Stopping the breach

Data breaches continues to be one of the major problems for business as technologies continue to develop. Australian companies suffered more than 800 data breaches in 2018, and the number of breaches increased by 7% in the December quarter. So how do we prevent data breaches?

Source: Consumer Report

Hold training sessions to teach employees to recognise potential threats. Research shows that 24% of data breaches happen because of employee error. Around 42% of the respondents for the 2014 US State of Cybercrime survey stated that the security awareness training of new employees helped to deter attacks. In fact, the percentage of employees susceptible to phishing decreased by 75% after attending a security awareness program.  Random security training also resulted in a decrease of a successful attack by 10-15%. However, it is important to note that a 100% reduction of successful attacks would not be possible.

Assign different account privileges and access to different employees in different positions. Such security features are also present on social media pages such as Facebook and eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. It is also important to revoke employee privileges when terminating employees as soon as possible to prevent any information that the ex-employee had to be leaked.

Source: Devadigm

Make sure that important information such as customer information is not stored on every workstation or IT devices of employees. This will reduce the likelihood that important data would be taken from a missing or stolen device.

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Working around Instagram’s Algorithm

Have you noticed that the number of accounts reached on your Instagram has been decreasing? It is actually a common problem faced by many businesses so you’re not alone.

Instagram has changed up the way their algorithm works over the past few years:

Reasons why they have implemented such measures include “people missing an average of 70% of their feeds” or that rankings of posts on a feed is based on what the type of content that they are engaging with as well as other factors listed in their tweet.

Image Source: Twitter

So how do we make sure that we gain as much exposure whilst this algorithm is in place?

Increase the frequency of your posts

As mentioned above, users will miss 70% of their posts on average, by increasing the number of pictures you post, there will be a higher chance that people will come across your content.

Find the right time to post your pictures

There are many sites which provides the best time of the day of the week to post your content. Below is one such example, which was generated after analysing 12 million Instagram posts across multiple time zones. However, there are many factors that still play a role that may cause optimal time to be different. Hence, its best to just use this as a reference.

Image Source: Later.com

Reply to your customers as soon as possible

The longer the time taken to respond to your customer’s post or comment, the less likely they are going to engage with you in the future. 80% of customers expect businesses to reply to their posts within 24 hours and 50% of them would cease doing any business with the company if they fail to respond to a negative post. Replying quickly will also make your customer feel valued.

What do you feel about the way Instagram implementing such an algorithm? What other ways can you think of to make sure that your content reaches out to as many people as possible?

Hitting the Bullseye

Increasing exposure through advertisements on social media can be effective, but are you using it to its fullest potential?

One mistake to avoid would be not to run the same ads for every demographic. These demographics also varies across every social media platform.

Image Source: SproutSocial

SproutSocial shows that majority of Instagram and Snapchat users are around 13-17 years old (72% and 69% respectively) and 18-29 years old (64% and 68% respectively). Businesses should then create advertisements that would cater to these age groups.

Facebook has a larger mature audience than Instagram and Snapchat, having 40%-50% more 50 and above year-old users as compared to the other two social medias. As such, having a mature targeted advertisement may be more effective when placed on Facebook than on Instagram or Snapchat.

Most social medias also allow you to select your target audience according to region and age. If your business is based in Australia, there would not be much benefit showing your advertisement to users that are in Europe, unless the goal of such advertisement is just to increase exposure of your business to other countries, or if you are a global brand.

In fact, such targeted users can be further specified by including the interests of their target audience. This will ensure that businesses will be able to maximise their targeted advertisements.

Image Source: Instagram

Can you come up with other ways which will improve the impact a targeted ad can make on its audience? Share it with me in the comments below!

Engaging Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories was released in August 2016 but reached 300 million daily users as of November 2017. Although it is very similar to Snapchat, upon release, the number of Instagram story users skyrocketed and may have taken some momentum away from Snapchat.

Image Source: Vox.com

In fact, Block Party calculated and found that Stories grew 15 times faster than feeds from Q2 2016 to Q3 2017. Businesses who are not taking advantage of this feature will be missing out on potential engagement with their followers.

Besides keeping followers up to date about the business or what new products are being released, companies can use this feature to gain knowledge about customer preferences through the use of Instagram’s inbuilt analytics as well as the poll functions.

Analytics

Through the use of analytics, you would be able to see what kind of Instagram Story are actually being watched, and the company can decide on what to improve based on results of previous stories.

Image Source: Instagram

The number of impression and reach shows how many people are viewing the story, and back is the number of times the story has been played back. This is a good indication of whether the fewer finds the story interesting or useful and taps back to view it again. If the story has a high forward, next story or exited value, it means that the content is not really engaging with the story that much.

Find out what appeals to your customers

Take the opportunity to engage with your viewers using polls or emoji sliders to see how much the viewer likes your content.

Image Source: Instagram

Let me know what your experiences with Instagram Stories are in the comments. What other ways do you think can make them more engaging?

Pushing your customers

Image Source: Business2Community

I don’t mean physically pushing them but having push notifications to remind them that your business still exists or when they forgot they were doing something on your website or app a couple hours ago. It is a great way to retain your customers while delivering them updated information about new products or promotion. In fact, push notifications have a higher opening rate than email and you can personalize it. Some of the other benefits includes deliverability and click rate as shown in the image below:

Infographic Push Notification
Image Source: E-goi

As the number of consumers using smartphones are increasing, (2.53 billion users in 2018 and 2.71 billion users in 2019, and an estimated 2.87 billion users in 2020 [Statista]) businesses should take this opportunity to make full use of their smartphone applications and apply those push notifications. Most push notification systems have an analytic tracking system which allows you to track customer interaction with app or push notification, and helps the business get insight on customer behaviour and what users are responding to. Take the opportunity to see what attracts your customers, and personalise future notifications so that there will be a higher chance that the customer views your message! A higher click or opening rate increases the likelihood that consumers would see your products and entice them to purchase for your business.

Some people might be thinking that push notifications would be annoying, but customers will have an option to customise their notification settings. So, you never have to worry about the customer getting upset.

What kind of content should you be uploading?

Unless you are uploading pictures on your own personal account, you might want to consider uploading content that the public want to see while staying true to the image that you are trying to portray. Here are a couple of things that you might want to take note of whether you are trying to gain more exposure as an influencer or business.

Quality of the content

I’m referring to both the quality of the image or video, as well as the quality of the caption or message accompanying that post. A good quality picture attracts consumers and entices them into spending more time to look at that post and are more likely to read the caption. By having a good caption, not only are you communicating the right information to your consumers, you are also creating an opportunity to generate conversations between you and your consumers. The amount of comments also contributes towards the Instagram algorithm.

See what kind of pictures are more popular

While having an amazing photo is good for attracting viewers, another important aspect would be to post something that your viewers want to see. For example, the account below posts a lot of pictures of seafood. The first picture shows an image of an Abalone. Though the picture was very sharp, it only got 73 likes, while the picture on the left shows an image of a Chirashi bowl with 345 likes. This shows that most of the viewers are interested in seeing a Chirashi bowl on their account. This is evident throughout the account and therefore, the business would be trying to post more of these kinds of pictures.

Image source: Shiki.sg Instagram

Play around with your Instagram account and see what kind of images are more popular among your followers! Do you think there are other ways that would make your account more appealing?

Maximizing Engagement with Hootsuite

Many businesses use a variety of social medias to reach out to customers. It’s important to maximize engagement but it might be hard having so many social media accounts. Being able to consistently produce and publish content is also important to engaging with their audience. Hootsuite is one company that has produced a platform to aid businesses in connecting and managing social media accounts.

Organize and Schedule posts

You can set a date and time for the post or content that you want to be uploaded. This removes the risk of not being able to upload a post on time because you do not have access to the account at that point in time, or are busy with something else. This also allows you to be consistent with the content that you are sharing in terms of timing.

Image Souce: Hootsuite Blog

Creating and customizing tabs

Having multiple tabs would allow you to manage different pages across different social media platforms in one screen, which are easy to view. It removes the need to switch among multiple pages just to view the different social media accounts. Businesses will also be able to reply and respond to their followers whenever they receive a message or are mentioned. Hootsuite also allows users to pre-write responses to common questions, and keeps a record of all interaction history made with customers.

Image Souce: Youtube Screenshot

Applications

Hootsuite offers a wide variety of free or paid marketing related apps, ranging from analytics to customer service and social campaigns, to enhance the business social media presence.

Image Source: Hootsuite Apps Directory

If you would like to learn more about Hootsuite, you can visit their blog or if you would like to see it in action, check out this Youtube video below:

Hope you enjoyed the post! Leave down in the comments whether you think these kind of social management apps are necessary and how you feel about them!

Food Apps, The way to go

I’m pretty sure that many of you have heard of an app called Zomato. A foodie such as I, rely on these kinds of apps to find out the best places for food. These apps aim to help people discover great restaurants around them. In this post I will cover two of the main ones that I use: Zomato, and the Asia equivalent: Burpple.

If you are running a food business and reading this post, you must be wondering, “What benefits do these apps provide me?” These apps can help boost a restaurant’s exposure and sales in the following ways:

Building Social Media Presence

There are thousands of reviews on these apps made by users every single day. In fact, Burpple made it such that people who tag their Instagram posts with #Burpple will automatically have their post transferred over to their Burpple profile.

Zomato (Left), Burpple (Right)

Having your business listed on these apps increases your exposure. Consumers who might not know your company or who are not within your location’s vicinity may discover you by searching customer reviews. These apps also allow consumers to book reservations, which would help limit customer waiting time, while maximizing table turnover.

Zomato (Right), Burpple (Left)

Memberships for customers

To help businesses maximize their exposure, they are starting to offer 1-for-1 memberships as well. This membership offers members 1-for-1 deals to selected participating restaurants throughout the country. With “Beyond Burpple“, anyone can get their 1-year membership for $69/year. However, Zomato is starting to convert their subscription-based membership (originally NZ$65), “Zomato Gold” into an invite only membership. Whether or not these memberships are paid or invite only, it will benefit both the customers and the restaurants. Customers who go join these memberships are very likely to post pictures or reviews of their food online, which would be publicity for the restaurants.

Zomato Gold (Right), Beyond Burpple (Left)

Leave in the comments what you feel about these apps. Are there other platforms that will benefit the F&B businesses?

Starting up with Shopify

Are you thinking of setting up your very own E-commerce business? A good platform to start on would be Shopify.

Shopify grants the user many features, and I will be listing some of them down that would benefit your start up business greatly.

Simple Layout:

Image Source: Youtube

Shopify provides a very simple layout that allows new users to pick up easily. However, if you still have problems or questions regarding Shopify, there is a large community of users or support team that would be happy to answer your questions.

Ease of Customization:

Image Source: Makeawebsitehub

There are a wide variety of free and paid themes. There are also settings where you can design your own features on the website using coding to further improve its appearance or functions. These themes will also then be altered to fit if it were to be viewed on a tablet or hand phone.

Detailed Analytics

Image Source: Shopify

What’s another important aspect when managing a business? Knowing how well your business is performing and what areas need to be improved on. Once your Shopify site has been set up, you will have access to the “Analytics” tab. It shows statistics including sales made, total online sessions, store conversion rates, locations that users are accessing the site from and even search words that they are inputting. This will allow businesses to adapt to the consumer demands shown through analytics.

Apps:

Image Source: Screenshot on Shopify

Another great thing is that you don’t need to have any knowledge about coding. It offers a wide range of apps that will add certain features onto the website. This could include pop-ups, messaging programs, product reviews addons, SEO support and many others. There are also apps that links Shopify to accounting or finance softwares.

Connecting to Facebook:

Image Source: Screenshot from Shopify

Shopify also allows you to link your online store with Facebook. This will allow you to display your products directly on to your Facebook page without the hassle of re-posting it on there, and customers who click on the products on Facebook will be directed to your website. As shown above, they will also notify you of various product detail issues for unpublished products.

With all these tools available, it will be easy to start up your own online business. Let me know in the comments below what you think and what kind of e-business you are interested in setting up!

Cracking down on Instagram’s Shadow-ban

What is one of the worse things that can happen to an Instagram account’s engagement? Getting shadow-banned. This is especially so for businesses trying to promote products and services through social media.

What is Shadow-ban?
When a shadow-ban is issued, it stops anyone from discovering your content through the use of hashtags, reducing the amount of exposure your account gets. In other words, your posts will not appear on their feed, unless they are already following you. You will not receive any notification of receiving a shadow-ban. The only way of identifying it would be seeing a significant drop in your Instagram engagement, or getting someone who is not following you to see if they can locate your picture under the hashtags used on that post. A shadow-ban tester called Triberr can be used to check if posts are being shadow-banned, or contains any banned hashtags.

Image Source: Screenshot taken from Triberr site

What causes a Shadow-ban?
Instagram only gives out shadow-bans if they believe that the users of such accounts have done something that goes against Instagram’s terms of use.

This includes:

  • Using a bot to automate engagement with other accounts. In other words, automated likes or follows.
  • Using of broken or banned hashtags.
  • Exceeding the hourly or daily limit for following, unfollowing, commenting, liking or posting. Instagram might flag this activity as being spam or they might suspect the use of an automated software.
  • Being a part of engagement pods. Engagement pods are groups of Instagram users that trade like for likes. In fact, Buzzfeed reported that Facebook removed groups that were using such tactics to increase engagement last year.

How do I get rid of a Shadow-ban?
Ensure that you are not doing anything that is against Instagram’s policies. Including using automated software, or using broken hashtags. Taking a few days off and refraining from doing anything on Instagram will also help lift the shadow-ban.

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