Page 13 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- January 2018
P. 13

It’s Not Just
It’s Business
by Jeff Allen
How Businesses Can Get More Out Of Social Media
(NAPSI)—According to Pew research, eight out of 10 Americans have smartphones and many of them bring their phones to work and just about everywhere else.
This BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world can be good for business because it can save a company money as employees bring and use their own devices on the company’s networks. It can also lead to security difficulties.
Fortunately, I have found four things that can be done to help your business succeed:
1. Gatekeeping.
Decide who can use
personal devices on
your premises and how
they can use them.
Establish policies on
handling and protect-
ing sensitive data and
what sites can and can-
not be accessed. Deter-
mine who, if anyone, is
allowed to access per-
sonal sites or surf the Web during downtime. Make sure employees are well trained about this and clearly outline the consequences of violating these policies.
2. Go beyond passwords. Set up your system so it takes more than a password to get in. Some devices require thumbprints. Some systems will ask a specific question or test users with a pic- ture.
3. Prioritize the data. Determine who’s on the network—employees, customers—and what they’re doing. Decide which data relates to busi- ness and which is personal to your employees. You might even consider setting up a separate network just for nonessential data. That’s where Comcast Business’s Wi-Fi Pro can make a real difference. It lets you offer customers their own
separate Internet while they’re on your premises. Meanwhile, you can use it to promote daily spe- cials or link to social media to increase “likes” and “follows.” Plus, you’ll be better able to understand what your customers want through reports on demographics, average shopping times, and foot traffic.
4. Build up your bandwidth. Regardless of how many networks you have, you need to have enough bandwidth to meet the needs of your business. Otherwise, as employees use the net-
work, your business opera- tions could be compromised.
How much bandwidth you need depends on how many people use the network, how many sites they access and how
many ways (videos, conference calls, e-mail) they use it.
Fortunately, bandwidth is inexpensive and easy to get with today’s technology. Going from 10 to 200 megabits of bandwidth is simple. Bandwidth alone doesn’t make a business suc- cessful, but it’s important for communicating with customers, vendors and employees.
It’s how a business leverages bandwidth to help it create new ideas, entice customers, get orders, deliver products, pay vendors, and com- municate and make connections, that does.
Remember to consider these steps to creating a secure network and be sure you have all the bandwidth you need, so that you can have a BYOD program that suits both your business and staff.
Social media has changed the world in myriad ways, and that impact is likely to grow in coming years. In its report titled "Social Media Trends to Watch in 2017," the firm GlobalWebIndex found that nearly 60 percent of users of the pop- ular smartphone instant messaging app What- sApp used the app more than once per day. The same report revealed that more than 55 percent of Facebook users took to the popular social net- working site more than once per day.
Such figures illustrate the role that social media plays in the average person's life while suggesting that the influence of social media remains considerable. Business owners know that thriving in the 21st century and beyond requires the utilization of social media to con- nect with prospective customers and promote products. But the ever-changing nature of social media can make it difficult for business owners to stay abreast of the latest trends. The following are a handful of ideas business owners can con- sider as they look to get more out of their social media presence.
· Periodically reassess your social media pres- ence. A platform that's popular today might be outdated tomorrow. Such is the nature of social media. Business owners should make a point of periodically reassessing their social media pres- ence to ensure they're still connecting with exist- ing customers and enticing new customers. Fol- low social media trends and be sure to create pro- files on new platforms that you feel can help your
business grow. In addition, make sure each of your social media profiles reflects where your business is today.
· Determine what's working. Just because there's a new social media platform seemingly every day does not mean you need to create a new profile each day. If your business has a pres- ence on various platforms, examine the perform- ance of each platform, focusing on those that seem to be doing your business the most good.
· Keep your message fresh. Even your most devoted followers will grow tired of your mes- sage if it stays the same for months on end. Cre- ate social media campaigns that routinely engage your followers so they're excited to see your updates and get involved with your business. In addition, present your campaigns differently on each platform to make the most of each plat- form's particular capabilities.
· Express your appreciation to your followers. Social media is, by definition, social, so don't forget to be sociable and thank your followers when they like a post or retweet a promotion. In addition, don't hesitate to share a follower's con- tent if you find it valuable and insightful. Expressing your appreciation is a great way to build a loyal customer base, and such expressions of gratitude take just a few seconds.
Social media has changed the way the world operates, and businesses can utilize social media's vast influence to build a loyal customer base.
Bandwidth is inexpensive and easy to get with today’s technology
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Haapala & Co., PLLC
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