Everything in Moderation…

As we enter week six of this semester it was really cool to see how our course topic build on each other. Everything is coming full circle. Ethics can be a complicated area but as long as you have an action plan for a crisis you can swiftly navigate your way through any situation without compromising your values or mission statement.

I loved that Justin pointed out that “our ethics don’t change, decisions might.” Social media can bring about some very interesting situations. Just when you think you’ve encountered or planned for every occurrence a new one can be thrown out you. I think the best way to respond to these situations is through moderation.20-75

I am all for monitoring behavior and taking down offensive posts on social media. I follow a lot of celebrities on Twitter and it’s crazy to me the amount of hate speech that occurs on their accounts. If I were in their shoes I would delete these comments because they cause a hostile environment. People get very passionate and before you know it there’s an all out war via comments when all that was posted as a picture! For bigger brands not addressing this type of hateful material could illustrate that they are condoning this behavior.  I wish more companies would think about the environment they have/create on their social networks and have ways to combat these issues.

Every social network presents different challenges. I am active on both Twitter and Facebook and have seen behavior explicit to these sites. On Twitter people are confined to 140 characters comments are short, rants are more controlled. In my opinion it’s easier to control “the fire” on this network because of the character limitations and the fact that posts don’t appear very long on user’s newsfeeds. Facebook is a different story…one can write a novel on Facebook! Information spreads so fast on this site and lasts for a long time on newsfeeds. Every time someone comments, likes, or shares it appears in the newsfeed. The more attention it has the longer it will be visible.

Considering these circumstances I would say it is the most difficult to moderate hate speech on Facebook. Knowing this should prompt page administrators to monitor their content and comments more. Social media is a very powerful tool in our culture. One bad comment left unattended can cause serious ethical issues.

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?

T’s & C’s of LinkedIn

In my last blog post I talked about Twitter and Facebook’s terms and conditions. After seeing some pretty interesting “rules” I decided to investigate other networks I frequent. With that said, let’s take a look at LinkedIn.

I love LinkedIn! Its great network that allows people to connect with each other based on professional interests. The possibilities the network presents its users are priceless! I’ve heard of people landing their dream jobs because of LinkedIn. But is this all too good to be true? Do the terms and conditions (T’s & C’s) negate this seemingly wonderful social media site?

I actually liked reading LinkedIn’s terms of service. It is outlined in sections, each featuring a summary on the side. These summaries make it easy for the user to clearly define what each section discusses. As I was reading the T’s & C’s I noticed a lot of similar qualities between LinkedIn and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, especially in terms of content. Users own their content on LinkedIn but by posting on the network users give LinkedIn license to use their content. On other networks (i.e. Instagram) this has angered people. When we use these social networks we have to remember they are a business. They were created to make money!

The more I’ve investigated the “rules” of these social networks the more I’ve asked myself why people aren’t taking greater in action against the social networks. The truth: LinkedIn does not really care. According to the T’s & C’s: “You waive your rights to try to stop LinkedIn, but we don’t waive our rights to ask a court to stop your actions.” In their opinion you are a guest on the network. They can ask you to leave and won’t miss you!

Capture2

What I really found interesting in LinkedIn’s T’s & C’s were the do’s and don’ts. Maybe it’s because LinkedIn is used for more professional purposes but the “rules” didn’t seem too restrictive. There was the usual “don’t post fraudulent content,” “don’t use a fake name,” etc. If users suspect they are a “victim” of any fraudulent activity a way to contact LinkedIn in the T’s & C’s is available. This was reassuring to see.

CaptureOverall, I believe LinkedIn does a great job of preventing harmful or “risky” type of material to be posted to the site. If you request to connect with someone in the request you have to say how you know the person. LinkedIn also promotes the use of professional images and behavior. From my experience on the network that’s just what occurs. LinkedIn has done a great job of promoting themselves as a professional place and the behavior that occurs on the network illustrates this.

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.

Google Search Results: Alexis Willey

Have you ever Googled yourself? If you have, were the results a good representation of what you would want others to think about you or your reputation? Interestingly enough my assignment this week was to do just that and while the results weren’t crazy they were interesting to see.

I just Googled my name, Alexis Willey. The first few results were of my social media accounts, specifically LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, then a post from my this blog. I really like that my LinkedIn account was the first result from my Google search of myself. I want to be perceived as a professional, responsible young woman and I think this social network (along with my other social accounts) portrays this. If people were to do a Google search of me this would be the first link I would want them click.

The first and the fifth face look familiar but who are the rest of these "Alexis Willeys"?

The first and the fifth face look familiar but who are the rest of these “Alexis Willeys”?

The second page of my Google search was a little more interesting. My Google+ account, Pinterest, and then a few stories from a blog I had during undergrad appeared. Along with this was information about another Alexis Willey in Pennsylvania (mostly social media accounts) and a Facebook link for “The Alexis Willey Foundation” for 13-year-old girl, Alexis Willey battling leukemia in Iowa. I clicked on this link and it hasn’t been updated since January of 2011 so that kind of concerns me. The results on the second page were interesting because I feel like my name is unique. Growing up I was the only Alexis, and there aren’t very many Willey’s out there so to see results for people with the same name as me that I’m not related to was not what I was expecting.

I then Googled my email address and thankfully nothing relating to it came up. A few months ago I got an email from Gmail saying that someone from Turkey had tried to get into my Gmail account. When I was told I had to Google my email in this week’s assignment I thought I would find someone was using my “identity.”  What a relief to see no relevant results…

What was missing in my Google search? I am a pretty active person and I really enjoy running in races. I was surprised to see that none of my race results appeared in the first few pages of the search. I was also surprised to see that a lot of my blog entries weren’t available either. I work hard on these posts and based on WordPress analytics they are viewed pretty frequently, certainly more frequently than stories I wrote four years ago in undergrad! I wonder why one blog post from last semester appeared on the first page of the results but none from this semester?

What do I want to change? After seeing these results I would like to have my Google+ account appear on the first page of these results. I realize I need to be more active on this network  for improved SEO and so more results relating to me and not other Alexis Willeys will appear. I also know that I need to post more of my blog posts to my Google+ in order to have them appear higher in the results.

Where's my Google+ account?

1) Who is Alexis Willey from Hofstra University? 2)Where’s my Google+ account?

Googling myself really puts my online reputation into perspective. With recruiters and businesses admitting to using Google as a research tool it is imperative that we put our best “selves” forward on the Internet. If you haven’t Googled yourself before I advise that you do. You may be surprised what appears. 

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?