March Tweetup – Thursday 3/27/14

Lancaster Tweetups March Tweetup

Don’t forget this Thursday we’ll be co-hosting this month’s Tweetup at Commonwealth On Queen.

We had a small group at the February Tweetup, but it was a good start and great conversation.
If you didn’t make last time, come out and join us for some coffee and networking.
Hope to see you there!

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BbeS

Here are the details:

When: Thursday at 7:30am
Where: Commonwealth on Queen
Want to join? Let us know! Follow the link to RSVP: March Tweetup

 

 return on investment roi

We’re Co-hosting the Lancaster Tweetup This Thursday 7:30 AM

Lancaster Tweetups February Tweetup

Tweetups are back!

We’re bringing Tweetup back to Lancaster. This Thursday morning at 7:30 at Commonewealth On Queen, 301 North Queen St. Lancaster.

Special thanks to Mark Reinmiller for offering his cafe. For more info and to RSVP: Lancaster Tweetups February Tweetup

Join us for breakfast, coffee and good conversation from 7:30 until as long as the conversation keeps going!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BbeS

HootSuite Users Can Now Use HootSuite to Manage Their Google+ Pages

After asking and asking and well… asking again, HootSuite users can now use HootSuiite to manage their Google+ pages!

Hootsuite Google+ Header

HootSuite is an online dashboard that allows people manage multiple social media accounts as well as work with teams. When working with a team you can do such things as assign tweets to your team members, so the right person is replying. Among other things you can also schedule tweets, bulk schedule and upload files through the HootSuite platform.

Yesterday the company announced that after running beta testing it was going to allow all users, regardless of their account type, to manage their Google+ pages.

hootsuite love

Woohoo, or should we say Hoot Hoot to HootSuite for listening to their users and giving them the functionality they wanted.

Now how do you add your Google+ Page to Your HootSuite Dashboard?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

It’s simple: Make sure you’re logged into your Google+ account. Then click on the owl icon on the top of the toolbar on the left side to access your profile. Then click on the Add A Social Network under My Social Networks. Click Connect with Google+ and Allow HootSuite to access your Google account. Then choose the pages you want to connect. That’s it, you’re done!

Employers: You Might Not Be Able to Demand Access to Employee’s Social Media Accounts

On June 18, 2012 the PA House of Representatives introduced Bill 2332, also known as – PA’s Social Media Privacy Protection Act. The bill is meant deter employers from requesting social media passwords and access to personal social media accounts of employees and prospective employees.

Employers are still able to view and use what is found in the public domain. That means if you are posting something negative about your employer on a social media site, such as Facebook or Twitter, your employer is within their rights to fire. Employers can also restrict usage of electronic devices and internet site.  However the bill specifically states what they are not permitted to do:

Section 3.  Privacy protection.

(a)  General rule.–An employer may not request or require
that an employee or prospective employee disclose any user name,
password or other means for accessing a private or personal
social media account, service or Internet website.

(b)  Refusal.–An employer may not do any of the following:

(1)  Discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize or
threaten to discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize an
employee for an employee’s refusal to disclose any
information specified under subsection (a).

(2)  Fail or refuse to hire any prospective employee as a
result of the prospective employee’s refusal to disclose any
information specified under subsection (a).

Read the full bill here: House Bill – 2332

In my opinion this is absolutely the correct decision. Expecting employees and prospective employees to give up their passwords to social media is a clear violation of privacy. It would be like expecting them to give you their personal email account passwords or the password to their personal voicemail.

What do you think?

As an employer if you’re nervous about how employees are using social media platforms, the best thing to do is have a clear company wide policy with the rules.  If you need help with this reach out to us. We can help you create the social media policy that best suits your business.

The Internet in 60 Seconds

60 seconds may not seem like much time at all, but look at what happens online every 60 seconds.

the internet in 60 seconds

I’d Like to Add You to My Professional Network — Um Why?

LinkedIn is a great tool for networking. It’s also a great tool for meeting new people that you would like to connect with. You can connect to people through your current connections,  groups, as well as many other ways. I’m also a big advocate of using the network to help promote yourself and your business. But don’t be lazy.

I often receive connection requests from people I don’t already know, and many of them I accept. There are also a lot that I don’t accept and the biggest reason is because the person that made the request is, well lazy.

When you click on that “connect” button an invite opens. LinkedIn actually helps you out with the standard message “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

This is great, they’ve given you a starting point, but… Pretty much the only time I’ll accept an invite that only includes the standard comment, or the rare times I send them out like this, is if I already know this person.

Look at it this way. What would you think if you were walking down the street and someone walked up to you and said, “I want to add you to my friends.” I bet you would probably give them a puzzled look and keep walking while muttering something like, “That guy is crazy.”

If someone sends me a standard invite here are few things that go through my mind.

  1. This person was too lazy to write one or two sentences to personalize the invite.
  2. This person is only interested in gaining connections. Are they sending out so many invites that they don’t have time to write anything other than the standard invite?
  3. It looks like spam. Again it looks like someone just out to get more connections.

Ok, so what should you do.

  1. A network is only as good as the people in it. What I mean is, you can have thousands of connections, but are you really interacting with all of these connections? Do you really have a relationship with them? I highly doubt it. I really believe that a small well knit network is better than an extremely large loosely connected group. Interacting closely with 50 people is much more powerful than having a list of 5,000 people that you never speak with.
  2. Seek out people in which you are genuinely interested, or that you share something in common with. Use that to connect. This will create a bond that you don’t have to force. I find a lot of my business through soccer. This is something that I’m passionate about and helps me connect to others without having to force the issue. It also creates a bond of trust.
  3. Take the time to make it personal.  Just a simple message would be enough: “I found you when I was researching social media professionals.” Or “I was looking for people who understand SEO and I came across you. So, I”d like to add you to my network.”

The bottom line is your invite should make me want to say, “Thanks for contacting me and it is nice to meet you. I see the value in adding you to my network too.”

How to Increase Your Likability and Network Like a Pro (Infographic)

Follow these simple tips and will be networking like a pro and your likeability will climb (info-graphic)

Does Your Company Need a Social Networking Policy?

Social Media in the Workplace

Do You Need a Social Networking Policy
by Jeannine Hohman, HR Strategist, TriStarr Staffing

Today’s employers are faced with many challenges, including managing a multi-generational workforce. Employees come from many backgrounds, cultures and the generations may span between World War II (born before 1940) and Baby Boomer (born 1941 – 1964) through Millennial (born 1980 – 2000). Managing different personalities, work ethics and conflicts may be challenging, but grasping and reigning in social networking for employees may be a necessity.

Some of the most recognized social media websites are Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. What was once just a personal way to communicate and stay in touch with people has now become a mainstay in both personal and professional communications and networking. The line between personal and professional time is becoming increasingly blurred as more employees bring home their laptop, telecommute or have access to the office after hours via remote access.

With regard to social media, an important message to get across to all employees is that what they say, do and post can be a reflection on your organization – that can be either positive or negative. The negative is usually where the trouble begins.

In today’s business environment, it is highly recommended to have a social media policy in place. A policy serves as a communication tool so that all employees are made aware of what is expected and what is not acceptable. In addition, having a clear, well written policy can help to protect the organization from negative activity and the “darker side” of these websites.

Below are some tips on what to consider when putting together a social media policy:

  • Not having a policy is risky – all it takes is one individual posting something negative or cringe worthy to expose the organization to bad publicity or even legal action.
  • Blocking sites may hurt the organization – by cutting access to certain networking sites, organizations may be turning away business. These sites can also be a valuable recruiting tool.
  • The policy should be clear and specific – Employees should understand the ramifications of not using the social networking media correctly. Some questions to consider: Can employees list the company as their workplace? Can they “friend” clients or vendors?
  • Define private – Many individuals are under the false impression that what they do and post on their personal computer remains private. Remind employees that posting on public forums is never private. Bad mouthing the organization or a fellow employee on the Internet is basically the same as putting the message on a billboard.
  • Give employees the tools needed to use social media effectively – training is essential. Again, the workforce contains multi-generations and not all of these generations are as knowledgeable or comfortable with this technology.

 

————————————————————————————–

Jeannine Hohman is a Human Resource Stategist at TriStarr Staffing.  She is responsible for providing organizations with strategic HR support through such services as employee handbooks, job descriptions, training, FLSA, policies, procedures and employment compliance issues.

 Disclaimer: TriStarr Staffing is one of our clients.

10 Things Organizations Need to Be Comfortable With When They Start Using Social Media

How comfortable is your organization?

  1. Releasing control to allow the community to grow organically.
  2. Being open with communication about organization and products.
  3. Encouraging community members to discuss products and services.
  4. People saying bad things about the company and being able to respond objectively and openly.
  5. Others writing content for the community.
  6. Asking for honest feedback, even if it is negative.
  7. Getting community members in touch with the staff that can help them.
  8. Employees talking with community members as real people and not using scripted monologues.
  9. Volunteers helping to moderate the community.
  10. Employees spending time interacting and engaging your audience.

Can you think of any others?

Wondering About the Cost of Social Media? Think: “Time is Money”

Their is a misconception among a lot of businesses and business owners that Social Media is free. When I come across people that believe this, I try to explain to them that even though many of the tools and platforms are free, using the free tools correctly is not. The old adage always comes to mind:  “Time is Money.”  Here’s some data to back up that up.

Social Media Examiner recently published their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report (<– Get the full report). Some of the most interesting data to come out of the report is the amount of time that marketers spend on Social Media:

A significant 58% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week and 34% for 11 or more hours weekly. It’s interesting to note that 15% of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.

Those with more years of social media experience spend more time each week conducting social media activities. For example, 63% of people with 3 or more years of experience spend more than 10 hours a week doing social media activities. Only 41% of those with 1 to 3 years experience spend that much time.

time commitment for social media

I typically estimate that companies need to invest at least 5 hours a week in Social Media in order to see a real benefit. In my opinion this is an absolute minimum! This includes, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, forums, video, social bookmarking as well as others.

How much time do you spend on your Social Media activities?

Some other useful reading:

Social Media ROI – What’s Your Plan?
How much do you need to budget for Social Media in 2011?

How To: Five Things You Can do With Social Media Marketing