What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

26 Sep

Interested in hiring a virtual assistant but not sure what they can do?

Here’s the quick and dirty:

If a job can be done online, I guarantee there is a virtual assistant out there willing to help you and your business.

This is great news you say! Hold that thought for a second.

Have you ever hired your plumber to fix your car?

The Internet hopes not.

In everyday life you hire someone to perform a task based on their qualifications and experience. The problem with delegating anything to any virtual assistant is that you will find very mixed results.

Sure, there will be sprinkles of successes here and there, but most of our experience shows for a dirtier, rather than quicker, outcome. It really does pay to understand what a virtual assistant can and should do.

Lucky for you, I’ve prepped most of your homework right here.

So What Do Virtual Assistants Do?

If I were to list every single duty or task that a virtual assistant could perform, this would be an extremely long post that could take you hours to read.

So rather than list every single thing, I put together a list of some of the more general or common tasks and duties which you can delegate to an assistant.

Specialization VS Generalization

Some virtual assistants come from a specific industry and choose to specialize in one area such as project management, real estate, sales, or bookkeeping to name a few. Other virtual assistants choose to do a little of everything and in essence act more like a general virtual assistant or virtual personal assistant.

Virtual Sales Assistant Can Help You Grow Your Revenue

A virtual sales assistant is a good example of someone who specializes but also performs a lot of general administrative duties.

For example, if your sales team doesn’t follow up and log information about every lead into your CRM what happens? That lead goes cold and your chances of converting that lead into a sale become harder.

A sales assistant who works remotely can help with this process, and more, to ensure that money isn’t slipping away all because your sales team is too busy.

Here are more examples of things which you can delegate to your virtual sales assistant.

  • Prospect development and Lead Generation: Identify potential prospects, research their contact information and give you the context to reach out to them
  • Nurture and growing your client base: Monitor relationships and referrals by ensuring regular touch points through investment updates and other communications
  • Managing and preparing documents: Ensure proposals, key investment documentation, and other reports are ready when you need them
  • Update email or contact lists in your CRM: Make sure all information is properly input so warm leads don’t go cold.
  • Manage your calendar: Schedule and re-schedule your meetings and confirm appointments

As I mentioned before, there are many VA’s who specialize and Sales is but one type of specialization.

General Virtual Assistant

I don’t need to tell you that if you’re drowning in administrative tasks or trying to juggle too many things at once, then not only does your job become a source of stress, but it can be difficult to run your business.

Luckily for you the vast majority of virtual assistants specialize in administrative tasks. Here are some general and administrative tasks your VA can perform for you.

Correspondence and Communication

One of the biggest time drains can be simple correspondence and communication. Think about it: how much time do you spend on this task alone each day instead of focusing on your core business?

Hiring a virtual assistant to handle some of these tasks for you can not only alleviate a lot of stress, but it can also free up big chunks of time so you can actually get in a full day’s work with less distractions. Consider some or all of these for your VA:

  • Calendar management
  • Follow up with customers and clients
  • Send thank you and other reminder emails
  • Manage and schedule appointments or bookings with clients and customers
  • Email management and filtering
  • Answer calls
  • Answer support tickets
  • Liaison between you and your team members
  • Reply to customers and client’s enquiries via email

Travel and Flight Booking

If you travel a lot and do your own travel bookings then hiring a VA can be a godsend, but it can be a bit tricky at first. He or she has to understand your schedule and learn your preferences. But once they do, it can be a huge time saver for you. Travel tasks for your VA might be:

  • Book flight
  • Arrange meetings with customers or clients in between stops
  • Book hotel
  • Book car
  • Apply all necessary rewards and miles programs

Presentations and Spreadsheets

All virtual assistants have access to a computer which means the majority of virtual assistants will have at least a basic understanding of spreadsheet, word-processing and presentation software. Why not outsource simple reporting and presentations to a VA? Here are some ideas:

  • Create basic reports (monthly, weekly, daily, or annually)
  • Create charts for board meetings
  • Data entry
  • Create slide shows
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Create basic flyers

Projects and Research

If you have a special project, a virtual assistant can take over a lot of the more mundane tasks that need to get completed but not necessarily by you. Every research project is different but here are some basic things you can delegate to your VA.

  • Conduct initial or all research to help get a project started.
  • Setup a system or database to store all the research.

Be Realistic!

As you can see, the list of things you can outsource to a VA could get ridiculously long. Just don’t expect one person to be able to do everything on the list or to do it all perfectly right from the start.

And just like working with a physically present employee, delegating tasks and duties to your VA requires planning and organization up front. Some tasks, especially online tools and specialized software, will require training and time to learn.

With a little bit of patience, training, and understanding, your virtual assistant could become indispensable to you and your business.

6 Huge B2B Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

19 Sep

There are many ways marketers can use social media, and we often see a lot of great examples of social media marketing from products or national brands and local businesses that really thrive on generating brand loyalty and involvement from their customers.

But what if your product or service is something with a long sales cycle rather than a sought-after consumer product, or if your target audience is composed of IT managers or CFOs rather than moms or college students? You can still reach key B2B stakeholders through social media marketing. But without the right strategies and tactics in place to reach these buyers on the right platforms, your social media efforts can end up hurting, rather than helping, your business.

Here are some of the biggest social media marketing mistakes to avoid – and what to do instead.

1. Dedicating Resources to the Wrong Platforms

Regardless of your business size or industry, building a robust social media presence is vital – but it doesn’t have to be everything to everyone. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts, but you can’t just guess at which ones those are. Not knowing where to start your social media strategy might be the result of a bigger underlying problem: not knowing your target audience. So, take some steps to figure out who your current buyers are and what your audience really looks like.

If you’re not exactly sure of the answers, or want to focus the majority of your efforts on a single platform, start with Facebook. It is the most widely used social media site by far, with 1.65 billon active users, and 66% of users logging on daily. So, chances are, your target prospects at least have a personal Facebook profile and are spending time there regularly. In fact, Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the site. And, research shows thatpopular days and times for Facebook are Wednesday-Friday afternoons before four p.m., prime time for B2B organizations to reach out to their target audience.

2. Having a Narrow Definition of Social Media Marketing

Many businesses may think social media marketing just means having a claimed and active business page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels. But this narrow view of social media marketing overlooks a wide variety of channels and strategies that can expand a business’ reach, create communities, and drive engagement.

Here are a few social media tactics that your B2B organization can benefit from:

  • Use LinkedIn Showcase pages to highlight top products or solutions and drive traffic directly to that page
  • Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to generate engagement from an active user community
  • Leverage external social communities and online forums to drive user conversations and answer technical questions
  • Have a robust and active Glassdoor profile that reinforces your company’s brand and message
  • Publish product, customer, and community videos on an optimized YouTube page

3. Having a One-and-Done Content Strategy

What do all social media platforms have in common? They’re all content driven. But many B2B organizations don’t have a sustainable content strategy to fuel continuous interest and engagement on social media. On Twitter, your content typically only lives for about 20 minutes; on Facebook, a few hours. But, too often, businesses are struggling to create and share new content multiple times a day to post on these sites.

To achieve a repeatable content strategy that saves you time and effort, here are a few tips for generating and repurposing content for your social media marketing efforts:

  • Tap into internal experts: Don’t just leave the content creation up to your marketing team or agency, which could eat up a lot of your team’s time. Expand your content creation capabilities by leveraging subject matter experts from all areas of the business to contribute new perspectives on your industry. We frequently rely on product managers, service delivery experts, and even executive leadership team members to provide insight into the industry and provide fresh voices to our prospects and clients.
  • Share all the content from or about your business: Whether it’s a simple post on your company blog, an article for a third-party publication, a product video on YouTube, a press release, an interview or Q&A, or something else: promote all of your content across your social sites.
  • Repurpose and reshare: Social media content is not a one-and-done exercise. Developed an infographic? Turn it into a Slideshare or a video. Have a series of blog posts? Combine them into a guide or ebook. You can also leverage evergreen blog concepts that are more than a few months old, develop a fresh title or take, rewrite the content and structure, create a new post with fresh imagery, and BAM! Then, share it repeatedly. One thing my team at ReachLocal likes to do is to write a series of unique social media posts for a single piece of content like a webinar, blog post, or e-book so that we can share it across social media multiple times with different, clickable headlines. This also enables us to test how different messages and titles perform. You can also mix up your social media shares of a single piece of content by including a different image with each new social share, so it looks unique in the social feed. Make sure you spread these social posts out over a few days (or a few hours on Twitter) so you’re not spamming your audience.
  • Write clickable headlines: This is so important, I had to include it twice. Especially with the amount of competition on social media sites like Facebook, and the volume of organic views declining, it’s more important than ever to stand out on the News Feed. But how do you create clickable headlines? Start by brainstorming interesting titles with your internal team or agency, look at formats of engaging headlines from other brands and publications that are driving high social engagement, and test different topics and formats with your own audience. This also means you’ll need to review the performance of your social media posts and use the data to inform new headline styles, topics, and content.
  • Always use images: People like images. They like them so much that Instagram just reached 500 million users – more than Twitter. No matter what content you’re sharing or where you’re sharing it, make sure it’s visually appealing. Remember that your content is competing with family photos, infographics, memes, videos, ads, and more – so it has to make an impression. For limited budgets, you can use royalty-free images and stock photos to liven up your social media posts. If you have an in-house design team or agency, ask them to create a library of images that you can edit and use across your social posts. If you’re short on time, posting an info-image that features a stat, quote, fact, or tip is a quick way to drive engagement and interest from prospects and customers on social media.
  • Encourage employee participation: Finally, develop an employee advocacy program in your organization to encourage employees to share and amplify your content. This can be extremely valuable to expand your reach and engagement beyond your own fans and followers and enables employees to be active on social media without having to create their own content.

4. Avoiding New Content Formats (like Video)

Does your business only post 1-sentence status updates to your social media channels or link to curated content? You may not have experience creating live videos, presentations, or Buzzfeed-style articles, so you use this as an excuse not to try your hand at these tactics, but adding them to your toolkit can help you engage more of your audience on social media.

Here are a few ways to reach and appeal to your target buyers with new formats:

  • Create engaging videos: Not only do 87% of marketers already use video content, but it’s also one of the most liked and engaged-with forms of content on social media. So think about putting together some videos about your business, products, or services. Some of our top videos include Q&As, short webinars, product overviews, and client case studies.
  • Try your hand at live video: When it comes to social media, sometimes what works best isn’t the high-budget, edited video. Especially if you are short on time or lack video-editing capabilities. Chewbacca mom skyrocketed to viral stardom with a Facebook live video shot on a smartphone. While she’s not a B2B marketer, the lesson learned here is that sometimes a simple, emotional video is more. Facebook Live has already generated 8 billion video views per day, and on the heels of this, Twitter announced live streaming platform Periscope would be integrated directly into its timeline. Try creating a live video for your brand when you know your target viewers are most likely online the most, like weekday afternoons for Facebook.
  • Publish directly on social sites: In addition to creating content on your blog or website and amplifying it on your social channels, think about publishing new content directly on social sites themselves. LinkedIn,Facebook Instant Articles, and Slideshare are just a few examples of native content mediums that grow your brand’s reach and engagement on individual social media sites. If you decide to repurpose existing content for these publishers, take some time to make it unique for each platform and format by changing up the text and images – this also helps original to avoid SEO conflicts and site penalties.
  • Build relationships with influencers: When it comes to B2B social media marketing, some of your biggest lift can come from other people in your industry. Forming relationships and earning interest from top influencers can result in published content about your business (either content that you write or content that’s written about you), shared or retweeted content, positive brand mentions, and more. All of this can add to your social media inventory and propel your business into social media success.

5. Not Paying to Play

So, you’re regularly publishing content on social media – but you’re not really moving the needle. Do you still refuse to consider that today, a successful social media strategy involves paid content and advertising?

To reach both your existing fans and followers and new audiences within your target market, you need to invest in advertising or sponsored content on a variety of social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer native advertising solutions, and Instagram ads can be delivered through the Facebook power editor. But, not all of these sites will be lucrative in the B2B market. For the sake of this post, we’ll continue to focus on Facebook for B2B marketing, although depending on your industry, you may want to test the effectiveness of Twitter or LinkedIn advertising solutions.

Facebook offers two paths for promoting your content: boosting posts or running targeted advertising. Both can effective but have different results for your business.

  • Know your goal: If you’re relying heavily on content marketing in your organization, you can reach a broader audience by boosting a popular post from your Facebook page. You should only pay to promote pieces of content that already have a good amount of reach and engagement, since the traffic you generate organically is a good indicator of whether or not your content will continue to perform well when you promote it. If your goal, however, is to drive a true conversion, such as a website download, a call, a contact form inquiry, or an online purchase – you’ll want to create an ad to promote your offer on Facebook that uses the right call to action to encourage viewers to take a specific action.
  • Use the right targeting: Whether you’re boosting an organic post or creating an ad, Facebook provides an abundance of audience targeting options to help you reach and engage just the right users. For B2B businesses and brands, it’s in your interest to identify and build a target audience similar to people who already like, engage with, and buy from you. There are a few ways you can create a niche target audience on Facebook:
    • Upload an existing customer or prospecting list (Excel or CSV file)
    • Create a lookalike audience with traits similar to your current customers
    • Target specific employers, job titles, industries, and business locations
    • Select demographics like gender, age, and income
    • Specify employer and/or job title
  • Keep your budget in check: Even as a B2B business, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on Facebook. You can start with a small budget and build on it if you see good results from your efforts. Keep in mind that the narrower the audience you target with an ad, the more it will cost you. If you’re not entirely sure who you’re trying to reach and are comfortable casting a wider net, start with a broader audience, and use Facebook’s optimization technology to help your ad reach the most engaged users.

6. Keeping your Social Media Separate from SEO

One important result of social media that many B2B leaders often miss is the organic traffic and leads you can capture outside of the social media site itself. In fact, robust, optimized, and active social media profiles for your business or product are likely to show up in natural search results, especially for searches for your business name, so failing to integrate these efforts could have a negative impact on your business.

In addition to your social media pages, individual posts and content like videos, images, tweets, and articles can also populate in SERPs for your business name or keyword searches. Interested prospects may find and check out your social media pages, company profiles, and more when researching your company, so it’s important that they are up to date and portray a positive view of your business. This also means ensuring you’re also taking note of comments, mentions, and reviews on social media and responding accordingly.

Go Forth & Be Social!

The most important thing to remember is no matter what you’re doing on social, be active. One of the top mistakes B2B businesses make is simply failing to be social. Because social media is so fluid, you have a lot of opportunities to try new strategies, test tactics, ask for feedback, and be more agile than you can with some other marketing methods. Even if you think you’re just selling boring software, social media can your chance to dedicate some of your most creative minds, time, and budget to your efforts.

Apps that help you make the most of Instagram

12 Sep

Instagram is more than just a photo gallery. It’s a marketing tool and opportunity. For community building, there’s nothing as effective as pictures, hashtags and videos.

The social network boasts more than 60 million photos and over a billion likes daily.

However, just posting and interacting with people isn’t enough. Use the right tools, and Instagram becomes an amazing part of any marketing campaign.

BestBuddies

Every marketing decision made must be based on something, whether it’s past experience, surveys or good practices. You can’t market a product in the dark. It would be like driving somewhere without a map — you’ll move, but it won’t be toward anywhere specific.

BestBuddies is a tool that tells you who gives your photos the most likes. All you need to do is log into the site, and it will give you your top 10 list, along with how many posts they’ve liked. While it seems simple, you can do a lot with this information.

For example, you can use this tool to figure out if your pictures appeal to a specific gender. It will also tell you if you have any influencers enjoying your content, which can help you plan future campaigns.

Minter.io

Minter.io is a gateway to a wealth of information. It tells you when posts are engaged with likes or comments or which of your many hashtags gets the most attention.

It also allows you to examine your community by finding which posts get the most interaction and who contributes the most to the discussion.

It even lets you figure out some of these analytics in real time or export all relevant data to a PDF to send to colleagues or bosses.

SocialRank

For marketers and businesses who want a multi-purpose tool, SocialRank is a good application that works for both Twitter and Instagram.

It comes with many useful features. For example, you can sort followers according to various traits, from who has the most influence according to engagement levels. You can use that information to target further campaigns by appealing to that group’s sensibilities.

SocialRank also allows you to sort followers by location and can help you figure out which of your users are on both Twitter and Instagram.

Yotpo

Many Instagram tools revolve around getting enough information to mount a focused campaign, but Yotpo is designed to help you interact with your community better. Think of it this way: Minter.io and SocialRank help you plan campaigns, and Yotpo helps you execute those campaigns.

For example, it offers a content curation service. Content curation is powerful on its own;  many online personalities have built their reputations on having good taste and sharing their thoughts with people.

Yotpo takes it a step further by giving you the tools to search for images related to your company and upon your order will send a message to the poster asking for permission to use those images. Those images can then be used in your campaigns.

A content curation tool actually does a lot for your campaigns. The average user is suspicious of any branded or company-originated content. Using content from your community lends your advertisements and slideshows the kind of trust you can only get from testimonials.

Buffer or Hootsuite

Online marketers probably know Buffer or Hootsuite from their use in other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They’ll be happy to know that it’s now on Instagram, ready to make things easier.

The problem with many online marketing campaigns is timing and coordination. There’s so much going on that getting posts out on time can be difficult. This can drastically affect your marketing campaign’s performance.

Instagram doesn’t allow you to upload photos with outside apps, so Buffer and Hootsuite decided to approach the problem differently. You pre-write and arrange your post ahead of time, and then it will remind you with a notification that it’s time to post. Tap the button and it will load your photo into Instagram, using your clipboard to bypass Instagram’s third-party block.

Granted, you won’t need all of these tools. For some companies, Buffer or Hootsuite will be more than enough as businesses can get analytics elsewhere. Other marketers may need two or more tools due to lack of information.

Figure out what works for you. Many of these apps are free or offer free trials, so you can test them and see if they’re a good fit.

How to Make the Most of Instagram Marketing

5 Sep

Instagram has become the go-to tool for those who want to take their visual and social marketing to a new level. One of the fastest growing social networks on the web, it now has  500 million monthly active users, an increase of 100 million since just a year ago.

Instagram marketing is growing exponentially. About 30 percent of mid-sized or larger U.S. companies are using the platform to advertise these days. The number is expected to rise to 70.7 percent in 2017.

The smart marketer knows that they need to strike while the iron is hot, building their brand now before the crowd gets too heavy to see through. But you can’t do it through creativity alone.

Mastering the right techniques will go a long way towards allowing you to craft an innovative and effective Instagram marketing campaign. These techniques are critical, and each touches on different aspects of the process. Keep a handful of them on hand if you want to make your Instagram goals.

Instagram Marketing Tips

Use Instagram Photos as Customer Reviews

Curating social media testimonials is the most authentic way to show your happy customers and convert visitors into buyers. Social media reviews and testimonials are easy to verify and thus look legit.

Instagram takes social media reviews to the next step turning words into pictures that, as we know very well, are worth a thousand words.

Tools like Yotpo make curating and publicizing reviews on Instagram a breeze. Search Instagram right inside the tool and publish selected updates to your assets with one click.

You can then display selected photos on your product pages to trigger more sales as well as engage more customers into leaving Instagram reviews. Yotpo lets you create a nice-looking widget with all curated Instagram updates and also encourage more reviews by displaying your hashtag.

Improve Your Strategy Using Instagram Analytics

Analytics have been a little slow to make it onto Instagram. While there are several platforms, they tend to leave a lot to be desired. Minter.io is one that has aimed to get it right.

It monitors your account identifying best time to post to Instagram, your followers’ demographics and more. It has a solid hashtag analytics feature: if photos are the lifeblood of Instagram, hashtags are the veins. Their pricing is a little steep, but worth the cost if you are serious about marketing on IG.

Create Instagram an Editorial Calendar

We all know the importance of editorial calendars for content on blogs. So why aren’t be utilizing the same idea for visual content? Options like Later offer planning, scheduling and publishing that gives you more control over what you post.

The best feature of Later is the collaborative sharing: You can engage your whole team into contributing content to your corporate Instagram account, then review their contributions and put into the schedule.

It is also a storage app, so you can organize and keep your visuals in one place. That is quite handy for your team. They have a decent free plan, but their pro plans are cheap.

Use Instagram to Promote Your Videos

Few marketers consider Instagram as a powerful video making tool. You can record, edit and filter right from the app, then share it with the hundreds of millions of regular visitors to the site.

Instagram is the perfect place to make your directing debut. The only downside is the length limitations. You only have a handful of seconds, so you have to really make them count. Here are quite a few methods of creating and editing micro videos for Instagram.

Sell Using Hashtags

An ambitious system, Boost has changed social marketing in a real and intense way. It is an end to end transaction feature that works entirely through hashtags. The customer uses hashtags to purchase an item, it is verified, and the customer is automatically charged, and the item sent out.

The system is compatible with both Magento and Shopify, so you can turn it into a whole eCommerce shopping cart solution, if you choose. Or just use it through your account as a one off transaction system.

Do you have a tip to innovate your Instagram marketing? Let us know in the comments!

Why Your Business Should be Working With a Virtual Assistant!

29 Aug

Your business is growing, and you are busier now more than ever. You could use an extra set of hands, so someone suggested that you should use a virtual assistant. However, you have no idea what a virtual assistant is or for that matter, how they can help you. If that is the case, small business owner, it is time for you to become virtual and hire a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is a highly skilled professional who offers business support services virtually. This can consist of an individual or a team of virtual assistants with virtually meaning they are located off site and work remotely. They are independent contractors and entrepreneurs who specialize in providing an array of services such as administrative, creative, technical, and legal support.

So if you’re still on the edge and not sure if you should allocate payroll funds for a virtual assistant, let’s go through some of its benefits.

Benefits of a Virtual Assistant

  • Valuable Skill Set – Virtual assistants are highly skilled independent contractors, including administrative assistants, website administrators, and senior level executives, all of whom have had a broad range of experience. Most virtual assistants work in a specific niche, meaning they’ll understand your industry better than someone who doesn’t focus on a particular niche.
  • Saving on Hiring a Full-Time Employee – A key benefit to using a virtual assistant for your business is the saving aspect. By working with a virtual assistant, you will save on the expense of hiring a full-time employee. This includes the amount of time and money spent on interviewing and training a new employee. This also includes the cost of employee benefits such as health insurance, employee-related benefits, and tax savings. As independent contractors, virtual assistants are responsible for their own bookkeeping and taxes. You will not have to worry about incurring such costs.
  • Save on Office Space – Since the contractor is virtual, they work off site. This allows you to save on expenses such as ordering a new desk and purchasing a computer. As a matter of fact, they use their own resources. So you save on the space that a new employee would incur. This is a win particularly if you happen to work remotely or independently yourself. You can work remotely and at the same time have the additional assistance you need.
  • Only Pay for Time Spent on Projects – This is a great benefit for your business budget. When you utilize a virtual assistant, you only pay for time spent on projects. So you can budget for the projects that have a high priority for your business. For example, Creative Business Assistants offers discounted monthly packages, which provides savings to their clients. Their clients know consistently what they will be billed for on a monthly basis or what they can allot for based on a project.

Virtual Assistant Tasks And Jobs

Now that you have a clear understanding of a virtual assistant, let’s talk specifically about some tasks that a virtual assistant can provide to your business.

  • Administrative Services – Most businesses need a good administrative assistant. A virtual assistant can handle all types of administrative services, which include managing company email, scheduling and confirming appointments, managing business correspondence, entering data, and assisting with bookkeeping. They can also take on additional administrative projects that you don’t wish to handle. Thankfully, you will find that many virtual assistants are Microsoft Excel experts.
  • Social Media Assistant – Handling social media for businesses can become time consuming for business owners and other staff. This is time that can be spent on other revenue-generating tasks. However, because of its importance in a business’s marketing plan, it can be delegated to a virtual assistant. Every business should have a social media plan. And this is an area where a virtual assistant can help out. A virtual assistant can plan and schedule your social media marketing on your Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google pages as well as on any other social media site that you use. They can research content, monitor and engage the users, and assist in building your network. This is a great task to outsource to a virtual assistant, as most business spend anywhere from five to 20 plus hours per week on social media.
  • Web Site Designer/Administrator – You will find a pool of virtual assistants who specialize in website design and management. You will find a lot of virtual assistants in this arena who are experts in web creation using software such as WordPress and others like it. Specifically, you can easily find virtual assistants who promote WordPress as their niche. If your company needs assistance with its website, which includes a blog, using this type of virtual assistant would be great for your business.
  • Marketing Assistant – Similar to the function of a social media assistant, a virtual assistant is a great tool for marketing. This would include assisting with launching any marketing campaigns and tracking their success. A virtual assistant can be used to assist implementing your marketing plan by helping with email campaigns. They can assist you with this by first scraping your email list to ensure that all the addresses are updated and do not include any errors. This can include helping you segment your lists as well source them. Secondly, they can help you implement and track the analytics of the email campaign itself. Another great way to use a virtual assistant in marketing is to have them promote any blogs that you may have. This is a much needed aspect for any business that has a blog. It must be promoted, updated, and managed. So all these tasks are great to delegate to your virtual assistant.
  • Customer Service Representative – For a busy entrepreneur, customer service is a great task to outsource to a virtual assistant. You can forward calls to your virtual assistant, and they can become a virtual call center designated specifically for your business. With the enhancement of technology, there are companies such as RingCentral that make this an easy option for small businesses. Additionally, the virtual assistant can handle any follow-up calls as needed.

Lastly, virtual assistants can be a great resource for all phases of your business ownership. In some cases, businesses contract with virtual assistants for short term projects. In other cases, businesses have chosen to have a virtual assistant on standby or provide ongoing services over the life of the business. Whatever your particular need is, a virtual assistant can be a great benefit to your business.  To learn more about our vast offerings of virtual assistant services at Sala Social Marketing contact us today at (860) 984-3440!

Facebook Business Pages Get A New Look

15 Aug

Facebook Pages have a brand new look. The new desktop Facebook page layout design, which rolled out recently, includes a new navigation and a prominent call-to-action button.

The layout change is nice and clean. For the most part, all of the same elements you’re used to remain, Facebook has just reorganized them.

So what’s changed and what hasn’t? Here are five things you need to know about the new Facebook Pages layout.

1. Profile Pictures

Your profile picture now appears at the top left of your Page above the new navigation. Profile pictures will no longer appear over your cover image.

Your minimum Facebook profile picture size remains unchanged, at 180×180 pixels (displays 160×160 on desktop).

2. New Navigation

Below your profile picture and page name you’ll find a new navigation, where users can go to sections of your Facebook page, such as About, Videos, Photos, Posts, and Events.

You can customize the navigation section depending on your type of business. You could create a tab to showcase content from your other social properties (Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube), reviews, quiz, or encourage people to subscribe.

3. Cover Images

Now that cover images have been repositioned to the right, your profile picture will no longer interfere with your cover image.

There’s more good news: Facebook cover images remain the same size (828×315 pixels). However, if you created an image to workaround your profile picture in the past, you might want to think about updating it.

4. Call to Action Button

Beneath your cover photo is a new prominent blue call-to-action button.

You can use this button to invite your Facebook fans to take an action on your website, whether it’s Book Now, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video, or Learn More.

5. Pages Are Ad Free

The new pages are entirely ad free. In the past, ads have appeared on the right side.

Desktop ads aren’t a huge driver of Facebook’s revenue anyway, as 84 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue is from mobile.

Unparalleled Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses

1 Aug

Social media entered the scene very quickly and as such some people might still believe that it is a marketing tool that will quickly pass in interest or importance. To some businesses, social media marketing is a waste of time with no practical benefits, while others see the immense marketing value that it can bring to a business.

When carried out correctly, social media marketing has been proven to be incredibly profitable, bringing in more traffic to a website and turning visitors into leads. Provided you tailor each post with care and precision, you can truly experience its many benefits.

These include:

Improved Brand Recognition

Having a number of active social media platforms is a great opportunity to project your brand’s voice and content. Having a solid social media presence therefore makes you familiar to current clients while increasing your accessibility to new clients. A new client who just happens to stumble upon your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page (& take an interest in it), might feel more strongly affiliated with your brand which in turn could inspire them to invest in your brand.

Improved Brand Loyalty

Brands that are present on social media have also been proven to enjoy higher brand loyalty from their customers, as those customers are better connected to the brand on a more personal level. For instance, a brand that regularly posts a variety of content, from images of the office to inspiring videos and quotes, will be more likely to remain in the minds of current and potential clients which could easily evoke into a sale.

Better Conversion Opportunities

Everything you post on your social media platforms, from images, links to blog posts and videos, is your chance to reach out to someone and inspire them to visit your website, which could ultimate lead to a conversion. Using social media is a great opportunity to encourage more conversions.

Higher Inbound Traffic

Every social media platform you add to your current repertoire is another opportunity to increase inbound traffic to your site.

Without having a social media presence, your inbound traffic is restricted to those who are already familiar with your brand or those who are searching for keywords you already rank for. Alternatively, a social media presence allows you to reach out a different market segment and provide a fantastic opportunity for new people to visit your site.

Lower Marketing Costs

Social media marketing need not occupy a great deal of your time. Just one hour per day spent on crafting posts can bring you improved results, and this is not a lot to ask for something as powerful as social media!

As you can see, social media marketing has the power to bring countless benefits to your business, including more customers, stronger traffic and higher conversions. Does your brand have a strong social media presence?