Entries Tagged 'social networking' ↓
August 13th, 2012 — social media, Social media policy, social networking
It wasn’t that long ago that we posted about why you should watch what you say on social media, especially in the light of the story that appeared in The Drum about the council press officer who was forced to quit his job after an ill-judged tweet.
Well, once again the issue has been raised in The Drum, this time looking at the legal perspective of work-related social media comments.
We’ve all been there – after a long and arduous week at work, you’re relaxing in the pub with colleagues and decide to rant about your employer or a client on your Facebook page.
After all, it’s your Facebook page so you can write what you like – right? You know your friends will have sympathy with your plight and will offer the soothing words you crave.
But what happens when your employer also sees your comment?
You could argue (as mentioned in The Drum’s article) that they shouldn’t be snooping and that reading your posts is like ‘reading your personal mail.’ But the post goes on to say that research suggests that ‘30% of employers have taken a member of staff through a formal disciplinary procedure as a result of comments made on their social media pages.’
The problem seems to lie in the potentially viral nature of social sharing. You may well post your opinion on your wall, but you have no control over who shares it, re-posts it on their wall or re-tweets it. Before you know it, your comment could be plastered all over cyber space.
So, is there anyway round this minefield?
Well, we all have lapses of judgement from time to time, but when they occur online in the social world, backtracking can be virtually impossible leading to serious consequences.
Although no company can prevent their staff from using social media, they should have a social media policy in place that clearly outlines what is and isn’t acceptable. Plus, they must also ensure they make it very clear what the consequences will be should anyone overstep the line.
What do you think?
As an employee, do you think it’s right that your employer should be snooping into your social world?
If you’re an employer, do you check up on your staff? Do you have a social media policy in place?
Leave a comment below and lets find out your views – whichever side of the fence you’re on.
June 22nd, 2012 — facebook, social media, social media marketing, social media training, social networking, twitter
Freedom of speech has long been embraced by society, but are we really free to say exactly what we think without fear of repercussions?
A short while ago, I wrote a post called Social Media – Why You Should Watch What You Say, in which I talked about how employers use social media to screen job applicants.
But it’s not just your potential working life that could be affected by your tweets and Facebook status updates (or those unfortunate photos taken of you on a big night out), you could also jeopardise your career.
The Drum recently reported on such a case where a council press officer was forced to quit his job after an ill-judged tweet.
Working for Lambeth Council, the press officer in question tweeted, from his own personal account, that “Having spent a considerable amount of time in Streatham, my solutions for supporting the High Road mostly involve napalm.”
Needless to say, his tweet was met with several complaints and, despite an apology, he quit his job.
But was that right? Should he have had to quit his job over tongue-in-cheek comments made on his personal social media account?
And there lies the very murky grey area. Had that comment been made through his official work account, no one would question the outcome. But as it came from a personal account, does that make it any less offensive?
Understanding the power of social media
The news is full of instances where people use social media in naïve ways. Whether it’s something like the case above, or the more serious and malicious practice of ‘trolling’ (the posting of inflammatory messages online with the main aim of provoking readers into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion – Wikipedia), the use of social media can land people in hot water.
A recent case of trolling was highlighted following a landmark High Court ruling. When a lady from Brighton posted a supportive comment for X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza, trolls ‘left comments falsely accusing [her] of being a paedophile and drug dealer for supporting the singer…’ (The Drum).
The High Court ruled that Facebook had to reveal the identities of the cyberbullies (their names and IP addresses) so civil actions could be pursued again the ‘trolls’.
Do your employees understand your social media policy?
With social media becoming a powerful business tool as well as a social communication tool, it is essential your employees fully understand your social media policy to prevent these types of instances happening.
Your businesses social media usage should concentrate fully on engaging with your customers and adding value to your relationships with them, therefore it is essential your employees fully understand what is expected of them.
- Make sure you list what they can do.
- Ensure they fully appreciate that they are responsible for what they write (whether it’s on behalf of your company or on their private accounts).
- Encourage them to engage with customers using their name and title so the customer knows who they are talking to.
- Make sure they think carefully before posting – it’s Ok to offer opinions, but they must consider how their comments will be viewed by others. After all, what they say (whether using social media during work hours or in their personal time) will reflect not only on them personally, but also as an employee and on the company.
- Ensure they understand what information is confidential and that should not be shared at any time.
- They should bring value to your company through their engagement.
Over to you
What are your thoughts on social media usage?
Do you agree that the council press officer should have lost his job?
What policies do you have in place to ensure your employees don’t overstep the mark?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and opinions.
Sally Ormond – Copywriter
May 18th, 2012 — Customer service, social media, social media marketing, social media training, social networking
We all know it’s cheaper to retain customers than to get new ones, so why are so many companies still so hell bent of grabbing more new customers?
Maintaining relationships can be time consuming, but the returns can be impressive. Social media has opened up a whole new way of engaging with and adding value to customer relations, so isn’t it about time you harnessed that power to boost your income from your existing customers?
If you’re not sure how to go about this, take a look at this following aticle on SocialMediaExaminer.com. They give you 5 tips to help you gain more revenue from your existing customers using social media…
Are you using social media to keep your existing customers happy?
Do you want to figure out how to drive revenue from existing customers through the social channel?
This post will give you 5 tips to gain more revenue from your existing customers using social media.
Why Focus on Existing Customers?
For many companies, connecting with their existing customers is a natural fit for social media. These companies are seeing conversations about their brands, their competitors and their industry that provide them with an opportunity to engage others in dialogue.
There are two types of strategies that revolve around existing customers on the social media channel. The first is to offer customer service help through the social channel. …
May 9th, 2012 — networking, social media, social networking
Let me ask you something. Do you enjoy networking?
By networking I mean the face to face variety.
It tends to be a marmite thing – you either love it or hate it. Me – I hate it.
When someone mentions networking to me, I immediately envisage a room full of people desperate to sell, but no one wanting to buy.
But networking doesn’t only happen that way.
Networking – the social side
Social media has opened a whole new way to network.
In my experience (and yes, there are exceptions and we’ll take about those later), most people who use social networking sites are there to chat, exchange ideas, offer advice and to generally have fun.
Did you see that? I used networking and fun in the same sentence.
It’s almost as though, because you’re not all cooped up in a room, people relax and chat more. They don’t feel as though they must leave with at least one sales lead (which, incidentally, is never the best mind-set for networking).
Of course, there are still those who believe that networking is equivalent to spamming. On social networking you see it through constant promotional posts and tweets; in real life is it the guy who immediately hands you a brochure before even saying hello.
One of the main benefits of social networking is that you can do it from your desk. If you’re snowed under it’s often difficult to make time to get out to an organised event. But if you dabble on the social side, you can easily fit in a few posts and tweets whilst sat at your desk.
There is another type of networking – you probably don’t even think of it as networking – and that’s when you meet people in everyday life.
How many times have you struck up a conversation with someone in the school playground, in the bus queue or on the train, and ended up talking about work?
It’s one of those questions you naturally ask someone you meet someone for the first time.
This type of conversation often leads to finding out interesting information because it’s far more informal and the person you’re speaking with is less likely to launch into their well-rehearsed sales pitch when not in a traditional networking environment.
Striking up a conversation
So we’ve looked at social networking and ‘free-styling’, but what about those dreaded formal situations? How do you make the most of them?
I don’t know about you, but my biggest problem with networking events is breaking into groups already chatting, especially if you don’t know anyone there.
If you have any strategies about that I’d love to hear them.
Normally, I’ll take the route of finding someone who’s also on the fringes and try to chat to them. Rather than opening with ‘Hello, my name is Sally and I’m a copywriter’, I usually ask a question about them – normally not work related.
If it’s a lady and she happens to be wearing a striking necklace, I’ll comment on it and start a conversation that way. Basically, I’ll comment on anything other than work, that way I get to know them as a person rather than them as a business.
That’s just my way of coping – what do you do?
Leave a comment below and see what tips we can muster between us to make your networking more effective (and less scary).
May 7th, 2012 — Achieving goals, internet marketing, marketing, online marketing, social media, social media marketing, social networking, twitter
Can that really be true?
Well, it is according to a recent article in The Drum.
Apparently, a recent survey undertaken by TalkTalk Business discovered that only 1% of UK SMEs use social media sites such as Twitter and Linked In to generate new business.
Out of the 500 SMEs surveyed, 43% said they weren’t comfortable using social networking sites.
As a copywriter, I’ve been using social media for a while to offer advice, promote my business and make new contacts. It really isn’t scary – it’s just like chatting with friends.
Finding the comfort zone
Social media allows customers unprecedented access to companies these days. They can instantly send messages, ask queries and make complaints – perhaps that’s part of the problem.
But there really isn’t any reason for companies to be afraid of social media. Used wisely, it can open up new markets and even find new business partners.
Of course, once you put something out on the web, it’s there for good, so any company looking to use social media as part of their marketing must have a strategy in place.
Understanding your social media strategy
The first thing that must happen is for everyone to understand (that includes senior management) that the main goal is not to sell.
Social media is a long term commitment that should add value to your relationships with your customers.
Then you must determine what your goals are – whether you’re using it for PR, customer service or marketing. However you use it, your goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely).
Of course, not every social media outlet is going to be right for your business, so do your research. Work out where you customers hang out and where your activities will have the greatest impact.
Once you start to use the platform(s) join in the conversation, don’t just lurk on the fringes. Chat with people, answer questions and offer advice. All of these activities will help get you noticed and increase your levels of engagement.
After a while, you may start getting questions coming your way. If you do make sure you answer them. Also, it’s worthwhile bringing your social media activities into the real world by going along to networking events and tweetups so people can put a face to the profile.
One more thing about Twitter, if a specific person within your company runs the account, make sure they sign their name to their tweets, or have their bio on your Twitter page. People like to know who they are tweeting with.
The best way to learn is to do
“Social media can prove invaluable as a new business tool and so it’s worrying to see that so few SMEs are embracing it. Its business benefits range from being able to engage and understand the needs of customers and prospects through to gaining insights into target markets and perceptions of your organisation or brand.
“There’s certainly scope for more SMEs to be educated on how social media channels can be applied to business and ne harnessed to benefit the bottom line.” Paul Lawton, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business.
I couldn’t agree more Paul.
Over to you
Are you one of the 43% or have you embraced social media as part of your marketing strategy?
Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.