Another Great Infographic on Social Media Use

Sixty seconds in social media smallYou hear it all the time. “Social media has arrived”, Social media is not going away”. “Social media must be a part of everyone’s (individual and businesses) online live” but what does that mean. Last August I commented on social media use at that time. So just how much has it grown?

The good folks at socialjumpstart.com compiled stats on what happens in social media — every minute.  The numbers are astounding, and of course are constantly in flux.  So take a look at their infographic (and note the updates at the bottom):

Every 60 seconds in social media

Updates:
Foursquare has 2x as many check-ins now ~10K per minute
A Stumbleupon representative told VentureBeat the company now does 25,000 stumbles per minute

A New Year, But Same Rules for Social Media PR

Image courtesy of the Association of Web Design Professionals2011 was the year in which social media gained wider acceptance as a viable business tool. But in many ways th new year finds the chasm between Marketing and Communications over its use has grown wider.

I’ve written before about the ultimate goal for social media within the enterprise (see “Who Owns Social Media? Ultimate Answer: The Opposites”), but at the start of 2012 it seems (according to the job openings I have observed) that social media marketing is taking command, with calls for professionals experienced in social and viral marketing campaigns ruling the day.

So, when I found this article, The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Crisis Communications, I noticed that despite the crisis communications spin of the headline the advice listed makes good sense for any company looking to leverage social media for Communications/PR. Briefly:

Dos
Accept social media as an ongoing tool; create a social media policy; trust and use your staff; plan on who and how to handle crisis communications; keep social media social - participate in the conversation; be honest; always think of your image.

Don’ts 
Try to ban social media use company wide – it won’t work; talk at you audience – engage with them;  try ti spin the message – insincerity is magnified (and readily apparent) online; keep your associates in the dark — keep them apprised and energized; mix corporate social media accounts with associates’ personal ones – accidents do happen.

Of course, the biggest “Do”: engage in social media. It’s a valuable cross-discipline tool for your entire organization.

image credit: association of web design professionals

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The Circle – Farewell 2011, Hello 2012

New Years-1-002

♫… All my life’s a circle; Sunrise and sundown; Moon rolls thru the nighttime; Till the daybreak comes around. …♫

In a few hours, the books will close on 2011 and another volume will begin as we chronicle the new year. 2011 was in many ways a year of continued transition. For social media,  2011 was the year of acceptance, one where Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are now prominently displayed on mainstream media advertising. Where tweets brought about social change and individual failure; riots, occupation and revolution.

♫… All my life’s a circle; But I can’t tell you why; Season’s spinning round again; The years keep rollin’ by. …♫

Despite those gains, a lagging economy still nags true economic prosperity, and so social media hiring, while more prevalent than in the past, seems stuck in first gear. Instead of seeing VP/Director level social media opportunities, it is more common to see Social Media Manager or even Social Media Coordinator job openings. Worse, lately a large increase in social media intern positions has been seen.

♫… It seems like I’ve been here before; I can’t remember when; But I have this funny feeling; That we’ll all be together again.. …♫

What this means is that even though more companies have made the determination hat they need to add social media to their company tool-set, they fail to make the commitment to do so with both feet.

♫… No straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends;
There’s no clear-cut beginnings; And so far no dead-ends.. …♫

What does work is hiring a social media professional, one paid to enact social media as a profession with at least seven years experience, to be both strategist and tactician to create its social media roadmap, create policy and procedures and get accounts up and running. Only then hire staff as the need arises.

♫… I found you a thousand times; I guess you done the same; But then we lose each other; It’s like a children’s game. …♫

And so the cycle continues. 2011 turns into 2012 full of hope for better times and (for many) a better job. Will this be the year? Each new year is full of hope, so until we learn otherwise I choose to believe that 2012 will be better than 2011 — and I wish that for you, too.

♫… As I find you here again; A thought runs through my mind; Our love is like a circle; Let’s go ’round one more time …♫

–”Circle” by Harry Chapin

Social Media: An Essential Recruitment Tool

You’ve heard how companies are increasingly utilizing social media to recruit new associates, but what exactly does that mean? Jobvite‘s 2011 survey provides a look at which social networks recruiters and hiring managers use to find and assess prospective employees.

How Many Businesses Use Social Media?
Social Recruiting Plans

The answer is just about every company does, with almost 90% responding that they either already do or plan to use social media as a recruitment tool.

This makes sense, as more job seekers search for positions via digital means. Early in my career I poured over pages of job listings in the Sunday New York Times classifieds section weekly. Today’s digital route is much more efficient in finding opportunities and marketing themselves online.

Which Social Networks Are Most Important?
Social Networks for Recruiting No surprise here, LinkedIn, long known as the social network of professionals and recruiters, gets the most play with 86.6% of respondents utilizing that network. Launched in May 2003 as a business-related social network, LinkedIn’s 120 million members are a prime audience for talent recruiting and vetting.

What’s impressive are the numbers posted by Twitter and Facebook. Dismissed by many businesses, they provide a large, often different recruitment pool, with insight into prospects’ character via status updates, photos and affiliations.

When Do Companies Look at Your Social Footprint?
Use of Candidate ProfilesAnd as you can see, you’ve got an almost three out of four chance that the company you’ve applied to will search out your online presence – even if you do not provide them with their links.

Advice: Do your own social media audit. Perform a Google search on your own name and see what is returned. Check out all of your mentions to see which you should take down, modify or request a correction.

Remember: What happens online, stays online — for all to see or discover. 

When Your PR Problem is Your PR Agency

Image representing Wikipedia as depicted in Cr...

A friend of mine got a job in the PR department of a large corporation, one that prides itself on the veracity of its products. It wasn’t long before s/he was pressured to “fix” information on Wikipedia that the company felt reflected poorly on its management. This is a “PR Fail.” Here’s why:

What critics and skeptics fail to realize is that Wikipedia is self-policing, with published policies and standards  – in particular regarding Conflicts of Interest (COI) — and about 100,000 regular editors who add or review. Try to game the system? You’ll succeed short-term but, eventually, you’ll be found out. The latest case in point: PR firm Bell Pottinger.

One of the largest lobbying firms in the UK, Bell Pottinger is under scrutiny for allegedly editing entries about its clients, violating Wikipedia’s COI (see article links, below). Worse, it apparently sees this as “business as usual”, stating:

I can’t see any bad headlines for our clients,” he told the BBC. “You won’t find anybody, including journalists, who doesn’t do exactly the same thing.” – Lord Bell, Chairman 

I disagree. Every client involved will suffer damage to its reputation. What Lord Bell fails to comprehend is that social media is a self-correcting organism. There’ll always be someone with the time and resources to ferret out the truth. Attempts to misrepresent or obfuscate information get discovered and the blowback is worse than facing the facts from the start.

This concept is nothing new. In 1596, Shakespeare wrote: “but at the length truth will out.” And, in a quote generally attributed to Abraham Lincoln, 1858, “you cannot fool all of the people all of the time“. My advice to organizations and individuals alike, is to conduct social media with accuracy, integrity and transparency. That’s how it works.

As for my friend, s/he left that company over a year ago, in part because of the lack of support for social media done right. But the all-too-often encountered attitude of PR bigwigs that social media is something to “handled” persists. So choose your digital PR firm wisely.

Oh, and that old saw about all PR is good PR? Hardly.

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