Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger

“Don’t talk to strangers!” Parents have warned their children for decades. Evil often comes packaged in beauty and charm. And so, obedient children have refused to be lured by candy.

Today’s online lures are clever, disguised and not obvious in many cases. Now that we are used to the emails from a Prince in a faraway land who wants to send us money and avoid the demands to “click here to enter banking information”, the scams are getting more sophisticated and aimed straight at our emotions. Let’s look at some common scams that are online today, targeting our curiosity, fear, sympathy or even love and connection.

Curiosity

Shocking social media announcements about a scandalous situation with a celebrity or sudden news that someone has died can be enough to make you click for more. Be aware that not all websites are created equal. False information is everywhere on the internet. Before you click share to be the first to tell your friends, you can verify news via scam-checking websites like https://www.snopes.com/

Fear

Have you received a recorded call on your cell phone telling you that you have violated rules with Revenue Canada and there is now a warrant for your arrest? Or perhaps a huge alert appeared on your computer screen, seemingly from the RCMP saying they have detected child pornography on your computer? These terrifying messages are followed by demanding an immediate response from you. Cell phones ask you to press 1 and computers ask you to click a link for help. Stop. If you’re worried about Revenue Canada, call them directly. If you’re worried about a virus on your computer, call an IT company to help you.

Sympathy

There have been numerous fraudsters trying to collect money on group funding websites, or phone calls from a charity. They all tell a sad story with an urgent need. Because this has happened too often, the sites are now tightening up the regulations. To help avoid unwanted cold calls, you should register to be on the “Do Not Call List (DNCL). https://lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/en Let common sense be your guide. Check the story and the source before sending money.

Love

With the rise of popularity and success of online dating, there’s also a rise in catfishing online. Our human need for love and validation, opens the door to the hearts of all ages of people in all walks of life. These clever scammers know how to win trust and what magical words to type so that the victim becomes comfortable. Often it is months before a crisis occurs and a request for money is made. There are signs to look for: never meeting via Skype or Zoom or in-person, outlandish stories about impossible situations or professing undying love forever when you’ve never met. If you suspect this is happening to you or someone you know, search the internet for profiles of this person to see if they are consistent. You can also upload any images you’ve been given to reverse Google image search, or to a website like Tin Eye (https://tineye.com) to request matches elsewhere on the internet. If the images you have been given are actually stock photos, you’ll see that in your results.

Connection

If you have spent time on social media, being social with your “friends”, you’ve seen the fun quizzes asking for your favourite colour, your favourite vacation spot, your pet’s first name, your favourite band or the name of your high school. These sound like familiar security questions, don’t they? Of course there may be other harmless questions in there too, but think about the personal information that you’re handing out to the internet and not just your “friends”!

Have you ever received a friend request from someone you thought you were already friends with online? This is another way hackers try to invade your personal accounts. If you think there’s even a chance you may be friends with that person already, double check before clicking accept!

Are you making your accounts easy to hack? Identity theft is a nightmare.

At the end of the day, “Don’t talk to strangers!” is still a solid piece of advice for us all. Beware. Be smart. Be careful, verify and fact check before you click.

Is Your Online Window Display Fresh?

Is Your Online Window Display Fresh?

In this digital age, having a website for your company is essential. However, keeping your website and its content up to date is equally important. Your website is, without a doubt, a representation of your company. In fact, it may be the only part of it that some people see. As such, keeping your site updated and relevant will go a long way toward generating a positive impression on both current and potential customers.

Here are a few reasons to keep your website up to date:

  1. Your website can help your business generate revenue, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill among clients and target audiences, plus deliver powerful marketing messages around the clock, 365 days a year!
  2. Keeping your website’s material current contributes to the development of relationships between you and your customers, which ultimately helps to build trust and credibility in your company. Customers are most likely looking to your site for relevant information that helps them stay in-the-know.
  3. Customers are likely to feel comfortable using your services when your company has a high-quality website. Plus, your website can help its visitors feel confident that they will have a positive experience in all aspects of your business.
  4. Because search engines like Google place a strong emphasis on local results, having a website is even more important if you are a local business. More people are using the internet to find local businesses than ever before so if you don’t have a website, they may be unable to contact or locate your company.
  5. When your company has an updated website, you will have an increased ability to communicate with customers in real time. This is especially true when your website’s content and social media are integrated. Your social media pages all work together to increase your website traffic and boost revenue.
  6. The ability to attract new customers is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in updating your website. Since the visitors to your site will be at various stages of the sales process, including researchers, comparers, and buyers, you’ll want to make sure you have offerings for them all. The goal is to convert website visitors into leads, so speaking to their needs and providing them with a clear action plan to take the next steps will help make the process smoother.

Let’s get started.

We build WordPress websites for our clients and provide them with two hours of training after launch to teach them how to make minor changes on their own. We recommend WordPress because it is customizable and user friendly.

Are you ready to talk about your website design and management? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch!

Who is Minding Your Store?

Who is Minding Your Store?

Imagine you are out window shopping one day. Suddenly, you come across a lovely new store with an incredible selection of exactly what you have been looking for! How exciting! You cannot wait to start shopping, so you walk on in. However, once you start looking around the store, you start to feel a little uncertain about shopping there. Something just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Then suddenly, you realize what’s going on…there is not a single person around to talk to. Not one.

Who is going to answer your questions or help you with your purchase? What if you buy something but need to return it? Who is minding this store? Unless you prefer a completely automated shopping experience, you are probably going to leave this beautiful store and never return.

Surprisingly, albeit it virtually, this scenario occurs on a regular basis for many of us on our favourite social media pages. And, unfortunately, there are far too many pages with large numbers of fans who receive no responses to their questions or comments. With someone to “mind the store,” so to speak, these pages would potentially see increased reach and engagement, as well as more trust and brand loyalty from their fans.

Why is community management so important?

There’s no doubt that social media use has exploded since 2004, and the numbers of users continues to rise. As a result, community management of social media pages on the major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn has become a critical component of customer service. Good community management is key to retaining current customers as well as acquiring new customers, especially through referrals.

Are you still not completely convinced? Check out these statistics:

  1. As of 2020, there are 3.78 billion social media users, which equates to about 48% of the current world population. (Statista)
  2. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that same brand to their friends and family. (Ambassador)
  3. In 2020, nearly 6 in 10 consumers preferred visiting social media pages of brands before deciding to visit their websites (an 81% increase from 2019). (Digital Information World)

Clients and Community Managers work together!

The relationship between a client/brand and its Community Manager is critical for a variety of reasons, but especially because it requires complete confidence for them to delegate the critical task of engaging with their consumers on their behalf. Although it can truly be challenging at times, it is important to understand both the tone of voice, and the industry jargon. This ensures that engagement with the clients’ followers on their social media pages is reliable and genuine.

Community Managers are on the front lines to promote and protect their clients’ reputation. This includes responding to negative feedback and all comments in a timely and respectful manner. All in all, the client is counting on their Community Manager to “mind the store”. By interacting with customers through social media platforms you are showing them that you care. What may seem like a simple gesture will often go a long way toward establishing positive customer relationships.

Let’s Begin.

At MYOB, our Community Managers research your brand and competitors to develop a strategy to meet your marketing goals. They will prepare an audit of your existing accounts and offer recommendations to move forward. MYOB can help you mind your own business better!

 

Ready to Take a Break? Check out These Benefits of Outsourcing!

Ready to Take a Break? Check out These Benefits of Outsourcing!

Are you considering hiring someone outside of your company to run your social media accounts? It’s no secret that one of the most important marketing platforms for companies nowadays is social media. However, it is important to understand that social media management is much more than just making a pretty Facebook post.

As a small business owner, you may have the know-how for comprehensive social media management and believe you’ll save money by doing it yourself. However, you may soon discover just how time-consuming it can be to maintain a strong online presence that consistently gets results. Outsourcing, it turns out, helps many business owners save money and time, allowing them to focus on their areas of expertise.

Here are some reasons to consider outsourcing your social media management.

1.   It’s their job to make your content look good.

When you outsource social media marketing, your partner will work closely with you to develop and plan out your content and advertising strategy. Since they understand the multiple nuances of social media marketing, as well as the current social media landscape, they can offer you a more well-rounded and effective content plan.

When you own a business, you may be so close to it, that your ability to see things objectively is biased. An outsourced social media partner can look at your brand through the eyes of a customer and provide a fresh perspective for your content.

2.   They have the tools and systems in place to achieve results.

Your social media partner has access to the most relevant and efficient social media marketing resources. They also know how to boost your Google rankings by optimizing SEO in blogging and other web content.

The vast array of tools available for everything from writing to graphic design to promoting social media content is overwhelming. As a business owner, do you want to invest the time and money to research and learn how to use these tools yourself? Outsourcing this part of your business will give you peace of mind because you’ll know it is being done properly and effectively.

3.   Get things done without having to juggle everything on your own.

When was the last time you had some “just-for-me” time? If you are running your own business, it’s probably safe to say it has been too long, especially if you’re devoting the majority of your energy to achieving success and fulfilling your dreams.

Having time to relax and recharge is essential for coming up with new ideas and building your business. Participating in hobbies and activities you enjoy is another great way to mix up your daily routine. Plus, stepping away from work helps to free up your mind to better cope with challenges that may arise within your business. So, go ahead and outsource some of your work – your physical and emotional well-being will reap the benefits!

Are you ready to learn more about outsourcing?

Although social media management takes time and energy, you won’t need to pass up the opportunity to get involved in it. At MYOB, managing social media networks and engaging your customer base is one of our areas of expertise.  We understand that your business is unique, and the voice of your social media should reflect that. When you’re ready to get started, we will be here to help and to talk about the options that are right for you!

Are You Ready if the Auditor Comes Calling?

Are You Ready if the Auditor Comes Calling?

Let’s face it… when you’re a small business owner, you have more important things to do with your time than gathering your bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, and deposit information for a bookkeeper. Not only is doing so quite tedious, but it also sounds really boring, don’t you think? But you know what’s even worse? A Canada Revenue Agency Audit!

When you think about it that way, organizing and staying on top of your finances doesn’t seem so bad! And although audits are unavoidable, having the right bookkeeping service can help make the process less stressful in the long run. If you’re considering hiring a bookkeeper, here are two valid reasons to do so.

1. Hiring a bookkeeper can assist small business owners in cutting costs.

Many people, for example, discover that they save money on accountant fees during tax season because their books are neat and in order.

One big lie we all tell ourselves is that we don’t need to write something down because we’ll remember it later. Or we’ll find those receipts for business expenses and/or dinners because we’d never throw something like that away, right? Why take that risk?

One reason you should keep accurate and up-to-date records of your revenue and expenses now is that you are more likely than not to forget three years from now – which could certainly come back to haunt you if you’re selected for an audit. So having your bookkeeping in order makes an audit go much more smoothly.

2. When your bookkeeping is organized, government filings can be kept up to date and deadlines can be met.

Filing on time is the law. Understandably, some businesses struggle to pay their HST obligations at certain times of the year due to a lack of cash flow. However, hiring a bookkeeper who oversees and keeps your financials up to date on a monthly or even quarterly basis helps small business owners make smart decisions about purchases, staffing, raises, and so on. This also includes liabilities such as how much HST they owe or payroll remittance they will have to pay. It is also important to note that there are penalties for late payment, but the law requires the HST report to be filed ON TIME. At Mind Your Own Business, we work with our clients and communicate with them regularly as we maintain their books and ensure that all government filings are completed on time.

Are you ready to get started? Great! Although you are always welcome to bring your bags, boxes, and folders of receipts for us to sort through, we also have a secure online portal where people can upload digital files! We are very customer-focused, and we are open to receiving your information in any way you prefer. Also, some clients prefer to do their own invoicing and/or payroll and we do the rest – but, once again, we can provide a customized service package based on what YOU require.

Marketing Goals Must Include Social Media

Marketing Goals Must Include Social Media

Establishing social media marketing goals is an important step is an important step in growing your business. Having an active and engaging social media presence is an important tool to invite customers to contact you. Social media platforms play a role in identifying and directing interested potential customers to your website and that is invaluable to any growing business.

Here are three major reasons why social media should be a non-negotiable component of your business’ marketing, brand communications, and online presence strategy:

1. Social media provides the same opportunity for brand visibility, regardless of the size of your company.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from social media’s leveling effect. Each is given the same amount of online space, as well as the same options for using appropriate and successful keywords, verbiage, eye-catching images and ads to reach their audiences online, regardless of its size or revenue.

By making it easy to display your brand and offerings online, social media platforms provide one of the most effective marketing and communications strategies for your business. What’s even better? Social media is an inexpensive and convenient way to highlight a company’s online presence. This is especially good news for smaller businesses with limited marketing resources. When users are asking their social media community for recommendations, your business is easy to find, to tag and to recommend!

2. Let’s Talk About Social Listening

Businesses that use social media to listen online rather than only broadcasting all the time will find the platforms are extremely beneficial. Social Listening helps a company gain firsthand knowledge of the issues that are important to their audience and future clients. This information then helps them make decisions, take effective action, and make a positive impact.

As well, businesses are more likely to gain their audience’s trust and loyalty when they remember that social media communication requires both engaging with and listening to their audience! Businesses that consistently concentrate on developing genuine relationships with their followers may end up closing more deals than they would have done by sales calls and advertising alone.

3. Social media improves your company’s visibility, both online and off.

Every day, social media assists companies in enhancing not only their online presence but their offline presence as well. In many cases, a large percentage of consumers conduct online research on potential purchases before making a final purchasing decision. If you want to attract these potential customers, you must strengthen your online presence by creating and maintaining your business social media platforms.

Are you ready to incorporate social media into your business’ marketing strategy and improve your brand’s marketing and communication strategies?