Social Media Management Lesson From Facebook

06/05/2009

Gaping void tinyship Social media marketing is not Only about marketing. Social media influences the way we interact with customers and with the people within our organizations. Social media changes the way we do business.

Recently I spoke about social media marketing to a savvy group of small business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. No where are employee relations more personal than within a small business. Not only are heart and soul pouring into the day-to-day operations but for most small business owners "the business" takes on its own personae becoming almost a family member.

The session about Facebook with the Chamber members opened an interesting conversation when a women (let's call her Mary) shared her Facebook story. It seemed one of her employees (let's call her Ann) posted to her Facebook wall that she was "bored" with her job. Mary's son was a Facebook Friend (of Ann's) and told his mom. Mary's initial reaction was anger that Ann was wasting time on a personal Facebook page and not doing her job.

Feedback from the other small business owners ranged from you must be careful what you post since you never know who might be listening or telling other people to agreeing with Mary's view to suggestions to have Ann take over the company's Facebook page. Ironically, the company's Facebook page was Ann's responsibility.

Not knowing these good people nor the culture of Mary's company, I didn't want to alienate them, however, it was important for them to understand the bigger social media lessons that they could take back to their organizations.

1. Mary had a new important piece of information about a staff member and perhaps her company.

  • Did that mean it was not the "right" job for Ann?
  • Did it mean that Ann needed more training to do her job?
  • Did it mean that Ann was not being utilized to her full talents?
  • Did it mean Ann was looking for a new job?
  • Did it mean that Ann's attitude was influencing other employees?
  • Did it mean that the organization had a hiring challenge in other areas of the company?

2. Mary's company was now in public view for other people to see their internal culture.

  • Would potential employees have a negative view about working for the company?
  • Would it make attracting new employees difficult?
  • Would Ann's friends influence prospective customers?

Social media is not only impacting marketing but management issues that are more complex than a simple Facebook or Twitter post. All that said, social media management should not be used as a new James Bond espionage tool but information to make companies more responsive to internal process. Because as Sybil Sterchic might say social media provides a new way to take care of the people who matter most .. your employees.Who in turn take care of your customers .and make sure as Becky Carroll might say Customers Rock.

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Comments

y hunch is that most of the time "management" will have a knee jerk reaction and simply fire an employee who writes anything negative about the job and company. Being "bored" would probably classify as a negative. It seems to me the challenge is for companies to understand that if they encourage people to say what's really on their minds then ultimately they will have better employees who feel listened to and engaged, and the view from the outside will be that it's an open place to work. However, try getting someone in management to buy into that concept...most are afraid of airing dirty laundry. What I would love to see happen is that women who was bored come back the next day and talk about a great new assignment ....

Posted by: Elana on Jun 5, 2009 11:02:13 PM

Thanks for sharing this. Great info!

Posted by: Cherilynn Stone on Jun 7, 2009 8:02:24 AM

I think it is critical for management to listen to comments like the one Ann made. Who knows, maybe it is a widespread feeling throughout the company and management hasn't been paying enough attention to catch it. Getting information like that is a chance for management to evaluate things. I agree with Elana's comment, I think one of the best ways to go about it is giving Ann a new project to work on and see how she does. Maybe it will be the change she needs, or perhaps they would see that something else needs to be fixed within the company. Or maybe it is that Ann and the company are not a good fit for each other.

Posted by: Elizabeth on Jun 8, 2009 4:01:18 PM

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