The Workplace and Social Media

Social media in the workplace…I don’t really feel workers using social media during their work hours are bad, as long as it isn’t overdone—and in some scenarios, it can actually be a positive! I facebookworkprobably check Facebook 5 times a day, but when I do at work when the situation doesn’t “really” call for it, I’ll simply browse for under a minute. I think checking Facebook or other social outlets is the equivalent of making a personal phone call, texting or basically doing anything throughout the day that isn’t related to the job. I don’t see an issue with using social media while on the job as long as it’s kept in good context and relatively short.

Best Buy© has taken an interesting stance as far as their social media guidelines. Taking the fact of whether or not to say where you work in your blog, I say there’s no harm in that. I do agree with Best Buy assuring employees act responsibly and ethically, but at the same time they shouldn’t misrepresent who they are. I like this because this prevents falsehood online. Trying to assert oneself as a “higher power” online is just cheesy and outdated—it’s fake!

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Walmart’s© guidelines bring up some good issues about ensuring staff actually read the social media policy. It’s actually quite respectable in the face they want to ensure nothing is done that can come back to hurt the brand. Looking into it a little more about the importance of having employees know online ethics, it makes sense. It’s hard to “force” employees to act a certain way on their personal social media profiles, yet that is what these big brands want. The way you act on social media is now a direct interpretation and judgment of how you will act in the workplace.

Oracle© takes a much too aggressive stance with their social media guidelines. Stating that social media activities must not interfere with work activities. Like I said before, if taking a personal call or texting is considered not working efficiently, then social media shouldn’t be banned. As long as these situations arise that aren’t part of the job, it’s not ethical to chose that one is allowed. If anything, Oracle should use the fact they have avid social media users and try to get them on board with the brand message.

I feel social media at work can bring about opportunities, especially if someone is finding something about the brand or a way to enhance its online presence. If I was a boss and knew my employees were on social media…I’d use that to my advantage. I’d have them check out the brand, make sure everything is running smoothly with our online outlets, perhaps send a tweet or two, maybe a Facebook post. I think combining social media for personal and professional use can actually be a good thing for a brand.

 

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Accuracy, Validity and Everything In-between!

Accuracy was, is and always will play a huge role in social media. We are living in a day in age where everyone can be a journalist or reporter in his or her own way. No longer are we seeing news solely Accuracycome from big networks, but from individuals. Majority of people have a camera at their fingertips, and with a click, can have the latest breaking story. The troublesome part that is associated with these new phenomena is accuracy.

When you see news online, many people (including myself) still look to validate the news with a reputable news network. The reason being is that they are using their name and putting their reputation on the line with every piece of news they release. If news is released from an individual who is in no way a journalist or working for a media outlet, they stand to lose very little. This poses a major problem, especially on social media where people can “share” these types of stories almost instantaneously.

This has brought about a new rise in “fact-checking,” because as much as we love news, we hate falsehood. Luckily, we are given a few tools that we can use to validate these potentially faux stories.

Twitter brings about a novel way of determining the validity of accounts with their “blue verified badge.” This tells the users that Twitter has put their reputation on the line with giving the account this badge. These accounts are usually the ones who have made a name in their given field and people look to them as a reputable and accurate source of information.

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Reverse image searching can also assist in verifying where, when and why an image was posted. Sites like TinEye allow you to upload an image that will then be searched by the database to find out any other locations and information on the image. This can assist greatly so you can see if the image you are viewings is in fact “real” or “accurate.”

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Accuracy will always remain a part of social media (at least in the near future), because the majority of social platforms don’t “prohibit” or “claim responsibility,” for inaccurate information. I feel it is up to the consumers of these networks to be on the lookout, check and verify certain stories before we spread them on. As with the Internet, you can’t believe everything you see…but we can control what we do as individuals to keep these platforms integral.

Moderating “Hypothetical” Negative Social Media Content

Negative social media content centered on your brand, company or business can be detrimental to your overall trust and reputation. Here are a few hypothetical examples of these types of comments and how you should go about responding to them.

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To a fast food chain:

“I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

First thing to do in order to resolve this solution is to respond immediately, considering a Facebook wall post can be seen by everyone, especially those who follow the brand. Do not delete the negative comment, it shows weakness. Prove to your audience you are strong and passionate enough of a brand that you can resolve issues, even ones as bad as this. There are two actions I would take:

1)     Respond to the post with something similar to: “I want to apologize on behalf of our entire organization. These types of grotesque behavior have no place in any of our stores. We are investigating this with much consideration and those responsible will face consequences. We appreciate your business and bringing this to our attention. We want to ensure you, our customers and everyone listening that these irresponsible actions will not happen again.”

2)     Send a private message to the user and offer some sort of compensation. I would say: “Please enjoy a $20 gift card on us at your next visit to 1467 Justin Kings Way. We assure you this time your experience will be entirely different and you will leave feeling nothing less than satisfied. Once again, we apologize for this instance and we value your feedback and support. Thank you!”

Here is one more negative post:

To a mainstream news network (let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides):

“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.”

No matter what, when you report news that inflicts any kind of bias in even the smallest way, you are bound to get feedback, especially controversial issues involving the Middle East. Even though the news network has completely balanced coverage in regards to giving both sides equal time, that doesn’t mean your audience sees it that way. Here is how you engage with this user:

“On behalf of our MS News Network, we apologize you weren’t satisfied with our recent reporting on the Middle East. I can assure you that we pride ourselves on unbiased, fair and balanced reporting and under no circumstance do we deviate from this motto. We will do our best to make sure any future reporting on this subject is covered entirely from both sides. We value your viewership in our network, as well as the trust you have in our brand. Please don’t hesitate to send any more feedback you may have, for we are always looking for ways to please our audience. One again, we apologize you were not satisfied and we will do everything possible to ensure we stick to our motto and that all coverage is done with integrity and fairness.”

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Analyzing “beIN Sports USA” Social Media Strategy

beIN headerbeIN Sports is a global network of sports channels that has recently launched two additional channels in the United States. beIN Sports televises many of the worlds greatest events, predominately football (or soccer). In analyzing beIN Sports USA’s social media efforts, I have drawn the conclusion that they keep their content entertaining on social media, just as they do on television.

One thing that stands out to me is the way they get their audience involved in matches. They love to hear their followers opinions on who they think is going to win, what matches are they looking forward to, what team are you rooting for, etc? All of these types of questions bring in a variety of engagement between followers and the brand. It also assists beIN because they are able to promote the events they are showing, while letting people interact. beIN also utilizes the # (hashtag) features of social media brilliantly.

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beIN Sports USA are highly active on social media and never skip a beat. They are involved in social media on any event that is in relation to their product. This is a great lesson for people to learn that work with building a brand on social media. Getting involved, listening, communicating and beINuseswordswellengaging with the audience enhance beIN’s overall reputation. When a brand puts their content into what is trending on social media, it gives them a better chance to promote their brand, as well as communicate with current and potential audiences.

They have the voice that can appeal to any soccer fans. Every post has enthusiasm, just as if you can hear it in your head. The way they present their content brings the post to life, something that is hard to do with only text, not speech. Here is an example of this:

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beIN achieves successful journalism, communication and engagement with their audience. Their content is consistent and continuously entertaining and informative. It also brings out the “die-hard fans” that can have conversations with others who are similar, just based off of a social media post done by beIN. Soccer fans (especially those in America) can unite in the fact we are now given a more in-depth, real and personable style of social media communications from a network who prides themselves on the great game of soccer.

I Trust You Colin Cowherd, You Herd Me?

Trust on social media is a hard to come across. From my experience, I rarely “initially” trust an individual on social media unless I have prior knowledge of who they are. These people are usually those who I see in alternate media outlets outside of social media. This doesn’t mean I don’t follow random people on social media if I see them making good points, but I don’t “entirely” trust them initially. To me, trust takes time and observation. If they keep their content consistent and relevant, I’m more likely to continue following them.

One individual that has stood out to me on social media is Colin Cowherd, an ESPN personality who, to CC_Headerme, is a realist. I’ve been a supporter of Colin for years now, and have thoroughly enjoyed his television shows, writings and radio programs. The main reason I admire him is because he doesn’t hold back on his views. He keeps his content entertaining, thoughtful and informative, and does it in a way that is quite appealing to the avid sports fan.

He displays a controversial, but “real” style of behavior. He says things that those in a similar position as him, shy away from. He isn’t scared to tackle any topic that comes his way. Of course there are times when I don’t agree with every viewpoint or argument that he brings up, but that doesn’t prevent me from thinking about it from his perspective. I feel he keeps the overall “interest” factor at a high. I can’t think of any better way to describe him, then he does with the title of his recent book publication, “You Herd Me! I’ll Say It If Nobody Else Will.”

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Consistency is huge with Colin. He has certainly established “his own voice” on social media. I admire the fact that he responds to negative comments about him on by usually re-posting or re-tweeting them. This proves to me that he knows what and who he is, and regardless of the negativity shown to him, he won’t change the way he does things. That is a highly admirable and trustworthy quality that I have found with Colin.

The way that Colin benefits from earning my trust is that he knows fans, like me, are supporting him. He welcomes interactions and comments from viewers and will take whatever they are head on. He welcomes debate, sees it from the other people’s side, and then offers his take on it.

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In the many years I’ve avidly followed sports, Colin is one of the few expert individuals who I trust. If you are a sports fan like myself, or just enjoy entertaining and slightly controversial content, check him out:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog

 

Being “Trustworthy” on Social Media

In order to gain the trust of people on social media, you have to be dedicated. In the ever-increasing tough marketplace that social media has become, building credibility, validity and a reputation is not easy. Successful people and brands on social media have developed the ability to stand out in the crowd with their own voice. Many of times, these voices come with a sense of honesty, which is why they are a popular follow on various social media platforms.

Looking further into how to achieve trust on social media, Steve Rayson offers a “Trust” Formula that looks as follows:

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Rayson’s formula works, but I feel it’s missing something—Responsiveness! As being helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and selfless are beneficial, there has to be a sense of timeliness. On social media, people want answers—and they want them quick. For instance, when someone on Twitter “tweets” at a brand, they are looking for immediate assistance, they aren’t willing to wait a day or two. If brands can focus on engaging the conversation and resolve any problem close to the moment it happened, they are more likely to receive positive results from the initial post.

This ensures the user has been included as a part of the ongoing efforts brands have to assist their consumers. This was also prominent in an engagement between Northern Rail and a customer. Where it was evident that people respond well to conversation and interaction, they want to know their comments are being taken into consideration. It adds to the credibility of the brand, because it is now trusted. With credibility and trust, brand’s “positive” reputation increases.

Responsiveness ties directly into “Reliability.” Meaning, you are there when you are needed. Justin Kings offers his method of the formula by adding “Reliability’ to the initial formula by Rayson, and I completely agree with it. When adding to Rayson’s formula, we can conclude:

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Listening, Engaging and Creating Relationships are also highly beneficial on social media. You first have to understand what the audience is saying. This comes with monitoring and tracking what your audience is saying and how it’s being said. Then you engage into those comments by creating a conversation. This conversation tells the audience that you are active and behind your brand. That you are able to solve problems, tend to issues and make adjustments. Finally, you come to the stage where you have created a relationship with your audience who trusts in your brand. They know what they are getting and by staying “consistent” you can keep the audience on board!