Employee productivity and your social media policy

(Blog post originally published at Receptional.com)

The words “Social Media” bring to mind disaster and lazy employees to many a CEOs mind, and often justifiably so. According to a survey from harmon.ie, 53% of employees are wasting at least one hour a day on distractions at work such as social media, text messaging and other applications.

Not only are there huge losses in productivity, but also there is the associated risk of the employee endangering the brand or company itself – hence why many organisations are resorting to banning access to Facebook and Twitter entirely in the workplace. Because of which, social networks have been given a bad name in the board room – unjustifiably so.

Social networks present brands and organisations with a whole new way to interact with customers, and a fresh and constant view of their marketplace. Not to mention that all the “Generation-Y” employees entering the marketplace now are using technology and interacting with each other in very different ways, and numerous studies have shown that breaks in the working day can help improve productivity.

The solution is simple:

Organisations need to have a social media policy in place to govern how employees use social networks in the workplace

Our consultants at Receptional have a wealth of experience developing social media policies for organisations such as PR agencies, right through to global technology companies – both in cases where social media marketing activities need to be focused and productive, as well as where employees need to have their time spent tagging their Facebook photos kept to a reasonable amount!

We can also help with tailored guides for how to utilise social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to gain the most out of them for your industry.

Give us a call, or email me (bjordan@receptional.com) if you want to know more about how we can help your business and employees become more productive.

Facebook isn’t shrinking, it’s still growing

Contrary to a recent report from Inside Facebook, it would appear that the ever consuming blob that is Facebook is still growing.

Inside Facebook recorded a 6 million user drop in the US over May – potentially a huge drop, and at first glance it was pointing out that cracks were starting to appear in Facebook’s blitzkrieg to 1 billion global users.

However, Facebook have brushed aside the report, saying the user base in the US actually grew by 21 per cent in May – a bit of a difference there…

“From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions. Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook,” Facebook said in a statement.

It seems there’s no stopping the world’s largest social network becoming even bigger. Even Steve McQueen isn’t going to be able to help us out with this one…

Facebook is stealing the talent

This cool infographic from Top Prospect Data Labs shows Facebook seem to be winning the war between the big tech companies for the best young talent out there. They do have very cool offices after all…

Via stateofsearch.com

Top 10 Social Media Sites

In part 1 of a series of “Top 10’s” that are buzzing round in my head, I want to highlight some of the best social media news and resource sites out there for anyone looking to keep an eye on all the latest developments in the world of social media.

Forgive me. Top 10 lists are lazy writing, but of course, time is money, and I don’t give money away for free…

Rather than trawl through each of these sites daily, I recommend you start plugging yourself into the RSS feeds of these sites (top 10 list of RSS readers to follow soon), if you want to stay ahead in an industry moving faster than most seem to be able to keep up in!

1) Mashable

2) Social Times

3) SocialMedia.biz

4) Social Media Today

5) Our Social Times

6) The Next Web

7) Social Media Explorer

8) SMSEO

9) ReadWriteWeb

10) Soshable

Google will replace your wallet sooner than you think

Google Wallet Logo

Yesterday, Google officially announced the launch of their latest product, Google Wallet, at a joint press conference in New York with MasterCard and Citibank. Initially available on the company’s Android mobile handset (with plans to roll out the technology across other mobile platforms), users will be able to wave their phone in front of an in-store reader to make purchases in stores.

Barclaycard have been utilising the Near Field communications (NFC) technology for the last few years now, with their contactless payment readers in many stores across the UK. However, the real benefit of Google’s venture is that not only will you be able to partner it with more than one credit card, but in the future you will also be able to link your store loyalty cards and coupons.

Combining this with Google’s Groupon competitor, Google Offers, also launched this week, suddenly bells start to ring, and you realise that Google, with its primary school colours, left the start line a long time ago, and the competition are still tying their shoe laces. Rather than emailing customers with 2-for-1 deals on their Wednesday night dinners at Pizza Express, Google will have the ability to slip coupons right into consumers’ wallets. Combine this with GPS and the possibilities for advertisers, for brands… It’s endless!

It’s not all clear skies for Google though. PayPal filed a law suit in California against Google, alleging that the search giant hired two former PayPal executives to obtain trade secrets for the project.

But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t see Google loosing much sleep over this. Because whilst other internet giants have been stealing the headlines recently, Google are about to assert their dominance as kings of the internet. So it’s time to say goodbye to the faithful leather friend in your back pocket that you’ve relied on so much to keep your financial life in order. Your mobile phone’s had front pocket real estate privilege for some time now anyway.

(photo cc licensed flickr photo – somegeekintn)

Facebook justifies places

In an unusual move for Facebook, they’ve released this glossy video making the case for their new location based service – Facebook Places. I’ll save you time though, if you watched Apple’s Facetime pitch, you dont need to watch this. Just replace every mention of Facetime with Places, and switch mentions of iPhone with Facebook. It’s all the same “will improve humanity as a whole” speech… you get the gist…

Dilbert looses iPhone 4G prototype

In a blog post yesterday (presumably because Apple probably wouldn’t take too kindly to these appearing in the New York Times etc), Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams rips into the recent supposed loss of the iPhone 4G prototype.

Gizmondo lead the story last week, after paying $5000 for the Apple prototype found in a German beerhouse in Cupertino, which subsequently led to Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home computer being siezed by California police.

But, it was a sure duty for the worlds biggest tech cartoonist to parody one of the biggest technology leaks in the past few years!

Why voicing your political beliefs on twitter is worse than doing it at the dinner table

Something over the past few weeks has been bothering me, and since noticing what it was, it’s now really starting to get on my nerves.

It’s people tweeting political messages.

Growing up, I was taught there were two things you should not discuss at the dinner table. Religion, and Politics. Both are very similar, in the respect that people can feel very strongly about what they believe. The reason for it being such a social faux pas to discuss over the dinner table is not only that people feel uncomfortable with their beliefs being questioned, but also due to individuals’ strong feelings relating to their political or religious beliefs. That ‘discussion’ can very quickly turn into a heated argument, especially when people make short, flippant comments, without properly considering their point before they make it. This ultimately leads to an awkward vibe over the table, where everyone has lost their appetite, and would much rather just go home then sit and listen to any more of the crap coming out the persons mouth sitting opposite.

One of Twitter’s downsides (and in some ways, it’s the thing that makes Twitter so great) is that you only have 140 characters to get your message across. This forces the author of the tweet to be very blunt, and owing to the nature of tweeting, authors are often not properly considering whether their tweet may be offending some people, especially when it comes to something like politics.

140 characters allows you to voice your opinion on a subject, but leaves no room for explaining your argument, or why you feel that way. This is why I believe that politics and twitter do not go hand in hand. It’s like taking those awkward one liners that ruin the dinner party out of any context, putting them in a frame and hanging them up for all to see.

  • “Anyone who votes Tory is just a bad person or a mental person. There’s no other excuse really”
  • “Anyone who votes Labour needs a slap”
  • “Only a muppet who doesn’t understand politics would vote lib dem”

Tweets such as the ones above (all real, and taken from the general twitter stream) are directly attacking individuals and their voting beliefs, and quite frankly, there is not much difference in directly attacking religions either. There is no reason to directly oppose someone’s political beliefs in such an unfounded way, regardless of your own.

Coming up to an election, many of us are faced with the decision of who to vote for, and I like many have very considered and strong beliefs on who I think should be running this country. I’m not saying ban tweeting about politics altogether. Twitter is a fantastic medium for communication. However, there needs to be much greater consideration of the content of the tweet when discussing a subject people may feel very strongly about. 140 characters isn’t enough to get much of a logical argument across, but it is enough to offend.