Davinci Virtual Blog



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.

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.

Virtual Assistants Can Execute Your Social Media Strategy

Now that you've developed a social media strategy, it's time to hand it off to a virtual assistant who can execute it in brilliant form.

In order to succeed with social media marketing, you need to keep up with posts in Facebook, comments on blogs, Direct Messages on Twitter and all the rest. You won't get much ROI on your social media plan if you don’t work the plan diligently. That's why you should consider a virtual assistant to run with the social networking ball.

So how do you execute a social media strategy?

1. Start by setting some daily goals. How often do you want to post to your social networks or blogs? Make sure you give your virtual assistant the materials he or she needs to properly execute the strategy. If you are going to post several times a day, send the virtual assistant all the content at the beginning of the day and set a posting schedule that they can follow daily.

2. Engage with your audiences. Be sure your virtual assistant knows enough about your products and services to intelligently engage with audiences on trends in your industry, questions about your company, and so on. Your virtual assistant can also be dispatched to comment on your behalf on other social media accounts and blogs related to your industry. Again, just make sure they know enough to comment intelligently.

3. Act on feedback. What type of feedback are you getting in the social media world? Make sure your virtual assistant alerts you when you hit on a big topic that spreads like wildfire so you can do it again. And if you are getting backlash, make sure your virtual assistant knows to alert you right away so you can step in and comment personally, if appropriate.

These are just a few of the ways a virtual assistant can help you execute your social media plan. As you get more comfortable, you can off-task additional social media duties to your virtual assistant so you can keep growing your impact in the social networking world without missing a beat keeping up with your clients.

Five Ways to Save $100s on Your Office Space

Are you looking to cut costs on office space? OK, so maybe that's a silly question. Who isn't?

Well, Davinci Virtual is offering up five ways to save hundreds of dollars in overhead – without hurting your image. Let's face it. Your business image could make or break a business deal. Do you really want your clients to meet you at your home office? Do you always want to rely on a restaurant for business meetings? OK, silly question. Who would?

A virtual office can give you a prestigious business address, access to first-class meeting rooms, and friendly live receptionists at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office space and office staff. So are you ready to learn about the five ways to save hundreds of dollars on your office space? OK, silly question. Who isn't?

1. Free access to meeting rooms

You don't have to invite clients to your home office or foot the bill at a restaurant when you work with Davinci Virtual. The company offers plans as low as $59 a month, which makes it possibly for a company of any size to conduct meetings in a professional office location.

2. Get your phones answered professionally

Davinci Virtual offers Live Receptionist support that gives your clients consistent and professional answering on each and every call. That means you have a reliable virtual receptionist in place to make sure you no longer miss calls or business opportunities.

3. No-hassle set up

With Davinci Virtual, all you have to do is make one call script or fill out one e-mail form and your account is set up. It's just that easy. There are no hassles and no technical expertise needed. Just send Davinci the script and they'll do the rest.

4. Get up and running immediately

You don't have to waste time searching for an office space when you go virtual. You can instantly secure your new professional business address and begin booking conference rooms online right away.

5. Keep your business growing

When you get stretched thin do you miss important calls and give clients the wrong impression? With Davinci Virtual's Live Receptionist services, you can make sure your clients are taken care of even when you get too busy to handle the calls yourself. That keeps your business running strong.

How much is it going to cost you? Live Receptionist solutions start at $99 a month and virtual office addresses and conference room access start at $50 a month. So what are you waiting for? Beef up your business image for pennies on the dollar by picking your phone plan and virtual office location today.

Developing a Social Media Strategy Your Virtual Assistant Can Run With

When you read the headline of this article, you might not have been sure about the answer.  You may not even have a social media strategy! So before we talk about how a virtual assistant can help you execute your social media strategy, let's review how to develop the most appropriate plan for your business.

“In 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of marketers’ expenses will go toward creating and maintaining a fan page, managing promotions or public relations outreach within a social network, and measuring the impact of a social network presence on brand health and sales," eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson wrote in "Social Network Ad Spending: 2010 Outlook."

So without further ado, here are some points to consider as you develop a social media strategy that your virtual assistant can later implement:

1.What do your consumers want?
Listen and learn from your customers before setting out to develop a social media plan. What do they value? Make sure your goals are aligned with your target audience's goals. If you don't offer valuable information or specials that serve both you and your target audience, you won't win with social media marketing.

2. Outline Your Social Media Plan
What types of promotions have worked in the past? What special promotions might work through social networking sites? How will you translate your brand to the social networking world? How often will you update your site? How will you drive traffic to your social network? Will you offer freebies? Valuable articles? Get specific about how you will make the most of business social networking.

3. Choose Your Social Networking Tools
Is Facebook right for you? Is blogging enough? Should you join Twitter? MySpace? Some other industry-specific social network? What about LinkedIn? YouTube? Flickr? Google Buzz? Windows Live? There are many social media platforms available. You can spend a lot of time – too much time – if you don’t focus on where your target audience is likely to flock.

4. Measure Your Social Media Efforts
Don't just blindly join social networking sites. See what's working and put more time there than on sites where you aren't enjoying the fruit of your labors. You can use a number of free tools like Social Mention and Tweet Reach to see where your Web site visitors are coming from.

Now that you understand the basics of developing a social media strategy, it's time to hand over the job to a virtual assistant who can execute your plan, keep up with the Facebook fans, Twitter direct messages, LinkedIn response and the like. A virtual assistant can post you updates, monitor your efforts and suggest new opportunities for your company's social media efforts so you can focus on serving your customers.