Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Passwords & Future Employers

Facebook and work just don’t go together. Yet it’s so tempting to mix the two – so what to do?

Employers claim they want your social media passwords so they can see the “real you.” Potential employees claim it’s a violation of their personal privacy. Who’s right?

While I can’t say I favor one argument over the other, I do have a response for both. Employers: if you want to know the “real me” hang out with me for an hour or two and you’ll get to know me pretty quick. It’s much more efficient, less creepy and realistic. Potential employees: use the grandma rule (she’s a little more respectful than your mom who you’ve disobeyed more often than not). If you have anything on your profile that you wouldn’t want grandma, let along your future employer, to see GET RID OF IT. It’s really that simple. Too bad other people don’t see it that way…

According to Mashable, employers in Maryland can’t demand access to private materials (like FB and Twitter passwords) as a condition of employment. Well, that’s a step in the right direction. Instead of the invasion of privacy being frowned upon, it’s now illegal in the state of Maryland. As for the rest of us? Don’t give up hope.

Here are some things you can do if a company asks for your Facebook password:

  1. Put it eloquently. You can deny the employer access to your accounts but do so respectfully. Try one of these: Stand your ground but offer a loophole: “I am very careful with my personal, private online personal and do not feel comfortable giving out any passwords. But feel free to look at my profile as it appears to you as a company right now, if you would like.” Or, ask for some respect: “I would never participate in social media on the organization’s time and ask that the organization will respect my personal social media rights outside of work.”
  2. Evaluate the situation. Is it really worth it to work for a company that wants to monitor your personal life and discover who you are based on your Facebook page? Maybe not. If that’s the case, there are always other job opportunities.
  3.  Take steps to protect your personal life. If you plan ahead and update your settings, you can easily separate your personal and professional life. For instance:

* Authors note: I’m not a huge fan of this one. Especially people who change their name to first name + middle name. Unless you have a pretty unique first name, I’m probably not going to wish “Jane Marie” a happy birthday because I no longer recognize you by name. If you absolutely must change your name, at least try spelling your name phonetically. That way, people will still know who you are.

What it comes down to is subjective comfort. Personally, I would have no problem allowing a future employer to take a look at my Facebook page; I don’t have much to hide. Although, I will admit, I’d find the request a little strange and probably wouldn’t disclose my password just to avoid the hassle of resetting and memorizing it – but that’s just me.

If you come across this dilemma of intermingling Facebook and work, think before you respond and know that you have personal privacy rights and an opinion you’re entitled to. For more tips try reading this article.

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Facebook Timeline for Brands

On Wednesday, Facebook announced the launching of timelines for some brand pages and will be pushed to everyone on March 30th. Personally, I’m excited to see how brands will react.

Most people hate when Facebook changes. And, from a social business standpoint, some people still aren’t using Facebook to it’s fullest potential. If that’s the case, I’m extremely curious to see how brands will utilize the new interface.

If you’re not that tech savvy, don’t be too nervous. Jim Belosic, author on mashable.com states,

“From a design perspective, pages will be more aesthetically pleasing, but timeline for pages is just an enhancement to an existing product, and the rules are all the same or possibly even better.”

That being said, it’s important to note the word “enhancement.” The new Facebook timeline will be an enhancement to brands; meaning the general purpose of a branded Facebook page won’t change. Facebook should still be utilized as a social media platform that engages consumers in a two-way conversation targeting an audience that is loyal or has interest in your product/service.

The Facebook timeline, therefore, should be used to improve this goal. It is strictly a design and visual enhancement that will allow brands to tell a more authentic and engaging story. It’s how a brand chooses to tell it’s story that will make all the difference.

I also believe it will make brands more personal for visitors. The interface allows for more prominent visuals and media, making it easier for brands that rely heavily on displaying their products or services to demonstrate the features and benefits of their products. The bottom line: more visuals and pictures will allow for more branding opportunities.

Take a look at how Ben & Jerry’s was able to improve their Facebook page with the new timeline:

In the first photo, you can see how Ben & Jerry’s was able to enhance their logo with the complimentary profile picture and cover photo. In the second image, you can see how they are taking advantage of the visuals to discuss new products and the story behind each flavor. Finally, in the third picture, you can see how they are using the timeline feature to tell its story as a brand and how it has evolved over time.

With with this key benefit of improved branding, I believe the Facebook timeline will be a turning point for social businesses wishing to improve their presence and interaction with consumers on Facebook.

For more information read “How to Prepare for Your Company’s New Facebook Page

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Maybe a fad, maybe forever

Tonight, sparked an idea for my first blog post… is social media just a fad?

I was downtown getting drinks with a friend when social media suddenly peppered into our conversation. She confessed to me her annoyance with social media. She said, “I’m hoping it eventually just goes away.”

Goes away?! I was in shock. Although I’m no fortune teller, I don’t think social media will ever go away – at least not in this decade. It’s only getting bigger and better, so why not jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride?

Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), I’ve encountered this reaction before. People don’t understand social media beyond Facebook and wishes it would all just “go away.” News flash: social media is here to stay.

But, I will admit, not all social media sites are… MySpace may be gaining ground again recently but their heydays are over. Google+? Yeah, good effort.

Tim Cigelske, Senior Communications Specialist at Marquette, told us how Google+ tried to top all other social media sites with SEO of Google+ user-generated content at the top of the page. Twitter, which organically generates ongoing conversations and high SEO, wasn’t too happy about that. Oops, Google.

What about Pinterest? Is that a fad or forever? Augie Ray, former analyst of social media at Forrester, told us his golden rule for predicting the success/failure of social media sites: introducing the “Mom Rule.”

Whenever a new social media site launches, and after personally exploring it himself, Augie Ray asks himself “would my mom use this site?” Seems silly at first, but for most moms out there it totally makes sense.

Google+ isn’t something moms were racing to the computer to create an account on, but Farmville was. Pinterest too is creeping up in the ranks.

Pinterest currently attracts more women than men and deserves some serious attention. According to this Billboard Business article ( http://bit.ly/x6zeJA), Pinterest visitors spend an average of 88.3 minutes on the site, only third to Facebook at 394 minutes and Tumblr at 141 minutes. Clearly Pinterest is here to stay. Which reminds me… I should probably make my account soon.

Bottom line is this: if you don’t like a certain social media site, don’t become an early adaptor. Join the network when you’re ready. If you absolutely hate it after giving it the old college try, then deactivate your account; but whatever you do, don’t underestimate social media.

Still not convinced? Watch this video: The Social Media Revolution 2012 (http://bit.ly/oe7npC) “Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

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