Employers Thoughts on Social Media: A Love-Hate Relationship?

12 06 2012

It is no secret that the love for social media is growing. Market studies show that many subjects in Generation Y prefer access to smartphones and social networks compared to a higher salary. As a part of this demographic, I am one in the minority that would have to disagree and take the cash, but to each his (or her) own.

When I initially brought my agency into the realm of social media, I expected our dedicated employee base to be our first source of support. However, I noticed some initial distrust due to privacy concerns which caused me to question the possible uses of social media in human resources. This prompted me to do some research and eventually draft social media usage guidelines for employees, which will be added into the Employee Handbook.

Check out this useful info-graphic that I came across on Mashable.com. It explores the general feeling amongst businesses concerning social media use and actions being taken to gain some control in the workplace.

What are your feelings towards social media for personal and/or corporate use? Do you love it? Hate it? Is it a necessary evil?

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Source (http://on.mash.to/KeqAQd)

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Tell your story through pictures

21 11 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words. Photographs are engaging, thought-provoking, and descriptive. At times, companion photographs are the determining factor for whether or not I will read the newspaper. To get to the point, pictures are an integral part of social media marketing. Social networks geared toward photo-sharing (like Flickr) are increasingly being utilized by non-profits. Pictures have the power to engage an audience and to describe what words cannot.

Flickr allows users to organize their photos into galleries, create captions, and view other photographs. A great example of an organization that has used Flickr is the American Red Cross. After Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross created a Flickr account for volunteers and community members to showcase photographs of their experiences.  The Flickr account assisted the Red Cross in raising awareness and recruiting help, while directing traffic to their website and other social networks.

There are two reasons why I think this approach was so effective for the Red Cross. First, the community effort of gathering content helped to strengthen bonds between all contributors passionate about the cause. Secondly, such pictures are more emotionally-charged than words. An outsider with no knowledge of the Red Cross may be more motivated to act after seeing a devastating picture. Empathy is a strong emotion that can be strategically evoked.

In summary, what can you learn from the example provided by the Red Cross? I learned that Flickr is a great tool to add to the social media strategy because it can increase visibility and encourage traffic between social media channels. Time invested on social media should not be predominantly focused on Flickr (in my opinion) but it is a neat alternative that may as well be added to the mix. Do it right, and your picture may just be worth 1,000 likes (or re-tweets).

Check out the American Red Cross’s Photostream on Flickr for ideas and inspiration.





Google+: the new Facebook?

10 11 2011

Yesterday, I was caught off guard when a co-worker asked me about Google+. I am usually on top of new and emerging trends in social media, but this network seemed to have passed me by. I told her what I did know – that Google+ was similar to Facebook©, and that it was publicly bashed by Mark Zuckerberg during an interview with Charlie Rose. My explanation was far from informative and as the founder of Facebook©, Zuckerberg’s opinion is most likely biased. So I did some research about this brand new social network to form a personal opinion instead of simply adopting the views of my man Mark. Maybe one day I will get over this love affair…

Anyways, Google+ is a young social networking platform that has only been in existence since this past June. From my research, I came across some great features that may prove to have a competitive advantage over Facebook©.

  1. Circles: Google+ allows you to segment your connections into different groups; for example, friends, family, co-workers, and so on. This means that when you post, you have complete control over which circles see your update on their streams. This is good news for those with nosy co-workers!
  2. Hangouts: This feature is my favorite! One user enters a “hangout” and an alert is sent to inform their social circles that they are “hanging out”. In these hangout sessions, up to ten people can video chat in real time free of charge – unlike Skype, which charges a fee for multiple users
  3. Media: Google+ features a specific section for viewing, editing, and managing media. There is also an image editor that allows you to add photo effects right on the platform. For an Instagram© enthusiast like myself, this was music to my ears!

To tie this all together, I am unsure who will be victorious. Google+ has some great new features but Facebook© is known for how quickly it changes to stay up to date with current trends in technology. I am also pretty sure that the folks at Facebook© are putting their heads together to duplicate and improve the innovative features offered by Google+ as I write this post. I can barely wait to see how this one will pan out!

I made an account to learn more, and I urge you to do the same here

Feel free to share your two cents about Facebook vs. Google+ !








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