Archive for January, 2013


Nextiva’s First Ever Build-A-Thon

Last month, Nextiva’s Amazing Service™ team joined together for the first ever “Build-A-Thon,” a weekend event planned to redesign the company’s online support center.

Members of Nextiva’s customer service, marketing and web design teams spent their time collaborating and redesigning the support center in an effort to provide the most user-friendly and easy-to-navigate resource environment possible. Working to tunes by a lively DJ and armed with energy drinks and snacks, these dedicated employees spent 16 straight hours writing and organizing dozens of video tutorials, setup guides for Cisco and Polycom phones, step-by-step instructions on various features, and FAQs. 

This cohesive event structure is new to Nextiva. It proved to be quite successful and will be used for future project integration. Nextiva customers and those interested in learning more about Nextiva’s unified communications can now find more information on Nextiva’s new and improved Support Center.


How to Stay Fit While You Sit

New Year’s resolutions to get fit and be healthy are in full swing, and Nextiva wants to help you reach your goal with some tips on how to stay fit while in the office. Sitting at your desk for hours on end can not only hinder your productivity, it can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, muscle strain, headaches, and lead to other physical problems.

“Immobility is your enemy,” said Julia Valentour, a health and fitness specialist at the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in HealthyAdvice.com. “People were not meant to sit still for hours on end. You should get up and move around for at least five minutes of every hour to keep your mind alert and your body healthy.”

The following are some key ways workers can be fit while at the office.

  • Get out of your desk chair at least once an hour - You can stand or pace around your desk while taking a phone call, or walk to a coworker’s desk instead of using the phone. If you can stand while working, that can double your metabolic rate, since your muscles must expend energy to hold your body upright, says LiveStrong.com.
  • Get Creative - Keep hand-held weights or resistance bands at your desk to use during short breaks or while taking calls on speakerphone. You can also replace your office chair with a fitness ball suggests MayoClinic.com, which helps you tone your core and improve your balance while sitting.
  • Skip the coffee or lunch break - You can spend your 15 minute break or even hour lunch walking or jogging outside. After all, exercise will get your blood pumping more than a cup of coffee or large lunch. Keep a pair of jogging/walking shoes on hand so you have no excuse.
  • Travel and Commute - If you can walk or bike to work, by all means do it. If you take the train or bus, try walking around while waiting for them. If you travel for work, find a hotel with a gym or swimming pool.

Quiz: Is Twitter Right for Your Business?

twitter-iconTwitter, a social media platform that allows users to broadcast, or “tweet,” 140-character messages to the world, has more than 200 million users worldwide. So does that mean that your business should have a Twitter account, too?

Not necessarily. Some small business owners feel guilty if they don’t use Twitter, but also aren’t sure if the platform would really help their bottom line. “I call it social media guilt,” says Jason McDonald, director of JM Internet Group, a social media and SEO consulting company in Fremont, Calif. “Social media might be technically free to utilize, but it takes a lot of work and if your customers aren’t listening, it might not be worth it. Sometimes you have to throw stuff over the boat.”

Consider the following questions before opening a Twitter account for your business.

Question #1: Are your customers on Twitter?

McDonald’s daughter is obsessed with the apparel brand Juicy Couture. She follows the brand on Twitter and shares photos of celebrities donning the clothing. “Juicy is a company with a good demographic for Twitter,” he says. “Customers are 18 to 28 years old and really into their mobile phones. They want to know about the latest products before they hit the market and get the inside scoop.”

But what if you are a plumber or a CPA? “I recommend opting for Google Local or Yelp for those professions,” he says.

Question #2: What can you offer only on Twitter?

Taking the plumber and CPA example, there are very few value-adds that those professions can offer on Twitter. On the other hand, a food truck or pizza restaurant can provide great value to clients on the social media site.

“In the case of the pizza place, you could tweet out a special deal for the lunchtime crowd or alert them to a change in the menu,” says McDonald. “If you own a food truck, you could tell your clients when and where you will be the following day so they have insider information.”

Question #3: Do you have a plan for your Twitter page?

Survey your customer base before launching your Twitter page. What business-specific insights would they find valuable? Once you collect that information, create a well-thought-out plan for your Twitter page. Detail how often you will Tweet, what you will send out, how many discounts you will offer, etc.

Bonus Question: Do you ever go to conferences?

One of the best ways for small business owners to get their feet wet on the social media site is to join a conference-specific Twitter conversation using hashtags.

“Twitter is huge a tradeshows,” says McDonald. “The next time you go to your industry’s version of ‘nerdworld,’ boot up your Twitter page and participate in the conversation. It will help you get an idea of how to use the site.” 




 
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