Ways Your Business Can Build a Virtual Community during the Pandemic

Virtual Community Can Help Your Business Thrive

The power of technology helps us stay connected in unprecedented ways. For almost two decades, the internet has helped human beings stay in contact from all over the world. The rise of social media has revolutionized the way we socialize, receive, and process information. Needless to say, the digital age is constantly evolving. The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has caused an increase in technological use. With more brick-and-mortar businesses shutting down and employees turning to their computers as their primary source of income, how we interact online has become more important than ever before. It’s important that businesses of all kinds sustain a nurturing and successful virtual community. A virtual community impacts employees and customers. Zoom is the most common online meeting tool. From universities to telehealth, online meetings, appointments, and festivities have become the norm. We gathered three fun and easy ways to build a virtual community during these times. If there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s that we’re in this together.

Host a Virtual Party or Gala

What better way to safely connect with new and potential customers than to safely P-A-R-T-Y? Online parties or galas are a great way to promote your message and make your loyal following feel included. Consider making your party Members or Subscribers only. Start with the founder or CEO expressing words of gratitude. This is a great way to support and thank your following. With Zoom, you can even create breakout rooms so Members can get to know one another without the pressure of speaking in front of everyone.

Host a Live Q&A with Customers

COVID-19 has led to a surge in educational content across all industries. Now that most people are working from home, many individuals are considering a career change or at the very least learning a new skill. Why not host a monthly Q&A with your clients and/or following? You can use this time to connect with followers and answer whatever questions or concerns they may have about your services. It’s also a great way to give company updates, promote new offerings, etc. Live Q&As via Zoom are great for social media. Remember that video marketing is taking the world by storm. These sessions can help you stay ahead of the game!

Hold Monthly Online Cocktail Hours with Employees

Don’t forget about your team! Build a virtual community for your faithful and hardworking employees, they deserve some fun too. Why not host a virtual monthly meetup/cocktail hour with your team? These private meetings are a great to let off some steam and check-in with how your team is adjusting to the new normal. If you are the founder or CEO, be sure to take some time for yourself. Self-care is a necessary component in upholding a positive virtual community.






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Top Working From Home Tips

Are You Up to Date on the Best Working From Home Tips and Strategies?

The global spread of COVID-19 is keeping people indoors. According to the CDC, basic hygiene practices and social distancing measures can help lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus. The duration and impact of the virus has impacted the workplace indefinitely. More and more workers are conducting their business from home. While remote working and learning has its advantages, long term social isolation presents new challenges for employees and business owners. Perhaps working at home is taxing on your personality, or you’re struggling to balance family and work life in these times. The good news is there are many things you can do at home to keep you inspired and energized. The world may have slowed down, but business has not! The most important thing you can do while working from home is establish boundaries. Ask yourself when, where, and how you’re going to work each day. Maybe you’re an early riser who likes to get everything done before the kids are done with online school. Maybe your mind is more active in the late afternoons or early evenings, so it’s easier for you to work within that timeframe. No matter your preferred working style, the point is to make your environment as conducive as possible. Check out these other tips to help you stay on top of your game!

Top Working From Home Tips

Schedule Breaks

If your company’s work schedule is not flexible about when you work, be sure to schedule your breaks accordingly. We recommend that you take your breaks in their entirety. It’s best to take your breaks away from the screens. Blue light exposure from digital screens is a growing concern. You don’t want to strain your eyes or get a migraine. Working at home should be safe and comfortable.

Leave Home

If you can safely leave your home throughout the day, it’s worth it. Since the closure of so many brick and mortar businesses, we’ve lost the in-person connection that makes up a workplace. Consider meeting up with someone for lunch or coffee. We recommend meeting in a public outdoor space where you can safely social distance. A change of scenery can help with creativity and productivity as well.

Ask for Help

Remember, you are not in this alone. We recommend you take advantage of as many resources as possible during these times. If you’re struggling with a COVID-19 related work issue, changes are your co-workers or employers have experienced something similar. We also recommend looking into a variety of COVID-19 mental health resources to get through these times. You don’t have to pretend like everything is fine. We are all in new territory. The important thing is to get the support you need sooner than later.






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Top 5 Virtual Networking Practices

Top 5 Virtual Networking Practices

COVID-19 may have sent us indoors, but business has not slowed down. Remote workers and business owners are working harder than ever to meet their customers’ needs and goals. Virtual Networking keeps businesses and customers connected. Before COVID-19 virtual networking did not mean what it does today. Now, remote workers and business owners are expected to connect with their current and new following in unprecedented ways. Since April 2020, more than 300 million people use Zoom. It’s hard to find just one person who hasn’t used Zoom at least a handful of times since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

While Zoom may have its advantages, it also comes with limitations business owners must overcome. Virtual networking helps business owners overcome the challenges of remote learning and working. The following are a few ways your business can connect with its following and team through virtual networking:

Live Competitions & Games

Who doesn’t love a healthy dose of competition every now and then? We’re used to participating in games and events in person. However, a live virtual competition is a great way to connect with your audience. Consider having individuals on your team give a 5-10 minute presentation to the audience on a similar topic, like a product or offering. Ask your audience to vote for their favorite presentation. You could even take it a step further by selecting one lucky winner from the audience to receive a discount on said product or offering.

Livestream Lectures

What better way to connect with your audience than by going live? According to techjury.com, Videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than texts and images. Going live creates a sense of urgency among your viewers. They are more likely to tune in live as they don’t want to miss out on important information.


Educational content is taking the world by storm. A great to connect with current and/or new followers is to show them what you’re all about! If you’re selling a product or service, consider creating a fun and informative video tutorial you can promote on your website and social media channels. Be sure your tutorial is personable but sticks to the point. You don’t want to lose your audience by going off topic, or presenting dry and unhelpful information.

Online Giveaways

Giveaways are an excellent virtual networking practice! Consider throwing a hashtag contest, photo contest, themed giveaway contest, coupons, and more! You could even flat out ask what your customers would love to receive in the coming year(s). Giveaways inspire followers to promote your services. Be sure to promote these giveaways on your social media channels.






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The Benefits of Rapid Web Design

The Benefits of Rapid Web Design

Let’s say you just started a business. Perhaps your website either needs a makeover or a new website all together. As a business owner, you don’t have time to wait a month or longer for a web design or development company to get it right. If you want to compete in today’s digital world, then you need a fast and visually-pleasing website right away. Your customers won’t wait around for the right website to appear. Why should you?

With Rapid Web Design, you get the results you’re looking for right away. You want to invest in a company that will help you build your dreams fast. Did you know that  94% of first impressions relate to a website’s design and function and 89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience and 74% of users are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites. (Info courtesy of webfx.com)

In other words, you want to ensure that your website is visually pleasing, easy to use, and mobile friendly. Understandably, companies spend a long time on making these details just right. But did you know that these components and more can be achieved in just under 7 days?

MSDS Offers Affordable & Rapid Web Design

Because we care about your time and value, our team will deliver you a quality, SEO-driven website in less than 7 days. We offer your business the following:

Template website design

A website template is a pre-designed resource that shows the layout and features of your potential website. Web templates make web design faster and smarter for developers and small business owners. Templates are built through HTML And CSS and may include features such as banners, titles, round images, etc.

Mobile Responsive Designs:

In today’s mobile-driven world, templates cater to smartphones and other mobile devices. Over 1.2 billion people access the internet from their smartphones (Source: Pixel Union). This has had a tremendous impact on ecommerce in recent years. Customers now expect a user-friendly online shopping experience. If your website is not mobile-friendly or intuitive, you will lose potential customers.

Web copywriting (700 words per page):

WordPress sites are easy to use, highly customizable, and cost-effective. But not everyone is a tech wiz, and when you choose MSDS you don’t have to be. Let us handle the technical details so you can focus on your goals.

WordPress Website Maintenance:

In today’s mobile-driven world, templates cater to smartphones and other mobile devices. Over 1.2 billion people access the internet from their smartphones (Source: Pixel Union). This has had a tremendous impact on ecommerce in recent years. Customers now expect a user-friendly online shopping experience. If your website is not mobile-friendly or intuitive, you will lose potential customers.

Video Placement:

As you might have heard, video marketing is taking the world by storm. Not only do you want your website to feature videos, you want to ensure they are implemented in the right place. Our team will ensure that your videos are relevant and easy to watch so you don’t alienate new visitors.


Remember you are not in this alone! We are here for you every step of the way. Our consultation services are cost-effective and readily available. We charge by the hour. This way you only pay for what you need!

And more! Call today to schedule a free consultation






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Online Reputation Management

How Online Reputation Management Help Your Business Grow 

Why Online Reputation Management?

While the customer may always be right, your business’s reputation is not in their hands. Reputation management puts you in charge of your business’s good name. Reputation Management services should be comprehensive. A Reputation Manager oversees every aspect of customer reviews so you can use them to your advantage.

Did You Know?

  • The average consumer reads 10 reviews before deciding whether or not they trust a business
  • Just one negative review can lead to a potential decrease in lead generation
  • Without a reputation management strategy, your business is vulnerable to spam, shame, and slander
  • Negative reviews can hurt your team’s confidence and morale
  • Positive reviews can empower your team and lead to an increase in sales

There’s no way around it. Consumer buying behavior is largely based upon customer reviews. You can’t please everybody. In this sense, negative reviews are inevitable, even if your business hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s scary to think that a few bad comments can sink your business.

Online Reputation Management Puts You in Control

MSDS Entrepreneurs offers Online Reputation Management so your business can soar. We help you:

  • Respond to customer reviews on 150 third party sites in one convenient platform
  • Create and design support tickets for reviews that need fast solutions
  • Develop auto-responses to reviews based on pre-defined parameters
  • Review negative review alerts
  • Motivate employees with an employee leader board to track staff-related ratings


A great way to attract and sustain your client base is to promote your testimonials. When you sprinkle testimonials throughout your website, you earn your customer’s trust. Testimonials add an emotional, human component to your services. They provide as much information as statistics without alienating your customers with numbers, charts, etc. According to strategicfactory.com, Ninety-two percent of people said that they read testimonials when considering a purchase.  Potential customers tend to trust testimonials as much as they would a positive review. Why? Because a good testimonial tells your business’s story in the customer’s own words.

Writing a positive testimonial is an act of vulnerability for the customer. They are allowing their personal experiences to be seen by strangers. This act of vulnerability proves that your business is worth the risk and can help change people’s lives. Pro-Tip: Don’t feel the need to limit your testimonials to just one section of your website. A great way to boost your rankings and attract new customers is to scatter a testimonial or two throughout your website. Google likes testimonials because they prove your business is trustworthy and in demand.

MSDS is a digital marketing agency in Houston, Texas. We are a team of experts with over 20 years of experience in information technology, business development, web design and marketing. WE offer our clients high quality inbound marketing solutions that are designed to help them grow their businesses. As a part of our commitment to client success, we are taking control of protecting your reputation with reputation management services. WE use a single dashboard to generate, monitor, manage, and market customer reviews and ratings for your business. To learn more about how we can help manage your business’s reputation, contact us today.






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Best Virtual Marketing Strategies

 Best Online Marketing Strategies To Try

Social Media Marketing

Social Media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. can help manage and grow your business’s message. Social Media Marketing lets you advertise your products and services and build relationships with potential customers so users become familiar with your brand. There are many ways to optimize your social media content.

The most important thing is that your content remains genuine and powerful. COVID-19 and social isolation has caused an increase in anxiety and depression. Social Media content such as fun Zoom recordings and hashtags like #inthistogether2020 helps users feel less alone in these trying times.

Email Marketing

While email may not sound like the most exciting way to connect with your audience, it is very effective in building relationships and growing your brand. More people are opening email during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before. Email marketing helps you communicate directly with new and future buyers, clients, prospects etc.

The most effective email campaigns during these times contain clear and compelling content. It’s best to personalize your content as much as possible so users feel connected. Even if the email is being sent out to a mass list, make sure each one begins with the recipient’s name. Your efforts will go a long way!


One way to connect with your audience and support other business owners is to use features. Consider interviewing experts and/or rising stars in your industry then feature them on your blog. Your following will love getting to see a new or familiar face on your webpage. Plus, leaders in your field are bound to have a strong following/email subscribers list. These connections are bound to work in your favor. Features are perfect for promoting on social media. Consider turning your interview into a microblog or interview. Be sure you’ve established a connection before reaching out to your potential guests.






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Customer Experience Practices

Best Customer Experience Practices

Virtual Customer Experience Practices Help Your Company Grow

COVID-19 has changed the world in a short amount of time. In the marketing world, the customer’s journey and satisfaction is not what it was a year ago. The novel coronavirus has made many populations even more vulnerable. Customers in need of products and services have had to cut back on spending due to the virus’s negative impact on the economy. This makes competition all the more competitive. Without a consistent client base, your business won’t turn a profit. The good news is, there are different measures you can take to ensure your customer’s satisfaction. Even better, these practices can all be done virtually. Like most people, the customer is likely working from home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This means all communication, shopping, questions, and more will be conducted online. Here’s how you can use our virtual world to your advantage. Just one satisfied customer can help your business grow. Here’s how.

Best Virtual Customer Experience Practices in 2022

Focus on Customer Care & Connection

There’s no way around it. Your customer is stressed. Even if you sell nonessential products or services, the customer is more likely to bring their outside concerns into your (virtual) place of business. Customers want to know that they are being seen and heard. Make sure you are transparent with your customer about their options during these times. It’s also helpful to ensure them that your team is aware of the crisis and is doing everything they can to support individuals and communities during these challenging times. Consider uploading a video to your website where your founder or esteemed member of your team says to the customer, “We’re thinking of you, and we’re here to help.” The customer will see and approach you are going the extra mile.

Focus on Employee Care & Connection

If you can’t properly take care of your employees, then you won’t have much luck in satisfying your customers. Culture is everything, even in the ever-changing digital age. If you don’t treat your employees well, then they won’t be inspired to assist the customer with their needs. Customers can see through a company’s poor culture. Make sure you take care of your own before you attempt to care for others.

Optimize Your Digital Functions

So much is happening online. Your customer needs and deserves a quality digital experience. Think of the last time you visited a website, but it took too long to load. How long did you stick around? Did you wait for the website to load, or did you take your business somewhere else? Chances are you didn’t stay long, and neither will your customers. There are many ways to optimize your website for the best virtual customer experience. The secret is to stay patient and strategic. If any business can thrive in these challenging times, it’s yours!






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Video Marketing Trends

Video Marketing Trends in 2022

Video marketing has taken the world by storm. 2020 has been full of challenges and surprises for marketers, but one trend has remained the same: video marketing is on the rise and here to stay. The ever-changing digital marketing world can be overwhelming for small business owners. The good news is there are a few easy and fun video marketing trends you can implement into your marketing plan today. Let’s begin!

Top 3 Video Marketing Trends This Year

While there are many video marketing trends you can try, we recommend starting with these three. The following trends are a simple but effective way to reach your audience across many different channels.

Social Media Stories

Social Media Stories are a perfect way to show off your video marketing skills. As you know, Instagram is the perfect place to show off and grow your brand. Facebook and Instagram Stories let you connect with your audience in fun and innovative ways. Videos posted to social media stories tend to get a lot of traction. According to Optinmonster, video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. For videos on Social Media stories, consider posting a promotional video about a contest or service. Another great way to connect is for the founder or CEO of your company to do a quick hello to followers. This year more than ever people want to feel seen and heard.

Interactive Videos

Many top brands are using interactive videos to engage with their audience. Interactive videos let users interact with video content through different types of tools. For example, users can scroll, click, drag, hover, etc. the video in order to complete a certain call to action. Quizzes, charts, questionnaires, and more are terrific forms of interactive video content. Interactive videos help you receive information about your customers in an informative and entertaining away. This information can help you understand your audience as a whole so you can implement better inbound marketing strategies.

Video Ads

Creating videos can be fun, but don’t limit your content to strictly entertainment purposes. Video ads are an effective way to boost your website traffic and sales.51% of marketing professionals say video content leads to an increase in ROI. What better way to get more bang for your buck, than an effective video marketing ad? A successful video ad is very similar to non-video advertisements. Successful video ads are:

  • Attention grabbing- As with all great forms of storytelling, you want your ad to start with a hook. The first three seconds of your ad should draw the viewer in with something eye-catching.
  • Tailored to your audience-video ads should have an emotional component that speaks to your specific audience. While the video should be entertaining, it should also matter to the potential customer.
  • Clear CTA-all promotional content should end with a clear call-to-action. By the end of the ad, your customers should know what to do and how. Remember that the most successful video ads are not too short and not too long. A concise but gripping message will go a long way with your audience.

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Team Building Activities

Team Building Activities For Company

Best Remote Team Building Activities for Your Business

Working at home has become the norm. Even before COVID-19 many people opted for careers that allowed them to work from home. Remote team building activities can strengthen your business no matter what’s going on in the world. Virtual icebreakers, games, and more help remote workers feel more connected to their team. Follow our strategies for team building activities for a company.

In light of the pandemic, people need connection now more than ever. According to psychiatry.org:

  • 48% of Americans are anxious about getting the coronavirus
  • 40% of Americans are anxious about dying from the coronavirus
  • 62% are anxious about the possibility of loved ones dying from the coronavirus

In other words, remote workers have a lot on their minds! They could use a fun and heartwarming distraction. When workers feel connected and valued, they are more likely to produce work that benefits the whole team. Virtual team building activities can remind workers that they are seen and valued by their employers. It’s also a chance for teammates to get to know one another in ways they haven’t before. Even if workers are not anxious, virtual team building activities can help rekindle their excitement. It’s important for managers and supervisors to participate in these activities as they help build trust among employees and employers. Ready to connect with your team? Let’s begin!

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Top Remote Team Building Activities


Icebreakers, or getting to know you activities, are a fun and easy way to inspire your team. With icebreakers, people’s personalities have a chance to shine. They also give workers who are more introverted or shy a chance to speak up in a safe environment. Here are a few icebreakers to try out on your team:

  • Two Truths and One Lie-Each employee shares three things about themselves. Two of these things are true, but one is a lie. The other employees must guess which ones are true and which one is false. The results may surprise you (in a good way!)
  • Rose/Thorn: Here employees share one positive (rose) thing in their lives, and one challenge (thorn). These can be work or non work related things. The rose/thorn icebreaker helps employers take a pulse on where people are at. It’s also a good chance to see how personal or work-related challenges can be used to an employee’s overall advantage.

Open Mic

Your team has talent! You wouldn’t be such a successful business owner if this wasn’t the case. But what about those with hidden talents? Consider hosting a virtual talent show. Time for those poets, musicians, storytellers, comedians, and more to shine! A virtual talent show is a great way for employees to feel seen and heard. It also gives them an opportunity to reconnect with skills they may not get to use in the workplace.


Who doesn’t love trivia night? Before COVID-19, businesses could take their teams out to bars, restaurants, etc. for dinner and a fun dose of trivia. With brick and mortar businesses shutting their doors, the U.S. has had to take their festivities online. Consider hosting a work or non work related trivia session online. You’ll get to test your team’s knowledge in a fun and relaxed way. Remember we are in this together. Check out these COVID-19 resources for small business recovery in Texas

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Customer Retention Practices

Best Customer Retention Practices Strategies

How to Keep Customer Retention During the Pandemic

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has caused economic insecurity across the U.S. Recent business closures and the rise of unemployment has led the customer to rethink their spending. Depending on one’s situation, families and individuals have had to cut back on their spending and only focus on the essentials. This means individuals have had to let go of certain services, potentially your own.

The good news is there are certain strategies your business can follow to keep customer retention. Customer retention speaks to a company’s ability to retain customers over a certain period of time. According to Signal Mind, the probability of a sale from a new customer is only 5% to 20%. In other words, it’s best to nurture the following you already have in place rather than try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to clients.

Every successful business owes their success to customer retention. This is achieved primarily through great customer service and marketing strategies. The following customer retention practices will help you nurture and maintain a loyal following so you can worry less about the pandemic and focus on achieving your goals.

Before we dive in to best customer retention practices, be sure you know the formula. If you don’t know your current customer retention practice, then you don’t have much of a head start on improvement. Fortunately, once you know where your customer retention stands, you can implement the best practices to help you achieve your goals.

As a refresher, here is how you calculate customer retention:

Top Customer Retention Practices :

Increase your presence on social media

There’s no better way to connect with your customers than through social media. Social Media Marketing helps you communicate your brand’s message in fun and informative ways across a variety of social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It’s best to post at least once a day. However, make sure your content is relevant and respectful.

Inspirational posts are a great way to connect with your current customers. COVID-19 has led to an increase in anxiety and depression world-wide. Kind and helpful content is a surefire to help customers feel connected and safe.

Promote Your Brand’s Values & Initiatives

These are challenging times, and customers are looking for a positive message. Chances are your initiatives have changed since the coronavirus outbreak. Hopefully, your company’s values have not! Your values play a huge role in what makes your brand unique and how it can help people.

Customers want to know that you are honest, informed, and caring. Consider putting your values on your homepage or creating graphics to promote on social media.

Offer Virtual Products & Services

Even before the pandemic, customers were taking their shopping online. If you’re fortunate enough to conduct your business entirely online, then offering your services online is an excellent way to maintain customer retention. Why not surprise your following with a fun and informative video, or post an upcoming contest/promotion to your social media stories? Customers are craving educational content. Sharing informative videos is a great way to keep them up-to-date and entertained.

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MSDS Digital Marketing

If you are searching for DIGITAL MARKETING IN HOUSTON TX, you have come to the right place. We have a pretty simple way to make your brand visible to a large-scale audience and help you connect with them.

Contact Details

(281) 786-0005

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