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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Social Media Policy

More and more companies are starting to utilize social media to help in marketing, public relations, and customer service.  How the companies choose to use these tools (social media) varies by each company and what they hope to achieve.  They need to have goals and a target in mind when they start so the company can plan a proper approach and strategy in the form of a social media policy.

Most companies now have a social media policy for their employees to follow
The policies allow for a company to maintain some control in order to keep their brand image strong and achieve the objectives it wants to achieve.  Understandable they do not want employees trashing the company or its consumers  For most companies what an employee does online can be seen as a representative of their employer, so what the employee tweets or says online some may view it as what the company tweets.  The social media policy doesn't need to be long or difficult to understand.  Just a way to educate the employees that even on their personal social media accounts they are representing the company and brand. That being said the employees should still be allowed to have an online social life without having to worry about what their employer will think or do.

For a corporate social media account the policy should be more complete with more restrictions and expectations.  Especially for an account that is managed by numerous employees it would be impossible for a manager to approve of each post if you want the account to be social and engaging.  Have basic ground rules and let employees be free as long as in line with those rules.

Be prepared for something to go wrong
Mistakes happen, whether it is a rogue post/tweet that was meant to be on a personal account accidentally on the company account or an account being hacked.  Have part of your policy be what to do when this happens and handle it appropriately. A great example of this is when someone from The American Red Cross twitter account tweeted about #gettingslizzered they handled it appropriately.  They did not fire the person responsible for that tweet, instead they acknowledged it addressing the concerns some people had with the tweet and came out better for doing so.

I use social media in a way that fits me
I do not currently have to follow any corporate social media policy but I still have a personal social media policy. Overtime my social media policy has evolved from what it was a year ago (How I Use Twitter) to now.  By now if I wanted to I could have over a thousand followers, but I am not on social media for the numbers (or a Klout score).  I have started following more people, and I admit it I am no longer reading every tweet.  But what I do use now is lists, I have numerous lists, some public some private.  It is a hierarchy much like my Google Plus circles some circles and lists I check once an hour others I check every few minutes when I am online and not doing something I feel is more important.  The lists allow me to manage my social media accounts better and achieve my own goals and get what I want out of each social media platform.

Part of my policy is how I represent myself
Unlike Shelby who chooses not to swear, I think it is okay to occasionally swear on your personal account, if you feel comfortable doing so.  What I want to be online on social media is the same as I am in real life.  I do swear on twitter like I do in real life, but when I do it is for a reason and I do not do it often.  But I won't swear on LinkedIn, just like I would not swear in a formal setting.  What I do a lot of is filtering I type out a tweet reread it and than delete it.  Even if the tweet would be well received by most with my sense of humor I would rather not have it out there and possibly offend someone. I have been debating whether I should continue to filter myself online but feel it is best to continue to do so.

Does your company have a plan to achieve its social media goals? 
Does your company have a social media policy for you to follow?
Do you have a personal social media policy?
Do you filter yourself online or in real life?

Photo Credit to Webtreats

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to Take a Break

It has been a while, a long while since I wrote a post or even visited this blog.  I was taking a break, one that was only suppose to be a few weeks that turned into a few months and well...  But I am back now rested and refreshed and with a notebook full of ideas for blog posts.  

I just did not feel like blogging and was struggling to write something that I felt was quality and awesome enough for people to enjoy or learn from.  What started as a I will only hit the snooze button one time than I will get up turned into a hit the snooze button four more times then turn off the alarm.  I hate when that happens but am working on improving on that so it won't happen again as much.  

A break is a good thing it lets you get some rest and come back fresh and ready to go.  Whether the break is from a level in Angry Birds or from a current project being able to set it down.  If you planned enough time you will able to come back tomorrow with a new approach and new ideas.  For me, I did this a lot in college mostly when I was studying architecture and had models to build.  Instead of constantly having to pull all-nighters I would do some work each day and allow myself to have enough time to come back in the morning. When I did that I would always have better results and feel better about my work than the few times I had to work on the model for 20+ hours straight.  I also need to take a break after I read for a while, after about an hour I stop absorbing the information and start wandering.  I found what works for me and stick to it.  

Do you include time in your life for breaks?
What do you take a break from?

Photo Credit to: HikingArtist

Sunday, April 3, 2011

An Example of the Importance of Timing

With the current internet meme of Rebecca Black's Friday YouTube video staying popular and finally starting to peak as it is reaching maximum market saturation.  All memes have a life cycle similar to a product life cycle. Like most internet memes when something new comes focus transfers from this meme to the new thing, as described in Brand Value - It Changes with the Tide post. The remixes, parodies, and covers are still being introduced on YouTube.  With the videos starting to die down in popular as this meme comes to an end it is being revived.  Both by FunnyorDie's April Fool's Day gimmick of turning it into Friday or Die and by Jimmy Fallon with the help of Stephen Colbert, The Roots, and Taylor Hicks.  Extending the life cycle long enough for this to be in my opinion awesome.

YouTube Videos keep on being removes you can see just the video here or the full story and more videos on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Blog.

Why this is better and being blogged about is more about the back story of how this happened because over $26,000 was raised for charity.    They timed the release on the end of the Memes life cycle more likely because of scheduling.  Luckily Rebecca's Black Friday is still popular and being consumed by the masses so this video has an additional audience.  In addition to being part of Friday's episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon with Stephen Colbert both things would gather a large audience to consume this media.

So if this video was made in a month would it be as popular?  Doubtful because it is likely that the "Friday" meme would be over.  It would still be popular because of who is doing it, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.  The added views and popularity of the timing would help this get more views, attention, and word of mouth than being released to some other meme or at another time.

Added bonus get your QR reader out at 3:47 for another special bonus message.
Spoiler for those who can not read it, it takes you to a bonus thank you video you can see here.

Some previous similar blogs include  Time Sensitivity and Importance of a Timely Response.

Do you think the timing of this video will help?  How so and by how much?  Does what the video is of help it, if they sung a different song would it be as popular?  Anything you would like to add?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Importance of a Timely Response

When some negative press occurs about you or your organization it is your job to address that complaint right away, and if it is a large story gaining momentum you need to stop it immediately.  The negative news is like a small leak in your boat if you choose to ignore it or take to long to fix it, the leak gets worse.  The leak will get larger and more water (negative press/publicity) will get into your boat (company) and stall your engines and maybe even sink the boat.  Even after stopping the leak you will still have to take the time to clean up the water damage caused by that leak.

Jay Culter was recently injured during the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.  While injuries do happen the Chicago Bears took what many consider to be too long to release a statement regarding his injury. Much of his negative back lash could have been stopped if they told the media that he suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee.

While Taco Bell took an immediate and proactive approach to a lawsuit claiming that Taco Bell doesn't use enough meat in their tacos and instead it is mostly oats and other fillers.  Taco Bell used social media and the tradition press release to address the lawsuit immediately.  The action they took helped to slow the damage and more importantly let the public know the(ir) facts about their meat.

A timely response is the best action to take against any negative publicity or press.  In the current age of instant information from the use of social media a delay of a response will only make the problem worse.

How quick do you expect a response from a company?  Does a later response have the same impact to you as an instant response?  Any other examples you know of and would like to share?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Holidays, The Benefits of Giving Back

With the holiday season upon us as well as the shopping season it is important for us and corporations to give back.  While for us that might mean one less present for the person who would receive it might mean getting a present.  Its a small sacrifice for many of us who are fortunate this season and such a huge impact on those who aren't.  You can always give back, not just during the holidays and the rewards are still plentiful.

What one person can do
A single individual can make a large impact this holiday season by giving a little bit, whether it is time, money, new/ used items you have no use for.  You can go ring a bell for the Salvation Army or volunteer for one of many different charities.  Right now there are numerous Toys for Tots toy drives and other charitable drives going on that are easy and convenient to donate to.  During this season one person can make a difference and a group can make an impact.

What a small business can do
A business also has the ability to give back.  Your place of business can be a drop off location for a toy or food.  You can have your own toy or food drive and allow your customers to give back as well.  The business can donate a percent of sales on a day to charity.  Or like Milwaukee's AJ Bombers which has a local "celebrity" bar tender every Friday night where that individual receives tips that go toward a charity of their choice.  This is a great way to give back to the community.  Another great example of always giving back is Teecycle.  One dollar of every shirt sold goes towards restoring urban rivers and trails.  I encourage all my readers to look into Teecycle and buy a shirt or 10.

What large corporations can do
Continue to give to charities and back to the community.  Most if not all corporations have a few charities they donate to and ways they contribute to community development. Some companies choose to publicize there donations while others keep silent.  I am fine with either approach, if you donate to charities your consumers could and should be aware of that.

The Benefits of Giving Back

Do you intend to give back this holiday season?  How do you give back?  Any other benefits of giving back you would add? 

Photo Credit to Atran.Photography