Rules for using social media? Why would we need those?

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In order to be successful on social media, it is important know how to use it properly. Many companies are turning to social media in order to advertise to their target audience. It is critical that employee’s understand the guidelines that a company has created for their social media. Companies need to create a set of guidelines that employee’s understand and always have access to. Many companies have run into problems with social media due to employee’s not using it properly. “Research survey shows that only 24% of companies have policies for how employees should use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.” (Griffiths, G. 2012). This is an extremely shocking fact, I wonder what the companies that do not have policies do for their social media. I believe that companies should have the guidelines be stated right away to employee’s but let it be known that they may be changed at any time. It is important to notify the employee’s whenever changes have occurred.

In chapter 5 of Share This by Gemma Griffiths, she gives a list of guidelines that are important to be successful in the social media world. There are a few that I find to be super important in order to have a company represent its brand properly.

1. Set the expectations of the employees:  informing the employee’s of the importance of social media and why it is important for employee’s to represent the brand correctly.

2.Remind employees to remain professional: employees need to represent the brand in a positive light, anything they may say or do on social media is reflecting the company.

3. Clearly communicate the existence of and updates to guidelines: employees need to be aware of any changes made to the guidelines in order to maintain their brand voice. There is a risk of employees breaking rules if they are unaware of the changes, which can result in the company suffering in the end.

4. Outline repercussions of violation: employees need to understand that they also need to work outside of just using social media. Unless that is why they are hired, employees need to know how much time is meant to be spent on the social media. It is also important to tell the employees what is appropriate or not, when inappropriate behavior occurs there needs to be consequences and employees should be aware of it before the situation occurs.

5. Regularly revise and update guidelines: situations are going to occur in the workplace, the guidelines need to be changed and updated regularly according to what happens in the business. Employees may have opinions on the guidelines and some changes may need to be made in order to reach the target audience. It is important to always inform the employees of any changes!

One company that is mentioned in the book that has very clear social media guidelines is Coca Cola. They have a list of company expectations and personal expectations for the employees. I especially like how the guidelines aren’t so harsh, they are more as just guidance for the staff. They even bold certain words in order to show the importance of them. My favorite guideline for this company is “when in doubt, do not post” (Coca Cola, Company spokespeople: Our expectations #4). I think that this is a perfect point to everyone on social media, that if you have any doubt in your mind that it is not professional and appropriate than you should not post it.

What companies do you know that have clear, professional guidelines? Do you like Coca Cola’s guidelines or is there anything you would change? If you had a company, what guidelines would you think are important for employee’s to know?

Sources:

http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/online-social-media-principles

Griffiths, G. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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College fast food place leaves its mark on social media

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Brand awareness is a key component for a successful company. In order to make money, people need to be aware of your business. It is important to attract your target audience and keep them engaged. Commercials and advertisements are great ways to make consumers remember your products. By interacting with consumers on social media, it is a great way to keep a positive relationship. “A recent study revealed 20 percent of tweets published are actually invitations for product information, answers or responses from peers or directly by brand representatives” (Solis, B. 2009). If consumers have a problem, they want answers, by companies having an active social media site it helps keep brand loyalty. It is important to maintain this brand loyalty by keeping brand awareness alive. Companies need to be involved in consumers life and the easiest way to do this is by being active on social media. “For your organisation, then, becoming more human might be about reducing the distance between you and your audience – perhaps showing yourself to be open, reliable, responsive, friendly, or engaging.” (Sanders, S. 2012). In order to really connect with your audience, it is important to be reliable and engaging. If a companies social media is not constantly updated, it can result in loss of sales. “Your marketing messages must capture your audience’s attention and compel them to action, whether they’re shopping in the store, browsing on your website or recommending your product to a friend” (Black, L.M. 2013). There are so many advertisements being displayed to consumers everyday, it is important to capture consumers attention and make them remember the brand. 

One company that is very successful at keeping up with their social media is Chicken Joe’s in Albany, NY. This is a fast food place located right near The College of Saint Rose. It is well known to college students for their delicious food and how it is open late at night.  I am a college student and I am always checking my social media, like most students my age. Chicken Joe’s is posting on their Twitter every single day either responding to students or re-tweeting them. They also handle any complaints that may arise and try to find the best solution for the consumers. The thing that they are most known for is giving away free food for the first person to tweet at them! It is a great tactic to grab consumers attention and make them want their products whether if they win or not. Chicken Joe’s sometimes uploads pictures of the food they are giving away on Instagram and also tweet the same picture, which causes people to see the delicious food and want it even more. They use their social media in such a positive way that it engages people to constantly check their pages and see if they are giving anything away. Chicken Joe’s has made their brand stick out to college students and has created many loyal customers across the capital region. 

 

Do you know of any good companies that successfully maintain brand awareness and brand loyalty? If you owned a company how would you keep consumers aware of your products? 

 

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2013/08/05/branding-mistakes/

On Twitter and Social Networks, Brands Benefit from Conversations

Howell, K. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Who is responsible for the rise in social media, the younger or older generation?

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There are many social media networks that are being used daily such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The users that are connected to these networks have a very diverse age range from 11 to up to 65+ years. What is interesting about these users is that they all interact differently on their social networks. Those who are dominating the online world range from ages 35-44 by being 25% of the whole participation on social media (Solis, 2010, par. 5). This statistic is surprising to me, I would think the younger generation is more involved in social media due to still being involved in school and having more free time than those involved in the workforce. Teenagers are known for always being on their phone and connected to the online world.

There is a huge age range of users who are part of YouTube and Facebook, they include the younger and older generation.  Although, there is not much of a range for the users on Twitter, most of the younger generation is found to be connected using this site. (Howell, 2012, p.4). I feel that the younger generation tends to be more professional on Facebook rather than on Twitter because of this. Being that there is many young people involved in social media it is important to make sure that there is guidance in what is displayed on their social media pages. All information that is displayed online is free for any of the public to see, whether a user wants it to be or not. Parents are responsible for helping their children know what is appropriate on social media.

The younger generation is very involved in technology, mostly social media. Most teenagers own a cellphone which can easily connect them to their online websites. It is easy for anyone to look up whatever information they are trying to find out simply by looking it up online. “..56% of kids 8-12 own a cell phone with web access, chances are they’re texting, Snapchatting, Instagramming and posting to Facebook” (Friedman, 2013, par. 7). Nancy Friendman discusses how important it is for parents to teach their children that everything that they post on the internet is going to be seen by the public sooner or later. Parents need to look out for children, whether it be their own or others. “But if you see something..say something” this is relevant to something in real life and something online (Friedman, 2013, par. 12). In this point of view, the older generation is in control of social media by teaching and guiding the younger generation on what should be posted online.

There is a huge group of people who are involved in social media on a daily basis. These articles caught my attention and changed my idea on who is actually responsible for the major changes on social media. Before reading these articles, I believed that the younger generation had a huge impact on social media, which may be true, but the older generation is most commonly being found on social media. I think that the reason why ages 35-44 years old are dominating the online world is because they are trying to keep up with friends and family that they may not be able to communicate with as much due to being involved in work and everyday life. It is also very common for the older generation to use social media to check up on their children and make sure that what they are posting is appropriate. Lastly, the older generation may use social media to keep up with relatives and friends who live all over the country.  I believe that the older generation is controlling most of social media by getting involved and guiding the younger generation.

Who do you think is responsible for social medias major impact on the publics everyday life?

http://mashable.com/2013/04/19/digital-tattletale/

http://www.briansolis.com/2010/03/the-age-of-social-networks/

Howell, K. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.