Facebook and Identity Theft

Identity theft caused by over sharing online

How sharing on Facebook (almost) ruined my life

Privacy. Some people put up a fence and close the blinds while some people get the newspaper in their whitey tighties. But what do they do to protect themselves on the internet?

From what I have seen, many people aren’t as careful online as they should be. A common theme among those I know is, “only really personal stuff needs to be private”.

So what qualifies as really personal stuff? It depends on who you ask. It can include your SSN, your credit card number, your passwords, your birthday, your address, days you’ll be out of town, times when you are home alone, anything that could give away your secret questions for your passwords when you forget them (secret questions such as “What is your first pet’s name?”), and even your phone number.

“Jax was my new puppy. I was so proud of him that I wanted to show him off to all my friends. I loved him so much I even changed my Facebook password to IloveJAX. I made myself an easy target to anyone looking to gain access to my Facebook account. I had my posts set as public, put up a status about how I loved my new puppy, Jax, and before I knew it my friends were calling me saying they got some weird messages from me on Facebook. If it weren’t for some of my hypervigilant friends on Facebook, things could have gotten a lot worse. I’ll always be sure to make sure my passwords are much more difficult to figure out!”

As you may guess, stealing credit card numbers is a big one that happens quite frequently and identity theft has increased throughout the past few years. And while those may appear to be the only privacy and security threats on the internet, they are only the beginning.

Once you put something on the internet, it is there forever. That blog posting you typed up that talked about how much you hated person XYZ can come back to haunt you. And that doesn’t only happen with blogs. Facebook statuses have led to the suspension of students and even teachers. Beware; it doesn’t just happen in schools. In your spare time, Google “people fired over Facebook status” and you’ll find numerous links to Facebook statuses that have cost people their jobs.

Facebook statuses aren’t the only aspect of Facebook you should be concerned with. Posting your address and phone number makes it easy for people who have stumbled across you online to find you IRL (in real life). Uploading mobile images lets people know where you are, which can be okay but it can also let people know that your home is vacant. Identifying your family members and hometown can even be a big no-no if you use your hometown or mother’s maiden name as your security question answers.

Facebook does have privacy settings that you should familiarize yourself with. Make sure you know the people you are “friending”. Be careful what you say in your statuses. Don’t share TOO much in your “About” section. And stay current on Facebook security, Zuckerberg seems to change settings every now and then.

A 1,000 page book could not cover everything you need to know about privacy and security on the internet. Be cautious and untrusting. And if you have any questions, let me know. I can go into more detail regarding what Facebook security settings mean or how you can help protect yourself when making online purchases or anything else you’d like to know. Or, if you have a story regarding online privacy, share your experiences to help others avoid the same mistakes

If you take one piece of advice with you today, it should be this:

You cannot trust anyone on the internet. Be careful what you share. Be cautious of websites, especially ones you have never visited. Don’t enter your SSN or any other personal data unless you are 100% sure you can trust the website. If you have any doubt, do not do it. Be careful. Be safe. Have fun!

Newsjacking | It works for the President; it can work for you too

Simple techniques for audience and media attention

President Obama is a master at gaining media attention. One of the favorite techniques used by his administration is called newsjacking.

While “newsjacking” sounds ominous, it’s really a simple, free technique that focuses on making your message relevant to what’s important to your target audience right now.

So, what exactly is newsjacking? It’s using the keywords in breaking news stories and trending topics on Twitter to develop your message and social media posts.

For example, on the day I wrote this tip, #10ThingsILove was trending on Twitter. It is easy to incorporate that hashtag into tweets about your organization, products, or services. Here’s an example how we use the newsjacking concept on Twitter:

By incorporating the trending topic in our tweet and including a link to our website, we greatly expanded the audience of those who would see our tweets and increased traffic to our website.

Newsjacking isn’t limited to Twitter. You can also use the technique on Facebook and LinkedIn. Simply create a link to share a landing page, blog post or even your Facebook business page.

Use the keywords in the breaking news story in your message. If it makes long-term sense, consider changing your landing pages to contain these keywords. Use video and other visuals for maximum effect.

Think of newsjacking as an easy way to take advantage of real-time promotion opportunities.

Here’s a great video explanation of newsjacking from Marketing pro David Meerman Scott. Watch the video to see a classic example of how President Obama uses newsjacking to turn the world’s attention to him.  Then think about ways you, too, can take advantage of newsjacking to promote your association, small business or nonprofit organization.

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Marketing Tip #21 | 3 Keys to Inbound Marketing

Get customers to come to you

Easy as 1-2-3

Three steps to inbound marketing

1.   Get found — online

  • Use your website
  • Have a strategy for sharing on social media and email marketing

2.   Convert

  • Capture leads from website
  • Convert visitors to buyers
    — Be easy to contact

3.   Analyze

  • Measure website traffic
    — Use Google Analytics
  • Track website leads — bit.ly
  • Track customers
    — Follow up
Easy as 1-2-3! Questions? Want help?  Shoot us an email or give us a call at 850-320-6792.

Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

The Online Mom Influence

Do you know what Moms do online?

They engage — actively — with other moms and organizations that are active on social media networks, especially Facebook. If moms are in your target market or if moms are influencers of your target market, take note.

According to a recent Infographic posted by Nielsen,

  • 50% of all moms actively participate in social media networks via mobile devices
  • 75% of American moms visited Facebook in March 2012
  • Moms are 38% more likely to become a fan or follow a brand online
  • 5 million moms have visit Pinterest — more than a third of the site’s visitors in March
  • The top 3 social networks among moms:
    1. Facebook………………72.5%
    2. Blogger…………………24.3%
    3. Twitter…………………10.8%
Here’s a quick summary of social moms from Nielsen:
Are you taking advantage of online marketing to reach moms in your target audience?

Online All The Time

Ever want to get inside the head of Generation X or Generation Y to understand how they think and why they react? This guest blog is the first in a series from a 22-year-old college student. Hear it straight from Sydney Anne — and learn how you can market your products and services to this all important generation that is “Online All The Time.”

I’m a 22 year old college “super senior.” It’s a running joke with my friends, every time they see me they ask, ‘What is your major this week?” I spend a fair amount of time on my laptop.

My father works with computers, my mother started her own company revolving around social media, and my boyfriend is getting his four-year degree in Information Technology.

I was 13 when Facebook started, and, with a little research, you’ll find that the first “newer generation” social networking site started up in 1997 when I was just 7 years old. I had a computer in my room by the time I was in 7th grade. And while my parents attempted to limit our internet time, it didn’t really work. I’ve grown up with social networking. I’ve seen old social networking sites lose ground, and I’ve seen newer, different sites take off.

While I may not be an expert about the internet or have a degree in marketing, I have grown up as social networking has come to life, and I’m surrounded by friends and acquaintances who have their opinions about social networking and whether or not the internet is eliminating the need for tangible libraries.

So I’m here to share what I know. I’ll give you my take on social networking, marketing, the internet, and how to connect with young adults and even younger children. While I may not have all the answers, I may have some new perspectives that may change the way you market yourself and your business. And I’m also here to help you out.

Are you wondering how it’s possible that I can spend endless hours on tumblr? Or how about why your teenager feels the need to endlessly check their Facebook every five minutes? What is the best time to post a tweet to get the most views?

I’m going to try and give you some answers. I’ll poll my friends, research a little, analyze the opinion of myself and others and come back with new ideas and possibly some explanations about the unknown. Ask away my fellow internet readers, ask away.

Marketing Tip #20 | LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

Last month, professionals were joining LinkedIn at a rate of two new members per second. To be effective on LinkedIn, you need to stand out from the crowd.  But how?
Here are four simple strategies:
  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to maximize your presence by using keywords throughout your profile.
  2. After you make major profile changes, check your privacy settings to ensure that your name, photo, headline, and status appear in the streaming Updates and scheduled LinkedIn emailed updates.
  3. Get active! Keep your name in front of connections with every update, status change, group participation, and other activity with your profile.
  4. Stay active! Schedule 5 minutes of “LinkedIn” time 2-3 times a week for maximum traction.

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Marketing Tip #19 | 25 MORE Easy Marketing Tools

25 MORE Easy Marketing Tools

Looking for more ways to easily market your company? We’ve compiled a list of 25 MORE easy marketing tools below.

If you missed our first list of 25 Easy Marketing Tools, click here to see what you missed.

Remember, marketing doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, but it does take some thought and time – and a strategy.

  1. Special promotions centered around unique holidays
  2. Postcard mailers
  3. Celebrate customer occasions
    i.e. birthdays
  4. Free ads in shopper newspapers
  5. Auto or vehicle magnets
  6. Customer appreciation events
  7. Stationery
  8. Ads before movies
  9. Volunteering
  10. Satisfaction/Follow up phone calls
  11. Spend time with clients
  12. Send thank yous
  13. Booths at community events
  14. Bumper stickers
  15. Customer loyalty program
    i.e. punch card
  16. Ads on placemats
  17. Door hangers
  18. Toll free number
  19. Personalizing correspondence
  20. Distribute related marketing specialty items i.e. pens or calendars
  21. Offer samples or “try before you buy”
  22. Add live chat to your website
  23. Newspaper inserts
  24. Donations to community auctions
  25. Building signage

Reciprocate can help you sort through the options. Contact us today for a free consultation.

This is the second in a Easy Marketing Tools. Read the first set of 25 Easy Marketing Tools here.

Marketing Tip #18 | 4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

Smartphones can be used to reach customers in four primary ways:
  1. Applications
    • Custom Apps
    • Voting and polls
    • Location-based deals
    • Mobile donations
    • Text to win
    • Couponing
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
  2. Mobile Web
    • Is your website mobile friendly?
  3. Advertising
    • Banner ads
    • Text Messaging
    • QR codes
  4. Phone calls – old-school technology or personal touch?

Want help sorting this out?

Reciprocate Phone Number
     Scan this QR Code to call Reciprocate    
for a free smartphone consultation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

( Unless of course, you’re reading this on your smartphone … then you’ll either need to borrow a friend’s phone call so you can scan the code or simply click here to send us an email)

This is the second in a series of tips on marketing to smartphone users. Read smartphone usage statistics here.

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique May Holidays

Marketing can be tricky. How do you bring in new customers, keep old customers coming back, and keep your strategies fresh and exciting? Reciprocate has an idea! Use holidays to offer discounts, hold contests, and start conversations.

Here are some examples:

May 6 is World Laughter Day. You can use this day in many different ways. Send a joke at the end of every purchase or hold a contest encouraging customers to submit their favorite knock-knock jokes.

Too funny? Try Endangered Species Day on May 21. Strike up a conversation with your clients about their favorite endangered animal. Or, if you’re into raising money, offer 5% of the purchase price to be donated to help save endangered species.

Too wild? Get bendy with Paper Clip Day on May 29. Encourage customers to submit pictures of paper clip figures they have created. Hold a contest and offer the customer with the most votes a discount.

Month Long Celebrations

Clean Air Month

Family Wellness Month

National Hamburger Month

Revise Your Work Schedule Month

Holiday Weeks

International Update Your References Week (May 1-7)

National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week (May 6-12)

Reading is Fun Week (May 13-19)

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week (May 21-27)

Daily Holidays

1 – World Asthma Day

2 – National Truffle Day

3 – National Two Different Colored Shoes Day

4 – International Firefighters’ Day

5 – Cinco De Mayo

6 – World Laughter Day

7 – Accounting Day

8 – No Socks Day

9 – National Receptionist Day

10 – World Lupus Day

11 – Minnesota Statehood (1858)

12 – National Miniature Golf Day

13 – Mother’s Day

14 – National Dance like a Chicken Day

15 – National Chocolate Chip Day

16 – National Sea Monkey Day

17 – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

18 – International Virtual Assistants Day

19 – Armed Forces Day

20 – Weights and Measures Day

21 – Endangered Species Day

22 – Buy a Musical Instrument Day

23 – World Turtle Day

24 – International Tiara Day

25 – National Tap Dance Day

26 – Julia Pierpont Day

27 – Golden Gate Bridge Opened (1937)

28 – Memorial Day

29 – Paper Clip Day

30 – World MS Day

31 – World No Tobacco Day

Of course these are just ideas. Get creative. Have fun. And remember your audience. Happy holiday marketing!

Marketing Tip #16 | Who’s Sending Your Emails | How to Boost Company Brand Easily

Who’s Sending Your Emails? 

How many emails did you send last week? Bet it was more than a handful.

Won’t it be incredible if you could increase your company’s brand recognition with each of those emails?  You can – and it’s easy!

In an email inbox, the first thing recipients notice is the name listed in the “From” column. Next they scan the “Subject” line. If they recognize the “From” name as a valued connection, recipients will often open the email regardless of the Subject line.  If the Subject line is interesting, recipients may open the email regardless of who sent the email (though most will check the “From” to ensure the email isn’t spam).

Below is a snapshot of how several Reciprocate Marketing Tip emails look in an Outlook mailbox:

Notice that the Marketing Tips are sent From “Karen Emanuelson & Reciprocate LLC.”  We use both Karen’s name and the company name for several reasons:

  1. Many Reciprocate email subscribers have attended at least one of Karen’s presentations and recognize her name.
  2. Others know the Reciprocate name from our presence on social media and the Internet.
  3. By using both in the “From” area, we take advantage of existing name recognition.
  4. Karen’s name recognition is increased with each email.
  5. Reciprocate’s brand recognition is increased with each email.

You can easily build your company’s name recognition by including it in the “From” of all your correspondence. Consistently apply this “From” address to all your email accounts, including those that are generated by your computer, tablets and mobile devices.

By adding your company name to your emails “From” field, you’re on your way to increasing your brand recognition with every email you send.

Marketing Tip #15 | 25 Easy Marketing Tools

25 Easy Marketing Tools  

Marketing isn’t hard. It doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money.

But marketing does take some thought and time – and a strategy.

Below are 25 easy marketing tools to consider for your small business. All can serve to promote your company, products, and services when incorporated into your overall marketing strategy.

  1. Business cards
  2. Email signature block
  3. Vanity phone number
  4. Ads on Craigslist
  5. Your name tag
  6. Employee attire
  7. Satisfied customer reviews
  8. Direct mail
  9. Attendance at trade shows
  10. Business directory listings
  11. Create an E-book
  12. Your company value proposition
  13. Event sponsorship
  14. How you answer your phone
  15. Media contacts
  16. Personal and organization memberships
  17. Your elevator pitch
  18. Pay per click ads
  19. Branding on your vehicle
  20. Product placement
  21. Activity on LinkedIn
  22. Reciprocal partnerships
  23. Referrals
  24. Be a radio talk show guest
  25. Email campaign

Reciprocate can help with any – and all – of these marketing tools. Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll talk through the options that make the most sense for your organization and budget.

Marketing Tip #14 | Turn Business Cards into Dollars

Business Card Marketing

Turn Business Cards into Business Dollars

You probably have at least one box of business cards sitting in your desk. Here are a few simple ways to turn those business cards into business dollars.

  1. Set a weekly goal for the number of business cards you will give to leads. If you give a card each time you receive a card, you can easily track the progress toward your goal. As an added bonus, when you get back to the office, invite these new contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  2. To help meet your distribution goal, keep a supply of business cards in your wallet, car, briefcase, gym bag, computer case, and desk. Be sure to use business card holders so your cards stay crisp and clean.
  3. Provide family, friends, neighbors, and satisfied clients with a few cards each so they can more easily pass along a referral and your contact information.
  4. Depending on your industry, product and service, consider posting cards on bulletin boards in local coffee shops, community centers, libraries, colleges, and even Laundromats.
  5. Think outside the box and use guerrilla marketing techniques.
    A yoga instructor we know has successfully marketed her services by periodically visiting local book stores and leaving her business cards inside yoga and health-related books.

Your business cards can be one of the most productive marketing collateral you use. Consider them the seeds of your business, and scatter them widely.

This is the fourth in a series on Business Card Marketing. Read the rest of the series by clicking here.

Creating an Effective Call to Action

Whether you are working on a new brochure, email campaign, business card design or web page for your small business, you need to include an effective Call To Action (CTA).

What is a CTA?

A CTA is a phrase that encourages your reader or website visitor to take an immediate action. The graphic on the right depicts several Call to Action buttons found recently on the Internet.

Creating an Effective CTA

An effective CTA gives your audience a reason to interact with your organization.  When creating a CTA, put yourself in your reader’s or visitor’s mindset. They are probably thinking “What’s In It For Me?”

Effective CTAs include a specific request, usually in the form of an action verb, with an added sense of urgency. Add words like “Now” and “Today” to your CTA.

  • Some examples:
  • Watch now
  • Buy now
  • Subscribe today
  • Offer expires April 30
  • Order now to receive a free gift
  • Register today and save 30%
  • Call today
  • Download now

An effective CTA offers a specific customer benefit, usually something of value, in exchange for the action. Tell them what benefit they will get by clicking the call-to-action:

  • Free information
  • A discount
  • Free shipping
  • An exclusive opportunity
  • An e-book

An effective CTA takes readers and web visitors directly to the promised benefit.  It is especially important that CTAs on your website take visitors to an exact web page that specifically delivers the promised benefit.

Want to learn more?

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique April Holidays

Marketing can be a bit tricky. How can you bring in new customers, keep a fresh and positive relationship with loyal customers, and have some fun?

Reciprocate has thought about this too. What better way than to celebrate every day in a fun and unique way! We’ve got some ideas to get you started:

April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day. Do your customers love pizza? Find out by starting a discussion about favorite pizza toppings. Or, poll your loyal customers a few days in advice. Then, on April 5, run a poll and have everyone vote on the best pizza topping choices. Give a discount to the loyal customer who gets the most votes!

If pizza doesn’t get your mouth watering, try taking advantage of April 13, Scrabble Day. Post some unique scrabble words on your website and challenge customers to guess the definitions without a dictionary. Or have your customers share their favorite Scrabble words.

If Scrabble Day is too wordy for you, April 19 is Get to Know Your Customers Day. Use this day to connect with your customers, offer discounts, and share a little bit about yourself.

Month-long Celebrations

Tackle Your Clutter Month

National Humor Month

National Autism Awareness Month

Holiday Weeks

National Reading a Road Map Week – (Week 1)

National Networking Week – (Week 2)

National Volunteer Week –April 15-21

Daily Holidays

1 – April Fool’s Day

2 – National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

3 – World Party Day

4 – Paraprofessional Appreciation Day

5 – National Deep Dish Pizza Day

6 – National Walk to Work Day

7 – International Beaver Day

8 – Easter Sunday

9 – Name Your Self Day

10 – International Be Kind to Lawyers Day

11 – International “Louie Louie” Day

12 – International Day of Human Flight Day

13 – Scrabble Day

14 – International Moment of Laughter Day

15 – Take a Wild Guess Day

16 – National Healthcare Decisions Day

17 – National Cheese Ball Day

18 – Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day

19 – Get to Know Your Customers Day

20 – National DNA Day

21 – Record Store Day

22 – Earth Day

23 – Talk like Shakespeare Day

24 – Teach Children to Save Day

25 – International Guide Dogs Day

26 – Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

27 – Arbor Day

28 – Save the Frogs Day

29 – Pinhole Photography Day

30 – National Honesty Day

While these are just a few ideas, we’re sure you have some great ones too! But if you don’t like the holidays listed, feel free to make your own! Celebrate your business’s anniversary each year by offering a discount. Whatever your ideas, use them to your advantage and start marketing your business.

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