Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a documented process to recover and protect a business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. Basically, it provides a clear idea on various actions to be taken before, during and after a disaster.

Disasters are natural or man-made. Examples include industrial accidents, oil spills, stampedes, fires, nuclear explosions / nuclear radiation and acts of war etc. Other types of man-made disasters include the more cosmic scenarios of catastrophic global warming, nuclear war, and bioterrorism whereas natural disasters are earthquakes, floods, heat waves, hurricanes / cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornadoes and landslides, cosmic and asteroid threats .

Disaster can not be eliminated, but proactive preparation can mitigate data loss and disruption to operations. Organizations require a disaster recovery plan that includes formal plan to consider the impacts of disruptions to all essential business processes and their dependencies. Phase wise plan consists of the precautions to minimize the effects of a disaster so the organization can continue to operate or quickly resume mission-critical functions.

The Disaster Recovery Plan is to be prepared by the Disaster Recovery Committee, which includes representatives from all critical departments or areas of the department's functions. The committee should have at least one representative from management, computing, risk management, records management, security, and building maintenance. The committee's responsibility is to prepare a timeline to establish a reasonable deadline for completing the written plan. The also responsible to identify critical and noncritical departments. A procedure used to determine the critical needs of a department is to document all the functions performed by each department. Once the primary functions have been recognized, the operations and processes are then ranked in order of priority: essential, important and non-essential.

Typically, disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs. Before generating a detailed plan, an organization often performs a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA), and it establishes the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). The RTO describes the target amount of time a business application can be down, typically measured in hours, minutes or seconds. The RPO describes the previous point in time when an application must be recovered.

The plan should define the roles and responsibilities of disaster recovery team members and outline the criteria to launch the plan into action, however, there is no one right type of disaster recovery plan, nor is there a one-size-fits-all disaster recovery plan. Basically, there are three basic strategies that feature in all disaster recovery plans: (a) preventive measures, (b) detective measures, and (c) corrective measures.

(a) Preventive measures: will try to prevent a disaster from occurring. These measures seek to identify and reduce risks. They are designed to mitigate or prevent an event from happening. These measures may include keeping data backed up and off-site, using surge protectors, installing generators and conducting routine inspections.

(b) Detective measures: These measures include installing fire alarms, using up-to-date antivirus software, holding employee training sessions, and installing server and network monitoring software.

(c) Corrective measures: These measures focus on fixing or restoring the systems after a disaster. Corrective measures may consist keeping critical documents in the Disaster Recovery Plan.

The Plan should include a list of first-level contacts and persons / departments within the company, who can declare a disaster and activate DR operations. It should also include an outline and content staging the exact procedures to be followed by a disaster. At least 2-4 potential DR sites with hardware / software that meets or exceeds the current production environment should be made available. DR best practices indicate that DR sites should be at least 50 miles away from the existing production site so that the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) / Restoration Time Objective (RTO) requirements are satisfied

The recovery plan must provide for initial and ongoing employee training. Skills are needed in the reconstruction and salvage phases of the recovery process. Your initial training can be accomplished through professional seminars, special in-house educational programs, the wise use of consultants and vendors, and individual study tailor to the needs of your department. A minimal amount of training is necessary to assist professional restorers / recovery contractors and others having little knowledge of your information, level of importance, or general operations

An entire documented plan has to be tested entirely and all testing report should be logged for future prospect. This testing should be treated as live run and with ample of time. After testing procedures have been completed, an initial "dry run" of the plan is performed by conducting a structured walk-through test. The test will provide additional information regarding any further steps that may need to be included, changes in procedures that are not effective, and other appropriate adjustments. These may not become evident without an actual dry-run test is performed. The plan is subjectively updated to correct any problems identified during the test. Initially, testing of the plan is done in sections and after normal business hours to minimize disruptions to the overall operations of the organization. As the plan is further polished, future tests occur during normal business hours.

Once the disaster recovery plan has been written and tested, the plan is then submitted to management for approval. It is top management's ultimate responsibility that the organization has a documented and tested plan. Management is responsible for establishing the policies, procedures, and responsibilities for comprehensive contingency planning, and reviewing and approving the contingency plan annually, documenting such reviews in writing.

Another important aspect that is often overlooked is the frequency with which DR Plans are updated. Yearly updates are recommended but some industries or organizations require more frequent updates due to business processes evolve or because of quicker data growth. To stay relevant, disaster recovery plans should be an integral part of all business analysis processes and should be revisited at every major corporate acquisition, at every new product launch, and at every new system development milestone.

Your business does not remain the same; businesses grow, change and realign. An effective disaster recovery plan must be regularly reviewed and updated to make sure it reflects the current state of the business and meets the goals of the company. Not only should it be reviewed, but it must be tested to ensure it would be a success if implemented.

When things go awry, it's important to have a robust, targeted, and well-tested disaster recovery plan. Without a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan, your organization is at exceptional risk of loss of business, hacking, cyber-attacks, loss of confidential data, and more.



Source by Shawn Millar

10 Reasons You Should Redesign Your Small Business Website in WordPress

Your business website is arguably your most vital resource. It is your 24/7 digital shop window and will be the first interaction that the majority of potential customers will have with your business. So if it does not look the part, loads sluggishly or, most importantly, lack a mobile version then you will be letting the custom slip through your fingers.

You can market your business as effectively as you like but if the website customers land on does not cut it then you are just throwing away good money after bad. So what is the solution?

Say hello to WordPress. WordPress is the wildly popular content management system that powers over a quarter of the whole web including some of the world's largest names like the New York Times, Forbes, People Magazine and National Geographic. So if it works for them it can work for you right? Here's why:

1. It's flexible

Whether you are dog grooming parlor, coffee shop, boutique fashion house or a high-flying legal firm the WordPress content management system (CMS) has the flexibility to give your business exactly what it needs. The possibilities really are just limited by the imagination of the business with bespoke looks, function and style to match what you want from your company all achievable.

2. Great blogging platform

Every modern business needs a blog because it's the easiest way to communicate the latest company news and product offering to your customer base, so it makes sense to have it in the same place that customers can buy products and contact you. Up to now platforms like Blogger and Tumblr have been popular choices for small business but now it's time to bring it in-house.

A WordPress-based site allows you to have a dedicated page for your blog which will give voice to your business and also be a source of regular new content for your website – something that Google loves when it comes to SEO. Plus all of the social shares that you receive across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc all lead right back to your website bringing potential customers with them.

3. WordPress is open source

What 'open source' means is that those use is are able to contribute to its development, generally by the creation of plugins that perform specific tasks and also the development of best practices. But why does this benefit you if you are hiring a web developer to build your website?

Simply put you benefit from the constant improvement. So many people use WordPress now that it is constantly evolving thanks to the influx of new ideas from users so your website will be built on a platform that is continuously getting better and you do not have to pay a penny!

4. WordPress is constantly updating itself for safety and maintenance

Some CMS systems leave the business of updates in your hands – if you do not check then you do not get the benefit of the latest version. Not so with WordPress. It updates instantly to keep your site safe, up to date and inline with the latest best practices around security. In short, it's as safe as houses.

5. WordPress is SEO friendly

We all want our websites to show up effectively in the search results and WordPress can be a powerful tool in helping make it happen. Its default framework and site architecture is easy for Google bots to crawl meaning that they like it, to the point that company CEO Matt Cutts publicly approved it , and as we know when it comes to search, Google is king.

6. It's a language that all developers understand

In their search for the perfect website a lot of small business owners hire web developers who create complicated websites that may look the part on the outside but that no one other than them can manage. A bit like buying your dream car and finding that only the dealer can actually get it to run.

WordPress is such a big part of the modern web landscape that all developers have at least some experience of it and can turn their hands to coding and building for it. This means that you can run your website day-to-day, adding blogs and new products, but each time a problem comes up or you decide the time right for a makeover you will not be short of people who can help.

7. It's a platform that you can rely on

Having been around for 10 years plus now, WordPress has been continuously worked on to remove the kinks and bugs that have been known to plague other content management systems. It's not absolutely problem-free (what in the world is?) But it's about as close as you will find anywhere.

8. WordPress is mobile friendly

By now you are sure to have heard the stat that mobile web-browsing now outstrips desktop and laptop by a tidy margin and this change in user habit has had an effect on the online landscape. These days Google actively bars websites from its mobile search results if it is not mobile friendly. If that's you then that's more than half of your potential traffic gone at a stroke.

Happily if you base your website on WordPress you have all of the tools you need to succeed on all devices because WordPress does not just work on mobile, it thrives . Your website still needs be well designed but done properly WordPress can provide an excellent user experience on any device and an easy to use site brings in sales and leads.

9. Ideal e-commerce platform

These days the amount of items bought over the internet is staggering and is only heading in one direction, creating in its wake a marketplace that businesses big and small understandably want to exploit. WordPress is your ideal platform as it integrates beautifully with some of the world's most popular, and elegant, e-commerce solutions like Woo Commerce and Magento to give your products real wow factor.

What's more the core of these e-commerce solutions are free but can also be heavily customized to meet specific needs. Are you a wine club that only wants to sell in cases of six? Or a company that sends out monthly snack boxes on a subscription basis? No problem.

10. It's a powerful marketing ally

Want to get your products out to as many people as possible and measure the behaviors of your customer base? WordPress is your platform. With WordPress you can get your entire product range on Google Shopping and bringing customers looking for exactly what you sell, direct to you.

You can also connect your site to an email platform like MailChimp and measure the behavior of the customers that visit your site from their inbox including things like which products they buy and the last time they purchased from you. This allows you to tailor campaigns targeting those who say have not bought from you in 3 months offering them a discount to bring them back. Or reward those loyal customers who buy from you regularly. All using data from WordPress. Powerful no?

Time to make the most of it!



Source by Neil Williams

The Guide to Instagram Analytics With Metrics And Insights

Instagram as a social media platform is a huge buzz. Picture sharing, video sharing, live stories, geolocation, hashtag feed, multiple picture post, improvements in the DM feature, stickers and polls for Instagram stories and a whole new bunch of advanced features for the platform are being added very often on the application.

Limited only to being a Smartphone application and a plain website, Instagram has emerged out as one of the most used and loved social apps today.

Having said all this, what's even talked about is the Instagram API update and the Instagram API changes. Exasperation spread among brands and marketers everywhere after the release of the Instagram API changes. Brands and third-party applications were exposed to stringent rules and regulations and were required to abide by the API update.

Before and after the Instagram API access update

Before the release of the Instagram API, businesses had to view metrics via insights on the application. But, metrics surprises can now be accessed on the new API platform that's equipped in a better way.

Tracking performance of the organic content on third-party tools will now be easier with this API as it's now built on the same approach as is Facebook's Graph API.

The new metrics and insights will empower businesses to stay ahead in the race for the performance of their organic content over what they previously were receiving with third-party tools.

Why is Instagram metrics and analytics required?

Instagram analytics is a critical part of Instagram marketing strategies. Marketing efforts put in by brands can amount to being a waste of money and resources without appropriate analytics reports. Analytics help in determining how great the marketing strategies are. What results are obtained after applying the marketing strategy etc. can be tracked easily for improving the performance and approach towards marketing and advertising content.

Brand performance on Instagram can be easily decoded with Instagram analytics with the new Instagram API update.

Content monitoring feature

Instagram API update is inclusive of a new functionality that allows businesses to restrict and moderate content. Businesses can efficiently use this feature to hide comments in light of organic content. As a flexible option to display or not to display comments and toggle between them, this ensures a healthy platform is maintained for expression of thoughts.

In addition to this feature, an automated system also detects offensive and provoking comments and helps businesses in their content moderation practices.

Business profile compatibility with the Instagram API update

A business profile on Instagram will be now required to access the Instagram API update. A Facebook login is also required for using third-party tools with the newly released API.

Existing API tools can be used to and accessed by businesses, but, this does not come with the advantage of accessing the new features. Moreover, Facebook login will be a requirement for this.

Instagram API as the Facebook Graph API

Facebook contains numerous useful updates to their Graph API which is inclusive of-

  • Data can be accessed from 140 million global locations.
  • Greater engagement metrics for any URL.
  • Read-After-Write API calls to support.
  • Updated page insights endpoint.
  • A new API endpoint created to easily connect a Facebook customer from the brand's application to their Messenger Bot.
  • Multiple features for leveraging the power of the marketing API.
  • Video API with endpoints for cross-posted videos.
  • Updates to Web hooks, Facebook's subscription-based push service for apps.

Instagram API update metrics and insights you should know

Instagram has an abundant range of metrics and insights for brands and businesses to measure their performance, compare, and analyze their results and results, understanding audience liking and behavior and then bring changes in their marketing strategies accordingly.

For individual posts, brands can track reach, impressions, saves, and video and profile views.

In stories, brands can track exit rates, impressions, website clicks, reach, replies and people insights. Stories on Instagram are a new method that's helping advertisers track performances.

For the audience, brands can track age, gender, top locations. Age and gender are general information that's requested for every social platform.

With Instagram having modified its API for websites and access, it is becoming critical by each passing day for brands to adapt to it for a prosperous business.



Source by Sara Brooke

Recovering After A Loss: Four Ways Smaller Businesses Can Strengthen A Data Recovery Plan

Most data recovery plans do not specifically address Raid recovery or server systems unless they are well-written and address fixed vulnerabilities. A hard disk recovery plan can be included in an overall data recovery plan. However, some businesses who need data recovery in local area or elsewhere do not think about recovery until there is an actual need for data recovery or hard disk recovery.

Local businesses may not act quickly enough to eliminate or reduce theft of sensitive data. An estimated 85 percent of local business IT professionals admitted needing to install updates for computer security and it was on their to-do list. Only 22 percent of businesses had already installed the needed security updates. Although these updates may be time to install, they could save businesses larger bills if they are installed before a company needs hard disk recovery or data recovery in local area. Here are ways smaller businesses may be able to cut down their data recovery losses and save their sensitive data.

Test More Than Once a Year – Frequent testing will ensure that your recovery plans actually work and are sufficient enough to protect a small business from cost recovery costs if sensitive data is lost and even higher recovery costs if they must reimburse customers. Testing more than once a year can keep downtime to a minimum and allow IT professionals to fix any errors found.

Remember Data Is Real – Once your company has its disaster data plan on paper, implement regular testing. Do not let your plans simply collect dust. Data needs to be accessible, in case there is a disaster. Otherwise, a small business owner may be paying several thousand pounds to have a professional perform hard disk recovery. What should you consider when crafting your data recovery plans? Have a clear recovery plan objective in mind and think about what to do if data is lost on mobile devices. Should you store your data at an off-site facility?

Perform Off-Site Data Recovery – If you need hard disk recovery in a regional area, it may be easier to keep your data secure if backups are maintained at an off-site location. If your business experiences a fire or is located in a flood zone, it may save you the additional cost of having to restore sensitive data from scratch. How often should you save data? Many businesses save their data once a day, however, many are moving towards a continuous data monitoring.

Do not skip the Restoration Tests – Whether you are using tape-to-tape or disk to disk backup, it is important to make sure your backup is working. It does not help performing hard disk recovery if you do not have a backup program that you can use when accidental data erasure or loss occurs. A backup needs to be functional.



Source by Jason M Andrew

Smart Ways to Market Startup Businesses Online and Offline

Online

Every day, millions of people surf the web in their free time. Majority spend their time on social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, while others just browse online for products or ideas and information. With a number like this, there is a huge market stretching across the globe which if you can successfully tap into, could mean infinite possibilities for your business.

Website

There are a lot of free hosting sites around where you can put up your company website. But for a more professional feel, purchase your own domain and choose a catchy name that is easy to remember. People, in general, have short attention spans when it comes to reading things online so if you have a long complicated domain name, there is a tendency that they might forget it. Punchy names, on the other hand, will stick in their minds even if they only have seen it or heard it once. Make sure your website name ties up with your company name if you do not use the same for both. If you're having trouble picking a company or domain name, head over to pickydomains.com for some help.

Facebook

These days, creating a website is not enough. You have to create a Facebook page and share it with potential customers. Get them to like and share your page so they can receive updates about news on products and services you are offering. Ask friends to like and share your page so that their friends can share it, too. Your Facebook page can lead people to the actual company website, thereby generating more traffic and increasing sales.

Twitter

In internet marketing, sometimes, less is more especially when it comes to tweets. Here you can be as creative as you want using the limited characters available in a single tweet. Short, sweet, simple and straight to the point slogans is yours for the taking. Catchy and noteworthy tweets will be retweeted by fans and when you gain more followers, they too can multiply your fanbase when they repost tweets. Make sure to link your Twitter to your Facebook page so that it will be updated every time you tweet.

MyLife online platform

MyLife

Some people might prefer using other networking sites other than My life. But what they do not know is that it acts as an online platform where you can manage all your other social networking sites and even emails on a single dashboard. It is less of a hassle compared to opening various social media accounts on different tabs. You can even visit MyLife's zip code directory and use it to find business contacts or potential customers near your area, or if you're planning an expansion, across different states.

Offline

Although internet marketing is more cost-effective these days, a little-printed media still helps in marketing your startup business.

Business Cards

Business cards are essential especially when it comes to meeting new clients. It helps establish professional ties and saves you from looking for that errant piece of paper and pen so you could write down your contact details. Your business card should include your name, company website, mobile number, email and office address if you have one. It should be printed in the easy-to-read font in just the right size.

PR marketing

Press Release

Many believe that the newspaper and other printed media are a dying medium. But there are still those who prefer to hold a real newspaper instead of the electronic one. Press releases are a great way to make your business known to the local community in your area. You can also post your press release on your website after it has been published. If you have a friend working in your local newspaper, sometimes he would like to interview you regarding your new business.

It would be like hitting two birds with one stone since he will get his article and at the same time, you get to advertise your business. Aside from the online marketing and traditional way of advertising, a great way to win over customers is to deliver as promised what is stated in your promotional ads. Delivering customer satisfaction means more chances of clients returning. Word-of-mouth referrals online also spread like wildfire so continue delivering great services or products and your company will gradually take off and become a success.



Source by Al Masud Hira

Updating Your Computer Is Important For Security

One of the common features of Windows computers is the often annoying and frequent operating system updates that take place. These can take time to install and time to download. If your internet connection is already slow it can affect the way that web pages' load and the way other software applications run. However, these updates are essential to the security of your computer.

When your operating system was first released, it was tested, and any issues that were found was fixed. But since the release date, there have been numerous issues that have been found some of which were found by Microsoft and others that have been found by hackers or other people who had ill intent.

The problems that require an update are those that are a security risk. There will be a way of exploiting them that someone could use against you, that could allow a virus to be installed, for someone to steal your personal information or even for them to use the vulnerability in the system to take control of your computer.

Anti-virus software will help you overcome some of these weaknesses by providing real-time protection from threats as they occur, and also by quarantining and removing infected files that have been downloaded. However, they will not protect against other threats.

Technology has advanced more in the last thirty years than in the previous two thousand. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue … Niels Bohr

This is where updates come in. Microsoft will release all updates as they are developed, and send them out to all users. Your system may be set to download and install updates automatically or be set to download and notify you but not install or to do nothing. Leaving it up to the user to choose which updates to install and when.

Unfortunately, choosing any setting other than automatic updates leaves you at risk with these vulnerabilities for a longer period of time. Although allowing the system to take care of its own updates can be a nuisance, it is the best way of maintaining the safety of your computer when taken as a part of your overall computer maintenance routine.

The other major consideration is the software that is installed on your computer. Software too can have vulnerabilities and when these are found they can be exploited in just the same way as operating system capabilities can be exploited.

Programs such as the Java run-time environment and Adobe's Flash seem to update particularly often. In the case of software updates, it is important to ensure that the outdated version of the program does not remain on your computer, an ongoing threat. Older versions of software such as Flash should be removed as soon as it is replaced with a newer version.

Of course, there are also other measures that you should take in order to completely protect your computer and the files that are stored on it. Keeping a firewall turned on, and an anti-virus program installed, up to date, and running is equally essential to prevent viruses and other malware infections being able to populate your computer. However, the importance of running regular software updates should not be underestimated.



Source by Gary Braniff

Online Versus Offline Business Directories – A Comparison

Business directories have implemented in the form of printed yellow pages. People have always relied on these to search for businesses and service providers. With the advent of the internet and large number of people switching to online search, the significance of online business directories has increased tremendously.

This calls for a comparison between the offline and online business directories to understand which category offers more advantages. Here are some factors that form the basis for this comparison.

Geographical Search

Printed versions provide information about local markets and local businesses. But what if you wish to learn about the product and service providers in other region? Fortunately, the online business directories break the geographical barriers. People living in the United States can refer to the online directories in India for a diverse experience in the terms of finding businesses & services.

Updated Information

Offline printed directories update the information about the business providers once a year. So, the information you come across might have gone out-of-date. On the other hand, a business directory available on the web is regularly updated with the business information regarding different companies. So, you can easily rely on online directories to find up-to-date information about different businesses.

Product Catalogs

This is among the most significant difference that makes online directories much better than theirs offline counterparts. The businesses are allowed to display their product catalogs in the web-based directories. On the other hand, the offline directories are simply used for listing services, where no information about the business products is available.

Business Marketing

From the perspective of the business owners, an online business directory provides them with the platform to promote their business products and services. The web based directories are good enough to promote businesses among different types of customers, including wholesalers, exporters, retailers and end-users as well.

Easy to Search Information

Online directories offer fast and easy search tools that make it easy for the interested buyers to search for the products and services easily. This type of facility is lacking by the offline directories that require people to go through boring pages to search for the information they want. So, searching using online directories is a less time consuming process.

Inexpensive Tools

Printed directories are not only for the publisher but also for the businesses getting listed in them. On the other hand, online business directories are among the least expensive online promotion tools. Businesses do not have to spend considerably t get listed in the web-based directories.

Easy to Access

Internet directories can be accessed at any point of time and from any place. You can even access them from your mobile phones. However, it is impractical to carry printed directories everywhere. So, you can easily find information about business providers using the online directories from homes, offices and other places.

These directories act as the meeting platforms for the buyers and the sellers and for the businesses to find their targeted audiences. So, these directories got to have some great advantages over the printed directories.



Source by Vaiv Jais

How to Quickly Achieve Great Business Writing

Running a business is demanding.

You have to think about costs, sales, staff, product or service development, and how to keep your customers happy.

On top of that, you also need to up with your marketing.

I do not just mean the odd bit of web copy here, or email there, I'm talking about the small mountain of content you need to make sure your business gets noticed.

That means:

  1. Newsletters
  2. Case studies
  3. Emails
  4. Brochures
  5. Blogs
  6. Articles
  7. Press releases
  8. Reports
  9. White papers
  10. Manuals
  11. eBooks
  12. Profiles
  13. Social media updates
  14. Leaflets

That's not the end of the list, but it gives you an idea of ​​what you need to produce on a regular basis.

But it does not matter what form your content takes, it has to be brilliant every time.

Every piece must engage, inspire, interest, be relevant, persuade etc., without exception.

You get the picture.

That's a tall order, especially when you're trying to juggle everything else.

At the beginning of this article, I promised to tell you the quickest way to great marketing writing.

Are you ready for it?

Can you handle it?

OK, if you're sure.

Here goes.

Ditch your thesaurus.

Surprised?

You should not be, because it really is as simple as that.

Where most companies … no strike that, where most writers go wrong is that they reach for the thesaurus.

I do not know if it's some throw back from their academic years, but for some inexplicable reason they (yes, I am actually talking about you) believe that to sound plausible and to get their ideas across, they must abandon good old-fashioned plain English for incomprehensible marketing / management speak.

It may surprise you to learn, but there is no evidence to prove a correlation between the number of syllables in a word and the writer's intelligence.

Big words do not make you sound intelligent. If anything it has the opposite effect.

If you can explain your ideas in plain English your audience will applaud you. If you use big, incomprehensible words and marketing-speak they will think that actually, you have no idea what you're talking about.

So please stop substituting perfectly good simple words for ridiculously pompous drivel.

Why use "cognizant" when "aware" does a better job?

Why can not things be equal instead of "commensurate"?

People have skills not "proficiencies".

I use my skills; I do not "leakage" them.

If you want to improve your marketing and business writing and engaging with your readers, do everyone a favor and ditch your theaurus.



Source by Sally Ormond

Marketing Successfully With Facebook

Which social media channels work most effectively for your business? If you are like a lot of other business people, Facebook is probably among the list of your most used social media channels. However, do you think that you are leveraging Facebook for all that it can offer your business?

Some of your Facebook efforts will work and some will not
The fact is that Facebook has a lot of power and possibilities behind it when it comes to business. Additionally, Facebook has been around for quite a while and it has gained respect among business people. Of course, the Facebook of today is not the Facebook of yesterday. In the beginning, Facebook was used pretty exclusively by college students to communicate easily among them. However, nowdays, Facebook is used by millions of for all sorts of purposes.

The truth is that Facebook holds tremendous potential when it comes to content marketing but you need to have a clear understanding of which aspects of the social media channel will work effectively for your business and which ones will not. Because each business is different, it is important to really wrap your mind around the particular needs of your business. Some of the aspects of Facebook that may serve your business very well are:

  • Posting on a regular basis: One of the important aspects of posting content for any business person is that the posting being done consistently from week to week. The fact is that your target audience members need to see consistency from you so that you can build a relationship together. Your consistency says many different things, including making a statement about how committed you are to your target audience. The fact that you are posting top-quality content means that you are making your best effort to solve whatever problem (s) they are experiencing. It is a known fact that content must always be fresh. It should never be stagnant. It is very helpful if you post evergreen content as much as possible but you still have a responsibility to update the content on a regular basis and to post new content (whether created or curated) on a very regular basis.
  • Get involved consistently: It is not enough for you to post content on a regular basis. You must also jump in with both feet when it comes to interacting with people through comments at the bottom of the post. There are several different ways that you can do that, including asking thought-provoking questions, sharing your thoughts, etc. What is important is that you engage other people. The more you can generate interesting discussions, the more solid your relationships with those people will become. Interestingly, if you get involved with people, they will tell you what interests them. All humans love to think that their opinions matter. You have a responsibility to make them feel just that way.
  • Do not stick exclusively to text: As you are aware, status updates are absolutely necessary if you want to succeed in business. However, that does not mean that you should not make those updates interesting for other people. You may want to seriously consider adding a graphic element of some kind to your status updates as well. Considering that many people are visual, a graphic element will work very well with them and those people will react favorably to what you are posting. The visual element may be as simple as a photo of something relevant and interesting.
  • Do not use Facebook in a promotional manner: Social media, which includes Facebook, definitely serves an important purpose in business. However, the content that you share with other people on Facebook should be informative, educational, and exciting. It should never be promotional. The last thing that you want to do is to deliver a "hard sell" because that is the last thing that your target audience members want to read. It must be about their needs before your needs. It is that simple.
  • Facebook services many valuable means, including great customer service: Because successful relationships are at the heart of social media, customer service looks like a natural. After all, it is always about the people before anything else. Interacting from the customer service perspective allows you to develop meaningfulful, enduring relationships with your target audience members. The truth is that good customer service is a necessary part of any business and yours is certainly no exception.

Conclusion
There are many different ways in which you can market your business online. It is very important that you do not discount Facebook as one of the social media channels that is no longer effective or valid. That simply is not true. Facebook has a great deal to offer and it can be extremely powerful for your business. Additionally, because so many people are connected to Facebook, it would be foolish not to take advantage of such numbers of connections. As a person who is involved with marketing for business, you can not afford to ignore the power that Facebook has behind it.



Source by Michael Cohn

The Guide to Instagram Analytics With Metrics And Insights

Instagram as a social media platform is a huge buzz. Picture sharing, video sharing, live stories, geolocation, hashtag feed, multiple picture post, improvements in the DM feature, stickers and polls for Instagram stories and a whole new bunch of advanced features for the platform are being added very often on the application.

Limited only to being a Smartphone application and a plain website, Instagram has emerged out as one of the most used and loved social apps today.

Having said all this, what's even talked about is the Instagram API update and the Instagram API changes. Exasperation spread among brands and marketers everywhere after the release of the Instagram API changes. Brands and third-party applications were exposed to stringent rules and regulations and were required to abide by the API update.

Before and after the Instagram API access update

Before the release of the Instagram API, businesses had to view metrics via insights on the application. But, metrics surprises can now be accessed on the new API platform that's equipped in a better way.

Tracking performance of the organic content on third-party tools will now be easier with this API as it's now built on the same approach as is Facebook's Graph API.

The new metrics and insights will empower businesses to stay ahead in the race for the performance of their organic content over what they previously were receiving with third-party tools.

Why is Instagram metrics and analytics required?

Instagram analytics is a critical part of Instagram marketing strategies. Marketing efforts put in by brands can amount to being a waste of money and resources without appropriate analytics reports. Analytics help in determining how great the marketing strategies are. What results are obtained after applying the marketing strategy etc. can be tracked easily for improving the performance and approach towards marketing and advertising content.

Brand performance on Instagram can be easily decoded with Instagram analytics with the new Instagram API update.

Content monitoring feature

Instagram API update is inclusive of a new functionality that allows businesses to restrict and moderate content. Businesses can efficiently use this feature to hide comments in light of organic content. As a flexible option to display or not to display comments and toggle between them, this ensures a healthy platform is maintained for expression of thoughts.

In addition to this feature, an automated system also detects offensive and provoking comments and helps businesses in their content moderation practices.

Business profile compatibility with the Instagram API update

A business profile on Instagram will be now required to access the Instagram API update. A Facebook login is also required for using third-party tools with the newly released API.

Existing API tools can be used to and accessed by businesses, but, this does not come with the advantage of accessing the new features. Moreover, Facebook login will be a requirement for this.

Instagram API as the Facebook Graph API

Facebook contains numerous useful updates to their Graph API which is inclusive of-

  • Data can be accessed from 140 million global locations.
  • Greater engagement metrics for any URL.
  • Read-After-Write API calls to support.
  • Updated page insights endpoint.
  • A new API endpoint created to easily connect a Facebook customer from the brand's application to their Messenger Bot.
  • Multiple features for leveraging the power of the marketing API.
  • Video API with endpoints for cross-posted videos.
  • Updates to Web hooks, Facebook's subscription-based push service for apps.

Instagram API update metrics and insights you should know

Instagram has an abundant range of metrics and insights for brands and businesses to measure their performance, compare, and analyze their results and results, understanding audience liking and behavior and then bring changes in their marketing strategies accordingly.

For individual posts, brands can track reach, impressions, saves, and video and profile views.

In stories, brands can track exit rates, impressions, website clicks, reach, replies and people insights. Stories on Instagram are a new method that's helping advertisers track performances.

For the audience, brands can track age, gender, top locations. Age and gender are general information that's requested for every social platform.

With Instagram having modified its API for websites and access, it is becoming critical by each passing day for brands to adapt to it for a prosperous business.



Source by Sara Brooke