7 Tips for Creating a Social Media Policy

Standard

Social media is expanding with millions of people worldwide interacting before, during and after work. While social media is an extraordinary communications’ tool, employers can’t help but wonder what employees are discussing on social media during work hours—and even when they’re off the clock.

It’s important that employees understand the impact they have on your brand, as well as their personal brand, when socializing online. The ramifications can be costly, resulting in job loss, forced resignations and legal action.

It’s up to brands to ensure they’ve implemented a social media policy, so that nothing is left up to interpretation and everything is clearly outlined. Here,  S. Lynn Cooper outlines what you should consider when creating your brand’s social media policy:

What constitutes social media?

While Twitter and LinkedIn may easily be categorized as social media, what about YouTube? What about a personal blog? Your social media policy must have a concrete definition, including the various platforms the guidelines apply to.

Who’s responsible?

The best way to find a social media advocate within the company is to seek out the person or team of people who are most passionate about communicating with customers online. Seek those people out and provide them with the training needed to represent your brand.

Content Ownership

Does your brand have a YouTube page, Twitter account, or Facebook fan page? Your brand needs to confirm that the ownership of these social media accounts belongs to the brand, not the staffer whose current job entails monitoring the company’s online presence.

Privacy rights

Due to the casual nature of social media, it’s easy to give away proprietary information without realizing it. Since each social media platform has its own imperfections, it’s best to instruct employees never to share any confidential or proprietary information via their corporate or personal profiles.

Establish ground rules

You must allow your employees the right to engage on social media, but, of course, you want to protect your brand at the same time.  Since this can be a very touchy subject, consider contacting your legal counsel when formulating your policy.

Provide training

If you expect your employees to utilize social networking tools properly, you must provide training. Keep in mind what they post online is also a reflection of your brand.

Create a checks-and-balance system

A social media policy will not do your brand any justice if you don’t actually monitor the networks where dialogue is taking place.  There are plenty of tools to monitor social media (read “4 Tools to Help You Become a Savvy Social Listener”).

S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.

Advertisements

How YOU can use LinkedIn for professional and business success

Standard

 

We started the week off at AARP Foundation, giving a talk regarding LinkedIn and its benefits. We thought it would be beneficial to share some of the insights provided to our readers.

LinkedIn is the largest social networking site for professional networking. LinkedIn has millions of professionals who are exchanging information daily. LinkedIn is different from other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are basically used for personal reasons. LinkedIn gives you the ability to build connections with professionals who are in similar fields or professions. You could reconnect with college classmates, former colleagues or new clients.

LinkedIn can be used for professional networking as well as for business networking. LinkedIn offers a separate page for companies and businesses.  Thousands of companies have registered with detailed information about their employees.

 Here are some ways a professional and company can use LinkedIn for achieving success.

LinkedIn for Professionals

LinkedIn gives the best possible option to professionals for exchanging the business information.  In LinkedIn you can find people from CEO’s of a Fortune 500 companies or even recruiters to find your next employer.

By using LinkedIn you can find experienced professionals and experts related to the field of your work. You can ask for suggestions or advice related to your career or work. If you are an expert, you can also contribute your knowledge, to others by joining groups or answering questions in the ‘Question & Answer’ area.

Moreover LinkedIn also offers separate section known as LinkedIn Answers. Suppose you have an issue with a project, you can post your question and can get the answers from industry experts.

Group Discussions– There are many groups related to your industry, you can join these groups and can participate or start discussion on any topic related to your fields. Comments and thoughts of various experts will help you in enhancing your knowledge.

 These are some of the many features and applications, professionals can utilize in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn for business

LinkedIn offers lots of applications and feature to businesses, some are:

Recruiting– Businesses can find potential candidates with minimal or no cost, by posting the jobs in LinkedIn so that users, who are seeking employment, can apply.

Company Profile- Companies can register a profile and provide information such as number of employees, company achievements, locations and etc.

Lead Generation –Working for leads can be time consuming, but LinkedIn gives you a great resource by working with your professional connections.

 With the information we’ve provided it’s obvious that by investing time and effort, LinkedIn can help professionals and businesses to grow careers and generate profit.

How are some ways in which you have used LinkedIn for professional or business gains?

8 Twitter Tips for Small Businesses

Standard

Did you know that there are over 2 billion sent out each month? Curious how you can get your small business tweets to stand out? Here are eight effective tips that can be implemented into your social media campaign today!

  1. Search through your competitors’ followers and follow them if you think they could offer valuable insight or become leads.
  2. Add Tweet variety with news, photos, videos etc.
  3. Share projects or community service with your followers.
  4. Don’t just promote yourself –share information about your industry and retweet others relevant content.
  5. Reply to your @Mentions, especially if your followers ask questions relevant to your product or service offerings.
  6. If you have a sale or promotion, tweet about it! It generates free buzz!
  7. Notify followers of exclusive corporate news, events or conferences to encourage interest and allegiance
  8. Follow Friday #FF – leverage it every week. You’ll be happy you did.

If you’re looking for more info on how to get the most out of your Twitter campaign, be sure to contact us, sociallyahead@gmail.com

Building Business Relationships through social media

Standard

Social media is all about building relationships. You are connected to various communities within social media . The focus should be on how to help the individuals and the communities as a whole.Getting people to trust you is one of the biggest challenges that you will ever have in your business. It isn’t uncommon for you to have many meetings before a level of trust is established. It takes a very long time to build trust in relationships but without it, you will not get anywhere.

Once you have initially connected in face-to-face networking meetings, you should use social media to build on those relationships that you have established.  To build relationships, you need to get to know people and allow them to get to know you. Keep in mind,that you need to accomplish this in a way that is not overbearing and also benefits their network and yours.

Here are a few ways you can build better relationship through social media:

  • Listen, Listen, Listen : If you don’t listen, you will never be able to place yourself in the other person’s shoes. The first step to being able to do that is to really listen to what they want and need.
  • Give  feedback: After you have listened to the needs of the other person, you can provide him or her with valuable feedback. Communicate that you understand how he or she feels. It may be helpful if you tell a story that demonstrates a similar experience that you had.
  • Pay attention to profiles: People put information in their profiles that they feel is important to them. Make the effort to really pay attention to what they have in their profiles and comment on it when you speak with the
  • Be interesting: Communicate what makes you and your business special and unique. Make people want to get to know you.
  • Meet-up: If one of your connections is giving a presentation at an event, try to attend the event. You could also arrange a meeting for coffee, lunch,etc to exchange ideas. He or she will appreciate you effort of you connecting in person.
  • Be honest: Understand that not everyone is going to like you. Never pretend to be someone you are not just to try and fit in. Be yourself. Your sincerity will pay off and eventually you will have a solid relationship with those whom you pursue.

Women’s Business Forum

Standard

On Tuesday, I had the sincere pleasure of serving as a panelist  for Representative Donna Edwards’ (D-MD)  Minority Women-Owned Business Forum at the Rayburn Building.

This event was attended by over 300 women and there was a special presentation by Essence Magazine.

Presenters included:
• Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Ranking Member, House Committee on Small Business
• Hilda L. Solis, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
• Dana M. Lewis, executive director, National Women’s Business Council
• Ana Recio Harvey, Asst. Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration
• S. Lynn Cooper, National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs
• L. Content McLaughlin, President of the Maryland Chapter, National Association of Women Business Owners

I was honored to be among such great business leaders and truly loved connecting with the attendees!