Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Burning the Midnight Social Media Oil

A question came up among my Twitter friends about the wisdom, or lack of same, of hiring a Social Media manager and having that person work a regular 9 to 5 schedule. Can social engagement be confined to regular business hours?  Does it depend on the type of business? Would it be different for Business to Business  as opposed to consumer brands?

People are on their devices and all times of the day and night.  They expect action and engagement when they interact, and Monday morning just won’t do. Pizza arrived cold? I’m telling everyone I know before Monday, and everyone who follows your pizza company’s page. Should that complaint stay on your page until Monday morning at 8am? Can you think of a good reason why it should? I can’t.

There are product categories and demographics which find people online at 2am.  Shouldn’t your brand be available then?

Almost all consumer brands should monitor their brand into the late night. Yes, people do everything from shop for cars to go out for fast food in the evening, overnight and weekends. It may not be practical to have one person cover all of that time. If you are a business owner also handling social media, you have to actually run your business.  This may be a situation where you might want to consider an intern or two. I have monitored my brand even at a baseball game and concert. It doesn’t take being online 24/7 but checking in every few hours can make a huge difference.

Travel and hospitality brands will need to be able to respond 24/7/ If a guest has an unsatisfactory experience and cannot get the issue resolved at the front desk, they may take their frustrations out for all the world to see. This could result in a bad Yelp or Travelocity review.

How have you kept up with social media during off hours?


Social Media meets 9/11..what would be different

The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2o01 brings a mixture of emotions. The memories of that horrible day may be fading, but to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or forever changed, it has to be as though the events happened yesterday.  I was in the broadcast industry at the time, and though I was in Dayton, Ohio, producing traffic reports for several radio stations,  we were our own nerve center for our city as the events unfolded. I read a couple of interesting posts that ponder what it would have been like if the social media we have today would have been around on that fateful day.

Washington Post publisher Katheryn Weymouth is glad that today’s social media did not exist in 2001, stating:

Most of us learned about the events of that day in one of four ways — by television, by radio, by newspaper, or by a phone call from a friend. And while we are all incredibly grateful for the ways in which technology has enhanced our lives, I think we are also grateful that we didn’t live through 9/11 with all of that technology.

We didn’t have to see live video footage shot from inside the collapsing buildings and uploaded onto YouTube. Cellphones didn’t have cameras back then. … Can you imagine how horrifying it would have been if we had tweets from the victims on the planes or in the offices, or if they had posted to their Facebook pages?

… Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the technologies that have yet to be invented make all these events more real, and more horrific. Television pales in comparison. (reported by Jeff Zonderman in Poynter).

Another view comes from a poster in Zombie Journalism, who says “what if?”. What if we did have those final tweets and Facebook posts. Passengers on the doomed aircraft tweeting about what was happening? I would even ask if the F-1s could have been dispatched sooner. One can imagine a memorial wall with last tweets from the aircraft and the burning buildings

In my little world in Dayton, Ohio; we had to at least wonder that with Wright Patterson Air Force Base nearby, if our area could be a target.  I remember rumors of a plane crash in Dayton (not true); huge gas lines as drivers feared a huge spike in prices, and general uneasiness.

As it was, the cellphone became much more of a neccessity after 9/11. The social media were online chat rooms and forums; nothing like today.

If it had existed, my Foursquare checkin at 5:30am would have been “I’m at Metro Networks, 3085 Woodman Dr., Kettering, OH”. I’d have tweeted some accident info and the news of what happened at the World Trade Center and Washington, as well as what was happening locally. We’d have come together even better than we did…or not. (#tcot and #p2…political hashtags.. would have continued screaming at each other).

Never forget.

Social Intelligence? Big brother is in charge of your future

March 2012 update: Companies and public agencies are now asking for an applicant’s social media passwords so they can go through your Facebook posts and “likes” to see if you are the perfect, compliant, robot that they apparently are looking for. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Do they get to keep your passwords as a condition of continued employment? We have met the future and it doesn’t look pretty.  Here’s the original post on social media background checks.


The following post may disqualify me from corporate employment for life. In fact, your reading it may disqualify you.

The Federal Trade Commission gave the green light to Social Intelligence Company to monitor Social Media profiles and give reports, similar to credit reports, to potential employers. Social Intelligence acts as Big Brother and finds all of those embarrassing photos, off-color comments and politically incorrect “likes”. They then flag you as “positive” or “negative”, and if negative, your employability may be down the drain. The reports are kept on file for seven years, just like your credit report. Social Intelligence claims that they are not keeping a database on prospective hires, but will pull a new report each time.

One applicant was given a “negative” for “liking” a page that said “I shouldn’t have to press 1 for English” deeming that evidence of racism. (Presumably you don’t go on record criticizing lax enforcement of immigration laws either). Another had a picture of himself holding a gun. This gun collector just might shoot up the place, so the software says. I’m thinking the gun enthusiast is probably less likely to commit workplace violence.

What are the implications and unintended consequences of social media background checks? I don’t remember ever using a social security number to sign up for an e-mail account. How does Social Influence know that it is me that made that politically incorrect post on an online forum? It may well have been me, but how do they know for sure?

Will other companies come on the scene to do a “black hat” service? Perhaps creating fake profiles to “friend” candidates for a peek at their private information (I’m told this happens already)? Using hacking techniques? The possible abuses are endless. Between credit checks,  social media background checks and the usual discrimination that occurs (age being a big one) are enployers telling us only the perfect may apply? Are employers looking for automatons, with no opinions, no passions, no preferences, no life? Compliant beauracrats? Let’s hope not!

If I even could be bothered with a social media background check on someone, I’d remind myself that I don’t want a clone of myself. That person I may vehemently disagree with on religion or politics may be just the person I need on my team. If you were to ever work for me; go a few rounds with me on a business or personal topic. I need your passion, not someone who is a drone.

Is everyone’s employability really going to be reduced to a number? Maybe there will be only four employable people in the U.S.

What are your thoughts?

Facebook spam: It’s out of control


It was really bad over a recent weekend when fully half of the Facebook posts I readily see were either virus containing spam, or warnings about virus-containing spam. Facebook spam is epidemic, and destroying the experience for a lot of users.

Some of the most persistent offenders are posts that claim you can see who viewed your profile. One of your friends will seemingly post something like this: “I didn’t realize how many times my ex viewed my profile”.  Guess what, you can’t. No matter how many people post that you can, there is no such animal. You may even be invited to a “see who viewed your profile” event. If there’s going to be an event, shouldn’t there at least be a band? You won’t get music…your computer will get a virus!

Other popular spams and scams include enticement to click on a video, usually with OMG! in the title “OMG! This girl killed herself..” is popular. Messages that claim that you are in a video also are spreading. You have to watch your Facebook chat as well….those chat messages may not be what they seem.

An oldie but goodie…which I ralied about previously, are fake Amber Alerts. Thank goodness real Amber Alerts are now available on Facebook.  If you see an Amber Alert on Facebook, and it contains only a license plate and no name, age or description of the child, it’s a fake. I’ve had a “Secret Crush” scam take over my Facebook page.

Facebook’s security procedures have always been suspect. Could Mark Zuckerberg cook his own Golden Goose by allowing this to continue? Your comments welcome.

Facebook profile or business page: What’s the Difference?

Wanna be friends?

I have a fair number of Facebook friends, at this writing, 465 to be exact. My friend list included former co-workers, marketing friends, and people I worked with in the broadcast industry. In addition to all of those, around 50 of those friends are businesses. I will regularly get friend requests or suggestions from businesses, and I’ll be told I have 20 mutual friends with the local seafood restaurant or pizza place. I’ll be happy to be “friends” with a steakhouse or computer store, (especially if there are discounts involved), but I’ve wondered why I would want to be this establishment’s “friend” as opposed to someone who “likes” the page.

I’ve asked around, and find that some businesses didn’t know there was an option to have a business page, so they set up a regular profile page. Some who have thought about it and know the difference say they like the fact that their business will be “suggested” automatically, and stay in their customers’ newsfeed more often. It seems to be more personal.

Several problems occur early on. Once you are at the 5,000 mark, your Facebook “friend” page is full. I’ve seen businesses be in a hurry to migrate their friends to a new page once they are getting close to 5000.  “Friends” can put apps and games on your wall. Do you really want  “Do you think Brad’s Steak and Chips can milk a cow”? on a page representing your brand? More importantly, you get no analytics or other business tools on a profile page. On a business page, there are many tools that break down how many people have viewed and used your page, and even give insights into individual posts.  You can also add and remove administrators without giving away the actual account password.  If you have a profile page, you have to give the account password to all of your administrators. When personnel turn over,  it can be a real pain to change the password and then make sure everyone who works on the page has the new one.  A local pizza chain tried both a business and profile page. They ran a couple of promotions, but Facebookers didn’t know which page to sign up on. I’ve checked both of their pages, and it seems that they have given up on social media, which is unfortunate.

Is there a place for a “friend” page for a business. I believe there is. The key is a person who can genuinely interact with current and potential customers. A restaurant should have a business page, but why not a chef who has a personal page? If you are the brand, I certainly would interact with people as friends as well as have the business page. 4 Chics and a Cat is a thrift store located near Knoxville, TN  which benefits animal welfare organizations. The store has a business page, but  their cat, Gabby, makes friends with four-legged creatures (How does that cat type on a keyboard?).

Bottom line: On Facebook, choose a business page for your business. Don’t be afraid, however, to add a personal touch and interact with people on a profile page.

First thoughts on the new Facebook Profile page

Mark Zuckerberg may be a genius, or he may be the devil.  The Facebook founder gave an interview to Lesley Stahl on CBS’s 60 Minutes this Sunday, just in time to roll out the all-new, all-improved, all-over-again (drumroll) Facebook Profile Page.  Zuckerberg came off as a regular-enough 26 year-old, much more relaxed than he has seemed to be in previous public appearances. It was interested to see inside the world of Facebook‘s headquarters, and I want one of those giant monitors! Speed Chess? OK.

I finally got the new profile page, and I found there were a few things I needed to do right away. Since my work and personal info was accessible, but somewhat buried, I hadn’t paid much attention to it. The new profile page brings it right to the top of the page, and mine was woefully outdated. I keep my LinkedIn profile updated with that information, but seldom bother on Facebook. Now that it’s at the forefront, I made some quick changes. Mine now says:

Owner/Operator at Brad Lovett MarketingStudied Marketing at Ivy Tech Community College of IndianaLives in Sevierville, TennesseeFrom Syracuse, IndianaBorn on November 23.  The profile edit function asks me to enter any additional languages I speak. Do I still speak enough Spanish to qualify? We’ll see

After the “about me” section, you’ll see 5 photos that you have uploaded or have been tagged in. The ones that came up for me weren’t in every case the most flattering, but you can click an “x” to remove any one of them (it doesn’t delete the photo from your album, just the profile page).  On the left, you’ll see photos of friends, and in the right column, there’s the “you and (friend)” section that lists a mutual friend, interest or “like”. There’s a link that takes you to the recently introduced “friend page’ which links you to photos and posts shared with that friend.

All in all, I didn’t find a lot to dislike, or fall in love with in this new update. I haven’t had friends invite me to join “a million strong to change Facebook back to the last update we  hated” page. Yet.


If you missed it, view the December 5, 2010 edition of 60 Minutes here

Job Search and your Online Reputation

The economy continues to tank. Unemployment where I live is close to 12%. If you were to count those who are not eligible for unemployment, it could be close to 20%. There is no shortage of advice on job boards and other networking venues on how to conduct one’s search and professional life.

I believe there’s a certain paranoia that some “experts” are actually encouraging. I’ve read some articles and message board postings that have people questioning almost everything about their lives. Should I post my picture on LinkedIn if I’m over 50 or a racial minority? Should I scrub my Facebook profile? Delete my religious and political affiliations?

I especially want to address the Facebook issue. I have read dire warnings (cue the ominous sounding music) that since everything you post online is there FOREVER (which is true), you had better post with extreme caution.

Nothing on line should ever mark you as ever being anything other than the perfect model corporate worker bee. You even sleep in your three piece suit!

Using Facebook to share with family and friends? No, we can’t have that. A vehicle for self expression? There will be NONE OF THAT! Those Cabo pictures? Gone! (and sternly warn your friends to never, ever tag you in a photo). You are a citizen concerned about political issues? You’d best get that, as well as any groups you belong to, off your profile. After all, Mr. or Ms. Hiring Manager may have a different point of view, and make a paper airplane out of your resume. That church (synagogue or mosque) function you were at? Better get rid of those, pronto!

What about that Beatles song you posted? Well, if you remember the Beatles you are obviously old and unemployable. You have pictures of your grandchildren? Better dump them lest Ye All Powerful HR Person will realize you are old enough to have grandchildren! Mentioned your divorce? Well, this company is about family values, you wouldn’t fit (though the successful candidate will work 80 hour weeks).

When did the job search go from a company looking for someone to solve a problem to this game of jumping through all the right hoops?

What if a potential employer goes to my Facebook page and finds out they could hire a real human being who is fully engaged, has opinions, and has a life, rather than being an automaton? Is it possible I might still qualify to work for you?

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