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Market your business effectively with Twitter

Market your business effectively with Twitter

If you understand how Twitter works, it might do wonders for your business. How can you drive traffic and build your brand using Twitter? With all the marketing noise being made on social media, it could be challenging for some businesses to stand out. So what steps can you take to add to your audience’s experience online instead of simply being a disruption? Create a successful strategy and leverage Twitter’s power for your business by trying out these tips.

Build a profile that stands out

If you’re just starting out on Twitter, you want to make your Twitter handle relevant to your company. If your brand name is already used by somebody else, you can add a CTA or an attractive description at the beginning of your company name.

For example, your company name is “LuckyABC”, but another company has the same name and is already using it as their Twitter handle, all you need to do is get creative and pick a handle like “ChooseLuckyABC” or “GetLuckyABC”. Don’t forget to refine your description, website link, and location so that your followers will get an immediate idea of what your business is.

Build your Twitter followers

You can do this by carefully selecting keywords to target. If your Twitter followers are well-defined, increasing their numbers by engaging them will benefit your business. Additionally, if your followers increase, you’ll also get more engagement and clicks through your website.

Tweet regularly

Consistent tweeting indicates an active, healthy profile. If you tweet only once a week, or worse, once a month, most of your followers will forget about you. You’ve worked hard to get them to follow you, so make an effort to keep them engaged by interacting with them on a regular basis. Make sure you tweet relevant, useful, and interesting information — content your followers will read, retweet, and like. Come up with a tweet schedule and refer to it when you’re running out of ideas.

Follow influencers and trends

It pays to stay on top of the latest happenings in your industry. Try to put your business in the light by following relevant influencers, hashtags, and trending topics. This way you’ll always have something new to share with your followers.

Following industry leaders gives your audience another perspective of your brand. It gives soul to your profile, so that you don’t appear like a cold, lifeless company to your audience. Also consider adding trending hashtags to your tweets in order to reach new users that have similar interests.

Use visuals

People tend to understand visual content more than text. Try to create a dynamic experience for your Twitter audience by adding different types of media to your tweets, such as images and videos, which are proven to gain more views, clicks, and shares than plain text tweets.

Retweet great content

Don’t be afraid to retweet when you see something worth sharing with your followers. Retweeting somebody else’s Twitter content has its own benefits — you create a good relationship with other influencers on Twitter, and it shows your followers that you’re an active member of your online community.

Track mentions

Know what’s being said about you by tracking brand mentions and keywords. This is a great way to provide distinctive customer service or to reach out to new customers. For instance, when someone is tweeting feedback on your products or services, take the opportunity to respond politely. When you see someone tweet about their needs for a specific service, you can jump into the conversation and introduce your company.

Integrate with other marketing efforts

Twitter is much more effective when integrated with your other marketing activities, such as email subscriptions. For example, if you’re running a promotion or contest via Twitter, let your email subscribers know about it. Since they signed up, they expect to receive notifications and the latest news about your business.

If you want to integrate Twitter into your business’s social media marketing campaigns, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Fix these enterprise security flaws now

Fix these enterprise security flaws now

As businesses have become more reliant on digital technology for day-to-day operations, they’ve also become a favorite target of internet threats. If you want to protect your organization from cyberattacks, make sure your security is clear of the following flaws.

Open wireless networks

With one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, a whole office can go online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there is an inherent risk that it’s an unsecure network.

If you need a secure network, plugging in a wireless router and creating a basic network is not enough. If you don’t set a password on your routers, then anyone within range can connect. With fairly simple tools and a bit of know-how, hackers and criminals can start capturing data that goes in and out of the network, and even attacking the network and computers attached.

Therefore, you should take steps to ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy password for the router, such as the company’s main phone number. These need to be changed.

Email is not secure

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years will most likely be secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based options or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses at risk are those using older systems like POP, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (what are known as “clear passwords”’). If your system doesn’t encrypt information like this, anyone with the right tools and a bit of knowledge can capture login information and compromise your systems and data.

If you are using an older email system, it is advisable to upgrade to a newer one, especially if it doesn’t use encryption.

Mobile devices that aren’t secure enough

Mobile devices offer a great way to stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or phone to connect to office systems but don’t have security measures in place, you compromise your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your tablet but don’t have a screen lock enabled, and you lose your device. Anyone who picks it up will have access to your email and all your sensitive information. The same goes if you install a mobile device app with malware on it. Your infected device will spread this malicious program to your entire network and cause major disruption to your business.

Take steps to ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and that your company has sufficient security policies in place to govern their use. Lastly, mobile device management solutions are specifically designed to prevent your bring your own device (BYOD) policy from being a risk with employee devices causing havoc to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t maintained

These days, it is essential that you have anti-malware software installed on all devices in your company, and that you take the time to configure these properly.

It could be that scans are scheduled during business hours. If you install these solutions onto your systems and they start to scan during work time, most employees will just turn the scanner off, leaving your systems vulnerable.

The same goes for not properly ensuring that these systems are updated. Updates are important for software, especially anti-malware applications, because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and the fixes for them.

Therefore, anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to even stand a chance of keeping systems secure.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that can be configured to block data traffic from entering and leaving the network. For instance, it can protect data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not robust enough for business use.

What you need is a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed services provider (MSP), in order for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way a business can ensure that their systems and networks are secure is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help ensure that you set up proper security measures in place and that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means your focus can be on creating a successful company instead. Contact us today to learn more.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

BYOD and CYOD: What’s the difference?

BYOD and CYOD: What’s the difference?

Many of us are comfortable using computers and devices we’re familiar with. This is the reason companies are now offering their employees a bring your own device (BYOD) option. However, there’s a new concept that is also starting to catch on: choose your own device (CYOD).

Below is a brief overview of BYOD and CYOD.

BYOD

This policy allows employees to bring their own devices to the office and use them for work-related tasks. While it focuses mostly on mobile devices, some companies allow users to bring their computers as well.

Companies cut costs on purchasing and maintaining computers when they adopt this policy. This also leads to higher productivity since employees are familiar with their own devices, eliminating the time and effort needed to adjust to a new operating system or technology.

The main drawback of this policy is the risk involved when you allow employees’ devices to access corporate resources. Companies adopting this policy need to ensure that they have a solid system in place that deals not only with security but how the devices should be used.

CYOD

CYOD allows users to choose from a set of devices approved by the company.

These devices come with pre-installed business applications and protocols before an employee selects them. The main benefit of this policy is that the devices offered are highly compatible with the company’s current setup and come with security features to ensure that sensitive information is properly protected.

Depending on the policy, a company can either keep the device after an employee leaves or an employee can own the device after paying for it upfront. Some employees may not like the selection of available devices; that’s the major drawback of this policy. Unfortunately, hardware costs are also not completely eliminated, and employees will have to shoulder the costs for maintenance and repairs.

Which policy should companies adopt?

Companies should think about what works best for their current setup before choosing whether to adopt a BYOD or CYOD policy. A BYOD policy is ideal for companies operating on a tight or limited budget, while CYOD is perfect for companies who want to ensure their data is fully secure.

Contact us today to see how we can help you choose the right policy for your company.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Office 365 Groups: Your apps under one roof

Office 365 Groups: Your apps under one roof

People often have dozens of tabs open in their web browsers to access services that help them with work or catch up on social media. As a result, it’s difficult to keep track of all of them and get the information you need. Office 365 Groups solves this problem with Connectors, a new feature that lets you connect to third-party applications within the Outlook page. So if you want to declutter your taskbar, try out Connectors for your Groups.

What can it do?

Office 365 Connectors enable users to access third-party apps and services within their Outlook groups, rather than having to scour through dozens of tabs to access a specific application.

For example, your team members can be informed about a particular hashtag your company is following on Twitter without having to separately open the app. Groups aren’t limited to one particular service. With connectors, you can use Twitter, Trello, Mailchimp, Bing, UserVoice, and over 50 other services.

Small organizations can also take advantage of connectors. Office 365 lets you develop your own connectors by embedding the Connect to Office 365 button on your site. This allows users to connect to your service and get updates on your company, as they would with other third-party services. Your Office 365 client basically becomes a hub for third-party apps that keeps your company in sync to get more work done.

Connector card

Connector cards offer a user-friendly way to interact with external applications. If a particular connector is added to a Group, connector cards are generated within the group’s activity feed. While most cards will display events in plain text, some applications like Twitter and Trello provide formatted actions to interact with the card. Trello, for example, allows you to Assign or Comment on an event card.

Who can create a connector?

Office 365 Group members can configure and use a number of connectors. Once you configure a connector for a Group, that app will be also be available for other members. However, the person who added a connector to that Group is the only one who can modify that app.

How do you access Office 365 Connectors?

Any Office 365 Mail user can use Connectors for Groups. Simply navigate to a Group from your Outlook page and click on the Connectors tab at the top of the page. From here, you can connect the available third-party services on offer to any of your Outlook groups. You can even configure the settings of your apps without having to leave Office 365. Remember to pull in the applications that you think your group will be using the most.

As your business grows, you’ll need more services to be more productive. By aggregating them all in one place, you save time shifting around apps to find the needed information. So the next time you create an Office 365 Group, help your team members work more efficiently by setting up some connectors.

If you’re interested in learning about the latest Office 365 updates, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Browser security for business data

Browser security for business data

The internet isn’t for the naive. It’s a wild place populated by dangerous creatures like malware, scams, and hackers. And as any business owner today would know, data is everything. If you or your employees browse the net unprotected, this valuable resource is threatened by cyberattacks. One way to protect your business’s data is to secure your browsers. It is easy enough for every small- and medium-sized business (SMB) to do.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party (reputable or otherwise) being able to track your browsing habits, enable private browsing using built-in tools in your internet browser such as Chrome’s incognito mode. This offers protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some browser extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Block adverts

While online ads may seem harmless, the truth is they can contain scripts and widgets that send your data to a third party. A decent ad blocking program will stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and prevent you from inadvertently visiting a site that may contain malware.
Many blockers contain additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on sites, the option to block specific items, and options to “clean up” Facebook, and hide YouTube comments.

Consider setting up a virtual private network (VPN)

Unfortunately, browser tracking and adware are not the only internet nasties that you need to be concerned about. Hackers can intercept sensitive data between two parties, allowing them to steal and corrupt valuable information such as bank details, login credentials, and other personal information. Installing a VPN can help solve this problem. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re doing.

Install antivirus and anti-malware software

Finally, it goes without saying that having antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your PC, tablet, and smartphone is crucial if you want to ensure your online safety. These software programs are your first defense against malicious parties intent on stealing your data.

Is browsing at your workplace secure? Would you like a more comprehensive security system for your business? We can tell you all about it and help protect your business from online threats. Get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

How business continuity plans fail

How business continuity plans fail

In the event of a disaster, businesses must make sure their servers and data are safe. But simply backing up your data doesn’t guarantee business continuity. Here are the mistakes that companies should avoid when preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Mistake #1: Failing to plan for employees

Companies that survive unexpected incidents are the ones that thought about their employees’ needs. Make sure you plan out everything from evacuation routes to emergency communication plans to make sure your employees have everything they need to survive the worst.

Discuss your strategy with your employees to let them know that you will be there to support them and their families in the event of a crisis. This way, your employees will have peace of mind knowing you and the company are there for them, and in turn, they will be there to support you.

Mistake #2: Using only words, not actions

Once you’ve documented your business continuity plan, you need to think about the small stuff to ensure your plan is executable. This includes logistical considerations like medical aid and monetary support.

Walk the walk and ensure your medical providers have made arrangements in advance. Have an assistance program in place to make sure your employees have access to people who can give them support in the event of an incident. Staff will remember if you provided them with care and support, and will remember even more clearly if you didn’t.

Mistake #3: Not showing your employees how the plan will work

While many business owners worry about downtime, they overlook the fact that explaining the plan and its execution to employees is critical to minimizing lost productivity.

As part of your maintenance program, include your employees in the testing process. Execute a live test to show your employees how they’re supposed to respond during a crisis incident. Who are they supposed to contact during a natural disaster? What are they supposed to say to clients? Where will they work when the primary office is down? These are just a few questions you need to have answered by the end of the live test.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to check on people after the incident

When an incident occurs, the first assessment most businesses make is to determine the impact it has on the company. But how do you execute that process without people? When disaster strikes, your employees will naturally want to be taking care of their families, not your business.

Ensure your crisis management team addresses people issues first. Where are they? What do I need to do for them? Are there any special employee needs you must address?

Mistake #5: Reacting rather than communicating

The most important thing to get right during a crisis is communication. It is imperative that your employees know you can provide them with the most up-to-date information.

Set up a toll-free hotline so your employees can call in for regular updates or create emergency channels where they can communicate with one another directly. With that, you provide consistent messaging, and you eliminate secondhand information and employee guesswork.

If your business continuity plan prioritizes your employees, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your team is still standing strong even if the worst should happen.

Want to learn more about business continuity and how it can help your business? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Better internet security: Easy as 1, 2, 3

Better internet security: Easy as 1, 2, 3

The internet is not such a bad place to be in — for as long as website owners do their share in keeping it safe for their visitors. Here are three tips to do exactly just that.

Tip #1: Use HTTPS

Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data that the user requests. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in tongues instead.

In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.

Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS on it engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while staying left behind security-wise will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.

Tip #2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep bad actors at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.

These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the validity of the code lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication. MFA can be a bit of a hassle for your internal and external users, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for immensely effective cybersecurity.

Tip #3: Update browsers and devices

Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems (OSs), and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for hackers? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. And hackers are ever aware that people can be lazy, saving that update for another day that never seems to come. They’ll often try to take advantage of this, searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.

Yes, installing an update might take 15 minutes of your time. But it can pay dividends in preventing a security breach that could cost you or your business thousands.

Looking for more tips to boost your internet security? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Choose the right computer for your company

Choose the right computer for your company

Global commerce has opened a whole new world for owners of small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). It has never been easier to find customers for your products or services. But you still need the right tools to succeed. One such important tool is the computer. Which hardware is best for your SMB, a desktop or laptop? Consider the following when weighing your options.

Portability

Modern desktop computers aren’t nearly as immobile as they used to be. In many cases, the screen is thin and light, and all-in-one desktops are easy to unplug, move, and plug in on the road. But there are still places where the desktop cannot go. On the other hand, laptops allow you to go anywhere, even to places without electricity. But this ability to take your work anywhere can be counterproductive; in fact, it creates more stress on employees who think they must work all the time.

Memory and speed

Before, desktop computers often had more memory than laptops, and they were faster because they had bigger processors. This has now changed, thanks to improvements in laptop technology. But until high-powered laptops become affordable to the general public, the desktop computer is going to provide your business with more memory, speed, and power for your money. If your employees’ work is limited to word processing and emailing, laptops should be enough. But anything more will probably require a desktop.

Security

An SMB’s computer hardware needs to be secure to ensure that company data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. A desktop computer is more physically secure because it’s often kept in one location, so it’s easier to guard. And because a desktop’s internet access is often a single source (whether through Wi-Fi or cable), it’s easier to defend it against malware. If you choose the laptop route, make sure to have strict policies on how to protect machines that leave the office, from physical loss (for example, theft) to unauthorized access (like using unsecured Wi-Fi).

Price

The laptop, especially the smaller notebook-style, is cheaper and available to more people. But desktop computers are becoming more affordable as more people have access to them through local channels. With a capable IT services provider, cost probably won’t be a deciding factor.

Quality

Although laptop computers provide the convenience of portability, over time, they’re prone to battery and charging cord problems. They are also easily damaged, especially if mishandled. By contrast, desktops are generally sturdier and stay only in one place. But when they do experience a problem, they can be expensive to repair.

Final recommendation

The desktop versus laptop debate is an old one, with supporters on both sides touting the advantages of their choice. A growing company usually needs a combination of both types of computers, especially as their needs evolve.

If you have questions regarding the best choice for your company, give us a call. We’ll be happy to assist you in improving your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Where to get help with Office 2019 issues

Where to get help with Office 2019 issues

Microsoft Office 2019 is a popular and top-selling productivity suite. A one-time purchase gives you access to an array of applications that you can use to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for school or work. While the program is easy to use, there are times when people need help. Here’s where to get help.

F1

Let’s assume you have Office installed and an application is running, but you need to figure out something. Put an end to your frustration with any of these options for quick answers to your problems.

First, press F1 to open the help database and search for a solution. Or click the question mark (?) in the upper right corner of any Office program to do the same thing.

MS Diagnostics

When an Office program crashes or fails to launch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the software has been corrupted or needs to be reinstalled. To be sure, consult the suite’s in-house physician called MS Diagnostics. This tool tests the program for existing and potential problems and provides repair options too.

Office Support

If the problems are not solved with MS Diagnostics, turn to Office Support. This is one of the six main tabs on the Office website.

Once you open Office Support, it asks: “What do you need help with?” Select a specific application or product or choose All products in the field. In the search box, enter the keywords that are relevant to the issue. This brings up a list of results that match the words you have entered. Many users normally find what they need on this page.

Community forums

Sometimes, the information on the Microsoft website is too general and doesn’t give you a clue to what’s wrong. For a more thorough fix, check out the online Office forums. Many of them tackle various issues about Office and offer solutions. Joining forums can be helpful, especially when you want to learn new things.

Tech support

If everything else fails, get in touch with Microsoft’s technical support. Air your concerns and an expert will come to your aid. In case of recurring issues, call us now and we will do our best to help you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto

Common Facebook marketing mistakes

Common Facebook marketing mistakes

Facebook has grown rapidly in the past decade and now boasts over two billion monthly active users. These users are constantly liking, sharing, commenting, and posting on the platform. Many businesses see this as an opportunity to grow their customer base so they integrate Facebook advertising into their marketing strategies. To guide you, here’s a list of the most common Facebook marketing mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Treating Facebook like a one-way communication tool

The content you post on Facebook should encourage followers to express their thoughts. After all, Facebook is a social media network, which means people use it to connect with friends and communicate with family members. They don’t want to be showered with advertising messages! Instead of talking at customers, talk with them and create dialogues that promote engagement and feedback. Try asking probing questions, sharing fun quizzes, or posting images and videos that get your followers talking. Remember that engaging content has a better chance of going viral and attracting more followers to your profile.

Mistake #2: Ignoring follower metrics

When it comes to Facebook marketing, the content that works for one page may not work for another page. To figure out what type of posts are resonating with your business’s audience, look at the metrics in your Facebook Insights located in your admin panel. You’ll be able to see the types of posts that rank high on the list (e.g., text, links, images, or videos) and analyze the statistics from there.

Mistake #3: Targeting ads poorly

While Facebook has more than two billion active users, most of these people don’t want to see your ads! So make sure you use Facebook’s powerful set of audience targeting tools, which allow you to choose potential ad viewers based on their location, age, education, interest, and more. You can even create multiple advertisements to display at different times to various audience groups so you can test and see which ones work best.

Mistake #4: Abandoning your audience

When it comes to Facebook marketing, consistency matters. People won’t be very impressed if they visit your page and see that your last post was a few months ago. On the other hand, when you post regularly, your followers will get into the habit of expecting posts from you — they might even look forward to them if the content is really good! If you find it hard to stick to a schedule, try using tools that can automate your posting for you like Hootsuite.

If you’re not using Facebook to expand your online business presence, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Want more tips on how to expand your business through Facebook? Get in touch today and our experts will be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.


Source: Pronto