By David Friend, Chairman & CEO of Carbonite
April 23, 2012

Carbonite Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Getting the Most out of Online Services – Little Tricks can Make a Big Difference

Most small businesses are already making use of online services, but little tricks in how you use these services can make a big difference in the benefits you get.  Below are some tips that help you understand what’s vital to managing a business and how to maximize the benefits of online tools.

1. Social media platforms connect you with your customers. Whether it’s Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Pinterest, it’s important to leverage the social media channels you have in place to engage with your customers. These channels may be one of the quickest ways to let your customers know about your offerings and to remind them of your services. Be mindful that if you don’t use them regularly, people will stop paying attention to you. So, if you’re going to have a Facebook page for your business, be prepared to update it frequently (3-4 times a week).

2. Listen with your eyes. The Internet has given consumers a new way to voice their opinions. No longer are they dropping ideas into a dusty “suggestions welcome” box. Instead, they are now sharing opinions and reviewing your business and services via a multitude of online review sites. Look at these sites regularly to see what customers are saying about you. Also, consider services like Google Alerts, which you can set up for free to receive a notification email when something is written about your company.

3. You’ve got mail. In today’s fast-paced times, consumers may find it easier to fire off an email asking you a question than to actually pick up the phone and call. Try to answer emails quickly, which will show the customer or prospect you are available to help them with their need. A quick response can also aid in customer satisfaction.

4. Make sure you’re protected. Results from a recent study by Carbonite revealed small businesses have big gaps in their data backup plans – making themselves at risk for losing valuable information in the instance of power outage, hard drive failure, or even in the case of a virus. Despite known risks, the study showed small businesses continue to choose a range of risky and unreliable technologies, often using multiple strategies because they worry about their reliability:

  • 50 percent use external hard drives, yet 40 percent of those didn’t start backing up until they had already experienced a hard drive failure.
  • 42 percent use USB/flash drives primarily because it is perceived as easy, yet only 6 percent believe USB/flash drives to actually be reliable.
  • More than one-third use CDs/DVD drives to backup data, even though 62 percent feel they are inconvenient or risky.

5. Beware of data thieves. With more business conducted online than ever, cyber security should be top of mind. Protect your data by not opening suspicious emails, use strong passwords, and also make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware signature database is up to date.

About the Author: David Friend is the Chairman & CEO of Carbonite, a Boston based company providing online data backup services for consumers and businesses.

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