Tag Archives: social media

Google+ Tips for Businesses

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

If you are an entrepreneur, you know that Social Media plays a big part in marketing your business. Google+ has now opened itself to the public, but it is asking businesses to hold off on creating profiles until the search engine giant has released an upcoming set of features that will better support businesses. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try out with your personal accounts in order to get your feet wet and prepare your business for the eventual rollout:

Use Your Business’ Actual Name

No matter what, you’re going to want to stick with your businesses’ actual name when you create your Google+ page. Although you may want to acquire pages that have keywords that are related to your niche, this technique will likely be against Google+’s future policy. Just concentrate on making your Google+ business page your business’ home away from home, and a back link for search engine optimization.

Add Information to Your Pop-Up Window

You may have noticed that a pop-up window appears when you hover over your profile picture with your mouse. This window is an area that enables you to add information about your business, so be sure to fill it out.

Use Circles for Privacy & Security

Due to the Google+ sorting strategy, social connections through the portal are a bit more efficient than Facebook. Circles enable Google+ users to organize their connections into groups such as Family, Friends, and Work Colleagues, in order for users to decide which circles get access to which posts. Users can create a circle for any type of group they want and connect with whomever they want, including people outside of their normal group. This makes it much easier to control that has access to what information.

Use Private Posts for Brainstorming

Just like a blog, you can use Google+ to brainstorm posts without all your followers reading a work in progress, as Google+ offers the users the ability to disable sharing on posts. If you have posted something that you would like to keep private for now, click on the drop down menu are at the top right of the post and select “disable reshare.” This will also disable the “+mentions” in the comments of your post, even if you want to mention another Google+ user who has commented before you disabled the reshare.

Use Hangouts for Video Conferences

You may not have realized it, but Goggle+’s built-in multiple user video chat tool can also double as a conferencing platform. Instead of contacting people and then triggering a conversation on the phone or on Skype, you hang out in a room that displays you via camera stream. If no one is available to chat, you simply let the application run in the background while you continue your work.

Integrate your Other Apps

Finally, when your business is invited to have it’s own Google+ profile, you should integrate your other Google applications with it, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar.

Photo Credit


Adopt a Social Media Policy for More Business

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

You may not realize it, but when it comes to Social Media many people can affect your brand. In fact, your employees are often unintentional spokespeople for your company. Both on Twitter and on Facebook, your employees are sure to be talking about your company. The problem is, they may be doing so in a less than professional fashion, which will ultimately affect your company in the long run. In fact, offensive behavior and image issues are among the most common problems that surface when employees mix business with personal use of social-networking sites. To avoid damage to your company’s image, you should craft your own social media policy.

For example, one policy that many companies adopt is the policy of directing employees to mention their company in their Twitter or Facebook posts only when their update is appropriately coordinated with their company’s marketing department. Or you can decide that while your employees aren’t required to clear every Twitter and Facebook update in advance they, are expected without exception to speak with your company executives before creating any new social-media page specifically related to your company, your subsidiaries, or any of your products.

Here are four ways your business can benefit from establishing a Social Media policy.

Protect your company’s Image

A social media policy takes the guesswork out of what is appropriate for employees to post about your company to their social networks. As a general rule, they shouldn’t write anything they wouldn’t want plastered on the front page of a newspaper. Be sure to send out your guidelines by email and include them in your employee handbook, reminding your employees that what they say about your company matter. Your guidelines should also provide specific advice on acceptable profile photos and how to respond if a journalist contacts an employee through their personal networks.

Reduce Confusion about Legal Issues

Social media policies also help business owners and managers avoid legal problems that relate to slander and privacy.

Client Relationships

Social Media damage doesn’t affect your company; it affects the companies that are known to associate with you. If your reputation is affected through Social Media use, you are bound to lose a few clients.

Raise Brand Awareness

An added bonus to having a Social Media policy is that a policy provides clear guidelines that can also help employees understand the ways that they can use social media to help achieve business goals. For example, your policy could advise employees how they can comment on blogs or social networks to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to the company’s site. By emphasizing the positive aspects of your new Social Media policy, you have a better chance of inspiring a positive reaction from your employees.

Photo Credit


Learning by Grace launch site to Stop Cyber-Bullying

AscentiveInternet Safety tips from the Ascentive team

Learning By Grace is pleased to announce the launch of its STOP CYBER BULLYING CAMPAIGN with a FREE resource for the online homeschooling community called Stop Cyber Bullying (http://cyberbullying.learningbygrace.org). Learning By Grace defines cyber bullying as “the intentional use of digital content to lie, deceive, harass, threaten, mock, shame or bully a minor” and cyber harassment as “the same behaviors directed towards adults or companies.”

The Stop Cyber Bullying website is packed with information to help students and educators combat the newest epidemic gripping our country. Cyber harassment can be life threatening; it can destroy reputations and businesses. Over 30 teenagers have died as a result of cyber bullying. Children are not the only victims of cyber abuse; cyber harassers target adults as well. In an age where anyone can post anything about anyone with almost complete immunity and anonymity, the future of reputation and the future of privacy are being questioned.

“Having experienced cyber harassment for years, I learned firsthand how painful and frightening it can be. So like all of the injustices God has shown me, I set out to right the wrong”, says Mimi Rothschild. “Education about the cyber harassment crisis empowers students to recognize it and stop it. The cyber harassers ended up not only torturing me, but every member of my family as well”, she explains. When Rothschild’s son died of medical negligence, she started an advocacy organization for children. When Rothschild’s other son was hospitalized for 2 years, she started online homeschooling Academies that bring school to kids.”

Rothschild is the Co-Founder and CEO of Learning By Grace, the nation’s leading provider of Christian online homeschooling programs. “We founded Learning By Grace after our son was hospitalized for 2 years with a life threatening condition requiring life support. We met wonderful other children who were also hospitalized for long periods of time and saw a need for a school that could come to them.”

Learning By Grace manages 5 online Academies that offer over 150 online, state of the art, Biblically based PreK-12 courses. Learning By Grace is celebrating its 10th year of managing online homeschooling programs. It attributes its exponential growth to its state of the art online curriculum that consists of close to 200,000 pages of original Christian educational content and its affordable tuition.  During the summer of 2011, a team of Curriculum developers added access to 20,000 videos from Discovery Education to the 150 online courses, quadrupling the effectiveness of their programs.

According to Cyber bullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation:

•       Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.

•      More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online.

•      Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet

Working to Halt Abuse (WHOA) fight online harassment through education of the general public, education of law enforcement personnel, and empowerment of victims publishes that there are about 75 new cases of cyber bullying or cyber harassment reported to them on a weekly basis.

“We hope Learning By Grace’s new free Stop Cyber bullying website will shed light on a dark issue that can create serious harm and even threaten life.” says Rothschild.

The website offers tutorials, webisodes, videos and tips on how to prevent cyber bullying and how to combat it if it rears its head. It was built using resources available through the US Department of Education, US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Justice.

Photo Credit


Learn the Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing

AscentiveBusiness tips from the Ascentive team

Today’s entrepreneurs need to have a handle on Social Media Marketing if they want to generate buzz about their brand and raise their bottom line. By harnessing the power of web content and Social Media Marketing, entrepreneurs can elevate both their web audience and client base in a substantial way. Of course, starting your Social Media Marketing strategy from scratch can be quite a challenge. To get off to a great start, you really need to fully comprehend the fundamentals of Social Media Marketing. From making the most of your content’s quality, to increasing your online points of entry, putting these fundamentals to use will help you build a foundation that will serve your clients, your brand, and your bottom line.

Listen

Your success with Social Media Marketing depends on more listening and less talking. Always read your audience’s online content and join in their conversations in order to learn what’s of vital importance to them. You need to listen in order to create and inspire the conversations that add value their lives, both on and off line.

 

Focus

It’s crucial to focus on your niche; don’t be a jack-of all trades. Your Social Media Marketing strategy must be focused in order to be successful. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

Quality

The quality of you connections is more important than the quantity. Only high-quality followers will read, share and talk about your web content.

Patience

Social Media Marketing success won’t happen for you overnight. You will need to commit to Social Media Marketing for the long haul in order for it to generate substantial results.

Compounding

When you create quality web content, your audience will share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and their blogs. The sharing is the key, as it creates more entry points where new potential customers can find you.

Influence

You need to spend time finding the influential people in your market who are interested in their niche and have their own quality audiences. These are the people you need to build relationships with. Prove to them that you are a reliable, unique source of information on your niche.

Value

Don’t append all your time online promoting your product. This may sound counter intuitive, but the truth is, you need to spend less time promoting your product or service, and more time adding value to the online conversation about your niche.

Acknowledgement

Give credit where credit is due, and don’t ignore people that reach out to you online. Remember, Social Media Marketing is all about building relationships.

Accessibility

With Social Media Marketing, you need to be constantly available to your audience. Don’t just publish content sporadically. You need to consistently publish content and participate in online conversations.

 

Photo Credit


New Studies show that Parents don’t Properly Protect Children from Cyber-Bullying

AscentiveSafe Internet Use Tips from the Ascentive team

With about half of young people experiencing some form of cyberbullying or other harassment online, a majority of parents with children under 18 say they are concerned about their children’s social networking activities and want to find ways to protect them. Most parents also admit, however, that they do not have the tools, knowledge or time to properly monitor their children on social networks—and many admit that they take no precautions at all. That’s according to two new studies released today by an online monitoring service.

According to the studies, over 69% of parents with children ages 10 – 17 say they are concerned about their children visiting social networking sites, with their biggest fears being, in order, contact from strangers, information being displayed online that shares their child’s physical location, postings that could tarnish their child’s reputation, and their child getting cyberbullied.

However, the data also shows that most parents do not take the proper precautions to ensure their child’s safety when visiting social networks. For example, even though 68% of parents believe that daily monitoring is a must because news on social networks spreads fast and needs to be resolved quickly, only 32% of parents say they actually monitor their child’s social networking activities every day, and 28% of parents admit they only occasionally, rarely or never monitor their child’s social networking activities.

Meanwhile, 66% of parents believe they should monitor all of their child’s Facebook activity including emails and chats, yet the most common monitoring technique stated—”friending” their child—does not allow the parent to monitor email, chats or many other activities where dangers could lurk. Even if a parent were to “friend” their child, it would be practically impossible and extremely time-consuming to monitor what all of their child’s friends are doing, especially since the average teenager has more than 200 friends on social networks. Many parents don’t realize that the greatest danger posed to their child on social networks isn’t what their child does, but what others do to or say about their child.

“Almost all parents agree that they have a responsibility to look out for their kid’s safety and well-being while they’re on social networks, but there is a serious gap between what most parents believe is sufficient monitoring and what they are actually doing, which in most cases is far from sufficient,” said George Garrick, chief executive officer of SocialShield. “Our goal is to evaluate every friend request, every comment, every photo and all other activities regarding our customer’s children—including by all their friends—so that we can alert the parents if there’s anything suspicious. It’s ironic that so many parents insure their cellphones or protect their computers with anti-virus software, yet fail to properly protect their children from potential threats that can be both physical and psychological.”

Unfortunately, suicides by teens who have been cyberbullied on social networks are a fact of life today, as are incidents of predators stalking and contacting young teen girls, with such contact often leading to tragic outcomes. About half of young people have experienced at least some form of cyberbullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center, which also found that cyberbullying victims are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to youth who had experienced no cyberbullying.

Since using a social network essentially requires the use of your real name and identity, many people (younger, more vulnerable teens in particular) often post excessive amounts of personal data including their daily habits and locations, not realizing they are leaving a real-life trail of who they are, what they do, and where they can be found.

Other findings from the report include:

  • 62% of parents feel that occasionally looking over their child’s shoulder while he/she sits at the computer in the family room is enough to monitor his/her activities effectively, even though 71% admit their child also accesses social networks from other places, such as at a friend’s house or the library.
  • 50% of parents admitted that “properly monitoring would take a lot of time and I’m sure there are things I’m not seeing”
  • 63% of parents say they frequently review who their child is friending on social  networks to make sure it is only people that he/she knows in real life (although it’s impossible for any parent to really know who a particular “friend” is)
  •  54% of parents say they monitor their child’s social networking account by logging into his/her account as him/her on occasion; only 5% say they are currently using a monitoring application that alerts them if there is something they should be aware of.

Steve DeWarns, a San Francisco Bay Area police officer said: “Whenever I’m speaking to parent organizations, I always tell them that you don’t know what you don’t know, and this data proves that while parents want to protect their kids on social networks, they don’t necessarily have time or even know the most effective way.  And at the most basic level, a large proportion of parents really don’t understand what social networks are and how they work, thus where the risks lie.”

 Photo Credit