“It’s not you, it’s . . . you.” Passive Aggressiveness on Social Media.
My recent post What Annoys Me MOST about Facebook, stirred some fairly heated conversations among my colleagues and friends. “Are you talking about me?” “Were you talking about ___ (insert name here)?” Apparently it struck a nerve. Both positive and negative. I had numerous emails and tweets that agreed with me. Still others were defensive even if they had not specifically written any of my “top annoyances” on their page. I even had someone come up to me at a conference and say “I agree. I don’t care what type of chilli you’re making.” I was taken back for a second then laughed as I knew what he was referencing.
On the off chance you will get offended at this blog, please note, that my writings come from weeks of research. I mean, any social media “guru” knows I just need to study something for a few weeks and I can be called an “expert.”
A colleague, who I consider a good friend, knew I was writing this post and cautioned “Adam, you’re not a psychologist.” I agree. So please, get off my couch and just listen.
“Passive Aggressive” is defined by Dictionary.com as ” being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive way (as through procrastination, stubbornness, and unwillingness to communicate) < span=””> <>passive-aggressive personality”
You’ve seen it. A recent break-up. A friendship gone sour. Or simply just being unhappy about the way someone treated you. They are all painful experiences. I’m certainly not making light of them because we all know how painful those experiences are. Heartbreaking even.
But then, it all starts to unfold before our eyes in our news stream. A song posted with jabbing lyrics. Changing of a favorite quote to “If someone you love hurts you cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.” Then like it or not, we are forced to choose sides. Or at least feel sympathy and “like” their status. After all, I’m not a good friend if I don’t publicly sympathize with their pain by clicking my mouse.
I like what Teresa Boarman said in her blog “A social media tip for the passive aggressive:”
“In general you can say anything to your twitter, or facebook, friends or in blog comments, emails or even text messages if you know the rules. Write what ever you want to and just end it with a “:)” or a “LOL”. It goes something like this: “You suck LOL” or “I can’t stand you I would be surprised if your own mother loved you ”
So friends, I leave you with this: stop being passive aggressive on social media. The rest of us just want to get on FB and see cute photos of your kids, funny things that happened that day, or meaningful updates about your life.
I really would rather not be sucked into taking sides. And if I do take sides, I’ll let you know privately. LOL. =)
“What is the Internet Anyway?”
Before you read the rest of this post, please, watch this video. (Thanks Rich for sending this to me last week).
I can’t stop laughing at this video with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric. I love the commentary about the @ symbol; especially Katie drawing it with her finger in the air.
Ok, so seriously, why is this video worthy of a blog post?
Can you recognize the same conversations being held today? It wasn’t to long ago that many news casters were saying:
“What’s this Twitter thing?”
“How do you tweet someone?”
Do we see the trend here? Once skeptical of email and the “massive computer network,” America’s top news organizations didn’t even know about the internet. Now, they couldn’t do business without it.
Disagree if you will, but I believe that “social media,” and in particular my favorite, Twitter, is doing for our generation what the internet did 15 years ago.
- Every late-night talk show that I watch is using Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their audience. This morning on my drive into work, the morning show I listen to was using Twitter to ask their listeners to respond to a particular segment – all in real time.
- The most respected news organizations in the world use Twitter to communicate.
- Job seekers are finding jobs by leveraging their connections on Twitter.
- No more sitting on the phone going through the maze of automated hell. Customer service departments are leveraging Twitter to respond quickly to their customers. See a personal example in my own life here.
- Min Xuan evens goes as far to say that Twitter changed her life. P.S. love the 5 stages of Twitter acceptance slide.
When talking someone, I can immediately tell if they understand the power that Twitter has or if they still think it’s a colossal joke or waste of time.
I could list many more useful examples of how Twitter is changing (and has changed) communication, but the point of my blog is not to try and change your mind on Twitter. However, I do want the image of Katie Couric, and her initial conversations about the internet, burned into your brain. So that the next time you start to make fun of Twitter or brush it off as a waste of time, rethink how the internet has revolutionized our lives.
Targeting Candidates on Twitter
Lately I’ve had numerous MATRIX recruiters come and ask for tips on targeting a specific type of candidate on Twitter.
First, I remind them is that Twitter is not an “all you” media. Meaning, don’t expect to put a job out there, and in return have numerous qualified candidates immediately contact you.
Social Media, and specifically Twitter, is just that, Social. It helps to build those relationships, that then could turn into placements, or referrals from those you’ve connected with.
At any rate, I do think there is a science to finding your exact target audience on Twitter. I’m sure most of you reading this could expand on my tips, but here’s just a few to get you started.
Let’s say you are looking for Java Developers in the Chicago area.
The first place I go is to Google. Reason: I want to connect with java pros in my area. So, I typically I run a search like “Java User Groups, Chicago”
That then gets me a list of active user groups that specialize in Java, again that are local.
From there, I start digging. Going into each user group site and looking for signs of life on Twitter.
First I check to see if the User Group has a “corporate” Twitter account. That way I can stay in contact with the meeting dates and any news from their group.
Then, I look to see who’s following their group. Most of the time you will come across professionals that attend the user group, and other times you will find other recruiters. Either way, get connected with them.
Then digg deeper. Remember you’re trying to “connect” with their community. So, find some of the most active Twitter users in that group and see who’s following them.
I found this Java guy (blurred his name because I don’t have permission) and saw he has thousands of followers. Take a few minutes and peruse through who he’s following. Any other java pros that he’s connected with? If so, connect with them.
Lastly, pay attention to their conversations. Are they talking about an upcoming event? Does that event have a hastag i.e. #ChicagoJavaConf? See who’s talking within that community and connect with them.
Before long, you will have a solid list of targeted Chicago (potential) Java candidates.
In my next post, I’ll discuss your next step: Engaging them in conversation.
Your ‘Office’ Social Media Personalities – That’s What She Said.
Most people know the socially and professionally awkward Michael Scott. His inappropriate one-liners and off-color humor catapulted The Office to the top of the ratings for the past few years. As I was watching the other night, I thought about the different characters, and how they would use social media if Dunder Mifflin encouraged it.
Click Here to read by post on the MATRIX Blog about the typical social media personalities in your office.
What Happens on Twitter Stays . . . Everywhere.
I don’t think people actually realize that what happens on Twitter can hang around like an unwelcome in-law (none of mine of course, I love all mine). If you are looking for a job, or just want to KEEP the job you have, think twice, and maybe three times about what you tweet. Social media can be a very powerful tool for finding a job, gathering information, and networking. However, it can royally mess up your career, or land you in court, if you don’t use common sense when updating.
Below are actual tweets I found by doing a few simple searches on Twitter:
1. So since my boss is a #$%*@, I have today off and may get fired tomorrow.
2. En route to work…still drunk
3. So I came to work this morning w/ my shirt inside out, my hair a mess, and kinda drunk. . .
4. From the moment I got into work today, all I’ve wanted to do is get drunk…
5. I hate my job, boss and schedule.
6. People are stupid. I hate them. My boss just walked in. I hate him too.
7. I hate when my boss trys to wear feminine color polish on her manly @*$ hands!!!!
8. One of my coworkers will realize that smell is actually his breath….
9. So according to my coworkers my new shampoo and conditioner makes me smell like im drunk? Haha how does that work?
10. Got drunk as hell last night….at work bout to pass out
11. At work but not working, wassup wit u
12. I’m having a fantastic time not working at work, lol.
Though I got a good laugh out of some of the tweets, especially number 7, I couldn’t help but think of what might happen to these people if someone in their organization saw their tweet.
I don’t mean to “scare” you so you never use social media. It’s a great tool. But just re-think that status update or tweet before you hit publish.
My Interview with “The Job Stalker”
Through a series of Twitter interactions I met Brendan Tripp, a marketing and communications professional in the Chicago area. Brendan writes a regular blog series titled “The Job Stalker” where he shares helpful resources about for those that are looking for a job.
Recently, Brendan highlighted MATRIX as a company job seekers should get to know on Twitter. And for those that don’t know I am the “voice behind the M.” You can read the full interview where we discuss the job market, social media, and networking here:
Your company is Tweeting, Facebooking, and Blogging. So what?
So, your company is on Twitter, Facebook, and has started a blog. So what?
Are you connecting to the right people? Are you seeing any results from your efforts?
Every self-proclaimed social media mogul says “listen first,” then speak. I agree, but where do you listen, who do you listen to, and how do you listen on SM?
I usually pick a “target audience” every few days and concentrate on building a relationship with them.
For example, let’s say your company wants to sell Zen Gardens to stressed-out CEOs. (It was the first thing I saw when I looked around my desk).
Step 1 – Connect. First, I suggest checking your database for all CEOs that your currently working with. Run internal searches to see if any of them are on social media. It’s important to connect with people you already know, and see who they are connected with. Done that already? Then, how about running a boolean search (you can use this one) on Google and find CEO’s on LinkedIn that are also on Twitter.
Step 2 – Listen. How do you listen on social media? All those people you just connected with in Step 1, now it’s time to listen, not in a stalkerish way, but in a way that knows what’s going on in their world. Are they asking questions you can provide input to? Can you help sponsor an event? Do you have common personal interests/goals? All of those things are conversations to be on the lookout for. I like using Twitter Lists on TweetDeck so I can put people into categories and quickly monitor what that group is saying. By quickly, I mean scanning through their tweets once or twice a day.
Step 3 – Interact. I think this is where many companies potentially drop the ball. They get their SM sites going, then, like Field of Dreams they hope customers will come. Building a true social media platform takes a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. Always thinking of ways to interact and build relationships. A few basic examples: comment on a blog post, RT their information, support them in their speaking engagements, just interact with them! People on SM love when their content spreads.
Step 4 – Give. I like to use the word give because relationships never work if your a “taker.” So, give to your connections. Provide meaningful content via a blog or Twitter feed. Support their efforts whether speaking or blogging. Could they benefit from knowing another one your connections? Introduce them. Do you have an event they might be interested in attending? Invite them. Let your connections know that you are not all about you.
Step 5 – Engage. Now that you’ve had meaningful interactions with them, it’s time to pull the “relationship” even closer. Maybe they could guest author on your blog about the stress CEOs are facing. Or you could sponsor a series of Webinars for other CEOs. I’m making this up but you get the point. Your goal is for them to become an advocate of your SM efforts and of your organization.
I’m not claiming to be a sales expert. But, most sales people would agree that the best “deals” are done with those who they’ve built a solid relationship with. Social Media is a great tool to lay the foundation for a good relationship.
If all of this stresses you out, I’ve got a Zen Garden with your name on it.
“How Do You Know She’s a Witch?” . . . “She Looks Like One!”
Social Media. Social Media. Social Media!
There. Let’s get it out of our system.
Nowadays companies love to throw a social media “phrase” into the mix, sometimes completely unrelated and out of the blue. Much like the peasants in Monty Python (watch the scene here). trying to dress up a witch, companies throw up a Facebook page and declare they are now on social media.
Yes, SM is great. But I say it all the time, it’s not the “Holy Grail” of marketing.
More importantly than creating a Facebook Page or jumping onto twitter, is looking at how SM can fit into your overall marketing strategy. More specifically let’s talk about the “customer experience.”
In some companies the “customer experience” is managed by a completely different department. But at MATRIX we talk a lot about it in our marketing meetings. After all, the marketing department should be helping with your branding, and the customer’s experience is going to brand you. Good or bad.
Because Social Media was the “buzz” of 2009, companies every where were throwing up SM positions and targeting recent college grads to start tweeting.
I understand that SM its new territory and companies were unsure about it’s “value,” but one thing that was failed to realize was SM, if done right, plays a HUGE part in your customer experience.
So, let’s back up. What do you do? How can you ensure that SM fits into your overall strategy, and guarantee that it provides a great experience for your customers?
- Make sure your SM team knows your brand! It’s easy to tweet or create a Facebook page, but does the person behind it know your brand to the core? Better yet, do they know your target audience.
- Train your team on “best practices.” How should they respond to a complaint? Or to a question they don’t know? – For Heaven’s sake, don’t just say “I don’t know. . .”
- Engage them in the discussions about your marketing strategy. The SM team should know what the overall goals are. Brainstorm ways that SM can fit into and help achieve those goals. Basically, make sure they know where the company is going.
- Incorporate SM efforts into your CRM strategy. If your SM team deals directly, even as much as a RT from a client or customer, it needs to be documented. You want to ensure that the rest of the company knows there was an interaction. Especially if there was a complaint. If you customer complains on social media, they shouldn’t have to then talk on the phone with someone that has no idea about the complaint.
- Encourage them to “look deeper.” This is probably the most vague point, but don’t just settle for the status quo. Encourage them to look deeper at the stats. What are the trends, what does your audience seem most interested in?
As you quest for your own Holy Grail using Social Media, keep in mind it all comes down to forming genuine, not illusory relationships. Providing a way to connect with your customer and ensuring that they have a good experience with your brand.
5 Missed Opportunities By The @SprintCare Social Media Efforts.
So, I admit it. I’m spoiled.
I had an excellent interaction with the Home Depot via social media, which set the bar for other companies to treat me as their customer. Besides that, being a huge Social Media (SM) advocate, I know that SM can build great relationships with customers, or help tear them apart.
I recently had an interaction with the Sprint Social Media team. This post is not intended to “bad mouth” Sprint but rather, in my opinion, show areas of improvement in their SM efforts.
Long story short. A few months back I made the switch from what my buddies called a “sissy texting phone,” to the then brand new HTC Hero. Shortly after the holidays friends started asking me if I received their text messages. I brushed it off for a few weeks, until more and more friends/family began telling me they had tried calling or texting, but I never received them. I took it into a local store, they played with my phone for a few minutes, then sent me on my way. Ensuring me that the problem was fixed.
It wasn’t. And as irritating as it is to have purchased a “lemon,” what is more frustrating is feeling like I need to jump through corporate hoops to get my problem fixed.
I sent an email to the Sprint Customer service team detailing my problems and asking for help. After basically getting nowhere, I reach out via social media to Sprint.
My thinking was that if they were on social media, they knew the importance of authentic interaction and transparency with customers.
My first two tries to interact via Twitter were met by silence. Missed Opportunity 1.
Was no-one actually maintaining their account, or did they not have any searches set-up to find people that were talking about them?
Finally, after asking if anyone was running their account, had two responses. One from @rpesce and the other from the @sprintcare team. I thanked them for responding and asked to be put in touch with someone. I wanted a REAL person. But, I was asked to send a e-mail to email@example.com detailing my problem.
Ok. Fine. I had already sent an email to them a few weeks back detailing my problem, but for the sake of an argument I copied my previous emails and sent a screen shot of the conversation that had taken place on Twitter. (I was hoping their CRM database was robust enough to see I had several interactions with various Sprint reps., and they would escalate this issue.)
A simple follow-up to ensure me my problem was being looked at would have put my mind at ease. Missed Opportunity 2.
Meanwhile, I would expect their Sprint team to follow me on Twitter. After all, I am a customer (have been one for years) wouldn’t they want to connect with me? If nothing else, wouldn’t they rather have a conversation via DM rather than an @ reply? Missed Opportunity 3.
You read that right. My son had an emergency at school, and they couldn’t leave a message on my phone!
I digress. My e-mail was responded to by another customer service rep. who had no idea what was going on with my problem. So I had to provide additional information to get her up to speed. With @HomeDepot Stephanie reached out to me via Twitter, and she was the one that handled my issue. Missed Opportunity 4.
Finally, thought I was getting somewhere when, Lee, a Sprint technician called me. He ensured me that my problem was a “high priority” and didn’t want to lose me as a customer. He said one of the other technicians would call me within 24 hours to, yet again, gather more details.
72 hours went by and never heard from the other technician. Since I didn’t have Lee’s direct number, I thought the Twitter team might be able to reconnect me with him. I sent a tweet to them asking if they could have Lee call me.
No further questioning. No additional help. And It’s been almost a month and haven’t heard from anyone else at Sprint. Missed Opportunity 5.
Again, I say, this post isn’t to find fault with Sprint. Though it might seem like I am.
I believe, especially in Social Media, companies have to learn what works and what doesn’t. I simply wanted to show the missed opportunities that the Sprint SM team is having.
Solution to Missed Oppty 1: Search social media for what others are saying so you can quickly respond.
Solution to Missed Oppty 2: Follow-up with customers so they know you are working on their problem.
Solution to Missed Oppty 3: Engage and interact with your customers on social media.
Solution to Missed Oppty 4: Streamline the customer service process.
Solution to Missed Oppty 5: If someone asks a question you don’t know, find someone in the company that does and digg a little deeper.
Again, I thought about blurring Sprint’s name because I didn’t want to bad mouth them, but I think it’s important to show how some companies are understanding and embracing social media, and other’s, though trying to drive ROI on SM, don’t understand the relationship aspect.
What are your thoughts?
Using Twitter to Find a Job – A Real Life Example
In previous posts I have told you how you can build great relationships via Twitter. Also, Craig Fisher wrote about the “cool kids” that are using Twitter and other social media outlets to network. Now, I want to give you a real example of how Ben McCormack, a new MATRIX consultant, used Twitter to find a job.
I spoke with Ben a few days ago, and asked him to walk me through the job-search process he used on Twitter.
Did you join Twitter intending to look for a job?
I joined twitter about 8 months ago to start following experts in the Microsoft .NET Silverlight space. I noticed there were many industry experts on Twitter so I figured it could be a great tool to gain knowledge of a specific subject. I started following a guy by the name of Joel Spolsky. One day, I noticed a tweet that they were hiring a Support Engineer in New York. So I responded to the tweet and actually got a job interview. Though, I didn’t get that specific job, it made me realize that Twitter really can be a powerful tool in a job search.
How did you find your new job on Twitter?
Like I said, I wasn’t actively “looking for a job.” But, one day I noticed that one of your recruiters, Kelly Thielemann, started following me. I looked at her profile information and saw that she was a Technical Recruiter in the Atlanta area. I read through the information she was sharing on Twitter, and I liked it, so I decided to start following her.
A few days later, she sent out a job that she was looking to fill. It sounded interesting to me so I went ahead and responded to her. From there, MATRIX took care of the rest.
How often did you check Twitter for updates?
I use a desktop application called TweetDeck to arrange and organize my Twitter account. I stayed of top of the information that was being shared daily – usually every evening.
What I like about Twitter is you can be close enough to see what’s going on, but you are not obligated to respond.
Do you think Twitter is a powerful tool in a job search?
Yes. Definitely. Again, you can keep a pulse on what is going on in and around the “technical community.” My e-mail wasn’t clogged with “suggested jobs” and I didn’t have to browse through jobs on a career site.
Now, I know that Ben’s story sounds easy. And, not everyone will be followed by a Technical Recruiter in the exact city where they are looking for a job.
So, you need to be proactive and, just as Ben did, follow experts that are in your field. Run searches using TweepSearch.com or Search.Twitter.com to find specific people or conversations. You can also find numerous articles about using Twitter to find a job.
The point is, Twitter really does work in a job search.
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