Sunday, November 27, 2011

Customers sometimes grow up

A relationship with a customer sometimes simulates raising a child. You start by doing everything for them, then gradually you teach them to do some things themselves, then before you know it they are claiming independence and they are off on their own leaving you with empty nest syndrome.

Being a Social Media Virtual Assistant can sometimes be like being a parent. At first you spend all of your time doing everything for the customer - blogging, Facebook, email marketing, tweeting, posting, etc. You do this either because they may not have the skills to do it themselves (or the time). Over time you gradually teach them to do some of the tasks themselves - maybe they start by adding a post to Facebook, or tweeting on Twitter, then gradually they take on other tasks.

As they gain more confidence and build their skills they take on more and before you know it they have grown up and want to leave the nest. You can feel mixed emotions from this journey - satisfaction from teaching them and raising them to go off on their own, and yet some sadness that they will no longer need you as often. Just like raising children though, once they leave home you start to experience a sense of freedom and excitement to move on.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It is so easy to get sidetracked, waylaid, distracted and procrastinate. That is what most of us do when it comes to using Social Media and email marketing for our businesses. Yet these tools are some of the most effective tools around today and virtually free, or pretty darn close to free.

'CONSISTENCY' is key to social media and email marketing. These are powerful tools but you have to be CONSISTENT with them. The secret is - do it often enough so has not to lose contact with your customers, and send them 'content' that is valuable enough to make them want to stick around and not 'opt out'.

So what is that magic formula? Is it once a week, twice a month, everyday? It varies and depends - on time, the message, the business, the customers and maybe even which Social Media/Email marketing tools are being used.

The important thing is CONSISTENCY. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. So be CONSISTENT.

Why I use Facebook for Business

I have been using Facebook for business for approximately 3+ years now. I started using it for the same reason everyone else did, because we were told we should. At first I found it difficult to learn. I had no clue how to set it up, or how to use it correctly, but over time it just 'clicked' and now it is one of the most valuable tools I use when marketing.

Why do I use Facebook?

1. It is immediate.

2. It is after all called 'Social Networking'. Now I can network on a larger scale with people that I would never have reached otherwise.

3. It is customer service, customer focus and customer interaction - all rolled into one.

4. It is fun!

5. And it is FREE! And very effective.

There is still a lot of confusion for small businesses on how to use Facebook, both technically and as a marketing/networking tool. Most small business owners do not really have the time to learn one more thing and/or they don't really have a grasp on 'how to use Facebook' for marketing.

Facebook for business is a lot different than Facebook for family and friends, and it should be treated accordingly. When I first set up my business it was to consult with small businesses on getting set up correctly and using Facebook. But what I really noticed is they needed a 'Virtual Social Media Assistant', someone to help them keep up with Facebook and make sure that they continue to use it. Consistency is key in using Facebook for Marketing.