Lives Clashing Online: The Importance of a Social Media Policy

Employees' Social Media Activities under the magnifying glassLiveJournal. Friendster. Myspace. Facebook. Early on, social media sites began as online outlets allowing people to express themselves and connect with their friends. It was intriguing, it was experimental, and above all, it was classified personal. Over the years it’s become evident just how public our social media activities are. Recently, a New York Times reporter was reminded of how personal and professional lives are clashing online, by being assigned a social media babysitter.”

The Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the nation’s most prominent newspaper repeatedly posted messages on her public Facebook profile that her employer found to be problematic. As a result, she will now work closely with an editor on her social media posts.

According her New York Times editor, Margaret Sullivan, “The idea is to capitalize on the promise of social media’s engagement with readers while not exposing The Times to a reporter’s unfiltered and unedited thoughts.”

Watching what we say is not a new topic, but certainly one that bears repeating, as more companies are tracking what their employees post online.

As the employee, it’s important to know your company’s social media policy. If they don’t have a policy – ask for one.  Also remember that anything you say online can be tied back to your company, whether you like it or not. Platform Magazine, which included commentary from DVL in its latest issue, advises that before posting on social media to ask yourself, “Would you want your boss to read this?

As the employer, make sure you have a social media policy in place. From creating these for various clients, DVL knows policies can vary from industry to industry and company to company, so it’s not advised to “borrow” one you find online. There are many factors to consider, such as how an individual engages in social media for a company, how individuals engage in social media on company and personal time, as well as how the National Labor Relations Act and employees’ rights affects a social media policy.

Social networking has evolved from its beginnings and continues to grow, but one thing often holds true online and off – think about what you’re going to say before you say it.

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Twitter Wins During Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate took place last night at the University of Denver between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.  It’s no secret that Twitter users “tweet in” for current events, and last night’s showing proved no different with more than 10 million tweets during the 90-minute debate, making it the most tweeted about event in American political history.

On its blog last night, Twitter released a minute-by-minute chart displaying high and low messaging points during key moments of the debate.

Twitter Blog: Presidential Debate Breaks Records, October 2012

Via Blog.Twitter.com

The night’s most tweeted about subjects included the performance of debate moderator John Lehrer and Big Bird. The Twitter Government account, @gov, tweeted that the phrase “Big Bird” had generated about 17,000 tweets per minute.

With every current event, there is always a PR lesson to be learned.  The iconic home appliance brand KitchenAid discovered this quickly last night after an irresponsible tweet was sent from the company’s official account. The brand issued an apology soon after via Twitter and later to media.

With Twitter’s crisis communication moments and the constant stream of conversation, outlets like Politico seem to think that Twitter jumped the shark last night with the inability to follow comments due to the overwhelming volume of tweets sent. Of course some would disagree, as Twitter continues to prove that watching live and current events with the Twitter community has become a part of the culture for many.

Top Twitter Takeaways from UT’s Social Media Week

Leading up to Social Slam 2012, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, School of Advertising and Public Relations hosted Social Media Week. This two-day event featured presentations, panels and interactive sessions with social media experts from companies like Scripps Network Interactive, Cox Enterprises, McCormick & Company, Inc., and Dell(home of the splendid Social Media Command Center).

The digital world is growing and re-shaping public relations, marketing and advertising – not to mention communications in general. A new report cites 39 percent of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do offline.

An event that would typically cost hundreds for professionals to attend, UTK provided this learning experience geared toward students to teach best business social media practices.

Thanks to the beauty of Twitter and the hashtag (#), those not in attendance could still absorb great information. Search #UTSMW  on Twitter to view tweets related to the event. Many of the sessions are available online to view at Ustream, but if you don’t have 8+ hours to watch every session, don’t worry…DVL has compiled our top 15 Twitter takeaways below:

Twitter: Go where the people are and build your message there. #utsmw -@UTSMW

You can’t always expect your entire audience to be seeking you out.

Twitter: Listen. Engage. Act. You have to do all three, and you have to do them in order. #UTSMW

Find out who’s talking and what they’re saying. Interact with content that they’ll care about. Use feedback to better serve them.

Twitter: Not every social media platform is appropriate for every audience. @kgranju #UTSMW

Believe it or not…not every business “has to be on Facebook.”

Twitter: Purposeful Edutainment: don't tweet just for the sake of doing so. "It's about conversation." -@adamcb #utsmw

Have a plan and strategy in place.

Twitter: "@elizhendrickson @adamcb says new SM metric is "PTA" (People Talking About it), not impressions. #utsmw" Don't collect fans, engage fans! -@camimonet

Don’t focus on the number of “Likes,” but the quality of engagement.

Twitter: Social media has expanded customer service even further. Sorry businesses, you cacn't escape. #utsmw -@utsmw

Showing them you care – in real-time – can go a long way.

Twitter: Final word: Social media lets companies get past "the velvet rope" and reach clients they might not have been able to otherwise. #utsmw -@utsmw

Discover a whole new world of engaging with customers and clients.

Twitter: EdgeRank is how Facebook has figured out who your close friends are (and why you no longer see "that girl from high school"'s posts). #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook’s algorithm decides which posts you get to see in your news feed – and where they show up.

Big underestimation... Twitter: Facebook contests can be surprisingly complicated to run. A "like" is not equal to a vote. #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook has strict rules about how you can conduct contests, giveaways and sweepstakes on its platform.

Twitter: Now in a psychology class where it is impolite to Tweet during speakers/presentations #feelingdefensive of #UTSMW -@CaitlinBradley

Remember, not everyone was born with a smart phone in hand…

Twitter: Great quote! "For this generation, a retweet from an athlete is like an autograph" @tomsatkowiak #utsmw

From the “Social Media Use of UT Athletics and Policies for Student Athletes” session

Twitter and College Sports: Top twitter football page is Michigan w 86,000 followers. They put a hash tag on their field to raise awareness. UT is 20th w/ 21,000 #UTSMW -@ErinWhiteside

Michigan’s “Big House” is the largest college football stadium.

Twitter and College Sports: On a side note, if you're aching to see that Pat Summit tribute again, here it is, courtesy of @Vol_Sports's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYqHMcn_Fbw #utsmw -@UTSMW

Had to share this touching tribute to Pat Summitt, “Chances,” from the UT Athletic Department:

And just for fun…

Twitter: This is hilarious! Thanks #UTSMW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUs7iG1mNjI -@Holly_Kane

Katie Couric to NBC “Today” show producer, circa 1994: “Can you explain what Internet is?”

New Coke, Old Coke, White Coke…Oh, No Coke

The Coca-Cola Company

The world witnessed the power of branding, thanks to the Coca-Cola Company, once again. Didn’t it learn its lesson with New Coke?

It was 26 years ago when the world’s largest beverage company changed its tried-and-true recipe, only to face epic consumer fallout. After only three weeks, the company scrapped New Coke and re-introduced Classic Coke.

Lesson Learned: Don’t mess with our Coke!

But how they soon forget.

This time, it wasn’t the recipe Coke changed; it was the color of the can—from red to white. Sounds innocent enough, right? Especially hearing it was part of a campaign to protect the Arctic habitats of polar bears.

But the change was met with consumer backlash, again. Not to the magnitude of New Coke, but enough to cause Coke execs to replace the white cans with the familiar red ones.  Coke lovers had several complaints:

1)      “The white can resembles Diet Coke.”—OK. I get that. Diet Coke die-hards felt duped when they bought one thing but got another.

2)      “It tastes different.”—This one’s interesting and underscores the power of branding and visuals. The recipe is the same, but sometimes our brains override our taste buds.

3)      “I want my can to be red.”—Enough said.

The execs at Coke listened because they realized they had a brand to protect.  Great brands create relationships and forge emotional connections.  And it all boils down to the simple fact that companies don’t own their brands, consumers do.

Coke is one of the most recognized brands in the world and it’s extremely lucky to have very loyal and very passionate consumers. Now listen to them. They’re screaming at you, loud and clear:  we love our Coke.. but only when it’s the real thing.

Lesson Learned 2.0

fwix – real time local news

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Fwix technology combines data processing along with several proprietary and base languages to search the best local blogs, news and social media sites and then sorts these stories through a simple user-friendly city by city navigation.

Fwix is currently active in more than 60 US cities and is planning to expand internationally in late 2009.

Click the links below to check out what’s going on in your city.

www.fwix.com