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How Your Virtual Assistant Can Help with LinkedIn, Part 2

Once your virtual assistant has set up your LinkedIn account, it’s time to start making connections that could ultimately lead to profits for your business.

Think of LinkedIn as a virtual business networking forum and be on your best behavior. Much like going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, there’s a right way and a wrong way to build your contact list. This article will give you some guidelines you can share with your virtual assistant so you can do it the right way.

Your virtual assistant can use LinkedIn to look for business associates, partners, customers, suppliers and others you do business with or would like to do business with. But you have to take caution: If you send invitations to people you don’t know, they have the option to report it to LinkedIn and you could be banned from the service for what they consider spammy behavior. So here’s some tips:

  1. Include your LinkedIn profile on your e-mail signature. This way, everyone you e-mail is encouraged to invite you to join their network.

  2. Add customized buttons to your blog or Web site that compels your business network to hook up with you on LinkedIn.

  3. Search for classmates from your college or university using the search function.

  4. Click the “Expand Your Network” button at the top of the page. If you have their e-mail address, your virtual assistant can type it in, along the contact’s name, to find them on LinkedIn. If they aren’t registered, LinkedIn will send them a request to sign up.

  5. Your virtual assistant can ask for an introduction with the “Get Introduced” link. This allows you to ask one of your active connections to make an introduction to one of their connections that you aren’t yet connected with.

  6. Posting your LinkedIn profile on your other social networking accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, can also generate new connections.

  7. Finally, your virtual assistant can sign you up for specific networking groups within LinkedIn. You can invite other members of the group to connect with you based on your mutual interests.


These seven tips for building your LinkedIn contact list should take you a long way down the road to business social networking. If you have other tips, share them with us in the comment section.
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Now You Can Visit a Davinci Meeting and Conference Room (More) Near You

It seems the whole world is going virtual. Google just opened an online store for business apps. The Apple iPad is making life easier for multimedia-loving road warriors. And Davinci Virtual is giving 21st century business travelers more options for meeting rooms.

In case you didn’t hear yet, Davinci Virtual just its progress toward better serving the growing population of business people who need meeting rooms. Davinci Virtual has opened more than 250 new conference rooms in North America this year.

No matter where you are traveling, you’ll be able to find a Davinci Virtual meeting room that suits your needs – there are more than 600 locations and 1,500 meeting spaces around the world. Davinci Virtual makes it simple. All you have to do to make your reservation in an instant is log on to Davincimeetingrooms.com. There you’ll find an online reservation system that hooks you up with a meeting room in the right city, at the right time and at the right price. It literally takes seconds to book a meeting room.

I’ll let Bill Grodnik, president and CEO of Davinci Virtual, get a word in edge-wise now:

"We are enjoying the continued growth of our online meeting room reservation platform. The continued addition of prime office locations and meeting rooms enables Davinci Virtual to offer our customers a great selection of International countries and metropolitan cities. Whether you need a virtual office in Atlanta, a virtual office in Chicago, a virtual office in New York, a virtual office in Los Angeles or meeting space anywhere in the world -- Davinci offers the right space at the right price.”

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How Your Virtual Assistant Can Help with LinkedIn, Part 1

Now that you are up and running with Twitter, we’re going to explore how your virtual assistant can help you make the most of LinkedIn. We’ll revisit more advanced Twitter after we get your social media world up and running at the ground level.

LinkedIn is a business social network. It has LinkedIn has over 60 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.

Here’s how LinkedIn describes its social network: “When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.”

Of course, typing all of this information in can be time-consuming. Your virtual assistant can transfer your professional expertise and accomplishments right from your resume to LinkedIn. Your virtual assistant can also manage what information is publicly available, help you build your network of contacts, monitor LinkedIn discussions based on the topics that interest you, and post updates.

What’s interesting is that you can link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account, so that your tweets show up as status updates. So what are you waiting for? Give your virtual assistant your resume and let them get you all set up on the largest business social networking site in the world. Before long, you’ll be making new connections that could lead to profitable opportunities for your business.
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More Top Twitter Tips for Your Virtual Assistant

If you read my last column – and if you shared it with your virtual assistant – the you should be well on your way to tweeting effectively. With some of the fundamentals out of the way, let's look at a few more Twitter tips that your virtual assistant can put to good use.

Share pictures

You probably know you can post photos to Facebook, but did you know your VA can share photos on Twitter? You can with a services like Twitpic, Tweetphoto and Twitgoo. Granted, 140 characters can only say a few words, but you can share photos that will speak thousands of words about your products and services with these tools.

Add hashmarks to your tweets
If you want to raise the volume on your tweets by making it easier for people to find your posts, tell your virtual assistant to add hashmarks to your tweets. Here's how it works: Just put the "#" symbol in front of your subject. So if you are writing about virtual offices, you would put #virtualoffices at the end of your post to signal the Twitter search engine to categorize your tweet.

Tweet from a smartphone
If your virtual assistant is on the run, they can still keep up with Twitter posts on many smartphones. Blackberries and iPhones have special Twitter applications that let you log on to the microblogging platform and execute your social media strategy.

Tweet from a desktop client
Just like your virtual assistant can send tweets from a smartphone, she can also tweet from a desktop client that makes it much easier to manage the responses and even engage in conversation with others who follow your brand. Check out Twhirl, TwitterFox and TweetDeck, three of the more popular applications.

Use the @ symbol strategically
If you want to send a public reply to another Twitter user's tweet, just use the @ symbol in front of that person's Twitter handle. Even if you aren't following that person, the message will still get to them. Your virtual assistant might want to do this to make an introduction or start up a conversation in the Twitterverse.
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Are Your Virtual Assistants All a Twitter?

We've been talking this week about how virtual assistants can help you run with your social media marketing plan. Now, we're going to begin looking at some specific tips and tricks you can share with your virtual assistant to help them make the most of your Twitter accounts.

Twitter is a microblogging service that invites you to answer the question, "What's happening?" You have 140 characters (not words) to tell your followers what is going on. You can share anything you want, so long as it's only 140 characters, including promotional messages.

We'll spend the next few days focusing on Twitter, then we'll move on to LinkedIn and Facebook. By the time we're done with this series, you will have equipped your virtual assistant as your personal social media marketing expert. So let's get on with some tweeting tips that could help you drive revenue for your company.

Expand your Twitterverse
If you want people to follow you, following them is one way to do it. You can use search.twitter.com to find your friends, companies you work with, people interested in specific topics, and so on. You can follow them and hope they follow you back.

Shrink your URLs down to size
Because links can take up way too many characters, you need to make sure your virtual assistant uses a link shortening service like bit.ly. These services let you shrink down a long URL into something that's only a few characters so it doesn't waste valuable promotional space. These links also let you lead people back to your Web site for special offers.

Don't forget to Direct Message
Your virtual assistant should definitely keep Direct Messages in the mix. You can use the Direct Message (DM) feature to send a private message to another Twitter user. Keep in mind that you have to limit your message to 140 characters.

Are you retweeting?
If you don't have anything on your mind but want to keep the conversation going, your virtual assistant can always use a technique called retweeting. You may have seen the letter RT at the beginning of tweets. This stands for Retweet. Essentially, you are resending someone else's tweet using your own twitter handle.

Stay tuned for more top Twitter tips.
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