Social Media: Not a Bad Thing in the Workplace

SocialmediaworkplaceSocial media has become such an integral part of our lives that most of us don’t even realize we are on these networks consistently throughout the day. These instances are not just confined to our personal time, but often people access their social profiles while on the clock. Is this wrong? Are there exceptions when it is acceptable to be on social media while at work?

The work I do can often blur together. I constantly stare at computer screens and television assets. I am a firm believer that a ten-minute break every few hours helps my productivity and focus. I will often times take a walk, grab a coffee from the cafeteria or browse my social media accounts to breathe. These little breaks do not have a negative impact on my work performance. I don’t believe they are ethically wrong. Am I the only one that feels this way, especially when it comes to social media breaks?

#NickiatHSN

#NickiatHSN

In my field that majority of people I work with list their professions in their biography and often promote their shows. For instance, this past week we launched Nicki Minaj’s fragrance exclusively at HSN. Our whole beauty team was posting about it. We were so excited about the social media buzz surrounding it and our work involved in this amazing launch. In my opinion this created a greater sense of teamwork between my colleagues and me. Ultimately I do not believe it is a bad thing to talk about work on social media, as long as it is ethically correct (viva la Best Buy guidelines).

For this reason I do not believe it is necessary for corporations to be strict on employees for their social media use at work. The relationship we are fostering and the environment we are creating is a positive one that brings us closer together. I believe that is invaluable in the workplace. However, I do believe there should be some guidelines to have some sense of control over our fluid social networks.

I believe a great way for companies to ensure their social media policies are understood is to bring them up in meetings every now and then. I discussed in my reading response how my company does quarterly town hall meetings. In these meetings business needs and practices are discussed. I think this would be a great way for my employer to discuss our social media in the workplace stance.

Do you believe companies should be stricter about social media use in the workplace? Do you think social media can encourage positive behaviors?

The Ethical Dilemma: Social Media and News Reporting

I consistently check my privacy setting on social media (probably about once a month). People can learn a lot of information about you from social media. I want to protect myself and am selective about who I want to see my information. I believe this is important because of the situation discussed below…

In news reporting the phrase “no guts, no glory” holds a lot of value, at least in my personal opinion. There is a line in journalism that separates average journalists from devout journalists. Devout journalists are willing to go the extra mile and get information, to give their audience something different from other news outlets and to earn their trust.

I applaud these journalists. They put themselves in dangerous situations. They devote their whole lives to covering stories. Does utilizing social media make their stories better or is social media just a nuance in today’s culture that should be observed and not reported?

To me these seem like easy questions to answer. Of course I would use social media, I see it used in news stories all the time. The difference between these social posts and the one in question is that these posts are on public profiles. This is situation brings up a whole new arena of debate in social media. Mapplinks-Post-1

Seeing as the situation presented in this week’s lecture deals with murder I believe I would handle social media with extreme care. Like many mentioned in the debate I would investigate all possible resources before confronting the suspect on social media. I would see if we had mutual friends and try to attain as much information about this person from our “friends.” “Friending” this person and using their content would be the last thing I would do. It would not make me comfortable and I would let my bosses at my outlet know.

The great thing about social media and today’s culture is that we can learn from other’s “mistakes”. This is acutally a non-fiction incident that occurred back in 2009. The reporter of this story “friended” the suspect on Facebook, got leads, and then asked to interview the subject. The subject was upset and this made the reporter feel as though she used her new Facebook “friend.” She said she regretted using Facebook as a reporting tool.

What do you think? Is this reporter “soft?” Do feelings and ethics matter in reporting or is it all about the facts? What would you have done?

How can social media social media outlets help users control their content? I like that Facebook gives you the option to choose who you want to see published content. I believe they should make this feature more prevalent. I would also love to see them alert users more effectively when privacy setting are changes. For instance, make users look at privacy settings as the homescreen when changes are made and accept the changes before they are able to get to their newsfeed. This would force us to re-evaluate who sees what.

How can professionals learn how to use social media effectively but still respect privacy? I believe the murder story mentioned in this week’s lecture really put things in perspective to me. If someone has a public profile and willing posts content for all to see then by all means use it. If it’s private it remains private.

Publix: Is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” Prevalent on Facebook?

publixIf you’ve ever been in the southeastern part of the U.S. you’ve probably seen a few Publix grocery stores. Publix was started by George Jenkins in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. Jenkins wanted his stores to be revolutionary. He designed stucco floored stores with air conditioning, electronic sliding doors and superior customer service. Jenkins wanted his stores to be “where shopping is a pleasure” and have a family feel. When I walk into the stores I get this feeling, but does this culture translate on Publix’s social media pages?

I follow Publix on Facebook and in my opinion they do an excellent job of expressing their tone on the network, they even say so on the “About” section. The grocery store’s page is filled with recipes, saving opportunities, family-based content (i.e. images), and employee praise. Publix does a great job of responding to comments, both negative and positive as well. While looking at some recent comments I was very impressed to see that most posts were addressed within an hour and employees running the social media page even signed their name in the response. This correlates with the Publix culture. Anytime I’ve ever had a problem, it’s quickly been addressed and always in a friendly and welcoming manner.

Capture2That being said let’s take a look at two examples of how Publix effectively employed their welcoming tone to their Facebook audience. Timothy is pretty upset. He’s been having issues with his local Publix and feels as though his voice isn’t getting heard, so he did what any disgruntled customer does nowadays and took to social media. Even though Timothy’s message got a little heated Publix responded in a calm tone. They apologized, reinforced their mantra (premiere customer service), asked for more details via a private message, and apologized again. They could have ignored this post but instead addressed it within the hour it was posted. They want Publix to be a place “where shopping is a pleasure” and are making it right for Timothy.

CaptureIn this post Publix is reinforcing their belief that they are a family oriented store. Everyone who shops there is special to them. This post received a lot of attention and positive feedback and a Publix employee responded to every single comment, including comments from other Publix employees. Recognizing the people on the frontlines making Publix stores a success reiterates the respect Publix has for ANYONE who walks through their special sliding doors.

Ultimately I believe it is the content Publix posts and the way they respond that make their Facebook page very effective at illustrating their brand. I wish more companies (cough*CitiBike*cough) would take the initiative to connect with their audience, and loyal followers like Publix has on social media.

It’s Social Media Dummy, So Be Social!

This week’s lecture provided some pretty interesting examples of how companies are utilizing social media to connect with the consumers. I really enjoyed learning about how KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) employs social media. This organization has such a great focus…their customer! They’ve joined social media not to promote their business but to help the customer and promise a response within 24 hours. I think this is amazing! (I actually challenged them and tweeted them…it’s been 45 minutes with no response! They’re cutting it close!)

The Pressure is on KLM!

The Pressure is on KLM!

 

If you read my blog post last week you saw that I have been having some issues with Citibikes…these issues are still ongoing. I still haven’t received my refund and every time I’ve called customer service they provide me with very little information. I’ve tweeted them a handful of times with no response. However when I go on Citibikes Twitter page I see they are active. They are ultimately doing themselves a disservice because I am not going to let this or my money go!

Social media is giving the customer a voice and we deserve to be heard. Brands need to recognize this and implement the practice of listen, respond, listen into their repertoire. After all, “it’s social media dummy, so be social!” I believe if more companies listened to their followers and responded to their posts they would see a dramatic change in the type of activity they see on social media. This is something I try to incorporate into my own practices on social media.

While I currently do not run a company Facebook page I plan to help my dad and his dental practice with his social networks. Putting myself in the patient’s shoes will help me narrow our focus on what kind of content and tone we need to establish on his social sites. Ultimately it needs to be positive, but as we saw with the Virgin Railway example it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Being able to confront negativity and change a bad experience into a more positive one can change someone’s opinion completely. Social media is enabling us to do this on a more personal level!

From a personal perspective I try and illustrate the same behavior on my social networks. I am trying to promote myself as a brand, a social media expert. I try to engage with my followers by asking them questions, responding to all of their comments, and be human with my content. I think these aspects contribute to the success of brands on social media.

I think this tweet is pretty human. What do you think?

I think this tweet is pretty human. What do you think?

 

What do you do to connect with your followers?

Terms of Service? What Does that even Mean?

Unfortunately ethical behavior doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Companies are forced to create terms and conditions filled with outlandish “rules” to protect themselves and their users. We’ve all had to scroll to the bottom of a page and check the “yes I agree to the terms and conditions” box before, but have you honestly ever taken the time to read these “rules?”

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

If you take a few moments to read the terms of service for some of the sites you frequent you would be surprised to see many of the rules deal with hate speech and how social media networks cannot be responsible for user content. This concept upset many people, especially on Twitter. How can such an influential network not interfere with posts of this nature? In my opinion this is a hard spot to be in for all parties.

We live in the 21st century where people utilize social networks to practice their freedom of speech. Social media outlets like Twitter cannot limit their users’ “certain unalienable rights” just because it offends someone. However, I do see users justification for such outrage, especially if your creed, color, gender or sexual preference are hot topics of hate speech on these networks. I believe Twitter is doing the right thing.

Did you know about this outrage surrounding Twitter’s terms of service? I know I didn’t until this week’s lecture for my Social Media Ethics course. So how can we make these rules more evident and applicable to all who use these networks?

I believe it is important to look at what type of content resonates with people on these networks. Seeming as Facebook and Twitter were discussed at great length in this week’s lecture these two network’s terms and conditions will be my primary focus.

Infographics are great ways to share messages on social networks.

Infographics are great ways to share messages on social networks.

Let’s start with Facebook. Images are very popular and are the most type of shared content on the network. I would love to see an infographic explaining these rules. Infographics are able to provide people with information in more entertaining ways. For instance, last semester I shared an infographic about how social media and bacon were related. This piece of content has been one of my most shared pieces of content.

With a limit of 140 characters spreading Twitter’s terms of service message is a little more challenging. I believe creating a hashtag like #TwitterRules would be a great way to create and track engagement regarding the conditions of the network. We’ve all seen promoted tweets on our newsfeeds…I would like to see Twitter feature their terms and conditions via promoted tweets every now and then.

With millions (or in Facebook’s case billions) of users worldwide it is impossible to monitor all of the content every user publishes. I believe promoting the terms and conditions associated with these social network could help create more ethical behavior on the outlets.

Do You Know How Social Media Really Works? (Lecture Reaction)

Social media is a science. Sometimes when I tell people I’m earning my Master’s specializing in social media I get the response “You’re paying people to make you post on Facebook.” After learning about the power of Facebook and Google+ and the opportunities people have on social networks I would say that statement is the furthest thing from the truth!mediatraining

Many people don’t understand what EdgeRank is and how to utilize Facebook to increase it. I was one of those people until I started this program. When I logged on Facebook I would always wonder why people’s post from the day before were at the top of my newsfeed, now that I understand EdgeRank I know why. Using Facebook and creating post that generate interaction and shares is essential to effectively leverage the social media site in your favor. Now that I know the details involved with ranking on the site I will be employing them and look forward to seeing the results!

Google+ is arguably the most overlooked social media site of them all and in my opinion it houses the most power. Prime example, I posted my reading reaction blog on Facebook and it was completely overlooked, but when I posted it in a social media community on Google+ I got more response than I could’ve imagined (7+s and 9 comments, that’s amazing for a Google+ newbie like me)! Google+ allows you to target your audience. I can put people in groups and post things that are relevant to those groups. I can show people my work in the communities I follow. I can author my work and increase my SEO. The possibilities are endless!googleplus

As I continue to market myself as a social media expert strategy will be the key behind every post I will be making on social media sites from here on out. I recently spoke with a recruiter at HSN and asked her what the biggest thing she looks for when it comes to potential social media professionals. She told me she wants someone who understands how social media really works and has a portfolio to back it up. By gaining an understanding of how Facebook and Google+ work and how they influence each other I can utilize them to take me to new heights professionally. I will continue to strive to build myself as a brand and continue to implement social media into my work to prove social media isn’t about posting, it’s about strategy.

Realizations of this Week: It Seems I May Have Overlooked Google+ and Facebook “Likes” Bing

Some friends of mine flew in from NYC this weekend and while at lunch we began talking about social media. One of my friends said he believes social media will die out. Another one didn’t know what Google+ was, and my boyfriend said Google+ was a waste of time. And so began the in-depth conversation we had about the benefits of Google+, the pros and cons of Facebook and Google+, and the relevance of social media.

We started with Google+. I feel like everyone has overlooked Google+. Reading the statistic that Google+ has 90 million users v. Twitters 100 million proves it is a relevant resource. Like any social media site its important to use images and create engagement but what really sets Google+ apart from any other site is its ability to increase SEO.

I had never heard of the authorship and Google+ until reading “How Authorship and Google+ Will Change Link Building” and now I understand how influential it is. One of the friends I was with is an aspiring actor and when I told him he could post all the videos and scripts he wanted on Facebook but they would only be “relevant” on Facebook he seemed confused. The reality is Facebook and Google don’t get along. I told him if he really wanted to be searchable he needed to get a Google+ account, start posting on his profile, and “author” all of his work. I could see the wheels turning.facebook_vs_google

But what about Facebook? Everyone has one. Everyone uses it. It has no age limit. It isn’t going away. It still is important to maintain a presence on Facebook, especially if you are trying to build a following. But again, it comes down to understanding how the site works. With 88% of fans never returning to the pages they “like” you need to figure out how to spark engagement. Asking for feedback and “caption this” work but what does it take to stay at the top of users newfeeds for an extended amount of time?

 Facebook is like a popularity test. For every “like,” every share, every comment Facebook determines just how relevant your post is and where it ranks in importance in followers newsfeeds; in Facebook jargon its known as the graph search. While Google+ may reward their users with improved SEO for their loyalty Facebook is stepping up to the plate by continuing to implement graph search into their strategy. Graph search will become the biggest competition for Google. Since Facebook is blocked from Google they have joined forces with Bing (which has already taken away $2 billion in ads from Google). It will be interesting to see how Google+ combats Facebook.google-bing-facebook

Incorporating social media into your brand marketing strategy is essential. Knowing the benefits and perks each one has and how to utilize them is ultimately what will set you apart and help make you successful.

Questions

1)   Many of us didn’t know much about Google+ before this class. How are you planning to incorporate it more into your social media strategy now that we’ve read about its benefits?

2)   Now that Facebook has teamed up with Bing do you think it has the potential to overcome Google in terms of SEO and ads?