Almost daily there is another data breach reported that exposes data for hundreds of thousands or millions of people. This is a troubling trend. One of the most troubling events happened recently as 700 million profiles from the social media network LinkedIn were found for sale on a popular hackers forum. What’s worse is that the company isn’t admitting that it had been breached recently. Let’s take a brief look at this situation and try to unpack what is going on with LinkedIn.
Social media: love it or hate it, it has transitioned from a casual pastime to a business necessity in the relatively few years it has been around. However, as beneficial as it can be to your business’ efforts, it can easily have the opposite effect if it isn’t used appropriately.
Let’s explore this increasingly complicated topic, including what needs to be done to ensure that your business’ social media presence isn’t actually harming its success. We recommend that you also share this information with your employees, even directing them to this blog to read it for themselves.
Social media has established itself as a main communication tool for personal use and businesses alike, yet many local businesses aren’t using it to its full potential. If you’re a business struggling with your social media presence, learn how the Ultimate Social Media Rig can get you up and running.
Ask someone what they think social media has done for society, and you will likely hear a series of complaints about how it is the driving force behind the most divisive period in human history. While their perspective is interesting, it is also wrong. Today, we thought we would take a look at how some of today’s most controversial technologies are working to improve society.
Social media allows businesses to reach millions of potential customers all over the world. However, most people don't want to be 'marketed' to. Moreover, they have various methods to tune out your message and your business from their Facebook feed. Take a moment to learn how to use social media to create leads without giving the impression you're 'marketing.'
Nowadays, social media companies have a lot of power and influence, which is part of the reason that so many of today’s largest businesses have adopted social media as a critical promotional tool. With the average person spending about two hours and 24 minutes on social media and messaging applications per day, this makes social media a clear opportunity for any sized business to embrace. Let’s consider a few ways this can be accomplished for these different businesses.
Social media platforms—like Facebook and Instagram—are a great place to communicate with people, as many political campaigns are now taking advantage of. With an election on the horizon, political advertisements abound on these platforms. Of course, not everyone wants their feeds cluttered with these ads… especially if these ads don’t align to their own politics.
This may be an uncomfortable truth when it comes to data security: the weakest link to keeping your data secure will be your employees. As social media giant Twitter recently discovered, despite the best technical security measures you have in place, all it takes is a break in protocol to place your client’s data and your business’ reputation at risk.
The United States of America is well into its 2020 election season. Social media platforms, and other online services, are taking notice. Given the misuse of social media and other platforms in past contests, there is little wonder that there is some very real pressure on these platforms to establish policy and security measures to prevent these behaviors this time around.
Here, we’ll take a neutral look at the situation, and explain the initiatives that online platforms are now enacting.
As the owner of a business, one of your number one tasks is to grow your business. Simply put, without the revenue new contacts bring in, you’ll likely grow stagnant. While word of mouth is great, there is a limit to how many people you can meet. You have to market, advertise, and promote your services to reach a wider audience. In terms of reach, social media can provide access to a nearly unlimited source of leads.
Businesses around the world now find themselves in a situation unlike what most have ever seen. With so many trying to keep their distance from one another, many workplaces have deemed it necessary to close down for the time being or to operate remotely in order to reduce the risk they present to their clients and customers… but it isn’t as though these clients and customers are going to expect radio silence from these businesses.
As the owner of a business, one of your number one tasks is to grow your business. Simply put, without the revenue new contacts bring in, you’ll likely grow stagnant. While word of mouth is great, there is a limit to how many people you can meet. You have to market, advertise and promote your business to reach a wider audience. In terms of reach, social media can provide access to a nearly unlimited source of leads.
Marketing your business may seem like a huge endeavor, or that you need to be a marketing mastermind to actually effectively market your business, but that is not true. If done right, marketing can be done without any stress or hassle. Where do you start? With a plan of course!
For many, Facebook is a huge part of daily life, whether you want to think of it that way or not. There are more than two billion active users. That means if you pluck any 4 random human beings from anywhere in the world, at least one of them likely logged into Facebook today.
It’s important to know that you still have control over your information, so in today’s blog we’re going to talk about a few ways you can take control over your online identity on the world’s largest social network.
You would think that Upstate New York would be the last place cybercriminals would pay attention to, but as recent events show us, no place is safe from fraud. In May of this year, our area was under attack from a SMiShing scam, then in June there was a rash of phone scams. Now, our area is facing a skimming attack. Read on to learn more about it and how to protect yourself.
While the issue of cyberbullying is often associated with young people, in reality it is a phenomenon which transcends age, gender, and class. The 24/7 online, anonymous, and always available without respite virtual environment has changed not only how we communicate with each other, but the mores of society - including the business world.
While it is common to consider social media just another form of entertainment or worse, an outlet for narcissistic behavior, it is for some one of the few outlets people have for their voices to be heard and listened to. A computer, tablet, smart phone and - as the IoT becomes more prevalent - even your appliances will allow average people to not only communicate with their ‘friends’, but with the world. While good social media practices are essential to many a business, we also need to recognize the power that social media brings to the people and by extension to your business.
Social media is a great tool that your business can use to communicate with clients and prospective customers, but in an age where you can expect your employees to have their own accounts, it can be devastating to overlook the security issues associated with it. Today, we’ll examine how you can protect your organization from its employees’ social media use.
In many ways, social media is the defining characteristic of the information age. It has transformed the way people communicate, market their products and services, and it has brought a litany of issues into the public consciousness. On the other side of the coin, social media currently costs many business billions of dollars a year in lost productivity. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of social media, and how your business can put yourself in a net-positive position regarding the technology.
Developing a social media presence is one of the first things you should do when starting to market your company. 96% of small business owners use social media marketing and believe it is important to their business. This means you should, too. What platforms should you use? What should you be posting? How do you grow your follower count? How should you be managing all of the channels you are on?
These questions are easier to answer than you think.
The modern office is filled with distractions, and that’s to say nothing about the everyday user’s life. With so many devices and notifications interrupting focus for users all over the world, it’s more important than ever before to have a strategy for how to deal with these issues and become as productive as possible in the workplace. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the biggest distractions in the workplace and how your employees can overcome them.
Recently, we have been sharing insights on some best practices regarding social media. This time, we’re going to discuss the primary function of social media: engagement. Engagement is simply how you interact with your audience and whether or not you are able to develop a relationship with them. Engagement is also one of the most important and resource-consuming aspects of using social media as a tool for marketing and the promotion of your services.
Recently we’ve seen figures, public and private, lose their jobs and sometimes even their careers over things they’ve posted not only in the present but the past on social media. While public figures may have the resources to put up a fight, those in the private arena often don’t, and so the double-edged sword of attention can be particularly sharp. Once average people attract the all-seeing eye, never forgetting and unforgiving memory of the Internet, they find the weight of public opinion brought down upon them; with all the consequences - positive and negative - such attention may bring.
Social media has been an emerging technology in recent years, and has produced many threats. Hackers have learned that they can take advantage of these communication mediums to launch dangerous new attacks on unsuspecting users. With enough ingenuity on a hacker’s part, they can potentially steal the identity of a social media user. Here are some of the best ways that your organization can combat identity theft through social media.
Social media might make it easy to stay connected, but it comes with a lot of negative side-effects--particularly in regard to security for both personal and professional use. If social media isn’t used properly, it could spell trouble for your organization. How can you foster proper social media usage so that your organization doesn’t suffer from poor security practices? It all starts by spreading awareness.
When engaging in business-to-business marketing, your content plays a huge role in your success. Whether you’re creating social media content, blogging, creating articles for your web pages, creating newsletter content, or even working an in-person event, you need to make sure your content is effectively benefitting your marketing.
We’re here to help, so we’ve compiled some key considerations to make as you shape your content marketing strategy through each of the above tactics.
Building a social media strategy can be somewhat troublesome for the modern business. Not only do you not know how it can affect your organization, you also know that your competitors are likely using it. To this end, we’ll go over how your organization’s social media practices can influence success.
Have you ever gotten Facebook requests from strange people who you don’t know? While it might be tempting to give them the benefit of the doubt--after all, maybe they know a friend of yours--it’s best to keep strangers off of your page when you can. In order to give your page, the flexibility to accept friend requests from people you may know, and protect it from strangers, you can implement a “follow” feature, and limit who can send you friend requests.
One thing that both fishing and phishing have in common is the use of lures. With the right lure, the chance of successfully catching the target improves. When it comes to the digital lures seen in phishing scams, research shows that social media is the most effective.
After witnessing the viral social media impact of United Airlines most recent disaster involving forcefully removing a passenger from an overbooked airplane -- we figured it would be a good time to talk about what you can do to successfully manage a social media disaster. So, like they always say “Don’t be scared, be prepared!”
Social media is a phenomenon that has invaded the business world in more ways than one. While it might be a great way to endorse your brand and communicate with your local prospects, it can be a huge distraction for your in-house workers. A new study by communications agency, We Are Flint, claims that 84 percent of adults in the UK use social media, and two-thirds of them use it every day--be it at the office or at home.
Social media addiction is a problem that plagues most modern businesses. Even though it’s a best practice to leverage social media to your business’s advantage, it’s a well-known fact that social media addiction can lead to wasted time and distractions in the office. In order to beat social media addiction in the office, it’s best to understand how it comes about, and what you can do to help your workers leave it alone, rather than locking everything down completely.
In 19th century America, the hottest innovation for political campaigns was the exposed stump from a fallen tree, thus the stump speech. This technology revolutionized politics by allowing the candidate to elevate himself above the crowd for greater visibility and to better project one’s voice. Today, the political stump speech is obsolete, having its usefulness far surpassed by the technologies of the modern age.
October is Cyber Security month. We want to bring attention to this very important issue affecting every person and organization connected to the Internet. When discussing cyber security, we often talk about computer viruses and malware, but these threats are only part of the cyber security equation. It’s just as important that you, your staff, and even your family, are mindful to not overshare information online that can compromise your organization’s security and personal identities.
Facebook has come a long way. Originally designed as a networking tool to be exclusively used by college students, Facebook now has 1.44 billion active users, making it the world’s largest social network. Today, businesses take Facebook seriously and utilize it for their marketing initiatives. However, it’s still viewed as a time-waster by many office managers who restrict or ban employees from accessing it.
You’re surely aware of how valuable an asset social media is for your brand, but how much interaction are you really getting on your pages? No matter how many views, there’s always room for improvement. Well, you’ll be relieved to hear that even the large corporations don’t get too many hits on social media, despite the massive numbers in their favor.
Not everyone you meet on the Internet is going to have the same opinion as you. This ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem, since most people are reasonable and can realize when not to open their mouth; but on the Internet, anonymity breeds a foul creature with a mind for mischief: The Internet troll. They often respond to posts and comments in a condescending or crude, obnoxious manner in a deliberate attempt to anger the original poster.
Despite the fact that 255 million people use Twitter, some businesses want nothing to do with it. They see it as little more than a waste of time. However, these anti-Twitter activists fail to realize that the social media outlet has an unmistakably large influence in the marketing industry. Unlike Facebook, Twitter gives you the opportunity to customize your audience to suit the precise needs of your business, and the best part of this is that it’s completely free.
When a dining establishment goes out of business, it usually doesn’t make the news. After all, running a restaurant is a risky endeavor. However, for one Washington D.C. eatery, it’s blaming its failure a Google Places mishap, which makes you think twice about how important it is for your business to have its online information properly displayed.
2014 has been a year of technological advancement, but with any kind of advances such as these, there will always be those who want to steal the work of others. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center and , as of March this year, there have been 204 instances of data breaches this year alone. These affected companies are perfect examples of why web protection is important. Directive can provide you with this protection and peace of mind. Here are a few of the more unbelievable breaches, most of which could have been easily avoided.
Whenever you hire a new employee, you essentially incorporate their social network into the networking reach of your business. With this reality in mind (along with the measurable influence of an employee's use of social media) you have to ask yourself, "Is a connected employee more valuable than a non-connected employee?"
Social media has become a big part of business, and Twitter is one of the top sites. You may know Twitter as an app that lets you send short messages to "followers," however, there's so much more to this useful tool that has been embraced by 218.3 million users worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Twitter and how to utilize it for your business.
You can't log onto your online account if you're dead, and unless you have your password clearly marked on a sticky note, then nobody else will be able to either. While the Internet is a great distraction to keep us from pondering our mortality, the issue of post-mortem social media forces us to face death by preparing a digital will.
About the same time that the late six-term Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens was proclaiming that the "internet is not something that you can just dump something on. It's not a big trunk. It's a series of tubes", a phenomenon that would transform the Internet was just starting to go mainstream. Virtual social networking, an idea that had been developed for the better part of a decade was swiftly starting to take a foothold on the web.
The ramifications of social media have extended well beyond just a tool used to keep in touch with friends. From games, to advertising, to even aiding in the overthrow of Middle Eastern governments, social media has added a new and powerful dynamics to the way people use technology. For better or for worse, social media also adds new and interesting dynamics to the most social part of our lives, our families.
Facebook has recently achieved one billion active users. Being on top of the social media world comes with a price. Facebook has become one of the top 10 most hated companies in America, this according to a January 2013 study from news site 24/7 Wall St. This survey takes into account customer and employee satisfaction and, most of all, stock prices.
Are you compiling your New Year's resolution list and looking for some help to achieve your goals? If one of your resolutions is to spend less time goofing off on the internet and more time being productive, then we want to share with you a helpful app called Freedom that will help achieve your resolution.
Social Media is a far-reaching, extremely valuable tool for advertising and marketing. That is, well... until it isn't. Being able and prepared to handle negative online criticism can be the difference between a small but unfortunate event your company can learn from and 'irreparable damage that your company may never recover from.'
While it may seem difficult to imagine embarrassing oneself in the space of a 140 character message, Twitter has been responsible for the downfall of companies, politicians and entire institutions. No one can deny that Twitter has been a boon for communication, politics and economics, but some people seem determined to prove that one cannot have Twitter without the word "twit." Here are a number of prominent examples from the recent past which demonstrate how Twitter's logo can swiftly become the bluebird of unhappiness for some.
Like most business owners, you probably have a Facebook page set up for your organization. Like most people, you likely also use Facebook to communicate with friends and family. Here's a simple method for doing so seamlessly.
Think back a few years ago before the Apple ipad (if you are in the medical field, there is a good chance you'll relate to this). Remember back when "tablet" computers were essentially laptops sans-keyboard with little plastic styluses? Now kindergarteners are using tablets instead of chalk boards. What happened?
LinkedIn, the popular social network geared towards business networking and communication, has reported a major breach in security. A file containing over six million passwords was leaked and posted on the Internet. What does this mean for you, and what course of action should you take?
Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate online. Social media is where discussions are had and information is shared. Over the past few years, the world has seen a remarkable shift in the way people socialize and it is not going away.
"Almost 40% of enterprise network bandwidth is being consumed by recreational or non-business applications [facebook, linkedin, youtube]"
~Blue Coat Systems Survey More companies are blocking video streaming sites such as YouTube and Netflix to improve productivity at work..
Social Media is a tough industry - the only way a good social network can succeed is by being extremely popular, and it takes a lot of criteria for that to happen. A social network site either has it or it doesn't, and Pinterest apparently has it in massive quantities.
Twitter is a fantastic networking resource for professionals, brands, and businesses. Having a strong presence on Twitter can mean more traffic to your website and an easy way to get in touch with customers and prospects. The hardest thing about diving into social media is knowing what to say. Here's a quick list with a few ideas to get you started.
This month Google announced that their search results will now contain personal results from friends and connections made in Google+. Twitter, the real-time searchable social network, publicly announced that they thought this was not a good idea. Will personalizing search results make for a better Google experience or will it hurt? Let's take a look.
On the topic of identity theft, social media accounts are becoming a high target for hackers, especially for spreading malicious viruses. To some, losing control over their Facebook or Twitter accounts could be just as devastating as having their credit card stolen. Trouble is, for many users, having one login account stolen means hackers have access to their other accounts too.
Granted, growing up we were made to believe that by now we'd have flying cars and robot butlers, but technologically speaking we're in a pretty great era of gadgets and conveniences that aren't just giving us cool toys to play with, but are changing the way we communicate, learn, and work. Let's look at what's in store for the world in 2012.
You've probably seen these funny barcode-like symbols popping up and wondered if they mean anything. These days they are all over the place - on websites, in magazines, and even in television ads. What are these mysterious glyphs? Should we be concerned? And of course the question on all of our minds, how can I use them to market my business?
Ever since the public has been logging on to the Internet, certain people have been using the Internet to take advantage of others. Whether it be through scams, viruses, malware, phishing, or a whole slew of other dangerous activity, cyber criminals have been very good at making Internet security an industry on its own. With the colossal popularity of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, miscreants are capable of targeting even more users than ever before. On top of that, their methods seem to be hitting people where it hurts. Learn how you can prevent falling into one of their traps.
Foursquare is a social network of sorts that works like a marketing game. Users run Foursquare on their mobile phones. It uses GPS to pinpoint your location and pulls up stores, restaurants, and other public locations and venues in your vicinity. You can then 'check in' to the place you are at, and it will share it with your friends. It's a service that promotes word-of-mouth marketing!
With today’s global economy, the time and money spent on marketing needs to be stretched pretty thin, and results need to be tracked carefully so you know how to make the most of a limited marketing budget. Fortunately, we’re experiencing a worldwide revolution in the form of the way people communicate, share information, and how small businesses can reach their customers. The Internet has opened up huge possibilities, but the real question is how are customers finding YOUR business, and how can you make it easier to be seen.
Facebook, the enormous social network that shouldn't need an introduction for anybody, has been a fantastic way for small businesses (and major corporations and brands, and just about anyone else) to promote themselves. If you haven't established your company on Facebook (which is free, by the way), a new offer from the social network might help sweeten the deal.
Security is an important aspect to a company's continuity, and while portions of business security involve things like anti-virus and firewalls, other aspects of security can't be handled by a piece of equipment. In these cases, your organization needs to create security policies, and keep them up to date as the company grows and changes. There are many policies and sub policies that are necessary for any organization that, if non-existent, can cause chaos down the road.
The words Productivity and Internet have been fit together in many different sentences, and usually in the sense that the Internet is a Productivity-killer. Take Facebook, for example; there are many arguments stating that Facebook is costing companies billions of dollars because employees are spending too much time on the social network while at work. Of course, Facebook (and the other social networks) are practically mandatory for businesses who want to market themselves. Other companies are clamoring that personal social media use greatly improves productivity and employee moral.
I do apologize for that awful pun, but the Google Panda update has caused a huge stir in the SEO world. Google updates their algorithm all the time, but every once in a while they have a big update that completely changes the game. Google Panda was a massive update by Google to their search engine to limit content scrapers (people who steal content and host it on their own sites in the hopes of getting revenue from ads). Many legit sites saw a major drop in traffic and ranking, and Panda has changed (drastically even) the way SEO works. The latest update is starting to clear the fog, and Google has been explaining their reasoning behind the Panda Update.
There has been a lot of talk about Google+, Google's new social network. Currently the service is invite only and invites are preciously coveted. Those who have gotten in to try it out have found a clean, simple interface. On first impression, Google+ looks like a very basic Facebook. Is Google+ worth all the clamor and is it going to change the game for social media? Will businesses be able to take advantage of Google+ the same way they do for Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook?
Despite the increasingly vast trust we put into the Internet to keep our personal and business information safe and secure, many users take their passwords very lightly. In an analysis studying over 32 million passwords from RockYou, a company that develops software for social networks, it's been discovered just how little effort is put in to keep things secure. The results are shocking.
The Ultimate Social Media Rig Project Plan is now on the ConnectWise University.
ConnectWise Partners can download the template from the ConnectWise University and launch their own Ultimate Social Media Rig for themselves or resell it as a service for their clients.
There's no need to enter the Word Doc into a project anymore! Simply import the project and roll it out!
*Note* An update version for 2014 has been posted to the ConnectWise Marketplace
Search for "Ultimate Social Media Rig - Revised 2014"
The time to implement a social media policy is now. Your social media policy outlines for employees your companies guidelines or principles for communicating in the online world. Your company should have a communications policy in place that spell out your expectations for phone and email, it’s important that you add social media and online site usage to this policy.
Directive has had the pleasure of working with David Mann for over 10 years. David owns Alta Log Homes in Upstate NY. Alta is a leading manufacturer of Log Homes. David is an expert in building Green, Energy Star dream homes and a great guy. His website is http://www.altaloghomes.com. We set him up with the Ultimate Social Media Rig a few months ago along with some coaching services to get him started. He's been pretty religious about posting and using it. He sent me an email asking what recommendations I'd have to get more out of it now that he's "warmed up" and has a little more experience with Social Media.
Recently, I was asked to speak at a breakout session called "Jumpstart Social Media for your IT Business" at the ConnectWise PSA 2009 Partner Summit. What a great event, we learned so much for our MSP practice, we are still implementing! Some of the power point slides from the breakout show our Project Plan for rolling out our "Ultimate Social Media Rig". We promised to get the project plan posted on the site. Rather than post just screen shots, we made it easier for you to get started and typed it up too, copy/paste ftw.