Category Archives: social media

Should Virtual Office Users Do Social Media While Working?

TROY, MICH.—The proliferation of social media, and in particular, the blurring of personal and professional networks is causing unease among workers, with almost 30 percent globally, now believing it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work. But how does that apply to virtual office workers?

First, let’s look at the big picture. Workers express serious reservations about the spread of social media into work. Forty-three percent agree that it impacts adversely on productivity while 47 percent also express concern that mixing personal and professional connections through social media could lead to problems in the workplace. So says the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index.

Here are some additional findings from the survey:

  • 24% say it’s acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.
  • 12% have been told to stop using social media at work.
  • 30% are more inclined to search for jobs via social media than through traditional methods such as newspapers, online job boards and recruitment firms.

So, here’s the deal. A mere 12 percent have been told to stop using social media at work. But when you work in a virtual office environment, it’s less obvious what you are doing with your time. At the same time, some people have to use social media as part of their jobs, especially if they are in communications fields. Is quickly checking a personal message from your virtual office a big deal?

I think the key for the virtual office user is to stay focused, just like any other worker in any other environment. Ultimately, virtual office workers shouldn’t be checking personal social media accounts during work hours. But everyone gets breaks and lunch hours. The issue is that social media can be consuming and a few minutes can become an hour. So it goes back to the cardinal rule for virtual office users: discipline.

Get Virtual Office Empowerment in 2012

NEW YORK–Looking for the best deals on high-quality virtual office space? You could be missing out on virtual office bargains at prestigious virtual office locations New York, Los Angeles, Miami and other cities near you—if you aren’t a member of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ Facebook page.

(BTW, you can like our Facebook page by clicking here if you haven’t already!)

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has an active Facebook page that keeps you up to date on all the latest virtual office trends, coolest virtual office locations, and other relevant issues, like telecommuting, workshifting, distributed workforce, mobile and remote workers, and the list goes on.

A leader in smart offices, Davinci Virtual changes the way people work by empowering businesses with savvy, live receptionist services and sexy virtual office space. Yes, virtual office space can be sexy! Today’s business people—people like you—crave lifestyle balance and mobility without compromising financial success.

Davinci Virtual’s happiness-driven approach has launched the smart offices movement across the planet. And you can keep up to date on our latest offerings quickly and easily by linking or Facebook page. Think about it. You are just one click away from even more virtual office information empowerment!

Davinci Virtual’s Facebook page also gives you a glimpse of our corporate culture. We have fun events like “Ugly Sweater Day!” and our “Office Olympics.” You can get plenty of tips for building your own virtual office culture by watching how we roll!

OK, last chance… If you haven’t liked our Facebook page, do it now! Take part in our Facebook surveys, read out notes, tap into our Twitter feed and more.

Davinci Virtual Office Rocks YouTube

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ Salt Lake City headquarters is 696 miles away from the movie capital of the world—Hollywood. But just because it would take our staff more than 10 hours to drive there (without stopping) doesn’t mean we can’t bust out a little filmmaking action right here in Salt Lake City.

Don’t believe me? Well, have you checked out Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ YouTube channel? If not, what are you waiting for? There’s a growing library of quirky videos there that point out the challenges—and solutions—of virtual office users.

Our YouTube channel also gives you a taste of our virtual office culture with our version of the Amazing Race” blind taste test. You can laugh with us as one of our employees fails to taste the difference between a mango and a banana.

My personal favorite is watching Davinci Virtual CEO Bill Grodnick sharing his passion for empowering entrepreneurs with savvy, live receptionist services and sexy virtual office space in rather unique way. Bill is standing in front of a building that is being demolished and crying, “Get rid of your office and get a Davinci Virtual Office.”

You can also check out our virtual office garden party and our beautiful office women who break out in dance. See? Virtual offices are more fun. But if you need a virtual office space in Salt Lake City or in Hollywood—if you are all work and no play—we can help you with that too.

In the meantime, check out one of our videos from the comfort of this page:

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions Asks Three Simple Social Media Questions

Are you a fan of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions? We want to hear from you, and we’ve created a simple survey that we hope you’ll take a couple of quick minutes to answer.

You may or may not know that Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has a LinkedIn Group. It’s an open group—meaning it’s open for anyone to join—and it’s called “A Smarter Way to Work by Davinci Virtual.”

In our group, you’ll find all sorts of relevant discussions that could save you time and money. One of our most popular discussions, for example, asks the question: “If you could give a fellow entrepreneur 1 tip on how to be a successful leader, what would it be?”

We’ve also discussed concepts like telecommuting, the distributed workforce, video conferencing and collaboration tools, and other topics that are important to virtual office users and small business owners. Our LinkedIn Group even offers promotions, jobs, and a list of like-minded members that you might want to add to your network.

Although Davinci Virtual’s group is growing, we always want to stay true to the needs of our members and potential members. That’s why we developed the survey.

So what would you hope to gain through this LinkedIn Group? We’ve created a very short, three-question survey for members of A Smarter Way to Work by Davinci Virtual. We’ll use your feedback to help provide a great experience in our group. We appreciate your input!

Won’t you take a moment to take the survey? Not a member of A Smarter Way to Work by Davinci Virtual? Join today. It’s open and free and we’d welcome your perspectives.

Protecting Your Small Business From Smartphone Malware

Are you constantly on your mobile phone? If so, you have a 30 percent chance of getting malware on your device—malicious software that could be taking money out of your small business budget.

A new report from Lookout Mobile Security found that mobile malware has increased significantly, with Android users two-and-a-half times as likely to encounter malware today than just six months ago.

And you aren’t even safe in app stores. During the first half of 2011, the number of unique apps with malware found on markets and download sites grew from 80 to 400 apps.

Lookout estimates that between a half million and one million users were affected by mobile malware in the first half of 2011 alone. What’s more, three out of 10 mobile users likely to click on an unsafe link, including malicious and phishing links, over the course of a year.

Here’s a disturbing example of a new theat. GGTracker is the first known Android malware that specifically targets U.S.-based Android users. This malware signs users up for premium text message subscription services without their knowledge, charging $10 per service to a person’s phone bill. In some cases users were charged for multiple services with total charges ranging up to $50.

Also be on the look out for what’s called malvertising. Attackers employ this tactic whereby they use mobile ads to direct users to a malicious Web site that triggers an automatic download of malware.

“As mobile devices grow in popularity, so do the incentives for attackers,” says Kevin Mahaffey, CTO and co-founder of Lookout Mobile Security. “We’ve seen the prevalence and the level of sophistication of mobile malware attacks evolve significantly in the first six months of 2011. We expect this trend to continue as more and more people adopt mobile devices.”

So how does your small business protect itself from these attacks? Lookout offers several suggestions:

  • Only download apps from trusted sources, such as reputable app stores and download sites. Remember to look at the developer name, reviews, and star ratings.
  • After clicking on a web link, pay close attention to the address to make sure it matches the Web site it claimed to be.
  • Download a mobile security tool that scans every app you download for malware and spyware, and can help you locate a lost or stolen device. For extra protection, make sure your security app can also protect from unsafe Web sites.

Check out this video on how you can pick up malware on your smartphone over Wi-Fi:

Schedulicity Offers 7 Facebook Fan Page Tips

Looking for some social media tips for your small business? Schedulicity is coming to the rescue with some strategic advice, particularly for your Facebook fan page.

So whether you are a budding entrepreneur or an established small business owner still trying to make social media work for you, read on for some practical advice that will help you drive the results you need on Facebook.

1. Start Using Social Media Now

Schedulicity recommends that you don’t wait to begin using social media tools such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter. Instead, create your personal brand from the moment you consider starting a business. Having a solid online presence will allow professionals to:

  • Gain access to an audience that will read and comment on your social media content
  • Begin collecting and storing hundreds of e-mail addresses for e-mail marketing purposes
  • Listen to what’s happening professionally in communities
  • Monitor other competitor pages along with industry pages to stay abreast of current trends

2. Choose your Facebook fan page name wisely.

After your page collects more than 30 fans, you can’t change the name. You can choose something a little more generic with a keyword in it, like stylist or hair pro, along with your name, so it will remain relevant no matter what you might change your actual business name to.

3. Keep your personal page and business page very separate.

A professional Facebook business page will tell a prospective client that you’re a pro and can act like one. The types of posts that you put on your Facebook fan page are much different than what you would post to your friends.

4. Spotlight others on your Facebook business page.

Give credit to employees and clients. These people will in turn ‘like’ your page and share glowing review, a powerful resource when attracting new clients.

5. Let people know you’re socially connected.

Many businesses, big and small, know that they need a social media presence but they’re unsure how to get started. By already having that experience, you will have an advantage not only for your professional skills, but your social media skills, as well. Being an integral part of any business’ social media presence will ensure a lasting place within that business and a successful career.

6. Engage your audience.

In other words, make it sticky. Create an ‘interest list’ with all the different topics that may interest your target audience. Topics a business may want to consider are:

Talk about tradeshow events you’ll be attending (before, during and after).
Share lots of real-time photos on your Facebook business page.
Review something, such as products you carry, shows you watch, your new boots, anything that might interest your target audience.
Share videos, whether funny, informative, educational. Hint: About.com is a great resource for videos.
Act on impulses and share that info on your Facebook fan page.
Search for interesting topics on Twitter and share that with your fans.
Share business tips of the day or the week. Hint: Look for these by using the term ‘business tips’ on search.twitter.com.
Think two months down the road and prepare specials based on upcoming holidays.
Showcase your community. For example, let a local artist hang art in your business and take lots of photos or offer price-reduced services to all police, fire and emergency service professionals in your town.

7. Use social media as a platform to market yourself!

Use a professional Facebook page as an easy, attractive medium of communication to potential and current clients. But most importantly, make it super easy for them to schedule an appointment with you. After all, the main goal is to grow your business.

Check out this YouTube video for additional Facebook fan page tips:

Simple Tips for Launching Facebook Ads

Have you always wanted to try Facebook advertising but aren’t sure you want risk your limited marketing budget on a new vehicle? Need a few tips to get you started? Then read on.

First of all, if you use American Express then you undoubtedly rack up membership rewards. Now you can use them to pay for Facebook Ads.

American Express is tapping into a trend. The company’s research reveals that 35 percent of entrepreneurs are using Facebook to promote their business to new customers. That’s up from 27 percent six months ago. What’s more, Facebook is the most popular social media site for small business owners.

If you want to cash in on the deal, here’s how it works: Cardmembers can redeem Membership Rewards points for Facebook Ads in three steps either on Facebook.com/Open or membershiprewards.com.

1. Log in and Choose Your Amount: Access your Membership Rewards account and choose Facebook Ads denomination
2. Get Your Code: American Express sends unique Facebook redemption code via e-mail
3. Load Your Account: Create your ad and enter your Membership Rewards redemption code to pay.

Now, all you need is a few tips for launching Facebook ads:

  • Write a catch title. You only get 25 characters so think creatively.
  • Enter your URL. When people click on the ad, that’s where they will land.
  • Write a snappy message. You get 135 characters (a few less than Twitter).
  • Target your ad: Think about your core audience and use keywords that would likely relate to their profile.
  • Optimize your bidding: Facebook will suggest a bidding rate. You can get a good number of impressions for less than half of what they suggest.

For more Facebook ad tips, watch this YouTube video:

How to Jumpstart Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Looking to ramp up your social media marketing efforts? Then I’ve got good news for you. There’s a new online resource to help your small business get started with social media marketing—or improve your success on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media tools.

And wait … it gets better. These resources are absolutely free—and they come from a reputable source. Constant Contact is serving up what it has dubbed the Social Media Quickstarter, a step-by-step guide that offers small businesses a series of short tutorials to get up and running on the most popular social media networks. The guide offers actionable tips, best practices and case studies to inspire you and give you new ideas.

“While more and more small businesses are experimenting with social media, many are just getting started or are still sitting on the sidelines,” says Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact. “Most small businesses don’t need to be convinced to use social media, but they do need help in getting started, understanding the landscape, building their presence and putting best practices into action.”

Schmulen says the content in the Quickstarter is designed to be self-paced, with time-starved small business owners in mind. Users can choose what and how they want to learn, whether they have 10 minutes or an hour to spend.

Of course, Constant Contact didn’t just invest its time and money into creating the guide on a gut feeling—or because social media is popular. The company conducted a small business survey that proved the demand. Among those respondents not currently using social media marketing to promote their business, three of the top barriers to adoption cited were “I don’t have the resources to devote to it,” “I don’t know how to use social media,” and “I don’t know how to get started.”

The Social Media Quickstarter can be used in two ways. Small businesses new to social media can start from the beginning of the 70-plus educational chapters, while more savvy social media users can pick and choose what they want to learn about from the section headers.

“Social media can level the playing field for small businesses,” Schmulen says. “It’s not a tactic only reserved for mega-resourced big businesses. In many ways, small businesses have an advantage over larger companies—they are already masters at providing an excellent customer experience and naturally building lasting relationships.”

Why Your Small Business Should Tap Facebook Page Designs

Earlier this week, we looked at how small businesses are using social media marketing to raise awareness of their products and services. Now, let’s take a look at one strategic method of driving more fans to your Facebook page: Facebook page design.

By creating landing pages—pages that new fans land on when they first call up your Facebook fan page—you have the opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletters, buy your books, or take some other call to action.

“Internet users spend hours on Facebook to view their friends’ news feeds. By having Entrepreneur Package, business entrepreneurs can give an attractive look to their Facebook pages created for business purposes. A custom Facebook page design will allow them to get engaged with the visitors for long time thereby receiving higher traffic for their business,” says the owner of My Facebook Page Design.

My Facebook Page Design is one of a growing number of companies out there that offer packages for your small business. Those packages may include designing a welcome page with customized layout, designing options to upload video or flash movie, customizing a profile image or banner to put on your Facebook wall or other interactive tweeks to make the Facebook user experience more productive and covert more visitors to fans.

Also, check out this video on Facebook Page design tips:

Small Businesses Lean on Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is officially a top contending small business marketing tool. A whopping 73 percent of small businesses are using social media to market their business—and usage is trending upwards. So says a new study from Constant Contact.

What’s up with the 27 percent of small businesses that aren’t using social media to market their businesses? Well, they are beginning to open their eyes to these tools as well. Specifically, 62 percent expect to start using social media marketing in the coming year. What’s more, 81 percent of small businesses that are already using social media marketing plan to use it even more this year than they did last year.

“The value proposition that social media marketing offers to small business makes it a no brainer for time- and resource-starved small businesses. They simply need coaching and know-how to use those tools in the best way possible,” says Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “Our assessment of this data is that more education will only improve small businesses’ results with social media marketing.”

Facebook Reigns Supreme
Of the small businesses that are engaged in social media marketing, 80 percent have used the tools more in the past year. And, not surprisingly, Facebook is the most popular way to get their message out. Ninety-five percent of small businesses that use social media marketing are using Facebook compared to 63 percent a year ago. Eighty-two percent find it effective today compared to 51 percent a year ago.

While Facebook rules, though Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Vimeo are getting some action from small business marketers. But how effective is it? Forty-seven percent of small businesses using Twitter and LinkedIn find it effective while 73 percent of small businesses that use YouTube and Vimeo found these video options effective.

Mixing E-mail and Social Media
OK, so where does e-mail fit into this picture? Small businesses still turn to e-mail, Web sites and event marketing. Indeed, the Constant Contact survey results reveal that social media marketing complements rather than replaces other marketing activities. Despite the growth of social media, other marketing tools aren’t seeing any usage decline:

  • 91% of small businesses use e-mail marketing
  • 95% use Web site marketing
  • 77% use print advertising
  • 69% use online advertising
  • 53% use event marketing

In fact, respondents also reported that e-mail is the first—and most frequent—tool that small businesses turn to when trying to connect with current and prospective customers. Eighty-three percent report that e-mail is the first tool they check when going online for their business each day and 72 percent check their e-mail six or more times a day. By comparison, 13 percent check Facebook, 6 percent check news sites, and 4 percent check Twitter more than six times per day.

“We’ve seen our small business customers improve their results by integrating tools, such as e-mail marketing with social media marketing,” says Goodman. “Email is still the most obvious choice to make sure your message gets out, and social media puts that message in front of a wider audience. We like to say that email lights the fire, while social media fans the flames.”