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June 30th, 2016


Image: Microsoft.com

If you have still not upgraded to Windows 10, you are not alone – in May, Microsoft said 300 million devices were running Windows 10 which is only a fraction of the roughly 1.5 billion Windows PCs on the market.

Windows 10 is the newest operating system (OS) upgrade that Microsoft released last July. Right now it’s free to upgrade, however, on July 29, Microsoft will start charging $119 for a copy. In spite of the incessant messages encouraging you to upgrade, and the temptation to download ’10’ before they start charging for it, please wait, and speak with your Sinu Relationship Manager before upgrading so we can check to make sure that it’s compatible with all of the systems, hardware and software that you run in your environment.

Still tempted to hit that UPGRADE button? Here are a few reasons to reconsider and talk to Sinu first…

The New York Times reports that they have received emails every week from readers about upgrade headaches: “Some say that the software system rendered their machines inoperable, while others say it broke compatibility with apps or devices they rely on.”

The Times lists several examples of how Windows 10 had negatively affected their technology: “the system broke her computer’s networking capability and compatibility with a printer… Windows 10took apart two Toshiba laptops ‘piece by piece’… the Wi-Fi stopped working… then the keyboard failed.”

What if, in a weak moment, you did not wait to talk to Sinu and hit upgrade?

A lesser-known feature in Windows 10 is a button to roll back to the previous version of Windows. In the Settings window, select the Recovery tab, and there will be an option to go back to an older version of Windows. Click “Get started,” and Microsoft will return you to the previous version of Windows. The option to return to a previous version of Windows is available for only one month after an upgrade to Windows 10.

How do I turn off the Windows 10 reminders?

After complaints about being too aggressive with its reminder to upgrade, Microsoft recently clarified the wording of the upgrade reminder to read: “Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade.” Clicking through will let you opt out of the upgrade.

Typically, the most common Windows 10 problems are caused by an incompatibility with your current hardware and software. If you are a Sinu customer, we already know your system and whether it will play nicely with the upgrade and we can walk you through the options as part of our all-inclusive service. We can also perform any of these listed steps to turn off Windows 10 reminders or revert back to a previous version of Windows – just ask! Remember, contacting your Relationship Manager before upgrading to Windows 10 or any other new technologies can avoid downtime and data loss.

Topic Articles
June 30th, 2016

Nonprofits are focused on fundraising, staff and volunteers, programs, and other mission-oriented initiatives. Finding the time to handle technology and data security can be a challenge. Nearly half of Sinu’s customers are nonprofits, and we have found most organizations face many of the same tech challenges. We have decided to identify the top technology challenges we have seen in organizations and select one topic each week to provide tips and resources to our nonprofit friends. If you have a suggested topic, please email us, and we will try to address that topic in an upcoming article!

Below are the top IT challenges we have identified along with our first topic: Data Security.

Top Tech Challenges for Nonprofits:

  1. Data security
  2. Replacing obsolete technology
  3. Mobility solutions
  4. Managing data
  5. Data backup and continuity solutions
  6. Creating and enforcing tech policies and best practices
  7. Migrating to appropriate cloud solutions
  8. Training staff and board on new technologies
  9. Budgeting for system upkeeps and replacement cycles

Data Security

While organizations may be more diligent about utilizing security hardware and software, people also play a critical role in protecting against data security breaches. In fact, studies show that 95 percent of IT security breaches are attributed, in part, to human error (according to IBM’s 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index report).

Large companies with big technology budgets are not immune to data security breaches. One of the largest data breaches in recent history was with JP Morgan in 2014. That year alone, the company spent $250 million on computer security, yet the company’s security team apparently forgot to upgrade an overlooked server in its vast network, leaving JP Morgan vulnerable to intrusion.

With the human factor so critical to preventing data breaches, it is important to put a clear, easy-to-adopt data security policy in place at your nonprofit and clearly communicate expectations to employees in order to minimize your organization’s risk with these tech challenges. There are ways to create a culture of data security within your organization and follow security best practices with a little time, good internal communication, and without a large investment.

Strong passwords are universally the most challenging to generate and manage when following recommended practices, but they are probably the single most important defense against a data breach. The most secure passwords are long, include special characters, do not repeat between accounts, and are changed often. While your staff may complain that they are hard to remember and you may hear heavy sighs everytime you change passwords, organizations should create and enforce a password policy in order to protect their data.

Here are some tips for generating secure passwords:

  • Generate a different password for each online account
  • Make a random 2 to 4 word paraphrase that does not include any elements from your name, organization, address or any information associated with you
  • When generating your own password, it should contain upper and lowercase letters, punctuation, a number and be a minimum of 14 characters long
  • Change your passwords every 3-6 months and don’t reuse them
  • Do not store your password list in the cloud, such as on Google Docs or Dropbox
  • Consider a two-step verification on services that provide it

For most organizations, it is difficult and time consuming to manage dozens, if not hundreds, of unique online passwords. There are several password management solutions that can help you both generate and manage secure passwords for your online accounts. Lastpass, offers free and premium password generation and management services. With Lastpass you only need to remember one master password to access the other passwords it encrypts and stores for you. A good, free tool to help generate (but not store) passwords is xkpasswd which is easy to use. In the “Presets” area at the top, choose NTLM, WEB16 or APPLEID (these just represent templates, ordered by increasing complexity); scroll down to the “Generate Passwords” area; click “Generate 3 Passwords”; choose one of them. Then say it, type it, memorize it.

For an overview of how best to manage the passwords in your nonprofit, along some tools for storing your passwords, read Sinu’s blog: How secure is your password.

While passwords are critical to protecting data, replacing obsolete software and hardware is equally important, as they pose a risk when companies no longer support the technology and provide regular updates and patches. We will discuss the importance of keeping your technology up-to-date in next week’s article covering another top tech challenge for nonprofits. In the meantime, if you would like to read more about data security, please download our free whitepaper: Oh, the Humanity! The role people play in data security.

Topic Articles
June 21st, 2016

2016June21_SocialMedia_AIn today’s modern age, the speed in which your reputation can change almost as fast as the speed of light. For example, your reputation might be stellar one day and completely flop the next - meaning that striking a balance isn’t no walk in the park. In order your business to reach its peak, it’s important to understand how to utilize reputation marketing to establish much-needed consistency. Here are ten tools to help get you on your way:

ConsumerAffairs

Businesses can forge a strong online reputation and boost revenue with an array of advanced features. Namely, unpaid business plans along with third-party accreditation programs coupled with powerful software as a service (SaaS) platforms - offering companies various resources to convert customer engagement into cash.

BazaarVoice

Ideal for companies with deeper budgets, BazaarVoice extends the online marketing potential of customers’ voices to shopping portals, offline channels as well as natural search. Customers are also able to leave reviews, rating, questions and other customer-generated content on client websites which will then be shared on social media.

Better Business Bureau

Suitable for entrepreneurs and SMBs, not only does this non-profit group mediate and resolve customer-business disputes but also helps you to personally interact with customers - other networking services are also available at an affordable price.

Yotpo

The mechanism behind this ecommerce-oriented plug and play solution is that if you have made online purchases via Yotpo, after receiving them you will get an email asking you to review the product(s). This Mail After Purchase (MAP) provides more verified reviews since they are sent directly to the customer.

Cision

Focusing more on public relations, Cision allows your company to connect with over 1.6 million contacts and outlets, including influential journalists, bloggers and social influencers that would normally be inaccessible.

Percolate

Create campaigns, store files, create content and manage your business’s marketing efforts with Percolate. It takes into account all your details, target audience, brand identity and objectives, after which it provides a cross-channel marketing calendar that helps you plan ahead and eases the process of sharing content with consumers on social media, the Internet and other methods.

Reputation Loop

Similar to Yotpo, Reputation Loop primarily works by automatically emailing customers for product reviews but with this tool, additional features such as real-time reporting, review monitoring on Yelp and Google+ are at your brand manager's disposal.

TinyTorch

Utilizing social influencers and user-generated content (UGC) to build your online profile, TinyTorch is a social platform that allows brands to identify, monitor and manage their online presence. The tool helps you locate your most influential customers and redistribute their stories and photos across multiple marketing channels.

HootSuite

This social media management platform allows your business to monitor and sync all social media accounts onto one interface. HootSuite makes it easier to monitor customer feedback on their social media accounts and share positive reviews across multiple social media networks at once.

TrustPilot

TrustPilot is ideal for businesses looking for something simple to work with. Users get to leave business reviews on its website while offering both free and paid brand listings. It’s an easily-navigable site equipped with an assortment of analytic and engagement tools,

Building a credible and consistent brand reputation might not be easy, but it isn’t an impossible task to complete. Whether or not you have one, it’s never too late to start. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the efficient tools that’ll help you get started on creating your own company’s reputation.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
June 20th, 2016

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The NBA Finals may now be over but for one team, the losses keep coming. Yahoo! Sports reported that the Milwaukee Bucks fell victim to a spoofed email scam last month. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, compensation information and dates of birth of the players were unknowingly sent to a hacker and created a massive security issue for the team. And just because your employees don’t make millions of dollars doesn’t mean hackers won't target your company. Here are four ways to protect yourself from spoofed emails.

Education is key There are countless cliches out there promoting the importance of education, but when it comes to cyber security, you might as well embrace them all. In the case of spoofed emails, you need to make sure your employees know what these are and how they can harm your company. They can come in several forms and look to attack your organization in a number of different ways. A good defense starts with trained employees using best security practices when it comes to emails. Knowledge isn’t just the key to success, it’s the building block of a comprehensive email security plan.

Check the sender The easiest way to determine a real email from a spoofed one is to view who is sending it. While your basic junk mail folder will screen the really lazy attempts at spoofing, you and your employees can’t rely on it to weed out everything. A lot of cybercriminals have gotten skilled at mimicking the look and feel of companies through professional looking graphics and signatures. For starters, you are going to want to ignore email display names as these can be deceptive. The domain name provides the best clues as to who the sender really is. For instance, if an email requesting your company’s financial documents claims to be from the IRS but the domain reads IRSgov.com, it’s a spoof email since that domain is not what the IRS uses. If you ever spot an email containing a domain you consider to be suspicious, delete it immediately. If it is from a legitimate sender, they will send you a follow up email in a couple of days.

Embrace DMARC Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) can help reduce the risk of spoofed emails being sent internally. For businesses that do not set this up, it is possible for someone to spoof an email account that looks like it is from your business or a current employee and send it from a different server. As we saw in the case with the Bucks, these can appear legitimate to employees who will then in turn do what is requested such as turn off security settings or handover sensitive data. With DMARC in place you can prevent spoofed emails from utilizing your domains by requiring any email sent by your domain to come from your server. This greatly reduces the risk of an internal spoofed email showing up in the inbox of your employees.

Utilize email protections A lot of companies believe they can get by with the simple protections that come standard with an email client. However, doing the bare minimum is rarely enough to stop spoofed emails, not to mention all of the other threats lurking in your inbox, and high-powered email and spam protection will give your organization the added layer of security it needs. Much like elite-level basketball players need the best coaching and equipment to succeed, the only way to truly reduce the risk of falling victim of a spoofed email is to educate your staff properly and then equip them with email filtering. This ensures they aren’t wasting their time constantly trying to identify legitimate emails from fake ones but are prepared when the situation presents itself.

When it comes to email security, working with us is a slam dunk. We may not have the skills of Steph Curry on the basketball court but when in the realm of IT, competitors say they want to be like us. Give us a call today to find out more.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
June 14th, 2016

2016June14_Productivity_AThe word ‘Community’ is derived from the Latin term communitas meaning ‘things shared by many or all’, which hints at our innate desire to connect with others. With the Internet being such a powerful medium, connecting people regardless of their locations has never been easier. Imagine thousands and thousands of people that are genuinely interested in what your company does -- that level of attention would not only propel but possibly skyrocket your business to heights you didn’t think possible. But before running, we must first walk. Here are five tips for building an online community for your business:

Make sure your customers are passionate

The number one rule of online community is that it should be a place where like-minded people are genuinely interested in your brand and are able to engage, if that’s not the case, it won’t be any different from throwing a party that everyone ignored. Make sure you have brand appeal, pick up on vibes your customers are giving off and figure out what they really want. The size of your online community isn’t what’s important, customer’s annual revenue and genuine passion for your products play a much bigger role.

Loosen the reins

It’s an undeniable fact that you have put copious amounts of time and energy into building and managing your business - so you can’t help but develop an attachment to it. What business owners have to realize is that your company really belongs to your users. This is a difficult obstacle to overcome, but when you are still clinging on for dear life and discouraging open discussion, you’ve basically shot yourself in the foot. Several times.

Another rule to follow is NEVER delete a post (unless it’s spam), under no circumstances would you want to hide negative feedback. Online communities might be the reality check you’ve been looking for, so accept honest feedback with open arms.

Create a rich experience

Thriving communities are the ones that engage in numerous activities, the same can be said for online communities as well. An example to help put things in perspective is bird watching. Let's say one community only has support forums dedicated to basic subjects whereas the other community offers a feature request area that allow customers to give their thoughts on what they want to see next as well as a visual library on local species. Ensure that there’s always something for your community to do.

Invest in infrastructure

Dedicated team members and the right software are essential components required in taking on an online community - don’t pinch any pennies here. Growing the team and utilizing suitable tech resources are necessary steps that (although nerve-wracking) need to be taken. Entice customers further by tying up all the technological loose ends, make it easy-to-use and devoid of downtime.

Don’t stress over measurements

We live in a time where numbers hold immeasurable power and people expect dashboards to show trending activity constantly. It’s a fact that measuring the ROI of an online community is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There is one way of measuring your community’s value, not with a measuring tape, but by looking at the number of posts.

If you're aiming to establish higher brand credibility, corporate integrity and customer loyalty but aren’t exactly sure how to go about it, just give us a call! We’ll help you with any questions you may have about building an online community for your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic business
June 9th, 2016

2016June9_Security_AAlthough some may have hoped that the threat of ransomware was on the decline, the reality is that it’s quite the opposite. Until now, attacks seemed to be targeted directly at its victims, but Microsoft warns that may no longer be true. With their discovery of self-propagating ransomware it’s vital to fully understand the possible risk of infection.

Ransomware, the malware that locks up infected systems and demands payment to return access to users, has been steadily increasing its infection rate over the course of this year. Enigma Software reported that, “After staying steady for the last six months of 2015, ransomware detection has begun to climb; February saw a 19 percent increase over January, while March had almost a 10 percent increase over February. Then, in April, infections more than doubled.”

And as if that wasn’t frightening enough, Microsoft announced last week that a recently detected ransomware software was found copying itself onto USB and network drives. The ransomware, titled ZCryptor, disguises itself as either an Adobe Flash installer or a Microsoft Office file to trick users into opening it.

Once opened, it displays a prompt that says “There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive D:”. If you see this after opening a suspicious file, it is most likely ZCryptor trying to distract you while it works in the background to add a registry key that buries itself deep in your system and begins to encrypt your files.

Although previous ransomware iterations like Alpha Ransomware had the ability to find and encrypt files on shared network drives, security experts believe this is the first time a ransomware variant has included self-replication via removable drives into its framework.

When it was first detected in May, Microsoft found ZCryptor singling out 88 different file types for encryption. However, later on a security expert analyzed the ransomware and found 121 targeted file types -- inferring that creators of the malware were continuing to develop its source code.

It’s commonplace for ransomware to demand payment to be made in Bitcoins as they’re an almost totally untraceable online currency. ZCryptor is no different, demanding 1.2 Bitcoins (500 USD) unless payment is more than four days after infection -- then it increases to five Bitcoins (2,700 USD).

Compared to other more complex security threats, ransomware is still relatively easy to avoid. Always verify the source of email attachments and website downloads before opening files, disable macros in Microsoft Office programs, maintain regular backups and update your security software.

Still concerned about security at your SMB? It doesn’t have to be as difficult and draining as you may think. Contact us today for advice on keeping your network protected around the clock.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
June 1st, 2016

2016June1_Facebook_AWe all know you can buy ad space on Facebook. And while ads on the world’s largest social network are generally quite affordable, they still cost money - which as a small or medium sized business owner, may be in short supply. Thankfully, there are many ways to market your business for free on Facebook. Here are a few of the most popular methods.

Get your friends on board

A business is nothing without its fans...at least on social media. So after setting up your Facebook business page, your first order of duty should be to invite your friends to “Like” your company page. Bear in mind, we use the term “friends” broadly here. Really, you should be telling pretty much everyone you know about your business. This includes family members, colleagues, that random parent you chatted with at your son’s baseball game, and any acquaintances from all walks of life. The goal of this is to create a foundation of followers to build upon as you grow your business.

Create your brand identity

On Facebook, your brand needs to do more than simply sell a product or service, because no one wants to interact with a company they feel is constantly trying to sell them. This is exactly why your brand should have a persona and human characteristic. In other words, you need a brand voice. So ask yourself, how should your brand sound? Should it be funny, easy-going, serious or inspiring? Once you’ve figured it out, ensure this voice is consistent in all your posts as it will help your audience form a relationship with your brand as they get to know it better. While you can and definitely should advertise different products or services your business offers, most of your posts should aim to entertain, inspire, and encourage social interaction. As your followers get to know your brand better, they will develop shared interests with it, which will eventually lead to trust. And when your audience finally trusts you, the sales will start to come in naturally.

Exploit algorithm changes

If you thought Google was the only platform that changed their algorithms, think again! Just like Google, Facebook also uses algorithms to determine the amount of organic reach your updates get. This raises an interesting question...how do you discover what algorithm changes Facebook has on the docket? Well, they occasionally post them on Facebook’s newsroom, so regularly check there to stay updated.

So once you’re aware of an upcoming algorithm change, how can you exploit it? Let’s look at an example. Back in the Fall of 2014 Facebook announced they’d begin to favor link posts with an image attached, over photo posts with the URL in the caption. Users who were aware of this change in advance and implemented it accordingly, were reportedly getting three times as much organic traffic by February 2015. Those who missed the announcement were left scratching their heads wondering what happened to their traffic.

Check your data

Many people believe there’s a best time and day of the week to share a post. While this is true, the actual day and time that’s best may be different from what you expect. While some people are quick to proclaim Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the best time to post, the reality is the best time to post depends on your unique business. Everyone’s audience is different, and results will vary from business to business. So while some SMBs may discover they have their audience's full attention on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, others may learn their customers are most engaged on Thursday and Friday evenings. So how can you find out when your audience is watching? Check your page’s Insights tab. This will provide you a plethora of information about your customers, including the days and times when they’re on Facebook.

While all these tips to market your business on Facebook are free, bear in mind you’ll need to invest a significant amount of time if you want to see results. To really succeed with Facebook marketing, you need to regularly interact with the platform - and not just treat it as an afterthought.

To learn more about how your business can leverage Facebook and other social media platforms, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
June 1st, 2016

Fake login screens overlay the original banking one and are triggered when the application is launched and closes after the user fills their personal data. Image from a report by Security Week, 3/10/16.

We work hard to keep you abreast of all the latest ways hackers and digital robbers are trying to steal your identity and your money. The latest is APP-alling in our opinion.

Sitting innocently on Google Play are about a dozen apps imitating banking and payment apps, and designed to get you to download them. The mobile banking applications targeted by the malware include those from Commonwealth Bank and Wells Fargo. The issue of hacker apps isn’t new (at least in tech years). The issue is that Android consumers generally expect Google Play to be a safe location to download apps from, making them that much more dangerous.

According to the Huffington Post, “Google does scan apps for security concerns before making them available to users, but bad actors have found ways to worm around the checks.”

Further complicating data security for Android consumers, ITWire reports that Android’s recent API modifications to allow adware may have allowed malware to sneak in. According to the report, “These threats function by learning what application is operating in the foreground, pushing it to the background, and then pushing a fake lookalike screen to the foreground. This screen looks like a banking application and is used to steal victims’ information.”

Even if the malware slips through, it still needs the consumer to give it permission to take over. Hackers intentionally use information and brands familiar to individual consumers to lower their shield just enough to sneak in. This Trojan Horse approach to manipulating human nature is called “social engineering,” and it’s well worth reading our recent blog, “Social Engineering: Bad People Tricking Good People,” to fully understand how integral it is to data security susceptibility.

One of the most consistent ways to spot a bad app (or email) is spelling errors, bad grammar, etc. If something doesn’t look right – or if your gut tells you something is off – don’t download the app and don’t give an app permission to access your data.

As always, we will continue to monitor the tech news for the latest tricks so that you’re educated on what to look for. At Sinu, we want you to be well educated because all the walls in the world won’t protect you if you open the door to the wrong person by accident.

For more information about how to keep your data safe, download our whitepaper: Oh, the Humanity! The Role People Play in Data Security.

Topic Articles
June 1st, 2016

Easier search function for iOS raises privacy concerns

Google just released a new keyboard for iOS devices that may well revolutionize an endless chain of events involved in iPhone web searching by keeping the search function right within the keyboard itself. They call it the Gboard and it holds promise.

Whether one is searching for the address of a restaurant, or a “You’re Awesome” GIF, Gboard allows the user to search from within the keyboard without leaving the app itself.

For instance, if you are texting back and forth to someone and a question comes up that requires searching from the browser (i.e., where to go to lunch with a customer). With Gboard you no longer have to switch to the browser app, search, copy the info you were looking for, then go back to the text app to paste the information to send. (See the short video that explains the Gboard.)

One drawback is that Apple does not allow third-party keyboards to access the microphone, which means users can search the web from their keyboard, just not with their voice. A quick switch of the Gboard back to the keyboard fixes this.

Critics also note that Gboard reverts back to the regular keyboard frequently. This is particularly frustrating when going from one text conversation to another, especially since the Google Swype function works remarkably better than the traditional keyboard.

Another serious concern is privacy and data security. A recent MacWorld report, “Google’s Gboard doesn’t send your keystrokes, but it does leak chicken and noodles” does a good job of outlining the debate. Top of the list: Are we sending too much information to the search giant?

However, TechCrunch reports, “Of course, allowing Google to become deeply integrated with your keyboard raises some questions around data retention and privacy. The app allows you to clear your search history and your personal dictionary, but this presumably only affects the locally installed app. (We’ve asked Google to clarify its data retention policies, and are waiting to hear back.)”

Apple Insider reports: “Perhaps predicting the backlash that would come with the release of a system keyboard from the world’s largest collector of personal information, Google is quick to point out that it will collect only “anonymous statistics” in order to “diagnose problems when the app crashes and…know which features are used most often.”

Apple offers a frank description of the risk of using any third party keyboard when you enable Allow Full Access. However, it is always a good practice not to use a third-party keyboard to type in sensitive information on your device and to be wary of open Wi-Fi networks. (For more information about Wi-Fi security, see “How to protect your data when using public Wi-Fi.“)

Topic Articles
May 31st, 2016

2016May31_BusinessValue_ANot long ago, uploading a video to the internet was still a new and novel concept, but now we have access to multiple services for live video streaming. Most of these are free and offer great opportunities for increasing your visibility with little to no investment. Let’s take a look at 6 different ways you can utilize live internet video to increase your business value.

Business Introduction/Behind the scenes

If your company is new or suffering from low visibility, one of the best things you can do is give customers direct access to your staff and your product. A great use of live video is to take viewers on an office tour, show them how a product is made or even broadcast your business’s launch event.

Make sure to invite as many viewers as you can, but remember that most live broadcasts can be saved and viewed later. This is a video you’ll likely want to keep available after it’s finished.

Ask Me Anything (AMA)

Depending on your product or service, you may be getting a lot of conceptual questions about innovative ways to use it, what direction the company is heading and so forth. There’s no better way to address these questions than to do so in a personal and unscripted AMA segment.

If there’s a good turnout make sure to keep questions and answers moving in relevant and interesting directions. There’s nothing wrong with updating everyone on what you had for breakfast, but addressing service bugs or product feature requests is going to be a lot more beneficial for wider audiences.

How-to

Whether it’s a soon-to-be-released product or simply rehashing an existing one that’s getting lots of support requests, there’s no better way to guide customers through a ‘how to’ process than step-by-step, face-to-face.

Not only does this help to show existing clients the best way to use your product or service, it also allows potential consumers to see both your product and your customer service philosophy in action. Saving these videos can be invaluable as you continue to get questions on the product or service outlined in these videos -- it’s an easy way to build a video reference library for sales and support.

Webinar

Although all of the previous uses can be categorized as ‘customer service’, there’s no reason you can’t simply open a help desk broadcast and invite viewers to join with their support questions. If you advertise this as a customer service broadcast and steer clear of any conversations that deal with non-support related questions, you may be able to tackle more than one client’s questions at a time and no one can ever complain that contacting your support line is frustrating or tedious.

Announcements

All of the live broadcast services are deeply integrated with social media. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, post updates about an upcoming announcement along with a scheduled time and take the chance to make your product or service announcement far more interesting and personal than a press release or faceless status update.

Text based announcements and pre-recorded videos severely limit how you address the ‘fine-print’ questions from customers. Think of this as a chance to hold your own personal press briefing and address questions after your scripted announcement.

Promotions

In the same vein as live announcements, use social media to promise a special promotion to anyone who tunes in to a live broadcast. Before it begins, create different thresholds for how big the promotion will be depending on participation. Once you begin, check how many viewers you have to decide whether to augment or reduce the scope of what you want offer. In addition to being a more dynamic method for releasing promotions, it will create motivation among your customers to interact more directly with your company.

Socialmediatoday reports that Facebook users spend three times longer watching live broadcasts than pre-recorded video. Combine that with Facebook’s announcement that live videos are more likely to be promoted to the top of news feeds and you’d be crazy not to utilize live broadcasts.

However, there are a handful of different services to use for live video broadcasting and deciding which one is the best for you can depend on a lot of different variables. Call us with any of your questions and we’ll be happy to assist you in adding value to your business with today’s best live video services.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic business