeting.

 You don’t have to prepare completely on your own. Utilizing the tools available to you, including computer programs or apps which help you organize your financial documents, receipts, and statements, is an excellent way to begin.

Spartina recommends: “…using your accounting software (Quickbooks, Quicken, or other), print out a detailed P&L, and review all the expenses in the various categories. Make any changes now for items that may have been miscategorized.” You can avoid confusion when meeting with your accountant by catching mistakes before you hand over your information.

 Simple preparation before meeting with an accountant can streamline the process. Using software, guidelines from the accounting firm, or both will maximize your efficiency and minimize confusion. Don’t waste your time or your accountant’s. Go to your meeting confident that you have prepared thoroughly and expect meticulousness in return.

 SOURCES: http://www.accountingmatch.com/preparemeetaccountant.htm

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b_J3-DbvPo

 http://www.spartina.com/items/15895-tax-time-prepare-for-your-accountant

Clear Clutter and Streamline Your Thinking by Toni Earls

When running your own small business from an office or from your home, organization, both physical and mental, is always an important factor in your success. Not surprisingly, clutter has been found to be a significant factor contributing to stress and anxiety in your work environment.

According to Mikael Cho’s article, clutter can affect your productivity adversely. He mentions a study undertaken at Princeton University which gave participants the same task in an organized and a disorganized environment: “The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”

Psychology Today echoes these findings with Sherrie Bourg Carter’s piece. She points out that although clutter poses a considerable threat to efficiency at home and productivity in a business environment, this fact often goes unacknowledged. “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”

 Carter suggests a day-to-day approach to cut down on clutter at your desk and increase productivity. She says that giving yourself a fresh start each day will be beneficial: “De-clutter your primary work space before you leave it… make a habit of cleaning off your work space before you go. Not only will this give you a sense of closure when you leave, it will also make you feel good when you return to a nice, clean space.”

One more point to consider is mentioned by Cho. He stresses that in our virtually connected business culture, clutter is not simply a pile of manila folders and un-filed papers on your desk. Electronic clutter can be just as debilitating: “Files on your computer, notifications from your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and anything that goes “ping” in the night competes for your attention. This creates a digital form of clutter that erodes your ability to focus and perform creative tasks.”

Scheduling time into your work day to devote to clearing out your digital clutter can help with this. By designating a particular time or multiple times every day to devote to dealing with business related emails and social media, you can train yourself not to jump every time a new message beeps, distracting you from the task at hand.

 SOURCES:

http://lifehacker.com/how-clutter-affects-your-brain-and-what-you-can-do-abo-662647035

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

The Evolution of Communication

In a time, before cellphones existed, ancient civilizations used to dispatch messengers on horseback to relay information from afar.  Through the ages, ancient society found ways to develop new and much faster ways to communicate. Piggy-backing a horse across country in an attempt to send a message just wasn’t an effective way of doing things. Eventually, there would be ambitious pioneers all throughout history creating inventions to simplify the way with which people communicated

In 1775, the invention of the first postal service mailing system, changed the way people viewed communication. Revolutionizing the way information was shared, the postal service created a new way for an entire nation to conduct business. Back then, the postal service was modernized technology. This allowed messages to reach their destination faster than before.

After Benjamin Franklin made the illuminating discovery of electricity, came the invention of the telephone. The telephone made communicating long distances an instantaneous process. Changing the way business was done, the telephone led our society into new worlds of technology, unknown to mankind. As the telephone advanced and became more efficient, interest in the telephone soared throughout the nation. Many years later, and still immobilized by the cords and original setup of the telephone, patents were soon past down on a new kind of phone device- “The Cell Phone”.

With the invention of cellular technology, most of the communicative obstacles still plaguing society, ceased to exist. Even after the invention of electricity and the telephone, many felt information still wasn’t being passed fast enough. Telephones were often awkward and bulky, with cords attached to the base, leaving you homebound or stuck at the office. Through the invention of the cellphone, this dilemma was erased, leaving the possibilities limitless. Now, at the press of a button, people possessed the power to talk to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Ever since cellphones swept the nation, its been a race against time, as multiple industries search endlessly for new innovations to release to the public. By this era, newspapers, television, and public media are all common, everyday platforms used to advertise products, including the hip new cellphone. As a result of these media advancements, word of the cell phone spread like wildfire and everyone had to have one. Within a few years, the benefits of being able to carry a phone in your pocket was known worldwide, making cell phones the new dominant force in the world of communication. Every household had a cellphone and people were happy. Not until “smart phones” waltzed onto the scene did cellphones change forever.

Smart phones have become the new staple in today’s society. With them, people can do just about anything. Not only is communicating anytime or anyplace more possible than ever, but now its even feasible to perform a research assignment via the web, on the phone while talking to anyone anywhere, on that same phone, at the same time. The explanation itself can tie your tongue. The smartphone is capable of surfing the internet, playing games, taking pictures, sending pictures, and texting messages. The smartphone even has the capabilities of running a small business. Now the power to manage a company is available at the press of a button throughout every household in America. How we will share information 10 years from now?