managing social media

Managing Privacy on Social Platforms

By Social Media

Last week, I spoke to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Emerging Technologies luncheon. My topic was privacy in the digital age and I wanted to particularly address ways one can manage one’s privacy using social media.

As a fan of social platforms, the last thing I want to do is instill fear in people about engaging online. It’s too easy to opt out and claim that it’s too dangerous or that privacy is a wholly false notion, never to be trusted again.

It is NOT difficult to manage privacy online but it DOES take some thought, research, planning and intent. It DOES take paying attention when platforms change their settings; their default setting is NOT to help keep your information private — anything but, in fact. So an active social life requires active management of one’s online presence.

Facebook, for example, gives users the false impression that those to whom they’re connected are “friends.” Are they, though — really?

I shared the following image during the presentation to make a point: I may be connected to more than 1,000 people on Facebook, but I have a list of those whom I consider “close friends,” numbering 20. Truth be told, that number’s probably even a little high. My very closest inner circle is only about three people. Sorry, Facebook universe, I just can’t be close to all of you.

When I post items to my personal profile, I can select from a list, WHO CAN SEE WHAT — and often it’s merely to not bore people outside of Charlottesville with Charlottesville-specific posts.

Overall, my main point when speaking about privacy and the social web is this: if it’s private, please don’t put it online. Meet a friend for coffee. Call your mom. But don’t post it on Facebook.

5 Ways to Protect your Social Media Investment

By Social Media

I hate it I see a client letting their online reputation go … it’s so obvious, too. The neglected blog, the missing updates, the long delay (or lack of) responses; it’s frustrating for those of us who really appreciate social interaction with brands we support.

A couple of weeks ago I used Twitter and Facebook to try to pin down the location of a food truck I like. SEVEN days later the person behind the Twitter account told me where the food truck was that day. Too bad it was a full week ago that I was interested.

If you’ve set up a presence for your business or, if you’re a sole proprietor, yourself in social media, here are five simple ways to make sure you’re protecting the investment of your time and the reputation of your brand:

  1. If you’ve “gone fishin'” leave a note behind or hand over the reigns to a trusted associate to manage the presence while you’re out.
  2. Create a schedule for yourself — and stick to it. If you can manage interaction three times a week (and mean it!) then get it done.
  3. Set alarms, calendar appointments, visits from the goon squad or your Uncle Vinnie — whatever works — just set an effective reminder to hold yourself accountable to maintaining your presence.
  4. Find a way to keep it personally rewarding — examine what you, personally get out of online interaction and focus on that element.
  5. Reward yourself! When you set goals that are realistically high but attainable, celebrate it when you achieve them. Go ahead. Buy yourself a little something, just for making it to the end of this very important blog post.

Curating Content for the Social Web: The Role of a Social Media Manager

By Social Media

My friend Joe of Book of Joe fame, sent me a link to a story titled Social Media Managers Just Tweet All Day and Surf Facebook. The image to the left is from the post, which goes on to explain the role more thoroughly, and illustrates what is a pretty demanding schedule.

The title of the post is meant to annoy those of us in the social strategy business and ¬†attract people who mistakenly think that social media doesn’t have anything to do with business, marketing or customer relations and that those of us who engage in it are just goofing around all day.

Consultants and thought leaders in the industry have been predicting for years the addition of an important employee role to companies large and small: that of the social media manager. Companies struggle to source the role with existing marketing managers or by outsourcing to firms that may or may not be qualified to manage the company’s social strategy. (The very phrase social strategy may be foreign).

It’s a role that is very quickly becoming necessary and one surrounded with misunderstanding and misdirection (or little direction at all). Companies are saying, “we know we need this, but we don’t know how to get it.” Often, (and this gives me THE CHILLS) companies are turning to their youngest team members (sometimes an intern) and saying, “hey, you’re young, you get this; YOU be our social media manager.”

Uh, no.

A good social media manager understands your business, is well-connected, influential, well-spoken, a clear and concise writer, a curious thinker, a good time manager and an avid consumer of content.

Who is your social media manager? If your company has yet to fill this role, how do you plan to source this position?