workplace

Facebook Workplace is the new social network for your OFFICE

FORGET LinkedIn, Facebook Workplace, offering collaboration tools, worldwide communication and more, could be the new social media network for your place of work.

The age of sneakily using Facebook whilst at work could finally be at an end thanks to the launch of a new social media site from the company.

Facebook Workplace looks to allow companies to set up their own private social networks, where employees can communicate, share knowledge and stay in touch, even at multinational businesses with offices all around the world.

Looking to target workers who don’t spend all day at their desk, Workplace is a mobile-focused service that will let employees and managers alike stay in contact wherever they are.

Formerly known as Facebook at Work, Workplace is Facebook biggest launch for some time, and marks a move towards the corporate scene for the first time.

Facebook says that more than a thousand organisations around the world are already using Workplace, which has been in beta testing for over two years, including many UK businesses.

This includes international companies such as Danone, Oxfam and Starbucks, as well as major domestic organisations such as India’s Yes Bank and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore.

Companies will need to pay a fee to use Workplace, which will be based on a monthly cost per active user.

The more users a company has, the less they will pay – with initial rates starting at $3 for the first 1,000 monthly users, $2 for up to 10,000 users and $1 for any higher than that.

Customers can also add in a number of additional services to their Workplace subscription, including multi-company Groups (which let employees from several different organisations work together without leaking valuable corporate information), and video and group audio calling in Work Chat.

However more traditional Facebook services can also be included, such as Facebook Live, Reactions, Trending posts and auto-translate.

Facebook says that utilising its various programs could allow workers to chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with a CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.

Facebook wrote in a blog post, “The new global and mobile workplace isn’t about closed-door meetings or keeping people separated by title, department or geography.”

“Organisations are stronger and more productive when everyone comes together.”

Source: Express, article by Michael Moore (http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/719665/facebook-workplace-new-social-network-office)

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Five tips for protecting your brand on social media

This summer, online payment service giant Paypal learned that bad guys had set up a fake Paypal Support page on Twitter, and then monitored the real Paypal Support page for remarks from customers. The bad guys responded to those inquiries and pointed users to the fake site where they would ask for, and sometimes receive, personal and account information – an attack called angler phishing.

Paypal’s Information Security Director Trent Adams likens the ongoing battle to protect its brand to a game of whack-a–mole, and with new social media threats popping up daily, it’s becoming more like “whack-an-ant-hill” because while one account may be shut down, others are probably still at work.

“We would like to get into a position of prevention – but prevention is really hard,” Adams says. “Early detection is where we are right now.”

As social media platforms become the predominate form of customer communication, so too do the threats to companies and brands. Nearly 600 new fraudulent brand accounts were created each month between April and June 2016 on social media sites Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, according to a study by Proofpoint. Of nearly 5,000 social media accounts connected with 10 top global brand names, nearly one in five was fraudulent.

Even though the incidents of phishing on those fake accounts is relatively small (about 4 percent), they’re still a huge target for bad actors and a danger to customers and brand reputation. “They can reach almost 33 million people across those top 10 brands,” says Devin Redmond, vice president and general manager of digital security and compliance at Proofpoint, which offers brand fraud detection and mitigation services.

It’s not just the largest brands that have been targeted. Food service and retail companies have seen bad actors create what looks like a promotional site for coupons, access to special content or previews for online games, Redmond says. Unknowing users will surrender credit card information and other personal information on the sites.

The rise in brand fraud has even prompted companies that don’t even have a social media presence to monitor popular platforms. “Companies are starting to understand that even if they’re not active on social media, they need to be monitoring it because other people could be active on their behalf,” says Shanna Gordon, client services director at BrandProtect.
Protecting your brand

Some 79 percent of information security leaders surveyed by Ponemon institute believe that their security processes for Internet and social media monitoring are nonexistent, partially deployed or inconsistently deployed. Brand fraud experts offer five tips for protecting your company’s name and reputation.

1. Create your own social media presence before someone else does

Companies should have an official presence on major social media sites, even if they don’t use them often, says John LaCour, CEO of PhishLabs. “If customers go looking for [your page] and can’t find one, they may find the bad guys instead,” he says. Many social media sites offer icons or flags that identify legitimate sites, he adds. Companies should also communicate with customers that their official sites will only be used for announcing new products and services, for example, so customers will look more suspiciously at alleged brand sites that offer free perks or customer service action.

2. Establish governance

Companies need to have a governance program in place and staff responsible for social media accounts and communication as part of the company’s main infrastructure, Redmond says.

Business units often create their own legitimate domains, but the security team might not know about them. “They don’t do it through the right channels,” Gordon says. “That needs to be monitored with processes in place.”

3. Conduct a social media brand inventory

A simple search of a company’s name on popular social media sites can begin to uncover any nefarious social media accounts or at least reveal how the company is being represented, fraud experts say. During a recent audit of its social media presence, a major consulting firm was shocked to discover that hundreds of accounts were impersonating its brand or were using its name in some unwanted way on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, Gordon says.

Some accounts might be legitimate while others may reference a company’s name simply to draw traffic to their site. But a few could be truly criminal and are attempting to use fake accounts for phishing scams or to sell knock-off merchandise, she adds.

4. Identify fraudulent accounts and act quickly

At Paypal, security teams focus on identifying fraudulent sites and then reacting quickly, usually with the help of its worldwide customer base.

“The fastest way we identify [fraud] is being notified by our customer base,” including merchants and consumers, Adams says. “We are often notified much more quickly by customers than we are by the industry organizations that identify potential fraud and kick out threat alerts.”

Paypal’s investigative team reviews the fraud tips as they are received and identifies whether they are malicious or benign. Next they reach out to social media platform operators and their security departments to alert them.

5. Know where and how to report brand fraud

When customers suspect a fake company account on social media, they need to know who to report the fraud to, Redmond says. Develop a response plan that includes the documentation that should be collected and who should be contacted at the company and the social media site.

“Companies need to report brand fraud in a way that responders can consume it quickly because minutes count in these situations,” Adams says. To that end, Paypal is testing a specialized fraud reporting queue it has set up with a half dozen social media sites.

Fraud tipsters provide documentation about the suspected fraud in a standard format, and it is submitted by Paypal to the social media platforms. “We’ve been able to see a significant decrease in the amount of time it takes from the time we identify the problem to the time we report it, to the time action is taken,” Adams says. In one recent month, the expedited channel was 75 percent faster than reporting through the standard channel, he adds.

Adams says the reporting queue project is in the in the early prototype phase, and once it is proven successful Paypal plans to share the process or technical specifications with the world as open source.

Preventing social media brand fraud will remain a challenge because of the generative nature of social media platforms and the proliferation of new and more creative scams, Adams says. While these measures won’t stop this kind of abuse completely, he says, “it will raise the barrier.”

Source: CSO, article by Stacy Collett (http://www.csoonline.com/article/3126077/social-networking/five-tips-for-protecting-your-brand-on-social-media.html)

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5 Overlooked Features of Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn has proven to be a winning platform for many B2B companies. But while the professional networking site holds major potential for amplifying thought leadership, boosting brand awareness, and generating leads, success on the site isn’t a given.

Maximizing your LinkedIn presence requires mastering the ins and outs of the platform and its many offerings as a piece of marketing technology. Here are five of the most overlooked features of your LinkedIn marketing strategy—plus a few tricks to jump-start your efforts.

1. Engage Your Employees

Your company’s LinkedIn page is a great starting point for your marketing efforts, but a company page alone won’t guarantee an audience. Encouraging employees to share and amplify your company page content will help spread your message far and wide, hitting the types of people who might be interested in your company to begin with.

A proper LinkedIn employee engagement program starts with getting employees excited about the platform and everything it can do for them personally and professionally (not to mention what it can do for the company). Explain why participation can improve the visibility of the company, thus increasing exposure to potential customers and leads. Companies in service-oriented industries have an added incentive to used LinkedIn; the talent behind the company is as important as the product or service offered. Empower staff to build stellar profiles (complete with links to the company page and a logo), and encourage them to share company content—blog posts, videos, images—to increase the reach of your message. Content marketing on LinkedIn grows exponentially stronger when engaged employees share content with their connections.

2. Test Your Content

Sharing posts from your company page and encouraging employees to do the same will bring content to users within those networks. But if you want your content to hit users outside your networks, LinkedIn can make it happen (albeit for a fee). Direct Sponsored Content allows brands to test multiple variations of their content, while maintaining control over what is posted to their company page.

LinkedIn’s marketing technology allows companies to test the headline, intro, teaser text, and thumbnail image of a post to see what garners more clicks from users. By finding out which variable resonates the most, marketers can optimize content so that the people they want to reach—industry leaders and potential customers—are more likely to click.

LinkedIn offers metrics for organic posts, too. Companies can see which posts are performing better, allowing them to tweak their content strategies to woo more followers. Top-performing organic posts are good candidates to receive a sponsored boost, allowing the content to go even further.

3. Utilize LinkedIn Pulse

Motivating your employees to use LinkedIn is a key piece to LinkedIn marketing success. Take these efforts to the next level and recruit your in-house company experts to author their own posts and share them to expand your thought leadership marketing. Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder and innovator, adorns his LinkedIn page with posts about entrepreneurship, business success, and work–life balance. The posts offer easily accessible business insight—while also consistently referring and linking back to Virgin, helping the brand boost its industry cred.

Any LinkedIn user can publish to LinkedIn Pulse, which functions as its own self-publishing platform within the LinkedIn site. Simply click “Write an article,” add a photo and write a headline, and you’re on your way to accessing the millions of LinkedIn users who browse the site for insight or advice. Pulse editors help curate the content users see on their Pulse feeds, but trending content and content that users in your network have Liked also gets highlighted. Once again, the more employees on board and sharing content, the further your content will spread.

4. Vary Your Content Mix

LinkedIn is building a niche as a go-to platform for long-form content. LinkedIn readers have a high tolerance for in-depth pieces—as long as the content is interesting.

Despite the conventional wisdom that shorter is better, on LinkedIn, longer posts seem to perform better than their shorter counterparts. Posts between 1,900 and 2,000 words gain the greatest number of LinkedIn likes, comments, and shares, a study from OKDork found.

The key here is variety. Offer followers meatier pieces with an in-depth analysis of an industry conundrum. But it’s okay to share shorter content, too. A great infographic may do the same work of a 2,000-word thought piece.

5. Publish Solutions to Your Audience’s Challenges

“If you build it, they will come” is the wrong mantra to have when it comes to LinkedIn marketing. Before posting content willy-nilly to your company page, think about the audience you want to reach and the pain points they are experiencing within their industry. This is where you, the industry expert, can add value. Need ideas about what’s bugging people in your industry? Scour LinkedIn’s Groups Directory to find out what challenges people in your industry are facing, and create content that speaks to those challenges.

Marketers can use LinkedIn’s built-in analytics to get a better feel for who is viewing and engaging with your content. The content created should help this audience solve a problem, learn something new, or empower them with advice. Avoid clickbait like the plague, because users will see right through it. Only relevant, compelling content will resonate with LinkedIn’s professional audience, lending you legitimacy as an expert in your industry.

Source: Skyword, article by Krystal Overmyer (http://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/marketing/5-overlooked-features-of-your-linkedin-marketing-strategy/)

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Why content marketing should be part of your strategy

There are numerous studies showing that up to 90 per cent of clients research their buying decisions online before speaking directly to a salesperson. Yikes.

The challenge for advisers therefore is to create awareness of your services with potential clients you haven’t shaken hands with yet. It means focusing more of your sales efforts on building awareness and influence. Thankfully, ‘content marketing,’ with the help of the internet, is proving a valuable way for businesses to create awareness and influence targeted client groups.

What is content marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In layman’s terms, this means providing potential and current clients with access to valuable information (aka content) free of charge, which can educate them about, or simply pique their interest in, the value of professional planning advice.

Ultimately, content marketing is deemed to be a ‘soft’ sales method by marketing types. This means that through a content marketing campaign, you’re not directly selling to clients in a traditional “sales” sense in the same way as an advertisement in a newspaper does, or that persistent English backpacker knocking down the door with the latest and greatest telephone plan. Rather, with content marketing, you’re building a relationship with clients through quality content, whether it’s a blog or a video, which builds awareness of your business and its expertise.

Examples of content

Blogging is the most common way businesses deliver content today. Also called ‘thought leadership’ by the marketing cognoscenti, this is the process of providing regular, consistent commentary or opinions. Blogs are mostly delivered through your website, social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook, or an industry publication such as Professional Planner.

Content is not simply limited to blogging, and it can take many forms, such as video content, inbound marketing, public relations, infographics, interactive image content and webinars. This is not an exhaustive list, and ultimately any accessible content that has a connection to your brand is a form of content marketing.

Marketing content

Every good marketing strategy needs content as a component. For example, clients are always at different points in the buying cycle. Some clients are ready to engage now, while others are not yet ready to purchase. If a prospective client is researching “financial advice” or “financial planning”, providing valuable and consistent content is the perfect way to grab attention and build awareness of your business. To illustrate, lets’ say you write a blog about your “Five top super tips for the Over 40s.” By giving clients access to this information, you’re helping to educate and engage them. More importantly, they are not hassled by an overactive sales person. If the content is valuable, brand loyalty will start to build.

Getting started with content

If you’re not sure where to get started, be aware that there’s a million and one content gurus who’ll spruik their services to you. However, content must add value by educating your prospective clients, which is the best tip I can give you. This means ignoring the trap of writing about yourself or your business – prospective clients can already work out what you do from your website.

Consider topics that will resonate with your clients and provide valuable content around these themes. If you’re giving them free advice such as my “Five top super tips for the Over 40s” theme, you’re educating them in a way that engages them with the concept of financial planning and your brand simultaneously.

Source: Professional Planner, article by Anthony O’Brien (https://www.professionalplanner.com.au/featured-posts/2016/09/19/why-content-marketing-should-be-part-of-your-strategy-49392/)

 

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