Tag Archives: Social Media

The Bane of Social Media

Social Media Conundrums

Social media is the bane of all brands.

@Publix crowd flow
@Publix crowd flow (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

Things can go wrong so easily, often impacting your brand  without any warning.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs

Okay, maybe I really didn’t mean all that. Actually, I did.   Just kidding.

You don’t need to stay away from social media, but you should know what people are saying about you.  Here’s a couple of recent examples where social stuff happened.


As reported by Huffington Post, #CancelColbert trended for more than 36 hours starting Thursday, March 27, after an offensively Orientalism-themed tweet from the show’s Twitter account. “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the tweet (sent and later deleted by a web editor for the show’s account).

The now-notorious “twit,” as Colbert called it in his Monday apology, was a line pulled from a segment about Dan Snyder and the Redskins, which targeted the use of racial slurs in his aggressively offensive “Washington Redskins for Original Americans” organization.

The other social event was an April Fool’s prank pulled off by a Miami blog that claimed Publix Super Markets was going to open stand-alone sub shops to compete with Subway.  This rumor spread like wildfire in Florida, leading to huge traffic for the305 blog, and a lot of extra work for the Publix social media team that day.

In the words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great  responsibility”.   When it comes to social media, most people forget that.


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Employer agrees to rescind social media policy

On April 7, 2014, Valero Services, Inc. agreed to rescind its nationwide social media policy and to post and mail a NLRB remedial notice to its employees throughout the country in response to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Valero Services provides employee leasing services to refineries and plants located throughout the United States, including a refinery located in Port Arthur, Texas.

The United Steelworkers of America filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB Region 16, alleging that Valero Services social media policy interfered with employees’ rights to discuss their terms and conditions of employment on social media. Region 16 found merit to the allegations and issued complaint. During the hearing, Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge William N. Cates approved a settlement agreement resolving the dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, Valero Services agreed to notify employees that it will rescind its unlawful social media policy and to post NLRB notices at its 52 facilities nationwide, as well as to mail notices to employees, advising them that they will not be prohibited from using social media to discuss their terms and conditions of employment.

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How to get millions of free Getty images for your website

Getty changes the game with Embed

The images shown below are from Getty Images. Getty is the main source of legitimate imagery on the web, but have always been regarded as very expensive for the average blogger. They just changed the rules of that game. You are now allowed to use literally millions of Getty images on your web site for no charge, as long as you use their new Embed tool.  You can see how to make it work after the image jump.

This is potentially a big time tool for bloggers. Here how to use Embed from instructions via the Getty website.

Share images on blogs and social media

Getty Images is leading the way in creating a more visual world. Our new embed feature makes it easy, legal, and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs, and social media platforms.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Click an image’s embed icon(</>) from the search results or image detail page.
  2. In the embed window, copy the embed code.
  3. Paste the HTML code you copied into the source code of a website or blog where you want this image to appear.*
  4. Publish and share!

Search images available to embed



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Spherion: Celebrating the 2014 Emerging Workforce Study

Celebrating the Evolution of the Worker   

This is a sponsored post. 

Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

How I used to roll at work circa 1994

It may be too obvious to say that work has changed tremendously in recent years.  The tools I used 20 years ago are so different than the ones I use today that I actually can’t comprehend how I used to get my job done.  In 1994, I had a desktop computer at work, and another at home.  I carried a pocket beeper so my boss or fellow managers could “beep” me to call them back while travelling.  Fax machines were critically important, as were floppy disks.  I did have email and the Internet, which we called the World Wide Web.  There was no Google.

It isn’t like that now fortunately, and Spherion collects data every year to track the changes we experience in the workplace. This is useful info for HR professionals. The findings of the 2013 Emerging Workforce Study can be viewed here.

Spherion will release findings from its new 2014 Emerging Workforce Study in early April, marking the most recent year of research that began in 1997. Over more than 15 years, Spherion has surveyed nearly 200,000 workers to document groundbreaking research and report on important trends in the workforce.

  • The survey offers great statistics and trend information for HR managers and businesses, as well as providing tips on how to bridge the widening gap between employers’ and employees’ views.
  • The survey also includes data on generational differences, work-life balance and how social/digital media can impact HR strategies to increase engagement, productivity and retention, among other topics important to the workplace.

My work life for the past twenty years is essentially reflected in the infographic from Spherion featured below, except I never owned a purple suit.

The Evolution of the Worker Infographic

To highlight some of the interesting trends the EWS has uncovered over the last fifteen years, Spherion has developed an infographic depicting the evolution of the worker.

From downsizing and ethics scandals to reputational issues and social media, Spherion has tracked the major influences on workers and how they, their expectations and needs have changed over time and what it means for the future.

EOW Final (2)Sample data includes:

  • In 2005, time and flexibility ranked highest by workers as retention drivers, signaling a significant shift in workers’ desires for greater work-life balance. This has continued as a priority ever since and intensified as Millennials entered the workforce.
  • In 2012, workers reported that a company’s online reputation is a major consideration when contemplating a job offer. It’s certainly not just about the compensation package anymore.

Key study findings:

  • 46% of workers agree that the recession has made them more interested in pursuing a work arrangement outside of traditional full-time employment.
  • 45 percent of all workers believe a company’s social media outlet is influential when choosing a new employer, yet only 27 percent of companies believe social media outlets are influential on how a candidate views their organization.

Want to win a valuable prize?

In conjunction with releasing Spherion’s Evolution of the Worker infographic, Spherion is also releasing a new “Job or Career?” quiz to provide workers more information about their own “job or career” mindset.

The quiz is designed for consumers, HR professionals, employers, candidates and others who want to educate themselves more about applicable career topics.

Because you spend most of your waking hours at work, it’s important to know if your daily commitment to your job or career is fulfilling your work goals. This quiz, based on 15 years of research conducted by Spherion, will help you figure out if you are in a job or a career, and what steps to take to better improve your work life.

By taking the quiz on this site, you will be entered to win an American Express gift card! Simply post your results from the quiz as a comment on this post to enter.

Taking the quiz will also enter users to win one of three Career Boost Business Packs from Spherion that include an iPad Air and an assortment of other office essentials to help on their path to success!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 03/27/14. Void Where Prohibited.


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9 unsuccessful social media strategies and one good one

One out of ten ain’t bad

and it’s the one that counts the most in my book. Everything else is just stuff.

1. I have a tendency to over-share.
2. I think I am funnier and cuter than I really am.
3. Despite my best intentions, I don’t use an editorial calendar.
4. I never check my metrics for any reason other than personal vanity.
5. I don’t post at the optimal times to get the best click rates. I usually post when I am bored, standing in the elevator or when I am awake at 3 am due to insomnia.
6. I check my Klout score at least once a month. (hey, McDonald’s sent me a $5 gift card once that I gave to a hungry homeless guy. Not sure I did him any favors)
7. I retweet myself frequently, mostly to irritate Frank Zupan.
8. I fantasize about being more strategic with my social media strategies, but lack the strategic vision to effectively implement the plan, and mostly don’t ccare.
9. I am an irregular curator of obscure topics, and i seldom meet my own deadlines…like my new blog launch which was going to be March 10th. Nope….not so much.

10. I am my own authentic self on all my social media channels every day, good or bad. And mostly that’s what matters, to me!

HR Global Giving


HR Gives

Today is a day where we are called to action.  What I was thinking about recently was how can HR bloggers turn their blogs to action.  Granted this is not an original idea, with initiatives like Blog Action Day and others already focusing on an annual issue driven day.

In the unlikely event you have never heard of Blog Action Day, here is their own description from their website.

What is Blog Action Day?Every year since 2007, thousands of bloggers come together for one day to talk about one important issue.  Previously bloggers have focused on the issues of Poverty, Water and Climate Change.

I’ve participated a few times in Blog Action Day.  It’s fun. It feel rewarding, but at the end of it I am not sure what I actually accomplished.  I like a more definitive and measurable outcome, I guess.

Back in 2009 and 2010, a number of HR people took part in a couple of special editions of the HR Carnival which I called the HR Carnival of Giving.  You can check it out here and here.  Bottom line of this was we raised and were able to donate almost $2,000.

I don’t run the Carnival of HR, and I haven’t discussed this with Shauna.  Maybe that isn’t the appropriate forum. Maybe we need to do it somewhere else, or create a website like they did for Blog Action Day.  Right now, I’m more interested in starting the discussion.

Can we do this every year?

Here is a challenge for human resources professionals who blog or who are web savvy.  Let’s use the HR Carnival format to help focus donations to organziations that make a difference on HR issues.  We can decide who that might be each year.

  1. Select a charity that  you support related to the overall theme
  2. Apply your HR and social media skills by doing a “background check” on that organization.  Here is a great place to start your research.
  3. Write up your findings, positive or negative, and post them on your blog.
  4. Submit your personal charitable donation when you submit your link.
  5. We could also do a social media fundraising effort within our networks.

Would you join this kind of effort with me?  What issue should we focus on first?  I really want your thoughts.

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4 pillars of a sustainable employment brand

Make sure your employment brand is sustainable

Recruitment (Photo credits: www.mydoorsign.com)

Since I started blogging in a regular basis again< I’m also doing guest posting elsewhere from time to time. I’m also returning to the blogger lineup over on Blogging4Jobs.  In fact, my first post for them in 2014 went up yesterday as part of their Recruiting Trends theme week.

My post is 2014 Recruiting Trends: Employment Brands Under Fire #recruittrends Go check it out.

Four ways to build your employment brand

Here are four solid things you can do to make sure your organization maintains a sustainable employment brand.

1.  Foster a positive employee relations environment.  I firmly believe that strong, capable, integrity based leadership  is a key element for success in any organization.  Practicing clear consistent organizational behavior with a clear mission, strong values, and fair treatment of your employees are the foundation elements for a healthy, high performing organization.

2. Put some skin in the game.  I have worked for two employee owned companies, and all the following statements about those companies are still true.  More Profitable. Better performance. More engaged employees.  We need more employee owned companies.

3.  Ensure your business is involved in the community.  If the company contributes to the community, so will the employees.  It becomes a virtuous circle, and builds a better performing organization because people will know you care.  ContributeBuildCreate.

These strategies all build the positive side of your employment brand, and boost your ability to recruit.  They are important all the time, every day.  Make sure your organization is focusing on them.

4. Focus on monitoring  your brand via social media for positive and negative messaging.  In 2014, I believe it will become critical that corporations have a strategy in place to find and respond to such issues as they develop.  While it is inevitable that your response strategy will need coordination across a variety of business units, this is something strategic that HR can take the lead on.

This isn’t stuff you do for damage control or in response to a crisis.  This is stuff you plan and execute as part of every day HR plan.  You can  make your company better and make sure that your employment brand investment continues to pay off every day.


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The #Coffeeshot Project

Discovering Community through shared moments

Gators (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

About a year ago, I started posting a semi-regular photo feature on Facebook and Instagram that I entitled #Coffeeshots.  It was basically my way of a moment from the start of my day.  Since I travel a great deal, it was also a fun way to share where I was working or playing.  I enjoyed it, and it almost always prompts a few responses from the social media sphere, so it was a fun way to say hi to the community. I didn’t really have any higher expectation than that for this little side project, but I have learned a few surprising things along the way as I shared my #coffeeshot moments.

I’m a little bit better photographer than I was a year ago.  It’s really boring for everyone, including me to just run a shot of a cup of coffee every day, so it didn’t take me long to figure out I needed to include outdoor shots or people shots or shots of the barista who made my coffee.  I have tried to stay away from too many candid people shots,  I’ve learned to use angles or the occasional naturally occurring silhouette opportunity.  I’ve also developed a better eye for “good” shots.  I’m not claiming to be a really good photographer like Heather Bussing or Steph Grant, but I do have a better eye for a photo, so +1 on that.

Here’s the #coffeeshot from today, taken at Starbucks in Lakeland Florida.  It’s pretentiously entitled “Ladies of Starbucks”, and the lady in gray reflects the sky as well as the feel of the day here in Florida today. She was also interesting to talk to.  This is the second learning.

Coffee is a community unto itself.  People who drink it constitute a shared global community.  At any coffee shop, Starbucks or an awesome local independent like Black and Brew here in Lakeland, you can easily drop insert yourself into fascinating conversations, find business groups, learn about local events, and generally widen your scope if you choose to do so.  That may sound oddly grandiose, but I believe it.  Coffee shops are my favorite place to work and to people watch.  Starbucks runs their whole business model off of this.

Since I started the #coffeeshot project, I’ve largely focused on sharing picture and places.  I’m going to change the game up soon.  #Coffeeshots is going to morph from just photos into an interview series – some print, some video, maybe even a podcast.   It will focus on the people who hang out in coffee shops, and their stories – probably a lot of work and business, but hopefully more.  More to come soon.  And if you are a coffee company looking for something new to share with your community, hit me up.

Thanks for reading this self-indulgent post. Talk to you tomorrow!




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Today’s Paper.li delivered

Today’s post is a sharing post. Here are some really good paper.ii newspapers that aggregate topical information about various HR and business issues as shared on social media.

People Profit Planet from People Report

Hashtag #Labor

Hashtag #SHRM

Today’s Paper.li delivered

Today’s post is a sharing post. Here are some really good paper.ii newspapers that aggregate topical information about various HR and business issues as shared on social media.

People Profit Planet from People Report

Hashtag #Labor

Hashtag #SHRM