Is it fair for employers to set rules for your personal social media posts? 0

Posting nasty comments about a client or advertiser on a company’s social media channel is a fast click to the unemployment line. But what if you posted the same nasty comment on your own personal Twitter account? Is that grounds for dismissal?

If you work for the Washington Post or dozens of other media outlets, it could be.

According to The Washingtonian, the Post’s new social media policy prohibits employees from posting any social media content that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” Doing so could lead to disciplinary action “up to and including termination of employment”.

This may sound unfair, harsh and in conflict with freedom of speech but there are a few angles we must consider. In the present day (where we’re all living), the dividing line between our business life and our personal life is mighty thin. And when you’re talking about reporters, teachers and freelancers, that line is non-existent.

Have you ever read the bios people put on their social media account? Even though they’re personal accounts, a large number of people include the name of their employer in their bio.

“I’m an avid bike rider and a journalist at the Anytown Bugle.”

 “Mother, wife, dog breeder, developer @CoolVideoGameCo”

It’s nice to see people who are proud of their work, but when they include this information on a public channel, the employee and the employer become socially and often awkwardly intertwined.

Let’s set aside those horrendous, ‘what were they thinking’ posts and talk about average, everyday venting. Suppose Steve, the bike rider from the Bugle, gets sick after eating lunch at Anytown Buffet, then posts an angry rant on Instagram including video from the hospital. Think the Buffet is going to run their full-page ad in the Bugle after that?

I’d like to think that people aren’t this vindictive but when we’re wounded, we tend to fight back using the biggest club we can find. In this case, rather than challenge journalist Steve directly, the Buffet puts the pressure on Steve’s employer, hoping they’ll meddle in Steve’s business and make the offending post go away.

I know that sounds a bit Machiavellian, but imagine how you’d feel if an employee of one of your clients or customers posted unkind words about you on social media? Would you give the employer a pass?

What’s hard about implementing such a harshly worded social media policy is that it could backfire. Especially when you include a clause imploring employees to point fingers if their co-workers break the rules. (Yes, really.) Is there a better way? Yes. Ask, don’t tell.

Most employees don’t set out to destroy your company’s reputation. They lose their temper or have something important to say and they don’t even consider the ramifications. So, instead of stringently forbidding your employees from posting what they want, ask them to kindly think twice before posting any content that might embarrass the company.

You can also ask employees to post a social media disclaimer (views are mine. . . sort of thing). Though this won’t save you if they go way off the rails, it’s a good, first line of defense.

As you build out your social media policy for employees, don’t forget to mention the good along with the bad. A VP might be excited by soaring sales, but posting financial information could get you all in trouble with the SEC.

Bottom line: in the last five years, social media has been a swift and vicious reputation killer. In a few cases, the poster set out to stir up trouble and there’s nothing you could have done to stop it. But in most cases, the offending post was a careless thought, a joke or taken out of context. Those are the incidents that could have been squashed with a little social media training.

Here’s your homework for the week: dig up your social media policy (or write one if you don’t have one) and send it out to all of your employees. Then, if possible, hold a staff meeting to review the policy so you know everyone – literally – got the memo.

And while you’re on the social media wagon, change the passwords on the company accounts because I can bet that most of you have never changed them since you set them up, years ago.

I know you’re busy, but spending a few hours getting your social media house in order now, beats spending weeks digging out from under social media blunder.


Source: Reputation Refinery

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 9 (Justice System, Social Media, Miscellaneous) 0

Justice System

* Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A., No. 11-1623 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2017): “The Court notes that a growing number of legal scholars are turning to blogs and other online media to publish their work and to consider important legal questions….the Court will treat the reference to the blog post the same way it would treat a citation to a law review article”

* The Recorder: Small Sums, Big Guns: This Billionaire Would Rather Skirmish Than Settle

* Vice: Cops Are Abandoning Their Favorite Interrogation Technique Because It Doesn’t Work

* Rebecca Wexler: When a Computer Program Keeps You in Jail

* Law.com: This Factor Is Drawing Increasing Scrutiny in Class Action Settlements

* Law.com: For Some Big Firms, It’s Still All About That IPO Equity

* Cracked: 6 Things I Learned When The Cops Raided My House By Mistake

* The Ringer: After the Final Rose With TV’s Bachelawyers

* “Miami lawyer’s pants erupt in flames during arson trial in court.”  New twist to “liar liar pants on fire” parable?

* Cracked: 6 WTF Excuses Companies Actually Used While Getting Sued

* Cracked: 5 Realities About The World’s Scariest Police Department

* NY Times: She Was Convicted of Killing Her Mother. Prosecutors Withheld the Evidence That Would Have Freed Her.

Social Media

* Washington Post: It takes more than social media to make a social movement

* The Verge: Teen who asked Wendy’s for nuggets breaks all-time retweet record

* Hollywood Reporter: Oscars: How an Accountant’s Tweet Turned into the Biggest Mistake in Academy History

* Variety: New Photos Show PWC Accountant Tweeting, Mixing Envelopes Backstage at Oscars. Distracted tweeting kills lives, careers, dreams and Oscars

* Time: Meet the Woman Behind Merriam-Webster’s Viral Twitter Account

* Wired: An Oral History of the #Hashtag

* Polinsky v. Bolton, 2017 WL 2224391 (Minn Ct. App. May 22, 2017): “The district court found that the use of the “@mentions” was deliberate contact with Polinsky that was unwanted and had a substantial adverse effect on her security. We agree with this reasoning and conclude that Bolton’s Twitter “@mentions” of Polinsky satisfy the statutory definition of harassment.”

* Oddee  8 Amazing People Who Learned Their Skills From YouTube

* Cracked: 6 Dark Secrets YouTube Doesn’t Want You To Know

* The Atlantic: Innocence Is Irrelevant: This is the age of the plea bargain—and millions of Americans are suffering the consequences.

Miscellaneous

* Wired: Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution

* Sierra Club: When You Thought Trade Deals Could Not Get Any Worse — Enter Wall Street.

* NY Times: Once a Model City, Hong Kong Is in Trouble

* Washington Post: Denmark is naming an ambassador who will just deal with increasingly powerful tech companies

* Business Insider: An Ivy League professor who spent 4 months working in a South Bronx check-cashing store says we’re getting it all wrong. “Not all check cashers are the same, but the perception of the industry as seedy doesn’t jibe with Servon’s experience. And contrary to the views of the financial elite, customers’ use of check cashers typically didn’t seem naive or poorly thought out, but rather the smartest decision they could make given their circumstances, according to Servon. “It showed me that those decisions are often rational, logical decisions, even if they’re expensive,” Servon said.”

* Search Engine Land: RIP Dmoz: The Open Directory Project is closing

* Washington Post: “smartphones aren’t @ the tippy top of Maslow’s hierarchy. They’re much closer to the bottom than many people think”

* Orly Lobel: Companies Compete but Won’t Let Their Workers Do the Same

* Wired: India’s Silicon Valley Is Dying of Thirst. Your City May Be Next

* Buzzfeed: How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him

* CJR: What toppled Bill O’Reilly? A reporter’s hunch, a cold call, and a Pilates class.

* Reuters: Singapore ‘vending machine’ dispenses Ferraris, Lamborghinis

* Search Engine Land: Another study shows how featured snippets steal significant traffic from the top organic result

* The Atlantic: How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

* The Guardian: Surge pricing comes to the supermarket

* New York Attorney General Unveils Latest Ticket Bot Enforcement Actions against Ticket Vendors and Software Developer


Source: Eric Goldman Legal

Why Your Online Reputation is so Important for Business Success 0

It’s okay if you are still not sure that your online reputation has anything to do with the success of your business. Plenty of people thought that telephones weren’t very…

The post Why Your Online Reputation is so Important for Business Success appeared first on Massive Brand PR.


Source: Massive Alliance

When Free Speech Clash with Rules of Conduct 0

Imagine you’re at a sporting game with your children. It’s a great way to spend time with the family. You have good seats and your team is even winning. It’s looking to be a great day. Then, the guy in front of you takes off his shirt to reveal his highly offensive tattoos. Not just […]

The post When Free Speech Clash with Rules of Conduct appeared first on Defamation Removal Law.


Source: Aaron Minc

Overcoming Corporate Roadblocks for Enterprise SEO Efficacy 0

Posted by jaredgardner

“You don’t have an SEO strategy problem. You have an organizational efficacy problem.”

That is typically what I tell our new clients at Red Door Interactive (RDI). Poor organizational efficacy can be caused by several things, most commonly a lack of labor, a lack of knowledge, or a lack of senior executive buy-in and direction. Many people would say “efficiency” is a more accurate term than “efficacy,” but I like to remind people that you can do ineffective SEO in a very efficient manner. If the work doesn’t move the needle, then there’s a fatal flaw in your SEO program.

At RDI, we specialize in marketing services for mid to large enterprise clients with annual revenues of our ideal client ranging from $50M/year to $20B/year. The size of clients that we work with have 50+ person marketing departments, and some with more than 1,000. Implementing profitable and evolving SEO programs is much more difficult for non-agile companies and those with marketing that predates the internet. Despite having more resources and built-in topical authority, enterprise SEO can be much harder than SMB SEO — not only because the SEO challenges are greater, but because it introduces another layer of organizational challenges.

What is enterprise SEO?

This same question was on a slide at a recent SEO meetup lead by Ratish Naroor, Director of SEO at Overstock.com. Ratish’s opinion of what constitutes enterprise SEO differed from mine in a few areas. Ratish’s main qualification was that the site in question had one million organic landing pages. At RDI, we work with companies that drive hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue through organic search. Often these sites have less than 5,000 pages, yet their digital marketing departments are twice the size of many marketing teams at e-commerce-first companies. In my opinion, there’s more to consider than just the number of pages. I like to focus on the organization itself and not the size of its site; organizations whose website is its product take SEO more seriously. E-commerce retailers like Overstock, real estate sites like Zillow, and travel sites like Trip Advisor or Expedia all invest heavily in SEO programs. Many times, “old companies” that have been around 40+ years will have “old management” stakeholders who are a little late to the digital marketing party and more resistant to change. Does this late adoption of SEO and digital marketing make the organization itself any less enterprise? I don’t believe so.

If it’s not just page count that matters, where do you draw the line for “enterprise SEO”? Here’s how I classify it:

  1. Corporate team structure, budgeting, and approval process. There’s no hard number here, but typically 20 or more people are involved in taking web pages from an idea to a 200 status code. Some companies are so lean it will blow you away, so think more than just the total head count.
  2. Organic search as a channel can drive realistic business. SEO isn’t for every company, so it’s crucial that the company can drive top-line revenue growth through organic search.
  3. Unique and difficult SEO challenges. This may include large page counts where scaling on-page changes and crawl control is important, competitive industries where search terms have high paid CPAs, or international SEO operating in multiple languages and countries.

How do you succeed at enterprise SEO?

When working with an enterprise organization, there are three major areas to address in order to minimize internal SEO challenges and to see real follow-through in implementing high-value SEO ideas, strategies, and tactics.

1. Create a culture of SEO through visibility

SEO can’t succeed in a silo. To get your strategies implemented, you will need full participation and cooperation with content producers, developers, legal, and department heads. It’s important to remember that companies of this size will have an established culture. Sometimes this culture is dysfunctional, and overcoming it will be an uphill battle. Tom Critchlow recently described this culture as a “grain.” The direction and depth of this “grain” is going dictate how much time you spend on this step, and the best way to get people involved is to keep your work visible to the decision makers:

  • Automated reporting: Focus on showing each team/person metrics they can control

    • Dev teams: Technical crawl reports with issues such as internal redirects or 404 reports are relevant things that they can control. We like DeepCrawl for crawl reporting.
    • VPs and directors: High-level performance reports like M/M and Y/Y traffic and conversions give them a bird’s eye view of the site and the effects of your SEO efforts. Tying this data to a dollar figure will help make your case. This can include simple analytics data from Google Analytics, or more advanced tools such as our favorite BI tool, DOMO, or its competitor Tableau.
    • Product owners/business units: Keyword-level data and traffic to a specific site section that a team works on. An enterprise SEO tool like BrightEdge or Conductor can make these reports easy to manage.
    • Pro tip: Include the email of the SEO lead on these reports and encourage questions.
  • Trainings
    • Many marketers still think SEO is something you sprinkle on at the end of a content project, or “something our IT team handles.” It’s up to you to break down those assumptions and educate their team on the idea that that SEO is symbiotic with every marketing channel and department. These trainings can vary quite a bit, so find what works for the company you are working in/with. We have seen success with the following formats: lunch and learns, video recordings for SEO suites mentioned above, team-specific trainings focused on the area the team controls such as development or content research. While I’d love to say that we turned all the marketers into great SEOs, that’s rarely the case. What we typically see — and are thrilled when it happens — is an email from a product manager that says, “Hey, we are launching a new product next quarter and you mentioned it’s good to do keyword research for new pages; can you help?”
  • Open brainstorms
    • Share your knowledge and promote contributions to the program. When I started at RDI 2.5 years ago, our SEO program was good, but it was siloed. We had 3 people working on their own projects for clients and not really collaborating with each other. To share ideas between the (much larger) SEO team and other teams, we started hosting weekly meetings called the “SEO Brainshare.” Each week, one team member picks a topic or challenge and we workshop it with whoever wants to participate. We typically see 5–10 people from other teams at RDI join the meeting, which increases SEO knowledge and keeps our department top of mind. After a year of hosting these meetings religiously, we have seen a large influx in SEO work being incorporated into new and existing client programs, as well as a more multi-channel approach to everything we do at RDI.

2. Teamwork and navigating a political environment

As an agency, we have to be clear with our main point of contact: “You can’t change your SEO results without changing your site. We need you to be the driver of change at your organization. RDI will arm you with the ideas, rationale, and detailed instructions, but you have to get the people in your organization to act.”

While my experience is very agency-focused, in-house SEOs will have to explain a similar scenario to their managers, and the managers of the content, creative, and development teams. The best way to enable yourself for success is make sure you have access to all the players needed for SEO greatness, and they each know what’s at stake and have a certain degree of ownership from their managers. If the product owner doesn’t have a KPI tied to organic traffic or conversions on their pages, it’s highly unlikely they will prioritize and take ownership of organic traffic to those pages.

For a real-world example, I’ve presented challenges and opportunities to Senior VPs and CMOs at Fortune 100 companies where executives have said, “Wow this is a huge opportunity. Why haven’t we done this yet?” and our main client contact responds, “Because XX department hasn’t been tasked with supporting us from their management, so this isn’t their problem.” That’s where the politics really start to come in. You typically need to go high enough up the marketing department ladder to convince someone with power to back your initiative and direct people outside of your department to support you, holding those other people accountable for the results of the team.

3. Don’t get lost in the noise — focus on return

This is undoubtedly the hardest to nail. SEO results by nature are highly ambiguous. There is a constant flux of right vs wrong, causation vs correlation, and my least favorite, the best choice between two “good” options. I recently listened to a podcast where Bill Hunt (an OG of SEO, BTW) said, “If you can’t put a dollar number on it, you won’t get a dollar for it.” The hardest thing for me to do as I grew my SEO strategies from local businesses to enterprises was to eliminate SEO busy work. I needed to move away from tasks like updating ALT tags because a crawl tool flagged them as “errors,” and start focusing on projects that would have a monetary impact — like creating new site sections, reworking high-ranking titles for CTR, and consolidating competing content.

There are a few ways to estimate the impact of a fix. Most involve some form of search volume X expected CTR X conversion rate. Here’s the formula in theory:

(Expected click-through rate at current position X search volume for that term) X (conversion rate of site section) = Current non-brand conversions for a keyword

Now you need to see how many non-brand conversions you would get if you achieved the rank you feel is plausible (this is more of an art than science; I like to use the rank of the top competitor as “achievable”):

(Expected click-through rate at target position X search volume for that term) X (conversion rate of site section) = Target non-brand conversions for a keyword

Then run a percent change for delta for those two numbers and you have the amount of new conversions for your project.

Ideally you want to do this at scale, since you want to look at more than a single search term for a site change. Here is the excel formula for that:

=IFERROR(B3*(VLOOKUP(G3,’Rank CTR’!A:B,2,0)),0)

For this you’ll need to have a CTR curve table in a table labeled “Rank CTR.” We used the CTR table from AWR for unbranded search, but feel free to use any CTR curve you feel is most accurate for your industry. You can even build upon your own data in Google Search Console.

You will need to do this once for current estimated traffic and again after you have set your target rank numbers, then run a delta to get percent change. (The above formula and CTR curve can be found in the Content Gap Analysis template on our site.)

Working in the agency world, the pressure for our recommendations to have a return is extremely high because those recommendations are measured against the cost of the retainer, even when the project might be something that tends to have a negative impact, like a domain migration. At RDI, the closest thing we have to a secret sauce for this is our Content Gap Analysis. Here’s a sample of how we present findings to clients:

You can grab the Excel template from our site linked above.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the Content Gap Analysis we look at what competitors are doing, then measure the estimated traffic for a topic area. This kind of analysis looks for gaps on our client’s site where competitors have content and we do not. We can examine the likelihood of us being successful in our next content endeavor and to put a number on the estimated traffic a competitor’s site section or page is getting. Once you find opportunities with a forecastable impact, prioritize them in content or site projects and try not to juggle too many balls at once — at least until some content projects have shipped. Don’t forget to quickly communicate the success of a project to accelerate the two factors mentioned above, even if it’s just a quick email with a screenshot from Google/Adobe Analytics.

Focus on the needle-movers and communicate the value of your ideas clearly

Enterprise SEO is great because it allows you the opportunity to work on sites with serious impact and serious challenges. Sometimes you must take the good with the bad, and in enterprise SEO the bad is typically the bureaucracy that comes with large companies. Focus on what matters, don’t piss anyone off, and don’t relent on the need for progress. Happy optimizing! Please share how you have conquered organization challenges in your work in the comments below!

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Source: Moz