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Finally on Facebook

February 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

I admit I am not an early adopter, but recently I have been doing some research on how to use social media more effectively than I already am.  David Meerman Scott and Chris Brogan have been strong influences on what I do in this area, and of course, they highly recommend it! Coca-Cola uses it, and, well,  I guess everyone is out there with the exception of me (until now – visit my page).

Do you have a company page up?  Since just about everyone has a Facebook page at this point, it would make sense that we all get on board and build some business pages.  The more online presence you can build the better off you are.  However, I continue to warn people not to put garbage online.  What you do in your spare time is none of my business, but what you post becomes the business of every prospect and future employer.  Don’t get careless and start posting pictures and updates that turn people away.

On the other hand, imagine the power of you having many pages out there with links to valuable content, videos with educational material, and a forum to interact with your clients.  Leverage this tool, and keep it up to date with the latest.  In the mean time, be sure to visit my page, give me some ideas on improvements (which I am working on slowly in my “Free” time…) and hit the LIKE button while you are out there!

(Visit my page)

© 2012, David Stelzl

Yesterday on my flight to Boston I was talking to a gentleman about marketing through social networks.  We were discussing how the Internet has completely changed the way we reach customers and prospects, as well as what prospects and clients are attracted to.  Some considerations for your online brand…

1. Is your Cyber-Slip showing?  This comes from the Title of a recent article published in the National Speakers Association monthly publication.  The writer rightly points out that users of Facebook and other social networking sites tend to disregard security settings, thus “over-sharing” personal preferences, and perhaps adding to the damage by linking with others who speak too freely.  We’re talking here about life-style, political views, hobbies, etc.  Much of this can be harmless, however, you never know what people who you “sort of” know, and are linked to, are going to post.  Be careful – social sites are one of the first places prospects are going to learn about you as you work through the sale process.

2. Freedom of speech…yes, we supposedly have some level of freedom of speech, however your comments on blogs and Facebook walls are searchable by everyone.  Once you post it or send it, it’s forever posted.  You can’t recall it!  If you change your mind, or you mature over the years and realize you were being over zealous, your comments are not going to be updated.  The Internet is here to stay, so post only things  you want posted forever.  Never post or email when angry about something.

3. Sterile sites – check out your website.  This is your online image.  Is it you, or is it boring?  I’ve recently transitioned my primary site to my blog.  Why?  My website is informational, but static.  Many companies are putting their blog on their website – this is okay, but I think a mistake.  The first thing your prospects want to know is who you are.  Remember the overused phrase, “Trusted Advisor”?  It’s overused, yet it still means something.  The idea of building trust is still essential, and the person building trust is you.  People get to know you through your online presence.  Make it trustworthy, and give people a personality to trust.  Your character must somehow shine through your web presence, and the blog is the best place to do it. Take them to your blog, then as people get to know you, take them to your website to learn about products and services.

4. Outdated data…So you’re on LinkedIn…this is a great start, but have you provided the details.  There is nothing worse than searching for John Smith and having a thousand LinkedIn profiles show up without pictures.  If you are going to join, keep it updated.  LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with people as they transition from one job to the next.  While email addresses are changing, people connected through LinkedIn can stay in contact.

5. Pictures…pictures are worth a thousand words, right?  Check out your photos online…Most people who take the time to put a picture on Linkedin use a head shot.  Not bad – but make sure it’s current.  Your 70’s hair-doo might need to be updated.  Why do so many people use a weird picture on Facebook?  Casual is great for social networking, but if you’re in business, don’t put something sensual (if you’re a woman) or just plain freaky online…this is your trusted brand.

Are you doing any of these things?  It’s time to clean up and create the right image.  Start by Googling yourself – do this often and see what’s out there.  Then take inventory of what you have online and start fixing it.  If you don’t have anything online – you are missing a great opportunity to build a brand that will help you over the coming years.

When I see Facebook access reported in assessment reports I yawn.  The asset owner is not going to conclude they’re in trouble when this is reported.  However, if you take time to show them why this is problematic, you might have something.  Here’s a clear statement, using an attraction story (if you’ve read previous posts on great marketing tips), explaining the issue with a live example.  USA Today reports a recent attack brought on by hackers who gained access to one Facebook account, and used the friends list to entice others into clicking on infected links.  One problem with this story – it assumes that only work computers are used for work, so extrapulate this to home PCs used by those who take their work home at night.

Key Points:

1. Hackers gained access to an account – Facebook was not well protected.

2. An infected link was sent to the Facebook account friends list

3. Some of those who received the link clicked on it – why not?  The average user is going to have no way of telling the difference.

4. Infections resulted, adding these computers to the glowing list of zombies tied to botnets.

32 million clear-text passwords taken captive through an SQL vulnerability!, which provides applications and services for social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace was hacked this week – earlier in the week I posted a blog on social networking sites and hackers, mentioning some of the issues with cloud computing as well.  This is the world we’re headed for as more people move to cloud services.  If you’re going to use the cloud, and in some cases this is the only way to go, you have to consider security as a top priority, not price!

If you’re in the business of selling a cloud type service, whether it’s SaaS, hosted email, or online backup, or some managed service that stores data for the client (of any kind),  make sure you move security into first place as part of your value proposition.  These passwords were stored in clear text – and that is the problem.  Every site can be broken into, the question is, will the perpetrators be detected before they get what they want. Security steps such as encryption make stealing much more difficult, to the point that many won’t even attempt it.

Here’s the RockYou article reported by SC Magazine.

What about facebook?

December 15, 2009 — Leave a comment

I’m sure your customers are using Facebook, who isn’t?  So is this okay?  Facebook is like cloud computing and SaaS.  It’s an application like or like using Gmail.  So if you discover Facebook accounts during an assessment or in the selling process, don’t consider this to be justification for a security project.  However, there are some things you should be looking for as you work with clients that access Facebook.

The problem with Facebook; just about everyone uses it, and that means a lot of uneducated users.  It also means that family members are spending time of systems owned by your clients.  Expect company provided laptops and home computers to be used for social networking, peer-to-peer networking, and accessing websites that are likely infected.  So you’re not looking for Facebook accounts, but you are looking for systems that have been compromised by malware, and Facebook (along with any other social network program) increases the chances.

Yesterday’s report on Social Networking Scams is a great start in understanding why these programs open the door to attacks – it’s worth a quick skim.  Remember to pull out the sound bites – know these and you’ll not be challenged by arrogant IT administrators.

If you’re selling into companies that host customer-facing websites, this will be important – any large company that offers online services for their customers is a major target according to recent studies published by Websense.  Consider what happens when customers find out that companies they are doing business with are infecting their PCs and stealing identity information….this can’t be good.  Here are the stats from the study released in Jan 09:

  • “Of the top 100 most popular sites on the web, 70 percent are either hosting malicious content or contain a hidden redirect”. 
  • There are more infected “Legitimate” sites than malicious sites masquerading as sites you’d want to visit.
  • Sites specifically targeted by these attacks include social engineering and search engine sites, so it is not only important to lock down corporate sites, but also to guard workers who undoubtedly frequent Face-Book-type-sites and other popular cyber hangouts during the work day.

SC Magazine has more on this at