Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gravy and Grits, Etiquette and Protocol for Social Media

At Sistah Mental Health and Wellness, I have been open about my issues with bipolar and managing my condition with my healthcare providers and my prescribed medications. It has not been easy and some of my issues stem from being female - possible perimenopausal symptoms.

But now it is time for me to re-enter the workforce after a nearly 4.5 year hiatus, 3 of them dedicated to not looking at all due to frustrations of sending my resume into the abyss; and just a desire to get back to a healthier outlook on life, versus one fraught with unreal ideations. Truthfully, I found my passion and social media helped me get there. I have been having so much fun, even with a lot of tears, setting up what I do in social media - social media entertainment and performance. I lose track of time when I am in cyberspace, and I am quite productive! I don't play "Farmville" or whatever flavor of game spinning my wheels, I am reading Mashable or researching new ways for businesses to deliver social media to the public and audience. I take webinars online from Facebook on market strategies, and watch videos on Youtube, and more reading. That is what I do.

I have found that businesses are scrambling to see the next big social media bang. First it was "Myspace" - that degenerated - I was not on there long enough to really see what happened, but what I heard is they had no controls or class, cyberattacks were rampant and businesses did not want to be associated with that. Then really, Facebook that did not really start their "Page" productions until ~2008, and it has evolved since. I like how pages are formatted for business, though I see all crazy kinds of pages with more than 10,000 LIKES, businesses that have well-integrated social media, fair quite well. Moreover, there are filters and controls that administrators can employ to effectively message to their demographic.

Lastly, there is Twitter, which had little controls on bad behavior, and in some ways they still do, but businesses are using Twitter as a customer service control stopgap system that can address the needs of their customers.

All of this to say is some people, especially the socially anxious, do not know customer service, the business they are working for and how it impacts the outreach of their clients. When I encounter belligerent customer service personnel, I will report them to the Better Business Bureau. It means customer service personnel did not take the time to understand the needs of the customer to best deliver the most effective product line to maximize the positive experiences of the customer. I was recently treated that way with "GoDaddy" and I have reported them.

Which led me to understanding the purchasing of several domain names which I have with GoDaddy. The advent of social media portals on mainline sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, why have a website? Why do I need a personalized domain name specific to an independent website, getting it hosted somewhere, upgrades are costly and infrequent, and outreach is limited when selling a major product is not what I do? Why have all these items when it is easier to just make a page, link it to a Twitter account, and Google+ it to a blog that is "free". I am a small business, so every cent counts. My business requires a personalized positive experience which is exactly what social media is!

The problem lies with expansion of outreach, meaning providing multimedia services to an expanding audience, i.e. podcasts and Youtubes. Podcasts have to be hosted on a separate server, doing that costs money, but the audience likes the radio and hearing information. Whereas, Youtubes are visual cues and short ~30 second commercials are shared and enjoyed by millions. Both have a labor cost associated with them, and both require some level of programming support.

As usual, the young people know all these things and find unique ways to manage these efforts. For some us oldbies, we just did not know the possibilities.

So to jobs...

No one is going to GIVE ME a job. I am too old. Gone are the days where you walk into a business and submit your resume, they review it and give you an interview. Those kinds of jobs are not jobs commensurate with my education and do not pay the price I am worth. I am not working for McDonald's like I did as a teenager. I am not a beggar and I worked hard in school to have a choice. My choice is to work on MY BUSINESS so I can hire people to do jobs I need to be done.

My business, social media entertainment and performance in content management. What you put out there in the Twitterverse does come back. Businesses need a social media strategy to implement on how they want to be present and individuals that manage customer service relations in a socially conscious and a "hodegos" way. It is like a party, one does not treat their guests to a party inappropriately, uncouth without etiquette. But one also knows that many people who use social media are social anxious and do not know how to express themselves appropriately and that translates into the work environment for bad behavior. How much is it worth to you as a business for your bottomline to have inappropriate behavior due to poor etiquette and protocol? Or a complete ignorance of social and cultural understanding in this world of people?

I think even small businesses can benefit building a social media strategy based on etiquette and protocol, social and cultural understanding -- essentially what a hodegos does. And I have highly trained in those efforts through my community service resume for over 20 years... I have organized and implemented outreach programs to diverse communities, implements large events, managed parent programs and I have recapitulated in my professional life as a scientist.

Bringing together diverse people is what geeks me out the most in my life and social media fits nicely in doing that. It is my "Joyeux de vive", my muse, my everything I find life to be. It makes me happy. So often in life, people cannot find their "happiness", but I did and I am having the time of my life doing it.

To make me go back into the drudgery of hoping someone gives me a job is asking me to die. Yes, I would love some payment for what I do. Why? For the amount of work I put into what I do, remuneration is deserved, but payment can be bartering, service for service or like purchasing "BlogTalkRadio" time for the year, or Facebook ads for my services, or cutting and editing my podcasts, or finding actors for my performances or writers to review my scripts.  Or administrators for my 400 odd Facebook pages that will not be stolen from me.

What I do is not easy and I dedicate 20 hours building per day. No one will give you that level of intensity online. It is not what they do for projects. Besides, for those who help me, I really should pay them something, but I to hire an employment lawyer who explain how I can do this legally. That is why I am asking for remuneration.

What the audience sees in the end is the "gravy and grits"...

And I now have proof what I do, works.

Visit me --