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Marketing: Social Media “Insurance”
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Quick Tips to Manage the Big Risks

My husband works in the field of risk management (he keeps me grounded in many ways) and passed on a recent article in Business Insurance magazine entitled “Companies often unprepared for risks social media pose.” The article cites six key areas where businesses may have social media exposures:

  • Network Security: Cyber-robbers can sometimes get key personal information from social media accounts to tap into protected accounts.
  • Proprietary Information: Employees can inadvertently “leak” information around pricing, new products, etc.
  • Viruses: Viruses can be transmitted through social media connections.
  • Reputation: Valid complaints and malicious misinformation can damage your brand.
  • Productivity: Lots of quick tweets and posts can add up to hours of wasted employee time and focus.
  • Legal: The legal risks of false advertising, copyright, libel, defamation and slander via social media are just starting to hit the courts.

While smaller businesses are less likely to be targets of large social media scandals, following the three steps below is a quick and inexpensive start to protect you from the “catastrophic risks” posed by social media.

Your Next Best Three Steps:

  1. Grab your brand. Even if you have no intention or ever being active in Social Media, at the very least you should sign up for accounts with your business name on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media outlets that are prevalent in your industry. What you are guarding against is someone else grabbing the account and then sending out tweets and wall posts that either confuses your marketing message, or worse, damages your reputation.
  2. Monitor the web. Your next move to manage risk is to set up alerts (see my post on Google Alerts) for your company name and the names of your major brands/products. You at least will know immediately when anyone talks about you and can manage the response rather than be caught unaware.
  3. Have a plan and controls. Remember that social media is an individual communications medium. Even if your company is not active, your employees and contractors likely are. Incorporate the mention of social media in any non-disclosure or contracts that you currently have. Setting up the right expectations and boundaries (as you would for any communication) can help insure you against future problems.
Jeanne Rossomme - President, RoadMap Marketing
Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish.
www.roadmapmarketing.com | @roadmapmarketin | More from Jeanne

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Organization: Getting the Most Out Of Your Time
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Time Management Tips That Work

Every productive person one time or other gets confused with activity. The great saying by A.J. Marshall, “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans,” is true in the sense that if we don’t manage our time productively, it passes us by- we forget deadlines, we lose deals, we become reactive instead of proactive.

In business, any business, understanding and taking control of time is just part of being proactive. So often I hear the words, “I’m so busy. I just couldn’t call you today,” or, “It’s on my list but I won’t get to it until a few weeks because I have these other tasks first.” These are reasonable responses if and only if, the other tasks and activities that have been prioritized above correspond more directly with the company’s goals, revenue and mission. If you are prioritizing the tasks and activities by urgency, you’re missing the entire point.

How many times have you been ready to check out with a retail clerk in a store or pharmacy and the sales person answers a ringing phone? Meanwhile, you are standing in front of the person ready to make a sale for that business and they prioritize the phone call as being more important (or urgent) for them. A former boss and now friend of mine (who actually taught me my first time management course) told this story. His theory? Call the store from your cell phone while you are standing in front of them. When they pick it up and you smile, they’ll get the hint.

The point is, in order to manage your time, you need to set goals. You need to identify events and then you need to manage the time with control. What are your long-term goals for your business? What are your immediate needs? What’s on your daily activity ‘to do’ list? When you are goal planning, are your goals:

• Measured
• Time dimensioned
• Realistic
• Owned (either by you or another employee)
• Valued

Here are some other quick thoughts to take control over your time:

1. If you use Outlook organize your email by creating folders and changing your settings so some emails are automatically filtered to a folder you look at once a week. If billing emails are not a priority and only have to be checked weekly, have technology filter it so you aren’t spending the time opening and filtering yourself. I even have a folder labeled “tools,” where I filter all my SEO ranker tools, keyword management tools, helpful articles (like this one) and even sometimes, contacts. Some contacts are definitely worth the ‘tool’ label.

2. Planners. With so many gadgets, it’s no wonder we forget conference calls, picking up our children and sometimes even eating. Sync your office, home and phone calendar into one. It’s easy to do with Google calendar and docs plus you can set it up so it sends you a text to remind you of an appointment. Other similar programs and applications are from Jott and Cozi. In fact, if you use Doodle.com, you get a free online scheduling assistant to set up meetings and go back and forth about times so you don’t have to. The service syncs with your calendar in Outlook, Google and on your Apple.

3. Remember, don’t let urgency take over priority just because the phone rings or a customer demands an immediate response to an email. Yes, take care of it. However, if you are working on a $25 million project, take care of that first.

Betsy Brottlund, Guest Blogger
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