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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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.

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

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?

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. )

April 2013 Client of the Month

This month’s Client of the Month is Nancy Whitehouse-Bain, Realtor with RE/MAX Property Promotions in Leominster, Ma. McClure Virtual Business Solutions assists Nancy on an ongoing basis with various administrative tasks. Nancy has been a full time broker for over 18 years and as s Top Producer she specializes in Single family homes, Multi-families, Condominiums, New Construction and Land listings.

Nancy’s accomplishments extend to her being a Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE, Certified Buyers Representative – CBR, Member of 100% Club – Top Producer, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, 2009 Platinum Producer and 2010 Gold Producer.

In addition to her accomplishments she is affiliated with the Northern Worcester County Board of Realtors, Massachusetts Association of Realtors, Gardner Chamber of Commerce, RE/MAX International.

She is married to a wonderful man named Scott, and has two children, Dean and Sabrina as well as two step-children, Ashleigh and Jordan. Nancy enjoys playing basketball and racquetball when she gets the chance. For more information on your local real estate market, contact Nancy at nancw@propertypromotions.net and don’t forget to check out her website for real estate tips and trends athttp://www.wykesandwhitehouse.com/.