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social media watch

Overreaching in Aisle 2? Union Discounts Grocer's Social Media Policy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 2, 2012 11:01 AM

In a closely watched case that could impact employees' use of social media, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the Stop & Shop grocery chain's social media policy is "impermissibly vague, overbroad and violated Section 7 rights of employees" that protects the right to organize and bargain.

The Union represents 5,500 Stop & Shop employees at 45 stores in and around New York City. The petition alleges that Stop & Shop enacted the social media policy without consulting the union, a violation of collective bargaining rights, while forbidding employees from disclosing confidential information (such as salaries) on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The policy also prohibits employees from discrediting the store's practices or products on their personal social media posts. Furthermore, according to legal counsel for the Union, Patricia McConnell of Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, the policy requires employees to report colleagues’ violations whereby workers face disciplinary action — up to and including termination.Continue reading...

social media watch

Banking on Social Media: The Financial Services Brands That Get Social

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2012 03:03 PM

The vast majority of wealth managers and private banks are dealing quite “clumsily” with social media according to a recent study of 50 leading private banks and wealth management firms by Swiss consulting firm assetinum.com.

“Amateurish” social media strategies, “hibernation” on Facebook and “tokenism attitudes” towards Twitter and YouTube are abundant.

Of the institutions assessed on a 100-point scale, the average score was 43 points. Twenty-seven of the firms did not reach half the maximum points in the Facebook category; 25 fell short in the website and mobile category; 25 scored less than half in the Twitter assessment, and for YouTube and LinkedIn the scores were 29 and 21.

While 42 out of 50 banks have Twitter accounts, just 26 are active in response to posts and only 13 posted content about wealth management. Nineteen banks have blogs with only six of those interacting proactively with consumers.Continue reading...

social media watch

Chocolate Google+ Pages Notwithstanding, Not Everyone's Enamored of G+

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 16, 2012 10:57 AM

Google+ may inspire such fits of creativity as the chocolate Google+ page that Cadbury UK created (above) to thank its 500,000 G+ followers, but it isn't inspiring all Googlers, past or present.

While disgruntled Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith became a media sensation after he published his resignation letter in the New York Times this week, a former Googler named James Whittaker, who quit in February to return to Microsoft (from whence he came), blasted Google for letting Google+ take over its business focus (and sanity, he argues).

In a personal blog post entitled "Why I left Google," Whittaker wrote that “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus" — for which he blames the company's obsession with Google+.Continue reading...

social media watch

Huggies Makes Amends with Dads After Flunking Facebook 'Test'

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 13, 2012 10:08 AM

As you may have caught on Facebook lately, Huggies is in hot water with Dads.

The issue: the Kimberly-Clark diaper brand's male-targeted social marketing campaign featuring real dads and real babies, which aimed for the funny bone but landed in the solar plexus. "To prove that Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything, we put them to the toughest test imaginable – Dads," intoned a female voice-over in the videos ("Dad Test" and "Easy Chair").

Befuddled dads may have seemed like a cute way to make their point, but it (inevitably) irked parents. Consider that dads are increasingly stay-at-home caregivers, one out of three according to the US Census, it was no surprise that many of them took umbrage and took to social media to be heard.Continue reading...

social media watch

Homeless Hotspots at SXSW Cause Uproar

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2012 04:38 PM

Two words — "Homeless Hotspots" — are causing an uproar in Austin, Texas. Billed as “a charitable experiment” by BBH, it's not part of the official South by Southwest Interactive agenda, but it's getting mixed reviews and lots of attention.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty's BBHLabs skunkworks unit partnered with Front Steps Shelter to equip homeless people with 4G MiFi devices to serve as walking hotspots or pay-per-use Wi-Fi purveyors for attendees at the SXSW Interactive conference now taking place in Austin, TX.

The experiment was to see how much SXSWi attendees would donate (suggested donation: $2 per 15 minutes) — assuming attendees didn't oppose the notion of fundraising via hotspots (vs., say, hot meals) for the homeless.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook Timeline for Brands Launches with Coke, Lexus, Macy's and More

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 29, 2012 12:55 PM

Facebook today unveiled Timeline for pages on NBC's Today morning show, which used the occasion to unveil the first official Facebook Timeline — its own — and give TV viewers their first look at the social network's latest suite of tools to manage their presence and build their brands. Similar to individual user Timelines, this iteration for brands and organizations loses landing tabs but adds new features including the ability for featured posts to be "pinned" to the top of a Timeline for up to one week.

Brands are jockeying for creative positioning that stands out in an increasingly crowded field, with a slew of Timeline launches today timed to Facebook’s inaugural Marketers World Conference in New York, where it's also introducing simpler premium ads: “anything you can do on your Page, you can do in ads.”

Coca-Cola, for instance, is leveraging 125 years of history through the lens of fans’ letters to the Company over the years, including one from a man who asked for the exclusive franchise on the moon when President Kennedy pledged in 1961 to put a man there. (As the brand mused in a blog post today, "What did Coke fans do before Facebook?"Continue reading...

social media watch

Why Social Media Ads Need a New Playbook

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2012 04:52 PM

It’s a given that social media is de rigueur, but companies can still be better listeners and communicators according to the latest A.T. Kearney Social Media Study.

Parsing the top 50 of Interbrand's list of 100 Best Global Brands, Kearney analysts found that 48 of the top 50 have a Facebook presence, reluctance to include social media as a core factor in customer outreach persists and levels of participation vary widely. Concomitantly, consumer use of online messaging has reached “a staggering quantity,” and the study posits that no FB presence may be preferable to a spotty or irrelevant one.

"The majority of companies we looked at are not moving toward a more interactive use of social media, even as their customers are becoming clearer about their expectation to interact with their brands,” stated Jim Singer, study sponsor and partner in A.T. Kearney's Consumer and Retail Industries practice.

The study focused on four distinct types of posts: personal, consisting of a question or statement not specifically promoting a product; promotional, maybe including a coupon; informative, with product-relevant information; external, referencing off-Facebook content with a link.Continue reading...

social media watch

LinkedIn Helps Users Follow and Connect with Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2012 10:58 AM

With more than 2 million companies on LinkedIn, the site has finally activated a way to connect with them: a Follow Company button, which is now live. The video above demonstrates how to find and follow a company, with more details in a blog post and a free webinar at 1pm EST today.

“Click on the Follow Company button and, as long as you are logged onto LinkedIn, you will automatically ‘follow’ the company,” says LinkedIn’s Mike Grishaver. “If you are not logged on, a box will appear asking for your LinkedIn credentials. Just type those in and you will automatically begin to follow the company. Companies will engage with you from their Company Page on LinkedIn and through status updates. Status updates will appear on your LinkedIn homepage – so check back frequently to see what’s going on.”

Brands’ updates feed directly into the status updates of LinkedIn members’ personal homepages, making it that much easier to target audiences and ‘amplify’ messages as they spread across the network.Continue reading...

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