Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pinterest Ideas

Graphic from Visual.ly comes to us via Chevy Dealers Edmond and explores
“Which Social Sites Get The Most Attention?”.
Are you a Pinterest addict? I have to keep my addiction in check by setting a timer for myself or I would spend days pinning recipes, home decor, party ideas, and products I love.  According to an article by Techi, the average  Pinterest user spends 405 minutes per month on the site, so it seems I'm not alone.

It's true, Pinterest is taking our social media universe by storm. People, especially its dominating female membership, can't get enough. And what do I always say about organizations and social media? GO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE.

So, how can our organizations turn Pinterest into a benefit? By subscribing, to start with. Unfortunately, Pinterest does not have different accounts for businesses and individuals at this time, but don't let that deter us from creating an account.

Once we have our account, we need to create boards. What kind of boards should we create? Here are some ideas:

  • Who We Are - Pictures of our building, staff, landscaping, favorite recipes, employee of the month, etc.
  • Events - A board for each relevant event we attend, present, exhibit, host, etc.
  • Products - All of our products!
  • Services - Pictures revealing our services.
  • Sponsors - Logos of sponsors
  • Stories - Nothing makes us more personable than stories. Tell our organizations's story through pictures.
  • Testimonials - Let the words of the people whose lives we have touched build our awareness.
Be creative and think outside the box. What types of things do you pin? Those are probably the types of things our followers will pin. 

REMEMBER: Always have pins link back to a web page, whether it's the About Us section of our web site, sponsors web sites, service pages, etc. The link needs to be relevant and continue the pique of interest.

Now, get pinning!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BYOD: Do You Know Enough?

BYOD is a new acronym in our evolving world of technology. Bring Your Own Device covers employees using personal smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. for work purposes.

While this can be convenient for employees to use devices they are familiar with and employers often appreciate a cost savings, there are serious concerns.

34% of CIOs think employees are accessing their network with personal devices.

69% of employees confirm they are indeed accessing their 

corporate network with personal devices.

What happens when?
• An employee leaves the company, but still has company data on their device(s)?
• A hacker preys on unsecure devices and gains access to sensitive information.
• An employee's device contains company trade secrets and now the information has left the company?
• Your company is involved in a lawsuit and as part of e-discover, normally purged data is found stored on an employee's device?

These are new issues that need to be addressed with human resources and IT so proper policies and procedures can be put in place to protect you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Social Media Background Checks

No official law prohibits employers from searching social networking sites while conducting background checks of current employees or job applicants. However, legal experts warn employers to be aware of potential federal and state discrimination claims and invasion of privacy claims.

There are some concerns about the legality of checking social media profiles. Like many things, it isn’t so much checking the profile that’s the problem, it is what you do with some of the information you uncover in the process. For example, some profiles will give away a protected status that wasn’t apparent before (for example, a religious affiliation or national origin). This can open up liability if you reject the candidate. Social media provides a gold mine of information to use in employment lawsuits.

In May 2011, the Federal Trade Commission gave permission to run background checks of individuals' internet and social media history. This decision opened the door for social media professionals like myself to provide this service. According to the FTC, social media background checks are in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reminds employers and HR that the same questions you cannot ask in interviews are applicable in social media background checks.
The best way to protect yourself is to obtain consent from all candidates you will review.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Did We Win?

Yes, social media is free. But what is not free is the time and resources to do social media. With a significant time investment, it is only fair we want to know if our efforts are worth it. Did we win?

Well, that depends on how we measure our success. Success for each one of us can be very different. For me, personally, success is engaging and interacting with my workshop attendees and clients to continually educate and foster relationships. By my own standards then, my social media efforts are definitely worth it. I watch my 'engaged' twitter followers number increase, get LinkedIn invitations from my 'peeps', read posts from followers both on my blog and Facebook Community Page, and see people at workshops who quote information from my blog posts. This proves to me that I am making the connection I want to make. I win! Granted, there is always room for improvement, but in this stage of my goals, I am successful. Others may measure success very differently. Increasing sales/attendance/traffic/users prove success. Whatever your definition of success, know what it is. Define it. 

How do you define success with your social media efforts? What tells you that you are winning?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Could A Recommendation Hurt?

Who doesn't love a good recommendation? When I get a new one on LinkedIn, I am giddy and read it over and over again, just flattered that someone would say such kind things about me. So, how could this possibly hurt? 

As an employer, a recommendation of a current employee could come back to haunt us. According to writer Patrick Smith, The National Law Journal warns about the dangers of using LinkedIn to provide recommendations to current employees. The concern is that a terminated employee may use favorable recommendations on LinkedIn as evidence that the employer's stated reason for termination (such as poor performance) is merely a pretext for discrimination, retaliation, or harassment. Any communications concerning employee performance, regardless of the media, are potential evidence in a lawsuit. 

So, make it your company policy (and include it in your social media policy) that executive management, managers, and supervisors are not authorized to provide recommendations to current employees.