In The News
By Matt Dwyer Sr. Vice President, Northland Communications 315-671-6229
Cloud computing and social media are among the hottest topics in IT and marketing. One of the relationships is easy to spot: social media is driving IT to make all this cool stuff work. Fortunately, cloud computing is here to make the process a whole lot easier and more lucrative. IT and marketing folks will be working together to a greater extent than ever before!
Please allow me to illustrate.
Here at Northland Communications, our marketing department is asking much more from IT lately. We’re getting involved with projects that go well beyond connecting laptops to projectors. We’re talking about integrating social media with our CRM systems, adding analysis software that stores tons of information and integrating social media throughout our website. These things take IT resources, bandwidth, time and money. So does cloud computing help with that? You bet.
I’ll let you in on a secret if you don’t mind a little boasting. We’re a telecommunications and internet services company. As such, we’ve built an enormously impressive technology infrastructure here that would make most IT geeks cry. I still do sometimes. No matter what IT resources we need here at Northland for our internal business needs, we can get them without a whole lot of fuss. We can bring on the most high tech, reliable, redundant and secure computer resources possible in about 10 minutes. We’re talking processing, storage, backups and bandwidth in large amounts whenever we need it.
Naturally, what telecom companies like ours are doing is making that same infrastructure available to the business market so that companies can access best in class computing and storage resources just like the big ISP telecoms do. Eureka! Cloud computing services for sale! At our scale, we can simply do it faster, cheaper, better, etc… IT is flocking to the cloud for the same sort of reasons you’d go to a commercial printer to print brochures.
The main point to all of this is that cloud services resolve major engineering and cost problems. This can make your project more feasible, possible and flexible. The cloud liberates IT to focus on their most important purpose… Maximizing the use of technology to support your business processes whether it’s social media or Powerpoint. Cloud computing and social media is changing the IT leadership role and maximizing marketing.
Please don’t take all this to mean that IT will suddenly have lots of free time. We’re still toiling in the dark mechanics of the internet while helping you with your email spam, but we should be a little friendlier, capable and more willing to help make some exciting things happen.
Northland Communications is a local, privately owned company that provides local dial tone, long distance, high speed internet, cloud services, voice & data solutions, telephone systems, fiber networks and structured cabling. For more information please contact us at 1-800-499-8421, visit us online at www.northland.net or on our Facebook page
By Lior Levine
Twitter is big business. Everyone from movie stars to the average Joe is sharing his thoughts and ideas on Twitter.
For average users, just going to Twitter.com and typing a tweet might be enough to get the job done, but this simply will not suffice for some users. People who use Twitter all the time need a way to tweet more efficiently and effectively. Here are nine apps to help.
Twentyfeet is like Google Analytics for Twitter. It keeps track of all the important statistics, and lets you know when something important is happening. The app displays easy-to-read graphs and insights so users can keep track of their follower numbers and how they are changing over time. You can keep track of your stats on Twitter, as well as Facebook and YouTube.
Written By: Jay Baer
Despite increasing numbers of customers using Twitter to publicly complain about brands, the vast majority of companies respond in the exact same way….with the quiet of contempt.
New research from Maritz and Evolve24 of 1,298 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those tweet gripes were replied to by the companies in question.
11:20 a.m. | Updated As social media like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube grow increasingly popular among consumers, marketers are seeking more data about the changing behavior of their customers.
Nielsen, which has long provided such information about the traditional media, is seeking to become a go-to source of data for new media, too. To help bolster that, Nielsen is to release on Monday morning a report of a kind it says it has not published before, a big-picture look at social media.
Although the conclusions of the report are not surprising, it is interesting to read in “State of the Media: The Social Media Report” just how large a role social media are playing in the lives of consumers.
Social media account for 22.5 percent of the time that Americans spend online, according to the report, compared with 9.8 percent for online games and 7.6 percent for e-mail.
Over the last three years, the No. 1 question I’ve gotten from brand marketers is: “What should I tweet about?” These are not small brands, either, and not junior marketers. The industry seems to be confounded with its new-found power to speak directly to audiences. Marketers know it’s worth collecting fans and followers, but once they have them, they’re left with little to say. They’ve been creating content in the form of advertising for years, but something about the flow of new media isn’t jibing with the old methods.
By David Parmet
Last week I traveled to the Kennedy Space Center to join 149 other space enthusiasts at a #NASATweetup for the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery.. This gave me a chance to combine my profession as a social media marketer with my passion as a space geek who’s followed almost every manned launch since Apollo XI.
The first #NASATweetup was hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in January 2009. They had a great turnout, so NASA hosted the first in Washington DC at NASA Headquarters in July of 2009, with the STS-125 Hubble repair mission crew, including Mike Massimino (@astro_mike), the first astronaut on Twitter. This week’s tweetup was the third to be held around a shuttle launch.
150 of us got a VIP tour of the Kennedy Space Center, inluding an inside look at the Vehicle Assembly Building and a drive out to the launch pad – two stops that you won’t get on the public tour. Along the way, we tweeted, took pictures, shot live video streamed to Justin.tv and shared our experiences with the thousands of people following the #NASAtweetup hashtag.
A few weeks ago I went on vacation to Florida. The first stop of the trip was in Orlando where we spent the day in Disney and, in addition to having a blast, saw firsthand why the Walt Disney Company is so successful. They often say that the devil is in the details, and Disney, hits on all the little things keeps people extremely happy and engaged.
It was truly inspirational and businesses of all sizes can learn from it.
Hook ‘em early
Disney does a great job of hooking visitors early in two major ways. The first is that once you land in the Orlando airport there are no fewer than three Disney-themed stores and character statues to take pictures with. Plus, they offer discounted park tickets in the airport. For anyone heading to town without a pre-planned package this can be a steal. Second, the theme park is geared around famous movies and cartoon characters which children love. With that audience, Disney is able to do something that was banned for companies like Marlboro – they directly market to kids. Think about it, how geeked out is a seven-year old girl when she hears she can have breakfast with the princesses?
Live the brand
The staff at the parks makes sure to give visitors an experience that is truly magical. It may be the one place where you won’t see a pissed off employee. I Interaction with patrons is encouraged. I am a big fan of the pin trade program where kids can trade pins with a staff member with a sash of flair that would make the Bobs blush. When we were there we also saw staff members making a hopscotch game with some kids who were looking bored. During our trip, the park was celebrating Halloween. Even though it was well before the actual pagan holiday, characters and staff lived the day as if it were time to yell trick or treat.
Ok so I have fallen seriously behind in my blog posts. Grad school sort or swept me up and threw me for a loop these past few weeks…eek months. Anyway, I’m back (for now) and ready to share some great tales.
I attended a social media conference hosted by PRSA-CVC a few weeks ago where Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot was the keynote speaker. Wow. He is brilliant; I really enjoyed listening to him. First of all, his personality really shined through in his presentation. He talked to us like old friends by talking with us rather than at us. He was engaging and very entertaining. The fact that he was talking about The Grateful Dead definitely added to the entertainment. The Grateful Dead, marketing and social media…really?! Yes really. Pick up his book, “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead”. Sadly this book is still sitting in my school bag untouched but I promise you all I will read it once the semester is over.
I don’t want to ramble too much…after all, I have to get to class soon. So here are some highlights from his talk:
- Create your own category rather than follow others in theirs. Going along with this, you can also innovate your business model. Find a way to “flip it”. When you are unique you can build a massive competitive advantage.
- People should either hate or love your business…this is when you know you are unique.
- Society is tired of being marketed to and they try and block it out with things like spam blockers, caller ID, t-vo etc. This raises the big million dollar question; how do you get found? Learn how to pull people in through new media by creating “remarkable” content. Use “magnets” for new customers like a blog.
by Fandotech Blog
Loss of data is a common problem for businesses. Fortunately, it’s a problem that can easily be avoided with the correct preparation. While devastating amounts of data can be lost during catastrophes like hurricanes, the September 11 terrorist attacks, fires and floods – it doesn’t take such large events to cause a business to lose important data. It can be as simple as dropping a laptop to the floor, or a power surge that results in burning out a storage device. If you don’t have your crucial data backed up, even a small situation can turn into a disaster.
If you still think natural disasters are the leading causes of data loss – and that the chances of it happening to you are pretty slim, take a look at the results from a study by Strategic Research Corporation of the leading causes of business continuity and disaster recovery incidents:
- Hardware Failures (servers, switches, disk drives, etc) – 44%.
- Human Error (mistakes in configurations, wrong commands issued, etc) 32%
- Software Errors (operating systems, driver incompatibility, etc)14%
- Viruses and Security Breach (unprotected systems are always at risk) 7%
- Natural Disasters 3%
In an unprecedented case, the NLRB is pushing all in over the battle on social media. And its press release today leaves little doubt where it is placing its chips — strongly in the employee’s favor.
I had heard about this case a few weeks ago through the grapevine here in the area, but today’s press release makes it official. It is an important case to follow.
According the release, the NLRB’s Hartford regional office issued a complaint on October 27 alleging that “an ambulance service illegally terminated an employee who posted negative remarks about her supervisor on her personal Facebook page. The complaint also alleges that the
company, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., illegally denied union representation to the employee during an investigatory interview, and maintained and enforced an overly broad blogging and internet posting policy.”
It is further alleged that:
“when asked by her supervisor to prepare an investigative report concerning a customer complaint about her work, the employee requested and was denied representation fromher union, Teamsters Local 443. Later that day from her home computer, the employee posted a negative remark about the supervisor on her personal Facebook page, which drew supportive responses from her co-workers, and led to further negative comments about the supervisor from the employee. The employee was suspended and later
terminated for her Facebook postings and because such postings violated the company’s internet policies.”
So what’s the really big deal about this? Well, it’s the next part of the NLRB’s press release that should have employers and their counsel on edge: The investigation found that: