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WAY OUT WEDNESDAY: Pimp Your Biz on Periscope!

In the 50s, the popular phrase, "Way Out" meant "innovative."  impact Virtual Services loves that era, the phrase and its meaning.  That is why every Wednesday, we devote our social media communication to innovative ideas through the "Way Out Wednesday" BLOG Series.

WAY OUT WEDNESDAY: INSource vs. Outsource Your Virtual Assistant

In the 50s, the popular phrase, "Way Out" meant "innovative."  impact Virtual Services loves that era, the phrase and its meaning.  That is why every Wednesday, we devote our social media communication to innovative ideas through the "Way Out Wednesday" BLOG Series.

This week, we chat about an incredibly innovative idea.... hire a virtual executive assistant from within the U.S.  In other words, avoid companies which OUTsource.  Hire a VA or VEA company that INsources.

TECH TUESDAY: Why Be Social?

Every Tuesday, we devote our social media and BLOG communication to technology!  It's our new series called, "Tech Tuesday."  This week, we take a look at the power of social media and in terms of your business, WHY BE SOCIAL?  impact Virtual Services has an entire division devoted to SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES.  Here's a few reasons why we can make a difference for your business...

Association Management Monday: Impact Virtual Services KNOWS Associations

Each Monday, we commit our social media posts and blog to the non-profit associations we currently manage and those with which we will partner in the future!  This week in "Association Management Monday," we chat about how impact Virtual Services KNOWS associations!

TECH Tuesday: Make Your Business Tech-Savvy

Any business you start requires... technology.  We are dedicated each Tuesday at impact Virtual Servicesin our blog series, "Tech Tuesday" to share with you what's happening with technology and how trends may impact YOU!  So, this week we will cyber chat with you on how to make YOUR business Tech-savvy!

Association Management Monday: Give Us An 'R' for REFERRAL!

Every Monday, we share with you information about managing non-profit associations.  This week, for "Association Management Monday," impact Virtual Services has a proposal for you... a cheer if you will.  Give us an 'R' and we'll give you one too!

TECH TUESDAY: GET ORGANIZED! Why Project Management Software is Answer!

Busy business owners and non-profit associations juggle many projects, but cannot necessarily track all the information going into those projects in their brilliant minds.  Enter in, project management software.  That, is what we’re talking about this week in impact Virtual Service’s “Tech Tuesday!”

IMPACT VS TECH TUESDAY: 5 Best Technologies for Your Business!

Tech Tuesday

  Some say, the key to getting rich is... starting your own business.  Founder and CEO of impact Virtual Services did just that in 2006, "It's a risk.  It's a leap of faith," Fisher said.  "But if you set yourself up with the right tools for success, the possibilities are endless!"  Our friends at Lifehack.org agree.

Here is their top 5 Best Technologies list for your small business to increase profit and stay ahead of your competitors:

1. Augmented Reality Devices

2. Wireless Conference Rooms

3. The Internet of Things

4. Cloud Computing

5. Wearable Technology

 

Full Article

impact Virtual Services exclusively hires its Virtual Assistants/Virtual Executive Administrators from within the U.S.  Its global headquarters is located in Madison, Wisconsin.  CONTACT SALES TEAM to hire your new VEA!

IMPACT VIRTUAL SERVICES: Way Out Wednesday, Whatcha' Workin' With?

Way Out Wednesday (1) Whatcha Workin’ With:  Best Tools VAs Should Use for YOU

We promised you innovation every week for, "Way Out Wednesday" and we shall deliver. The internet paves the way for more remote employees to connect with companies, non-profits, associations and entrepreneurs these days.  WHEN you choose to enlist the services of Virtual Assistant or Virtual Executive Administrator with impact Virtual Services, it’s reasonable to expect your VA or VEA has access to and expertise in the BEST tools to support you.

Founder and CEO of impact Virtual Services Jodi Fisher says, “Our VEAs stay on top of industry trends for all areas of business.  This is what MUST be done in order to remain relevant and best serve our clients.”

Fisher and our friends at TalentCulture.com share some of the industry favorite tools:

UberConference  is a powerful and advanced cloud-based conferencing system. This web conferencing tool include features like online data management, shared calendar programs, shared files, and the ability to stay in contact no matter the distance between the employee and employer. It is built on WebRTC in order to allow real-time call control, across a variety of carriers on one side and the browsers on the other side.

Basecamp is popular web based project management tools. Easy to use, this tool provides 60 days free trials. This tool helps us to manage, store, and share files. You can use it for task management and time tracking.

Dropbox This popular tool is used in day to day virtual assistant business. This excellent cloud storage solution provides instant file synchronization. When you hire your VA, you can sync a folder or file from your computer and share it with your VA. This free app makes file sharing and work collaboration quite easy.  FULL ARTICLE HERE

impact Virtual Services exclusively hires its Virtual Assistants/Virtual Executive Administrators from within the U.S.  Its global headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin.  CONTACT SALES TEAM to hire your new VEA!

 

IMPACT Virtual Services is HIRING!

Now Hiring!

How Will You Get Your Message Across?

Today there seems to be so many phone apps that it’s almost impossible to get them all straight. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, games in general, food networks, music channels, and the list goes on and on. I should also clarify that when I talk about apps here, I am not referencing finger food, but rather downloaded software applications for smart phones! Specifically, I’d like to focus on a discussion surrounding the messaging applications. What are considered the best and why?

I’ll begin with WhatsApp Inc. As if Facebook doesn’t own enough technology, this past February, Facebook negotiated a $19 billion takeover deal of WhatsApp Inc. (a global messaging tool). The goal of this mega deal is playing out exactly as it was set out to do, “connect 4 to 5 billion people over the next five years,” writes Parmy Olson of the Forbes staff.

One of the founders of the app, Jan Koum, just announced last month they had hit 600 million monthly active users (Forbes, Aug. 2014). The way they average the number whatsappcrunching, they are gaining almost 833,000 active users per day. This is astonishing to me! Critics also tend to scrutinize active users vs. registered users, as there is a difference. It’s a fact that many of us download apps and then never look at them past day one. Yet, these reported numbers still speak volumes for WhatsApp Inc., and they are steadily increasing.

Founded in the Silicon Valley, WhatsApp Inc. was intended to be branded as the “what’s up” messaging tool. It’s a popular tool that can cross platforms between iPhones, Blackberries, Androids, etc. This particular app is very well recognized within the European culture, and is gaining popularity here in the US. I’m not incredibly familiar with it but I’m sure it’s going to be become very trendy, very soon.

Maybe you’ve tried WhatsApp and you weren’t a fan? If that’s the case, no worries, as there are numerous other messaging applications that you can download for your own personal use.

Other popular messaging applications include:  

  • Facebook Messenger – A very easy and convenient tool for conversing with friends and family, both over wifi and cellular networks. Recent changes have made this a separate app download from Facebook itself, and focuses strictly on being a messaging tool. This app also allows for voice messages, charging data use rather than cellular minutes.
  • Skype – Skype is one of the most widely used messaging services and can be an option for any platform. You can send standard text-only messages, audio messages, and conduct video calls.
  • Google Hangouts – This app lets you link up your existing Google account and view all of your Gtalk and Google+ contacts all in one place. Video and audio are also available.   This is a fantastic tool when used in the U.S. and Canada, as these users receive zero charges (except for incurred data).
  • Line – A messaging app that is available world-wide. This app also supports video and audio, and there is a movie feature where you can video a short film and send it to your contacts.

So many options, so little time, right? I wrote this article to point out some of the best messengers available for your smart phone. Some apps are more user-friendly than others, but all share the same main features: texting ability, audio/video capability, global availability, user-friendliness, and, for the most part, free!

We’d love to hear your feedback as well! Do you find one app more efficient than another? Have you ever even heard of WhatsApp? Which of those referenced above are your favorites and why?

Technology is ever-changing and it is communication that allows us to move forward, learn, keep challenged, and remain satisfied. Whatever your choices become, get out there and have fun with them. If one option doesn’t work the best for you, always remember that you are just one click away from un-installing and moving to the next big trend.

As Facebook Constantly Evolves, Are You Keeping Up?

Facebook, how you love to constantly keep me on my toes!  Updates to my cover photo, updated formats to my timeline, how does one ever keep it all straight?  How will this affect my business page?  What’s going to happen to my logo and important company contact information?  If you are anything like me and your head is trying to grasp all of the new implementations from Facebook’s most recent updates released March 10, 2014, then worry no further.  I have done some homework and am pleased to come to the rescue.  Well… something like that!

What are some of the major updates as of 3/10/14?

  • Cover photo settings
  • Category adjustment
  • Timelines

Cover Photo: FBLet’s start with the easiest change and the one that will affect you the most!  This would be that big, bold, beautiful cover photo that is one of the first things someone views when they click on a profile.  It illustrates “this is the purpose of my life or the theme for my business.”  Cover photos can incorporate information like your logo and/or business name, or just be a stand-alone image of an everyday interest.

If you are wondering what has stayed the same and what has changed, here is what I’ve found.  The size of the photo has stayed exactly the same, but the photo positioning has been moved higher from where it originally had been.  This means that any company name or reference on your photo will need to be re-positioned closer to the bottom of your uploaded photo if you desire taking this adjustment into consideration.

Previously, you may have had your logo and company information centered over your picture, which with the new update, would now bring it higher and less likely to see without clicking on the picture itself.  Placement of logos and company info will now also need to be integrated into the area of the picture you would most like showcased.  The good news is that you are allowed to edit and reposition your photos, as you could do before.  This always helps with any final touches to your final layout.

Category: Are you an artist, a local business, some form of entertainment, or public figure?  These are just a few of the page descriptions that you can choose from when creating your page.  When you pick the correct page type for your business or fans, this actually helps your fans or clients find more out about you and exactly what they want to know about you or your business.  It also helps with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and can increase marketability with your search appearances on Google, etc.

Now take some time to look at your own page info.   Do you have the proper page type established (a few were mentioned above)?  Once you do, you can break it down further into specific categories.  If you have done this already, do the categories you’ve chosen currently emphasize the focus or brand of what your company represents, such as “websites and blogs,” etc.?

If not, the good news is that you can always update this section.  This area is also where you can write a short description of your business for others to read.  If you haven’t done so, you might as well update everything at this point.  To edit, simply click on “Update Page Info” underneath your cover photo.  Categories will be more noticeable in the new update, so you want to ensure that you have the right type of business, etc. as your selection.

Timelines: I find that the new timeline feature is actually quite handy, especially if there is something in particular that you’re searching for and you have an idea of when it occurred.  It’s now a more streamlined look where there are two columns.  The left hand side includes information about the brand or company, and the right column is the page’s timeline.  In previous versions, both columns served as the timeline and posts were staggered between the left and the right columns as users scrolled.  This update makes navigation very simplistic, especially when you know exactly what month/year that you want to visit.

It’s important to stay engaged……. As with life, social media is constantly throwing curve balls and changes.  Luckily, the developers of Facebook recognize that it’s used world-wide, by individuals of all ages.  Nothing is going to be too complicated or people would stop being so dependent on the product.  Small changes keep us engaged and eventually, we all figure out how to make something work.  When all else fails, there is always the Help section to pinpoint an answer.

I hope these tips are of assistance the next time you click on your profile and see that something doesn’t seem just right.  Rest assured, all it takes is a small tweak and you will be back to normal in no time at all.  Heck, the reality to writing this is that it’s already most likely old news, as we all know Facebook loves to throw new changes at us when we least expect them.

Speaking of which, it looks like Facebook is coming out with yet another update June 24…stay tuned!

Facebook VS Google: Which To Advertise On?

For those of us that have considered taking a risk and venturing out on our own to start our dream business, one key step we’ve needed to seriously consider is how are we going to advertise to our target audience?  Of course there are big money marketing solutions, but for most of us on a penny-pinching budget, we need something effective, yet cost efficient.  My intent for this blog will be to focus on two forms of battling advertising methods, and which of these may be the best for your new start-up business:  Facebook vs. Google.

What I am going to try to determine is whether it’s better to put your company’s future in the hands of one of the largest search engines out there, Google; or if it’s better to facebook_vs_google_robots.topstrategize with the future of one of the largest growing social media websites, Facebook.

  • Reaching the Audience: Yes, it is true that Facebook has one billion active monthly members, but surprisingly enough, the winner here is Google.  Google search engine provides results for more than one billion queries from around the world, every day, and its ads are displayed next to relevant results.  Plus, “Google ads can be displayed on thousands of partner sites, which reach upward of 92% of all internet users in the U.S.”, states author Allison Howen in Website Magazine May 2013.
  • Target Options: Google can target audiences in multiple ways: using keywords, location, time of day, and general audience interest categories.  It has the ability to display to people who have particular interests in subject matter.  Facebook has a larger ability to target audiences due to user data collected over time.  Facebook can target by location, age, gender, marital status, and interests.

For example, a home design store can target options to reach families that have recently moved, or live in a particular location, or have an interest in décor or personalizing their homes.  So, the winner for this category goes to Facebook, although Google is in a close second with the launch of its Enhanced Campaigns capabilities.

  • Potential to Convert: With Google, ads are displayed primarily based on the intent of the consumer.  This means that the consumer is usually searching for a particular product and has an immediate interest.  As a result, they make the purchase when they find the results they are seeking.  Facebook ads are based on the user’s defined interests and previous behavioral interactions.  As this is somewhat more limiting, the winner in this category belongs to Google.
  • Campaign Impact: According to May’s issue of Websitemagazine.com, Facebook ads tend to produce customers with longer average lifetime values.  Why is this?  Well, Facebook ads often lead brands to receive an increase in “likes,” which allows brands to continue marketing to these customers.  Fans then interact with the brand’s content and become more comfortable and likely to continue purchasing.  Likewise, they continue to network the brand by spreading the word to friends and family members.

Is there really a great conclusion to this debate?  Probably not! The best form of advertising seems to solely depend on the goals of the start-up.  If you are looking for an immediate outreach, then Google is the place to target a larger audience.  If you are looking for a smaller target audience that will grow over time, as the market is continuous, then Facebook could be the best solution.  If you want to be absolutely sure, and if the pocket book allows, try both forms and see where you notice the most activity.  Track, track, and track again!

Which social media site has worked best for you and your business?

When Will It Be Time To Go “Home?”

Who has taken the Facebook Home plunge since its grand induction into the Android device reality on April 12th?  If you’re asking yourself what exactly is Facebook Home, look no further.   It’s basically the next wave of technology to make your lock screen a giant scrolling newsfeed from your favorite social media site, Facebook.  Messages, IM chat, videos, pictures, and the latest and greatest news posts can all be found at the touch of your home screen. If you’re looking for an app on your phone to download, you won’t find it just yet.  This new technology comes in the form of a software package at this stage.  Such devices as the HTC First will be the first to come preloaded with the Facebook Home software, while others in the HTC series and later Samsung models (Samsung GALAXY S III, S4, and Note II), will have downloading capabilities from the Google Play Store.

facebook-homeSo what benefits can Home have besides just looking cool and being able to post your friends’ latest and greatest news feeds?

  • Facebook Home could become the next powerful marketing tool for companies.  The software will be able to store user information, including which applications a user opens, etc., and appeal to a specific target audience.
  • The software has the potential for great visuals to be shared, although visuals appearing from your friends and family probably aren’t the most fascinating.
  • Privacy settings will be the same as the regular Facebook app that you are now familiar with using.  Thus, if you wish to hide something, that particular information will not appear on your cover screen.
  • Programmers are updating Facebook Home at least once a month.  Things that are recognized as bugs today will soon be issues of the past.

Drawbacks can be concerning as well, and include the following:

  • One of the biggest drawbacks is that this is a newsfeed of your Facebook friends.  That usually includes a vast assortment of close and not-so-close friends and family, right?  Your only news feed options become those of viewing silly photos, self portraits, cute puppies, and occasionally something of importance, but mostly not.  Actual breaking news will not be coming through on your newsfeed, although we have seen that all “worldly” news somehow seems to break on Facebook at the same time CNN covers it.  The good news is that Facebook has recognized that the filter issue is a problem (you can’t select which updates you’d rather be seeing) and is currently working on better resolutions.  One easy piece of advice on this would be that maybe it’s time to finally delete those friends that you’ve thought really never had anything of importance to say, or just the opposite, say too much.
  • There is no screen lock for pre-installed Facebook Home, but you do have the option to disable the software to secure your privacy.
  • Limited search functions.  This means that you would have to still log into the regular Facebook application to search for a particular page/brand.
  • Not available to iPhones at this time or anytime in the near future.  This speaks for itself as it will exclude a very large target audience.
  • It’s a new service.  “New” means “change” to most of us, which leads to apprehension and negativity.  Also, with the first wave of software, there are usually bugs to still be worked out.

All in all, for those of us who have been addicted to Facebook, Facebook Home will probably be the next great thing.  It’s fun to use, it’s simple, and like everything else, if you aren’t doing it soon, you’ll be in the minority.  I do wonder how soon iPhone will join the Android race and I also wonder how soon Facebook will just go away altogether in the application world.  For now, for those of you that have it, I’d love to hear your feedback.  Do you love it, hate it, have you already disabled it?  Your feedback might help the rest of us decide just when it is time to “Go Home.”

The Big Dance and Social Media

I thought for this blog topic, I’d try to appeal to my followers that are sports fanatics!  Even if you’re not a sports fan, it is hard not to turn on the television in late March/early April and get suckered into watching the final few seconds of a neck in neck basketball game in the craziness of March Madness. As you have probably noticed, there are endless rules associated with the tournament, designed to cover even the most miniscule infractions.  Surprisingly enough, even though you would think these rules extend into social media, they are still yet to do be defined when it comes down to how to deal with the issue of student-athletes and social media.

I guess the biggest issue that comes up is how to control what your favorite student-athlete says via Facebook, Twitter, etc., without violating the individual’s freedom of speech rights.  This topic continues to be an on-going challenge, and neither the NCAA, nor its member institutions, have quite figured out exactly what the solution should be.

There have been many instances of public tweets where student-athletes have vocalized their opinions and traumatized their teams.  Author Jordan Parker (bleacherreport.com) march madnessrecently wrote an article stating a mishap where Ohio State University recently responded to a student-athlete’s obnoxious tweet with the following:

We allow our student-athletes the opportunity to express themselves via the social mediums.  What we do ask of them and communicate to them is the importance of being respectful, appropriate and aware that their communications can impact many people. We remind that others may have different views and opinions on what may and may not be appropriate, so always remember not to post or tweet anything that could embarrass themselves, their team, teammates, the university, their family or other groups, organizations or people.”

Seems pretty simple, right?  These “values” aren’t new, they are worldly views of respect.  It’s not rocket science that what you say publically is not going to disappear.  Not even the best lawyers can erase something that is documented publically.  Once it’s said, it’s said, and there is always someone out there waiting for the opportunity to get famous by recognizing someone else’s foolish mistakes.

Since this behavior can be very debilitating to a college team of any sport, there are companies that are looking out for the outspoken student-athletes.  UDiligence, Varsity Monitor, and Jump Forward are just a few of the companies that have products designed to help athletic departments monitor social media feeds, potentially stopping troublesome issues before they occur.

As social media is continues to be a trending topic, the issue isn’t going to go away anytime soon.  This year has been filled with headlines from the college sports world, most, if not all of, which have been documented over every social media site out there.  Specifically, the NCAA and colleges and universities alike cannot hide from the trend. They have to work together to develop a set of rules and regulations that protect and regulate without stepping on student-athlete rights.  It’s strange they haven’t yet, since the NFL, NBA and NHL already have social media policies in place.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree that the best discipline will be the consequences of the players’ own actions or do you feel players should not be allowed to vocalize their thoughts, no matter how positive or negative?  Personally, I think freedom of speech allows the impact to be a personal one.  If you think it may harm someone, maybe you should think twice about publicizing your viewpoint, student-athlete or otherwise.  Either way, it’s an exciting time for college sports, so be sure to tune in and enjoy some of the craziness!

Shopping Habits and Social Media

It is a well known fact that to remain competitive, stores must utilize social media sites for marketing and promotions for consumers to purchase new, as well as aged, products. Do you find that you are making online purchases through your favorite social media sites? To clarify, what I am asking is when you view an ad on Facebook that displays a coupon for Bath & Body Works, Starbucks, or another favorite store; do you immediately click on that ad to get the coupon? Or do you find yourself driving to the closest store to venture around and see if anything new captures your attention? Is it just as convenient to go to the store’s website for a direct purchase?

For me, I’d say that I do a combination of all. If I see an amazing deal, I wouldn’t hesitate to click on it and shop right from the link, but I also have no issues with a retail mid-afternoon getaway!

A new global study from PwC, the global consultancy, reports that last year, only 12% of consumers bought anything through social media and only 18% of those consumers active in social media made a purchase as a result of information they got via their social-media connections,” states mediapost.com.

What I find interesting about this is that we all use our favorite social media sites to follow or hear about up and coming brands. I know there have been multiple times that I have seen a new trend on Pinterest, or read through a friend’s tweet, that I immediately found myself further investigating to determine where I could directly purchase the merchandise. I’m sure I am not alone in this…or am I?

PwC claims there are three different types of shoppers that purchase from social media sites:

• Brand Lovers: These are die-hard shoppers. These shoppers frequent stores and make online purchases on a weekly basis. These people are not afraid to make direct purchases from social media sites and they do so often.

• Deal Hunters: Half of the population surveyed falls into this category. If they find an appealing offer, they click through to the store and make that special purchase. Personally, I think I can be found in this category. Who doesn’t like a good deal?

• Social Addicts: This group makes up the smallest percentage of shoppers, according to PwC. They use social media to talk about their experiences with brands. They learn from these sites which brands their friends love and will recommend. They submit questions to customer service channels and submit product feedback to the companies. Although a small percentage of social media site shoppers, they have a large influence on the online world with their frequent posts and comments.

It really just comes down to where do you personally trust to shop? Sometimes it’s just extremely convenient to buy merchandise when you’re already physically in a store and can compare prices, or better yet, compare to other stores’ merchandise pricing in general.

Yet sometimes, it’s just the most opportune to click “buy now,” right at that very moment when you see the merchandise pop up on the computer screen. I think it’s these unique personal preferences that in turn, ultimately, set the next shopping trends that we end up later reading about. If there is one thing that I am sure about, it’s that social media sites certainly influences what we buy, it’s just where we buy that is still up for debate.

Is It Time For a Social Media Diet?

Do you get anxious when you think you are missing the latest Facebook newsfeeds or tweets from your besties? According to a recent State of Social Media study released by Harris Interactive and MyLife, 62% of adults who belong to more than one social network "keep an eye" on their networks daily; and 40% said they'd rather get a root canal or spend a night in jail than give up their social networking profiles!

If this sounds a little too familiar, it may be time to start that social media diet plan.

Social media pinning/posting/nipping/and tucking takes up a lot of our time and may actually have a negative impact on your lifestyle.

  • Do you find yourself feeling depressed, sad, envious, or even just annoyed at what a close friend or relative posts on your newsfeed?  A trip that you can’t afford, an engagement when you haven’t dated in over a year, someone’s weight loss success story after you’ve realized you’re up a pant size!  Can it get any worse sometimes?
  • Does looking at the success of others pressure you to be “keeping up with the Joneses”?
  • Are you missing out on other aspects of your life because you’re spending too much time pouring over your social media accounts?

I think it’s extremely important to recognize that you’re also not seeing people’s “real lives” most of the time.  How often do we post negative issues?  Is it often you take a photo of yourself right when you arise out of bed and say, “I’m beautiful and am going to post this photo to the entire world today?”  Rarely, I guarantee it.

The main point I’m trying to express if that if you start to feel depressed or moody as a direct result of your excessive time on these websites, then it’s time to make some changes.  Here are some actions you can take to improve your mood swings and social appetite:

  • Update the control settings on your accounts.  For instance, on Facebook, you have the ability to hide a friend’s newsfeed.  The person is completely unaware of this change (unless you physically block them), and you will no longer be able to see the negative posts, whether it be on a weekly, daily, or even sometimes, hourly basis.
  • Take a break altogether from the sites.  If you can’t quit cold turkey, then limit the number of times a day that you view your favorite sites.
  • Exercise or participate in some sort of activity or hobby to limit your time spent on the computer.
  • Catch up in person!  Think about the good old days when we didn’t even have such options and head to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant.  Gab the night away versus clicking it away.

The most important point I’m trying to express is if you find yourself “addicted” to social media or your favorite newsfeeds, to any extent, then it’s time to possibly take a hiatus.  Do you really have to see your best friend’s self-posed images every hour or even her most adorable English bulldog giving her kisses by the fireplace, or could you probably go without knowing about these non life-changing events?

Here’s food for thought…put away the phone or computer, save the eye strain, and engage in some positive physical activities.  Hit the gym or read a challenging book.  Surround yourself with the positives in life and you will find that a social media diet might be the best cure to a healthier lifestyle.

Are You Targeting the Wrong Social Network?

By Melissa Goodman, Social Media Specialist at IMPACT So many small business owners have the mindset that if we capture tons of followers on our social media networks, that will be the key to a greater success for our business, but is this necessarily true?

Take, for example, your Twitter account.  According to Courtney Rubin, from a post on Business Writers, a 37 year old female is the target audience for Twitter.  If that is not the market that you are trying to reach to market your product, then chances are there is a better social network out there for you to utilize.

I recently read a study performed by Pingdom, a website monitoring service.  They surveyed 24 of the most popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.  The results from these studies said a lot about the target audience on the different sites.

  • More than 55% of Twitter users are older than age 35.  So, if you want to capture women in their mid-30’s, you should create Twitter posts that capture this audience’s attention.  Such topics as motherhood, careers, family, and beauty are all great topics for this type of account.
  • The youngest users, under the age of 24, found DeviantART.  This actually surprised me, as I would have thought Facebook was the leader.
  • LinkedIn had the highest percentage of users over the age of 55.  It is great to know that this generation is utilizing such networking services.
  • Tech-focused sites tended to be heavily male dominated, which is generally the rule of thumb.

Overall, it was found of the 24 sites, the majority of users were female (51.25 percent vs. 48.75 percent male).  It comes with no surprise that Pinterest was the most female dominated site.  I guess we have finally proved how much we love to eat, decorate, and shop!

What is the point to all of this?  Well, there tends to be a target audience for all social networks.  If your small business is more tech-savy, you may want to learn more about Slashdot.  If your audience is more artsy/creative, you may want to research Pinterest more in depth.

Have any of you noticed a difference in social networks?  Do you see the same members across the board or is it easy to differentiate?  Sometimes the key is not to have thousands of followers, but to connect and really engage those who are truly interested in your product.   I think it definitely pays to research if you want to reach a target audience specialized to your products.  It’s especially important with year-end approaching and the sky rocket sales that are usually predicted in the holiday season.