Social Media News for Clients and 12 Management Tools to Save You Time

AssistantAngel is celebrating its fourth year as a Virtual Assistant / Social Media Management company. We are very blessed to work with many amazing clients across the United States, Canada and world-wide.

AssistantAngel - Social Media Management Success

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT ~ Back to Basics

In looking back over the past four years, I am reminded at how “basic” social media can be at times. Often people ask me which social media tools I recommend and which tools I personally use.

Social Media is a tool to get your information to your ideal audience.  The key to successfully utilizesocial media is staying organized with a clear and concise message to the correct audience.  Below is a list of the social media management tools that I use each month. Some tools I use daily. This list will give you a good idea of how my team and I are able to stay organized and stay on top of the latest social media trends.

IN THE CLOUD

1. Gmail – Having my email kick over to a gmail account has enabled me to grab email when I am on the go. Whether it is from my smartphone, laptop or computer, I can access emails and my email folders at any time. This helps when I am searching for a client’s particular email.

2.  Dropbox – With clients adding more and more images to their websites, blogs and social media posts, it is important to have great quality images.  I like to use Dropbox so my client can share images with me.  Dropbox also has a feature of renaming folders, to help keep your Dropbox organized (i.e. by Client Name, etc)

Google DriveTRANSPARENCY

3. Google Drive – I have become very fond of Google Drive. It is a seamless way to share documents (similar to word, excel, images, etc) with other contacts. I often keep information on separate tabs for the Google drive doc. I also like to make sure my client and I share a Google Drive document with pertinent information that is available to them, any time they need it.

CALENDARS

4. Keeping track of client’s events and deadlines is very important. Each week I utilize at least 2 calendars to make sure I remember AND also have a backup (in the event the internet should go down).

Google Calendar – I enjoy the flexibility of adding / removing events on Google Calendar and having it access my phone and computer. One feature I especially like is the REMINDER feature. You can have the event send you an email or notification of the event.

o Quick Tip: When adding an event to my calendar, I include as much information as possible: Call-in number, link to the client’s website and any other information for the call. This way prior to my appointment, I have everything available to prepare for my appointment.

Monthly Calendar (paper). I have disciplined myself to make sure when I add a calendar event to my online calendar, I also add it to my wall calendar. Often when I am speaking with a client on the phone, I need to schedule or touch base with them in a couple weeks. By quickly viewing my upcoming appointments, I can see the best time for our next meeting.

E-MAIL MANAGEMENT

Business Connector Assistant Angel - Social Media ManagerOne motto I attempt to follow with ALL areas of my social media management business is to “Touch It Only Once”. What that means to me is if it is an email, request, calendar update, etc. I only want to “touch” it once.

5.  In order to achieve this with email, which I get HUNDREDS of emails each day, I utilize a tool called: Follow Up Then. You can “forward” the email so it shows up in your inbox at the time you specify. For example, you can forward an important email to 3days@followupthen.com and that email will show up in your inbox in 3 days.  When the email comes back, I can address it or delay it again.  This has helped to stay organized.

6.  A second tool I enjoy for Email Management is Boomerang for Gmail.  Boomerang allows you to send a message at a specific time.  For example, if you are working late at night, it is not always appropriate to email a client at 11:30 PM.  However, you can easily schedule the Boomerang Email (and I ALWAYS cc myself so I have a copy of the email) to be distributed the next business day.

TASK MANAGEMENT

7. To keep clients tasks organized (by day, week, month, 6 months, etc) I utilize Asana.com. Asana is nice because you can create “projects” for each client as well as add tags and due dates. Please Note: Asana is also a great tool for teams, where you can “assign” different tasks to different team members. I like the mobile version of Asana that synchs with the online portal. Again, I can review tasks and update easily from my mobile device.

Social Media Management - AssistantAngel Raleigh NCSOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT

8. Engaging on various social media platforms can be a daunting task. I am starting to enjoy utilizing Hootsuite again (for a while I thought the platform was lagging). Hootsuite has recently released some new updates that make it worth a second look:

◊ Add Hootsuite plugin to Chrome. If you find a great article online, you can make sure that the article is saved and distributed as you like on Hootsuite.

◊ Hootsuite also integrates with Google+, LinkedIn (personal and company pages), Facebook (personal and fan pages), Twitter, WordPress and more.

o Please Note: Just because a tool ALLOWS you to easily post on various platforms at one time, does not mean it is best to do so. (See previous blog about Social Media Engagement)

SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS

9. Finding the latest trend in social media can be challenging.  Social media is CONSTANTLY changing.  Here are some excellent sites that give you cutting edge information that you can immediately begin to implement for your clients:

TIME MANAGEMENT

AssistantAngel Instagram Desk10. The clock, and management of it, is absolutely vital to ensure that I am able to accomplish ALL that I need to in a day…and make room for the “unexpected”. I keep an alarm clock on my desk. I work in block sections of time. I set the timer and do not check email or texts during that time (unless it is an emergency).

Also, by giving myself permission to have “free / research” block time, I am able to have a buffer in my schedule to handle the unforeseen things that happen each and every day.

NOTES

11. Post-It-Notes – are my best friend! I keep them on my desk, in my briefcase, purse and in my car. Whenever I have to jot myself a quick note (or remember something for later) I jot it down on a Post-It-Note. At the end of the day, when I clear my desk and prepare for the next day (it’s not always CLEAR of tasks mind you!), I make sure to handle each Post-It-Note, one at a time with an action: write email, reminders, schedules, add an appointment, etc.

PEACEFUL WORK ENVIRONMENT

12. I do my best work when I have a peaceful and positive work environment. That means, my desk is organized, I have thrown away trash, coffee cups, etc.  “A clean desk is a clean mind…”

I also make sure I have music in the background. For me, I have found classical music gets my juices flowing and allows me the creative spark I need to stay focused and on task.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Is there a TOOL that you utilize each day that you can NOT live without? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  I hope this list has been helpful and gives you some additional tools to consider as you manage your business and your clients.

Angel Lebak, Owner www.AssistantAngel.com team of Social Media Managers and Virtual Assistants

Angel Lebak, Owner www.AssistantAngel.com team of Social Media Managers and Virtual Assistants

STAY CONNECTED.  Feel free to connect with Angel here. Angel is also on social media: FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and more. If you know of someone who wants to become a Virtual Assistant, have them sign up for Angel’s free Virtual Assistant Training Network.  (Please Note:  the VATN Training Network will be having many new changes in 2014…stay tuned!)  Sign up for the latest updates from Angel here.

Thank you for your continued support.  I will connect with you soon!

~ Angel

Social Media Marketing: Slow and Steady Engagement Wins the Race

I am convinced in this ever changing world of social media marketing, that the old saying “slow and steady wins the race” is very true.

I remember the early days of my Virtual Assistant business, and most small business owners believed that we needed to “push” our message out on various platforms.  As social media exploded, those platforms were just another avenue to “post” your latest idea, blog or product for sale.  The social media arena is quickly changing.  So how do we do engage in the most effective way with our ideal client effectively?

Here are a few tips that I have seen work well for many of my clients.

1.  Get to KNOW your fans and followers.

  • What do they love?  What do they LOVE about you?
  • Why did they choose to follow you and/or read your blog or comment on your post?
  • What is their ULTIMATE goal for their business?
  • For Example, on Facebook, be sure to learn how they came to become your fans and be sure to Welcome Them!

2.  Find the common thread that you share with them.

  • Did they connect with you on Facebook from another platform?
  • Are they also followers of your blog?
  • How can you best serve that potential client?
  • Do they need your advice?  Do they need another expert who can better help them?
  • What is their “pain point”
  • One of the reasons that Pinterest has become such a hot trend in 2012 is because people can truly engage with what “connects” them.  It is very interesting.

3.  Engage, Engage, Engage

  • Engage with your audience
  • Thank them when they comment
  • Offer insight / expertise
  • Suggest solutions to their challenges, etc. as time allows.
  • Share material that is a benefit to your audience.  (The more time goes on, I am finding that SHARING other people’s content has even more impact).
  • On LinkedIn, for example, you can now: click Like to a Post, Share a Post or give a recommendation with “1 click”.  These are all ways to engage and let that person know you appreciate and like their information.

4.  Be Authentic

  • There is a reason that folks are coming to you.  Be yourself.
  • The fans, clients and supporters who you TRULY engage and relate with, will be your greatest support and source of referrals for years to come.
  • For Instance on Twitter:  Are you noticing that you are engaging with people who have similar interests?  Perhaps you both relate to people with similar industries or interests.  Often reviewing popular #hashtags will be a good way to determine this.
  • Keep in mind that if you Retweet (RT) or Share someone’s post or tweet, it is an implied endorsement of that information.  So be sure you understand what you are sharing.

5.  Respond in a Timely Manner

  • If you truthfully only have time to engage on 1 social media platform, then perform on that platform with EXCELLENCE.
  • In my opinion it is better to hit a “Grand Slam” with one ball, than to strike out with 3 balls.
  • If you are most comfortable with Facebook, than start there.  Do what works for your time and also your personality.  As you get more confident you can expand and learn another social media platform.

6.  Give Back

  • This is the KEY to true success.  Take the time to give back to those who are just starting out or need your advice.
  • I remember those who were there for me when I didn’t know anyone.  My goal is to offer that same encouragement and support to those who need it, when it is in my power to do so.
  • You can do this on each of the platforms by “sharing”, “liking”, “retweeting” or “commenting” on other people’s posts.

7.  Be Patient

  • Four years after starting my Virtual Assistant business I am still reaping from “relationship seeds” that were planted years ago.
  • If you honor each fan, follower and contact with excellence, your passion and true character will be seen by all who engage with you.
  • True engagement with your audience takes TIME.  Truthfully, if you are consistent, you should see results in a few weeks to a few months.

So whether you are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ or Pinterest be sure you are engaging with your audience in a timely and authentic manner.  In my opinion, this is will yield you more benefits than any push marketing campaign.

How About You?

Are you able to effectively engage with your ideal audience?  Comment below or contact Angel here.

Angel can also be found on the various social media platforms:  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest

Virtual Assistant Tip: 5 Steps to Build Quality Relationships

I am in my third year of my Virtual Assistant Social Media business.  I am convinced more than ever of the power of positive relationships.

As a Virtual Assistant, I have the pleasure of relating and engaging with MANY various types of business owners each week:

  • Business Owners
  • PR / Marketing Staff
  • Website Developers
  • Trainers
  • Additional Contractors related with the Client’s Business
  • Beginner Virtual Assistants
  • More!

As the economy slowly changes, the one constant I see is the power of relationships.

Here are 5 Steps to Build Quality Relationships when engaging in the relationships with your business and your client’s business support needs.

1.  Less is More –  Listen more than you talk when engaging with fellow business relationships (for yourself and your client).  I listen to what my clients’ needs are, and when I speak with one of their vendors directly, I make sure that I listen to ensure that the vendor and my client are on the “same page”.

If someone ASKS my professional opinion, I give it, honestly.

2.  Engage Authentically – Be sure to engage positively with all members of a client’s team.  It is important that you are authentic when you engage with your client, their connections, vendors, etc.

  • If you genuinely like a post click “like” or “share”.
  • Stay business professional (not too much personal interaction)
  • Use common courtesy, say “please” and “thank you”.
  • Publicly say THANK YOU – on various social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, ComeOnInside, etc.)

3.  Have Your Clients Back – Plan AheadWithout a question, the days when I smile from ear to ear is when a client out of the blue says “thanks for having my back”.  As a Virtual Assistant Social Media Manager, my job is to ensure consistency of information so that the client has the freedom to engage and relate as they do best.

4.  Excellence – It is imperative that you offer excellent service to your clients (and their team members).  Remember, every person  you touch is a potential referral source!  I get a lot of business from third party vendors I may have engaged with one time for a particular client.  I do an outstanding job and go the extra mile to make sure the client’s reputation is in tact and the project is done well.

5. Become a Connector - If you are not a perfect fit for someone, be honest.  If you can’t help someone, try to offer a solution that will help them.  It does take a bit of time to sometimes find an alternative fit for a potential client, but I want to make sure that client is taken care of.  If they took the time to reach out and call me (often after researching for a while) I want to do what I can to help them fulfill that need.

How About You? Is there another tip that you utilize in building quality relationship with business owners that you touch in your Virtual Assistant business?

Should EVERY Business Have a Facebook Fan Page?

I am frequently asked: “Should ALL businesses have a Facebook Fan Page?”

That is a GREAT question!
At our initial meeting with a potential client, I find many business owners want a Facebook Fan Page for the following reasons:
1) Everyone has one
2) It will be archived by Google
3) It is part of a larger marketing strategy
I have encouraged clients, who are confused, to get a plan in place to determine how we can best help them. There have been occasions, when they call me and say “I don’t think a FB Fan Page will help me because of…..”.
I find, the plan will not only give them a strategy, but give them a target market beyond their Facebook friends’ list.
To be 100% honest, my clients who had a marketing strategy in place, and utilized the Facebook Fan Page as a tool in that plan, were generally more successful in their overall business, than those who created a Fan Page because they felt it was the “right” thing to do.
(There are MANY incredible strategist, coaches and mentors on Inside919 who can help us get that strategy in place!)
So, my Angel vote is: NO, not every business should have a Facebook Fan Page.
What are your thoughts? Do you think EVERY company should have a Facebook Fan Page?
Thanks ahead of time for your feedback!

Putting the “SOCIAL” back in Social Media

Times are definitely changing….we can connect faster online than ever before: Inside919, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Poken, Blackberry (aka “crackberry”), Iphone, etc.

What isn’t changing is the need to continue to be SOCIAL in Social Media.

I am blessed to work with so many different types of business owners. I understand, first hand, the importance of putting your information and resources out on the web as a vital tool of implementing most marketing strategies.

However, I am also seeing an interesting trend with my clients. Those who “embrace” the SOCIAL part of Social Media have a triple benefit.

1) Powerful Name Recognition

• When they go places people will stop them and say, “I know you….or I see you everywhere!”

2) Ability to “close the gap” of their online “personality” to their in person “personality”.

• Are they as cool in person are they are online? Do the 2 “personas” represent eachother?

3) See the PASSION in their eyes for what they LOVE to do!

• That passion isn’t always understood online.

• This in my opinion, is the game changer with “Social” Media. For me personally I want someone who ABSOLUTELY loves taking care of animals, to be my pet sitter. Not someone who does it only to get a paycheck. In this economy folks are scared with their money (understandably so). They want to spend their money with people they TRUST and RESPECT.

This is particularly true for those clients who have a target locally. But interestingly enough, I have seen, when those clients build those solid LOCAL connections the NATIONAL connections begin to follow.

Video is one way to bring your offline personality to your online presence.

Another opportunity is to MAKE the time to engage in the social networking opportunities available to you (Monthly with all of Inside919: Tuesday Coffee Break and Third Thursdays).

I know first hand, the pulls on our calendars: family, kids, sports, work, business, meetings, volunteer efforts, church, etc = LIFE. I actually block out 2 networking opportunities each week and work my life around them. That is my GOAL…life happens, and I do not always get there, but at least it is on my radar.

Take the time to ENGAGE and enjoy the networking opportunities available. I believe in the long you will be glad you did…..and so will your new customers!