All posts tagged technology

Tech Tip: Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Video calls are the new “normal” for meetings. You most likely have participated in one, whether for your job, an organization you’re involved with, or with your friends or family. Most days, you may even have multiple calls.

While you may not see the other attendees in person, there are still some important steps to take on calls to be professional and considerate of others:

  • Get ready. Become familiar with the software and be prepared a few minutes before the meeting begins, to prevent any technology issues and to keep people from waiting on you.
  • Have a good microphone. Make sure you have a mic ready and that it is picking up your voice loud enough. If you don’t have one built-in to your computer or if it doesn’t work well, a headset with a mic works great.
  • Mute your audio. If you’re not the one talking, press the mute button. Your mic can pick up different sounds and feedback, which can be distracting while others are talking.
  • Have good lighting. Don’t sit in front of windows—they can create a glow behind you—and make sure you have enough light in front of you to see your face. 
  • Limit background distractions. There are many things you can’t control, like pets or children, but try to choose a meeting spot that doesn’t have movement or objects in the background that could be distracting.
  • Avoid unnecessary movement. Just like if you are in a meeting in person, try not to eat (especially avoid chewing loudly) or walk around.
  • Pay attention to your facial expressions. If you look distracted or bored, people will notice. Do your best to pay attention and smile!

We discuss this topic and more at our monthly Tech Talks. Find information about our future event at

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s May 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Tech Tip: Documenting Your Social Media Strategy

Social media can be overwhelming, especially for businesses and organizations who have a million other tasks to do. Creating a strategy can help keep you organized and consistent with your social media.

A strategy shouldn’t just be in your mind or spoken—it should be written down. Especially if others within your workplace are posting, too. At our February Tech Talk, we discussed some things that should be included in your written strategy:

  • Audience & Platforms: Who is your audience and what platform are they active on? Don’t waste your time posting on one platform, such as Instagram, if most of your followers are on another, like Facebook.
  • Your Why: Each time you post, think “why am I posting this?” Is it to promote an event, share exciting news, engage your audience in an exciting way, or collect information? Make a list in your social media strategy of all the reasons you share content on social media.
  • Tone & Language: What kind of feeling do you want your posts to portray? Do you have more of a fun tone? Or maybe more serious and professional? This is important to decide and communicate before sharing a variety of posts.
  • Who & When: If more than one person posts on behalf of your business, decide who posts certain content and when it gets published. Communication is key, so too many posts aren’t going out at once and two people aren’t sharing similar content.

We invite you to join us at our next Tech Talk on Friday, March 20, at 8 a.m. at the Venango Chamber. We’ll be discussing Facebook and Instagram advertising.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s March 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Tech Tip: Interaction & Engagement

You’ve set up your social media pages, created a variety of content, and figured out a schedule for posting. You may think you’re finished, but don’t forget about one of the most important parts of having a business page on social media—interaction.

Rather than posting and forgetting about it, you need to continue engaging with your audience. At our Tech Talk in January, we discussed ways you can do this, including:

  • Ask questions: Get your followers to interact with your posts by asking questions such as: “What is your favorite book?” or “How would you cook this ingredient?” Try to keep the questions related to your business.
  • Encourage comments: People love to share opinions or ideas. Have fun and ask them to comment with a photo of a pet, favorite emoji, or gif. This can also be helpful when you are deciding on a new product—have customers comment their ideas.
  • Reply: If you ask a question or encourage a comment, you need to respond back in some way. You can simply like their comment or reply and have a conversation.
  • Share posts: People also love to see their posts shared by businesses. If someone leaves a review or posts a photo of your product, make sure to acknowledge them. You can like, comment, or share it on your own page.
  • Follow other businesses: It’s also important to interact with other businesses online, especially those you work with or are located near you. Follow their page as your business page (contact the Chamber if you need tips for doing this), interact with their posts, and tag them in your own posts.

Social media is more than just sharing information with your followers—it’s a two-way conversation that can allow you to interact with your customers and build relationships.

We invite you to join us at our next Tech Talk on Friday, February 21, at 8 a.m. at the Venango Chamber. We’ll be discussing how to create and document a strategy for posting on social media.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Gaining Advice & Strategies at Monthly Tech Talks

With so much required of a business owner, it can be easy to put marketing at the bottom of the list. Between paying bills, training employees, working with vendors, and the everyday operations of a business, who has time to update a website and post on social media?

Marketing, however, plays a huge role in attracting customers and building relationships. Without marketing, how are people going to get to know you and learn about what you have to offer?

In February, we began a series of “Tech Talks,” to bring members together to discuss strategies for marketing their businesses and organizations. The idea was brought to us by Jessica and Saxon with Child Development Centers Inc.

“As we were working on growing our organization’s marketing, we needed a way to brainstorm with other advanced users and to get new ideas,” said Saxon.

“Each month, we leave with new strategies and a better understanding of marketing, and we are also able to learn more about other businesses and organizations in our region,” said Jessica.

Natalie Cubbon with the Oil Region Library Association (ORLA) has been a regular at the monthly Tech Talks and has been applying what she’s learned to her organization.

“Tech Talks at the Chamber allow me to grow as a digital content creator & social media marketer,” Natalie said. “Being able to learn from other businesses and organizations is so valuable and has been a great opportunity to form connections within our community.

Tech Talk topics have ranged from photography and videography, to online crisis management and analytics and measurement.

Our next Tech Talk will be Friday, December 20, and the topic will be “Instagram and Facebook Stories.” The Tech Talks are held on the third Friday of each month from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Chamber Office (24 Seneca Street, Oil City).

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Tech Tip: Incorporating Video Into Your Marketing

Since the first traditional television commercials more than 75 years ago, video has been a tool used by businesses to engage their audience. Today, we have channels like Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat, but many of the same concepts apply.

Videos are more personal and convenient for consumers. Whether it’s a behind the scenes tour, interviews, tutorials, or a story, video is a good choice when trying to sell a product or service.

There are many options for equipment—cameras, mics, tripods, lighting equipment, etc—but to start shooting video you really only need one device—your phone. Some important factors when shooting include:

  • Good lighting
  • Simple background
  • Limited background noise
  • Keep it short
  • Hold the phone horizontally

When conducting video interviews, also remember to make the interviewee comfortable, have consistent framing, have the person repeat the question when answering, and have them look to the side of the camera, not directly at it.

Gathering b-roll is also important, which is various shots of scenery, groups of people, buildings, and similar items. It’s always better to get more footage than you need, which can be cut down later.

Including video in your marketing can be intimidating, but start small, get inspiration from others, and follow these easy tips, and you’ll be a pro in no time!

We discussed videography at our Tech Talk in April. Tech Talks are on the third Friday of each month from 8-9 a.m. at the Chamber.