Internet Communications - How to Use in Your Business


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How to use email newsletters, blogs, forums, podcasts, listservs and other forms of electronic communication in your business

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Internet Communications - How to Use in Your Business

  1. 1. E-Communication in the 21 st Century COSE Small Business Conference October 2006
  2. 2. Your Presenters <ul><li>Anita Campbell </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Rucinski </li></ul>Find us at: Small Business Trends Small Business CEO
  3. 3. Choose Your Communication “One-to-Many” Low Medium New Low Social networking SEO Value PR Value Customers: existing vs. new Tech difficulty Type None Low New Low Listservs None unless posted online Low Existing Low to Medium Email newsletters Low to Medium Medium Both Low to Medium Podcasts Low Low New Low Forums High High Both Low to Medium Blogs
  4. 4. Blogs <ul><li>Chronologically arranged websites (short for web + log) </li></ul><ul><li>Use to communicate with public and customers </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages over traditional websites: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw visitors back (fresh content + conversational features) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of linking to other sites (great for search engines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy and fast to update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inexpensive </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Business Blog Example “ Me to You”
  6. 6. Blog Interactivity Comments by readers
  7. 7. Blogs Links Multiple links to other sites
  8. 8. Blog Software Tools <ul><li>Start fast with free, hosted options: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress hosted version - </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Upgraded versions offer more flexibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress non-hosted version is free except for setup and hosting charges - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TypePad starts at $5 per month: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Movable Type also popular - </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For more resources,visit: www. /blogging </li></ul>
  9. 9. Internet Forums <ul><li>An Internet forum is a Web site for holding discussions </li></ul><ul><li>There are forums for a large number of different topics </li></ul><ul><li>Also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion forums, discussion groups, bulletin boards </li></ul>
  10. 10. Forum Example
  11. 11. Forums - Get Started <ul><li>Use your favorite search engine with the topic of your choice followed by ‘forum’ </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a forum with many users and recent activity </li></ul><ul><li>Also check out </li></ul>
  12. 12. Podcasting <ul><li>Podcasting, a combination of Apple's &quot;iPod“ and &quot;broadcasting“ </li></ul><ul><li>A method of publishing audio (MP3) files to the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Allows users to subscribe to a “feed” using special podcatcher or feedreader sites/software, and be notified of new recordings automatically </li></ul>
  13. 13. Podcasting - Recording <ul><li>How Does it Work? (Recording) </li></ul><ul><li>Publishers record audio content and then post it on a website for listeners. </li></ul><ul><li>Create or edit an existing RSS feed including a link to the audio file in the &quot;enclosure&quot; field of an RSS 2.0 feed, uploading it to a website. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the world that a podcast is available. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Podcasting - Listening <ul><li>How Does it Work? (Listening) </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a podcatcher or feedreader that supports podcasting or sync a wireless device like an iPod with your computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Enter the URL of the podcast feed into the feedreader or podcatcher of your choice. </li></ul><ul><li>As new items appear, review the podcast's description and listen to those of interest. </li></ul>
  15. 15. iTunes – THE Place for Podcasts
  16. 16. Odeo - Easy Way to Record Podcasts
  17. 17. Gcast – Another Easy Way to Record
  18. 18. How to Get Started – Advanced <ul><li>Secure audio recording equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Secure audio recording software </li></ul><ul><li>Record the audio </li></ul><ul><li>Find resource to host the audio files </li></ul><ul><li>Identify website to distribute audio through </li></ul><ul><li>Create RSS Feed for subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Market podcast to directories (like iTunes) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Podcasting Resources <ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting Whitepaper ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting for Dummies Ebook ( ) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Email Newsletters <ul><li>Email is not dead </li></ul><ul><li>A house list is worth its weight in gold </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters keep your business front and center with customers </li></ul><ul><li>Can-Spam law makes it trickier: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penalties for sending unsolicited emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email should be opt-in (preferably “double opt-in”) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Email Newsletters <ul><li>Don’t DIY! Email marketing services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve delivery rates (whitelisting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comply with Can-Spam law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer advanced personalization and HTML templates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommendations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vertical Response: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant Contact: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lyris: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bronto: </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Email Marketing Example <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>List admin </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing </li></ul>
  23. 23. Discussion Lists & Listservs <ul><li>A listserv is a communication tool that lets members post suggestions or questions to a distribution list (like cc’ing on email). </li></ul><ul><li>You submit a question or comment, which is then distributed to all of the other people on that list. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be public or private lists </li></ul>
  24. 24. Listserv Example
  25. 25. Listservs - How to Get Started <ul><li>Use your favorite search engine with the topic of your choice followed by ‘listserv’ </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a listserv with many users and recent activity </li></ul><ul><li>Complete an application if required, dive in and make a comment or ask a question </li></ul>
  26. 26. Social Networking Sites <ul><li>Places on the Internet where people meet in cyberspace to chat, socialize, debate, and network. Some examples include,, and </li></ul><ul><li>Business-oriented social networking or community sites include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. LinkedIn Example
  28. 28. JumpUp – A New Breed
  29. 29. MySpace Example
  30. 30. FastPitch Example
  31. 31. Social Networking - Get Started <ul><li>Start with one of the sites; enter a profile of you and your business. </li></ul><ul><li>Search for and invite others you know to connect with you through the service. </li></ul><ul><li>Update your profile regularly, and communicate with your network frequently. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Choose Your Communication “One to One” Free Low Web-based Email Expense Tech difficulty Type Free to Medium Low to Medium PDFs Medium Low to Medium Email Program (Outlook, etc.)
  33. 33. Web-Based Email <ul><li>Revolution! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online services – no need to install -- access anywhere from a Web browser </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today’s offerings competitive: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced message compose and organizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built-in spam filtering and anti-virus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge storage: up to 2+ GB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Packaged with other offerings: spreadsheets, calendar, Web design tool, domain hosting </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Web-Based Email <ul><li>Three impressive – FREE - options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GMail – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo mail - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft Office Live – </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set up a free account and try them out </li></ul>
  35. 35. GMail – So Much More than Email
  36. 36. Yahoo Mail – User Friendly
  37. 37. Office Live – Designed for Small Biz
  38. 38. Microsoft Outlook Email & Others <ul><li>Outlook on the desktop still the biz standard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advanced mail functions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail merge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elaborate filtering, search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other alternatives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPerfect only full-featured alternative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-source competitors no match </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. PDFs <ul><li>Universal document format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users use free Adobe Reader to view PDFs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harder to tamper with </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful for whitepapers, presentations, eBooks </li></ul>
  40. 40. PDFs - Creating <ul><li>Many free and low cost options now available to create PDFs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> online service - $9.99/month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> – free version or $10 to upgrade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPerfect now creates PDFs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many other solutions exist – search for “pdf writer” or “create pdf” </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Questions?
  42. 42. Contact <ul><li>Anita Campbell </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>330.242.1893 </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Rucinski </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>330.321.4777 </li></ul>