Three Reasons Why Your Company Might Need an IT Consultant

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultingAs companies become increasingly reliant on technology and IT compliance to run their everyday operations, the need for assistance and support for the IT that keeps companies running has become more pronounced.

If your company or business hasn’t yet invested in onsite computer services, there has never been a better time to do so, as today’s IT consulting firms offer specialized, high-tech help and advanced computer services that will make your company run more efficiently than ever.

So should your company ultimately look into hiring an IT consulting firm? Take a look at these three ways you’ll benefit if you do:

More free time to focus on your company
Think of all the time you or someone else at your company spends on making sure the computers and networks are running properly. Now imagine how much more you might be able to get done if you no longer had to worry about maintaining all these things every day. With IT managed services providers and IT consulting firms, you’ll free up hours of extra time each week to devote to more pressing aspects of your job.

Cut operating costs and control company expenses better
When you and your workers have more time to spend on their jobs, your entire company becomes more cost-efficient — more work will get done in less time. This will allow you to streamline your operations and use that extra money to expand your company, rather than stick with the status quo.

Heightened network security and functionality
Data breaches at companies seem to make the headlines every few weeks, and while no company is truly immune to these breaches, it’s a good idea to have an IT consultant on hand so your network’s security can be strengthened against these types of things from taking place. This is especially true considering that 57% of small businesses have experienced a data breach in recent years!

How else have you benefitted by hiring an IT consulting firm? Share with us in the comments below!

The Mobile Marketing Strategy That 90% of Web Retailers Are Pushing

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

types of marketing servicesWhen push comes to shove, this technique could provide some of the biggest benefits of mobile marketing.

The technique in question, push notifications, is now being used by an incredible 90% of the top online retailers, according to a September 9 Mobile Marketing Watch article.

The retailers surveyed are all on 2015’s Internet Retailer Mobile 500 list, and nine out of 10 of these retailers say they use push notifications to market products and services to consumers via their mobile devices.

If you’re a newcomer to all the benefits of mobile advertising and creating a mobile website, a push notification is a pop-up notification from an app that’s been downloaded onto a user’s smartphone or tablet. When the user receives the notification, he or she can choose to go to the app to see what’s new.

“For example, if a retailer has a sale that starts at 10 a.m., a notification could pop up at that time on a shopper’s phone whether or not she has the app open,” an InternetRetailer post explains.

And it’s easy to see why so many retailers are looking to “push” push notifications more than other types of marketing services — according to Mobile Marketing Watch, consumers who opt in for push notifications from their retail apps tend to open these apps 40% more often than those who don’t. These app opens lead to increased consumer engagement, and ultimately to increased purchases.

While this “push notification marketing” is one of the more emerging types of marketing services for mobile platforms, it’s also incredibly easy for a company to take advantage of it — all the business needs is an app.

And, according to recent studies, more and more businesses and retailers are jumping on the app development trend. Mobile Marketing Watch reports that 77 of the top 100 online retailers had their own app in 2013; this number is surely to have grown by 2014.

Of all the different types of marketing services for the mobile world, including the obvious benefits of a website geared toward mobile use, push notifications are definitely one to keep an eye out for.

How to Keep Your Social Media Marketing Strategy From Becoming an Epic Fail

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

help with social mediaOf all the types of marketing campaigns at a company’s disposal, social media marketing has gained popularity in recent years because of social media sites’ unique ability to connect people with brands.

How does social media help businesses? It’s simple — for a fraction of the cost of traditional types of marketing services, your company gets repeat exposure to potential customers, brand recognition among a wide audience, and an influx of web traffic back to your website. An amazing 47% of Americans say Facebook alone has influenced their purchasing decisions more than any other social media site.

But with the wild frontier of social media comes an array of hazards and potential PR slip-ups, to which every company is vulnerable. And no matter how quickly you remove evidence of the mistake, it’s pretty much guaranteed that thousands of your followers will see it.

If your business needs some free marketing tips and help with social media marketing, check out these five common social media marketing faux pas to always avoid:

1. Not promoting your company’s social media accounts: Promotion plays a major role in bringing new customers to your company. If a web user doesn’t see your company being promoted in their Facebook or Twitter feeds, they essentially won’t know your company is there. You should be able to easily find a link for promoting your page, which usually costs extra — but the benefits are well worth it.

2. Letting account activity dwindle: What do you usually do when you notice that one of the accounts you follow on social media hasn’t posted or tweeted in months? You probably unfollow that account. You may even forget about the brand. And this is what your company’s followers will do if any of its social media accounts isn’t regularly updated. If you need extra help with social media marketing, there are a number of marketing firms to help you maintain your company’s social media presence.

3. Posting too much: Like letting an account stay dormant, overposting on your company’s social media accounts will also result in a loss of followers. No one wants their Facebook or Twitter feed clogged with excessive posts from the same company!

4. Not engaging with customers: Web users like following their favorite brands on social media and giving their feedback on products and services they purchase. So when your company receives a complaint through social media, it’s absolutely necessary to respond to the customer and apologize for their bad experience. It’s called social media for a reason!

5. Failing to post quality content: Now more than ever, content is king when it comes to web marketing and social media marketing. If you want help with social media marketing, an easy solution is to engage consumers with attention-grabbing, well-written content that informs them about what your company has to offer. For more help with social media marketing through content, taking advantage of search engine optimization is also a great way to go.

The Top Four Benefits of Hiring an IT Consulting Service

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultingIf you work at a small business or company, you most likely have at least one IT worker in your office. However, it might be time for your company’s tech infrastructure to get a facelift. There’s no reason not to take advantage of the many benefits that IT consulting has to offer.

Here are four reasons why your company can’t afford not to hire an IT consulting service:

1. An instant tech upgrade: Perhaps the most common reason to hire an IT consulting service is for the advanced computer services they can offer. By hiring an IT consulting firm to upgrade your company’s tech infrastructure and database, your operations will be more streamlined and efficient — which will save both time and money down the road.

2. Save time, money and resources: Many are intimidated by the thought of hiring an IT consulting firm because of the initial cost. However, as it was mentioned before, the upgrades and training that IT consulting services provide will ultimately benefit your company for years after the consultant has left the office. With the latest technology and tech strategies, your company’s employees will be more productive and efficient.

3. Training benefits: IT compliance and consulting firms offer IT training for your company’s current employees so they can have the tools and strategies for more effective IT and general tech know-how. IT consulting firms offer a variety of other training services for your employees, including help with social media and sales and marketing tips.

4. A fresh perspective: Bringing in new people to look at your company’s operations who don’t work there every day can help you and your employees notice things they might not have before working with an IT consultant. Sticking to the status quo might seem like a safe thing to do, but it could also make your company stagnate and fall into irrelevancy.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About #Hashtags (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

types of marketing servicesInvesting your time and money into a startup is always risky, but it helps to understand how the get the most out of your investment. One of the biggest aspects modern small businesses tend to overlook is exactly how big they have to look to expand their online presence. It’s not just enough to have a website anymore, especially when the latest numbers suggest that there are currently over over 600 million sites in existence.

It’s not just about websites anymore; it’s about social media and different types of marketing strategies to supplement your already spectacular web efforts. Of course, plenty of businesses have registered their Twitter handle and are currently building up interactive followings on Instagram and Vine. But they might not yet understand the true power of the hashtag — you know, that ubiquitous little # that keeps popping up wherever you look.

Recognizing #hashtags is great. But to use them effectively, you’re going to need a little help with social media. Here’s how to break down all the different types of marketing services online.

Listen to your customers
Chances are the modern consumer is on Twitter, especially since Twitter currently has nearly 645 million active users. The purpose of a #hashtag is to designate a particular term as something that can be tied into your brand and the way you want to present yourself to the digital world. The goal of all this sharing is to have the buzzword go viral — something that ultimately traces back to you. So, listen to your customers and try to figure out some of their concerns, then based your hashtags around those keywords.

Pay attention to the timeline
Hashtags are just one of many types of marketing services, yet they only comprise a subsection of what you can achieve on Twitter. A lot of sites use Twitter to push out content they’ve created for their main sites or to direct web traffic back home. But hashtags, as we mentioned before, create buzz. The first day you begin using one, you might only get one user tagging tweets — and that user might be you. Over time, however, you can see your hashtag begin to blow up. All it takes it the right promotion, so think outside of Twitter and use it on Facebook, Instagram and even in your marketing emails.

Lather, rinse, repeat
The best way to get noticed on the web is by finding something that works and doing it again and again and again and until you get the right amount of exposure. It’s been proven that hashtags work — just ask CBS, home of David Letterman’s Late Show, whose host is retiring sometime in 2015. The first source where that story broke? Twitter. News sites like NPR, Huffington Post and even NBC were linking back to Twitter to deliver the story.

Out of all the types of marketing services out there, remember the key role social media plays in maintaining your online persona. For starters, why not create your own hashtag? Something like #WebTips2014 might work.