Technology & Productivity Weekly

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May 30, 2014 Headlines

Six Social Media Management Tools That Help Save Time and Optimize Your Activity
How to Start a Cloud Accounting Practice
Deflating Four Myths About the Wonders of Cloud Computing
Pinterest Is More Than Images: 5 Ways to Optimize Pinterest for Local Search
Protect Your Small Business With Two-Factor Authentication
Small Businesses Bank on Social Media for Success
Troubleshoot Failing Backups

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Six Social Media Management Tools That Help Save Time and Optimize Your Activity

Small Business Technology (05/20/14); Crummey, Carolyn

There are six social media management tools that help small businesses save time and improve productivity. Buffer, the first tool, allows SMBs to save articles and media, then posts content at scheduled intervals. Crowdboster is a great analytics tool for gauging social media marketing on channels like Twitter and Facebook. HootSuite is useful for managing several social media profiles in a centralized location and allows users to track analytics. Through SocialFlow, SMBs can execute targeted marketing campaigns and suggests recommendations for content advertising. Socialoopmh is another tool that allows SMBs to schedule updates and suggests users to follow. Sprout Social, the last tool, offers users with the option to schedule content and publish content to several social media platforms simultaneously. Read More


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How to Start a Cloud Accounting Practice

AccountingWEB (05/13/14); Vetter, Amy

Firms considering starting cloud-based accounting practices should follow a few recommendations for a successful transition. Finding a mentor is the first step in adopting a cloud practice. Local firms, which are easily found via the state CPA societies, are great resources. The Small Business Association also provides professional advice for the specific needs of small businesses, while accounting software vendors have lists of certified advisors on their Web sites. For new firms, starting a new cloud-based business can be daunting, but asking for referrals from family and friends is a good initial start. Optimizing Web sites is important, particularly because many clients will be referred directly from the Web. Contacting the Webmasters of firms with outstanding and engaging Web sites is another strategy for building a solid online presence. Finally, sharing posts about the new practice on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will drive brand exposure and attract prospective clients. Read More


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Deflating Four Myths About the Wonders of Cloud Computing

Entrepreneur (05/13/14); Dynowski, Eric

There are four major myths that must be debunked about cloud computing. The first myth is that the cloud is redundant; in fact, businesses must purchase services for redundancy to prevent data loss. The second myth of cloud computing is automatic scaling. In fact, SMBs must ensure that applications are best suited for the size of their business. The third myth is that the cloud is not secure. While many IT providers are reluctant about cloud security, employees actually represent the primary point of cloud vulnerabilities. The final myth is that the cloud is cheap; in reality, businesses adding select services are costs that can quickly accumulate. Read More


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Pinterest Is More Than Images: 5 Ways to Optimize Pinterest for Local Search

Small Business Technology (05/13/14); Ray, Ramon

Tailwind CEO Danny Maloney says businesses can use the social media site Pinterest to generate new business. Although the site is largely considered a platform for sharing pictures, Maloney says business can optimize their Pinterest by adding their location to attract new business. Verifying a Web site is another important part of attracting clients, which also provides businesses access to Pinterest's analytics tool. Maloney advises businesses to promote their Pinterest page on other social media pages like Facebook and Twitter to drive interest. These sites also provide location-specific capabilities for more targeted engagement of new clients. Maloney advises businesses to create a local board using "Place Pins" which create an interactive map for users. Finally, Maloney says businesses should use keywords related to a local area, particularly words that local residents will relate to. Read More


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Protect Your Small Business With Two-Factor Authentication

Small Business Computing (05/08/14); Moran, Joe

The growing sophistication of malicious IT attacks underscores the need for small businesses to deploy stringent security measures. Two-factor authentication is one tactic SMBs can use to secure their businesses and assets. Two-factor authentication consists of implementing an extra security step prior to logging into an account and generally involves a mobile device. However, the mobile device does not have to be a smartphone, which is an advantage of current two-factor authentication measures. After the first step of a user's login, a Web site will send a special code to a user's mobile device and then users will input the unique code to login to their account. Several major sites offer two-factor authentication, including Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Dropbox. Read More


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Small Businesses Bank on Social Media for Success

Small Business Computing (05/01/14); Hernandez, Pedro

According to a Manta survey, social media is a top priority among small businesses. Social media ranked as the number one technology that SMBs cited as promising, followed by mobile devices. Manta CEO John Swanciger says SMBs believe tasks can be completed faster on PCs, although mobile devices have entered the workplace. This belief accounts for desktop and laptop PCs as a top hardware investment for SMBs. Printers, scanners, and fax equipment were the next hardware investments, followed by mobile devices. Swanciger says SMBs' prioritization of social media coincides with the milestone of welcoming repeat clients, which was cited by 40 percent of businesses. Swanciger added that SMBs want to learn from other businesses, which is indicative of 20 percent of businesses citing in-person networking as a primary consideration. Read More


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Troubleshoot Failing Backups

Processor.com (05/02/14)Vol. 36, No. 9, P. 34

IT analysts say one common issue encountered by businesses is data backups that fail during scheduled times. One cause of failed data backups is corrupted data, which has the potential to impact productivity. Other common issues include lack of communication between multiple parties working on IT administration, leading to kinks in the backup process. Gartner analyst Dave Russell advises businesses to review their backup plans regularly and to be prepared to troubleshoot data backup issues. Creating a plan that includes multiple backups in different locations is also a sound idea to ensure business continuity in the event of a catastrophe. Russell notes that data backups can be conducted incrementally, which will provide businesses with accurate snapshots of the parts of the backup process that work seamlessly or indicate potential errors in the process. Data backups should also be tested quarterly and cloud providers should be used as a potential data backup site. Read More


LAST UPDATED 5/30/2014