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

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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/

http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/check_time.pdf

http://www.event360.com/assets/files/Event-Fundraising-Checklist.pdf

4 Things to let your Virtual Assistant Handle by Britney Balg

If you have elected to use the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA) you have thought through how much it will save you over having an on-site assistant. You’ve probably thought about how nice it will be to not have to deal with the hiring/firing process or having to carry all the insurances associated with a full time employee. But what can a VA actually do for you? Every VA offers different services but these are 4 things that most Virtual Assistants can do.

Bookkeeping:  It’s one of the easiest things to hand over to your Virtual Assistant. You will have to relinquish some of your control but if you find the right VA it won’t stress you out because the job will get done right. Having your bookkeeping needs taken care of will allow you time to focus on bigger parts of your business.

Online Research: Online research can  time consuming and difficult to some. Outsourcing this task to your VA will free up a lot of time for you.  The results can be put into a simple format for you to easily take the information you want from it.

Database Creation/Maintenance: Creating a database is easy if you know what you are doing but can be difficult to get going if you are inexperienced at it.  You can give your VA your information and in no time they can create a database to meet your needs. If you have already made your own database from time to time you will need to update and maintain it. You could even set up scheduled maintenance with your VA so you never run into any problems accessing and using your database.

Social Networking:  Social networking is one of the most important things when it comes to promoting yourself or your business. Like anything else though, it is very time consuming. It is 24-7 networking. So it is nice to have someone to help you keep up with it. Multiple usernames and passwords, remembering to update, re-post, tweet, and doing it all on time are all things a VA can take care of for you. It takes away a lot of the stress of social media.

Remember, every VA is different. They offer many other services that may be advantageous to you.. Look at what things seem to cause stress or cause snags in your daily business and let your Va take over. Learning how to utilize your VA will make the most of your time and your dollar.

THE NEW CONVENTIONAL OFFICE by: Annette Bouchard

As a conventional employer your responsibilities vary from interviewing people, hiring them, training them and then sometimes firing them if they are not adequately suited for the position. All of this time is money to your business. The act of firing someone can land an employer in court fighting about unlawful termination or discrimination. Because of those things a lot of business professionals are turning to virtual assistants. With a VA you can avoid all that hassle. You hire the VA to do a job or project and if things go well, you continue to hire them. If it doesn’t work out then you move on and it’s that simple.

With a VA you are not bound to conventional office hours. Depending on the terms of your contract with your VA you can expect to hand over the work and have it completed by the agreed upon deadline. You wouldn’t dream of asking your Office Administrator to input data after 5:00pm, in order for it to be available before 9:00am the following day. A Virtual Assistant doesn’t close the office at 5. There are VA’s available during regular business hours but many are available to work nontraditional hours providing flexibility with no added expense. The virtual assistant is quickly becoming the more practical business solution.

The way we do business is evolving and traditional models don’t fit all businesses anymore. A VA is a great way to manage your business. The new conventional office allows a business owner the function of a full office with less responsibility and a lot more flexibility.

Aside

MVBS March 2013 Client of the Month

The McClure Virtual Business Solutions Client Of The Month is Capt. Mike Hogan and the team at  Hogy Lure Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. MVBS assists Mike and his team on a regular basis by providing ongoing administrative services. Capt. Mike founded Hogy Lure Company in 2004 when he left his Boston-based office job and moved back to Cape Cod to run inshore and offshore charters. During these fishing charters he became aware of the need for large-style soft baits that mimicked the larger live baits for specific situations of trophy class fishing. Capt. Mike began experimenting with soft plastics until he finally developed the special blend that the company uses today for their very effective and highly recommended lures.  The incredible success of the Hogy Lure led to their incorporation in 2005 and their 1st patent that was received in 2009.

Hogy Lure Company has grown significantly over the past few years and they have sold their unique lures to over 22 countries.  Their success has not affected the way they design their lures.  Hogy Lures are American made and only top grade plastics and their  hand poured method are used to create their soft bait lures.

For more information on Hogy Lure Company, their products and fishing in general visit their awesome website at www.hogylures.com. To check out their ongoing specials visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000808507450&sk=wall. Fish Big. Fish Hogy.Image

Making Twitter Work for You by: Britney Balg

There are so many options for promoting yourself or your business on the internet. Twitter has become a top choice for business professionals to network with minimal effort and time. However, just because it’s a top choice doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Just like other networking sites, there are certain rules and etiquette that must be followed to make your twitter account worth it. First thing to remember is that you have to post valuable tweets. Tweeting about how the office ordered Chinese food for lunch isn’t going to cut it. Post things that are meaningful and important to your business and its goals.

Links are the way to go when trying to get people to visit your company website. You should put links in your tweets so that when your potential customer reads that you have a new type of wood flooring they can just click on the link right in the tweet and it will redirect them to your website with a picture of that flooring. By getting them to your site, you have gotten one step closer to that person buying your product or telling a friend about it.

One other thing to remember about twitter is that it is all about who is following you and who you are following. If you don’t have a good ratio of followers to people being followed by you, twitter can actually delete your account. It also doesn’t look good to potential customers if you don’t have a lot of followers but you are following everyone under the sun that has anything to do with your business.  A good rule of thumb is that if you are going to follow someone they should follow you back. There are exceptions to that rule though, for example if you are following a tv show don’t expect them to follow you back.

Follow us on Twitter! https://twitter.com/mccluresolution

NETWORKING: WHICH TYPE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? by Britney Balg

Networking is one concept of business management that can really make or break your business objectives. There are two types of networking; person to person or through the internet and media. Which one you choose will depend on your own style of running things. If you are very good at small talk and like meeting new people constantly, then you would benefit from person to person networking. There is some truth to the statement, “It’s all about who you know”. It’s not literally all about who you know but once you start putting yourself out there and making new connections, you will be surprised at how much business you can stir up.

On the other hand, maybe your time is better spent networking through social media. Perhaps your target audience is more involved with social media than going to business fairs or conventions. A really appealing aspect of social media networking is that it can be done at any time of day or night and allows you to reach a much further audience. On the flip side though, you may find it a bit time consuming to keep up with all the posting and following and tweeting. A lot of business professionals employ some sort of assistant to help them keep track of all their social media outlets. A bigger business is more likely to hire someone to do this out of an office. A cheaper and just as efficient alternative to this, especially for smaller business owners, is to hire a virtual assistant. A VA is able to communicate with you through email or phone call and then from their own home they can update, repost and blog for you. Which option you choose will depend on your current business situation and neither is necessarily better than the other, it’s just up to you to decide what works.