[stextbox id=”info”]If you’re a virtual assistant I have something special at the end of this post you won’t want to miss.[/stextbox]
2010 could very well be called the year of social media. With over 500 million users on Facebook and over 100 million users on Twitter, smart businesses realized that it’s far from a fad that will fade. On the countrary, social media and mobile applications (or apps) are obviously on the rise.
Don’t believe me? Check out this infographic at digitalsurgeons.com.
However as more and more people log on to these social media giants, it’s not good enough to simply have a presence. As with any ‘marketing’ strategy, you should always have some sort of plan. Some plans work better with social media than others.
What doesn’t work:
Message overload: Old school snail mail marketing gurus will tell you that it takes ‘being seen’ between 3 and 7 times before someone will act on your mailing or advertisement. Many businesses are applying this to social media by sending out repetitive updates. Newsflash: It’s a whole new marketing environment out there and no one wants to be spammed with the same old marketing message a dozen, or even a half dozen times.
Just being there: Simply being able to say your business has a Twitter account or Facebook Page does not equal social media marketing. In the same way, just having a static website doesn’t work either. And if your blog hasn’t been updated for months it may be doing more harm than good. It’s not good enough just to show up for the social media ball, one needs to dance.
Automation: While I do believe there is a use for automated tweets and updates, it is extremely limited. Automating the majority of your social media posts is sort of like sending your followers to voicemail. And although voicemail is fine on occasion, if people never get to interact with the real you they are going to give up on interacting with you at all. It may seem to make social media easier to manage, but it can actually kill all of the benefits.
What does work:
Connecting with people: Look at your blog, Twitter and Facebook as starting and having continued conversations with your audience or market. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I gave an overt sales pitch in a face to face conversation. Just sayin’.
Being authentic: Sure, we want to be thought of as a professional businessperson, but that doesn’t mean we have to be cold and impersonal. Let your personality shine through. People want to get to know you, so let them. Just make sure you don’t cross the line with the personal information.
Sharing: Are you using an awesome invoicing tool or did you read a blog post that rocked your world? Share it with your audience/followers. If you’ve learned something useful, gotten a great deal or have an awesome tip chances are one of your followers or a member of your audience will benefit from it too.
I can’t count the number of people that have told me they tried social media and it didn’t work for them or that they don’t seriously believe it has value for their businesses. I think those people are closing their eyes to the future of business marketing and client/customer relations. People used to say that the Internet was a fad too.
If you let 2010 pass you by without getting your business involved in social media then maybe it should be on the top of your resolutions for 2011
Virtual Assistants, don’t make the mistake of ignoring social media. As part of an industry expected to be on top of online technologies, being out of the social media loop could be hurting your business.
From Dec. 28th, 2010 thru January 7th,2011 every purchase of the VA Survival Guide makes you eligible for a complimentary Social Media Assessment*(a $150 value). The VA Survival Guide is packed with helps for making your virtual assistance business a success, and has been updated with new bonus materials and a lower price to make it more affordable for start-up or struggling virtual assistants.
*Social Media Assessment includes a review of your website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts with tips and hints on what you’re doing well and what may need improvement. If you’re a new virtual assistant without some of these items the assessment can give you a clear plan for implementing social media for your new business.