Google+: why businesses need to jump on board

Answer these questions for me…

  1. What search engine do you use?
  2. What search engine has 67% of the market share?
  3. What online file-sharing platform does your business use?
  4. What email platform does your business use?
  5. How important is search engine optimisation to your company?

I’m assuming your answers look something like this:

  1. Google
  2. Google – Yep, a whopping 67% (Southern, 2013).
  3. Google Docs
  4. Google Gmail
  5. Extremely important, how else will we be found within this dominating online world?

Ta Da! If your answers were matched at least twice, I hope you’re a beginning to realise the importance of your business being on Google+.

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Alison Zeringue, social media and marketing guru explains that, “Investing even a little bit of time and energy into your business page on Google+ can mean improved local search visibility, especially for a small to medium-sized business. With search engine algorithms constantly evolving and becoming more intertwined with social media, the lines denoting where SEO stops and social begins are becoming blurrier by the day” (2014).

Google determines your search engine optimization… if you are constantly creating new content and are additionally using Google+ as a channel to post this content it is undeniable that your SEO result will increase, providing many benefits and opportunities for your business.

References

Zeringue, A. (2014). Beyond Social: The Benefits To Google+ For Business. Marketing Land. http://marketingland.com/beyond-social-benefits-google-business-73460
Southern, M. (2013). Google’s Search Market Share Back Up To 67% Search Engine Journal. http://www.searchenginejournal.com/googles-search-market-share-back-up-to-67-bing-up-2-from-last-year/67568/
 
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Where is social media’s place within crisis communication?

A crisis is defined as a situation with the perception of being an unpredictable event, is sudden and developing and falls under close media or government scrutiny (Coombs, 2007).

Although these situations are unpredictable they must be adequately prepared for by businesses and responded to effectively. Failing to do this can have serious negative impact on a businesses performance, relationships, public image and bottom line (McLean, 2009).

Brands can use social media as an effective tool in responding to a crisis as it allows for fast, open and direct communication (Fisher, 2013).

Johnston and Zawawi in Public Relations Theory & Practice outline 10 steps for effective crisis communication:

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Effectively using social media in response can turn a crisis into an opportunity.

For example, when a video went viral of a FedEx delivery guy throwing a customers “fragile” package over their fence the CEO of the company created his own online video in response. This video received over 500, 000 views and not only handled the crisis effectively but also enhanced the image of the company. This was achieved as it revealed successful company management, connected to consumers and allowed for reiteration of the companies values.

References

Coombs, W. T. (2007).  Protecting organization reputations during a crisis: The development and application of situational crisis communication theory. Corporate Reputation Review, 10, 1-14.
Fisher, S. (2013). 3 Great examples of crisis management on social media. SpinWeb. http://blog.spinweb.net/3-great-examples-of-crisis-management-on-social-media
Johnston, J., & Zawawi, C., (Eds.) (2009). Public Relations; Theory & Practice (3/e), St. Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin
McLean, H. and Power, M. (2009). Crisis Command. Strategies for Managing Corporate Crises. London: Ark.

Social media in the workplace: business vs. personal?

We all know the importance of social media in the workplace on a business level, but where does social media fit in on a personal level? Transferring between these two perspectives transforms social media from a catalyst for organizational potential to one of disaster.

Individuals are uninformed on the level of negative impacts that can result from social media; they are unaware of who can see it, who it will effect and the possible consequences.

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To combat this it is important that all employers have in place not only email and internet policies but a specific social media policy that deals with acceptable and unacceptable conduct and consequences for breaching this (Greig, 2014).

Unfortunately I have experienced this firsthand. One day at work a balloon animal man made us a rather *cough cough* inappropriate object. My friend and I posed for a “funny” photo with the balloon in our uniforms in the storeroom. This was posted online and within 5 minutes we received a message being told to remove it immediately. How did I not realise the lack of professionalism and immense stupidity of this action? I was unaware and rationally blurred by the “humour”.

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I believe social media policies are not communicated well enough to employees in the workplace. An unclear social media policy can lead to decreased productivity, negative impacts to the brands reputation, defamation, harassment or inappropriate conduct (Australian Business, 2014).

We’ve all been warned that once something is on the Internet it can never be fully removed – so controlling social media use within the workplace must be handled more seriously, well defined, communicated fully and reiterated clearly.

Check out these 10 must haves for a social media policy and the image below on the components of an effective social media policy:

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References:

Austraian Business. (2014). Why do you need a social media policy? Australian Business. http://www.australianbusiness.com.au/lawyers/expertise/employment-law/why-do-you-need-a-social-media-policy-
Greig, C. (2014). Social Media Policies in the Workplace. Colement Greig Lawyers. http://www.colemangreig.com.au/Publication-198-Social_Media_Policies_in_the_Workplace.aspx
Mashable. (2009). Social media policy musts. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/

LinkedIn: The social network for the professional

LinkedIn is a professional site designed for business purposes and “for professionals… having an online presence is no longer optional” (Brand & Arasteh, 2013).

While having a presence on a variety of platforms is desired LinkedIn is the best for content distribution, job search and career management, as having a LinkedIn account is considered crucial for our professional development and credibility. (Brand & Arasteh, 2013).

Of the major social media sites, 89% of hiring professionals have made a hire through LinkedIn, compared to 26% on Facebook and 15% on Twitter (Jobvite, 2012)

A survey conducted by Lab24 (2011), a market research company, revealed that the top activities on LinkedIn are industry networking (61%), keeping in touch (61%), and co-worker networking (55%).

As Linkedin is marketed as a professional tool designed as a social networking site these statistics reveal that it is delivering on its brand promise.

Some tips for a positive and professional LinkedIn account include (Brand & Arasteh, 2013):

  • Position yourself as a subject matter expert.
  • Use your profile to convey the image you want to portray and make all content on your profile match this persona
  • Build connections and visibility in your industry
  • Share useful information on the topics you want people to associate with you

See this put into action within these 25 LinkedIn Case Studies for Successful Professionals.

References

Brand, P., & Arasteh, S. (2013). USING LINKEDIN and TWITTER for JOB SEARCH and CAREER MANAGEMENT. Career Planning & Adult Development Journal, 29(3), 33-44.
Jobvite. (2012). Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey. Retrieved from: http://web.jobvite.com/2012-social-recruiting-survey.html.
Lacy, K. (2011). 25 LinkedIn Case Studies for Successful Professionals. http://kylelacy.com/25-linkedin-case-studies-for-successful-professionals/#sthash.JcayCJKx.dpuf