social media

ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT MONDAY: What Virtual Assistants Do For Associations!

ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT MONDAY:  What Virtual Assistants Do For Associations!

Every Monday, we share with you information about managing non-profit associations.  In this week's "Association Management Monday," impact Virtual Services  explains what a virtual assistant (VA) or Virtual Executive Administrator can do for your non-profit association!

The truth is ALOT!  Oh-Daddy-Oh, here's the short list...

FUN FACTS FRIDAY: August 26th! Why is it Special?

The workplace can be stressful.  impact Virtual Services chooses to mix in some fun for a nice balance in our weekly "Fun Facts Friday" social media and BLOG blasts!

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.

TECH TUESDAY: Nice Package!

TECH TUESDAY:  Nice Package!

Nice Package!  That's what so many of our clients say!  Oh, simmer down now honey.  We're talking about Social Media packages.  Sheesh!

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 some of the social media packages we offer clients here at  impact Virtual Services.  We have  an entire division devoted to SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES.

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!

THINK FAST THURSDAY: Impact Virtual Services is HIRING!

"THINK FAST!"  It's what they would say in the 50s when someone was about to throw something your way.  So.... THINK FAST! impact Virtual Services is HIRING!  We are looking for the very best of the best to bring on as Virtual Executive Administrators with expertise in non-profit management, association management, support for small and medium-sized businesses, support for entrepreneurs and social media mavens!  Oh-Daddy-Oh, if you think you've got what it takes... CLICK HERE!

WAY OUT WEDENESDAY: Leveraging a Virtual Assistant for Your Business

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, how to leverage a virtual assistant or Virtual Executive Administrator (VEA) to build your small business is our focus!

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!

THINK FAST THURSDAY: IMPACT VIRTUAL SERVICES NOW HIRING!

Think Fast Thursday "THINK FAST!"  It's what they would say in the 50s when someone was about to throw something your way.  So.... THINK FAST!  impact Virtual Services is HIRING!  We are looking for the very best of the best to bring on as Virtual Executive Administrators with expertise in non-profit management, association management, support for small and medium-sized businesses, support for entrepreneurs and social media mavens!  Oh-Daddy-Oh, if you think you've got what it takes... CLICK HERE!

IMPACT Virtual Services is HIRING!

Now Hiring!

Secret Phone Apps

Secret phone apps have been a hot topic in the news lately about high school students, and noteworthy of discussing to bring awareness to the subject matter.  As if life wasn’t scary enough for us parents, here is another issue for us to look for and monitor.  The applications are not necessarily new, but the technology is constantly advancing.  Private photo vault applications on smart phones can have the appearance of very basic images such as calculators and calendars.   Once you open the application, you can enter a secret code or two, and this is where the dark side of smart phones can begin.  Hidden images that students would not want their parents to see are being stored and shared by students.  Students think these pictures are hidden on the apps, but there is nothing to appssay that the developers of these apps could not expose the pictures.  These types of news stories have headlined nationally over the past year and are raising major concerns.

How can parents spot these vault applications, as most are rated E for everyone?  Parents need to look for multiple versions of the same app on their child’s phone.  The most common is the calculator app.  Also, check your child’s phone history for new app downloads and then search the app with a Google search to understand its content.

Teens love similar applications that may be more familiar such as Snapchat, Kik, and Whisper.  Again, all trending applications where messages seem to disappear, yet do they really?  An article that I found extremely helpful with this information is linked here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/snapchat-kik-and-6-more-iffy-messaging-apps-teens-love.

This article not only explains several trending applications, but offers very helpful information regarding each application, and outlining what parents need to know.

Helpful hints for parents (and most likely easier said than done!):

  • Don’t let your children take their phones to bed with them at night.
  • Don’t let them have a phone without parental supervision.
  • If your child uses a family computer, keep it in the open, and under supervision.

Again, this is obviously not an easy subject matter, but it’s one that can even lead to severe legal penalties to the students and their parents.  These types of things may not be the easiest to monitor or catch, but at least you have a few more clues on what to discuss openly with your child.  Open communication may prevent the issue from even beginning.  I wish all of you parents, and myself, the best of luck on this topic!  Darn that social media!

Two Thumbs Up

Go online and it won’t take you long before you can read customer or client reviews on everything from a Thai restaurant to a Tax Accountant. It takes an extremely positive experience for someone to take action and write a positive review, but when something negative happens? Many are quick to post a nasty comment written in the heat of the moment. Here are some simple steps to cultivating all the good that exists out there! SET THE STAGE Gaining word of mouth referrals starts from the very beginning. Relationship building is an investment for every business and it is certainly worth the time and effort. Yes, attend networking events but also remember that you and your employees are representing your business all the time. Be sure to have genuine interactions and learn about others, this isn’t all about you after all! Why not see how you can help them first, I guarantee you will benefit in the long run. Whether these connections become a customer or not, gaining their respect and trust can still bring in the business.

TELL PEOPLE Don’t be shy to tell people your business is a success because of referrals and word of mouth. If someone doesn’t have a need for your services or product, but they believe in your business, this gives them the perfect opportunity to support you. It’s quite satisfying to connect someone who needs something, with someone who has it. Think of it as matchmaking!

LET THEM TALK Give your customers the opportunity to praise your services. Invest in a solid social media following by offering valuable information and discounts online. Encourage customers to ask questions and answer them online so people know you care about each individual. Tell clients how much you appreciate testimonials, as I mentioned before, sometimes people need a gentle nudge when they have something good to say.

THANK YOU It certainly doesn’t hurt to have an incentive program set up. Offering cash or discounted services for successful referrals is a great way to motivate your happy clients. Put a system in place so each person receives the same gift a long with the most important thing, a sincere thank you.

ABOVE ALL ELSE If you don’t have a solid product or provide an exceptional service, you will not generate long lasting referral clients or customers. Believe in your business, invest in your employees through training and education so they believe in what they are selling and people will notice. Admit when you are wrong because it will happen, but overcome that obstacle with your customer and they will remember the good not the bad. Whether you like it or not, your customer base can be your biggest mode of marketing-- hopefully that’s a good thing! By investing in the people who have positive experiences with your business or organization, you are utilizing a valuable (and affordable) resource, resulting in more business and best of all, happy customers.

 

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

Recently, I had the pleasure of taking the afternoon off (which I highly recommend), to go visit a couple of small wineries throughout southern Wisconsin.  It was a very pleasant day, spent with a very dear friend.  We were able to take in all of the aromas of fig, cherries, blueberries, oak, and many more of the indulgent ingredients used to make the delicious flavors of reds and whites we had sampled and savored.  In visiting these small wineries, my eyes were opened to just how different similar businesses can operate and present themselves to the public.

The first winery that we visited appeared more rustic and farm-like.  From the outside, you could see a small sitting area where friends and family could socialize and sample wine, cheese, crackers, and fruit samples.  As you entered the winery, the setup was a showroom with a bar for sampling different wines, as well as displays for showcase and retail.

wineriesIn sampling several wines, one of the wines was called an “Ice Wine.”  This type of wine is seasonal due to the fact that the grape fermentation process has to be completed during the winter months, when those particular grapes are ready for picking.  My point in all of this is that I am not a wine expert, but rather, that I was very interested in purchasing this wine, yet was not able to at that time due to seasonal availability.

My first question to the business owner was if their winery sold this product online.  I was happy to find out that they indeed did, and in the future I could simply hop online and order whatever wines I wanted, depending on the season, and didn’t need to make a special trip to the winery.

Win/win!  I got my wine, she got her sale.

What did I like best about this winery?

  • The fact that you had access to online purchasing.  This is entirely overlooked these days and almost all too convenient.  Yes, it’s wonderful to get out of the office on a weekday afternoon, but as we all know, this is not always an option.  Having peace of mind that this scrumptious wine is only a click away had me instantly sold.  Not to mention, this winery now has a future repeat customer.
  • Simple and heartfelt customer service.  The business owner was polite, courteous, able to answer all of my questions, and made our experience very enjoyable and at ease.
  • For an extra dollar or two, we were able to taste the finest port wines that they sold, and also an option to sample ice wine.  These are clearly the most expensive wines sold at the vineyard, so a smart move on their part to offer a charge for sampling.  Keeps you curious and then you have to say “Yes!”
  • The opportunity was given to stay at the bar for a free sampling (within the public eye), or to purchase a wine flute at a small cost, and take your sampling elsewhere, for privacy.
  • Purchases were very reasonable and comparable to market value elsewhere.

What was this winery lacking?

  • Advertising!  Besides from a simple Google search, I had never heard of this quaint, little piece of heaven.  Social media would greatly boost sales for this hidden treasure.  Newsletters could spotlight seasonal wine purchases!  Even a simple billboard on the side of the road would have been extremely helpful for navigational purposes.
  • Tours.  This particular winery was too small for an actual distillery tour, but they had a nice vineyard and I imagine a bottling area somewhere behind the scenes.  Tours can be an interactive way to detail more about the industry, draw in your customer base, and add to higher retail sales at the end of the tour.

Up Next Our next stop of the day included another small, home-grown vineyard.  This winery appeared to be a newly constructed building, which both my friend and I found to be very appealing and trendy.  The view was absolutely gorgeous, all countryside for as far as one could see.  We found nothing new to the wine tasting experience at this business, except that they were way more frugal with the samples and we weren’t offered as much of a selection.

When I asked the same question about selling their wine online I was disappointed to hear they didn’t.  If I wanted a seasonal wine, or even to stock up on their year-round best sellers, I had to make a special trip to the winery which was over an hour away.

Repeat customer?  Probably not.

What did I like best about this winery?

  • The showcase room was modern and had trendy merchandise for purchase.  It also had a creative looking jukebox, playing a great range of old school and new school music that triggered some “blast from the past” memories.
  • A beautiful outside patio area to take your samples for privacy.
  • Purchases were very reasonable and comparable to market value elsewhere.

What was this winery lacking?

  • No access to online purchasing.   This winery offered those special port and ice wines that I had mentioned earlier.  Unfortunately, the only way that I’d be able to purchase a bottle of either option, would be to return to this vineyard.  When there are 33 others throughout the state that I wish to see, I’m not sure that I’d be drawn to return to this particular one.
  • Advertising!  Besides from a simple Google search, I had never heard of this vineyard either.  The website was actually outdated and had the old directions from their last location.  After a few wrong turns and a big drooling dog that wrecked my sundress (long story), we finally made it to this destination.
  • Not the greatest customer service.  The business owner of many years seemed more interested in closing shop for the day, than catering to a couple of young professionals (and one on her birthday).  She eventually came around after we killed her with kindness, but even then, she still seemed done for the day.
  • Tours.  Another case where this particular winery was too small for an actual distillery tour, but still had potential to show off their vineyards with the gorgeous view, and their bottling area.

All in all, what did I learn from my experiences at the wineries?  I found that it really doesn’t matter if the business is old or new, it comes down to character and customer service.  The business owners that go the extra mile to welcome customers will experience the most return business in the long-run.

I was also reminded how important it is to have a modern-day website and keep current with your website, not only for advertising, but to market to your current and future clientele.  Newsletters, billboards, and social media are never a bad thing when attempting to promote your talents and industry expertise.

Most of all, I can’t express enough how important it is to take time out for you and loved ones.  Cherish and treasure those precious moments where you can just get away and enjoy life!

As they say in Italy and in the Housewives of New Jersey, “SALUD.”

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!