Where do you use your social media?

I use my social media on many devices.

When I ask this question during one of my presentations – “What are the top two reasons why people buy a smart phone?” I often get the response for social media. While that is a good answer it isn’t correct.

I sit at a desk a good part of my day. I use my desktop for quite a bit of my social media updates etc. I often use my smart phone, a tablet, or a laptop.

One of the things that I have noticed all too frequently is that I don’t see the same thing in my Facebook feed on my mobile as I do on my desktop, tablet or laptop.social media - Facebook is slow

Quite often my desktop version of Facebook is very slow to react, so slow in fact that I often kill the tab and sometimes don’t reopen it. (See the picture.) Sometimes, I think Facebook is trying to push people to use mobile so they Social Media - Facebook Failmake the desktop version slower and slower. (Now it could be the fact that I have 20 tabs open at any one time and three browsers, but…)

Some platforms like Instagram don’t even let you use it from a desktop. Twitter is an on the go platform. Pinterest is a tablet and a glass of wine or cup of coffee type of platform. LinkedIn is often used on a phone or tablet, but has so much more functionality on a desktop or full laptop.

Where do you use your social media the most? Does it suit your need for speed, or is it more like the tortoise? If you are in business, do you have the right tools to use to enhance your process, are you keeping up with your audience, or better yet, is your audience able to keep up with you? Do you posts get seen? Better yet, are you getting the reactions you want from your posts?

If you were answering no to any of these questions, it may be time for us to have a chat about how you use your social media.

(By the way, the answer to the first question is 79% buy it for phone calls and 78% buy it to read emails.)


Build a Social Media Policy

Do you need to build a social media policy for your business?

Recently, I prepared a presentation for an organization on creating a social media policy. What I found was that most of the relevant information was from 2009-2011. That is how long it has been since social media policies have been important to have for your business.

So let’s take a look at the key components and a few resources to help you create a social media policy for your company.

Why do you need a policy?social media policy

A social media policy outlines what is or isn’t allowed for your employees. You have other policies and procedures that provide corporate guidelines. The social media policy provides the guidelines for how your employees will communicate with the world. A policy will set boundaries and provide a baseline for now. It can be changed as issues emerge.

Because your social media will portray your company culture and your brand, you want to ensure that whatever is presented on social media platforms is going to represent your company and carry your message out to the customers AND competitors in your industry. You also want to ensure that social media will fulfill your company objectives about how you will secure leads and generate sales.

How to develop your social media policy

  1. Decide who will help you create it – will you create by committee? Will HR create it? Will IT or Operations create it? Ultimately, whatever you create should be approved by your corporate attorney to ensure that you are not violating any rules.
  2. Select the aspects that need to be represented in your policy – what channels, who can have access, and possibly perform a SWOT analysis of your company’s use of social media.
  3. Be specific about the Can’s, Can’ts and Should’s. If they are not allowed to talk about new products until a specific department releases the news, spell it out.
  4. Consider the following points:
    1. Who can use social media in company on behalf of the company
    2. When can they use social media – on company time or on personal time.
    3. Who approves what is posted on social media – specific departments, the IT department, HR department, the CIO, the marketing department
    4. How will the employee represent themselves – is the employee “on” 24/7, when they are representing the company does their “handle” include a portion of your company name, like @deetime2mrkt. It is always best to maintain a professional representation of yourself on any social or on-line communication outlet.The Internet Remembers
    5. What ethical standards will be followed by the employee – are they already in place for the company? If so, the social media policy should remain consistent with your ethics policy.
    6. Who/how will you manage brand consistency – will you provide training? will each department ensure compliance? Is someone monitoring on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
    7. Will you use disclaimers? If an employee is required, if someone posts a comment that is not congruent with the company stance, you may not be held liable for those comments.

Consider these items for inclusion in your policy, as long as you define what they mean:

  • Resist the urge to lash out in public. Take it off-line.
  • Respect proprietary information.
  • Know internal policies before posting.
  • Be timely, but pause and re-read before replying.
  • Use common sense.
  • Play nice

Can you fire someone for complaining about the job on social media?

The answer depends upon what they are doing. This USAToday article explains some of the rulings from the National Labor Relations Board. Here are a few of the highlights from the article.

  • It is illegal for an employee to be fired for a post about working conditions, whether it’s pay, hours, assignments, difficult supervisors, dress code, or any other issue. 
  • Posts that damage a company, disparage its products or services or reveal trade secrets or financial information are actionable. But if they include criticism of related working conditions, they might not be.
  • Posts cannot encourage others to be insubordinate i.e. work slow downs.
  • Griping or insults by one person with no connection to working conditions are NOT protected. You cannot “dis” your boss’ appearance or speech.

The Answer

  • Create a social media policy, including examples, spelling out what employees can and cannot post.
  • Review your policy with an HR specialist or attorney to ensure it is not violating any laws.
  • If you are not sure whether a post is actionable, check before you act!

Would you like to review some examples of policies before you write yours? Here is a link that has about 240 company policies that you can read. http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies/

Would you like a great starting point? This tool provides a social media policy creating wizard http://socialmedia.policytool.net/welcome/wizard

As always, if I can be of assistance to you in your social media needs, please contact me!

Here are other resources and links to social media policies that I used as research for this article:

It’s a Numbers Game

Do the Numbers Add Up?

Recently I was asked by a colleague to help her with a debate she was having with a coworker about posting frequency.  Here is the advice I offered:It's a numbers game
How engaged is your audience? The frequency that you post depends upon the engagement level that you see. It also depends upon the type of post you are making. If you are constantly pushing promotional items, the audience will disengage. For example, if you are a B2C business and you are sharing pictures of people you will probably build your engagement level. Videos these days are the rage on Facebook, especially if they are short and make someone laugh. Use it to your advantage.
My rule of thumb is 70-20-10.
  • 70% content in your industry from other sources
  • 20% content from your industry that you create
  • 10% promotional information
The exception to that rule is if there is an event coming up, that 10% may rise to about 25% especially closer to the deadline for registration or the event itself.
Here is the tricky part – the frequency. Because of the algorithms, the more often you post, especially on Facebook, the higher the likelihood of your audience seeing it. The algorithms have dropped to about 3% of the posts you put out actually make it to a followers news feed. That number, at one time, used to be 16% of your followers would see your posts. If you want higher engagement with fewer posts, you have to make sure that all of your posts hit! This won’t happen. Try to arrange some “ringers” who will like and share your posts. This could drive the engagement rate and up the % of your followers that will see the posts.
Here is what I suggest to the “average” business user:
  • LinkedIn – 3-5 times per business week
  • Google+ – 3-5 times per business week
  • Twitter – as often as you can, link from Facebook, Pinterest, and feeds from other sources
  • Facebook – 1-3 times throughout the day for your business week. If you are a restaurant, that might mean Tuesday -Sunday, for a CPA firm Monday- Friday
If you are following the 70/20/10 rule, you should build the engagement level as well as find out what kinds of posts are drawing the engagement.
If you use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can use the auto schedule features they offer to pick the best time for follower interaction.  But remember that as frequently as you post, you need to have someone checking to see if people are engaging with you. If they comment, you need to be able to respond, SOOOOO don’t post more frequently than you can manage to check back and follow-up if necessary.
It really is just a numbers game.
This 2014 article from FastCompany sums up more details that you can use as reference.

Changes to Hootsuite

Hootsuite updated the way you save drafts.hootsuite

If you use Hootsuite to schedule any of your posts or monitor your social platforms, be aware that they have made some changes to the drafts option. Once you have imported all of your previous drafts, using the saved drafts function is just a bit different. Watch the video below or follow these directions:

  1. In the left dashboard menu, select Publisher, then Drafts.
  2. Sort or filter your drafts by selecting a specific profile.
  3. If you don’t want to keep a draft, delete it with the X.
  4. Select the draft you want by clicking the pencil, you can edit it or add additional platforms like normal.
  5. Send it now, or schedule a date for the post. At this time, the Auto-Schedule feature doesn’t work with the drafts.
  6. To save the draft for future use, check the box at the bottom right to “Retain copy of draft message.”
  7. Either X the top right corner to close or “Clear” the compose box.

Watch this video.

What I like about this new option is you can sort by platform. Since I manage multiple business profiles, I can select the company for which I want to post and see all of the drafts that are available. This also allows an easier way to edit and save drafts. One thing I don’t like is the lack of the auto-schedule feature. That could change. Another thing I don’t like is I can’t see when I have other things scheduled when I am making the post. I will have to do some mental note taking or paper note taking to make sure I am not doubling up on a scheduled time.

If you want to read all of the details check this article.

How useful is Instagram?

Are you using Instagram for your business?instagram-green

For the longest time, I was not an Instagram lover for business. I felt that it was more for foodies and clothing lines. Another challenge I felt was that it was difficult to manage more than one account at a time on a device. Then I read this article that described several apps available to iOS and Android, as well as, one for desktop use that will help users manage more than one account on their smartphone.

What spurred my initial search for answers to using it more effectively was this article about brands being slow to adopt Instagram. The article shares that Instagram engagement rates dwarf those of Twitter. But, only 12% of brands include Instagram if they are using 3 social channels to market. The percentage goes up as more channels are are added to the marketing mix.

Here are my thoughts as to why business has not fully embraced Instagram:

  1. Community managers may not be given authority to post on Instagram as the brand.
  2. Some may not see the value in posting to Instagram for a business.
  3. There is a challenge to manage multiple accounts from one mobile device.  AND It is easier to manage an Instagram account from a phone.
  4. Because much of Instagram is based on images, many brands that deal with a B2B clientele have a difficult time reaching their target audience.

Because the platform is now a Facebook property, there is a spot when posting that you can set a location. With this opportunity, your clients, customers or visitors can opt to “check-in” by Facebook or Instagram!

We all need to know which platforms are best suited to our business. With the rise of Instagram, should you be investigating it’s potential benefits for your business? If you need some help making that decision, call.