Posts Tagged ‘networking’

The 10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling

April 12, 2014

If Social Selling is all about Connecting, Listening and Content Sharing, then getting started on Social Media can be a daunting task. Have you ever wondered which tools you could/should be using? And more importantly, how much time you need to spend on it. Here is my take (and experience) on it.

connect - listen - share

Connecting
Social Networking platforms are made for connecting. Here you will find the obvious candidates such as LinkedIn and Twitter. However, Xing and Viadeo might be good alternatives in the German and French speaking markets. Not everyone is on LinkedIn. In a B2B situation, Facebook seems the last option social sellers jump on. But since so many people have a profile here, it might make sense to link here too but you need a clear strategy on what and how to share. The inevitable discussion between personal and professional lives.

Finding and connecting new prospects and clients are here clearly the marching orders. Nothing new so far. Make discovering new contacts part of your daily routine.

Listening
Here it becomes a little more complicated and time consuming. There are at least 2 reasons for monitoring: understanding what your contacts are saying/doing/interested in and finding interesting content to share in the content sharing stage.

Listening to what your contacts are saying can be done through Hootsuite and LinkedIn Saved Searches, while finding content could be done through Google Alerts, LinkedIn Pulse, Feedly or any other RSS feeder program.

How much time you will be spending on this part of your social selling routine will vary a lot depending on the number of contacts, the activity level of those contacts, the variety of topics you are following and how much reading you will be doing yourself.

Content Sharing
Content is everywhere on the internet but prime locations are Slideshare, YouTube (or Vimeo), Blogs and Forums. Once you have that content you will want to share it. Tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

Additionally to sharing interesting content from others (less than 40% of all your content) you will need to create. You might create presentations, blog posts and general status updates/tweets. Let me be clear that this is a time intensive task and thus easily postponed. Once you created your own content you will want to share this with your contacts via Status Updates and Tweets.

Finally, through the monitoring and listening programs you will also find more opportunities to engage with and help your clients and prospects. Your entrance ticket to become a trusted advisor.

Again, it is hard to put a number on this when it comes to time spent. Do not consider this lost time but think how much time you saved by not having to drive to your client to have a conversation.

10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling
Social Selling is more about the approach rather than the use of a number of tools (see above). Over the course of time, this has evolved into a daily routine. My experience has demonstrated that the different steps and tools must be interwoven with everything you do during the day.

Today I can say that I spend about 10% of my time working on the connecting bit. 60% reviewing what my listening tools unearth in terms of client conversations and content. And I must admit that most of the time goes to reading and qualifying whether this information can be shared to provide more value to the clients (and me, of course). Finally, 30% is the actual sharing and personal content creation.

So how does your social selling routine stack up?

Why “Who viewed my profile” on LinkedIn is crap!

March 13, 2014

When you use linkedIn we all love the feature “Who has viewed our profile”.  Though this is a key feature on LinkedIn and in a social selling approach, it is also a great source of frustration.

But first something else I am wondering about connected to “Who has viewed your profile”.  Recently I saw a post that someone who completes their “Summary” get 10x more views on LinkedIn.  Watch out there is a catch which I will come to later.  For now, no one nor any article can explain me if this is true or why?  Of course, I believe you need to complete this section in your profile since it is your evelator pitch.  But what the effect is on being found, I do not really get.  Well secretly, I do.  Anyone (from LinkedIn) care to comment and back it up with proof?

And now for my catches.

LI - profile view

LinkedIn is all  about networking.  And still people decide they want to remain semi-anonymous or anonymous.  It is my experience these people are either my competitors or recruiters.  I can’t t get my head around the fact they are not open to being identified.  I wonder if they go to real life network meetings with a bag over their head or hand you a business card from someone else?  Strange!  I guess they have a good reason which I fail to understand, but that is my problem and yes, my frustration.  Let me tell you I will let you know if I viewed your profile and who knows maybe we can help eachother!  That is the true nature of networking and LinkedIn.

LI anonymous

But recently I ran across another interesting  issue.  The count of people who viewed my profile seems to be different depending on the language interface I use.  Below is a screenshot of my profile views using the english (342) and dutch (559) interface.  Very strange indeed.  It seems LinkedIn makes me more popular in NL than EN. And yes, they are the same people.   Out goes my trust in LinkedIn statistics!  Anyone care to enlighten me?

LI - EN-NL views

Let me be clear, I am a LinkedIn addict and believer but sometimes we need to step back to put it all into perspective.  Of course, I will continue to use the “who viewed my profile” to reach out to people and conduct business.  I love to hear your views and comments!

10 Reasons Jobseekers Don’t Click Through on Recruiter’s LinkedIn Profile

December 15, 2013

There is a lot of advice on how candidates should optimize their LinkedIn profile so they can be found by recruiters.  I recently came across this post 5 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Click Through Your LinkedIn Profile which inspired me for this post.

Over the summer months of 2013 I have done some research how recruiters in Belgium present themselves on LinkedIn (750 profiles of recruitment professionals reviewed) and here are my conclusions (and also the reasons why candidates do not click on recruiter’s profiles).

LI - no-profile-photoReason #1: 50% have NO profile picture.  Recruiters want to see what candidates look like, but so do candidates want to know what recruiters look like.

Reason #2: They have no contact information.  And yes, only the 1st degree contacts can see you email/phone number but still as a recruiter you want to have the “good”  candidates find you easily.  Only 1 in 8 has their email/phone number visible somewhere in their profile!  Only 50% mention their website!

BTW. Few job seekers are not using the Inmail functions.

Reason #3: Only 33% have a personalized Vanity URL.  This could suggest a newbie or someone who does not care about their image or profile.

Reason #4: Few contact (Less than 250).  I understand you are careful with who you let into your network but less than 500 contacts does not foster any confidence that the recruiter is “well connected”.  It is also unlikely they will connect with you, even if they do not share who they are connected to..

Reason #5: About 50% have completed their summary information (your elevator pitch).  When it comes to their work history it seems they are not willing to provide much detail about it other than their title.  Less than 10% have discovered the multi-media possibilities of LinkedIn.  It seems the motto is “less is better”.  Again not fostering confidence.

Reason #6: Recruiters do not seems to share much which groups they belong to.  Most are part of 8 to 12 groups mostly general or peer groups.  So again, it makes it difficult for candidates to get in touch with them.  (Tip: remember, you can send free emails to all group members). Additionally, recruiters do not seem to follow any companies.  Most follow their own only.

Reason #7: Few recruiters are active on other networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.  So Twitter handles can barely be found on their LinkedIn profile.

Reason #8: You have “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” set to anonymous or semi-anonymous.  The candidate is not able to click back.

Reason #9: Recruiters barely use Status Update to inform their network they are looking for candidates or even better sharing valuable information about the recruitment business or processes.

Reason #10: Most recruiters have few endorsements (sign of unhappy candidates?).  And recommendations are even more hard to find.

When it comes down to company profile, recruitment companies do not stand out an example.  Here are some examples:

    • 76% have their logo on the company profile
    • 33% have a cover picture
    • 41% have Products and Services filled in
    • 22% have recommendations for these Products and Services
    • 33% use Company Status updates to inform their followers about new opportunities or to share information with their contacts.
    • 97% of all company updates NEVER get shared, liked or commented on
    • Less than 50% mention on their website they can be found on Social Media!

.I would like to end with 2 conclusions:

  1. Recruiters still social media (and LinkedIn in particular) as a one-way street where they control the drive direction.  However, social media is a two-way street with a lot of opportunities.  Most recruiters are aware they need to have a professional profile but they have a long way to go.
  2. Recruiters seem to forget they need to find new clients and opportunities to fill too, but their profile does not appeal to future clients.

What reasons do you have not to visit recruiter’s profile?  Love to hear from you!

If you are interested in getting a copy of the results of my survey (200 companies and 750 profiles reviewed), please mail me at mic@vanguard-leadership.be .

Are you automating your social media?

October 12, 2013

It is just over a month ago that Belgium had its first #kloutparty.  To attend you needed to prove (or not) your influence by having a high Kloutscore.

social-media-marketing-integration-automation-625x

Have you ever wondered how some of these young men and women have done it to increase their influence in a short period of time?  Do you really think they are on social media all day? Think again because there are some shortcuts…  Some are using social media automation tools.  Whether this is a good idea or not, you are the judge but here is a partial list of useful tools…

To start you can use the tools the platforms themselves offer.  For example, your LinkedIn status can automatically be posted through on your Twitter account; On Twitter you are able to send your post through to Facebook.  On Facebook you can schedule your posts in the future on your fan page allowing you to distribute messages throughout the day and when your fans are online and available.  Some people schedule messages on Sunday for the rest of the week.

There are, of course, also a set of tools that allow you to schedule posts on these platforms.  Listing all of them is not an option and would lead us to far but here are some examples: Facebook posts scan be easily scheduled using Postplanner, Tweets using Tweetlater and pins on Pinterest using ViralTag.  Individually these are good tools but they are limited to one platform.

Postplanner

Scheduling on multiple platforms can be made easy through applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and others.  They allow you to place one post on multiple platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Google+.  The biggest advantage is that you only have to enter the post once and it gets posted to all selected platforms.  The biggest drawback is that it is a same message everywhere and that is not always best practice.  The scheduling option is useful to optimize the spread of posts throughout the day or when your target audience is online.

Some people love to share information with their network.  They read a lot of stuff, discover new and interesting information and want to share it.  Even though most of the content platforms do have a “share” button, the readers do not want to overshare message in a short period of time.  In comes Bufferapp (aka Buffer). Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find.   Custom scheduling, multiple accounts and detailed analytics make this app your best friend when reading and sharing information.  With simple keystroke you fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automatically posts them for you through the day.   This is a great way to spread your activity level through the day.

IFTTT

And then, there are some extreme tools that really automate your social media: IFTTT, Zapier, Socialoomph and many more.  These tools work on the simple principle of “Action & Reaction” of better “Trigger & Reaction”.  IFTTT and Zapier use “recipes” to automate social media activity meaning if you place a message on one platform it triggers an action on a platform.  An example: if you have a new follower (IF/Trigger) you could create a DM or Reply Tweet to welcome your new follower (THEN THIS/reaction).  Using these tools you can automate a lot of your social media activity from just one post.  However, I want to caution you here that these tools also hold certain dangers that could have a negative effect. An example: If your trigger is a #hashtag do not blindly Retweet this message as it could say bad things about you!

Personally I am not a big fan of automation but in certain cases I do use it once in a while.  It turns out that these are the action that I would do anyway and hold very little danger.  Which of these tools you will be using will depend on what your are trying to automate keeping in mind the advantages but also possible disadvantages.  As always there is no social media automation tool that fits all needs.  My personal favorite is Buffer.

Which ones are you using and what are your experiences?

Is paying for LinkedIn ego-tripping?

September 25, 2013

The large majority of people are using LinkedIn for free.  However, you get constantly bombarded with upgrade requests from LinkedIn.  And yes, a number of people are paying but it is really needed or worth it?

Let me be clear, if you are in recruitment there is no doubt that paying for LinkedIn is an asset but otherwise I think paying is more a status symbol especially when your target audience (eg. Belgium with less than 1.8 million members) is less than 2 miilion people.  Are you collecting badges?

If you are paying for LinkedIn, keep in mind that you will have to put in the work to use the functionality you are paying for and that cost is often overlooked.

The Facts

LinkedIn offers a bunch of different payment schemes.  From Premium over Sales and job Seekers to Recruiters.  With formulas varying between 20€ to 300€/month for different types of functionality.

But what are you getting?  You will see more than the last 5 people who viewed your profile, You will see full names in the 3rd degree, You can review more profiles, you have more saved searches and introductions, and yes, the all-important Inmails.

The Reality

After asking around most people seem to pay for one of these functions: who viewed my profile and send Inmails.

Looking at these and other paying features, you will find that a lot is never used or there are simple work arounds.  Let’s take a look at some of these paying items.

Ask yourself how many people have viewed your profile in the last 3 days?  I’ll bet you that it is less than 5 unless you post great stuff via your status update or change your personal profile data every day.  So if you are using LinkedIn intensively (as you claim), you will look at this daily or every other day and you will catch who viewed your profile. So no need to pay.

You want to send emails to people in the 2nd degree and beyond, Inmail is your answer.  This is an Email via LinkedIn that the receiver needs to answer within 7 days (or you get your credit back).  A subscription will give you between 3 and 25 Inmails per month.  This sounds great but after asking around it seems few people are actually using this to its full potential. Are you really sending 3 to 25 emails per month via this system on LinkedIn?  Okay, it is probably the best feature paying on LinkedIn but most people are not aware that they can be purchased separately for about 10€/Inmail thus payment for use versus a subscription might be a better option.

By the way, did you know you can send ANYONE on LinkedIn a free message if you are a member of the same group on LinkedIn?

An then there are other options such as using introductions to get a mail to a 2nd degree contact or the plain old Google Search option to find someone’s email address.  So here too the conclusion must be that you can live without.

In real life we ask people to introduce us to other people, but we rarely use this feature in on LinkedIn.  Again, how many introductions do you ask on a monthly basis? And yes the answer is that you can do this on a free subscription (3 per month).

And then there is the search and view of people’s profile.  You can click and see the first 100 profiles on a free subscription.  Do you really want to review the 299th profile?  Maybe your search criteria need to be fine-tuned.

Have you ever heard of “saved searches”.  If not, do not feel bad because you are not alone.  “Saved searches” will run a specific search combination on a regular basis (weekly/monthly) and send you a list of profiles that meet that criteria.  It is similar to Google Alerts.  Both are great tools to generate leads.  Again, you have 3 of these searches with a free subscription.  So why pay if these 3 have not been used yet.

The only conclusion I can draw from the above is that paying for LinkedIn is more of a status symbol than of real use with a good ROI.  If you are looking for real ROI, you need to keep your network warm while slowly expanding it with a purpose.

“Keeping your network warm” Tips

I would like to end this post on a constructive way to keep your network warm.  Are you willing to spend 20 minutes/day to have a real ROI from your network?

  1. Make sure your profile is up to speed and includes your contact information visibly.  Set your “how others see my profile when I click” to full view.
  2. Do regular “Status Updates” sharing both own information and information from others you want to share with your network.
  3. Use the renewed Network/Contact tab option “Daily” (Stay in touch with your network)
    1. Congratulate your contacts with their new jobs
    2. Wish your contacts a Happy birthday
    3. Congratulate your contacts on being x number of years in their job
    4. Review the new posts and comments in the groups you belong to and contribute where possible
    5. Check out who reviewed your profile
      1. 1st degree contact -> send a message to start a conversation
      2. 2nd degree contact -> if interesting “connect” or even better “ask for an “introduction” through a mutual friend
      3. Check out the results of your “saved searched” and act upon it.
      4. Review Companies that you follow for interesting content (for sharing)

Your moment to comment

Do I hear people grumbling or saying “yes, I always thought so”, I’d love to hear from you.  Do you agree or disagree with me?  And what are you doing to keep your network warm?

One thing is sure, I am not going to pay for LinkedIn (but never say never)

Is LinkedIn running out steam for recruiters?

February 6, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks I have had many recruiters in my social media classes and every time they focus all their attention on LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.  When I come to Facebook, they seem to be shutting down. It seems they do not take Facebook seriously as a recruitment environment.  Maybe, they should think again.

One reason is that there are over 880 million people on Facebook vs the 147 million on LinkedIn.  Secondly, more and more companies are active through a fan pages on Facebook and using it for employer branding.  Fan pages allow much more flexibility and functionality to companies and recruiters than the LinkedIn Company pages.

And then there are several applications that have started to give LinkedIn a run for its money.  They listen to names such as Glassdoor, Beknown, Talent.me and BranchOut.  These apps bring LinkedIn functionality to Facebook making it the next best environment for recruitment.

Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies. Using the Inside Connection product lets you find companies and what connections inside you might have.  Additionally, you can find interview questions, salary ranges, company reviews, and job openings.  In true social media style the content is generated by the job seekers.

Beknown is a Facebook application by Monster.  There is a lot similarity between Beknown and LinkedIn: create a profile, you connect with people, get recommendations, find jobs, and follow companies. Beknown will let you see the 1st and 2nd line connections like LinkedIn. As you accept people in your network, you earn badges like in Foursquare.

Talent.me is a professional networking app on Facebook which answers the questions where your friends worked and who your inside connections are at companies.  The goal of Talent.me is to help you leverage your friend network and make it work for your career advancement.  You can also endorse your connections and build communities around specific talents.  This social media network seems to be very US focused.

And finally, there is BranchOut.  On BranchOut, users leverage their Facebook friends to find jobs, find sales leads, recruit talent, and setup relationships with your professional contacts. BranchOut also operates the largest job board on Facebook with over 3 millions jobs in 60 countries.  Recruiters from all over the world are joining BranchOut and taking advantage of lower priced recruitment packages to find and attract new talent.

Of course, LinkedIn is still the standard when it comes to recruitment, but I am convinced that Facebook will take over very soon.  Today, it seems that BranchOut is the forerunner but it is still early days.

Do you know any other tools?  Feel free to share through the comment field.

Are CIOS lost in the social media cloud?

April 25, 2011
Introduction

source: shutterstock

Cloud Computing is one of the hottest topics in IT.  As more non-IT business people are getting tech and internet savvy, they are bringing in cloud applications into the enterprise to solve their specific problems.  A lot of time this is even done without support from IT.  This is known as stealth cloud computing.   CIOs under the pressure of shrinking budgets are struggling to embrace the cloud computing concept and trying to figure out how to integrate this into their product offering to the business.  Some are succeeding, but most are struggling.   But the biggest cloud application to enter the enterprise today is social media and this is being ignored by a lot of IT managers. More and more social media applications are being used by different departments in the enterprise thus requiring IT managers to chain their point of view.

To understand social media the statement “practice makes perfect” stands out.  But how much practice are CIOs putting into to understanding social media.  Are they becoming a social media champion or hiding in the basement?

Research

In an independent market research exercise, over 100 CIOs of top companies in Belgium have been analyzed for their social media presence.  The research has focused on the business side of social media which includes LinkedIn, Twitter and Blog presence.

As could be expected nearly all CIOs have a profile on LinkedIn (97%). When it comes to Twitter 67% has no account.  21% has a clearly identifiable account.  The remaining 12% are accounts that could belong to a CIO but no picture or clear reference is made (only a likely similar name of the CIO was found).   Finally only 7% seem to have personal website of blog page.

Digging a little deeper in Twitter (all 33%), it reveals that 32% have never sent a tweet, The next 26% less than 5 tweets from which we can conclude that twitter is not really used.  There is one CIO in the list of 100+ analyzed that stands out with over 3000 tweets.  The same picture comes up to when looking at the number of people CIOs follow, 16% have no followers or follow someone and 70+% have less than 50 with the majority under 10.

Recommendation

Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring social media, as some large enterprises have opted to do, probably isn’t the solution. Whether it is internal use of social media or external branding and sales, CIOs have a critical role. CIOs should help HR, marketing, sales, product to leverage social media for company’s advantage. CIOs are expected to provide the technical strategy and tools to execute social media strategy and provide results on its effectiveness while avoiding security breaches or a social media meltdown.

Now that CIOs have conquered social networking using LinkedIn , the next step is to demonstrate they understand social media by starting a blog (add value by sharing) and a Twitter account (info sharing and traffic generation).

Not getting recruited via social networking? Do not worry, you are not alone.

January 8, 2011

The results from a recent survey (September-October 2010) from Executives Online Ltd (www.executivesonline.com) puts a bit of shade on the so much hyped social networking as a means to efficient recruitment. This is the second year the survey was conducted.

Over 1200 senior executives were surveyed and asked about their opinion and effectiveness of social networking in their personal and professional life.  In concurrence with many surveys in this area, including the study done by Mic Adam from Vanguard Leadership of July 2010, LinkedIn was deemed by most professionals as the most interesting social networking site with Facebook coming in as a good second and Twitter as a third.   All these platforms grew in importance over the last 12 months.

As can be expected, LinkedIn is viewed as the most useful platform for recruitment (90%) while the other platforms are struggling to get to 50%.  This is understandable since the audience surveyed is executive level.  Facebook is still viewed as purely private networking while Twitter is a big unknown to many.

With the hype around social media in general, more and more people are resorting to these platforms to find a new job but few have actually succeeded at securing such a position.  I think this really reflects the practice in the recruitment market. The numbers do show a 50% increase over last year’s results which holds a good promise for the future.  Let’s be honest, social networking still has to find its ‘balanced’ place in the mix of tools used by managers and recruiters both professionals and corporate.

When it comes to hiring via social networking sites, the numbers are even lower.  Fewer than 5% of the respondents have actually tried to hire through social networks and even fewer have hired people recruited through social networks.  So the conclusion is that the supply of job seekers far exceeds the demand (job offerings).  However, here too the numbers are on the rise.

Even though there is certainly an uptake of social networking for recruitment, there are some serious showstoppers which hold true for all trades when it comes to social media.  They can be summarized as follows: lack of authenticity, the myth that social networking is for younger and less senior people, and most importantly, the time factor since keeping a social media presence takes time to maintain and follow up.  This is where a lot of falls apart.  Managers and recruiters, just like marketeers, are finding that using social media & networking is a time consuming activity but keep in mind that going to network meetings is too!

Even though these numbers do not seem to live up to the hype, I feel they really reflect the reality of today.  There are,  of course, today recruitment agencies as well as private companies that are getting more than 15% of their new hires through social networking, it is realistic to say that social networking recruitments will be responsible for 10% of the new hires in the future.  The traditional method will continue to exist and possibly regain their strength.

The full survey can be found at:

http://www.executivesonline.co.uk/about_us/reports/social_networking

Do you have a success story and want to share your secret on how to get recruited via social networking,  I would love to hear about it.

Looking to implement social media in 2011?

December 19, 2010

Social media is all around us.  Over 600 million people of all ages are now engaged on social media sites.  Just take a look at the video “social media revolution 2” on YouTube.  In the course of 2010, companies have realized that these channels represent a great way to reach out and engage customers.

Joining social media as a company might seem easy and is started with a lot of enthusiasm.  However, success does not lie around the corner.  The initial drive to create necessary profiles and posts leads to worries about lack of success, large investments in time and hard to measure Return-On-Investment.

So, before you start, it is always a good idea to stop and think about the following items:

  • Awareness of social media: How well do you understand what social media really is?  What different platforms are there out there and what are they used for?  Which ones do you pick to be active on?

TIP: A great start is to get a good overview by reading up on the subject or even better calling on a specialist who can show you the way.

  • Strategy:  Social media is not a channel that stands by itself nor is it the exclusive territory of marketing.  HR, R&D and customer services can also benefit from it.  Social Media is an addition to what your company already does to reach it targets.

TIP: Find out if and where your customers are on social media and think about how to engage them – make it part of the questions in your annual customer satisfaction survey.

  • Inventorize: Since so many people, including your own employees, are already using social media it might be a good idea to get a sense of where they are active and/or talk about your company.

TIP: The simplest way to do this is by going on the platforms and typing in your company name.

  • Social media policy: Before you can really get going, it makes a lot of sense to create a social media policy or guidelines to help people protect their and your reputation online.

TIP: This policy should address items such as identity, time usages, company affiliation, handing negative comments, etc.

  • Training:  This is one of the most forgotten but highly effective items in the whole process.  It can set you up for possible disasters – Not knowing the consequences of what you are doing or getting into can lead making simple mistakes with big reputation loss.

TIP: Create a customized training to will help your employees do their jobs using social media.

  • Getting started:  Here the simple rule applies that you can not bite off more than you can chew.

TIP: Create a few profiles first (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) and add more as you go along.  Create both personal and company profiles and make the as complete as possible.

One final piece of advice is to start Monitoring.  Whether you are active or not, you should monitor what is being said about you.  TIP: Using free tools such Google alerts or http://www.socialmention.com are 2 great ways to start.  Paying platforms start at 100€ (www.Tracebuzz.com or  www.engagor.com) and provide better and more complete.

Companies can no longer wait to join social media on the basis that people are talking about them.  So it is better to join the conversation and engage the customers.

Mic Adam

Vanguard Leadership

Blog

Does your social media policy fall short?

November 13, 2010

If like me, you keep an eye on the trending topics of your business, interesting stories show up. In the world of social media, there were 2 trending topics over the last week. One was the fact that the American Medical Association just created a social media policy for physicians and the other about a medical technician being laid off on the basis of her comments about her supervisor on Facebook (NY Times article).

First to the policy, it is simple, straight forward and still comprehensive. It can be summarized in 5 short statements:

  • Separate private and professional presence online
  • Respect Doctor-Patient privacy and confidentiality
  • Maintain Doctor-Patient relationship online
  • Use security settings to the maximize protection for your social media profiles
  • Know that your online presence will influence your offline reputation especially true with negative content


This is a great start but it is by no means a complete policy. I would consider it more some guidelines on usage rather than calling a policy. Some hospitals are taking this one step further and making more extensive policies that include aspects such as authenticity, honesty, disclaimers, etc. Good examples are the policies of the Mayo Clinic, Ohio StateUniversity Medical Center, etc.

However, as companies are hurrying towards making and implementing such a policy, the latter trending topic is generating a ground breaking legal case, which is stopping companies in their tracks. What is going on? A medical technician was fired over violating the rule for depicting the company in a negative way on social media (specifically Facebook). National Labor Relations Board has jumped in and said this firing was illegal since employees have the right to talk about the working conditions whether that is at the water cooler, in a bar or even facebook. It is unrealistic to think that barring employees to talk about their company anywhere is an option and even a very restrictive social media policy will not help.

There are five conclusions I would like to draw up:

  • The best way to address such a situation is to have an open door policy where unhappy people can go and vent their frustrations to a real human being with no repercussions so they do not have to do this on social media.
  • Include a paragraph addressing respect for and defamatory statements about company, co-workers, clients, suppliers, etc.
  • Additionally, social media policies should include actions and consequences when the policy is not adhered to.
  • Often forgotten, is the fact that you need to make sure employees have read and understood the social media policy to the same extend as the employment policies.
  • Finally, employees have to keep in mind that they are also tarnishing their own reputation making these types of remarks and burdening their future employability.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,019 other followers