12 Dec

Facebook Goes to Work

At work, the Internet is both a great tool that enables more efficient work and a massive distraction to many, especially those who are active on social media. Check with any employee and you can probably guarantee that they have accessed Facebook while at work. While this can irk some employers, Facebook is tackling this issue head on and is developing a new social network just for businesses, potentially called Facebook at Work.

What is Facebook at Work?

In late November, Facebook announced that they are developing a new social network which may be called Facebook at Work. As you can guess by the clue in the title, this is going to be a business-oriented venture that will bring the popular social network, or elements of it, to the workplace.

For many businesses, this popular social network is not really a part of every business operation. Sure, marketing and sales may use this platform, and others, as a way to reach out and connect with customers, but few organizations are known to use Facebook internally as a communication and social network for employees.

Those who do use the network in the office often use their personal accounts and have noted that they would like an easy way to separate work from personal life, while still remaining on the network. Many businesses would also prefer that employees didn’t bring their personal lives and Facebook accounts to the office because this can lead to breaches in privacy and even important data being compromised, especially if a personal account is hacked.

The best way to think of this new platform is that it is Facebook strictly for work. While it is still in the development stages, some interesting details have emerged. There is no official name for the network, thus far, but sources at Facebook have noted that the codename for the product is Facebook@Work.

What Facebook@Work will look like

From what we can tell, the network will look and work much the same as the existing version of Facebook. Users will be able to create profiles, join groups, post on each other’s News Feeds, and even send messages using the popular Facebook Messenger. Where it will differ is that it will have collaborative tools that allow users to share and work on the same documents.

This network will be completely separate from the personal Facebook site, with users having a different password and username. Information between a personal and work account will not be shared either. This should make the network more secure, or at least minimize the use of personal accounts for work-related tasks.

What we don’t know

We do know that Facebook@Work, or Facebook at Work, is currently being developed by a London-based branch of Facebook who seem to be also acting as the main testers. However, we are unsure at this time if the network is being developed strictly as an internal network, which will be used only within a company, or if it will be more like LinkedIn, where it will allow you to connect with similar professionals.

Interestingly enough, Facebook has been using its own network and various groups as a major part of their own internal communication tools amongst departments. For example, when an employee joins a new department they are added to a secure group and group chat where updates are posted, questions are asked, and work is supposedly assigned and agreed upon. It could be that the company is developing something along these lines for external release too.

We don’t know exactly when this network will be introduced, but you can be sure that it will be debuted sometime in 2015, possibly with a rollout in the next year. If your business uses social platforms, or is looking to integrate social media in the near future, this business-oriented social media platform could be worth keeping your eyes on.

Stay tuned as we will be covering this further in the future. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about how best to utilize Facebook in the office please contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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16 May

4 non-marketing benefits of social media

To many business owners, social media is one of the most important marketing tools at their disposal. It’s true that a well executed social media strategy can make all the difference, while also giving smaller companies a way to compete with industry giants. What many may not realize is that social media can be much more than just a marketing platform.

Below are four non-marketing oriented uses of social media that businesses could benefit from.

Hiring
LinkedIn is a social network dedicated to helping professionals and organizations connect and find jobs and new talent. Most social savvy companies will have a presence on this network and may even hire exclusively from here.

If you are looking for new employees, it wouldn’t hurt to have a LinkedIn profile. To find the best talent, you need to forge and maintain connections (usually starting with people you know), and be somewhat active in groups and on message boards.

It’s also important to not forget the other major networks when it comes to hiring. Tweeting a job opening on Twitter, or posting ads on Facebook could also help you find your next employee. Facebook can be particularly useful because you can pay to target ads (in this case, job openings) at specific demographics.

Internal communications
Communication is an important part of business, and most people choose to communicate using email. You have probably seen emails with jokes, invitations to after work events, lunch orders, etc. sent to the whole company and also received the many replies that go with it. This can get very annoying, and also confusing.

Why not utilize social media for non-essential (aka. not related to work) communication. Set up a Facebook group where your employees can share content, invitations to lunch or after work gatherings, interesting stories, etc. That way you can limit email to more important, business-related aspects.

Using social media for internal communication is also beneficial for companies with younger workers. Most already see Facebook, Twitter, etc. as their main form of communication, some even feel more comfortable communicating over this medium as opposed to speaking out in meetings. Having a group portal or Facebook page could give less-empowered employees a way to voice their ideas, and maybe even improve on them with feedback from others.

Learning
A common complaint of many business owners is that they have a tough time staying on top of ever-changing trends and what currently interests their customers. Using social media to connect with your customers can be a great way to learn not only hot trends but also about new ideas.

Customer service
When it comes to social media, users will often complain publicly on their wall or through their tweets. This is bad for you, as the reach of this complaint can go a long way and make you look bad. Some companies have decided to confront this head on by having specific customer service accounts. If a customer complains, has an issue, or even compliments you, be active and respond using that account.

If done properly, over time, you will see more and more people reaching out to your customer service account through social media. This also gives you another way to please clients or turn around negative customer experiences.

Social media and the various platforms are not only great for marketing, but can be incredibly useful for other business functions. Do you have any other ways you use social media? Let us know. Or, if you would like to learn more about how it can help your company, then contact us today.

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19 Mar

Know how to properly use the hashtag?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, are the foundations of social media. Together, these sites have made it possible for social networking to really take hold and take off. As with any popular platform, you start to see trends that are evident across all networks. One of the most popular trends is the use of the hashtag (#). But what exactly is it, and can your company use it?

The hashtag (#), commonly referred to on telephone systems as the pound key, is a character first used by users of the popular social network Twitter. According to the help forum on Twitter, “It is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

Look at nearly any Twitter message and there will usually be hashtags attached. If you were to search for the term e.g., #Cloudbackup on Twitter, you would get a list of all tweets that have mentioned the above example. When Twitter talks about a ‘trending topic’ it means a subject that has become popular.

This way of categorization has become so popular amongst Twitter users that it’s starting to spill over onto the other networks. Instagram for instance has given members the ability to add hashtags to pictures, so that they can be added to groups which can subsequently be searched for. Even Google has gotten in on the act, with Google+ and YouTube both supporting this system.

With Facebook, the hashtag has come to give context to a status. You’ve probably seen some status updates such as: I love Mondays #sarcasm #bored. This should be read with a sarcastic and slightly bored tone.

Because of the usefulness of the hashtag, some users have become overzealous in their use. Reading a Tweet that says ‘#Friday is #awesome, here comes a #fun #weekend.’ just looks unprofessional and could put off followers.

While effective, there are some basic rules you should follow to help get the most out of your hashtags. Here’s four.

  1. No long hashtags. Hashtags are meant to be short and associated with one word. Don’t make the mistake of adding more than about two words together, as the likelihood of users finding the tag will decrease. e.g., #Cloudservicesareawesome should be avoided, use #cloudservices instead.
  2. Minimize their use. It can be tempting to hashtag every keyword in messages, however makes them look weird, while decreasing their readability. It is a good idea to limit use to one or two per message.
  3. The hashtag is special. Don’t use it for everyday words. Instead use it for product names, or a special part of the announcement. Remember that you don’t have to use hashtags in every message. Check out Samsung Mobile’s Twitter feed to see a good example of proper use.
  4. Use a unique hashtag. If you can, try to use a unique hashtag, something that followers will be able to associate and relate to you. The key here is that when it’s used, the user is referred to you, and only you. Do a quick search on Twitter for the hashtag you would like to use, to ensure it’s not taken. Many companies will shorten their tag to initials or a shorter term, which is perfectly acceptable.

Hashtags, when used correctly, can be a great way to build brand identity and increase social media presence. If you are looking for a social media plan, please contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE to see how we can give you #betterITsupport.

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16 Jul

Facebook changes your email address

Facebook is one of the most popular communication platforms available to small businesses. Some have even gone so far as to adopt it as their main communication platform. Facebook is more than happy to provide business users with the medium, but has been making changes to the overall layout that aren’t in their best interest. The latest change is in regards to your contact information.

On the normal Facebook profile, before the recent change, when a user clicked About to find more information about a company, how to contact them for example, they would be presented with an email address for the company. That’s changed, now your primary email address presented will beusername@facebook.com.

This is a potential problem for read more

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11 Jun

6.4M LinkedIn passwords compromised

On the Internet you have very little privacy. One thing that’s private, or should be, are your passwords. Many business managers know this, and go to great lengths to ensure that their passwords are secure. Yet there are times when passwords are leaked, often this isn’t your fault. This recently happened with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a popular social media site that caters to professionals and helps them to network and find jobs. In the past few days, news stories have emerged about how members’ passwords were leaked online. read more

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28 Nov

Don’t Get Scammed on Facebook

A word of caution for Facebook users: Hackers and scam artists are now using promotions and all other sorts of come-ons to victimize users into falling for phishing traps or giving up personal information. It is important to know what to do to avoid becoming a victim as well as securing your system to prevent any unwanted data breaches.

As more and more people continue to use Facebook both for personal and business purposes it seems to follow that all sorts of unscrupulous individuals and groups will find ways to exploit this popularity for their own illicit benefit.

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01 Nov

Who Says Facebook is Bad for Business?

The knee-jerk reaction to Facebook of most businesses is to throw it out the door. But many companies also need to realize the value of using a massive social networking platform like Facebook to help the business grow and put itself out in the market more.

When it comes to Facebook, the usual default attitude of businesses is to shun it completely. And while there is merit to the argument that social networks, Facebook especially, can hamper and derail productivity in an organization, there is also a lot Facebook can do to help your business grow.

Reports cite that as many as 800 million people around the world are on Facebook that’s a larger-than-life audience that makes marketing experts giddy with excitement. When you think about it, Facebook presents a huge marketing opportunity for you and your business to connect with a lot of people who may become potential clients in the future. Think of having a Facebook page as a mini-website of sorts, one that supplements and complements your main website.

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