Archive | August, 2016

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?