Jarter Jargon

Archive for March 2013

“If you don’t believe in the work you are doing here, go home. Work somewhere else.” – Ken H.

Why do we work the jobs that we do? For some, it’s to pay the bills. For others, it’s due to passion. People become accustomed to routine. Day in, day out: wake up, work, go home, eat, sleep. After awhile, this can wear someone down. Attitudes shift, productivity diminishes.

This is what I like to call “Workplace Complacency.”

Workplace Complacency is the pitfall of many businesses, but how can we battle it? The answer is through passion and curiosity.

Being passionate about your work is extremely important. Every opportunity is an opportunity to do your best work.

Being curious is also important. You’re never done learning. Supposedly, it takes 10,000 of experience to be considered an “expert.”

Start clockin’, baby. You’re in for the long haul.

It seems lately that social media marketing is slowly reaching a plateau, at least in my opinion. While there are some leaps and bounds that have been made, we just keep having roundabout discussions about what social media really can do. “No one knows the true power of social media marketing. There’s something there but we can’t put our finger on it.” “Engagement is key.” “Listen to your audience.” We live in a day and age where interconnectivity is thriving and growing rapidly. Brands pay incredible amounts of money to pump out every last drop of their social channels.

But how can we move past survival in this incredibly connected world?

As of late, I feel inspired and motivated to learn as much as I possibly can because social media is, in fact, a learning experience. We all make mistakes in our career. It’s inevitable, however we need to take those mistakes and turn it into something to not only benefit ourselves but the social community as a whole.

I recently read a blog post from 7Summits about how it doesn’t matter what tools you have to analyze and monitor and pour over what people are saying about your brand. News flash: everyone has access to the same tools. It’s how you take that information and apply it to create value for your business. We need to move past survival. One key role in doing so is also moving past ignorance.

This brings me back to the position I am in now. I want to learn. Social media is fascinating because there truly is a wealth of knowledge and power to be discovered. We are barely scratching the surface, but it also seems people are set in their ways: see how people interact with your brand’s channels, analyze sentiment, analyze share of voice, track some other KPIs. Again, there is progress being made, but what can we do to dive deep into the data we are gathering and really create value for our companies? We need to step back and ask ourselves, “Why?”

Asking “Why” is the foundation for any discovery. It is also the beginning of a cycle. When we ask ourselves this simple question, it leads to creative thinking which in turn leads us to solving problems. Through this process we continue to grasp new concepts. We can then ask ourselves “Why?” about these discoveries, and it starts the cycle again. Like I said, social media marketing is a learning experience. We will make mistakes, it’s a given. But we need to keep learning, keep asking ourselves, “Why?”

While we all are monitoring social channels for mentions, follows, likes, unlikes, retweets, and a whole list of other things to worry about, many brands are overlooking a more simple idea: “purchase intent indicators.”

We need to take a look at the broad audience. Sure we track hashtags and certain groups, but what about the small-time, broad-range conversations that go on under our radar? A perfect example is Jason Fall’s experiment one day in Louisville. He tweeted:

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These are the kinds of tweets people send out in a heartbeat looking for general feedback. To Jason’s surprise, he received a tweet from a bourbon joint in a Marriott hotel on the city’s east side.

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A simple suggestion that grew from some pretty smart monitoring, but it’s something small that should still be considered by brands everywhere. Just because people aren’t directly mentioning your brand specifically doesn’t mean that it’s out of your realm.

After reading an op-ed on Mashable about the potential effect social media is having on the world’s literacy rates, it really had me thinking.

Some say that social media is killing this generation’s ability to express clear and concise thoughts. Facebook and Twitter are rife with grammatical errors, and it still baffles me that people my age don’t know the difference between “You’re” and “Your.”

While studies suggest people are reading less, I find that hard to believe. People everyday, although on their smartphones or tablets, are reading and taking in massive amounts of information all the time. Take a second to look around in the grocery store, on the bus, even the ever-dangerous texting while walking. People are on their devices looking at the news, Facebook, Twitter, and so many other sources of information for just that: information. It has become so prevalent that it can now actually be difficult to get out of the habit of being locked on to our devices.

We live in a day and age where people have become accustomed to social interaction online. People have even come up with online etiquette! It’s here, and it’s here to stay. People look for that daily engagement whether it comes from brands they love or friends they love to talk to. Admit it, we all love getting Facebook notifications or Twitter mentions and retweets. We love when people like our photos on Instagram. We love sharing things via these channels.

Hofstra University Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Composition Ethna Dempsey Lay, who co-edited the essay collection Who Speaks for Writing: Stewardship in Writing Studies in the Twenty-First Centuryargues that what we are witnessing is a “sequel to literacy” meaning that we are finding new ways to communicate through the channels we are now faced with. However, on the other hand, she also brings to our attention that these social channels allow us to post immediately which has had an adverse effect on our ability to proofread and can also lead to the complete omission of revising.

As social media expands, new ways of communicating are being discovered every day. And while social interaction is at an all-time high, there are some cracks starting to show.

Recently, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer barred employees from working from home. The reason? To boost “collaboration and communication.” This now requires all employees to physically report to one of Yahoo’s locations.

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings,” Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s head of HR, wrote in the memo. “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

While it obviously frustrated employees, a huge debate erupted over the internet. Some also took the opportunity to recruit for their own companies calling for Yahoo employees upset with the ban to reconsider their career. Not only did the new rule seem to buck the trend in tech workplaces, but it also appeared to go against Yahoo’s recent efforts to bring more of the perks common at other tech companies to Yahoo. Under Mayer’s leadership, Yahoo has given employees free meals, freeiPhone 5s and initiated weekly all-hands meetings.

On one hand, I understand Mayer’s logic. Synergistic meetings and in-person discussions lead (quickly) to solutions. It also works to weed out employees who might not necessarily be working at Yahoo for the right reasons. Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider hears from a source that there are a “huge number” of remote workers in customer service, marketing and engineering, many of whom “weren’t productive.” For Mayer, the new rule will either force these workers to work in the office, which the company believes will help productivity, or force them to quit, which will help the company cut costs.

On the other hand, is it fair to completely cut out “Work from Home” days?

I can understand the need to boost productivity, however, employee morale has a huge impact on the work that gets done on a day to day basis.


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