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Spring Tweet Cleaning & Wipe Your Face(book)

Posted 05-17-2009 at 02:19 PM by JKVirtualOffice
I know that so many Virtual Assistants are now using Social Media and Social Networking to increase their own online visibility and connect with potential clients. I also know that more and more Virtual Assistants are assisting their clients with Social Media related tasks. As with any medium that you are using to market yourself or for your clients, there is always a need to stop every once and a while to evaluate or re-evaluate what you are doing, its effectiveness and how you might be more innovative with your current social media strategy.

So let's consider some ways you can clean-up or freshen up your social media and social networking accounts.

[IMG]http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp10/jkvirtualoffice/5_Web.jpg[/IMG][B][COLOR=darkred]Twitter[/COLOR][/B]

[COLOR=darkred]~Your Following and Your Followers[/COLOR]
Have you checked lately who are following that is now not following you? Is it time to reciprocate that non-follow by giving that Tweeter the boot? Granted, there are some folks out there worth following who do not also follow back. But it's certainly worth a check of who you are following that's now not following back. Unfortunately, there are spammer people out there who will do mass follows and then do mass unfollows simply because they like to collect followers and increase their following numbers. I use [COLOR=darkred][URL="http://friendorfollow.com/"]Friend or Follow[/URL][/COLOR] as an easy way to take a look at who I'm following that's not following back.

[COLOR=darkred]~Find some new people to follow[/COLOR]
There are several good ways to do this. You can use [URL="http://twitter.grader.com/"]Twitter Grader[/URL], which, as long as you following them, they will work to list recommendations of people you can follow.
You can also use some of the Twitter directories out there to search for key people you want to follow. Among them are [URL="http://wefollow.com"]WeFollow[/URL], [URL="http://twibs.com/"]Twibs[/URL], and [URL="http://twellow.com"]Twellow[/URL]. (Of course, it's also a good idea to list yourself in these directories if you have not already done so.)
Another good way to find a variety of active tweeting folks to follow is to watch your twitter stream...when you see someone who you already follow and who you find to be a quality twitterer, then go to their profile page and see who they are replying to. Check out those folks they are replying to.

Other Spring Clean up twips for your Twitter Account are:
~Upload a new background or avatar
~Freshen up your profile description
~Find new & interesting items to tweet
~Set up some tweets to go out in Tweetlater so your Twitter account remains fresh even when you don't have time to tweet.

[IMG]http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp10/jkvirtualoffice/facebook_web.jpg[/IMG]
[B][COLOR=darkred]Facebook[/COLOR][/B]

[COLOR=darkred]~Consider How You Use Facebook[/COLOR]
Many people struggle with how to use Facebook for their personal use and professional use. If you haven't already thought this through, then now is the time to do so. First, review and understand the privacy settings for your personal profile. This is key if you post both personal and professional items on your profile. I believe this is especially important when it comes to other people's ability to either view or tag your photos or videos. Also, be sure take advantage of segmenting your "friends" into various lists so that you can quickly and easy include or exclude folks from certain updates or information as well as being able to see the updates or links easily of those you consider to family/personal friends or those who professional acquaintances as not everything they post will show up in your newstream and you want to be sure you don't miss out on something important that a professional contact might have posted.

Also, feel free to delete any "friends" from your account if you no longer want that person to have access to your profile. Throw out social norms and conventions- if they annoy you or otherwise offend you, then "buh-bye" is a perfectly reasonable option. They do not receive a notice that you have unfriended them. Perhaps being "friends" with them is no longer relevant for you. You can also choose to "hide" them from your newstream instead of unfriending them. This means you can still be friends with but they are no longer sucking up valuable real estate in your newstream with useless, self-promoting junk that you are not interested in.

[COLOR=darkred]Secondly, make sure you are using the status updates to your advantage.[/COLOR] Many people will have all of their tweets post as status messages. Consider this option carefully. If you are a prolific tweeter, people may tire of seeing you in their newstream constantly- especially if you are responding to other Twitterers and those tweets won't make any sense to people who see them on Facebook. I use selective Twitter update application. Once you install this, then you gain control over which tweets post to your Facebook profile simply by adding #fb at the end of your tweet. Another benefit of this is that when your status update posts to Facebook, then your Twitter ID is posted as a link, so people can then click through to your Twitter account.

[COLOR=darkred]~Set up your business fan page![/COLOR]
I cannot stress enough how beneficial these pages can be for your overall marketing strategy. Set up a page with good content, be sure to include keywords in the title of your page and be inventive! Create special tabs where people can find specific information about you or your business or special offers. Keep the content fresh. Post a status update either daily or once a week. Encourage participation or discussion. Granted, these are all things I've been woefully poor at doing for my own page, but that's probably because I'm busy doing them for my clients! Also, don't forget to publicize the heck out of your page. Ask people to join, ask your friend to ask their friends to join...etc, etc, etc.

[COLOR=darkred]~Make comments or click the "like" link on other people posts or status updates. [/COLOR]
This increase your visibility to all of that person's friends and is an easy way to stay connected with others.

So there you have it. My tips for freshening up or cleaning up Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you are thinking you need to take a spring break from social media for awhile, then go ahead. Another Social Media VA that I know recently "killed" her whole Twitter account because she felt she was spending too much time with it. A bit extreme perhaps, but admirable if it's what she needed to do.

Tweet ya later!
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If You're New to Twitter....

Posted 01-08-2009 at 01:20 AM by JKVirtualOffice
I am happy to see so many of us on Twitter and so many more Virtual Assistants joining daily. Twitter really is a great platform for networking vitually and quickly becoming a must have tool in the toolbox for Virtual Assistants.

However, there are a couple of things that I wanted to mention which are really important when you set up your Twitter profile.

1. Upload an avatar. People are hesitant to follow other Twitterers who have the stock brown/blue Twitter avatar.

2. Do not lock your updates. This will also keep people from following you and one of the key points to Twitter is to increase your sphere of influence by increasing the number of people who are interested in following you.

3. List your real name. Your Twitter ID can be whatever you want it to be (although I recommend using something that is close to your business name or otherwise indicates what you do). But I recommend that you list your real name in the name area on your profile. As a business person, people want to know that who they are dealing with. Think about your other profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and others. You post your real name there so it just makes sense that you list it on there.

4. List an interesting and professional bio. People DO read these and often a Twitterer's bio will play a big part in someone choosing to follow you.

And finally, I leave with [URL="http://mashable.com/2009/01/06/twitter-follow-fail/"]this post[/URL] from Mashable about some of the "types" of Twitterers that don't get followed so we can all avoid some of these pitfalls.
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Have You Used Your TwitWall Yet?

Posted 12-20-2008 at 06:48 PM by JKVirtualOffice
[URL="http://twitwall.com"]TwitWall[/URL] is something everyone who has a Twitter account automatically has access to. It is like a blogging feature that for your Twitter Account. You can write posts, add video or pictures and once you post it to your [URL="http://twitwall.com"]Twitwall[/URL], it will automatically tweet the post for you. There's also a button that other people can click on if they want to re-tweet your post.

The other thing I really like about about Twitwall is over in your profile area it lists your twitter bio, your twitter grade (as determined by Hubspot) and you can post links to all your social media profiles and your website or blog. I've posted to my Twitwall a couple of times and you take a peek [URL="http://twitwall.com/view/?who=jkvirtualoffice"][COLOR="DarkRed"][B]HERE[/B][/COLOR][/URL] if you're interested in what I've posted on my Twitwall.

Twitwall is yet another great way to be seen and to connect with your followers and target audience. It's an easy tool to use and the guy who runs the site is great and frequently tweets about new posts. Take a look at this image from my Twitwall:

[COLOR="DarkRed"][URL="http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp10/jkvirtualoffice/jkvirtualoffice_twitwall-1.jpg"]http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp10/jkvirtualoffice/jkvirtualoffice_twitwall-1.jpg[/URL][/COLOR]

If look down at the bottom of the picture you'll see that today, he has chosen to give love to Virtual Assistants who are using Twitwall. (That's me in the bottom right corner.) This means that essentially, for people who log in to use Twitwall today, they will have the opportunity to see links to my and some fellow Virtual Assistants TwitWalls and Twitter profiles. These are the kinds of opportunities that can happen at anytime and are all the more reason why you should take advantage of easy tools like this one to increase your online visibility.

Here's an easy recommendation: The blog posts that you write here...copy them and go paste them to your Twitwall. Get maximum exposure out of your posts. Include in your twitwall post that they can see the original post here on the forums and then include a link to your VA Forum profile. The more people can see you are interactive online and with your industry's community, the more you instill confidence in potential clients that you are a legitimate and professional Virtual Assistant.

Get started today. Set up your Twitwall profile and post a little something. Let me know when you've done so and I'll go re-tweet it to all my followers!
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Can I Share My Winter Woes?

Posted 12-17-2008 at 05:49 PM by JKVirtualOffice
This has been a crazy week...the snow, ice and freezing temps have kept the schools closed all week so far and the rumor is that they'll probably stay closed for the rest of the week. I don't mind having my son home so much, but I typically use the time he's in school to get a good chunk of my work done for the day without interruptions- and I feel guilty letting him just sit and play video games too much during the day. He also has a head cold so going outside to play hasn't been at the top of my list of things to do.

On top of that, we had no power on Monday for 6 1/2 hours while it was about 20 degrees out AND our Christmas tree fell over (again!) yesterday with ornaments flying everywhere and water pouring out of the tree holder. So, my husband took it outside last night and wrangled with it for a good hour to get it more stable...which it now is, but the hour of wrangling took it's toll on the poor tree which now looks like what I've termed "The Worst Christmas Tree Ever." So far only the lights are back on the tree as I haven't had the energy to tackle redecorating the tree for the third time. As of yet, there are no presents under the tree since the carpet is still damp from all the water that's spilled there (not that the presents are even wrapped yet!).

While I was trying to vacuum up all the pine needles, I discovered the vacuum was now clogged and so I began to wrestle with that thing on the kitchen floor with more dirt, dust and pine needles rapidly taking over the kitchen floor. Eventually, I had to employ the help of my husband and a coat hanger. He's home today because we have about 5 inches of snow on the ground. And it's a good thing he is home, because right after the great vacuum fiasco, I discovered that we did not have water. Turns out the outside faucet pipe froze and broke and the only way to stop the gushing water, was to turn off the water pump. Now, my poor husband has had to trek out on our snowy and ice covered roads to the hardware store for something to fix the pipe and the faucet so we can have water again. Otherwise, we are probably headed over the in-laws for the night!

Surprisingly, I'm actually finding this all rather comical- at least now anyway. :gigglebox: Yesterday was another matter as I lie under the newly-toppled Christmas tree yelling words that I know my 5 year old should not be hearing. Today, it just seems like something out of Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation- only without the crazy relatives, at least the weather has kept them from showing up.

I hope everyone else is having a more uneventful holiday/winter season than I am, but just in case you are bored and need a little excitement, head on over to our house, where the fun just never seems to end.
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Twitter Tips for Virtual Assistants

Posted 12-14-2008 at 01:13 AM by JKVirtualOffice
So I just created a thread [URL="http://www.virtualassistantforums.com/social-networking/guides-using-twitter-6623#post56636"][B][COLOR="DarkRed"]HERE[/COLOR][/B][/URL] in the Social Networking area with some links to different Twitter resources to help you get started with using Twitter and with getting familiar with how Twittering works. But I thought I would use the wonderful new blog feature to write some more specifics about how Virtual Assistants can use Twitter not only for their own marketing and networking purposes, but as members of the larger Virtual Assistant industry.

I've only been using twitter for a couple of months and I will freely admit that I'm thoroughly addicted. When I get up in the morning, I check my email first and then moments later, I log into twitter. All this usually happens before I've had coffee or breakfast...(and embarrassingly sometimes even before I've made breakfast for my son. Shhh, don't tell anyone!)

In using Twitter I have:

1) received a referral from someone who saw me tweeting and referred me to a colleague

2) had two people contact me directly about working with me. One of whom will be signing on in January.

3) been asked to join a fellow twitter's online networking group.

4) been able to "converse" directly with experts in many industries who I might otherwise not have ever come into contact with.

5) commented on a fellow tweeter's blog about how a virtual assistant could help with the topic he was writing about and he went back and edited his post to include a link to my website.

6) been asked by a fellow twitter to comment on their new twitter related site and in return they placed a link to my twitter profile on the site.

7) received 50 free flyers printed by a graphic artist/printer on twitter because I responded to their post first. She later became a resource for me to get some business cards and letterhead printed for a client- who loved them!

[COLOR="Black"][B]Here are some tips for how I believe Virtual Assistants can effectively use Twitter:[/B][/COLOR]
[LIST]
[COLOR="Black"][*]Interact with other Virtual Assistants that you either know from other places or that you do not know at all. This not only provides you with good networking, but you also gain insight into how other VAs are using twitter.[/COLOR]
[*]Tweet about Virtual Assistant industry. This shows you are knowledgeable about your industry and that you are "in touch" with your profession and industry.

[COLOR="Black"][*]Occasionally tweet that you are a Virtual Assistant and how you can help. Do this sparingly as people are rather adverse to blatant, constant, in your face marketing. Twitter should mostly be seen as a tool for creating connections and relationships.[/COLOR]
[*]Tweet intelligently and professionally but also as a person. Let your personality show but keep in mind that people will be watching your tweets to gage what kind of person you are and how knowledgeable you seem. People will easily be thinking, "Is this someone that I can see myself working with?" "Can this person bring value to me and represent me in professional way?" However, keep in mind, that people also want to see the human side of you and who you are as a person.

[COLOR="Black"][*]Use the "Search" feature at the bottom of the page to search for the terms "Virtual Assistant" or "Virtual Assistance" at least once a day. Read these tweets to see what people are saying about VAs and also to look for people who may be tweeting about needing a Virtual Assistant. You can also search for other terms as well. And if you're really serious about it, you can add that search term to your RSS feed reader and get notification in your feed reader everytime that term gets mentioned. There are also other applications out there that will help you track keywords or specific terms as they get tweeted- which I'll post more about later on.[/COLOR]
[*]Post your twitter ID everywhere you can think of putting it without looking thoroughly obnoxious about it. I post mine at the bottom of comments I write on blogs. I've posted it on the Wall of several Facebook groups that I joined. I put it on my personal and business facebook page. It's on the front page of my website and it's on my blog. The key is get people to follow you. This increases the audience to which you are tweeting- all of whom can be potential clients, leads or referrals. After only a couple of months, I have almost 650 people following me. Guy Kawaski said it best on his blog...there are two kinds of twitters- those who want more followers and those who lie. True 'dat!

[COLOR="Black"][*]Respond to other people's tweets with a good, quality response. People love to be acknowledged for their tweets, it gets you "seen" and possibly remembered by that person.[/COLOR]
[*]ReTweet other people's tweets. If you see a tweet that you like, think is good, or simply want to pass on, then Retweet it. People really appreciate it when you Retweet their tweets. And hopefully, they will do it in return for you- this means that one tweet could not only be seen by all of your followers but also by all of that other person's followers and so on.

[COLOR="Black"][*]Post good quality links to pages or items that you think people following you will be interested in. This helps people to see you as knowledgeable and as an information resource. I have several terms set up on Google Alerts and I'll go in about once day and post several social media links since so many on Twitter are into the most current and relevant social media links. This has gotten me several Retweets. I also make sure that my last tweet of the day is one that includes a good link to something newsworthy or interesting. This is a good thing to do because when people first go to look at your profile they are going to see your last tweet first and in the biggest and boldest font. You want to leave a good first impression until you are able to come back to twitter.[/COLOR]
[*]Speak highly of the other Virtual Assistants you "tweet" with. Give them shout-outs in your tweets. This helps create the impression that Virtual Assistants are a unified industry who supports one another- something that I personally think is very important.

[COLOR="Black"][*]Check your @replies frequently and tried to respond to each one. Not only is this a courteous thing to do, but have some "conversation" with others on twitter provides others with the impression that you are using twitter for more than just a marketing tool but also as a means to actually interact with others. It's not really advisable to carry on a several tweet conversation with someone though as many of your followers may only see your side of the conversation which makes your tweets not all that interesting to them. You can always take direct tweeting to the Direct Messages feature.[/COLOR]
[*]Do not sign up to send an auto response Direct Message (DM) to new followers. Most people hate this as it is rather impersonal. And especially don't use it send an auto generated Direct Message with a link to your website or blog. This is considered to be spammy and off-putting.[/LIST]
Okay, I think that's about it for now. I'm planning a follow up post to this one with some twitter resources, tools and helpful sites that I use for my twittering. Please Feel free to add how you use twitter as a Virtual Assistant or to ask me any questions about using twitter in the comments area.

[IMG]http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp10/jkvirtualoffice/twitter.png[/IMG]
[B][SIZE="2"]
Happy Twittering and Come Follow Me![/SIZE][/B]
[URL="http://twitter.com/jkvirtualoffice"][B][COLOR="DarkRed"][SIZE="2"]@jkvirtualoffice[/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/URL]
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