Social Media Slice for Friday, July 20, 2018

Standard

Pricing Pages, Digital Detox and Your Face covered today. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

Is your client’s pricing page under-performing? Interested in nine suggested best practices to ensure it does what it’s supposed to do— make sales happen? More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Do you need digital detox? Work. Work. Work. Consider JOMO to improve work-life balance. More


SLICE MOTIVATION


SLICE INGREDIENTS

Want to look ahead to your business day? Things like estimated travel time to work, meetings scheduled through calendar or trips? Android users may see a new “visual snapshot” of their day based on current time, location, and recent interactions. More


SLICE ON THE GO

Biometric boarding coming to Delta Airlines if you are flying out of Detroit. Your face is your ticket. More


And… if you are looking for a marketing promotion for your small business today: National Moon Walk Day and National Ugly Truck Day

Advertisements

Social Media Slice for Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Standard

Record Skype calls and demystifying Facebook Reach covered today. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

How many times when a client disagreed with payment do you wish you could have recorded Skype calls to show where you discussed parameters and expectations? You can now. More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Demystifying Facebook Reach— for both Pages and Posts. More


SLICE MOTIVATION


SLICE INGREDIENTS

You can never have enough image editing apps at your fingertips. Or at least knowledge of them. See if any of these fitvyour technical needs. More


SLICE ON THE GO

Fly a great deal? Think you know which are the better Airlines? New survey reveals what fellow travelers think are the top companies in the world and specifically serving North America. More


And… if you are looking for a marketing promotion for your small business today: National Hot Dog Day and National Perfect Family Day.

Social Media Slice for Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Standard

Augmented Reality ads on Facebook and Visual Search feature on Snapchat among today’s items. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

New from Facebook: AR ads that initially resemble regular in-feed ads, but feature a “tap to try on” CTA which triggers augmented reality capabilities. Because these AR ads are also shoppable, users can decide to buy the products after trying on themselves (for example, sunglasses or makeup). More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Snapchat appears to be testing a new visual search feature where, according to WERSM, users simply “press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode,” and data is sent “to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.” As soon as an object or barcode is scanned the user can then “See all results at Amazon.” More


SLICE MOTIVATION


SLICE INGREDIENTS

In a recent survey, as many as 90% of businesses reported experiencing unexpected internet down time. What about you? There is a new subscription based service to consider. More


SLICE ON THE GO

Hopefully you don’t fly Southwest Airlines just for the “free” peanuts, but if you do, time for a switcheroo. Come Aug. 1, no more peanuts. More


And… if you are looking for a marketing promotion for your small business today: All American Pet Photo Day and Lost Pet Prevention Month 

Social Media Slice for Monday, July 9, 2018

Standard

In today’s issue, we look at work arounds for negative reviews, as well as the variations of “opt in” and “not opt out” in Dark Pattern Design. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

IMG_4617

Reviews can significantly affect your client’s revenue flow. Trying to remove biased negative ones from review sites like Yelp are a tough sell as evidenced by an unsuccessful court case where an “aggrieved law firm tried to force it to remove negative posts.” If a law firm lost its case, what can you do? More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Hopefully none of your clients have been engaging in Dark Pattern Design. If so, take note that consumers are beginning to fight back against deceptive practices. More


SLICE MOTIVATION

IMG_4614


SLICE INGREDIENTS

Plain text websites not needing hosting (nor a SMM to create them) are in the news. As this TechRepublic article explains they “are portable and private, existing only as a URL, and could be an inexpensive option for SMB website creation.” More


SLICE ON THE GO

Sweatlag is here. Bound to happen. A jet lag recovery workout. Created by Delta Airlines and Equinox. Four workout videos are available on Delta’s YouTube Channel. More


And… if you are looking for a timely marketing promotion for your small business: July is National Independent Retailer Month and today is National Sugar Cookie Day. 

Small Business Saturday, You Got This

Standard

Total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants for 2016’s version of Small Business Saturday. Woohoo!!! What will Nov. 24, 2017’s edition reveal as consumers are once again urged to shop small and visit the “mom & pop” locally-owned stores on Main Street USA?

That is up to you. Will you your small business be ready to engage with customers? Do you even know which customers to target with your ads? Hopefully your Social Media Mangers does. If not, I’ll give you a hint.

The 20-something’s

New survey from Coupons.com reports that during the 2017 holiday season this group plans to shop in-store more than any other age group.

Jeanette Pavini, Coupons.com savings expert reveals that “20-somethings are savvy, using technology to find the best deals, and knowing not every great deal is online.”

She should know, as understanding how consumers are motivated during key shopping seasons provides Coupons.com with data to translate into more relevant coupons at the right time.

And when you put a Mastercard survey’s results stacked against this one, it should be a great Saturday. Spending growth at mom and pop shops has outpaced that of the big chains in both of the past two years.

Why?

When Americans aren’t shopping online, it’s because they’re looking for more personal connections — and the advice they can receive from local SMBs. That’s the word from Sarah Quinlan, Mastercard, Inc. Senior Vice President.

Tech, on-line shopping, mobile apps, etc. may indeed be the wave of the future for mass shopping, but on an individual level– the community level– chatting with the clerk still holds weight. And when the consumer actually has the opportunity to speak with the store owner, well, that is, as they say money in the pocket.

Will you be working your products & services this Saturday?

Showing Some Respect for Virtual Assistants

Standard

Absence {distance} makes the heart grow fonder— except apparently in the case of Virtual Assistants from what I read in one social media group’s postings recently. Out of sight and out of mind. Check this out for yourself and tell me if Virtual Assistants in this thread are being treated less like fellow entrepreneurs and more like commodities (I deleted pictures and names of the commenters because I did not secure permission to quote them).

Doctor’s note? Time-waster? Corpo-rats? Common excuse? Needing to go to the hospital is cause for being fired? I found that very harsh. Especially considering some people who leave the corporate world to start their own biz do so because of unsympathetic, unfeeling treatment from that corporate world when they had a personal situation interfere with work.

The question then is: Social Media Managers, when you get busy, where do you turn for help? Virtual Assistants! But, do you hire the services of a Virtual Assistant as an employee, or as a contractor? Consider this additional question, are you an employee of your small business client, or are you contractor?

For answers, I sought out the comments of Social Media Managers within Liz Benny’s “Social Media Monkey” closed page group. Their responses:

“Corpo-rats LOL love it ha-ha. Yes, def too harsh, she is not an employee, but a VA. So yeah, would not get rid of her, I would wish her a good recovery and then make contact again to move on together. You’ve got to be there for your team if you want them to be there for you!” — Federica Marchesini of MJ Social Party Ltd., based in Perth, and serving all of Australia.

Interesting approach. The SMM/VA relationship being less owner/employee and more of a team effort.

“That is tough. Sometimes life happens. Business owners forget that a VA is a contracted business owner – they are not an employee. Many VA’s can do lots of different tasks but they aren’t mind readers – two-way communication is the key.” — Sharon Baillie, speaking from first-hand knowledge as she operates both a social media agency Basically Social in New South Wales, Australia and a VA business Baillie Admin Services.

A virtual assistant (VA) handles daily clerical, scheduling, and technical portions of a business that need to be kept operating smoothly. Virtual assistants work remotely from locations of their own choosing, anywhere in the world.

“I agree with the third commenter in the initial post. I would make note and maybe consider this a potential warning sign, but also just proceed with caution going forward. I agree that these people are being overly harsh. If not three strikes before they’re out, I would hope for two! Things happen!” — Jacquelyn Gutc, of Magpie Media, serving the Detroit area and beyond.

Things happen. You have hired a human VA over a bot VA because you desire the human interaction, you want to set personal parameters based on how you operate your business and the services you offer, not factory default programming.

“I think they are being too hard on them. They are VA’s, they are not employees. My process when I hire a VA is this: I am very specific in the title of what the position is for and how much per hour. That helps eliminate people that are too expensive for my position. I hire one VA for each duty, so I don’t expect a VA to do everything. I am very specific with the description of background/experience I’m looking for and very detailed about the work and number of hours. I ask them to type a word, any word, like “apple” in the subject line to make sure they are reading everything. This eliminates 30-40% of people that respond.

I will usually look at 2-3 people I would hire and give them a short test to do something in the job description and then I judge how well they followed instructions, the quality of the work etc. When hired, I create a SOP or Standard Operating Procedure of the step by step job process. I also establish number of hours and when they will work those hours. If you do all of this, it helps you get a good fit. Things happen, so I would reach out and ask if everything is okay. I wouldn’t be harsh, and I would never ask for a doctor’s note. Just the way I work with VA’s.” Diane Leone of Leone Social, serving St. Augustine Beach, FL and beyond

And for a final word, an actual VA…….

“As a VA myself – I’m a business owner NOT an employee; if I was asked for a doctor’s note, that would be MY red flag to cut ties with that client. Having said that, I would let the client know if I wasn’t able to get their work done on schedule, I would reach out to another VA to help in the meantime until I was back on my feet. I have found that VA’s are a supportive group of people. You NEED to have emergency plans in place when you’re a business owner – not just a VA but for any business.

The only thing this person should be asking is if they are ok, and how long do they think they might be off for. If it’s an extended period then fine, look for another VA so you can meet your deadlines, but this illness may just be a one-off occurrence that just happens. Thank God, this guy is not a client of mine. His attitude is, quite frankly, appalling. Would he ask his accountant or lawyer for a doctor’s note? I’m betting he wouldn’t have the nerve. Pleased to see Anthony that you think these guys were being ‘unjustly’ harsh.”  Carolyn White, of Office Advantage, also serving Australia from New South Wales.

To be, or not to be a Virtual Assistant–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (harsh clients) … or…

What do you think?

Social Media Gone Wrong Kills Small Business

Standard

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Case in point, the new found “voice” of the people, using the power of social media to make their disapproval as “customers” powerfully effective by destroying an innocent woman’s life. Over the Oct. 14-16 weekend a firestorm was ignited on Facebook when the daughter of coffee shop owner Kato Mele on HER PERSONAL page expressed HER PERSONAL opinion that the Lynn Ma business would never host a ‘‘Coffee with a Cop’’ event.

{Coffee With A Cop is a nationwide project seeking to build trust between police departments and citizens that they serve.}

Being that she was Manager, many people incorrectly assumed that this was an ownership decision and rapid-fire comments and criticism flew, ending with her saying stupid, hateful, vicious things like police were “bullies and racists.”

Upset responders, some quite possibly hiding under the smokescreen of internet anonymity (bots & fake names) shot back with death threats, sexual taunts and un-called for boycotts of the White Rose Coffeehouse.

Just as social media can be a highly positive force for social engagement with customers of a small business, it can also be bastardized into a destructive virus attacking indiscriminately.

The people with the pitchforks insured the coffee shop’s painful death by attacking the small business.

According to an article in the Boston Globe:

They got into the cafe’s Facebook page, leaving hundreds of bad reviews to drive its five-star rating down. Mele’s daughter received rape threats. On Monday, the cafe was slammed with abusive callers, saying horrific things: They hoped Mele and her daughter are ruined, that they never work again, that her daughter drowns. An especially charming bunch of them, parroting a line from the hateful website that played on “coffee with a cop,” said they wanted to have coffee with a c-word.

Regular customers stayed away, whether by fear of attacks on them or because they were misled into believing it was company policy. Their lack of strong support helped nail the doors shut. Nobody apparently bothered to check the facts. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Had the protestors followed rule of law, that someone is innocent until proven guilty, they would have seen that the owner:

  1. ordered her daughter to take down the page,
  2. sent the police a personal apology,
  3. tagged the remarks as ‘‘distasteful, biased and hateful,’’
  4. invited officers to the shop for coffee as a sign they were indeed welcome,
  5. And— fired her daughter.

What Should/Could Be Done?

If an employee of your business was rude & crude to a customer, who then complained on social media, an acceptable response from your business would be an apology, a come back to our biz and we will comp your meal, or outright termination of the employee. And most customers would be satisfied.

Not in this case. Customer flow has trickled down to nothing and as of press time the owner is reported to have decided to close down, packing up perishable inventory for donations to a food shelter. Her dream turned into a nightmare.

And customers have had “their” place taken away by “non-customers.”  The power of social media gone wrong.

What could you do to avoid the damage? Advise employees that although they are free to express their opinions on their social media outlets, do not mention your business or represent an opinion to be representative of the business.

What could you do to contain the damage? Short of having a public relations team or a competent social media manager, depend on the good will, and support of your customers.

Word to the wise, continually build strong customer engagement with your customer base. They are your last, best defense on the social media battlefield.

{Note: Although the offending Facebook comments have been deleted, the Daily Mail managed to dig some up if you want to read what started the fireworks.}