The average charge for a personal online backup account charged by our Service Providers is $9/month. Overhead expenses for providing tech support services can range from $50 per hour to well over $200 per hour depending on salaries and other costs of doing business. This article seeks to uncover some of the support costs inherent […]

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We recently downloaded a copy of the complimentary guide from Lyris called Email+Twitter+Facebook: 22 Tips to Cross Channel Success. What caught our attention right away were some mind-boggling statistics.

In a single day on Facebook, the site is viewed 700 million minutes, during which:

· 72 million links are shared

· 144 million friendship requests are accepted

· 216 million messages are sent

· 30 billion pieces of content are shared

And Twitter, while not as popular as Facebook, is adding nearly 500,000 new accounts per day. Experts agree that Twitter is a valuable resource for:

· Gathering competitive intelligence

· Creating a more human, personal touch to your corporate brand

· Providing more responsive customer service

But it is email that remains the most successful tactic amongst the three. According to digital marketing researcher group Smart Insights in their 2011 Customer Engagement Report, 72 percent of marketers surveyed cite email newsletters as most likely to result in a tangible improvement to customer engagement.

This is backed up by how marketers are spending their money. According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, social media falls behind direct mail in marketing budget allocations, while email remains in the top three year after year.

Although marketers agree that email marketing is still more effective than social media, leveraging the strengths of both ensures that your marketing plan is built for maximum impact. And it isn’t too complicated to do.

Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report states that 61% of marketers indicated they were able to effectively grow their email list through a Facebook registration page, while 54% indicated adding social sharing buttons to their emails was also effective. Both of these are straightforward to implement.

As you integrate social media into your 2012 marketing plan, keep in mind some of our favorite tips from the Lyris guide:

1. Use your social media presence to drive email opt-ins. Social media is a smaller commitment for your audience, so savvy marketers should provide an opportunity to increase the level of engagement through an opt-in to your enewsletter.

2. Use social media to find out more about your customers and what motivates them to share content. What will drive more word-of-mouth for your organization? This information takes some time to acquire, but it will shape more effective marketing programs in the long run.

3. Determine how you will measure success of your integrated marketing effort. What are your key indicators? With a cross-channel marketing program, it is will be key to monitor list size, brand awareness, and revenue.

If you haven’t expanded into social media yet, now is the time. In fact, email marketers are primed for success with social media. Lyris sums it up well, “Marketers who are good at email head into social with a competitive advantage – they already understand the principles of audience acquisition, respect, empathy and relevance.”

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At fist glance, it would seem that most online backup services are pretty-much the same. They provide software you load on your computer to identify files for backup. They establish an Internet connection to a cloud-based storage server. Finally, they transmit an encrypted version of your data to offsite storage for safe-keeping.

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We made some big changes in Tech Support, including promoting Stephanie Wallace to Support Coordination Manager and adding more Tech Support engineers to our staff. We replaced our phone system with a new unified communications system that better links our two offices with voice, data, and audio/video conferencing, and added more bandwidth at both offices. This will result in quicker, more efficient Tech Support. It also provides “work from anywhere” capabilities for critical employees as part of our continuity plan.

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