Davinci Virtual Blog



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.

How Virtual Assistants Can Drive Social Media Efforts

Is your company keeping up with social media marketing? If not, maybe it's about time you got your feet wet before you miss the proverbial boat. With a virtual assistant, you can dive in head first.

OK, I'm using the cliches to make the point But in case you aren't getting the drift, consider the growth of social media.

According to the Nielsen Company, time spent on social network and blogging sites accounted for 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet in August 2009. That's nearly triple the percentage of time spent on the sector a year ago – and the growth shows no signs of slowing down.

“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” says Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights for Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

So, again I ask you: Is your company keeping up with social media? What? You are too busy to deal with social networks and blogs? Rather than miss the boat and lose market share to your competitors, why not hire a virtual assistant to keep up with your Facebook updates, Twitter posts and blogging efforts?

A virtual assistant could be one of the best marketing investments you’ve made in a Web 2.0 world. Virtual assistants are by nature Internet savvy because they conduct much of their work via computers and the Web. Once you've developed your strategy, a virtual assistant can set up your social networking accounts, fill out your profiles, update your status and even respond to your followers.

You don't have to miss out on the Web 2.0 phenomenon – and you don't have to spend your time updating, tweeting and posting or learning how to navigate the social Web, either. All you have to do is find a social media maven to serve as your virtual assistant, cast your vision and let them run with it. (Hint, hint: Davinci Virtual can hook you up.)

This time next year when you are looking at how much social media grew – and how far you've come building a following – you'll be glad you tapped a virtual assistant to help you drive your online marketing efforts forward.

Davinci Virtual Mentioned in SmartPlanet Article

I’ve been seeing more and more articles in the past 12 months about virtual offices, virtual receptionists and virtual assistants – and Davinci Virtual has been the centerpiece of many of them.

Davinci Virtual is making headlines again as part of the trend toward virtual receptionists. SmartPlanet.com highlights Davinci Virtual in an article entitled, “Virtual receptionists replacing the real thing.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Clearly a victim of tough economic times and improved phone forwarding and answering technology, receptionists have succumbed to the virtual world. In the flesh, they are hard to find. And so are numbers that attest to their dwindling ranks. Let’s face it, working as a receptionist is usually low-paying and stressful during busy times. But the phone still needs answering so filling in the gap are “virtual receptionists” in the form of Internet-based software.  While the human interaction is lost, virtual receptionists have some features live ones do not. When was the last time a real receptionist texted you about an important call? Or worked 24/7 (there’s labor laws against that)? A virtual receptionist works for peanuts and doesn’t demand benefits.”

The SmartPlanet article does a good job of exploring the possibilities of a virtual receptionist and even dives into the topic of virtual offices as an alternative to traditional office space. I expect to see more coverage of virtual offices and virtual receptionists throughout the economic downturn – but I don’t expect the trend to stall when the recession is over. Virtual offices and virtual receptionists have proved their salt and I imagine many companies large and small will continue to explore the possibilities.


How to Get More from Your Virtual Receptionist

Small business often feel like they are in a proverbial Catch-22. They don’t have quite enough call volume to justify hiring a virtual receptionist but they have too much to keep up with the hourly interruptions of incoming calls.

What’s a small business owner to do? Get a new perspective.

There are clearly ‘limiting beliefs’ around virtual receptionists. (The name of the service probably has something to do with it.) While many entrepreneurs would enjoy having a more professional phone presence for their business, they don’t always see the ROI because they don’t see the bigger picture.

The bigger picture looks like this: Virtual receptionists can do more than answer phones, if you need them to. In fact, virtual receptionists can handle a number of administrative tasks for your small business. For example, a virtual receptionist can handle customer service inquiries, take product orders, making sales calls and much more.

A virtual receptionist also gives you analytics, so to speak, that can be valuable to your company’s growth efforts. You get a report that offers the inside scoop on your incoming call history. That can help you track how customers are responding to promotions you may be sending out via e-mail or through some other marketing channel. If you sent out an e-mail blast at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and saw call volume spike for the next two days, you can put two and two together.

As you can see, there’s more to a virtual receptionist than meets the ear. In other words, it’s not just about screening calls or presenting a professional business image. Those benefits are vital, of course, but there is also value in knowing you can rely on a virtual receptionist to handle other phone-oriented tasks – and you don’t have to worry about them calling in sick. With a virtual receptionist, you can have your phone lines covered.


Are You ‘Hooked Up’ with Davinci Virtual?

Social networking is all the rage. Did you know the average social networking user spent more than five and half hours on sites like Facebook and Twitter in December? Nielsen reports that Facebook has 206.9 million users and Twitter says users send 50 million tweets a day. Those numbers are mindboggling – but there’s a method to the madness.

Social networking sites help you keep up with the information that’s important to you. They help you interact with brands to make suggestions, find out about special promotions, get answers to common questions, and otherwise build relationships with others who use the same products and services. For all these reasons, social networking growth shows no signs of slowing down.

So, are you hooked up with Davinci Virtual in the social networking world? If not, you should be. Davinci keeps our fans, followers and friends up to date through this blog and through our social networking accounts.

You can connect with Davinci executives and employees on LinkedIn. You can follow Davinci Virtual on Twitter. And you can become a Davinci Virtual fan on Facebook. If you want to keep up with all the latest news and trends on how to use virtual offices, virtual receptionists and virtual assistants, get into the social networking game with Davinci Virtual. These resources will help you run your business smarter, faster and more efficiently.