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Craig's Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks

By Craig Backus 04 Apr, 2017
You may have read recently about the ransom request from the Turkish Crime Family.  If you haven't, click here to review a recent summary of the situation.  The bottom line is that this group of hackers claims to have the user names and passwords for MILLIONS of iCloud accounts, and is theatening to reset passwords and remotely wipe Apple devices of all their data, including photos, videos and messages.  

Is it possible?  Yes.  There were a number of previous documented hacks where people have acquired usernames and passwords from Yahoo, Dropbox and LinkedIn.  The problem is that many people use the same username and password for many different accounts.  Personally, I lost control of my Amazon prime account for a few hours last year because I used the same username / password combination too often.  Additionally, I started noticing that my Netflix account was being accessed from various places in South America! In that instance, they were smart and didn't change the password, just setup a separate user account so that I would be less likely to catch them. 

I've battled back from these hackers by employing a couple different tools.  First, I use a service called LastPass to manage my passwords.  I have a physical USB key on my keychain that authenticates my account.  I only have to re-insert it every 30 days into the devices I use regularly, and if I'm at a client's site and need it, then I just authenticate it for the time I'm there.

Some of the more robust platforms allow for two-factor authentication.  This includes Microsoft, Google, iCloud, and others.  When you log in from an unrecogized device, those systems will either send you a text with an access code, or have you use an app to get a code that refreshes every 60 seconds.  Either way, you have to have YOUR phone with YOU in order to receive the code, and unlock your account.  If someone steals your phone, then your first priority is to get it deactivated.  As long as your phone is with you, no one else can access your account when two-factor authentication is enabled.  Want to learn more about how to activate this on your Apple devices?   Click here to get step-by-step instructions.  Also, I've known to be bribed by a free lunch, or perhaps home-made lasagna and I can set this up for you.  
By Craig Backus 13 Mar, 2017
Facebook can be a useful tool for communicating ideas to your audience.  I've noticed that people are embracing video more and more, but as you post information, you need to pay attention to the audience you choose.  The biggest mistake I've seen lately is people posting from their personal pages about something they're promoting for their business or cause.  People often have their default audience setting to "friends."  This means that only people that YOU are connected with will see that post or video.  This is fine if you're taking video at your child's birthday party, but what if you're trying to spread the word about an upcoming event?  Facebook already puts a signficant restriction on how much "free" reach they afford to any message.  If you further restrict that message by limiting the audience, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

To further explain my point, there was a unique fundraiser happening this past Saturday.  The director of that event posted an invitation on HER personal Facebook page inviting people to attend.  I attempted to share this message on the Chamber of Commerce page I manage, and found that my post kept failing.  I retried a few times thinking it was a connection issue, but then thought to check the privacy setting.  I confirmed that she had the audience set to "friends" and I was unable to share her video with our audience.  There's really no guarantee of more exposure, but not setting your audience to "Public" for messages that you WANT people to see, is doing yourself and your brand a disservice.  

Any message you put online could potentially be shared with others, so we always need to be careful.  It's important we understand the drawbacks, but it's also important to maximize the opportunities these tools provide us. Facebook is favoring video posts, especially Live video, as it keeps people more engaged on THEIR platform for longer periods. Eventually people will be oversaturated and look for other ways to connect. Take advantage of this great medium now while it's still a worthwhile endeavor that really only requires an intelligent investment of your time.

If you have questions, or want me to just handle social media management for you or your brand, then give me a call at the number at the top of the page!
By Craig Backus 27 Jan, 2017
Whether you're an individual or business here is the link provided by Nextdoor to "claim" your Business Page. You can claim it as a Business or Individual. 

https://nextdoor.com/create-business

Nextdoor believes local businesses are an important part of the neighborhood and can play a vital role in building stronger, more connected communities. 

Today, many of the conversations neighbors are already having involve supporting these businesses, whether it be through a neighbor-recommendation, or raising awareness and support to help keep a beloved neighborhood favorite from losing their lease. We’ve also received feedback from neighbors over the years who want more opportunities to hear from and support their local businesses and service providers.

Until now, there hasn’t been a way for local businesses to participate on Nextdoor, which has led to businesses creating personal accounts and posting in neighborhood newsfeeds. Local Pages, originally created to help organize and make neighbor recommendations easier to find, are our first step towards creating a dedicated place for local businesses on the site that ensures our members' experience remains positive and is not overwhelmed by posts from businesses and service providers. 

Businesses who choose to create and claim their Local Pages on Nextdoor will not have access to your neighborhood conversation or the directory. They will only be able to see and reply to the comments that you have chosen to share with them. 

Business Accounts on Nextdoor

Local businesses are invited to claim their business's Local Pages. These business accounts will have no affiliation with a specific neighborhood, and they will not have access to neighborhood conversations or the directory.

Who should create Local Pages

Local Pages are meant for anyone providing a service or selling a good. This can range from the neighbor offering lawn cutting services to the manager of the locally established restaurant chain. 

If you have a business, you can claim your Local Page here .

What businesses can do on Nextdoor
Nextdoor helps businesses better understand their neighborhood reputation. Through a color coded map, they will be able to see the neighborhoods where they have been recommended by Nextdoor members.

NOTE: A business will only see a member's photo, first name, last name and neighborhood name if that person chooses to share their identity with that business.

Businesses will be able to keep their contact information up-to-date and reply to comments and messages members have chosen to share. They will also be able to receive private messages. They will not be able to proactively reach out to members. 

What businesses can see on Nextdoor
As always, protecting your privacy is paramount. Participating businesses will not have access to neighborhood conversations or the directory. They will only be able to see comments and recommendations that were shared with them.

Businesses will be able to see a member’s first name, last name, profile photo, and neighborhood name if a member chooses to share a comment or recommendation with that business.

NOTE: The business will not be able to see any other profile or neighborhood information pertaining to that member or the neighborhood where he or she lives. 

Comments and recommendations that were not shared with the business can be seen by neighbors, nearby neighbors, and/or visitors to Nextdoor who haven’t joined yet, depending on your Recommendations privacy settings.
By Craig Backus 14 Oct, 2016
By Craig Backus 17 Sep, 2016
Here's the link for the slides of the presentation I went through today: 

http://www.slideshare.net/CraigBackus/social-media-for-busy-small-businesses-2106-0917
By Craig Backus 25 Aug, 2016
I will plan to release this slidedeck at a later point, but for now, I wanted to limit access to those who know where to look for it.  The slides I used in today's presentation can be found here:

http://www.slideshare.net/secret/60uC3lg53XjGkW

If you do have any questions, feel free to contact me at the number found in the slide deck.
By Craig Backus 26 Apr, 2016
Using the 1-to-1 Planner for your meetings with fellow BNI members is a great tool to keep you on track and learn more about each other's business.  I've been part of BNI for over 8 years now, and I've found that using this tool produces a better conversation and long-term results that simply getting together for coffee.   I've included links below to both my completed 1to1 Planner, and a blank version that you can use for your own meetings:

Blank 1-to-1 Planner from BNI

Backus, Craig 1-to-1 BNI Planner
By Craig Backus 18 Apr, 2016

Take advantage of every online tool you can to begin building an online identity for yourself and your business. The biggest investment to follow this path would be in time. The main thing you want to accomplish is that when people type in your name, that they find something about you quickly.   You want them to be able to verify that you have a business, and that you take it seriously.  Below is a checklist you can use.   Before you begin, go into Google and search “YOUR NAME” and “YOUR COMPANY” and see what comes up.   (Try the same thing by typing in “Craig Backus” and see what comes up.)   This will show you where your identity stands today, and then once you’ve created a number of online directories, check again in a couple weeks, and you’ll see the impact.

 Critical online directories:

 

Directory

 URL

Personal

 Company

Google My Business

 https://www.google.com/business/

 

          X

Bing Places

 https://www.bingplaces.com/

 

   X

LinkedIn

 https://www.linkedin.com/

  X

   X

Facebook

 https://www.facebook. c om/

  X

   X

Yelp

 https://biz.yelp.com/

  X

   X

Foursquare

 http://business.foursquare.com/

 

   X

 

It’s important to fill out as much information in every directory, including photos of you, your business features, etc. Every piece of information you offer goes to build your credibility in the mind of a potential customer.

By Craig Backus 21 Jul, 2015
My networking group was a little confused as to why Google reviews matter, and how they even leave one.  Since Google still controls about 2/3 of all search traffic, then it follows that the more you can do to elevate your own listing, the better off you'll be.  Once you get 5 reviews from different physical locations (IP addresses), then the average review will appear with the stars right under your company listing on the map. (If you're going to have your employees leave a review, make sure they do it from home and not from the same office!) 

The following video includes a brief overview of where the listings appear, and how you can leave a review.  It does require that you establish a Google identity, but remember this doesn't mean you HAVE to start checking e-mail sent to a Gmail account.  You can simply use this identity for reviews, and to simplify logins for other websites that have integrated the Google login into their security.  If you have any questions about this process, or need help in creating your Google+ page, then give me a call.

Craig's Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks

By Craig Backus 04 Apr, 2017
You may have read recently about the ransom request from the Turkish Crime Family.  If you haven't, click here to review a recent summary of the situation.  The bottom line is that this group of hackers claims to have the user names and passwords for MILLIONS of iCloud accounts, and is theatening to reset passwords and remotely wipe Apple devices of all their data, including photos, videos and messages.  

Is it possible?  Yes.  There were a number of previous documented hacks where people have acquired usernames and passwords from Yahoo, Dropbox and LinkedIn.  The problem is that many people use the same username and password for many different accounts.  Personally, I lost control of my Amazon prime account for a few hours last year because I used the same username / password combination too often.  Additionally, I started noticing that my Netflix account was being accessed from various places in South America! In that instance, they were smart and didn't change the password, just setup a separate user account so that I would be less likely to catch them. 

I've battled back from these hackers by employing a couple different tools.  First, I use a service called LastPass to manage my passwords.  I have a physical USB key on my keychain that authenticates my account.  I only have to re-insert it every 30 days into the devices I use regularly, and if I'm at a client's site and need it, then I just authenticate it for the time I'm there.

Some of the more robust platforms allow for two-factor authentication.  This includes Microsoft, Google, iCloud, and others.  When you log in from an unrecogized device, those systems will either send you a text with an access code, or have you use an app to get a code that refreshes every 60 seconds.  Either way, you have to have YOUR phone with YOU in order to receive the code, and unlock your account.  If someone steals your phone, then your first priority is to get it deactivated.  As long as your phone is with you, no one else can access your account when two-factor authentication is enabled.  Want to learn more about how to activate this on your Apple devices?   Click here to get step-by-step instructions.  Also, I've known to be bribed by a free lunch, or perhaps home-made lasagna and I can set this up for you.  
By Craig Backus 13 Mar, 2017
Facebook can be a useful tool for communicating ideas to your audience.  I've noticed that people are embracing video more and more, but as you post information, you need to pay attention to the audience you choose.  The biggest mistake I've seen lately is people posting from their personal pages about something they're promoting for their business or cause.  People often have their default audience setting to "friends."  This means that only people that YOU are connected with will see that post or video.  This is fine if you're taking video at your child's birthday party, but what if you're trying to spread the word about an upcoming event?  Facebook already puts a signficant restriction on how much "free" reach they afford to any message.  If you further restrict that message by limiting the audience, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

To further explain my point, there was a unique fundraiser happening this past Saturday.  The director of that event posted an invitation on HER personal Facebook page inviting people to attend.  I attempted to share this message on the Chamber of Commerce page I manage, and found that my post kept failing.  I retried a few times thinking it was a connection issue, but then thought to check the privacy setting.  I confirmed that she had the audience set to "friends" and I was unable to share her video with our audience.  There's really no guarantee of more exposure, but not setting your audience to "Public" for messages that you WANT people to see, is doing yourself and your brand a disservice.  

Any message you put online could potentially be shared with others, so we always need to be careful.  It's important we understand the drawbacks, but it's also important to maximize the opportunities these tools provide us. Facebook is favoring video posts, especially Live video, as it keeps people more engaged on THEIR platform for longer periods. Eventually people will be oversaturated and look for other ways to connect. Take advantage of this great medium now while it's still a worthwhile endeavor that really only requires an intelligent investment of your time.

If you have questions, or want me to just handle social media management for you or your brand, then give me a call at the number at the top of the page!
By Craig Backus 27 Jan, 2017
Whether you're an individual or business here is the link provided by Nextdoor to "claim" your Business Page. You can claim it as a Business or Individual. 

https://nextdoor.com/create-business

Nextdoor believes local businesses are an important part of the neighborhood and can play a vital role in building stronger, more connected communities. 

Today, many of the conversations neighbors are already having involve supporting these businesses, whether it be through a neighbor-recommendation, or raising awareness and support to help keep a beloved neighborhood favorite from losing their lease. We’ve also received feedback from neighbors over the years who want more opportunities to hear from and support their local businesses and service providers.

Until now, there hasn’t been a way for local businesses to participate on Nextdoor, which has led to businesses creating personal accounts and posting in neighborhood newsfeeds. Local Pages, originally created to help organize and make neighbor recommendations easier to find, are our first step towards creating a dedicated place for local businesses on the site that ensures our members' experience remains positive and is not overwhelmed by posts from businesses and service providers. 

Businesses who choose to create and claim their Local Pages on Nextdoor will not have access to your neighborhood conversation or the directory. They will only be able to see and reply to the comments that you have chosen to share with them. 

Business Accounts on Nextdoor

Local businesses are invited to claim their business's Local Pages. These business accounts will have no affiliation with a specific neighborhood, and they will not have access to neighborhood conversations or the directory.

Who should create Local Pages

Local Pages are meant for anyone providing a service or selling a good. This can range from the neighbor offering lawn cutting services to the manager of the locally established restaurant chain. 

If you have a business, you can claim your Local Page here .

What businesses can do on Nextdoor
Nextdoor helps businesses better understand their neighborhood reputation. Through a color coded map, they will be able to see the neighborhoods where they have been recommended by Nextdoor members.

NOTE: A business will only see a member's photo, first name, last name and neighborhood name if that person chooses to share their identity with that business.

Businesses will be able to keep their contact information up-to-date and reply to comments and messages members have chosen to share. They will also be able to receive private messages. They will not be able to proactively reach out to members. 

What businesses can see on Nextdoor
As always, protecting your privacy is paramount. Participating businesses will not have access to neighborhood conversations or the directory. They will only be able to see comments and recommendations that were shared with them.

Businesses will be able to see a member’s first name, last name, profile photo, and neighborhood name if a member chooses to share a comment or recommendation with that business.

NOTE: The business will not be able to see any other profile or neighborhood information pertaining to that member or the neighborhood where he or she lives. 

Comments and recommendations that were not shared with the business can be seen by neighbors, nearby neighbors, and/or visitors to Nextdoor who haven’t joined yet, depending on your Recommendations privacy settings.
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