Are You Protecting This Important Digital Business Asset

When it comes to data security, most businesses focus heavily on protecting sensitive corporate information and personal details about employees and customers. But there’s another digital asset that companies should guard just as carefully, and most organizations don’t realize it until after a breach has occurred.

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That asset is a business’s social media presence. In today’s highly connected world, a large percentage of a company’s branding efforts happen on social networks. All the time and effort you’ve spent creating a positive brand image can be undone in a matter of seconds if the wrong person gains access to your accounts.

You don’t have to look very far to find examples of corporate PR disasters due to a compromised social media account. Burger King and Jeep were victims of highly publicized Twitter hackings last year; the Associated Press suffered a hack, too, and a fake tweet about a White House explosion went out to nearly 2 million followers. While social media teams were able to get the situation under control quickly in each of these cases, it’s easy to see how damaging a social hack can be to a brand. [5 Surefire Ways to Get Your Passwords Stolen]

Devin Redmond, CEO and co-founder of social media brand protection company Nexgate, said that the consumer-oriented, viral nature of social media makes it much more difficult to keep track of this content, especially when something does go awry.

“Social media is outside the abilities of traditional IT departments,” Redmond told Business News Daily. “Once you create a page, it gets a life of its own and grows quickly. By the time IT can catch up with it, it’s already very robust. Anything that goes on social media lives in these external environments, and there’s nowhere near [the level of] traditional IT controls.”

The first line of defense against a social media breach is, of course, proper password protection. Branded social media accounts are often managed by more than one person, and bad passwords and password-sharing practices can greatly increase your risk of a breach.

“[Consider] who has access to the accounts, where the passwords are kept and how they’re stored,” Redmond said. “At some organizations, social accounts are on a spreadsheet shared with workers, contractors and external agencies.”

To avoid some of the risks associated with password sharing, Redmond recommended using a good password management system, or a social media management solution that allows users to publish and edit content without inputting the social account’s actual password. You should also keep a close eye on the apps and devices attached to your brand’s social accounts. Third-party apps accessed through Facebook and Twitter often list “posting to your account” as one of the terms you agree to when you authorize them, so be sure the ones you use are trusted and secure.

If you’ve been lax about social media security in the past, you always face the possibility of a breach, even if you’re more careful now. Bigger brands have a lot more at stake than do smaller ones when social accounts are hacked, but those larger companies also have more resources to deal with the fallout as quickly as possible. At a small business, where social media management is likely someone’s side project rather than full-time job, a hacked account may go unnoticed until it’s far too late. For this reason, Redmond emphasized the necessity of a strong social-media security policy.

“Spend time creating a policy and process for what to do if an account is hacked,” he said. “[Think about] how to notify followers. What’s your recovery plan?”

Diligent daily monitoring of your social accounts can aid in recovery time should someone hack into them. Redmond advised proactively looking for unusual activity, such as “spammy” direct messages, automatically published content that comes out at odd times, and unauthorized changes to profile pictures. Deleting all traces of this activity and immediately changing your passwords will stop further hacker efforts, and set you on the road to brand recovery.

3 Reasons Your Employees Need Orthopaedic Office Chairs

So many company directors don’t bother with providing the correct equipment for their staff, and this can lead to more major problems than you might realise further down the line. It’s actually very simple to make sure people are set up properly at their desks – and you might be liable for any injuries caused because you’ve not provided the right equipment or training.

An orthopaedic office chair can be a simple answer to all your problems – and the cost of bringing them in is much lower than the cost of work not done due to absence.

  • Back pain is the number one cause of office absenteeism

Back pain is staggeringly common. When we sit all day we lose a lot of our muscle tone, and this can make matters worse. It leads to slouching. The other problem is that if the back is not properly supported you might be twisting or hunched over in your seat, which causes a dull ache, or in the more extreme cases, can even lead to sciatica.

  • Your staff will be more productive whilst at work

Being in pain is distracting. If your shoulder or your neck is hurting then you will be focused on that and not on your current workload. This can mean that you don’t get as much done as you should do. You may well find that when your staff are comfortable in orthopaedic office chairs they’re able to do a lot more work than you thought, making each individual more worthwhile. This will save you money on hiring in more staff.

It’s just the same as keeping your staff happy through your actions and your motivation skills – if you show them that they’re valuable to you they will be much more inclined to work hard for you.

  • They can be tailored to the individual

Contrary to popular belief, chairs (and come to mention it, desks), are not one size fits all. A high quality orthopaedic office chair which isn’t well-adjusted will cause you just as much trouble as a cheaper equivalent. Make sure you learn how to thoroughly adjust your seat, and show your staff how to do the same.

Businesses are just better with orthopaedic office chairs. Your staff will be more comfortable, you’ll find there are less days taken off for severe back pain (one of the most common causes of office absence), and your employees will appreciate that you’re taking their needs into consideration.

James works for Norwich based Lockwood Hume. They offer a huge range of office furniture and office supplies – providing stationary and furniture for home offices, corporate businesses and retail environments.

Y ou 1, Procrastination 0 – How To Beat Procrastination Every Day

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

What is it you’re putting off? Come on, be honest. It’s just you and me here. You can say it. Is it calling prospects? Putting off that website redesign? Holding off on creating that buyers’ seminar?

What is it that’s holding you back? What keeps you from setting higher goals, prospecting or going after luxury and high-end real estate? Psychologists have been studying procrastination for decades, and what they’ve found at its core is this: that nasty little, four-letter word — fear.

Fear is our worst enemy. FDR said it best: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Here’s the rub, though. Fear can only be conquered by action. And progress follows action.

Here are five ways to put procrastination — and its buddy “fear” — in their place for good:

1. Start easy by breaking down your task. Sure, the complete redesign of a multi-page website can sound overwhelming. Even dreadful. And it’s certainly easy to see why you might put that off. But if you break it down into small, chewable chunks, it starts looking digestible and doable. Maybe today you just write a list of five items you’d like to see on your site. See, that’s not so bad, is it? And once you get going, you create some momentum and the rest seems doable.

2. Keep accountability front and center. Nothing gets done without accountability. You can hold yourself accountable by broadcasting your intentions. Tell a coworker, a friend, a family member or boss what you’re going to do. Today that’s easy: use social networking, Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Of course I’d be remiss in not suggesting a coach. We’re trained to keep your nose to the grindstone. Contact me for the “Daily Activity Record” to help keep you on track.

3. Focus on the why of your project. Think about it: it’s easier to complete a task if you fully understand and appreciate the value that will come from that task being completed. Let’s use the website redesign as an example again. Why would you want to do that? More prospects? More clients? More credibility in the market? If a project has you twiddling your thumbs, take a few minutes to jot down all the whys.

4. Keep an eye out for excuses. If honors were given for being able to come up with excuses, some agents I know would be Nobel Prize winners. It’s amazing how creative we are when it comes to finding reasons not to do something that needs to be done. The trick is to listen to what you’re telling yourself. You have to be aware that you’re actually making an excuse. Then label it as an excuse, because that’s exactly what it is. You have to see the opponent to beat the opponent.

5. Set goals for the day. After you wake up, pledge to yourself that you’re going to make it a day of action. Plan your day, write your goals and prioritize them, schedule blocks of time for each one and then act. Stay focused and don’t stop until you get them done.

Finally, realize each day is a gift that allows you to take action and impact the lives of others. I challenge you to move into action and leave excuses behind. For this life is amazing, and wonderful things await those who take action.

Let me hear from you. Sometimes it helps just to talk about a project that has you procrastinating.

Verl Workman is president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.

The Mistake Taking Too Long to Respond

Every brand (and their agency) gets excited when they get that phone call to become a star on that next great TV show or film. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, and if you don’t have a plan in place to seize that golden opportunity, you will be left in the dust.

While concerns will be valid as to whether or not the production will be a good fit, taking too much time to consider after the fact may cost you – if your response is not immediate, it is likely the production will be calling your competitors, seeking the next yes answer before you have made up your mind.

You need to determine what type of property would be a good fit before you can make that decision. There are certain questions to ask yourself before you receive that call out of the blue, so you are ready with a quick yes or no response:

1. How Your Brand Will Be Seen: How do you want the placement to paint the picture of your brand? Is there specific usage that would be ideal? What do you want to make sure isn’t inferred about your brand?

2. The Genre Of The Production: Is there a certain genre of a production that is more/less appealing? Horror or adult comedies may have scenes that are more risqué or violent, does this fit your brand’s personality?

3. The Demographic Reach: What type of demographics do you want to reach? The productions demographic should align with yours – or provide you access into a segmented demo you are hoping to enter.
It is important to note that your first thoughts on whether a project is a good fit or not may not necessarily be accurate.

For example, many brands shy away from the horror genre in general, immediately determining that they do not want their brand to be associated with the types of emotions the film or show may arise out of its viewers. However studies have shown that horror films actually tend to be the most rewarding investments, as consumers are more likely to develop an attachment to/remember brands when they are scared.

Not only do you need to really identify your own core marketing target, but you need to understand who the viewer will be of the productions that call, as well as the pros and cons of working with different types of genres, and put in safeguards to protect your brand identity.

Only once you have all of that information defined clearly in your mind can you respond promptly and get your brand in the spotlight before your competitors get that call.