Posts Tagged ‘UnitWise’

Why Social Media?

May 10, 2010
It has the potential to eat up tons of time, scheduling it into your day means adding an extra activity into a crowded schedule, and the learning curve can be high depending on how technically savvy you are. So why get into social media? Customers!
Don’t think of social media as an online time waster, instead, think of it as digital networking. There are tons of people for you to connect with. By skipping out on social media, you could be skipping out on an enormous number of new customers. Here are some specifics:
-Facebook has more than 400 million users. A bit of perspective: there are 300 million people in the United States. The average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
-There are nearly 12 million Twitter users. About 65 percent of them are under 25. Women make up 53 percent of the user base.
That’s a huge market! Before you get too excited, remember that this is digital networking, not digital door-to-door sales. Don’t spam users with links and useless content. It’s like real networking–connect with people and engage them. Send useful links and take part in conversations. The benefit over face-to-face networking is that you can break up the conversation over time, you can connect to multiple networks at once, and you can do it from anywhere.
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Keeping your business information safe

April 28, 2010

Just because you’re using a program that is based on your desktop, doesn’t mean it’s safe from hackers and viruses. In some cases, desktop programs have lower security than online programs because they don’t have to stay updated against all the latest viruses. Here are some things you can do to protect your business information:

Password Protection

If the programs or websites you use offer password protection, use it! Make sure your password is not obvious, you’d be amazed the amount of passwords out there that are simply “password.” A good password includes a few letters at least one number and at least one special character, something like @ or $.

Financial info

Make sure your financial information, and your customer financial information, is safe and encrypted. Some desktop programs store payment information in text format or easy-to-access files. If someone stole or hacked into your computer, they shouldn’t be able to find that information easily (or at all). If someone steals the credit cards of your clients, you could be held responsible. Unitwise has exclusive integration with ProPay’s new ProtectPay system, so payment and credit card information is encrypted and secure.

Back it up!

If your computer suddenly melted today, what would happen to all your business information? Would you still have it? It’s important to back up your information on a routine basis. Use a portable hard drive, DVDs, or an online storage solution. If you use UnitWise, you never have to worry about losing your information, it’s available anywhere, any time. Power outage? Fried hard drive? No worries with UnitWise.

Don’t put your business and customers at risk, start practicing safe computer habits now.

Learning to blog through Facebook

April 26, 2010

If you’re new to blogging, but you’re a Facebook veteran, there’s no need to worry. Facebook is like a more open, accessible form of blogging.

-Status updates are like micro-blogs.

-For more in-depth updates you can write notes for others to read.

-You gain friends by commenting on other posts and pictures, just as you would do to gain readers on your blog.

-The comment and reply system on a Facebook wall is very similar to the comment system in most blogging tools.

-Other things, like uploading pictures and inserting links are also similar.

-You arrange pictures and notes into albums–similar to the way you arrange posts on a blog into categories.

-You put captions on photos and tag friends in them, just like you would put tags on a blog post so people know what’s in it.

If you’re a heavy Facebook user, you might be more accustomed to the world of blogging than you think. Practicing good Facebook habits–commenting, tagging, frequent posting–can help you form good blogging habits.

Later this week, we’ll discuss the differences between Facebook Groups and Facebook Fan Pages.

The best browser for you

March 30, 2010

Left to right: Chrome, IE, FireFox, Safari--image source: http://geekwhisperin.files.wordpress.com

We’ve had a lot of questions about browsers lately, so I thought I’d tackle the issue here.

A browser is what you use to surf, or browse, the internet. There are a several different browsers available, all of them free. Here are the most popular.

Internet Explorer
If you’re a Windows user, this is your default browser. It comes pre-installed on your computer. A few years ago IE was the top browser, simply because everyone had it. While IE still owns a majority of the market, the alternatives have eaten up a lot of ground thanks to rich features and speed. Though it might run a bit slower, it comes pre-installed and it’s compatible with just about every website out there.

FireFox
FireFox is an excellent alternative to IE. It runs faster and it was one of the first alternative browsers to feature tabbed browsing. What’s really great about FireFox is the vast library of add-ons. From screen capture tools that let you easily take snapshots of websites, to music players, to mail and calendar organizers, Firefox has it all. Installing add-ons is as easy as clicking a button and restarting your browser. To download FireFox and to check out the add-on library, visit www.mozilla.com

Chrome
Chrome is a relatively new browser from Google. It’s sleek, customizable and fast. Though it doesn’t have as many add-ons as FireFox, it offers a number of alternatives to some of the most popular FireFox add-ons. Chrome runs faster but might not be the best bet for an aging computer, especially if you’re using a Mac. To download Chrome and to check out the add-ons available, visit www.google.com/chrome

Others
These are some of the most popular browsers, but they aren’t the only options.  For Mac users, there’s Safari, the pre-installed browser. And there’s also Opera, a popular alternative.

These browsers are free, so feel free to download one (or all of them) and test drive them for a while. You can import your bookmarks and login/password information from your old browser in most cases. Choose the one that works best for you.

We’ve got more online info for you with our Social Media 101 seminar. If you’re interested in hosting a seminar contact us at Heroes@unitwise.com–you bring the smiling faces, we’ll bring the info.

Social Media 101: Twitter

March 22, 2010

For all you social media newbies out there, things like Twitter and blogging can be confusing. So this week I’m going to break it down for you first-time tweeters. Here are some common phrases, functions and programs associated with Twitter you might want to know.

@-The @ sign is what tells Twitter you’re talking about another user. If Julie tweeted something and I wanted to respond, I could type “Thanks Julie!” or if she has a Twitter account of her own, I could type “Thanks @Julie (here you would put her twitter name after the @ sign, so if her twitter name is @Julie, it would look like that).” When you use the @name format, Twitter will automatically include a link to that person’s profile. It’s a great way to share with friends and increase traffic for you both.

RT—stands for ReTweet, which means you are taking someone else’s tweet and reposting it. Twitter is all about sharing, and this is a great way to pass on tweets and make connections. You might have to trim long RTs down so they fit the 140 character limit. If you can, try to leave the name of the original user in the tweet so people can see where it comes from, it’s the nice thing to do.

DM-That stands for direct message. This is a private message that goes to the other tweeter only. You can’t send a DM to someone if you aren’t following each other, so you can forget about sending private messages to Stephanie Meyer, not that I’ve tried that or anything.

#-The hashtag works like the tags in a blog entry, they categorize your tweet. All you have to do is include it in the message and it becomes part of a searchable group. For example if you were tweeting about your new furniture store you could add the hashtag #furniture and it would be grouped with other tweets that use the same hashtag. Sites like hashtags.org gather categories into a searchable database for easy perusal.

Twitter List-You can group people you follow into lists to make it easier to keep track of them. You can have a list for families, friends, contacts, anything. You can even follow someone else’s list, which makes expanding your network really easy.

#ff – You might see this tag a lot at the end of the week, it stands for Follow Friday. It’s a sharing thing that started in the early days of Twitter, and is still going strong. If you have some friends or contacts that you follow and you think others should too, put their names in a tweet (using the “@name” format) and send it out with a #ff tag.

Twitter client—I use Twitter all the time but rarely visit the actual site, because I use Twitter clients. There are dozens of Twitter clients out there that add all kinds of functionality to the service, like groups, instant searches, stat tracking and more. Some of them can even be used on your phone. I like to use HootSuite. I’ve also used Tweetdeck and Seesmic, all of which are great if you manage multiple profiles. There are a ton of options out there, so don’t settle on the first one you find. Most of them are free, so you can shop around without spending a dime.

Have some more questions? Email me at Heroes@UnitWise.com and I’ll help you out. In a future entry, I’ll share some tips on Tweeting and how to engage your followers.