All posts tagged venango tech talk

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: Utilizing Instagram and Facebook Stories

Social media is an important part of modern business, but when and what to post on a business’ social media platform can be confusing. Instagram and Facebook stories are yet another feature of social media. Stories are short video clips and images that appear at the top of an app’s newsfeed and are only available for 24 hours. How can a business apply these new features of social media to further their businesses?

Stories are seen as a way to grow business and engage clients. Embed Social, a company that works to optimize social media use, presents interesting statistics on how the use of social media stories are impactful. Current stories are seen by more than 500 million users, which help to quantify how users are adapting to these new features of the social networking sites. The trend does not seem to be short lived; it is projected to grow in the coming years.

The use of Instagram and Facebook stories also poses a positive trend for data collection. Stories allow for questions, polls, and quizzes to easily be sent out directly to consumers. The specificity of stories allows organizations to see who watched their stories and how they reacted. For example, social media enables the company to address how their customers swipe through and share the business’ stories, which is helpful as a business tracks engagement.

Adding a bit of fun and whimsy to a company’s Instagram or Facebook story is helpful in customer brand relationships. A more personal touch may be unplanned but can further the brand of an organization.

It should still be within the realm of the business’ values. For example, when the Oil City Warehouse Mall posts a story about their vendors it strengthens the brand with extra information and personality about the organization.

Using Instagram and Facebook stories to further a business is an increasingly important part of any company, using the insights and branding tools that Instagram and Facebook stories facilitate are a great way to do this. Join us on January 17th at 8 a.m. for our next Tech Talk on “Interacting Online.”

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

Tech Tip: Branding

Nike, Walmart and Amazon are all brands that are well known, but how did they get there? What makes a brand known internationally, nationally, or regionally? A general definition of branding is: “the customer’s overall perception of the business.” This is a good definition, but branding can be broken down to smaller categories so it can be better understood for individual businesses.

Understanding your target audience is will help form and focus your brand. If the audience is too large and tries to hit too many categories the message of an organization can become muddled. Knowing who you want your brand to focus on will help to keep the work relevant and draw the appropriate audience to that brand.

Consistency is another necessary part of good branding. Maintaining a consistent voice, look, and product aids in any company’s branding success. While it is okay to make small changes to serve certain campaigns, make sure to maintain the brand by keeping the standard themes and only making small changes. Keeping a consistent feel throughout the many aspects of a business will aid the public’s understanding of what a brand is trying to do.

We discussed branding at our Tech Talk in June, and we invite you to join us on July 19 when we will discuss Photography Tools & Tips. Tech Talks are on the third Friday of each month from 8-9 a.m. at the Chamber.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s July 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.