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!

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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/

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.

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

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

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?

Are LinkedIn Endorsements Taken Seriously? By: Britney Balg

LinkedIn introduced the endorsement feature last year as a way to appeal to people who use their site on a mobile device and have limited time. It offers a recommendation feature, but this can take 10-15 minutes to complete and requires real knowledge of the skills you are validating for your connection. On the other hand, the endorsement of a skill takes one click of a mouse and you can even add skills that your connection doesn’t list on their own profile. So what does this say about the value of this feature? Opinions vary as to the value of endorsements. Those who don’t like this feature object to how mindless it is to endorse someone. It doesn’t require any thought or real knowledge of a person’s skills. Another reason people don’t like this feature is because they may get bombarded with notifications about being endorsed by someone. When you go to see what they endorsed you for you are then prompted to endorse them back. On the other hand, some people think this feature is wonderful and a great solution to making the site more on-the –go friendly.

Everyone is busy these days, and more and more people are using their smartphones to do their social media. These are the people who think the endorsements are a great idea and really convenient. And they are right, they are very convenient because it only takes two seconds. LinkedIn users just need to realize that there is a right and wrong way to use endorsements, so follow these guidelines when using the endorsement feature.
• Hide endorsements from people who have no real knowledge of your skills.
• Only endorse people for skills that you have witnessed first hand
• Don’t have too many endorsements for skills that don’t pertain to your current goals.
• Remember that just because someone endorses you for something, doesn’t mean you have to endorse them back, it makes it less meaningful.

IMAGE: LinkedIn Logo ( Published on 01-07-2010 0:00 a.m. )