Online Traffic for Small Firms: Using Social Media Correctly

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

marketing firmKeeping your small marketing firm afloat in a world of big business is easier than you would think. The use of social media is advancing the possibilities of digital marketing and is helping local businesses get a leg up in the industry. To increase your online traffic utilizing social media, consider these tips.

Interact with consumers
An estimated 93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google. As a result, search engine optimization is the leading source of online traffic. However, search engines are often used as a source of general information whereas social media allows users to interact with local businesses on a regular basis.

Consumers are often on social media throughout the day. Interacting with them through more than advertisements separates your marketing firm from other companies and gives your business a humanizing, likable personality. Respond to comments, post pictures, and update often. The more a business appears human, the more positively a consumer will respond.

Provide consumers with quality
Users of social media are there to be exactly that: social. If you market your product too much on your web page without any kind of quality content that gets consumers attention your business will likely be ignored. Provide content on your social media account that does more than give information. Create emotional reactions from your consumers. Make them laugh. Make them discuss.

Advertising on social media doesn’t work because users have already learned to filter and ignore the content. However, by providing your consumers with quality content that gets them to positively interact with your business leaves a lasting impression.

Employees in a small business can easily multitask, but multitasking ultimately means the quality of your product isn’t as great as it could be. Outsourcing IT services to create digital marketing material for your company allows your employees to give all of their attention to their designated tasks. It also creates consistent content on your social media platforms, which is important to keep the attention of potential consumers.

Outsourcing IT management can mean more than getting your computer fixed. If the age of the outsourced employees matches the age of the consumers you’re trying to attract, your online marketing will be more effective as consumers will be able to humanize your marketing firm. Marketing agencies often fail in this area because they don’t know how to communicate to their consumers as other consumers would, rendering them awkward, online imposters.

To use social media adequately for your marketing firm, it’s important to be as casual and interactive as possible. While SEO is about content filtering, social media is about character and quality. The more character a business provides, the more a consumer will be able to relate and, on social media, it’s those relationships that reign.

Starting a Remote Work Program? IT Consultants Can Help

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

marketing firm

The business world is changing. More companies are turning to remote workers for a variety of different roles. The advantages are clear, working remotely allows your employees more flexibility and can help increase their job satisfaction, which will in turn make them more efficient employees. It also removes physical barriers that might prevent you from hiring the best candidates.

While not every company would benefit from allowing distance working, service based companies like marketing firms firms are perfect for this style of employment.

But whether you are a startup digital marketing firm or an established telecommunications company, it can be hard to know how to go about creating a remote working program.

Working with an IT consulting company can help you get started with some of the most basic steps towards enabling employees to work remotely.

Communication and Collaboration
One of the biggest changes when employees work remotely is working collaboratively. Without the ability to simply walk down the hall to explain why and how a report needs to be rewritten, it is easy for communication to break down.

An IT consultant can help you organize the way your employees communicate, and work together to achieve your vision and mission.

If you are planning on offering remote options only for those employs who’s functions are largely self-contained, you might not need to build an in-depth infrastructure for your communications, but a simple system will still help you assign work and track the progress of your employees.

Whether you’re employees are handling sensitive material or not, it is important to protect your company from cyber-attack and viruses. With your employees spread across the city or globe, it becomes harder to ensure that your company and it’s information are secure.

By working with an IT firm, you can device a number of strategies to protect your business, and hold employees accountable for any transgressions, after all 75% to 85% of all malicious attacks will come from within your company.

Access to Information
Many companies still use a private server to store their information, only accessible through physical connections. If your employees are going to be required to access large volumes of information, then you are going to need to change the way you store it

An IT company can help you set up cloud computing that will allow you to expand the way your employees interact with your secure files.

Allowing your employees to work remotely has a number of advantages for you and your business, but getting started can be tough. Whether you’re trying to build an marketing firm or travel agency, the right IT firm can help make this transition easy and secure.

5 Common IT Mistakes To Avoid

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

IT Security

The average business is evolving to accommodate online communication, remote employees, and rapidly advancing technology. With this in mind, it is important that the average IT department is evolving as well. When analyzing your IT strategy, make sure that you are not making any of the following mistakes. Even small errors can lead to IT security breaches and other technological issues.

  1. You are only focusing on external threats. A shocking 57% of small businesses reported security breaches by their own staff in the past few years. This stresses the importance of monitoring your new and existing employees for potential cyber threats. Be sure to educate your staff about how to handle suspicions of internal threats.
  2. You haven’t hired enough IT employees. Computer maintenance needs are unpredictable, so make sure you have enough staff to handle these issues in a timely manner. While the perfect number of IT employees depends on the size of your organization, make sure that you are not overwhelming your staff with too many pressing tasks at once. You want them to be thorough in their repairs, so make sure that you are not stretching their skills too thin.
  3. You aren’t backing up your data enough. As your business continues to store data and produce content electronically, make sure that you have the best possible backup server in place. More businesses are turning to cloud computing to achieve this goal, so see what type of service is best for you. Have your IT staff set this system to back up important data frequently.
  4. You are keeping the same strategies. Your business’ IT support and services should be evolving with the technology you use. This can easily slip through the cracks as your company continues its busy schedule, so hire an IT consultant to analyze your IT department’s knowledge.
  5. You are forgetting about personal devices. If you have remote employees, or allow your in house employees to bring their personal devices to work, you will need to add another layer of IT security and services. To account for these personal devices, be sure to add security measures to your office WiFi.

While IT department shortcomings can be detrimental to your business’ productivity and security, they are also simple to avoid. By equipping your IT department with the best tools and knowledge, you can ensure their preparedness for handling any tech problem.

Need Computer Support? Let IT Wizards Take Care of It For You

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

business computer support

Every office these days is mostly run with the help of technology like computers, phones, tablets, the cloud, and other digital storage. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone in the office is as tech-savvy as one hopes. And even for the co-worker in the office who’s always on top of the new trends, there are some problems that only IT services can assist with. For any new system introduced to an office — whether it’s something like two-step verification or a total overhaul of how information is transmitted or stored — having business computer support and IT support is important for any office to run smoothly. Business computer support can also often extend to IT security, which is another necessary feature, with increased hacking and viruses being spread digitally.

Why Do We Need Business Computer Support?
Modern employees spend almost eight to 10 hours a day on their computers. Whether they’re a marketing firm employing social media, blogging, or new SEO tactics to promote a brand or service or someone simply entering a query into a search engine, we use the Internet and computers in almost every facet of our lives. Much of our data is saved on the cloud or on a server and if those systems should, for some reason, go down or become inaccessible, business computer support can be a lifesaver.

If something should go wrong with the computer itself, IT services are available to help troubleshoot. For new processes or systems, technical consultants can help walk first-time users through it and answer any questions as employees adjust. They can help reduce a great deal of frustration and negative feelings in the office and help a company conduct “business as usual” even when undergoing significant structural changes.

What’s the Deal With Cyber Security?
Cyber security continues to be a growing concern, as more of our personal information makes its way online. There are compliance mandates out there like PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA that make it a requirement for businesses to protect, keep track of, and control access to sensitive information, but accidents happen. For example, the federal government, which ought to have the highest levels of security, has suffered an almost 680% increase in cyber security breaches in just the last six years. And a recent survey showed that almost 90% of small businesses had a security breach in 2012. Around 97% of the 60 billion emails sent every day are spam and nine out of every 1,000 computers wind up being infected with spam.

Where’s the threat coming from? Unfortunately, between 75% and 80% of all malicious attacks actually come from the inside, not the outside. IT services can help keep companies stay on their toes with security auditing and penetration testing to see how the current IT infrastructure is working against cyber attacks. They can also advise new strategies for businesses to take to keep their information safe. For example, almost 80% of breaches are because of weak administrator passwords — if passwords can be made more secure and changed every few months, it could help slow down or stop the rate of cyber attacks. This is especially important if you have a high rate of turnover in your office — almost 60% of employees steal corporate data when they quit or if they’re let go.

As our world becomes ever more digitally oriented, the need for IT companies will also continue to grow. We need experts in the field advising us on the best security options, introducing new systems that can help us expand our businesses and improve our efficiency, and who can help keep staff up to date with new systems and protocol. Let an IT company take the wheel so that you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

Debunking 3 Common Myths About IT Compliance

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it compliance

When it comes to IT compliance, many times, it’s not as easy as one might think. Compliance mandates such as PCI, HIPAA and FISMA require businesses to protect, track and control access to sensitive information. Despite all that we know about IT services, there are still a surprising number of misconceptions being spread. Here are some common myths about IT compliance.

  1. Myth: Informing customers or patients about information breaches solves IT compliance problems.
    Recovering from a data breach is complicated and time consuming, especially considering that between 75% and 80% of all malicious attacks come from within an organization, not from an external threat. This makes it all the more necessary to use ethical hacking services such as IT consultation, security auditing, and penetration testing to evaluate your IT infrastructure thoroughly. It’s not uncommon for data breaches to cause businesses to lose thousands of dollars, but more importantly, data breaches can cause your business to lose valuable customers as well. That’s why it’s important to work with credit monitoring agencies, identity repair services, and other IT support services to help the affected parties recover from the damaging breach.
  2. Myth: Compliance=security.
    It would be nice if this were true, but in reality, just because your business is compliant does not mean it’s secure. Compliancy is more than simply checking off boxes on a list of rules and requirements. Security should always be treated as a priority and an ongoing process to protect data and information. A multi-layer defense is often the best approach for a business’ network security needs because it offers more than one level of protection. Once your full audit is completed,, you should schedule frequent scans to assure that your network is secure and that you’re still keeping up with compliancy regulations.
  3. Myth: Free scan tools can determine whether or not compliancy has been reached.
    While there are many websites available to assist in determining IT compliance, simply filling out a survey doesn’t actually do anything to protect you. You should strive to work with a vendor that employs a structured Information Technology Audit Framework, which CISAs (Certified information system auditors) follow when they conduct audits. The structural framework encompasses objectives, a process of validation and outcomes, and any corrective actions that need to be taken.

Ultimately, IT compliance is complicated, and you should consult a reputable IT consulting company if you have concerns. For more information about IT compliance, contact ITS Cares.