Social Media Marketing Look beyond FB, Twitter and LinkedIn

We all talk about social media marketing – be it discussing tweets that are gaining a lot of attention or Facebook pages that have millions of ‘Likes. Most often, we don’t know the purpose behind social media marketing and how it helps businesses increase sales.

The webs is pulsating with white papers, e-books and tell-all articles that are constantly discussing and guiding on how to get the social media marketing ‘right’. So, while you may be doing it right, do you have inkling as to why you are putting in so much effort? Have you ever paused and asked yourself this question?

Marketing is about campaigns – that have a set target or goal that the market is working hard on achieving. Say, you are selling a packet of potato chips for $.5 – as a part of promotion; you have a set goal in mind of increasing sales by encouraging customers to buy a $2 of soda to be consumed along with chips.

In a similar fashion, social media marketing too should have clearly defined goals. If you plan to run a social media campaign, without a goal – you are not marketing anything.

In this blog, I am going to list down some goals and how they can be achieved:

Goal 1: Selling a Product or Service Directly:

One of the easiest goals to define and one where you can send out clear messages.

  • If you are attempting to sell products or services, try concentrating on a specific line or focus on a product and drive sales through that. In order to increase the sales, promote the campaign through tweets, facebook and linkedin. One of the most important factors that you must bear in mind is to add content that is engaging – if you want to coax people into making a purchase, the content should be able to bring the message across.
  • If focus is on general sale and not a single product, focus on your knack at providing a brilliant service, high quality product or brand value. You may also choose to share your complete line of products – giving your prospects and customers an idea of what they may expect from you.

Goal 2: Using the estate on your blog:

Adsense, banner ads and Google adwords choose your site or blog, based on the traffic that your blog may generate. If the traffic on your site, meets their requirements, they may choose to show-case their ads with you. But, if the traffic is low, it will not be a lucrative option. In such a scenario, your social media marketing strategy should focus on driving traffic and encouraging repeat visitors. One of the best ways to make this possible is by creating exciting content and at the same time, encourage your visitors to share the content.

One of the other popular options SEO backlinks- is an effective way to generate more traffic. However, to make this a reality, you need to increase SERP (search engine results page) – by sharing content with other websites that have backlinks to your website. This can only be made possible if your content is great. Content that is dull and low quality may not encourage this.

Marketing Goals is all that matters

The most important part of any social media marketing is to have some form of goal – it may or may not be related to sales or products. Your goals could also be targeting at increasing your fans, followers, users or generate traffic. As long as you have a goal, you can utilize social media to reach that goal.

To push your goals, include a call-to-action in your messages – this will encourage your readers to share it with other.

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Now a smart application that sings you a lullaby

Every time you find difficult catching your sleep at night, make use of your Smartphone like Smart Application. Yes, due to technological advancements we now have an application known as Sleep Cycle which has been devised on iPhone to help you get sound sleep. Costing $2 on your iPhone, the application might not literally help you sleep. But it lets you learn about good sleeping habits. It works using the sensors of your phone placed on the mattress to detect and record your movements. In fact you can study a detailed analysis of this by exporting the compiled data and knowing how long were you getting deep sleep and how many times were you falling asleep in the light mode.

For those who use the Android phone, do not worry. Sleepbot is the application designed to follow your sleep patterns through motion sensors of the Smartphone. The interface might not be so smart to use compared to Sleep cycle but this application will not let you down due its incredible performance. You can set the desired sleep times, or reminders for going to sleep and also study if your sleep has a correlation with a more quiet environment or otherwise. There is another application by the name of Simply Rain that plays soothing music to let you go off to sleep before shuttling off the music.

The new age application can surely let you know if there is any deficit in your sound sleep. If yes it will further let you understand the main reasons that you can overcome using these highly effective applications.

Manageengine Showcases Enhanced IT Security, Event Log & Firewall

Manage Engine, and IT management company and a sponsor of the eCrime Congress in Abu Dhabi, showcased upgrades to its IT Security Suite specifically aimed at IT organizations in the Middle East to help them comply with IT security policies and offer better services within defined budgets.

The latest version of the IT Security Suite features Firewall analyzer, Event Log Analyzer, Password Manager Pro, Device Expert and Security Manager Plus. Security Manager Plus scans networks and generates reports on vulnerabilities while also helping with solutions. It detects open ports, changed windows files and registry, patch management and vulnerabilities, protecting networks against threats, tunnelling and malicious attacks. Event Log Analyzer handles Security Information Event Management through improved Amazon Web Server instances windows web based real time logs and thus achieves improved network security.

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Firewall Analyzer is software for network security devices helping to monitor end point security, employee internet use, bandwidth use, plan capacity, comply with audit requirements and change management. It supports all commercial and open source network firewalls, proxies, IPS, VPN and IDS. Enhancement includes zeroing in on security holes in Cisco devices, geo location maps and detection of security and traffic information. Device Expert change management solution enables web based configuration of switches, routers, network devices and firewalls.

Enhancements include forensic audit, recording, archiving and playing back of SSH & Telnet connections as well as monitoring of all end user actions. Password Manager Pro works as a secure storage and management tool for sensitive data such as passwords, digital identities and documents, with the latest modification allowing remote access management of data centres, cutting across network segmentation barriers without affecting protocols.

Overall, enhancements in IT Security Suite help achieve better network security with the least hassles and at the lowest cost.

Cloud Costing touching the Sky Now a Days

Cloud costing concept showing cloud icon on computer key. Cloud has been quite a news maker in the IT industry with increasing number of leading IT players opting for Cloud computing services. While most industrialists are increasing their profit margin with less manpower and better efficiency, environmentalist are frowning upon the energy consumed by the leading IT players to keep the service up and running.

An in-depth study conducted on energy sourcing and consumption by Greenpeace titled “How Clean is Your Cloud?” showed some alarming results. The study included data centers of some of the largest tech companies and investigated the data center deployments of 14 of the market leaders. Clean Energy Index, an evaluating system has been set by the International Environmental Organization with the main purpose being assessing & comparing energy linked footprints of cloud providers & their data centers.

Greenpeace has observed that there’s limited transparency with regards to electricity consumption by IT companies; this being the case despite the fact that there are various metrics for the purpose of measuring the consumption with the most prominent being PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness). As per Greenpeace, the data that depicts the dirty energy consumed (energy sourced from coal & nuclear power) & companies opting for clean source (renewable sources of energy) are poorly demarcated. Bearing this in mind, Greenpeace hopes that Clean Energy Index provides a clearer picture. The index considers recent investments & current energy supply related to these investments.

The most relevant findings of this index are:

  • The 3 largest companies – Apple, Amazon & Microsoft are expanding rapidly but continue to behave irresponsibly towards the source of energy supply. As per reports, they rely heavily on dirty energy to keep their clouds up & running
  • The most responsible companies were found to be Yahoo & Google, resorting to using renewable energy in their cloud expansion
  • Facebook has also come on board with renewable energy. It has gone a step ahead and constructed a data center in Sweden that can be powered by renewable/ clean energy.
  • The location for these data centers is also playing an important factor in the form of energy being consumed. Certain areas have a concentration of data centers around dirty energy sources. Its aggravating the environmental damage for that geography
  • One of the first companies to give a detailed report of carbon intensity under the CUE (Carbon Utilization Effectiveness) standards is Akamai. As per Greenpeace, the rest of the companies chose to refrain from commenting about CUE.
  • Though most IT companies have pitched cloud as a more “greener” option, they fail to back it up with valid reports supporting this claim.

Despite the picture not being perfect, there are encouraging signs that more & more IT companies are opting for renewable sources of energy, thus playing a positive role in shaping a better future for the earth.

Cosentry DataCenter Storage and Managed Technology Major

DataCenter storage and managed technology major, Cosentry, spearheaded by its new CEO, Mr. Brad Hokamp is adding to its Papillion center as the company witnesses soaring demand for data storage needs. Several businesses in the region need to gather, store and process data and are driving demand for Cosentry’s data center storage and managed technology services.

To meet surging demand, Cosentry is availing fresh credit and has embarked on an expansion drive. Construction of a new 15,000 sft facility is underway at its existing location at Papillion. In addition to its existing data center services, Cosentry is also focusing on growing its cloud computing, managed IT services and e-commerce hosting services to drive revenues.

The company has charted a spectacular growth path from its modest beginnings over a decade back, and its team comprising technicians and engineers have doubled its strength in the last four to five years. Cosentry has built a formidable reputation with six data centers and is today, a name to reckon with, even as it continues to grow at a rapid clip. The company which began with a few clients on board now enjoys hundreds of reputed names relying on it for their diverse IT service needs.

Cosentry enjoys the patronage of several companies across industry sectors including healthcare, financial services, construction, logistics and e-commerce. These companies depend on Cosentry for leased space and other services through its co-location data centre.

Cosentry is firming up further growth plans for the future and aims to expand its footprint across geographies while enhancing it service portfolio and delivery standards. The enterprise strategy is to achieve leadership position in data center services in the Midwest.

Enhanced AppOnChip Software Security Technology from SafeNet

SafeNet, developer of the Sentinel Envelope file wrapper technology has launched an enhanced version of the licensing and software protection app. The latest release offered to software developers featuring AppOnchip functionality links software to hardware keys as a prerequisite to authorization, validation and execution of code. Enhanced AppOnChip Software Security Technology from SafeNet – ITBUsinessplus

AppOnchip works fully automatically in conjunction with the Sentinel hardware key, with certain parts of the codes called into execution during access. If the key is not present, users cannot proceed further. The simplicity and beauty of the new offering is that the key itself does not store any application code, offering better intellectual property protection and enhancing Sentinel’s file encryption, anti-debugging and code hiding features, thus preventing unauthorized hacking and access.

Achieving the same results manually is a cumbersome process but SafeNet has automated the process, thus encouraging software developers to protect their creations with the latest and the best software licensing implementation.

AppOnChip offers better security since it uses the hardware token to run a block of code that is selectable by a developer. Developers can easily implement the binding code and convert it into token executable form in an easy process. While the hardware token is required, code is always stored in the hard disc and the app accesses the code on the token for validation. Since this process is external to the main software, it remains unaffected in the event of software version upgrades. While it makes life simple for licensed users, it presents insurmountable obstacles to hackers and unauthorized users, making it one of the best of its kind.

Open Source Social Media Networking Framework and Platform

The burgeoning network of Open Source Social Media, growing demand for their services and evolving need for keeping up with prolific data volumes are pushing such large enterprises as Facebook to shift to more efficient technologies. Facebook has been experiencing fewer hardware breakdowns ever since it started opting for open-source hardware for its gigantic servers. In a departure from the conventional, monolithic server systems, the rapidly growing social network platform is collaborating with design specialists to create new open source hardware, a trend that’s fast catching on in the IT world.

However, even considering the shift to a more traffic-friendly platform, solutions to major problems in data hardware still evade specialists working on this model. The question remains: Is open-source the right solution? Facebook has in fact stated that the shift to open source hardware has enabled constituents of the social media network to improve data efficiencies and reduce operating cost.

The “Open Compute Project” which is an open-source hardware group comprising team members from Facebook offers ideas for innovation and execution. The project was launched in the year 2011 with a data center featuring fully run on open-source servers only at Lulea in Sweden.

The team compared performance of its Sweden and US centers with quality rates as the parameter. The comparison test revealed a 15 failure rate in the Sweden center which has 100% open source equipment, while a significantly higher 3% failure rate was observed at the US data center which had a mix of open-source and non-open source hardware.

Facebook is focusing on open-source hardware and believes that its initiative will positively influence hardware design in the future.

DataCenter performance to be driven by focus on servers

DataCenter Server Solutions today are being influenced by cutting-edge technology such as fabric-based computing systems. Several large date centers across the globe are focusing on innovative technologies to enhance efficiencies. From “Virtualization” which has helped drive server utilization levels and empowered enterprises to reduce costs significantly and also optimize hardware to “Data Center Design” more recently, new trends are influencing performance of data centers as the current shift seems to be towards servers.

While several platform modification including better temperature control systems and re-designed cables/server architecture have been helping improve efficiencies of data centers, the server is now the centre of change.

Open-Source Hardware which is now being embraced by Facebook through its Open Compute Project is promising good results as one of the advantages is that this process offer greater flexibility in terms of customizing hardware without incurring higher costs. Others advantages include access to open-source hardware and open-source management tools.

With Open Compute, system administrators are now relieved from the burden of familiarizing themselves with all the management tools of multiple server vendors as the new technology allows for a single tool for hardware management thus, cutting down complexity and allowing for swift and easy execution of management tasks.

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Open Compute is helping integrate server hardware and software enabling improved efficiencies at data centers. Now servers will not be off-the-shelf hardware but will largely be customized according to the requirements of the customer. The focus on servers is now a critical development enabling change and evolution at modern data centers.

Digital Marketing Changed the Way B2B Market Functions

The face of B2B sales and Marketing has changed rapidly over time. Termed as consumerization of B2B, there is a rapid change in the way offerings are purchased and dealt with. How Has Digital Marketing Changed the Way Your B2B Market Functions?

IT products that are flying off the shelf are cloud-based, social media enabled, mobile capable with less involvement of sales. The best examples being the android market or iTune store. These features, with easy self-service options & instant gratification, do not need sales pitch.

Below we cover how digital marketing has changed the way B2B sales & marketing functions in 2013:

  • Social selling has gone mainstream: A look at the year 2012 shows that people preferred to make cold calls or send emails to book an appointment. In 2013, sales executives have taken to social media networks to connect with prospective clients. This has helped them add a personal touch, winning a higher response rate from clients and customers. Social media has also helped B2B marketers leverage contacts and networks of customers, colleagues, partners, while keeping an eye on their clients online activities.
  • Sales executives have adopted big data: B2B sales leaders have embraced big data. This step has effectively increased their sales. Big data helps to identify and segment customers with highest contribution to the company’s revenues, find leads and study customer usage patterns. By teaming analytics & sales automation, these companies target prospects & customers – offering personalized services based on specific customer behavior.
  • Customer engagement makes it to the priority list: Company’s don’t stop at making a sale and moving on to the next deal. With increased subscription based models, unsatisfied customers can unsubscribe from services at any given point. This has aligned organizations to chase and monitor customer behavior, encouraging engagement throughout the life cycle. Some companies have also appointed VP for customer engagement – dedicating them to up-selling and renewals
  • The line between sales and marketing is blurred: The process of conducting sales and marketing has evolved. The outbound sale has become inbound sales, mainly due to online conferencing tools. Similarly, the inbound sales in being replaced by self-service and self-help tools and website resources. With this evolution, there is a very thin line separating sales and marketing. This has lead to an increased interaction and collaboration between marketing & sales teams.
  • Laptops are replaced by tablets: Being lightweight and easy to use, tablets have become favorites of sales reps on the go. From shipping to product documentations & demonstration, this new gadget helps to do a quick research on prospects before meetings or capture leads at trade shows
  • Sales tools have moved to the Cloud: Most companies have adopted cloud-based software for billing & subscription. This has offered increased visibility for customers billing cycle and is helpful in growing and renewing their subscriptions. Cloud-based products are also more stream-lined.

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