I will begin this post discussing the 5 Ws in the Mashable article Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?
While I agree that company policies should extend to employee’s social media both inside and outside of the office, I think that this monitoring really needs to be limited to company policies. I think that it would be difficult to monitor an employee’s social media and ignore things that may not be in the company’s policy. For example, if an employee has countless pictures from crazy drunken nights and wall posts from friends discussing inappropriate subject matter, a company may take issue with this. These pictures and wall posts have nothing to do with harassment, are not unethical according to the company policies, and are not disloyal to the company. However, I can imagine that the company would begin to view these individuals as unprofessional and would fear that if client’s saw this person’s profile, it would make the company look unprofessional. A person’s social life should remain separate from the workplace, so I think that this is a very gray area that could cause problems. If it is a personal social media site that is for work purposes, like what Zappos uses, then I think that the company is entitled to do something about the content on the page because it is tied directly to the company. Lastly, now is definitely the time to implement a social media policy and get social media into your office. Actually – a year or two ago would have been better. Social media is such a great way to reach audiences and target markets. My friend recently started up a student run, online magazine and I asked her if I could get involved by managing their social media. I haven’t started yet but I have so many big plans for them (many of which I learned through this course – thanks Diane!). I think that if they get their social media running more fluidly and more regularly, it will increase their audience because right now the magazine is only released bi-anually.
Now I will discuss the Mashable article HOW TO: Build a Social Media Education Program for Your Company. I think that it is very important for company’s to build a social media education program. Employees use social media without even realizing it. In a previous employment position, I was updating news onto the company portal everyday (it was sort of like a Wiki I am only just NOW realizing) and I had no idea that that was a social media platform. I was taught how to do it, but I was never taught what it was that I was doing. I think that this is because the company had been using this portal for a while. It was no longer a new aspect of the company that needed to be taught to employees. I, being a new employee, was then not trained the same way others were when it was first implemented. Now, I am working part-time in an office that is changing from e-mail news distribution to Microsoft Sharepoint. Because this is new to everyone, I am receiving the proper training. An education program would have been very beneficial at my previous position to ensure proper training.
Now with regards to the City Councillor who crossed the line. People need to be careful when corresponding via social media. It is a lot easier to say something harsh through a computer screen than it is in person. I find that with a keyboard at your fingertips, sometimes your hands move faster than your head. In this heated debate, I am not surprised that Coun. Sandy White said something regrettable. I think that this is why it is important to implement a decision-making team as discussed in the Mashable HOW TO article. This way, there is not one person in charge of correspondence and posts can be discussed before they are sent out rather than published by one person who may not be in a position to think clearly. This is also mentioned in the 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy. Number 2 states the people need to be responsible for what they write and Number 5 says to exercise good judgment. Writing something online does not have a lack of consequences and Coun. Sandy White did not exercise good judgment.
Now I will discuss measuring reach. Google Alerts are a really good idea for measuring reach. At my part-time job, we have Google Alerts set up for any mention of the company. There are new articles brought to our attention everyday, even when people Tweet about it! My job is to pick out the important news that mentions the company and distribute the news among staff. These Google Alerts are so helpful.
I also have always wondered how companies monitored the traffic to and from their site and how often people were discussing them on social media. I think that TweetBeep is the coolest.
There are so many awesome tools out there for social media. I think that a company is really doing itself an injustice by not joining in on the social media fun. It is a great way to reach so many different audiences and inform the public about your company! It is also a great way to gather information about your target market.