Social media is evolving to greater heights each day, but why? Because, It Works!
There are a number of skeptics, along with those who are resilient to change, but the vast majority are adapting to the medium. Why? It is free, reaches scores of people in minutes and almost everyone is tapped into the internet. An underlying restraint could be the user friendliness of the platform that skews in the skeptics. Not everyone is adept to adjusting their technical learning curve but for the upcoming generations, new media deems to be part of their DNA!
Social media lends itself to the cutting edge communication that all generations can immerse themselves in. Whether for business or pleasure, it offers latitude. Through many sites you can manifest news, information, videos or pictures across the globe anytime of day and majority are FREE. But one of the main differentiators, it is more sociably accepting. People who have been introverts for years are now joining the extroverts in online communities and cultural barriers are breaking down.
Interaction in social media sites are woven into our daily lives and slowly being stitched into business operations. Coca-Cola recognizes the importance and created their own set of principles. Stating: “These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower our associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.” With that, reports show that online activity has amassed exponentially over the last couple of years and is poised to broaden its landscape to be the medium of choice worldwide. Why? It Works!
There’s been a number of elements, ideas, processes or technology that have come and gone, but “Social Media” is here to stay.
A lot of skepticism surrounded the new way of communicating, both personally and professionally online, from “crash and burn” predictions to “it is only a fad”. But years later, social media has certainly turned out to be the norm when it comes to establishing connections and engaging in online conversations.
The media outlets have no boundaries for the young or the old and it has knocked down geographical barriers. So for those who were skeptical from the get go and resilient to experience it, should get on the band wagon because social media is everywhere from educational centers and communities to the workplace and everyday interactions.
It has opened doors for philanthropy to draw awareness to causes, provided businesses to engage with employees on ideas and situations at hand and allowed greater involvement across the globe for participation in community promotions. Here’s a few examples of how social media has played a significant role in today’s communication:
Kohl’s Cares Campaign – In celebration of Kohl’s Cares® 10th anniversary, they are donating $500,000 to 20 schools each for a total of $10 million from the Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program. The organization embraced the social media channels to get the word out about the chance for 20 schools to win by submitting their vote online.
Best Tennis Town – This contest was opened up to the public to vote for their city to help develop the growth of tennis in their community. Details were broadcast through the USTA website and social media networks to establish participation across the globe and encourage everyone to cast their vote!
Microblogging – With the future workplace taking a turn to be more virtual, it only makes sense to incorporate microblogging into daily interactions. Harvard Business review outlines how businesses can replicate the micro blogging experience in their organization. Yammer or Socialtext could be the next developmental training offering that many organizations will be looking to adopt in the workplace! If it streamlines operations and increases productivity, why not?
The bottom line, with the immeasurable success of social media infiltrating all aspects of our lives, it is not going to go away any time soon. If anything, the platforms are going to develop with the growing infrastructure and our economy. It may even be the avenue to increase jobs across the nation!
Social media has created a world wide haven to engage, share and manifest news. Newspaper subscriptions are becoming a thing of the past and online advertising is increasingly dominating the marketing landscape.
If you are a small business owner, how do you determine the key channel to advertise your brand online? First and foremost is doing your due diligence by researching the sites you are targeting to place your ad. Is the site turning up in search engines, in particular is it one of the top three or four in the list? If it does not turn up at all, take a pass because if their site is not turning a result in a search neither will your ad!
Here’s a list of the most common advertising methods to purchase:
Next thing to look for is the number of ad options the site offers. Are they strictly text ads? How many ads are posted on each page? Is their site mobile compatible so ads can be viewed on cell phones? There are a number of ad types but here’s a short list of those most widely used:
Now that you have determined your method and picked out your ad type, you need to choose the right website to place your ad. As mentioned above, doing a search for the business and/or advertising agency through the major search engines is definitely a step in the process. The other part of your research to help uncover their online presence is checking them out in the social media arena. Are they actively established on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Do they have a blog and consistently post viable and rich content? Is there an option to sign-up for a regular monthly newsletter and is advertising in their marketing campaigns an option?
After the research is done and you are ready to post your ad with the business, pause for a moment and check their pagerank before doing so! Google pagerank is the measure of an internet page, expressed as a numerical value, from PR0 to PR10, with PR10 being the highest possible PageRank (PR). Visit www.prchecker.info, type in the URL to the page you are considering posting your add, click the “check PR” button, add the Anti-bot code, then click the “verify now” button to return the pagerank result.
This is a lot of information to consider and absorb for those new to the internet online advertising medium. But not to fret, there is an array of tools and resources out there to get you started including businesses specializing in this area to help people get the most out of their advertising budget. For PR and marketing, check out Madison+Main, an an award-winning marketing and new media firm that provides creative solutions for emerging companies. And for social media help, contact Daulton West Jr., Social Media Champion, with any questions you have relative to targeting the right online networking channels.
As we progress from a social media trend into the cutting-edge style of communicating in business, should employers be adopting a social media policy and/or incorporating standards into already established ethics policies?
There have been numerous reports of employee abuse of social media networking while at work and faux pas posts made about the companies they work for. Needless to say these result in either losing a job and/or embarrassing/damaging exposure that harm business reputation. Take Dominos for example when a video was posted on YouTube showing employees violating health codes in a Domino’s kitchen. The video amassed millions of views and resulted in countless negative posts from customers but Dominos was ill prepared to address the situation in a timely manner because of their lack of online social media presence wherein the relentless havoc was stirring.
On the other hand, businesses who have entered into the social media arena for the opportunity and benefit of building brand awareness need social media guidelines for the employees who represent their culture online to remain within boundaries and/or customer service limits.
For a social media policy to be effective and successful, businesses need to be transparent and should have social media policies in place, providing clear examples of what is/is not acceptable use of social media. For employees to be held accountable for their actions while in the workplace, mutual consent must be obtained for monitoring and taking action if unacceptable behavior is exhibited by an employee.
CareerBuilder has plunged into the social media frenzy and their brand is plugged in many of the top sites with resourceful information. One of their resources I highly recommend, although targeted for recruiting, there are tips anyone can apply to their social media use. Including their social media policy that they offer to use as a template for your own to build on:
Courtesy of CareerBuilder ~ Setting Up A Social Media Policy
Afraid of saying – or tweeting – the wrong thing? Creating a social media policy – and communicating that policy throughout the organization – will direct responsible employee engagement across social networking platforms. When creating your social media policy, remember two very important things:
Make sure your employees know that you have the right to monitor employee use of social media regardless of location (i.e. at work on a company computer or on personal time with a home computer).
Remind employees that company policies on anti-harassment, ethics and company loyalty extend to all forms of communication (including social media) – both inside and outside the workplace – and that bad mouthing the organization or colleagues online can lead to consequences at work.
Below is Careerbuilder’s Social Media Policy – feel free to use it as a template for your own.
For the full CareerBuilder Social Media eBook, click here!
Category: Social Media