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How Do You Connect? July 27, 2012

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Social media has been a game changer for the mystery shopping industry – there are more ways to find shops and companies to work for, and companies have new avenues to find mystery shoppers.

In talking with shoppers, I’m always interested to learn how they use social media to enhance their work, whether its learning from forums and groups, or connecting with others on Facebook or Twitter.

I’ve heard a lot of concerns about shoppers being leery of connecting with other shoppers and/or mystery shopping providers on Facebook since you’re using your real name. Perhaps you live in a small town and don’t want others to know what you do, or you’d just rather keep that part of your life more private. There are workarounds for this – some shoppers create a business page (after all, it IS a business you’re in) with their name or a “pen name” and use that for mystery shopping connections. Others utilize groups in Facebook so that what they post in relation to mystery shopping is only seen by a select list.

I’d like to turn it over to you now – what are your best tips for engaging in the industry in social media while keeping anonymity? Do you feel this is even an issue? Do you prefer keeping your mystery shopping conversations on Facebook or Twitter, or do you not have a preference? If you’re shy about sharing your thoughts, I do encourage you take part in this poll. I’m very curious to see the results!

If You Like Hot Air Balloons & Mystery Shopping, Head to Reno July 24, 2012

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Whether you’ve been in the mystery shopping industry for 6 months or 6 years, there is always something new to learn! And, when you pair hot air balloons with mystery shopping, you just can’t go wrong!

The IMSC (Independent Mystery Shoppers Coalition) is hosting another shopper conference in Reno on September 10th and 11th, which immediately follows the Great Reno Balloon Race. If you’ve not attending a conference, you may be missing out on some great opportunities. I’ve talked to some shoppers who have been in the industry a long time, and they feel as though the conferences are geared more toward new shoppers. That’s not true – since the industry changes constantly (think back to paper surveys vs online systems, and now mobile shopping), and it can be an isolating job, it’s a great experience for shoppers of all levels.

The other great thing about being “experienced” is that you can make a difference in a new shopper’s life. There is something about getting a group of shoppers together to discuss tips and tricks on how they get things done – no matter where you’re at, you will walk away with something new from your fellow shopper friends. The speakers that are lined up bring a wide range of topics to the table, and can give you information you need to further your expertise. I know when we attended the Chicago conference, many shoppers walked away with ideas and information on increasing their workload just from listening to the presentations and talking with other shoppers.

If you’d like a glimpse into what people are saying, take a look at this quick video:

To learn more about the Reno conference, or view information about future conferences, check out the IMSC’s website. You can also keep up to date by liking their Facebook page or signing up for their newsletter.

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