Monthly Archives: November 2011

Trashing your Boss on Facebook (An Article on Caution via www.labourwise.co.za!)

TRASHING YOUR BOSS ON FACEBOOK

From an article on www.labourwise.co.za

Social networks, such as Facebook, serve as a useful vehicle for sharing one’s personal views. It can also have unexpected and unfortunate ramifications. One example is when an employee makes use of a social network to air his views about his or her employer. It would seem that, for some reason or other, employees lose their inhibitions when there is a screen between them and the world out there.

There have been several cases where employees have used a social network, such as Facebook and Twitter, to say nasty things about their employers.

It is one thing to speak your heart out about your boss to a friend over a drink. As soon as you post it on a social network, though, two important dimensions are added: Firstly, your thoughts or words are recorded in text and cannot be retracted; secondly, you lose control over its distribution.

Who can blame an employer for wanting to take disciplinary action if an employee’s caustic comments about the employer are given publicity in this way? Several questions arise, though:

  1. What if it did not happen at work or during working hours?
  2. What about the employee’s right to privacy? Can the employer rely on evidence that was meant to be private?
  3. Does the employee’s position within the company make a difference?
  4. Does the remark necessarily destroy the employment relationship?

These considerations were addressed very lucidly in the CCMA-case of Sedick & another vs Krisray (Pty) Ltd.

Two senior employees were dismissed for having exchanges via Facebook regarding the employer and members of management. They exchanged several snide remarks about the founder of the business and younger family members that were brought in to help manage the business. These remarks included “Trust me no one can put up with so much shit when the fing kids join the company!”; “From so-called ‘professionalism 2 dumb brats runnin a mickey mouse business”; “… today was hectic with Frankentein”; “What an idiot”; “a very ugly man with a dark soul”.

In this case the dismissal was not challenged on the basis that the exchanges had happened outside of working hours. However, it has become a firmly established principle that an employer may take action against employees for conduct outside working hours if such conduct has an adverse impact on the employment relationship.

As far as the issue of privacy is concerned, the commissioner noted that the internet is, for most part, public domain. This also applies to Facebook, to the extent that the employees had not restricted access to the relevant pages. As a consequence of their failure to make use of the privacy options, they had abandoned their right to privacy and the protections of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act of 2002 (“The Interception Act”).

Although no names were mentioned, the employees were intentionally communicating with subordinates within the company, as well as with ex-employees and other persons. According to the commissioner this meant that two of the senior employees in the organisation were publicly making derogatory and demeaning remarks about the director and management to persons who, on the balance of probability, were fully aware about whom these comments were being made. Whilst some of the postings were quite innocuous and not, in the commissioner’s opinion, all that damaging to the employment relationship, the greater number were extremely serious and, if not constituting insubordination, certainly constituted gross insolence. After taking into account what had been written, where the comments had been posted, to whom they had been directed and by whom they had been said, the commissioner found that dismissal was a fair sanction.

The arbitration award was concluded with the following terse observation: “If employees wish their opinions to remain private, they should refrain from posting them on the internet”.

Jan Truter of www.labourwise.co.za

This entry was written by Labourwise www.labourwise.co.za is an on-line labour relations service aimed at assisting employers with the implementation of effective labour relations. They can be contacted via the website or info@labourwise.co.za.

Adrinalin Point-of-View:

Social media sites are public – VERY public – and whether you are acting as an individual, a business representative, an employee or a business owner BE AWARE. Don’t post pictures or post willy-nilly. Decide what your core values are (in any and all of the above instances) and post according to this self-imposed standard.

Encourage yourself, your employees and your colleagues to maintain integrity-based, authentic and professional images for themselves and your business. Don’t abandon the fun, just be cautious when it comes to posting online.

Diva over-and-out.


Key Take-Aways about Facebook

Fear of Facebook

Engaging on Social Media platform (like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) is still a pretty daunting concept for South African SME’s if our day-to-day clients are anything to go by. The typical issues they grapple with are:

  1. Should I bother? (I believe we have conclusively answered this question.)
  2. If I do bother, what should I write about? (Again, we have posted on this previously.)
  3. Does it matter? Ahhh, now we we get to the fun stuff. Do we know that what you are doing is making a difference? Firstly, your Facebook page insights will be crucial in understanding the efficacy of your posting methodology. Secondly, your page interactions will also provide you with real-time feedback. I have said it before and I will say it again – every strategy MUST be different. This means that you can model your strategy on what others have successfully implemented but you must try your own hand at it.
  4. Who am I writing for? Putting a face to this concept has proven to help our clients significantly when it comes to maintaining an active social media strategy. And that is what I want to do today – share some insights about Facebook users with you.

Social Media Statistics & Facts

(Circulated from Social Media Examiner) Please note that this data focuses on the American Online community. takeaway’s are extrapolated from there.

What was found in this recent study on the habits of Social Media users, included some of the following interesting facts and take-aways:

  1. Online users still prefer to use Facebook over other networks like Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn (listed in order of usage preference). Online users spent a total of 53, 457, 258 000 min’s on Facebook during the month of May 2011. Closest competitor was Blogger where users spent a total 723, 793 000 min’s online during the month. Take away – It IS worth the effort and time.
  2. More than half of Facebook users log in every day – that’s more than 400 million people.
  3. The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, events and groups.
  4. There are 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, etc…).
  5. Facebook hosts over 7 million apps, and over 20 million apps are downloaded each day.
  6. Around 75% of Facebook users are outside of North America with accounts available in 70 languages.
  7. The average user spends about 20min logged into his / her account

And here’s a humdinger:

  1. 51% Facebook fans are more likely to purchase the brands they follow!

Crucial take-away’s

  1. Be sure to integrate your social media efforts with your website and mail efforts (online and offline).
  2. Because many customers show a tendency to stay on social media sites, find ways to keep them engaged.
  3. The previous five statistics show the strong competition for eyeballs. A critical success factor for getting seen is consistency. There is a cumulative effect to your social efforts. The next stat highlights this.
  4. Don’t use the excuses of having a limited budget or a small fan base to prevent you from broadening and deepening your social efforts.
Start your business dialogue on Facebook

Start your business dialogue on Facebook

Conclusion

Stop the fear. Dip your toe into the social media pool – you are bound to find that your consumer engagements deepen, intensify and become more rewarding. If you are swimming in the online pool already, work towards maintaining consistency and visibility.

If you need help with your Social Media (Facebook) strategy – book your seat at our Facebook for 2012 (Straterific Workshop) on Friday 25 November 2011. For more information or to book e-mail junkies@adrinalinconcept.co.za


9 Tips for Hiring a Local SEO Firm

9 Tips for Hiring a Local SEO Firm.

Written by an SEO expert from Boston but just as applicable to potential SEO customers in South Africa!