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September 2013 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Is Your Business on the Path to Success in Social Media?

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, September 30, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Social Media Tips for your Business

Succeeding in social media marketing doesn't happen overnight. You get things right by going through a process of continuous planning and careful execution. Who is your target audience? How will you reach them? These are just a couple of questions you should ask when developing a strategy.
Most businesses today have a social media presence, but not all of them seem to be engaging enough with their followers. Engagement plays a big role in a successful social media marketing strategy. It draws the attention of your audience and makes loyal followers out of them.
Here are tips to a successful social media strategy for your business:
1. Decide on what your business wants to achieve on social media. Some businesses use social media for the purpose of gaining exposure for their brand by promoting their products and services. Others are also using social media to know what their customers think. No matter what your goal is, it should concentrate on how you can make your customers happy and keep them satisfied.
2. Choose someone who’s qualified to effectively implement and keep track of your brand's social media campaigns. While some large companies hire consultants, for small businesses, it is usually just one qualified employee, or the owner, who handles the brand's social media engagement.
3. Establish presence on all major social media platforms, especially the ones where your target audience is most active. Both large and small businesses should make use of Twitter for its usability. Google would be a good platform if you want the added benefit of boosting your website's search engine ranking. For B2B companies, LinkedIn would be a better choice as it is a more business-oriented platform and used mainly by professionals. Facebook and Pinterest would be useful for B2C firms. As much as possible, secure your brand name for main social media profiles. And don't forget to post your contact details as well as a link to your company website.
4. Not all of your followers are on social media at the same time so it's best to schedule your posts at different times of the day.
5. Post relevant and appropriate content for each social media platform. For visual platforms like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest, images are the most effective choices. Polls and text-only status updates also work well on Facebook.
6. One of the best ways to optimize your brand's presence on social media is to provide customer service. Always make sure to quickly respond to inquiries and complaints.
7. Facebook ads, sweepstakes, and online contests help grow your following, increase engagement, and attract potential customers.
8. Track and measure the results of your social media marketing efforts. This is important for you to know which methods and types of posts work and which don't.

Advantages of Outsourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, September 27, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News

Outsourcing has evolved over the years - from being a simple business solution to a complex process that will add value to a company.

Some executives still doubt outsourcing because of security issues and lack of information on how it actually works and how it can be integrated. There are also management challenges in additional employees or projects to monitor and work on by supervisors.

Chief information officers who are hesitant in outsourcing IT processes such as database management and infrastructure miss out on a lot of benefits. Some cases that involve IT outsourcing have proven that although crucial functions are outsourced, strategic power will remain with the client’s camp.

Top advantages of outsourcing

Here are the top advantages of outsourcing as posted at Business2Community.com:

• Reduce capital expenditures such as high staff costs.

• It will be easier to discuss liability issues since it will be included in third party contracts, rather than playing a game of hide and seek with the internal team.

• Data security will be taken more seriously as most IT service providers comply with stringent global standards.  

• Remote customer support is almost always available 24/7.

• There will be lower attrition rates and expenditures on training internal employees.

• IT outsourcing will enable business owners, specifically small and start-up ones, to maximize their budget and access highly skilled and competent experts from around the globe at relatively lower rates.

• Companies will be able to use or lease the latest technology. With a third party service provider, this can be achieved and can help in optimizing an operation.

• Business owners can have gridlocked service level agreements SLAs that can help guarantee a smooth operation.

• Maximize set budget by reducing service and labor costs.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Business

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Businesses today make use of social media to promote their products and services. Not only is it convenient and easy, social media is considered the most cost-efficient way to do marketing. From Twitter alone, big companies have already generated millions of sales and helped over a thousand customers. Being on social media allows businesses to give their consumers a voice, which in turn gives rise to ideas on how to improve products and services.

While brands like Procter & Gamble are spending millions on digital marketing, some companies are still unsure about jumping on the social media bandwagon. For them, online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are too personal and are not exactly where business executives and decision-makers spend most of their free time.

The truth is, business leaders actually spend time socializing with family and friends on social media platforms just as we would, but with the added intention of finding someone they could do business with.

Social media marketing benefits for businesses

Here’s a look at the benefits every business owner should consider in promoting their business online.

Establishes your credibility and expertise
By publishing content from your company’s subject matter experts in the form of webinars and articles, you are giving your consumers a chance to learn from the best.

Helps build a sense of trust through engagement
People are drawn to video tutorials, client stories, and company news because they like to know who they are building relationships with.

Increases traffic and attracts leads
Come up with a headline compelling enough for your viewers to click the link. Consistently posting relevant content captures people’s attention and helps build a loyal audience that will not only read your posts, but share them on their own pages as well.

Leads to huge cost savings
Bask in the convenience of conducting marketing campaigns practically free of cost. In addition to real-time insights, there are various social media marketing tools that allow you to launch, measure, and modify campaigns without having to go through laborious processes.

Reaches your target market
You can attract the right type of visitors and leads by creating relevant social content tailored for your target audience, using hashtags and filters, and making your content accessible via mobile.

Provides analytic tools
Social media provides data that helps you identify and respond to consumer behavior, as well as let you manage, analyze, and measure your marketing efforts.

Builds network
Social media helps expand your contact list to a diverse network of industry professionals who could be your future vendor, employee or referral.

Businesses are slowly building their social presence as the importance of a brand’s ability to be more "human" by interacting with consumers becomes more apparent. There is a great opportunity for B2B in social media now that customer engagement has replaced hard sell as the key to successful marketing. And with instant access to customer insights and new business relationships, what more can a B2B marketer ask for?


Social Media Solutions for SMBs

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, September 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

A post at BizReport.com recently shared some of the results of a survey done by Constant Contact, an online marketing company based in the US.

SMBs choosing to outsource marketing processes

It is a known fact that social media is one of today’s most powerful marketing tools. However, not all small businesses know or have the resources to apply it to their marketing campaigns. One of the latest and most effective solutions that are now being implemented by SMBs to address this challenge is outsourcing. The study showed that small and medium business owners are willing to have it done by external providers.

According to Christopher M. Litster, Senior Vice-president of sales and marketing at Constant Contact, small business are having trouble in following the latest trends and technologies such as Google Analytics, Facebook ads and mobile-optimized websites.

The report noted that while newsletters and email marketing processes are kept in-house, 40 percent of the SMBs said they outsource creation of radio/TV ads, while 20 percent outsource other online ad materials like banner ads. Moreover, 20 percent noted that social media is one of the processes that they would like to officially add to the list.

Meanwhile Constant Contact’s initial survey showed that 80 percent do their social media marketing in-house. However, majority of the survey respondents said social media is one of the marketing processes they need the most help with.

The report also found that 50 percent of SMBs would like to outsource SEO, 34 percent are thinking of outsourcing online banner ad creation, and 32 percent want to outsource graphic design or local print ads.

Social Media Mistakes You May be Making for Your Brand

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, September 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Common Mistakes Brands Make on Social Media

Social media is every netizen's outlet for sharing information about possibly anything under the sun. Big brands and small businesses alike are also working on reaping the benefits of social media to their businesses.
However, not all of us know how to use social media to our advantage. Take brands, for example. Most brands make the same mistakes on social media mainly because the concept of building an online presence is confusing to them.
Here's a look at seven of the biggest mistakes brands make on social networks and some tips – that are sometimes the most helpful – to boot.
1. Losing clicks: Post links to the same content multiple times.
One good example would be Guy Kawasaki's method when it comes to posting tweets. Some would advise against repeating tweets, but it appears that this approach isn't so bad after all. Guy points out that he repeats his tweets four times, eight hours apart because not all of his followers are online 24/7. This is actually a good strategy if your targeted audience is spread out on different time zones.
2. Using all the different tools available: Focus only on the necessary tools.
There are a lot of social media tools available to improve your marketing efforts. It would seem reasonable to use as many tools as you can for each has a different purpose. That wouldn't be wise, however. Using so many tools at the same time will impair your strategy because your focus is mostly on the tools and not on the results you're aiming for. The better option would be to choose just a couple of tools that actually help in the progress of your results.
3. Overwhelming surge of metrics: Choose the metrics that fit your objectives.
Metrics show us the results of our social media efforts. The biggest challenge is to know what you should measure. Determine which social media metrics are worth your time and are aligned with your goals and drop the rest.
4. Publishing posts as soon as you write them: Consider when to publish your posts.
There will always be an urge to publish an article immediately after writing it. Don't. Publishing your posts as soon as you've finished writing them is not a good idea as your audience may not be online at that time. The best thing to do would be to research on the best times for publishing content on each social network.
5. Using up the character limit: Less is more.
It's difficult to squeeze in everything we want to say on a channel with a character limit. On average, however, shorter posts garner more user engagement.
6. Overusing hashtags with less content: Use hashtags sparingly.
Using hashtags makes it easier for you to target your audience as well as to receive more engagement for your posts. Still, overusing them is an easy mistake to make. Choose which hashtags to use according to relevance and avoid using them in every update.
7. Communicating to the wrong people: Timing is everything.
Learn to optimize your posting strategy by testing when your target audience is online instead of ending up reaching the wrong people.

Ways to Effectively Manage Outsourced Employees

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Matt Cooper, Vice-president of international and enterprise at Odesk, was recently spotted at the Startup Spring Festival in Sydney called "Everything you Thought you Knew About Hiring but don’t". The event was coordinated by StartUpAUS. StartupSmart, one of the leading start-up business consultancy firms, interviewed Cooper and excerpts were posted and discussed at StartupSmart.com.au.

According to Cooper, managing a team locally or internally is very different from managing a team offshore. He explained that supervisors need to improve their communication skills and they would have to collaborate with their team even more.

With the mounting competition worldwide, finding the right person for the job has become a testing task. Cooper cited the projection of PwC and Google that in 20 years, Australia will have 5600 tech start-ups which will definitely lead to talent shortage.

Ways to improve relationships with outsourced employees

Cooper shared four ways that can help improve operations and relationships offshore:

1) Be smart when sourcing candidates.
When hiring, managers should look beyond the job title and focus on the people. Sometimes, they are fixated on getting the job done quickly without looking at other options. For instance, you are having a hard time hiring the right professional at the right price, so you quickly jump on the slightly less expensive option that comes along.  What you can do is hire amateurs who have the core skills that your company needs and build it as your project progresses.

2) Consider multi-sourcing.

Cooper noted that depending on the needs of your business, having multiple outsourcing service providers can be beneficial as it can address specific needs of certain processes. Also, it can make the schedules and rotation of workers easier.

3) Properly disseminate information to your core staff.

Always keep your core staff in the loop. This helps in creating a seamless process within your organization. Also, if your employees know that you are looking for new/additional employees for a certain position, they might know someone who is right for the job - therefore making your job easier.

4) Know the hiring trends in your industry.
With the very vague outlook of economies worldwide, no one can ever be sure about their employees and no business is safe from experiencing a high attrition rate. A good way to prevent major setbacks caused by employees leaving your company and having vacant positions that could disrupt business operations is to keep your talent pool full always and properly store the contact details of exceptional professionals you’ve met along the way. They can be very useful in the future.

21st Century Customer Service

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Big brands today stay connected with their customers through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Gone are the days when people would call companies to complain about a product or service. Now, all you need to do is get on your smartphone or computer for your tirade about how great or horrible a product or service is.

On Twitter, for instance, all a customer has to do is reduce what he has to say in 140 characters or less, and then tag the brand's Twitter handle. That is why many, if not all, companies are now monitoring online conversations - to provide customer service in a much quicker way.

How to improve customer service on social media

Here are 10 tips that will help improve your customer service on social media:

  1. Research, and then select the top three channels your customers are on, including users from your target market.
  2. Select the tools with which you can monitor social conversations.
  3. Take note of the words used with mentions of your brand.
  4. Train your social customer service team to make quick decisions and give them the tools they need to engage with customers.
  5. Make use of other channels for communications as not everything, especially sensitive issues, can be resolved online.
  6. Decide how you will prioritize queries. Will it be by the degree of influence, urgency or on a first-come-first-serve basis?
  7. Use automated responses intelligently. Give careful consideration on who should be answering your customers' questions.
  8. Make sure to lessen your response time. Do not keep your customers waiting.
  9. Know when to enter a conversation about your brand.
  10. Utilize data collected through social media monitoring tools to gain customer insights.Companies that handle customer service queries via social media are likely to have a loyal fan base, which increases the chance of getting recommended to others.


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